Anglers of the AuSable an integral part in making the AuSable a world-class fishery
To the editor: I read with great interest the view point article on your Opinion page of the Avalanche dated October 5, 2017, describing the Au Sable River being showcased in Michigan History Museum’s newest exhibition in Lansing. Current DNR Fisheries Chief Jim Dexter in this opinion page article in describing the Au Sable River stated, “the Au Sable is a world-class fishery resource attracting anglers from every corner of the earth.”
The viewpoint described how Trout Unlimited was founded on the banks of the Au Sable River some years ago. It should be remembered that another important conservation organization in this state, Anglers of the Au Sable, also was founded on the banks of the Au Sable River.
Anglers of the Au Sable, a grass roots organization designed to preserve and protect the Au Sable River, became a reality 30 years ago when the organization was founded by a group of dedicated fishermen including noted angler Rusty Gates. Earlier this year, Anglers of the Au Sable held its 30th anniversary banquet celebration.
Anglers of the Au Sable has had much to celebrate over the years. It was instrumental in introducing catch and release on the mainstream’s “Holy Water,” a section of the river that is now world famous. Protecting the Mason Tract from drilling, sponsoring writing contests with local schools, providing scholarship money to college-bound students, sponsoring and participating in various trout studies – including telemetry studies, improving our habitat restoration within the river, planting cedars along the Au Sable River, not to mention our annual river cleanup in which the entire Au Sable River system is cleaned up by hundreds of volunteers annually after Labor Day are just some of the activities anglers of the Au Sable engages in, as part of its mission statement.
So, when Jim Dexter, the DNR Fisheries Chief refers to the Au Sable as a world-class fishery resource attracting anglers from every corner of the earth, Anglers of the Au Sable has been an integral part of making that happen.
I did have the opportunity to attend the reception at the historical museum in advance of the opening of this exhibit, as Anglers of the Au Sable is one of the sponsors. Make sure that you visit the Au Sable River exhibit at the Michigan History Museum in Lansing. It is a wonderful exhibit showcasing an incredible river. The City of Grayling and Crawford County can be very proud of this most special exhibit showcasing its very own Au Sable River.
Joseph H. Hemming
President, Anglers of the AuSable