ALPENA - The Alpena Convention and Visitors Bureau is going to continue to push the momentum created by the filming of a reality television show in Alpena by the Outdoor Channel and Major League Fishing.
After the series airs the area could see an increase of out-of-town anglers wanting to sample the lakes on the show. The CVB has decided to promote the activity and create a guide that provides information and promotes local fishing hot spots. In order to put the most accurate guide together the CVB is recruiting the community to help put it together.
CVB President Mary Beth Stutzman said people who live in Northeast Michigan know there is high quality fishing within a short distance no matter where you are. She said because it is in our back yard though, we don't realize how tremendous it is until visitors remind us.
"When we brought Major League Fishing into town it really showcased one of our largest assets and that is our water and fishery resources," Stutzman said. "It is important for us to share it with others. We have really opened a door for ourselves in way that makes perfect sense. This is something we have that is part of our heart and soul and all we will be doing is shining a little light on it for others to see."
Stutzman said the guide isn't going to give away "secret" fishing holes or techniques, but will offer visitors information about the lake and the businesses around it.
"We don't have anything that is user friendly like this right now. There is information out there, but you really have to dig to find it," Stutzman said. "This will be something very simple. It will include all of the bodies of water that are accessible to the public, the boat launch ramp locations, information about what types of fish is that particular body of water known for and where are the nearest business locations for stores, restaurants and hotels and campgrounds."
In order to make the new fishing guide the best it can be, Stutzman said she is going to need the help of the public and especially the fishermen. She said any information and photos that can be shared with the CVB will be greatly appreciated. She said people can submit information at the CVB website and it will be compiled. She said the guide, when finished, also will be available on the website, at least for now.
"This is our first one, so we might miss a few things, but that is OK because it will be updated each year," Stutzman said. "There are a number of ways the community can help. They can fill out the form on our website where you can tell us as much as you know about a body of water and the businesses near it. I also need help in finding maps for the lakes that show the depths of the lakes and rivers. I would also like photos of people fishing, with the fish they catch or just spending time with their family and friends.
"I also want a list of every place in Alpena, Montmorency, Alcona and Presque Isle where a person can buy a fishing license. I really need people to come forward and help. Give me the content I need to make this guide the best it can be. This is truly something to be created by the community. It is not my project, it is a community project."
For more information call the CVB at 354-4181 or log into the CVB website's fishing guide page www.alpenacvb.com/alpena-fishing-guide-143/.
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review ... at www.thealpenanews.com