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
Annual Work Weekend
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.