#Fight4Fish: Passion, conservation drive Manistee River cleanup event

Roger Hinchcliff puts his time and money where his passion is — into the river and fish he loves.

Creator and curator of Steelhead Manifesto, an online community for steelhead anglers, Hinchcliff has turned his passion for Michigan’s fisheries and natural resources into a resource for anglers nationally.

MUCC’s On the Ground stewardship program has partnered with Hinchcliff on his Manistee River Cleanup for seven years and this year’s will be July 15. Anyone interested in attending, please visit mucc.org/on-the-ground/

Hinchcliff’s love of fishing started at eight years old and was passed down from his father. While he pursues many species across the United States, steelhead are his favorite.

The Manistee River below Tippy Dam is fantastic steelhead water almost year-round. With the exception of some hot summer months when only a few skamania (summer-run fish enter the system), steelhead can be fished from October through June in decent numbers.

Fishing the Manistee River is also one of Hinchcliff’s favorite things to do. Over the years, Hinchcliff and other anglers started to notice how much litter was accumulating in the river. 

“We decided to do something about it,” he said. “We organized our first cleanup nine years ago and have done it ever since.”

MUCC’s first cleanup event in partnership with Steelhead Manifesto was July 11, 2015. Since, the cleanup event has taken place each summer starting and ending at High Bridge Boat Launch in Manistee County.  

Hinchcliff hopes that families with young volunteers can learn not only the importance of taking care of the fishery, but also how to work as a team with a common goal of caring for the environment.  

“My hopes are that people realize how short life is and how fragile Mother Earth is,” he said. “Fishing and the outdoors are food for the soul… let’s leave the resource better than we found it and pass it on.”

At the cleanup event, MUCC will provide all necessary gear like gloves, grabbers, and trash bags. Volunteers will receive free lunch and a t-shirt for their efforts on the river. There will also be a free raffle for volunteers to participate in during lunch with prizes from Lamiglas Fishing Rods, Pro Cure, VooDoo Jigs, Jay’s Sporting Goods and FishUSA.

Other supporters of this project include Great Lakes Great Responsibility, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Adopt-a-Forest program, and the US Forest Service.

If you want to get involved but don’t know where to start, MUCC has you covered. View more details and register for the Manistee River Cleanup here, and help MUCC #fight4fish by entering into our Fight4Fish Sweepstakes to ensure continued public access to boat launches and access sites across the state.

Each $35 or more entry into the #Fight4Fish Sweepstakes enters you into the drawing for one of four fish-tastic prizes:

  1. $500 Jay’s Sporting Goods Gift Card
  2. Northern Michigan Fly Fishing Trip with Mangled Fly Guide Service
  3. Lake Michigan Salmon Charter with Dutchman Guide Service
  4. Walleye Jigging Trip on the Saginaw River with Michigan Out-of-Doors Magazine

Enter to win here: Fight4Fish Sweepstakes.

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