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

Coast Guard Interdicts Mexican Crew Illegally Fishing U.S. Waters

A lancha and fishing gear were seized and brought back to shore after being stopped Thursday afternoon on Jun. 15 by U.S. Coast Guard crews in southern Texas. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Edward J.Wargo

Coast Guard interdicts lancha crew illegally fishing in US waters

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Coast Guard law enforcement crews detected and interdicted a Mexican lancha boat crew off the coast of southern Texas, Thursday.

Coast Guard crews stopped the lancha with four Mexican fishermen engaged in illegal fishing Thursday afternoon. The lancha and fishing gear were seized. The Mexican fishermen were detained and transferred to border enforcement agents for processing.

“We take the mission of protecting our living marine resources very seriously,” said Cmdr. Keith Pierre, the chief of response at Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi. “We will continue to deter illegal fishing and other illicit activity that occurs [in U.S. waters.]” Read more

Zinke, NWTF Celebrate Wildlife Restoration Act

DiBona, Zinke, Bird (left to right)

EDGEFIELD, S.C. — Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke held a press conference today formally announcing the release of $1.1 billion from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act that will continue to support fish, wildlife and habitat conservation. This year marks the 80thanniversary of the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act.

Prior to the announcement, Zinke met privately with a group of hunting and conservation representatives which included two local National Wild Turkey Federation representatives; Fred Bird, regional director and Matt DiBona, district biologist.

“Secretary Zinke reiterated his strong support for our hunting and fishing traditions and said the Department of Interior is committed to managing our federal lands for the benefit and enjoyment of sportsmen and the general public,” DiBona said.

The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, which is commonly referred to as the Pittman-Robertson Act, was established in 1937 and imposes a tax on firearms, ammunition, archery and fishing equipment. Those funds are then returned to each state to manage wildlife and habitats. Read more

Summer maintenance under way at rural floodings in northern Lower Peninsula

In the mid-20th century, the Department of Natural Resources created floodings across northern Michigan to help provide suitable breeding habitat for waterfowl and furbearer species to help provide suitable breeding habitat for waterfowl and furbearer species after the loss of wetlands habitat over time. Today, the earthen berms and water-control structures used to create floodings require inspections, maintenance and, in some cases, complete removal of the structures.

“Summer months are the best time to complete maintenance work at managed floodings,” said DNR wildlife communications coordinator Katie Keen. “We can start drawing down water levels in the spring, and by summer we can get in and do the needed repairs or even remove infrastructure. In some cases, our goal is to expose the mud that had been underwater for years and let the new sunlight grow all sorts of great plants for wildlife.”

Most land surrounding each flooding is publicly owned and provides great access for hunters and trappers looking for standing water conditions to hunt or set a trap. Some locations will be flooded again by this fall and will be ready for fall waterfowl hunting or trapping activities. Other locations may have the dam structure completely removed, restoring the natural flow of the wetland complex.

Projects happening this summer in the northern Lower Peninsula include: Read more

Johnny Morris and Bass Pro Shops donating 40,000 rods and reels in nationwide effort to get more kids outside

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris is challenging families everywhere to get off the couch and head outdoors to discover the fun of fishing this summer. Bass Pro Shops is donating 40,000 rods and reels to nonprofit organizations that help kids from all backgrounds connect to the outdoors. The effort is part of Gone Fishing, a nationwide movement that aims to introduce the sport to families everywhere through donations, nonprofit partnerships and free catch-and-release ponds at Bass Pro Shops locations across North America on June 10-11 and 17-18.

Morris was inspired to create the initiative after reflecting on childhood memories of fishing with his family. These experiences helped shape his lifelong passion for the outdoors and wildlife conservation.

“The most special memories in life come from spending time in nature with those you care about. For me, it all started with fishing,” said Johnny Morris, who spent his boyhood summers fishing with his family on the beautiful rivers in Missouri’s Ozark mountains. “We want to help as many kids as we can discover the joy of fishing – on the ocean, in a lake or on a stream – so we’re donating thousands of fishing poles, inviting families to catch their first fish at Bass Pro Shops and encouraging everyone to take someone they love fishing this summer.”

National Donation Day

During a national donation day on Thursday, June 8, Bass Pro Shops is donating 40,000 rods and reels to nonprofit organizations that connect kids to the outdoors and help get more kids outside. Customers brought in their gently used rods and reels this spring in exchange for discounts on new gear. Bass Pro Shops refurbished each piece to ensure it was fish-ready for kids. In the last five years, Bass Pro Shops has donated more than 250,000 items to youth-focused nonprofit organizations including Boys and Girls Club and Boy Scouts of America. Read more

Events planned across Michigan for Free Fishing Weekend June 10-11

During the weekend of June 10-11 (Michigan’s annual #MiFreeFishingWeekend), give a kid the outdoors experience of a lifetime.

Everyone is invited to fish for free Saturday, June 10, and Sunday, June 11, for the 2017 Summer Free Fishing Weekend. A license is not required to fish those two days, but all other fishing regulations still apply.

These two days make up #MiFreeFishingWeekend – an annual effort celebrated since 1986 to promote Michigan’s world-class fishing opportunities. While many individuals and families will head out to fish for free on their own, the DNR points out that there are numerous organized events scheduled throughout the state to celebrate the weekend, too. Some of these events include: Read more

Annual lake sturgeon survey in St. Clair River’s North Channel set to begin June 1

Floats used during St Clair River’s sturgeon setline surveyThe Michigan Department of Natural Resources will conduct its annual lake sturgeon survey in the North Channel of the St. Clair River near Algonac beginning June 1 and continuing through June 22.

“The St. Clair River’s lake sturgeon population is one of the largest and healthiest in the entire Great Lakes Region,” said Todd Wills, the DNR’s Lake Huron-Lake Erie Area fisheries research manager. “This survey is an essential part of the DNR’s efforts to assess the status and trends in this unique resource. All lake sturgeon captured during our survey are tagged and released. Anglers can help us by reporting the capture of tagged lake sturgeon by visiting” Read more

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

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