Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Clarify Existing Trout Regulations

Decoding Existing Trout Regulations

Is it just me? Am I the only angler in this state that feels the DNR’s 2009 Fishing Digest is too complicated, too redundant, too filled with quasi-legalistic jargon, and too boring?

The DNR’s Fisheries Division is, for once, asking the public for input about their annual Fishing Digest. Should you desire to make comments on trout lakes and streams, go to: < >.

Here’s my take on this situation. The DNR has messed around for many years trying to get their fishing digest in order. Along the way, dating back into the 1980s, there have been some atrocious mistakes. In those years, the standard answer was the computer messed up. Folks, computers do mess up but it’s often the result of operator error.

We’ve suffered with the old computer adage: garbage in, garbage out, and in the past it has applied to the DNR. Other times, when things went wrong, the people ultimately in charge blamed subordinates for not editing the copy properly. And then, back in 2000, the DNR decided to copy what neighboring Wisconsin did.

Their fancy new idea was a magazine-size format with maps and charts that told us what we could and could not do. We had to skip from one page to another and to a third page to determine what the trout fishing regulations were for a particular stream or lake.

If anything, this change that we’ve suffered with for nine long years was a lesson in optimistic failure. All it did was make people throw up their names and go elsewhere and do something other than fish for trout.

The rules were poorly written, redundant, and frankly boring. Reading it could put an insomniac to sleep. Pity the person who was color blind. The maps of county lakes and streams had several different colors, and anyone who had a red-green vision problem, was in deep trouble.

Frankly, the rules were stupidly written and have been for as long as I can remember. Apparently the DNR is so broke that those drawing up the rules can’t find a calendar with the proper dates. Need an example. Here are a few being quoted directly from the 2009 Michigan Fishing Guide.

Page 11 under Lake Sturgeon for Black Lake in Cheboygan County: 1st Sat. in February – Sun. following the 2nd Sat. in February.” Say what? There are more, many more.

Page 11 (also for Lake Sturgeon): “1st Sat. in Sept. – Sept. 30.” Does this mean that no one can check the calendar and see which day the 1st Saturday in September is? If it’s important to you, the proper date is Sept. 5.

Page 10 under Bass: “3rd Sat. in June” and “Sat. before Memorial Day – Dec. 31.” Is this a bad case of someone being lazy or what?
Page 10: Washtenaw County for Whitemore Lake (and elsewhere through most of the counties) are map coordinates that most people ignore, such as: (T1S, R5E, Section 32) downstream to (T2S, R2S, Section 2). Couldn’t all of these coordinates be summarized better and are they really needed?

Under the current regulations, some streams have different size restrictions on trout in one area and something else in another. There are numerous types of lakes and a similar number of stream types. Looking at a map that shows these types in different colors looks like a bad color photo of someone’s varicose veins. It’s hard to determine, in some cases, where on set of regulation start and another stops.

If the DNR has its way next year, certain streams types would be eliminated. Is this a step in the right direction? Who knows, but the 2009 Fishing Digest has 47 pages to try and digest. It makes me want to throw up.

Is it really necessary to have so many different rules? Can’t the DNR find someone who can write, or hire someone who can write and edit, and reduce this monstrosity to a manageable size. Cut the thing in half, and the following year, trim it down some more.

Some of the DNR’s regulations are not working and should be trimmed away. A first-year student in journalism school could edit countless lines from the Digest without changing the meaning of a single sentence.

The sad fact is that government-speak has crept into the DNR, and they write these fish laws as if people can’t understand common English. They can, but most people balk at trying to decipher the Lansing legalese.

Sadly, the DNR and the state and its citizens, have fallen on hard times. Now they come, seeking our help in changing their fishing regulations, and it’s time for each of you to stand up and be counted. If you’ve got a gripe, voice your concerns. Be nice about it, but tell them what problems you see with the laws as they are now written.

Make it clear that you want the legal mumbo-jumbo spelled out in simple terms, want the specific dates listed, and remove anything that isn’t needed. I’ve listed a few, and I’m certain you can find more.

Stand up and be counted. Now is the time to speak out, and have some impact on how our fishing laws are written in the future. We need laws that are easier to understand, not more difficult and vague. Let’s have a complete re-do of the Fishing Digest in 2010.

Is it just me? Am I the only angler in this state that feels the DNR’s 2009 Fishing Digest is too complicated, too redundant, too filled with quasi-legalistic jargon, and too boring?

The DNR’s Fisheries Division is, for once, asking the public for input about their annual Fishing Digest. Should you desire to make comments on trout lakes and streams, go to: < >.

Here’s my take on this situation. The DNR has messed around for many years trying to get their fishing digest in order. Along the way, dating back into the 1980s, there have been some atrocious mistakes. In those years, the standard answer was the computer messed up. Folks, computers do mess up but it’s often the result of operator error.

We’ve suffered with the old computer adage: garbage in, garbage out, and in the past it has applied to the DNR. Other times, when things went wrong, the people ultimately in charge blamed subordinates for not editing the copy properly. And then, back in 2000, the DNR decided to copy what neighboring Wisconsin did.

Their fancy new idea was a magazine-size format with maps and charts that told us what we could and could not do. We had to skip from one page to another and to a third page to determine what the trout fishing regulations were for a particular stream or lake.

If anything, this change that we’ve suffered with for nine long years was a lesson in optimistic failure. All it did was make people throw up their names and go elsewhere and do something other than fish for trout.

The rules were poorly written, redundant, and frankly boring. Reading it could put an insomniac to sleep. Pity the person who was color blind. The maps of county lakes and streams had several different colors, and anyone who had a red-green vision problem, was in deep trouble.

Frankly, the rules were stupidly written and have been for as long as I can remember. Apparently the DNR is so broke that those drawing up the rules can’t find a calendar with the proper dates. Need an example. Here are a few being quoted directly from the 2009 Michigan Fishing Guide.

Page 11 under Lake Sturgeon for Black Lake in Cheboygan County: 1st Sat. in February – Sun. following the 2nd Sat. in February.” Say what? There are more, many more.

Page 11 (also for Lake Sturgeon): “1st Sat. in Sept. – Sept. 30.” Does this mean that no one can check the calendar and see which day the 1st Saturday in September is? If it’s important to you, the proper date is Sept. 5.

Page 10 under Bass: “3rd Sat. in June” and “Sat. before Memorial Day – Dec. 31.” Is this a bad case of someone being lazy or what?
Page 10: Washtenaw County for Whitemore Lake (and elsewhere through most of the counties) are map coordinates that most people ignore, such as: (T1S, R5E, Section 32) downstream to (T2S, R2S, Section 2). Couldn’t all of these coordinates be summarized better and are they really needed?

Under the current regulations, some streams have different size restrictions on trout in one area and something else in another. There are numerous types of lakes and a similar number of stream types. Looking at a map that shows these types in different colors looks like a bad color photo of someone’s varicose veins. It’s hard to determine, in some cases, where on set of regulation start and another stops.

If the DNR has its way next year, certain streams types would be eliminated. Is this a step in the right direction? Who knows, but the 2009 Fishing Digest has 47 pages to try and digest. It makes me want to throw up.

Is it really necessary to have so many different rules? Can’t the DNR find someone who can write, or hire someone who can write and edit, and reduce this monstrosity to a manageable size. Cut the thing in half, and the following year, trim it down some more.

Some of the DNR’s regulations are not working and should be trimmed away. A first-year student in journalism school could edit countless lines from the Digest without changing the meaning of a single sentence.

The sad fact is that government-speak has crept into the DNR, and they write these fish laws as if people can’t understand common English. They can, but most people balk at trying to decipher the Lansing legalese.

Sadly, the DNR and the state and its citizens, have fallen on hard times. Now they come, seeking our help in changing their fishing regulations, and it’s time for each of you to stand up and be counted. If you’ve got a gripe, voice your concerns. Be nice about it, but tell them what problems you see with the laws as they are now written.

Make it clear that you want the legal mumbo-jumbo spelled out in simple terms, want the specific dates listed, and remove anything that isn’t needed. I’ve listed a few, and I’m certain you can find more.

Stand up and be counted. Now is the time to speak out, and have some impact on how our fishing laws are written in the future. We need laws that are easier to understand, not more difficult and vague. Let’s have a complete re-do of the Fishing Digest in 2010.

Posted by Dave Richey on 06/30 at 08:33 PM
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Clarify Existing Trout Regulations

image

Is it just me? Am I the only angler in this state that feels the DNR’s 2009 Fishing Digest is too complicated, too redundant, too filled with quasi-legalistic jargon, and too boring?

The DNR’s Fisheries Division is, for once, asking the public for input about their annual Fishing Digest. Should you desire to make comments on trout lakes and streams, go to: < >.

Here’s my take on this situation. The DNR has messed around for many years trying to get their fishing digest in order. Along the way, dating back into the 1980s, there have been some atrocious mistakes. In those years, the standard answer was the computer messed up. Folks, computers do mess up but it’s often the result of operator error.

We’ve suffered with the old computer adage: garbage in, garbage out, and in the past it has applied to the DNR. Other times, when things went wrong, the people ultimately in charge blamed subordinates for not editing the copy properly. And then, back in 2000, the DNR decided to copy what neighboring Wisconsin did.

Their fancy new idea was a magazine-size format with maps and charts that told us what we could and could not do. We had to skip from one page to another and to a third page to determine what the trout fishing regulations were for a particular stream or lake.

If anything, this change that we’ve suffered with for nine long years was a lesson in optimistic failure. All it did was make people throw up their names and go elsewhere and do something other than fish for trout.

The rules were poorly written, redundant, and frankly boring. Reading it could put an insomniac to sleep. Pity the person who was color blind. The maps of county lakes and streams had several different colors, and anyone who had a red-green vision problem, was in deep trouble.

Frankly, the rules were stupidly written and have been for as long as I can remember. Apparently the DNR is so broke that those drawing up the rules can’t find a calendar with the proper dates. Need an example. Here are a few being quoted directly from the 2009 Michigan Fishing Guide.

Page 11 under Lake Sturgeon for Black Lake in Cheboygan County: 1st Sat. in February – Sun. following the 2nd Sat. in February.” Say what? There are more, many more.

Page 11 (also for Lake Sturgeon): “1st Sat. in Sept. – Sept. 30.” Does this mean that no one can check the calendar and see which day the 1st Saturday in September is? If it’s important to you, the proper date is Sept. 5.

Page 10 under Bass: “3rd Sat. in June” and “Sat. before Memorial Day – Dec. 31.” Is this a bad case of someone being lazy or what?
Page 10: Washtenaw County for Whitemore Lake (and elsewhere through most of the counties) are map coordinates that most people ignore, such as: (T1S, R5E, Section 32) downstream to (T2S, R2S, Section 2). Couldn’t all of these coordinates be summarized better and are they really needed?

Under the current regulations, some streams have different size restrictions on trout in one area and something else in another. There are numerous types of lakes and a similar number of stream types. Looking at a map that shows these types in different colors looks like a bad color photo of someone’s varicose veins. It’s hard to determine, in some cases, where on set of regulation start and another stops.

If the DNR has its way next year, certain streams types would be eliminated. Is this a step in the right direction? Who knows, but the 2009 Fishing Digest has 47 pages to try and digest. It makes me want to throw up.

Is it really necessary to have so many different rules? Can’t the DNR find someone who can write, or hire someone who can write and edit, and reduce this monstrosity to a manageable size. Cut the thing in half, and the following year, trim it down some more.

Some of the DNR’s regulations are not working and should be trimmed away. A first-year student in journalism school could edit countless lines from the Digest without changing the meaning of a single sentence.

The sad fact is that government-speak has crept into the DNR, and they write these fish laws as if people can’t understand common English. They can, but most people balk at trying to decipher the Lansing legalese.

Sadly, the DNR and the state and its citizens, have fallen on hard times. Now they come, seeking our help in changing their fishing regulations, and it’s time for each of you to stand up and be counted. If you’ve got a gripe, voice your concerns. Be nice about it, but tell them what problems you see with the laws as they are now written.

Make it clear that you want the legal mumbo-jumbo spelled out in simple terms, want the specific dates listed, and remove anything that isn’t needed. I’ve listed a few, and I’m certain you can find more.

Stand up and be counted. Now is the time to speak out, and have some impact on how our fishing laws are written in the future. We need laws that are easier to understand, not more difficult and vague. Let’s have a complete re-do of the Fishing Digest in 2010.

Posted by Dave Richey on 06/30 at 08:29 PM
{links] TrackbacksPermalink
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