Are the days of using live minnows numbered?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Steel Cranium, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. Spent some time in the UP last week for ice fishing. Buying bait was an interesting experience. First, many of the bait stores up that way (boonies) are in people's houses, where we stood in the living room chatting with the wife while the owner got bait from the basement. The most interesting thing were discussions about the use of minnows and roe (eggs) in Michigan. With the VHS issue getting more press, they are trying to stop the spread by controlling the use of bait that can move the virus = minnows and fresh roe.

    Now, you must have a form filled out and in your possession whenever you have live minnows or spawn.


    If you possess live bait without the form it's a $400.00 fine. They are also coming down hard on the bait dealers to show a clean chain of ownership for bait from the approved farm (provider) thru the bait shop to the consumer. We had discussions with a couple of shop owners who have discussed the situation with MDNR folks. Looks like they might want to discontinue the use of live minnows and spawn completely in the state. If the VHS situation gets worse, it will probably happen. Once it happens in Michigan, Ohio might not be far behind. One shop owner is replacing most minnow tanks with extra coolers for worms, getting ready for what might happen. Worms, leeches, and larva are not affected.
  2. Is this just in Michigan? Is there talks of this in Ohio? If this is the case, it would stink due to the fact that minnows are my favorite live bait.

  3. RareVos

    RareVos Lost Sailor

    I would imagine you would still be able to seine your own minnows as long as you didn't move them from one body of water to another?
  4. We had the same question, and they said no. This is since there isn't a way to prove that the bait came from the same body of water. That was our concern since we set up a minnow trap nightly to get bait for the next day.

    (edit) Looks like it depends on the body of water. A waterway known to be VHS affected (great lakes and streams to first dam) allow use of bait without restriction. It's those inland waters where the restrictions are strict. The rules went into effect around the beginning of July 2007.

    This was in the U.P., so I don't know if this is required through all of Michigan. Nothing in Ohio yet, but might be something that comes down the road if the VHS issue gets out of hand, especially affecting inland waters.
  5. snake69

    snake69 Equal opportunity fishing

    I guess we'd better start building confidence in gulp, power minnows and lots of Mr Twisters eh..!
  6. We had to sign off on the trout we got in PA. Fished Raystown. Looked just like the one you posted.
  7. I agree 100% imagine how something like that would effect all the crappie fisherman(not to mention baitshop owners)
  8. Michigan also has that Emerald Ash Borer problem. What's going on up there?