Take The 70 Degree Pledge
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What Can I Do To Promote This?

First off, if you're fishing to keep trout then the 70 Degree does not apply.  As long as you follow the creel laws there's no problem trout fishing at this time.

If, on the other hand, you are a catch and release fisher then start watching the water temperature gauge below Mio Dam  http://waterdata.usgs.gov/mi/nwis/uv?04136500  starting about the middle of June.  If the morning temp is 20.8 Celsius (70 Degrees) then forego fishing below Mio for that day. Check it again the next morning and if it has dropped below that then, if you wish, fish it.  Keep in mind that trout are still very vulnerable to the effects of warm water so subdue them quickly and release them immediately. 

Many fishers are now leaving the Mio water alone in July and the first part of August altogether.  A good compromise is a morning temp of 68 degrees and fishing only in the evening - that gives a released fish the cooling night to recover.  The fact is that trout fishing, especially for bigger fish, is not particularly good at this time.

If you want to trout fish then go above the dam to the mainstream, south or north branches.  Fish the early morning Tricos, Isos and Cahills in the evening, or try you hand at mousing.  This is not a bad time to check out other rivers in the state as well.  There are plenty of trout streams that never have significant problems with water temperature.  Give 'em a try when Mio heats up.

A number of folks are also taking advantage of the fabulous smallmouth bass fishing that starts in Alcona Pond and runs the whole river to the mouth of Lake Huron.  One hundred fish days and 20 plus inch smallies abound on the river.  There is also quality pike, largemouth bass, and pan fish action to be had. Several trout guides have significantly improved their business by pursuing smallies during these Dog Days.

This is a relatively short period, four to six weeks, and you'll be fine usually by the third week of August.  The White Flies (Ephoron Leukon - not Photons) indicate the water is cooling. 

If enough folks take the 70 Degree Pledge then hundreds, probably thousands of trout are spared a needless and unintended death.  That means more survive for the Ephoron hatch and September's Streamer Blitz.  It also raises the number which will make it to a second year in the river. In the long run this should produce more trophy fish.

Learn all you can about water temperature and trout survival.  Educate your friends. Practice peer group pressure.  Demand that guides and fly shops observe it as well.  Together we can all improve the Mio trout fishery.

It is irresponsible to promote catch and release trout fishing on the Big Water when the morning temps are 70 or greater.  No informed, ethical person would do it.

 Is Anything Being Done About This?

Yes, Consumers Energy, they own Mio Dam, installed an aerator in 2009.  Here's an article Mio_Bubbler

The Fisheries Division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) has agreed to link to this website so fishers in the Great Lake State can learn more about water temp and trout C&R survival.

Is This A Problem On Other Rivers?

Yes, the Manistee and the Muskegon both have tail-waters that overheat the river in the summertime.  At Hodenpyle, Consumers put in a bubbler that causes colder water to rise up the column and cascade over the Dam.  Early returns indicate that it works.  They are also doing the same thing at Croton Dam on the Muskegon.  The bubbler system was installed at Mio last summer.

Rivers out west suffer greatly from high water temperatures.  In some cases rivers are closed to fishing because of it.

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