Oasis Lounge

Bills in Lansing could make it more difficult to find perch fish fries in Michigan.

"The Oasis is synonymous with perch," said Donna Hansen

Hansen works at The Oasis Restaurant and Lounge in Bay City. The business sells a lot of yellow perch.

If a set of state proposals are passed by lawmakers in Lansing, that fish will be more difficult for eateries to purchase.

The legislation, introduced in the state house earlier this year, would ban commercial fishermen and women from harvesting or selling yellow perch in Michigan.

"we would have to find another outlet to get it,” Hansen said. “We'd have to go to a different state or Canada because that's our business."

Proponents of the bills say they will improve the state DNR's ability to monitor commercial fishing, harvest, reporting, and sales. Creating a clear and modern set of regulations that will contribute to improved fisheries management and enforcement.

They'll also prevent gamefish, like the yellow perch, from being commercially harvested or sold.

Hansen tells us if that happens, it will make for a big change on Friday nights at The Oasis.

"All day Friday from lunch until we close, it's perch all day and all night,” she said. “And we have the same people a lot, we have regulars that come every Friday for it."

A spokesperson for the DNR said that they support this legislation.

Even though it would have an impact on her business, Hansen said he's not sure if she wants lawmakers to pass these bills or not.

"I’d hate to see the yellow-bellied perch go extinct or the numbers drop significantly because we're consuming so much of it,” Hansen said. “So, that's a hard question to answer, I don't know what I want them to do."

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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