chum in michigan?

Discussion in 'LOCAL MICHIGAN TALK' started by DLB-in-GR, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. DLB-in-GR

    DLB-in-GR New Member

    Messages:
    490
    State:
    MI
    I thought I would ask for some Michigan fishermen's opinions on the subject of chumming in this state. Is it your understanding that this practice is legal, or not? In the fishing regulations rulebook, it states that it is unlawful to "deposit litter, fish offal, or any foreign matter, in any waters of the state or on any lands, public or private". It doesn't mention chumming by name. This is a bit unclear, according to a strict interpretation of that statement, skipping stones is not legal. I wrote to the DNR and asked them to clarify for me, and of course the answer I got was that chum and chumming is illegal in Michigan. So the Magic Bait chum they sell at Gander Mountain and Walmart is there for looks, you really can't use it I guess? Anyway, I always read the weekly fishing report on the DNR website too, and this week it describes a method of fishing that involves chumming... "Rainbow trout have been caught in Lime Lake when chumming with sweet corn and using wax worms 10 to 15 feet down in waters 20 to 30 feet deep." Now I am confused, and it seems like this is one of those vague areas in the rules where it completely depends on who you ask, and what day it is. I've never chummed for anything other than tossing out a few handfuls of canned corn when fishing for carp, but it sounds like an effective channel catting technique. What do you all think of the method? I suppose you can do anything you can get away with, but I'd rather fish within the regulations.
    Thanks,
    Doug
     
  2. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    State:
    Ithaca, MI
    Write back to the DNR and demand the exact code in MCL or MSL that states this and mentions "chum" by name.

    That's what I'd do.

    If you get caught, copy the DNR page you mentioned where they chummed for trout and use it as a means of escape- a judge cannot hold you to an interpretation if the very service who interpreted a law against your favor suggests you break the law in the very same manor. It is a double standard.

    Moreover, the handbook is NOT the law. That is SO IMPORTANT TO KNOW. The handbook in and of itself is an interpretation of the law, interpreted by the author, not a judge or a mediator or arbitrator or attorney. It is useless as a means of defence or prosecution... but the DNR guy who busts you doesnt need to tell you this fact NOR do they need to tell you whjen they point to the handbook and give you the rundown.

    "Litter" is garbage... is food garbage litter or is it feeding wildlife? If you bait deer wih corn you wouldnt deem fit to eat yourself is that litter or is it baiting?

    "Offal" is where you will get caught. Unless you remove and separately dispose of fish guts and just toss fillets overboard as chum.

    "Foreign matter"- You as a living human are foreign to water- if you go swimming is that illegal? You're depositing foreign matter in the water... albeit for a swim!!!

    see what I mean? Demand the MCL (michigan common law)Sighting or the MSL (Michigan Statutory Law) Sighting. They cannot deny you that as a resident. They dont have to give you the law itself only the number, but you can take that and hit an law library for the actual once you get the number.


    Sal
     

  3. DLB-in-GR

    DLB-in-GR New Member

    Messages:
    490
    State:
    MI
    Thanks, Sal. I just got done sending in the update to my question to the DNR asking for the MCL or MSL number that specifically states that chumming is illegal. It took 10 business days for them to get back to me before, but I'll post what they tell me when they do.

    Doug
     
  4. DLB-in-GR

    DLB-in-GR New Member

    Messages:
    490
    State:
    MI
    I received a more complete answer today. It appears that I am ok as long as I don't use fish parts to chum, a long way in my book from the previous blanket statement that the use of "chum" and "chumming" is illegal. The misunderstanding came from the dictionary definition of the word chum, although I had specifically mentioned corn as an example in my first question. I've included the response I received below.

    "I am aware that you received a response to your original question that maybe was not clear enough. When you look up the word "chumming" in the dictionary, it says: to throw fish parts into the water to attract other fish. In Michigan, this is illegal, as it states in the Fishing Guide: You may not deposit litter, "fish offal" into the waters of this state. It is illegal to cut up a fish and use the fish parts for chum.

    You may however, chum with fish eggs, corn, shredded wheat etc. Anglers seeking catfish will sometimes use liver wrapped in a mesh bag so it can be retrieved and disposed of when they are done fishing. I hope this helps to clarify chumming, but should you have more questions, please feel free to call the DNR Law Division and speak to Sgt. Jackie Waber at 517-335-6718."
     
  5. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

    Messages:
    1,390
    State:
    Ithaca, MI
    They didnt give you a legal citation of the exact law did they? LOL! That is irony for ya.


    Awful slippery, dude! I dont know what I can legally get away with still to be honest.

    Sal