Tuesday, April 24, we shared an article about a popular boat launch in Kalamazoo that had been closed due to a bow fisherman allegedly dumping dozens of dead carp repeatedly on the pavement nearby. Thanks to people sharing the post on social media, efforts of area residents and even a response from the national office of the Bowfishing Association of America, the problem has been resolved and the launch at Verburg Park off Patterson Street is now reopened to the public for boats and kayaks.

It started when Scott Markham of Parchment, a concerned resident who uses the launch, posted some photos on the Facebook group Parchment Michigan: Then & Now trying to help identify the person accused of leaving the dead carp there going all the way back to last year. From there, we contacted Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation Deputy Director Patrick McVerry. He told 95.5FM WBCK that they were working with local DNR officers to narrow down identifying the man and were not pursuing legal action or fines. They simply wanted him to stop doing it. Meanwhile, concrete barriers were put up to close the launch.

Courtesy Scott Markham


That's when the message starting spreading like wildfire and help started coming in from all over the place, even on a national level. And thanks to the efforts of everyone who starting spreading the message, the launch is now open again to the public less than a day after reports of its closure.

McVerry also says that when Michael Kravens, President of the Bowfishing Association of America, heard about the issue he offered support. The BAA will be sending some signage to be placed at Verburg Park and other areas along the river to help people understand the laws and prevent a situation like this from happening again.

Courtesy of the Bowfishing Association of America
Stephanie Blurry, Social Media Manager for the BAA says "Our sport gets such a bad rap sometimes because of a few people so we do everything we can to preserve it. It's a great sport that does more positives versus all the negatives that come to light in this day and age of social media." Stephanie provided some advice from the BAA for those looking for ways to dispose of their catches...

The topic of Fish Disposal is a critical consideration whenever the subject of bowfishing is raised. The Bowfishing Association of America is a firm believer in proper fish disposal and we do not condone disposal methods that are illegal. Here are our primary suggestions for fish disposal:


1. Eat them – many fish species that are legal to take by bowfishing are perfectly edible when properly prepared. With a little homework it may be possible to find families that would happily take your catch if you can get it to them promptly.


2. Donate them to a local farmer – nutrients from decaying fish will fertilize soils and in some cases may provide supplemental feeding for livestock like pigs


3. Bury them – unwanted species can be buried and when they are covered unwanted smells can be prevented


4. Dispose of them in an approved facility – check with local regulations, but it may be possible to dispose of fish carcasses at the local public landfill

The DNR 2018 Michigan Fishing Guide also has all the rules and regulations related to angling in the state. Here's to great fishing this year everyone!

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