Archives for April 2018

Dispute sharpens over spearfishing on Lake St. Clair

ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. — The international boundary between the United States and Canada cuts a diagonal through the vast 430-square-mile Lake St. Clair, regarded by some as the sixth Great Lake and by many as one of the best muskellunge fisheries in the world.

Many states allow the spearing of rough fish, but Michigan is unique, one of the few places that permits taking gamefish with a spear. There are reams of exclusions protecting primarily trout waters and boundary waters, but for the most part Michigan allows northern pike and muskellunge to be speared through the ice from Dec. 1 to March 15 on many of its waters.

Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River, the Detroit River, and Lake Erie are closed to spearing muskies but open for the same period to spear pike and yellow perch.Muskie Lake Erie

A proposal to consider taking Lake St. Clair off the muskie spearing sanctuary list is bouncing around inside the Michigan Natural Resources Commission and has been fodder for intense debate at several recent informal forums on the matter. The commission, appointed by the governor, reviews proposals for changes or additions to the rules that regulate the taking of game and sportfish, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources would ultimately carry out those measures.

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