Fish Farm Fight!

If not for the dedication and commitment of fly fishermen/women to environmental causes, many of our pristine creeks, streams, and rivers would be lost to the past, becoming wandering cesspools of pollution.   Trout Unlimited and local organizations such as  Anglers of the Au Sable are critical to our sport as well as preserving the natural habitats that support trout and other game fish.  As a community, we need to support these efforts in any way we can; financially, letters to officials, etc.

Once such fight occurring on the Au Sable is the prevention of the take over by a private company and expansion of a fish farm that the Michigan bureaucrats are allowing.  Now, I’m all for capitalism, but some times we have to consider the cost-benefits.  The benefits of this transaction doesn’t outweigh the costs.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has agreed to a permit allowing Harrietta Hills Trout Farm LLC, to take over the small scale fish hatchery on the East Branch of Au Sable.

The permit lets the 20,000 pound/year tourist attraction grow to a 300,000 pound/year fish factory – the biggest in Michigan. It will create two new jobs (wow, that’s local economy support huh?) – and endanger the economy of the entire region.

The DEQ permit would allow:
•    Massive pollution from fish farm, which can cause algae blooms that reduce dissolved oxygen and ultimately impacts the fishery.
•    Increased risk of whirling disease.
•    Fish escapement.
•    No financial responsibility required of the trout factory. Any environmental catastrophe will be cleaned up at tax payer expense, not the trout farm.

The Anglers of the Au Sable are leading the fight.  So far they’ve spent $100,000, and believe it will take another $150,000 to win the fight, which their attorneys believe is possible.

So, what can happen if this fish farm is allowed to expand?  Check out what happened to the Big Spring Creek.

A Case Study: Big Spring Creek, PA

If you want more information or would like to donate, please click here Fish Farm Fight

And Thank You for your support!

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