Most of you are aware of the litigation by the Anglers of the Au Sable against the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the proprietor of the Grayling Hatchery.
Your Board of Directors voted in October to contribute $5,000.00 to the Anglers for the Grayling Fish Farm Fight. This donation is consistent with our past policy of assisting other groups such as Huron Pines, Cedars for the Au Sable and HeadWaters Land Conservancy in their efforts to enhance and protect our entire Au Sable Watershed.
The Anglers are not totally against fish farms, but the permit granted to the Grayling Hatchery is deemed woefully inadequate to protect the water quality of the Au Sable. The DEQ has actually admitted that the permit, as issued, will allow degradation of the Au Sable water quality.
The Michigan Platte River Hatchery was the same type of flow through hatchery as the current Grayling Hatchery. That hatchery failed badly and destroyed Platte Lake and the Platte River below it. After losing an expensive legal battle, paid for by the Platte Lake Property Owners Association and concerned citizens, the state was forced to install systems to assure high water quality. The Anglers goal in its legal battle is to force the state to demand that these same protective measures be put in place for our river.
The hearings on this battle are about to conclude in Lansing with a decision expected in early 2017. We will update you regarding this threat to our watershed on our website and in the next newsletter. You can learn more about this issue at the Anglers of the Au Sable website (www.ausableanglers.org).