Share your thoughts with the DNR on changes to Torch River spawning closure

Contact: Heather Hettinger, 231-463-4030 or Scott Heintzelman, 231-433-9782
Agency: Natural Resources

Aug. 27, 2021

Torch River

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources invites the public to meet on Sept. 1, 2021, to discuss proposed changes to the current Torch River spawning closure that would allow limited fishing. The meeting will take place at Helena Township Hall located at 8751 Helena Road, Alden, Michigan 49612 at 6 p.m.

New regulations were adapted this past year to close fishing between May 1 and June 15 from the Crystal Beach Road bridge downstream to Lake Skegemog, including Rapid River up to the Aarwood Road bridge of the Torch River to protect spawning muskellunge. Anglers pursuing other fish species have asked for the regulation to be revisited.

The proposed change would remove the spawning closure on the Torch River from Fisheries Order 204 and add a seasonal gear restriction (single-pointed unweighted hook measuring 1/2 inch or less from point to shank) on the Torch River from May 1 to July 1 within Fisheries Order 202 subsection 1.

By utilizing seasonal gear restrictions as opposed to the current spawning closure, anglers would be able to fish for suckers and trout species common in the river during springtime and typically fished with a single hook. These proposed restrictions would still provide substantial protection for spawning muskellunge.

For those that cannot attend the meeting, questions and comments can be sent to Heather Hettinger or Scott Heintzelman.