On Saturday, the DNR announced that they would be closing down the Mouth of the Betsie river on October 10th. For now, they asked anglers to volunteer to not fish the mouth of the river.
Since the late August, river salmon anglers have been waiting for the big push of kings. This has not happen due to the summer drought conditions. We are now half way through September and the Betsie still has not received their salmon run. People who are fishing the mouth of the river are spooking the fish on to shore and these fish are beaching themselves.
For the past month, I have been hearing around the poor salmon run on the Betsie. Usually, I am over there fishing for the past month. This year I purchased a new boat and have not ventured to the Frankfort area. I had plans to fish another river with my buddy on Monday. So Sunday, I decided to swing on by to check out what exactly is going on. I swung by all the Betsie access close to the road looking for fish. I was amazed to see not a single salmon. This was mind-blowing. I then went to the mouth and seen exactly why these powerful fish were not running the river.
I was amazed to see that after the warnings the DNR put out about volunteering not to fish, that people were still fishing the mouth of the river.
After checking out the mouth of the river, I ventured down the path to the small boating access site to see what was going on. People were talking about the closing of the river and getting ready to go fish it. I decided to ask an angler getting ready if he had heard about the DNR asking anglers not to fish. He said “Yes but it is not illegal yet.” I was disgusted with his answer and said “it doesn’t look like anglers care about the future of our Betsie salmon” and walked a way.
I have also seen people freaking out about the situation were in. Saying that the salmon will never make it. This is false! Eventually nature will call and these fish will run the river no matter what. It won’t matter if it’s 2 inches of water or 10 feet of water. I fish several small rivers across the state. Salmon and steelhead will always run the river as long as they are not bothered.
Here is proof that some fish are still running:
As a Sportsman we should seriously look at what is going on here. The salmon that run the Betsie River are all from natural reproduction. Yes, these salmon will eventually die but it’s because of natural reproduction that we have a fishery here. If people continue to fish this river and spook fish, it might hurt the fishery years from now. I seriously hope the fisherman of this state consider what the Michigan DNR is asking and decide not to fish the mouth of the Betsie for the time being.
If you want to stay up-dated on this situation, keep an eye on this facebook site. There is a lot of great information posted so far: