Posted at: 10/20/2013 8:15 PM
Updated at: 10/20/2013 10:35 PM
By: Laurie Stribling
In a store like Glen's Army Navy in Grand Rapids, outdoor news travels fast. When the DNR announced the Canisteo Mine Pit is open to liberalized fishing, excitement made its way around even faster.
"It's too bad it doesn't happen more often," Glen's Co-owner Rusty Eichorn said.
"I was actually pretty stoked," Glen's Sales Associate Mike Johnson said. "We talked about getting gill nets and going for broke catching fish and getting them out of there."
The pit turned fisherman's paradise will be closed to the public on December 1. It's because Magnetation is building a new plant and mining will be back in that area.
"There's a narrow window here where folks can still get access to the pit," DNR Area Fisheries Supervisor Chris Kavanaugh said. "So, we're giving them the opportunity before that access is lost."
While liberalized fishing might sound like a dream come true, Kavanaugh said the pit is not an ideal environment for fish.
"Our gill net catch on lake trout out there is about two fish per net," Kavanaugh. "So, people should have realistic expectations."
Back at Glen's, that same report is circulating.
"The only results that I heard was that one lake trout was caught on a hook and line," Johnson said. "The gill nets were coming up empty."
"I realized it is an 11 hundred acre lake, 300 feet deep and the fish can be in a lot of different places on that lake," Eichorn said.
While the odds don't seem to be in the anglers' favor, Eichorn isn't letting that keep him on dry land.
"I would like to go out there just to say, 'I did it'," Eichorn said.
The last time liberalized fishing was allowed in the area was back in the 1990's. That's when Minntac was expanding.