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OxbowSeptember 20th, 2021, 7:13 am
South Haven, Michigan

Posts: 1
Been fly-fishing on this river system for over 55 years. Back in the 1960's and early 70's there was a defined season and a vibrant stocking program. Rainbow's were predominately stocked with some browns and bookies. There were size and take limits which (based upon the DNR's formula) kept the fishing robust. Today fishing is 24-7 365 days with no kill - no keep. The guided pressure has increased 50 fold along with the general fishing pressure.

I asked myself a few years ago why has the fishing declined so drastically?
Since then year over year the quality of fishing has been in steady decline. There are various conservation groups that are imprinting their agenda on the river system which has not improved but added to the decline of quality of fish and fishing. There are many aspects of the rules and regulations that appear to favor the fishing guide services and the local fishing camps that detract from improving the streams, fish and fishing. We are losing this wonderful natural resource a part of my life since 1956! Michigan needs a change soon!!
KWBDecember 27th, 2022, 4:14 am
Interlochen, Michigan

Posts: 2
Honestly, I don't think "guides" are the issue at all... and conservation groups like Anglers of the Au Sable, Trout Unlimited "this is after all the birth place of Trout Unlimited" have without a doubt had great impacts on this watershed in a very positive way...

For example, the North Branch has very very little guiding activity and the fishery there has collapsed the worst, by far. The other branches are very healthy and have wonderful fishing, yet they have far more guide activity. It's isn't the guides hurting the fishery.

Stocking most definitely is not the answer, you just create a false fishery and weaken the gene pool.

Furthermore, there really is only a couple months of extreme use, if you visit this river the other 9-10 months of the year, you can darn near have the place to yourself.

The Au Sable is a place where you can visit and swear there isn't a single fish in the entire stretch of river you fish, then you can come back to that same stretch another day in different conditions and catch all kinds of fish. It's amazing how many fish are there, yet some days they are just all very inactive, obviously the Brown Trout are very nocturnal in the Summer months after the major hatches have come and gone.

I'd love to hear what specific regulations have been imposed that are so in favor of guides and/or outfitters on this watershed and are hindering the average angler from a quality experience?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
MichimikeDecember 29th, 2022, 1:16 pm
Bancroft, Michigan

Posts: 23
KWB, thank you! The regulations on the Ausable do not favor any groups, but favor the anglers who work at it, I’m a member of Ausable anglers, and this group works hard to care for the rivers and the fish. If you really want to benefit the rivers and the fish then join Anglers and participate in there activities! The Ausable river system gets a lot of different uses from all sorts of outdoor activities and fish simply respond to these and the hatches.I’m not a guide, I don’t even live upnorth, I live in Shiawassee county, but I drive up every week and fish the Ausable system. I’m trying to pay back now, and hope others would get involved .

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