Michigan: Accessible Canoe/Kayak Launch at Lake Cadillac

A new universally accessible kayak and canoe launch, made possible by the Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce 2017 leadership class, officially opens to the public at a ribbon-cutting event Tuesday, Aug. 1.

Universally accessible kayak and canoe launch officially will open to the public

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will host a ribbon-cutting event Tuesday, Aug. 1, to mark the official opening of the new universally accessible kayak and canoe launch at Mitchell State Park in Wexford County. The ribbon-cutting, which starts at 11 a.m., will take place at the new launch, located adjacent to the public beach on Lake Cadillac. Read more

Michigan’s charter fishing operations offer great options for novice and experienced anglers

For those who don’t have a fishing boat, may not have the correct fishing gear, don’t know how to fish, are new to an area, or are just looking for a day of fun, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources suggests considering a charter fishing trip. Charter fishing businesses are located throughout the state and offer a great way to experience Michigan’s world-class fisheries.

Licensed fishing charters make a full or half-day of fishing easy and enjoyable, as they provide the boat and all the equipment, plus the knowledge needed for a day on the water. Fishing charters are for anyone, children or adult, from the first-time angler to those who are experienced. Charter businesses in Michigan help anglers of all experience levels enjoy memorable experiences – whether it’s reeling in a fish for the first time or trying one’s hand at catching a new species.

In Michigan in 2016, more than 70,000 anglers participated in more than 17,000 charter fishing trips on Great Lakes and specific navigable waters. These anglers caught more than 244,000 fish of various species, with about half of the fish caught being trout and salmon. Read more

Invasive red swamp crayfish found in two locations in Michigan

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently confirmed the presence of invasive red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) in Sunset Lake in Vicksburg, south of Kalamazoo (Kalamazoo County), and in a retention pond off Haggerty Road in Novi (Oakland County).

Reports of the crayfish at Sunset Lake came to the DNR from two separate landowners Thursday, July 13. DNR staff verified the reports during a survey of the area July 14, finding several crayfish in the grass in a local park and in shallow areas on the lake’s west side.

A citizen reported possible red swamp crayfish in the Novi retention pond Monday, July 17, after a child captured one in a dip net. DNR staff responded that afternoon and removed 111 specimens from the pond.

These two reports represent the first live detections of red swamp crayfish in Michigan. In 2015, discovery of a pile of dead red swamp crayfish at Kollen Park in Holland (Allegan County) led to an intensive trapping effort by the DNR in Lake Macatawa and portions of the Grand River. No live crayfish were found at that time.

What are red swamp crayfish? Read more

Michigan: Action Plan Shares Direction for Arctic Grayling Efforts

A PDF version of the brand new Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative Action Plan can be found online and details future efforts to reintroduce the extirpated species.

The Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative – a statewide partnership effort focused on restoring self-sustaining populations of this native fish – unveiled its official action plan at Thursday’s Natural Resources Commission meeting in Lansing. The plan details the initiative’s goals and various activities it plans to accomplish over the next several years.

This initiative, founded by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, was announced in June 2016 and consists of 32 organizations. Read more

Lake Trout Survival Release Study on Upper Great Lakes

A critical component of fisheries management is understanding what happens to fish when they are caught and released. Most recently the DNR has been looking specifically at what happens to lake trout after they are caught through a mortality assessment survey.

To ensure accurate data is being collected on fish being lost from angling, mortality estimates must include both fish harvested and fish that are released and then die as a result of fishing. The DNR’s Fisheries Division gathers this data through its creel clerk program. Creel clerks, stationed at Great Lakes ports throughout Michigan, measure lake trout that have been caught and released. The data are used in fish population models used to estimate harvest quotas for recreational and commercial fisheries.

“Underestimating mortality of angler-released fish will result in unreliable harvest quotas that are not protective of this important sport species,” said DNR fisheries research biologist Shawn Sitar. “Therefore, reliable estimates of the mortality of released fish are critical to the DNR’s management of lake trout.” Read more

PENN Conflict II

COLUMBIA, SC – The PENN Conflict II features stealthy cosmetics, a smooth HT-100 carbon fiber drag system and a lightweight design, making it the lightest PENN reel to date.* The RR30 Rigid Resin body and rotor are extremely lightweight and durable – 20% lighter than the first-generation Conflict.

The next generation of PENN Conflict reels combines the comfort of a lightweight reel with the durability expected from a PENN. Additionally, the Leveline System places the line back onto the spool with little cross over or large gaps when being re-spooled.

The Conflict II is also updated with PENN’s CNC Gear Technology and high quality stainless steel ball bearings, making it the ultimate PENN inshore reel.

MSRP ranges from $149.99-$199.95.

Michigan DNR conservation officer recruits begin rigorous journey

Candidates will be pushed to their limits as 8th Recruit School begins SundayTwenty-five candidates will try to make the grade as Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers when the 8th Conservation Officer Recruit School gets under way Sunday, July 16, in Lansing.Recruits face 23 weeks of intensive training that taxes their bodies, minds and spirits. This year’s class is composed of 18 men and seven women. Four candidates are from the Upper Peninsula, 18 are from the Lower Peninsula and three are from out of state.

The DNR will provide weekly blogs that offer a closer look at life in this year’s Conservation Officer Recruit School. The blogs highlight weekly training events and challenges. You can subscribe to the blogs, which also will be posted on the Michigan DNR Facebook page.

“These men and women have the chance to be part of something special, but they have to earn it,” said Gary Hagler, chief of DNR’s Law Enforcement Division. “Anyone who wears the green and gray uniform of a Michigan conservation officer must carry on our 130-year tradition of service and excellence. Those who have what it takes can look forward to an exciting, rewarding career protecting Michigan’s natural resources and the people who enjoy them. But it all starts at Recruit School.” Read more

NSSF and Responsive Management Release Handbook to Increase Participation in Outdoor Recreation

The last century has seen a multitude of wildlife conservation success stories thanks to the efforts of the professional fish and wildlife management community. The restoration of once depleted species such as the white-tailed deer, wild turkey, bald eagle, wood duck, and Rocky Mountain elk, to name only a few, was no accident, nor was it the result of guesswork or management through blind optimism. Rather, these once-struggling populations successfully rebounded because biologists and resource managers applied scientific principles dictated by the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.

The same governing principle—the use of sound science to dictate policy—also applies to the work now being done to increase participation in and support for hunting, fishing, sport shooting, and archery: R3 (recruitment, retention, and reactivation) efforts must be based on high-quality research and a solid foundation of fact. Read more

Poll: Support for Conservation Crosses Party Lines

New National Poll: For Hunters and Anglers, Support for Conservation Crosses Party Lines

WHITEFISH, Mont. – In a teleconference today, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Public Opinion Strategies revealed the results of a national bipartisan poll of hunters and anglers, which shows that sportsmen and women on both sides of the aisle agree when it comes to many of the major conservation issues being considered right now by Congress and the Trump Administration.

A national survey of 1,000 voters who identify as hunters or anglers was conducted online and over the phone in May 2017, and the data show:

97% agree that protecting and conserving public lands for future generations is important
95% agree it is important to maintain public lands infrastructure, like roads, trails, campgrounds, and historic sites
87% want no cuts to conservation in the federal budget
82% support the BLM’s plans to conserve the greater sage grouse
4 in 5 support Clean Water Act protections for headwater streams and wetlands
77% of Republicans and 80% of Democrats support keeping the number and size of existing national monuments that offer hunting and fishing Read more

Lake Harvests Likely More Fruitful Than We Knew

Harvests from freshwater fisheries such as the Great Lakes could total more than 12 million tons a year globally and contribute more to global food supplies and economies than previous estimates indicate, according to a study published today by Michigan State University and the U.S. Geological Survey.

“Our study provides an independent estimate of global inland fishery harvests based on food web ecology and fisheries activity, and can help resource managers in the United States and around the world make informed decisions about the often competing uses of inland fresh waters,” said Andrew Deines, a scientist with Michigan State University’s Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability during the study and the report’s lead author. Read more

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