Monday morning, August 31st, members of The Bass Federation (TBF) of Michigan, Michigan B.A.S.S. Nation (MBN) and Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) employees hosted Legislators for a bass fishing outing on Lake St. Clair. The purpose of the event was showing the Legislators the great fishing available out on the gem we call Lake St. Clair, giving them a chance to experience and better understand the Lake St. Clair ecosystem.
In addition, MDNR Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter and Lake St. Clair Fisheries Research Biologist Todd Wills gave a short presentation to the participants on the research station, research boats and letting them see firsthand some of the important research tools they use to effectively manage our fishery resources. MDNR Legislative and Legal Affairs Director Trevor VanDyke was also present to address any legislative-related questions.
After the presentation, the weather could not have been finer as most participants caught bass or other fish, and the boating was exceptional. Everyone agreed our first bass fishing outing was a big success, and plans for a future event are being discussed!
The Legislators were members of the Michigan Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus (MLSC), the largest bipartisan caucus in Michigan state government. Participating were Rep. Anthony Forlini (District 24), Rep. Ben Glardon (District 85), Rep. Ken Goike (District 33), Rep. Bradford Jacobsen (District 46), Rep. Andrea LaFontaine (District 32 and MLSC co-chair), Rep. Bill LaVoy (District 17) and Rep. Jim Runestad (District 44). We were also joined by Nick Buggia (Sen. Green's office) and Mary Kay Sogge (Rep. Forlini's office).
MLSC co-chair Sen. Mike Green (District 31) joined us for a luncheon provided by The Bass Federation of Michigan and Michigan B.A.S.S. Nation back at the MDNR Lake St. Clair Fisheries Research Station immediately following the morning's fishing. Duran Martinez, host of Wild Michigan Outdoors Radio, also participated in activities and fishing.
Of the fishing, TBF of Michigan and MBN Conservation Director Dan Kimmel reported, "Some of the Legislators and participants landed their first ever Great Lakes smallmouth bass while a number of other species were caught including one muskellunge and a rather large channel catfish caught on the new spybaiting technique by Rep. LaFontaine while fishing with boater Scott Dobson and myself! The presentations were also informative and helpful. Many great questions were asked by the Legislators and answered by MDNR personnel making the event very educational while still involving a little fun fishing on our best bass lake!"
We'd like to thank all the participants and boaters for coming out to Lake St. Clair on a Monday. Boater volunteers from both bass fishing groups included Matt Belletini, Ralph Blasey, Scott Dobson, Mark Goetsch, Mark Hill, Tom Kiefer, Larry Leonardi, Chaz Poindexter, Dave Reault (President of TBF of Michigan), Tommy Robinson, Steve Smith, Jim Sprague, and Paul Wagner (Youth Director of MBN). Paul Wagner also brought along one of our youth anglers - Nathan Stec - to fish with us. All boaters' expenses and the luncheon were donated by the volunteers and the two bass fishing groups involving no tax payer cost.
About the Michigan Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus
The Michigan Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus is dedicated to promoting the traditional and historical rights of Michigan citizens to hunt, fish, and engage in other outdoor activities.
About the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (www.michigan.gov/dnr)
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations.
Michigan B.A.S.S. Nation
Michigan Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus Bass Fishing Outing a Success
Dedicated to Youth, Conservation, and Bass Anglers of Michigan