Michigan bass anglers ready for the weekend

Bass fishing has a long history with sport anglers in Michigan

The Saturday before Memorial Day is especially significant to two groups of bass anglers – those who fish tournaments and those who like to eat bass.

That’s because anglers can now fish for both species of bass – largemouth and smallmouth — year-round in Michigan, as long as they release them immediately, until the “possession season” arrives later this summer. Read more

State record for bigmouth buffalo broken by same angler nearly nine years later

Roy Beasley holding new state record bigmouth buffaloThe Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently confirmed a new state-record fish for bigmouth buffalo. This marks the first state-record fish caught in 2017 – and it was caught by an angler who held the previous state record for bigmouth buffalo from 2008.The new record fish was caught by Roy Beasley of Madison Heights, Michigan, in the River Raisin (Monroe County) Saturday, May 13, at 11 a.m. Beasley was bowfishing. The fish weighed 27 pounds and measured 35.25 inches. Read more

Michigan: DNR Requests Assistance in Containing Fish Virus Outbreak

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is requesting the assistance of anglers and the bait industry in containing the recent outbreak of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSv) in the St. Clair River/Lake Erie corridor so it doesn’t spread to other waters.

Cold water temperatures are allowing VHSv to continue to affect fish from the St. Clair River to Lake Erie.

“Water temperatures continue to be well below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, creating conditions that allow for VHSv to keep spreading in the fish community,” said Gary Whelan, DNR Fisheries Division research program manager. “Extended forecasts indicate temperatures will continue to be cool, so we need to make sure anglers and the baitfish industry are aware of actions they can take to help prevent the spread of VHSv to new waters outside of this corridor.”

Anglers are asked to refrain from harvesting minnows for personal use within the borders of St. Clair, Macomb, Wayne and Monroe counties until further notice from the DNR. Those who fish should not move any live fish between water bodies and dispose of bait properly after use. Boaters should make sure their bilges and live wells are emptied prior to leaving a boat launch and all equipment is cleaned and disinfected after use. Read more

Michigan DNR’s Stream Fish Population Trend Viewer updated with fresh content

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Monday announced the annual update to its web application designed to inform the public on local and regional trends in abundance, growth and survival of important fish populations in selected streams across Michigan is complete.

The application was developed and launched by the DNR in 2014 and summarizes data collected from a network of fish population survey sites, with data for some sites going back to 1947.

“The Stream Fish Population Trend Viewer features more than 40 streams that represent a range of conditions in terms of stream size, temperature and Great Lakes access,” said DNR fisheries research biologist Troy Zorn. “The focus is on streams with long-term data and naturally reproducing populations of trout, Great Lakes salmonids or smallmouth bass to provide users with information on self-sustaining fish populations around the state.” Read more

MI DNR creel clerks to collect angler information this summer

DNR creel clerks to collect angler information this summer

As this year’s open-water fishing season gets under way, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers that Fisheries Division personnel are at lakes, rivers and Great Lakes ports collecting fishing data from anglers.

DNR creel clerks will be stationed at boat launches and piers around the state asking anglers questions as they return from fishing trips. Information will be requested on trip length, target species and number and type of fish caught. In some cases, creel clerks may ask to measure or weigh fish and to take scale or other body parts for aging. These data are key information in the DNR’s management of the state’s fisheries resource.

“The DNR appreciates anglers’ cooperation with these interviews, and it will only take a couple of minutes to answer the questions,” said DNR fisheries biologist Tracy Kolb. “This program helps us gather information that is critical in managing the state’s fisheries and is used in every aspect of our management efforts.” Read more

MI DNR begins annual Lake Huron spring lake trout survey

Earlier this month the Michigan Department of Natural Resources began its annual spring lake trout survey on Lake Huron. This survey provides the DNR and its partner agencies with key information as they look to manage lake trout populations in the lake.

Since the Chinook salmon population in Lake Huron crashed in the mid-2000s, lake trout consistently have provided one of the best fishing opportunities there. Data from this annual survey show that for the first time in 40 years, Lake Huron’s lake trout population is nearly 50 percent wild. Gathering this type of information each year helps fisheries managers determine future stocking numbers and set fishing regulations. Read more

Anglers who report marked and tagged fish provide DNR with critical information

Anglers who catch a fish missing its adipose fin (as diagrammed here) are encouraged to report it to the Michigan DNR

Chinook salmon with adipose fin pointed out

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources again this year is encouraging Great Lakes anglers who catch marked and tagged fish to report them. The DNR has used the coded-wire tag program to mass mark various fish species in Michigan since the 1980s. Mass marking provides critical data as fisheries biologists look to determine the value of naturally reproduced fish versus stocked fish, and lakewide movement of fish.

The coded-wire tag program involves implanting a small, coded-wire tag, which is invisible to the naked eye, into the snout of a fish. A fish containing a coded-wire tag can be identified because its adipose fin (the small, fleshy fin between the dorsal and tail fins) has been removed. An angler who catch a tagged fish then can record needed information about the fish, remove and freeze the fish’s snout, and drop it off at a designated location.A statewide list of dropoff locations can be found on the DNR website.

Read more

Michigan: Free Fishing Weekend

Michigan: home to outstanding fishing, more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, 11,000 inland lakes, and tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams.

There’s no shortage of recreational opportunities to explore – and what better time to do so than the 2017 Summer Free Fishing Weekend!

The 2017 Summer Free Fishing Weekend will be held Saturday, June 10 and Sunday, June 11. Read more

Michigan: Thornapple Lake Selected for Muskellunge Broodstock

Thornapple Lake is a 409 acre lake that lies in eastern Barry County, about five miles west of the village of Nashville. It is a popular recreation lake with two boat launches and shore fishing opportunities.

The lake originally supported a native Great Lakes-strain muskellunge population until it declined in the 1950s. Stocking of Northern-strain muskellunge in Thornapple Lake began in 1964, and the lake was used as a muskellunge broodstock source from the early 1970s to 2010.

Each spring, Department of Natural Resources biologists collected eggs from muskellunge in Thornapple Lake and then reared the offspring of these fish at Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery in Mattawan.

In the fall, these fish were stocked throughout the state to support muskellunge fisheries. Recently the DNR implemented a program to stock only native Great Lakes-strain muskellunge in waters connected to the Great Lakes to reduce the potential for negative genetic effects on naturally reproducing muskellunge populations.

Currently, the Great Lakes muskellunge eggs for Michigan’s state fish hatcheries are collected from fish located in Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River. There are two disadvantages with the current system. The muskellunge are hard to locate in such a large system, and the late spawning period for fish in these Great Lakes connecting waters reduces the rearing period in the hatchery and, thus, the size of the muskellunge at the time of stocking into other waters. (Please note, 2017’s egg collection efforts have been cancelled due to a disease outbreak.) Read more

Michigan’s St. Marys River Fisheries Assessment

Freighter going through St. Marys River

The Northern Lake Huron Management Unit includes most of the St. Marys River, a large international boundary water connecting Lake Superior to Lake Huron.

River management is coordinated by the St. Marys River Fisheries Task Group, which has representatives from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority and member tribes, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Lake Superior State University, Sault College, and Algoma University also participate as resource members.

Member agencies will be conducting a fish community survey of the entire St. Marys River during the month of August 2017. During that time fisheries biologists and technicians will be setting survey nets at predetermined sites in the river and capturing a variety of species to collect information on abundance, growth, mortality and size structure of fish populations and compare this latest information against the data collected in previous surveys. Read more

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