DNR to announce sucker season date on Feb. 7
Will be in effect for five years
OMER — The Department of Natural Resources will announce the start date of sucker season on Feb. 7, at which time the new date will go into effect for the next five years.
Omer Councilman Larry Daly was one of the people who attended a meeting in Bay City Jan. 8 to help try to pin down a starting date for the season, following a law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder that lets the DNR set the date. Previously, the season started every year on April 1.
“They will pick a date between (March) 18th and 23rd, and that date will be locked in for the next five years,” Daly said. “So the season will be 10-11 days sooner.”
Daly said the DNR wanted to wait for walleye season to close on March 15 before opening the waters to sucker dipping, so it has no intention of going earlier than that. He believes that will not be much of an issue, however.
“We should catch most of the run,” he said. “We were missing them by two weeks or so, so by the time they were setting up for the run it had already been going for two weeks by April 1.”
“There may be an odd year where the ice goes out around the second or third of March, but it shouldn’t happen too often,” he added.
The bigger concern for Daly is water levels. He said if the water gets too low, the fish will not be able to make it through the river.
At the end of the five-year period, the DNR will review how weather conditions have affected the run over that time period to determine whether or not the date needs to be moved earlier in the year, or pushed back to accommodate the run.