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.

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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

Boating/Fishing Groups Call on White House for Ethanol Policy Changes


WASHINGTON, DC, – In a letter sent today to the Trump administration and Congress, a coalition of recreational boating and sportfishing interests urged action to fix America’s broken ethanol policy. The American Sportfishing Association (ASA), Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) on behalf of the nation’s 12 million recreational boat owners, 46 million recreational anglers and 35,000 recreational boating businesses respectively expressed concern with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).The RFS is the 2005 law that mandates the blending of biofuels such as corn-ethanol into our gasoline. When written, it was assumed that America’s use of gasoline would continue to rise. However, US gasoline usage has actually dropped steadily since 2005 and now the law forces more corn ethanol into fewer gallons of gasoline.

Boaters and anglers need access to safe and approved fuels. The letter said the RFS “…has discriminatorily affected the boating public – groups of boaters and anglers who purchase fuel for their boats… We write to ask that you to set a new course for the RFS – one that takes into account the objective concerns expressed by the boating community.”

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Proper disposal of pets or aquarium items very important to protect Michigan’s waters


Each year the Michigan Department of Natural Resources receives numerous reports of unique species showing up in waterbodies throughout the state. While oftentimes these reports consist of a single animal being found, occasionally they point to large populations of non-native species where you wouldn’t expect to find them.Screenshot ofHow these species got into the water can be a mystery, but there is one method that’s often the culprit and it’s 100-percent preventable.

Pet and aquarium owners often face the dilemma where they no longer want to keep their various organisms, so they sometimes opt to release them into the wild. Read more

MI DNR confirms virus involved in Lake St. Clair fish kill


The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Monday announced that test results on fish collected in the ongoing fish kill event on Lake St. Clair were confirmed to be positive for viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSv). Fish were collected during late March and early April and included gizzard shad, bluegill, and black and white crappie.”A total of 165 fish have been tested thus far using pooled samples of five fish, and of the 33 pooled samples, 31 of them have been positive for VHSv,” said Gary Whelan, research program manager for the DNR’s Fisheries Division. “Ten gizzard shad were tested individually and all were positive for the virus. These results confirm what we initially suspected, given the external signs on the fish, species involved, and timing of the fish kill, all strongly implicating VHSv as the cause of this fish kill.” Read more
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