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

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

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