Charter Fishing with the Commission

Grand Haven, Michigan

To kickoff this year’s Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC) Annual Meeting, I organized a charter fishing trip in Lake Michigan for GLFC Commissioners and Secretariat members. This trip was intended to be a fun outing, but also an opportunity for people to connect and network. Thus, a group of us arrived in Grand Haven, Michigan for dinner at Jack’s Waterfront Bistro and Bar on Tuesday, June 9, 2015.

Early on Wednesday morning, I drove to Grand Isle Marina in Grand Haven, Michigan to help out with charter boat assignments. We reserved five boats for a total of twenty-five fishers. As I mentioned, these fishers were either Commissioners, Secretariat members, or individuals we invited in order to build the GLFC network.

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Some of the fishers assembling at Grand Isle Marina in Grand Haven, Michigan. (From L to R) Bob Lambe, Don Pereira, Bill Demmer (Demmer Corporation), and Fred Posten (MSU). Photo credit: Molly J. Good

I was assigned to Captain Rob Tabiadon’s charter, Tab’s Sportfishing Charters, with Don Pereira (U.S. Commissioner), Dr. Jim Diana (University of Michigan, Dr. Andrew Muir (GLFC), and Dr. Mike Siefkes (GLFC). When you fish out of Grand Haven, it takes some time to move the charter boat from Grand Isle Marine, through the channel, out into Lake Michigan. Let me set the stage: there is fog everywhere. Deep fog. So, about ten minutes into our trip, Tab’s gets lost. Our progress was looking really grim, until Don pulled out “GoogleMaps” on his iPhone! With Don’s help, Tab’s was finally able to get us into the lake! Three hours and three fish later, we headed back to the marina (no fog this time, so our trip was easy).

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Don Pereira helping Captain Ron Tabiadon steer us out of the channel. Photo credit: Molly J. Good

All five boats came back with a serious haul of fish.

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My first and only catch of the day, a nice Chinook or King salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Photo credit: Andrew Muir

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Andrew Muir reeling in a Chinook salmon. Photo credit: Molly J. Good

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Mike Siefkes posing with his lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush). Photo credit: Molly J. Good

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A treasured photo – me with my two mentors, Dr. Bill Taylor (L) and Bob Lambe (R). Photo credit: Ted Lawrence

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Mentors in action. Photo credit: Molly J. Good

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Perhaps a gruesome photo to some of you, but this was just a part of our damage between five charter boats. Photo credit: Molly J. Good

2015 Annual Fishing Crew - T. Lawrence

The fishing crew! Photo credit: Ted Lawrence

After cleaning and processing the fish, and taking a few group pictures, we headed to Old Boys’ Brewhouse in Spring Lake, Michigan. There, we had an incredible feast of cooked fish, coleslaw, French fries, onion rings, and other goodies.

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When there is food around, I am unaware of the camera. Photo credit: Ted Lawrence

After our lunch, I drove Bob Lambe (GLFC) and Dr. Bill Taylor (MSU) to our hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan to prepare for the Annual Meeting. Talk about some precious cargo.

LESSON #20: Boat captains can get lost, too.

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