Are you part of the solution?
Written by Rick Balabon - President, Michigan Steelheaders   
Saturday, 31 March 2007 17:53
Are you part of the problem or are you part of the solution?  Kind of a loaded question, don’t you think?  I’m sure you have heard that saying several times in your lifetime.  What I am referring to is our responsibility as anglers and hunters and sportsmen in general.  Ask yourself this question…are we actively involved in our fishery like we should be?  Am I a member of an organization that cares about our sport fishery and is working towards solutions and am I actively involved in that organization and willing to help out any way I can?
There have been a lot of issues that have come up in the past related to our fishery and lot of things currently at hand that we need to be aware of and able to react to.  There have been proposed license fee increases, cuts in Coho plants, VHS disease, salmon plants, creel limits, forage base problems, BKD, tribal netting negotiations, cormorants and ballast water just to name a few.  There are a lot of special interest groups out there that want to see things go their way and as sportsmen we are no different and we can make a difference.  We have no right to sit around and complain about the condition/situation of our sport if we are not willing to step forward and do something about it and take some responsibility for our actions, or lack of action.  I am tired of hearing people complain about the D.N.R. “didn’t do this correctly” or “the state should have done this”, or how come fishing/hunting isn’t the same as it was back in the “good old” days.
What I want to tell everyone is that there is power in numbers.  The DNR, NRC, state lawmakers and others listen to organizations that have members that are willing to get involved and make a difference and be heard.  They also know that as a rule, sportsmen vote their heart and they do remember how their representatives have responded to their requests.

What I would like to ask everyone is that you please become a member of a sport fishing organization and become involved with them.  Join more than one if you can, there are a lot of great organizations out there such as the Steelheaders, Salmon Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, B.A.S.S., Michigan Charter Boat Association, M.U.C.C., G.L.S.F.C.  and many, many more.  These organizations do a great job of protecting our rights and promoting our conservation efforts.  Along with being a voice and making a difference, most of these organizations offer a great many other things to its members, such as newsletters, magazines, meetings, outings, seminars, chat rooms, family get- togethers, holiday party’s, tournaments, discounts, swap meets, and so much more than I have space to mention here.
We have a great sport fishery and we need to work together to keep it great and make it better.  We will always have issues that arise and items that need to be attended to but if we all work together we can make a difference and become part of the solution .


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