On Michigan’s Au Sable River – The Fight’s On Over Trout and Weeds
If you like fly fishing for trout in Michigan, you may have already heard about this, but even if you don't, this is an interesting story from the New York Times, about one of the greatest trout streams in the world - the Au Sable, located near Grayling.
I have never fished the Au Sable, but I'd like to. Someday, I'll get a guide and just do it - just so I can say I've fished the Au Sable - just like I'd like to say I'd fished the Fox River and the Two-Hearted River, like Hemingway (even though I understand the Fox is really the river with better fishing - but the Two-Hearted had the cooler name).
Originally, the Au Sable was known for it's population of Arctic grayling. But then, in the 1800s, the logging operations in northern Michigan wiped out their breeding grounds. So they introduced trout - and they have flourished. And the trout have flourished without being stocked for a long time. Which means the trout there now are "wild". However, in Grayling, there is a trout farm that releases water into the Au Sable that the locals are afraid will release enough phosphorus to cause too many weeds in the river. Too many weeds would potentially harm the wild trout population. Sure, they could always stock more fish - but then they wouldn't be wild now, would they?
On the other side of this is a guy with a trout farm, just trying to follow the rules and keep his business. Will the Au Sable stay wild? Will they shut the trout farm down to keep it that way?
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