Welcome to Vanguard Chapter, Trout Unlimited

Welcome From Larry Butts, President Vanguard Chapter

Aquaculture (Fish Farming)

Please be aware, at the last two Michigan Trout Unlimited Council meetings, information regarding applications to allow Aquaculture, or "Fish Farming" that are quietly moving toward approval was discussed and a Policy Paper was issued against such approval. 

Recently, Mr. Dan Vogler, owner of Harrietta Hills Fish Farms and President of the Michigan Aquaculture Association requested a permit from the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDARD) and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and with assistance from Michigan Sea Grant to allow Aquaculture, or commercial fish farming, at an old "tourist hatchery" on the East Branch of the Au Sable river. They plan to increase fish production from the current 10,000 fish per year to 300,000 fish per year. Another in-stream application has been sought as well as two proposed net penning operations in Lake Huron near Alpena and Bay De Nock in Lake Michigan.  As a result of these permit applications and proposals, the MRARD, DEQ and DNR have created and appointed a Science Panel. This Science Panel appears to be working secretively, in that very little if any public comment is available and there are no notices of meetings. 

DNR Director Keith Creigh was asked, "Is the Science Panel asking themselves, 'If Michigan proceeds with Net-Penning, then what?' or 'How can Michigan make this happen?" The answer was, "Probably the latter." That answer elevated our concern for Aquaculture operations in Michigan. 

The issues associated with the proposed fish farms include pollution in the form of feces and uneaten food pellets, the introduction of antibiotics and increased water temperatures in the river.  They will be raising fish that have been genetically engineered to grow faster and larger than native trout and in fact are not actually trout. Similar operations in Canada have experienced and documented the aforementioned problems and have experienced large numbers of fish escape into the wild, where they are an invasive species. 

A copy of this Policy is available on this website as well as a copy of my letter to US Representative Candice S. Miller of the 10th Congressional District. I would urge you to read both and write you State and National representatives.

Paint Creek Volunteer Opportunities

This past May, Conservation Chair Eli Stanesa and our VP Jeff Gerwitz organized led a team of volunteers to survey the nearly 5 miles of the gear restricted area of Paint Creek to identify sites that require remediation from fallen trees, bank erosion, etc. The teams walked sections of the streambed and whenever a site was observed it was photographed and its location was tagged with GPS coordinates so that the sites could be evaluated and prioritized for later work this summer. In all 80 sites were identified and in cooperation with the Clinton River Watershed Council, work weekends are being organized and will begin in July. It appears that our initial worksite will be between Dutton and Tienken roads where large amounts of woody debris at the footings of the bridge. This site has access for our crews. These initial work sessions have brought out several new members to Vanguard and saw the return of some older members. It was a good mix of old and young, men and women and it is exciting to see our chapter growing. Please note that in addition to some heavy lifting, there is also a need for crews to pick up trash along the banks, so there will something for everyone to do. Please look for an email from Vanguard or follow this website for more details. If you are not receiving our emails, please send me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will see that our membership Chair, Roger LaRock amends our records.

Annual Work Weekend

Past President Larry Walla is once again organizing our annual work weekend with the Black River Council and Huron Pines this August 7th-9th. We will be staying at the Staff House, which was built during the depression by members of CCC and we always manage to have a good time. Please contact LarryThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it."> (lThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to be placed on the list so that we can plan food and accommodations. Also, visit the link http://www.huronpines.org/projectinfo.asp?pjt=yv&yid=68 for more information.

Membership Meetings Resume

The next general meeting will be in September, so enjoy the summer. By popular demand however, Fly Tying will continue throughout the summer on the 3rd Thursday of the month at our new location at Avery’s Tavern, on the West side of Crook’s road, just North of M59.



 The mission of Michigan Trout Unlimited (MITU) is to conserve, protect and restore the cold water fisheries and their watersheds of Michigan. 

I would like to welcome you to Trout Unlimited and the Vanguard Chapter. We have an active calendar this year in support of this mission and plan to expand our work in the areas of stream restoration and conservation, education programs and financial support of these projects. This work not only repairs the damage done to our rivers and streams by urban growth and the logging industry almost 100 years ago, it seeks to reconnect miles of river that have been disrupted by dams that in many cases are no longer in use and have fallen into dangerous disrepair. In an era of climate change this work helps to reduce the temperature of these waters to better ensure the survivability of trout and other species that depend on cold, clear water. 

In partnership with other TU chapters, the Clinton River Watershed Council, the Michigan DNR, the Upper Black River Council and several other wildlife & fisheries organizations volunteers from the Vanguard Chapter have made significant improvements to coldwater fisheries throughout the state of Michigan and in particular our home waters of Southeastern Michigan. In addition to our local efforts, Trout Unlimited National (TUNA) is establishing offices in Michigan as a base to direct efforts to protect our great lakes and large scale projects within Michigan that impact the region as a whole. 

Most of us are drawn to conservation through our love of the outdoors and our love of nature. It is not uncommon for us to enjoy fishing after our work is done and we continue to do the work so that our children will be able to do so as well. We invite you all to join us in our work, either as a volunteer on one of our projects or through your financial contributions. Both are needed as there is still much to do.  

Please see our calendar of events for our meeting times and upcoming projects. 

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