DNR bait rules begin
Written by Cheboygan Tribune   
Monday, 02 July 2007 05:39

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced Monday that it has decided on dates when new regulations for fishermen and bait dealers will take effect.

The DNR said, it will implement the new regulations in phases. Starting today the DNR will begin educating the fishing and bait dealing communities in methods for dealing with fish disease and how to move toward using and selling certified bait.

The regulation changes are in reaction to spreading fresh water fish diseases, specifically Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia, stated the DNR.

The process of certifying bait dealers will come into full swing in the middle of July.

During the weeks of July 16 and 23, the DNR said it will be reviewing all applications for certifying facilities to hold baitfish. After receiving all of the necessary information from wholesale and retail bait dealers who wish to have baitfish certified in their facilities, the DNR will conduct facility inspections or telephone interviews to complete the certification review process.

Once the applications have been reviewed, the DNR will send out facility certification letters and provide recommended fish disease certification methods for each facility. The DNR said they will be issuing baitfish certifications after lots have been tested and deamed disease free.

The DNR said, by Aug. 17 licensed all bait dealers will be requested to start providing customers complete receipts that show all the needed information to inform anglers on where they can use their bait and to allow for the tracking of any fish disease problems in their bait supply, noted the DNR. By this time certified disease-free bait should start becoming widely available.

The fish disease control order is expected to be fully employed by Sept. 15, according to the DNR.

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