ESCANABA – Nearly two miles of an abandoned gill net was recovered east of the Garden Peninsula in October. Law Enforcement from the Sault Ste, Marie Tribe and Michigan Department of Natural Resources began pulling the net on Oct. 18.
The net is believed to have been floating in water along the Delta and Schoolcraft County border for about a year. It contained thousands of pounds of fish in various stages of decay.
“This net was located east of the Garden Peninsula in approximately the same location, ballpark area of where the nets a couple of years ago where found,” Shann said at the time the net was brought in. “The process of dealing with this is like the same we did then which was pull the nets and determine who had them out there and left them unattended.”
The net was brought into the Escanaba harbor aboard a DNR vessel.
Tribal law enforcement took custody of the net and identified the people responsible for leaving it unattended. The Sault Tribe Prosecutor is now reviewing the case.
The DNR and Tribal Police became aware of the net after fishermen reported getting fishing gear caught in what was believed to be a net. Several attempts to locate it were unsuccessful. Shann says it was eventually found about four miles east of Point Detour on the Garden Peninsula.
“Here’s a Lake Trout that was recently caught. It doesn’t have that bad of decomposition. It’s been there for at least a few days. And then we have walleye, whitefish, burbot. Just thousands and thousands of fish. It’s sad. It’s just terriblely sad,” Shann said while walking among the crates of fish on board of the DNR boat in the Escanaba harbor.
The crates of net and fish were hauled off the boat to an ATV that carried the crates to trailer. A small portion of the net remained out on the lake. Officers eventually were able to retrieve it.