15-Page “Boater’s Guide To Winterizing” Offered by BoatUS

Unlike this vessel, boats that are properly winterized are most likely to enter next year’s boating season without damage and ready to hit water (credit: Jack Hornor).

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Water expands in volume by about nine percent when it freezes, creating a staggering force that can crack a boat engine block, damage fiberglass, split hoses, or destroy a boat’s refrigeration system overnight. As fall approaches, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) recently dug deep into its insurance claims files unearthing a trove of winterizing-related boat insurance claims and found that more than three-quarters involved cracks in the engine block or the exhaust manifolds. Now, the national boating services, safety and advocacy group is making available at no-cost the 15-page “Boater’s Guide to Winterizing” that can make the task easier for any type of boat. Read more

Brook trout populations on two Upper Peninsula lakes

The Department of Natural Resources today announced plans to conduct lake reclamations in October to restore the trout fisheries of Bullhead and Dillingham lakes in Luce County, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

A lake reclamation consists of restoring a lake system and its aquatic life to a more natural state through science-based efforts.Bullhead Lake is a five acre lake stocked annually with brook trout since 1993. This lake is located more than 25 miles north of Newberry via M-123 and County Roads 407 and 416. Its fishery provides diversity to anglers in this area.

Dillingham Lake is a 16-acre lake stocked with brook trout since 1950. It is located more than 9 miles north of McMillan via county roads 415 and 455. This lake has yielded many quality brook trout over the years and has become a very popular destination for anglers seeking larger fish.

Both lakes currently have undesirable stunted yellow perch populations, which are detrimental because they out-compete brook trout for the same forage resources. Unless these perch are removed, future brook trout management in these lakes will not be successful. Netting to remove the perch is not a viable option because this process would only remove a sub-portion of the population. Read more

Lake sturgeon release into Kalamazoo River set for Sept. 6

The Department of Natural Resources, in collaboration with several partners, invites the public to join in celebrating the September release of juvenile lake sturgeon from the New Richmond facility into the Kalamazoo River.

The public event, scheduled to run 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, will be at New Richmond Bridge County Park located at 5740 Old Allegan Road in Manlius Township, Michigan. Guest parking is available on both the north and south sides of the Kalamazoo River.

The public is invited to mark the occasion with a full day of events, including guided tours of New Richmond Bridge County Park and the lake sturgeon rearing facility, food, music, gifts, a turning of the historic New Richmond swing bridge, tribal ceremony, and, of course, the release of the juvenile lake sturgeon into the river. Read more

Outdoors enthusiasts: buy, sell, trade gear at Harsens Island swap meet

The Department of Natural Resources, along with the Harsens Island Waterfowl Hunters Association, will host a swap meet Saturday, Sept. 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the DNR Wildlife Field Office, at the corner of Columbine and Voakes on Harsens Island, Michigan.


Hunters, anglers and trappers can buy, sell and trade gear, including duck and goose calls, decoys, boats, motors, traps, fishing lures, waders and more. This free event will be fun for the whole family. Read more

NMMA Reacts to EPA Renewable Fuel Standard

On behalf of boaters, NMMA urges White House to act swiftly for a final rule on the RFS.

On Friday, August 22, as a part of the EPA’s work to finalize the Renewable Fuel Standard, the agency submitted the Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) to the Office of Management and Budget. This number, which is not currently publicly available, will mandate the amount of ethanol that is blended into the U.S. fuel supply. The National Marine Manufacturers Association continues to advocate on behalf of the recreational boating industry and is actively engaged in this process to ensure that boaters continue to have access to the fuel they need.

NMMA’s Nicole Vasilaros, director of federal and legal affairs, says, “NMMA is encouraged as the EPA takes a step forward by sending the 2014 RVOs to OMB and urges the White House to expedite this already delayed process. Our desire remains that the final rule will adequately ensure the availability of E10 and E0 in the marketplace — failure to do so will breach the blend wall and flood the market with E15. Mid-level blends are prohibited for use in marine engines, and studies have proven that misfueling will lead to significant engine damage and failure. NMMA will continue to work with the White House to ensure the broad availability of E10 and E0 on behalf of the recreational boaters who require it in order to enjoy our nation’s waterways.”

The rock monster

And she waits.

She moves a bit and then waits.

Blind and hoping.


Another bump.

Grab, and she’s got it!

She clamps down on his head good and tight.

Her young fly.

She releases and her unsuspecting victim swims away.

And she waits.


snuffbox musselThe snuffbox mussel is inconspicuous, yet in many ways is a lie-in-wait predator. But instead of eating her prey, she uses the unsuspecting victim as host to her young. Mussels have a fascinating life history. Mussel babies, called glochidia, need to attach to the gills or fins of a specific type of fish to complete their life cycle. Snuffbox moms with babies sit in the bottom of a stream with their shells open somewhat to display their mantle (their fleshy body inside the shell). A fish swimming by will see that nice, soft flesh and think it’s a free meal. The fish will swim down and try to take a bite of the mussel’s mantle. Once the snuffbox feels the fish poke it, it grabs on to the fish’s head – for the snuffbox the particular fish host is a logperch. Mussels don’t have eyes, so it is purely by feel that the mussel grabs the fish. The mom snuffbox then shoots her microscopic glochidia at the fish’s head so that her young can attach to its gills. The glochidia mature within a few weeks and then drop off the host fish and live out the rest of their life on the stream bottom among the rocks. The glochidia don’t hurt the fish, and the process provides a great way for mussels to move away from their parents – it’s a free ride out of town.


To watch this very cool behavior in action and other cool videos, check out: http://unionid.missouristate.edu/gallery/Epioblasma/gallery_snuffbox_1.wmvhttp://unionid.missouristate.edu/gallery/Epioblasma/

snuffbox musselThe snuffbox (Epioblasma trquetra) is a remarkable mussel that is in danger of becoming extinct. Unfortunately there are many threats to this species. Dams affect their ability to move both upstream and downstream, which can isolate populations. Mussels live most of their lives in a very small area, so toxins and poor water quality can easily harm them. Invasive species have also played a role in the decline of snuffbox. Zebra mussels often use any hard surface to attach to, including native mussels like the snuffbox, which end up suffocating because they can’t open their shells. Read more

2014-2015 Michigan’s Living Resources patch, featuring the threatened lake sturgeon, now available!

Lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) are a unique fish species found in Michigan. These fish primarily inhabit large river and lake systems in the Mississippi River, Hudson Bay and Great Lakes basins. An important biological component of the Great Lakes fish community, lake sturgeon are listed as a threatened species in Michigan and as either threatened or endangered by 19 of the 20 states within their original range in the U.S.

lake sturgeon patchLake sturgeon, the only sturgeon species common to the Great Lakes basin, are the largest freshwater fish native to that system. Lake sturgeon can be considered a near-shore, warm-water species preferring water temperatures in the range of mid-50 to low-70 degrees Fahrenheit and depths 15 to 30 feet (although sturgeon in the Great Lakes are often found at greater depths). Lake sturgeon are benthivores, which means they feed on small invertebrates such as insect larvae, crayfish, snails, clams and leeches they find along the bottom of lakes and rivers. Read more

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