Emergency Restrictions Regarding VHS

Emergency Restrictions to Prevent the Spread of VHS in NPS Owned and Administered Waters within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

To avert the emerging and possibly imminent threat to park fishery resources presented by the rapidly spreading Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) virus, I am imposing the following emergency restrictions within the federally owned and administered lands and waters within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, under authorities vested by Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1.5 and 1.7, pending further consultation with appropriate parties and formal rulemaking on these matters as necessary. Effective immediately, the following activities are prohibited:
Ballast Water Exchange
The uptake and/or discharge of ballast water by all ships within the authorized boundary of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, which extends one-quarter mile from land from just northeast of Munising, Michigan, to just west of Grand Marais, Michigan (see national lakeshore map)
Recreational Boating
The launching of any watercraft, that has not been decontaminated prior to launch into NPS administered waters within the Lakeshore Zone (federally owned lands and waters, including the surface waters of Lake Superior) within the National Lakeshore. For purposes of this regulation, “launching” shall be defined as the initial launch upon either entering Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, or upon moving a boat over land between bodies of water within the Lakeshore. For purposes of this requirement, “decontamination” shall be defined as cleaning and drying the boat and all associated equipment so that they are dry and free of any vegetation, animals and mud and that the bilges, live wells and other compartments are also clean, dry and free of all organic material.
Use of Bait for Fishing
The possession or use as bait for fishing, any fish or fish part, including fish roe (eggs), amphibians, or crayfish, in NPS administered waters within the Lakeshore Zone (federally owned lands and waters, including the surface waters of Lake Superior within the National Lakeshore boundary (see map), except that,

Pending further monitoring of the spread of VHS, and in light of current State of Michigan regulations for fishing on the surface of Lake Superior, the use of fish, fish parts and roe (eggs) may continue to be used for ice fishing on the surface of Lake Superior within the Lakeshore boundaries, as long as that bait is 1) clearly certified as VHS Free by the State of Michigan or by the commercial manufacturer, 2) is in the original retail container, and 3) the angler is in possession of a receipt that provides proof that the bait was purchased from a State-licensed baitfish retail operation. A receipt shall be valid for seven days from the day of sale.

In addition, anglers are also strongly urged to make sure the baits they are using on streams that originate either outside the National Lakeshore or from within the Inland Buffer Zone of the park but flow into lakes and/or streams within the Lakeshore Zone of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore are both approved for use by the State of Michigan and are certified as free of VHS.
I have implemented these restrictions because I have determined that they are the minimum actions necessary to protect fishery resources within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. I regret any inconvenience to park visitors and the angling public, but solicit your full cooperation. Violators of these regulations are subject to fine and/or possible civil penalties.

/s/ James G. Northup, Superintendent
April 1, 2008
For additional information ...
News release: Emergency Restrictions Issued to Protect Fishery (webpage)
Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (webpage)
Fishing (webpage)

Last updated: August 20, 2021

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