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Northport in Leelanau County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Great Lakes Sport Fishery / Great Lakes Sport Fishery

 
 
Great Lakes Sport Fishery Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Kathy Garman, August 17, 2022
1. Great Lakes Sport Fishery Marker
Inscription.  

Great Lakes sport trolling was pioneered off Northport in the early 1920s. Traverse City native George Raff was the first to discover that lake trout could be caught by trolling in Grand Traverse Bay’s protected waters. Prior to this, trout fishing was mainly a commercial enterprise, in which large quantities of the species were caught by net. Traverse City restaurant owners eagerly bought Raff’s catches. Starting with one small boat, about sixteen feet long, Raff later began the area’s first sports charter service. He charged each angler one dollar an hour, and guaranteed success. Methods he and his wife, Nell, developed for catching trout and other gamefish species have spread throughout the Great Lakes.

Sport trolling for lake trout almost vanished in the 1940s due to over-fishing by commercial netters and sea lamprey attacks on the trout. Chemicals finally controlled the lampreys, while state laws outlawed gill nets. In the 1960s, the Michigan Fishery Commission planted Coho and Chinook salmon for a new sport fishery. Using the methods developed near Northport in the 1920s, plus other techniques--such as using piano
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wire, wooden and metal reels, and lures made from tin cans and bicycle spokes--trollers again began catching salmon, brown and lake trout and steelheads throughout most of the Great Lakes. In 1981 sport fishing brought Michigan over three billion dollars in tourist revenues and attracted 700,000 licensed anglers in the Great Lakes.
 
Erected 1984 by Michigan History Division, Department of State. (Marker Number L1167C.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1920.
 
Location. 45° 7.792′ N, 85° 36.814′ W. Marker is in Northport, Michigan, in Leelanau County. Marker is on East Nagonaba Street, 0.1 miles east of Bay Street, on the left when traveling east. The marker is located north of the parking lot for the G. Marsten Dame Marina. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Northport MI 49670, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Woolsey Family Farm / Clinton F. Woolsey Memorial Airport (approx. 3.1 miles away); Omena Presbyterian Church (approx. 5.2 miles away); St. Wenceslaus Church and Cemetery (approx. 6.1 miles away); Grand Traverse Lighthouse (approx. 6.4 miles away); a different marker also named Grand Traverse Lighthouse
Great Lakes Sport Fishery Marker Reverse image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Kathy Garman, August 17, 2022
2. Great Lakes Sport Fishery Marker Reverse
(approx. 6.4 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 10 miles away); Leland Historical District (Fishtown) (approx. 10.3 miles away); Bahle's (approx. 10.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Northport.
 
Great Lakes Sport Fishery Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By John Garman, August 17, 2022
3. Great Lakes Sport Fishery Marker
The G. Marsten Dame Marina, located in Northport Harbor, is shown in the background.
Great Lakes Sport Fishery Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By John Garman, August 17, 2022
4. Great Lakes Sport Fishery Marker
The Locomotive Museum, located at 102 Bay Street, is shown in the background.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 7, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 28, 2022, by John Garman of Rochester Hills. This page has been viewed 66 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 28, 2022, by John Garman of Rochester Hills. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 14, 2024