for Iosco County & Surrounding Region
Michigan DNR News
& Other Wildlife Management News
Trout Season Opener Will See Additional
10-Brook-Trout Bag Limit Streams In The UP
Five streams removed from list of 10-brook-trout bag limit streams
heading out for the trout season opener at the end of the month will
have portions of nearly 40 Upper Peninsula trout streams where an
additional five brook trout may be kept as part of the daily bag
new regulation approved last fall
added a suite of 36 streams, or portions of streams, where 10 trout is
the daily possession limit. For streams not on the list, the daily bag
limit remains at five.
During the 2016-17 fishing season, there were eight U.P. research area
streams where a 10-trout bag limit was allowed.
Five of those streams
were removed from the final listing proposal and no longer have a
10-brook-trout bag limit. These five streams include portions of Bryan
Creek (Marquette and Dickinson counties); East Branch Huron River
(Baraga and Marquette counties); East Branch Tahquamenon River
(Chippewa County); Presque Isle River and tributaries (Gogebic County)
and Rock River and tributaries (Alger County).
With the exception of
Menominee County, 14 of the U.P.’s 15 counties have at least one stream
included on the 10 Brook Trout Possession Limit Waters list.
“The intent of the regulation change is to diversify fishing opportunities
across the whole U.P. landscape, while simultaneously being protective of
brook trout populations,” said Jim Dexter, Michigan Department of Natural
Resources Fisheries Division Chief.
Over the past six years, at the request of the Michigan Natural Resources
Commission, and with input from members of the Coldwater Regulations
Steering Committee, DNR Fisheries Division staff investigated social and
biological aspects of increasing anglers’ brook trout possession limit
from five to 10 on a subset of U.P. trout streams.
Public opinions were
gathered using several methods, including more than two dozen public
meetings, various surveys conducted via the Internet, postcards and
creel clerks (384 responses received), consultations with sport clubs
and other governing agencies, and from e-mails, letters and telephone
Biological information was gathered on seven streams using
electro-fishing surveys, while creel clerks collected catch, effort
and harvest data on four streams.
“Staff worked to select specific stream segments or sub-watersheds to
be considered for the 10-brook trout possession limit, based on
criteria proposed by the DNR Fisheries Division and accepted by the
Natural Resources Commission,” Dexter said. “Staff also looked broadly
across all fisheries unit boundaries.”
The opening day of
inland trout season on Type 1 streams, which include the increased bag
limit, is Saturday, April 28th.
complete listing of the streams where a 10-trout bag limit is allowed,
see the 2018 Michigan Fishing Guide available from DNR offices, where
fishing licenses are sold an online at
18APR18-Michigan’s tourism industry prides itself on pioneering
best practices as part of its daily endeavors. To recognize and
inspire colleagues, the Michigan Travel Commission created the Pure
Award to highlight the efforts of tourism organizations that have
helped put Michigan on the map.
Past recipients include the Grand Haven Salmon Festival and the
Headlands International Dark Sky Park in Emmet County. Now, in its
third year, the Pure Award celebrates another outstanding organization
that has been an innovative and exemplary steward of Michigan's
natural and cultural resources: Michigan Cares for Tourism, known
familiarly as MC4T.
The group received the Pure Award at last month's Pure Michigan
Governor's Conference on Tourism in Grand Rapids. Michigan Cares for
Tourism is a 100-percent volunteer, 100-percent nonprofit, give-back
organization that brings tourism professionals together to help
restore Michigan's historic attractions, while encouraging
participants to learn about state tourism destinations and network
across industry segments.
To date, MC4T has generated nearly $450,000 in monetary and in-kind
support. With five major events under its belt and two more in
planning stages (as well as student events and local community event
opportunities), MC4T has created a legacy of commitment to preserving
some of the state's most treasured natural and cultural tourism
To learn about past and upcoming MC4T events,
more information, contact DNR recreation programmer
Maia Turek at 989-225-8573.
out gardens, flower boxes or home or office landscaping this spring,
don’t be surprised if you find something extra. Duck nests,
particularly mallard nests, appear just about everywhere this time of
year. While you may think these are not the most ideal nesting
locations, there’s really no cause for concern.
You can expect a female mallard to sit on a nest for about a month
prior to her eggs hatching.
“If the nest fails on its own – something that happens regularly –
just wish her luck on her next attempt,” said Hannah Schauer, a
wildlife communications coordinator with the Department of Natural
Resources. “If she is successful and her eggs hatch, the mother will
lead her ducklings to the nearest body of water, often the same day
Canada geese sometimes build nests near houses or in parks, often near
water. Just like mallards, Canada geese will lead their young to water
soon after they hatch.
Schauer said that adult geese can be quite protective of their nests
and their goslings. They may chase people or pets away by hissing and
running or flying toward the perceived intruders. It’s best to avoid
the nesting locations altogether. If that’s not possible, carry an
umbrella and gently scare away an approaching bird.
Birds and their nests and eggs are protected by law and must be left
alone. Abandoned or injured wildlife can be possessed and cared for
only by licensed wildlife rehabilitators. Unless a person is licensed,
it is illegal to possess live wild animals – including birds – in
This spring, if you’re lucky enough to come across a nest, enjoy it
from a distance and wait for your newest neighbors to make their
Help keep Michigan’s wildlife wild. Learn
michigan.gov/wildlife or contact
Hannah Schauer at 517-388-9678.
18APR18-For four straight years, the DNR and the Michigan Veterans
Affairs Agency have come together to highlight quieter camping options
in a handful of Michigan state parks.
of July is geared toward veterans and other visitors, including pet
owners, looking for a quieter camping experience. This year, 11
locations located farther away from traditional community firework
displays are participating July 2nd - 6th.
Camping reservations can be made up to six months in advance, which
means it's not too early to be thinking about those holiday dates. To
check availability and make a reservation, visit
Want to learn more? Visit
To learn more about services for Michigan veterans, visit
18APR18-Plentiful birds, 10 million-plus acres of public land
available for hunting, and spring turkey season just days away – don’t
miss your chance to gobble up some prime hunting April 23-May 31. The
state’s strategic season structure – with multiple “openers” – gives
hunters options that provide the opportunity to have a great hunting
experience this spring.
That’s a giant
leap from just decades ago. There was a time in Michigan when wild
turkey was difficult to come by.
“I’ve heard stories from my grandpa about some of the wildlife we have
today being hard to find when he was a kid,” said Katie Keen,
communications coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources
Wildlife Division. “It’s hard to imagine it was so different just a
few generations back.”
Unregulated hunting and dramatic habitat changes had made some
wildlife, including turkeys, scarce.
bird was eliminated from Michigan by 1900. In 1977, Michigan’s turkey
population was estimated at 6,000 birds, and only 17 counties were
open to turkey hunting,” said Al Stewart, DNR upland game bird
specialist. “Through reintroduction efforts by the DNR and other
conservation partners, more than 200,000 turkeys now roam the wilds in
nearly every corner of the state.”
Keen said that in 1977, hunters had a 1-in-4 chance of getting a spring
turkey license, and only 400 turkeys were taken.
Today, she said, hunters just need to
determine where they’d like to hunt,
watch the DNR’s frequently-asked-questions video,
get a license and go. Last year, hunters bagged about 33,000 wild turkeys
during the fall and spring seasons combined.
hunters should find good numbers of turkeys distributed throughout the
state,” said Stewart. “Based on production last year, hunters can expect
success similar to last spring … and last spring was pretty good.”
Interested in watching the woods come alive
at sunrise, hearing the turkey’s call, and possibly putting some wild game
on your dinner table? Learn more and buy a license at
Straits Vessel Damage
Investigation Activity Continues With Expected Launch of Underwater
Vehicles to Inspect ATC, Enbridge Lines
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Michigan Department
of Natural Resources (MDNR) and the Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE) are
notifying residents near the Straits of Mackinac to increased activity
related to damage to American Transmission Co.’s electrical transmission
lines and Enbridge Energy’s Line 5.
Crews are expected soon to launch remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to
evaluate infrastructure conditions, according to the Unified Command (UC).
The UC, consisting of the U.S. Coast Guard, MDEQ, ATC, and a tribal
representative, was established to address a mineral oil release from the
the same time, additional crews near Mackinaw City and St. Ignace, at the
direction of the UC, are continuing to vacuum any remaining mineral oils
from ATC’s electrical cables that connect the Lower and Upper Peninsulas
through the Straits. Two of the six lines were damaged earlier this month
and resulted in the release of nearly 600 gallons of mineral oil. The
Coast Guard, which is the lead agency in the UC, has identified vessel
activity as one of the potential causes for the mineral oil release.
According to the UC, the next step in the response to the ATC cable damage
is the launch of a working class ROV, weather permitting. A barge has been
prepared to assist workers in this inspection. After an assessment is
completed, a plan will be developed and executed to determine the best
method to mitigate future environmental impacts.
During the same time frame, Enbridge will deploy an ROV for a visual
assessment of Line 5, which is adjacent to the ATC cables. Line 5 is
believed to have sustained small dents to its twin, 20-inch lines,
possibly from the same vessel activity that potentially damaged ATC’s
The UC says there has been no major environmental impact on the Straits or
wildlife from the ATC leakage.
Enbridge has run tests to assess damage to Line 5. Company officials state
they have found no evidence of fluid loss and have confidence in the
pipeline’s structural integrity.
Gov. Rick Snyder has called on Enbridge to accelerate the identification
of anchor strike mitigation measures and the evaluation of alternatives to
replace pipelines, both of which are required under the state’s November
agreement with Enbridge. The studies are scheduled to be completed in
June. Snyder also said the state will expedite a review of other actions
to protect the Straits as well as working with federal partners to
expedite the permitting process to allow for protective measures to be
installed in the Straits.
For more information, contact the Point Le Barbe Response at the Joint
Information Center at PointLeBarbeResponseJIC@gmail.com or (906) 748-0737.
17APR18-We’ve made some changes to the DNR’s
eLicense website to make it easier to use and more secure.
The biggest change is that all eLicense customers
will now set up an ID and password to create your personal account,
and once your account is created you’ll no longer need to enter your
name and address every time you make a purchase. This new account
feature also allows you to:
~>See three years of your license purchase history
as well as bear preference points and elk weighted lottery chances.
~>Never lose your fishing or base license again -
you xan re-print them or save them to your mobile device.
will walk you through the site and how to use some of its new
If you have questions about the
new eLicense and how to use it, please see the eLicense FAQ and Help pages.
Check out the new eLicense.
longest U.S. freshwater coastline, thousands of miles of rivers and
streams and 11,000 inland lakes – all in the Great Lakes State.
unless exempt, must be registered with the Michigan Secretary of
State. Registrations expire March 31st in the third year of issuance.
to register your boat, make a slip reservation or explore Michigan
17APR18-The 2018 spring turkey season
officially starts on April 23rd. Didn't get a license? You still have
Several options are available for anyone looking to harvest a
turkey anywhere in Michigan. Staggered seasons mean you have different
“openers” to choose from. Hunt ZZ and Hunt 234 can be bought over the
counter and give you more hunt days.
Videos and additional
information can be found at
Or call us at 517-284-WILD – we'd love to help.
17APR18-It’s time to
dust of your fishing poles and make sure your license is up to date as
two fishing seasons open Saturday, April 28. The statewide trout
season (Type 1 and 2 streams and Type A and D lakes) and the Lower
Peninsula inland walleye and northern pike seasons all open that day.
For more information,
refer to the 2018 Michigan Fishing Guide at
DNR Biologists Concerned
About Late UP Winter Impacts on Deer
conditions producing stressful conditions
snow predicted for the region this weekend, the prolonged wintry
conditions being experienced in the Upper Peninsula show no sure signs
of relenting soon, a circumstance that has state wildlife biologists
concerned about the stressful impact to white-tailed deer.
“A month ago, we were optimistic about the deer herd, with spring on
the horizon and the winter we’d had to that point,” said Terry Minzey,
Upper Peninsula regional wildlife supervisor for the Michigan
Department of Natural Resources. “Now, I’m quite concerned with what
we might end up with because of this protracted winter weather.”
Deer radio-collared in the western U.P. as part of an ongoing
predator-prey study or a new deer migration study, have suffered a
13.5 percent mortality rate so far this winter, with 11 percent of
adult female deer dying.
That mortality rate compares to 15 percent through the entire month of
April in 2017.
“The big difference between this year and last year is that as of
April 11 last winter, 95 percent of the deer had dispersed from their
wintering complexes,” Minzey said. “This year, there have been none.
They’re all still there because of the continuing winter conditions.”
An April 9 snow depth
map showed more than 2 feet of snow in some northern parts of the
region, nearly 2 feet of snow in other places, and several inches on
the ground in areas traditionally green with grass by this time of
Some snow depth examples included 20 to 26 inches in Hulbert, 12 to 17
inches in Gwinn, 15 to 19 inches at Baraga, 16 to 17 inches at McLain
State Park north of Hancock and 17 to 21 inches at Wakefield.
“In general, across the north and west, the deer are starting to look
pretty rough and stressed,” said Brad Johnson, a DNR wildlife
technician at Baraga. “The Keweenaw is almost up to 300 inches of snow
(for the season) and we are listening to Tiger baseball on the truck
radio 5 miles out on 2 feet of ice in Lake Superior in April.”
Johnson said DNR staffers are starting to get a lot of calls of
stressed deer reported at feeding sites.
Minzey said this winter is different than most others because a
comparatively low amount of snow fell during the early part of the
winter. Temperatures remain below average for April so far.
“With relatively no green vegetation available, deer are suffering a
negative energy balance at the same time they are burning energy used
for developing fetuses or antler development,” Minzey said. “Deer
expend five times more energy to move through snow than they expend to
“Generally speaking walking in 14 inches of snow results in a 50
percent energy expenditure increase as compared to walking on dry
ground. If deer are forced to walk through 21 inches of snow, they
burn twice the energy compared to walking on dry ground.”
Minzey said when these snow, weather and health conditions exist after
mid-March, it typically spells trouble for fawn, and potentially adult
In some areas, the only snow-free areas are along roadsides where deer
are congregating and getting struck by passing vehicles.
“Up until a month ago, I would have said that is was 20 percent of
fawns that looked like there were in rough condition, or at least
starting down that path,” said Kristie Sitar, DNR wildlife biologist
at Newberry. “These last two weeks, about half of fawns look like they
are not going to make it. Most adults look still fairly decent.”
At Sault Ste. Marie, DNR wildlife biologist David Jentoft said most of
the deer he’s seen on the far east end of the peninsula still look OK.
“Deer movement was not heavily restricted for most of the winter in
eastern Chippewa and Mackinac (counties), as snow depths have not been
real deep, so that likely has helped,” Jentoft said. “Having said
that, deer don’t seem quite as responsive as they were a couple of
weeks ago. If the winter conditions hold on a lot longer, deer
condition may deteriorate.”
At Crystal Falls, DNR wildlife biologist Monica Joseph said most deer
look skinny, but OK.
“They still seem willing to run off and jump banks, so they still have
some energy reserve,” Joseph said. “We are likely losing fawns as some
are looking bad, and with persistent snow cover and significantly more
snow forecast for the weekend, they are going to be stressed even
more. No observations of dead adult deer, due to winter loss, have
Similar reports were received from Shingleton where deer were observed
at northern feeding sites and in the southern part of the Cusino
wildlife management unit.
“Most of those deer
are skinny, but don’t look like they’re quite on their last legs yet,”
said Cody Norton, DNR wildlife biologist. “I’m sure they are getting
pretty susceptible to predation and other forms of mortality though,
and the coming storms could definitely push them over the edge in much
of the unit.”
In Delta and Menominee counties, deer observed looked to be in good
condition, according to DNR wildlife biologist Karen Sexton and
wildlife technician Colter Lubben.
“I was out working late last night running on sick/injured deer and I
made it a point to look at fields of deer and large feeding sites. I
looked closely at the fawns and I can say that out of the 150 plus
fawns I observed I didn’t see a single fuzzy face or any that I could
see ribs or hip bones,” Lubben said. “The deer are still very active;
chasing each other, running from moving vehicles, et cetera.”
Sexton said fields were mostly open during the last week of March and
then snow-covered from April 1 until a few days ago.
At the Marquette DNR office, during the past month, folks who have
been feeding deer have reported the number of deer observed has
increased by 20 to 50 percent.
“Overall, my forecast for the northern deer is poor if the weather
doesn’t turn soon,” said DNR wildlife technician Caleb Eckloff.
“Southern deer in my work area are faring much better, but I still
have reservations about a successful fawn crop.”
Overall, with improving winter conditions, the Upper Peninsula deer
herd had been rebounding over the past year or so, after three
consecutive hard winters in which significant deer mortality was
hunter camp survey
released in February
reviewed last fall’s deer hunting season. Across the region, hunters
said the number of deer seen and the percentage of hunters harvesting
a buck had increased, while they said the deer herd trend and rating
of the season had improved.
DNR Offers ‘Wildlife
Through Forestry’ Raptor Forum in Marquette
17APR18-For those who
may never have been close to a hawk, falcon or an owl, or who want to
learn more about these amazing creatures, the Michigan Department of
Natural Resources is hosting a raptor forum this month in Marquette.
“We will have two highly-respected bird rehabilitation experts
educating us about this very special group of Michigan birds,” said
Gary Willis, a DNR service forester from the Baraga office. “They will
also be introducing us to some avian friends – hawks and owls that we
can view up-close and personal.”
The event featuring Marge Gibson of Antigo, Wisconsin and Jerry
Maynard of the Chocolay Raptor Center in Harvey, Michigan will be from
6 to 9 p.m., Tuesday, April 24 in the Michigan Room at the University
Center on the campus of Northern Michigan University.
Gibson, known to many as “the bird whisperer,” is an internationally
respected bird rehabilitator whose life work has truly defined the
field. Her research and documented case studies have provided
invaluable insight into behaviors, nutritional needs, disease,
rehabilitation procedures and post-release data of native bird species
is a biologist and retired environmental attorney who, along with Bob
Jensen, founded the Chocolay Raptor Center. Their primary mission is
providing education about raptors, with a secondary mission of rescuing
and rehabilitating sick and injured hawks, eagles and owls. Maynard plans
on bringing several of the center’s raptors to the forum.
“This event is the latest in a fascinating series of ‘Wildlife
Through Forestry’ forums held in the western Upper Peninsula over the past
year,” said John Pepin, DNR deputy public information officer. “These
sessions link wildlife topics to the numerous ways habitat for birds and
animals may be developed and enhanced for a range of species on private
The forums have been presented by the DNR with funding from a Natural
Resources Conservation Service grant.
Each of these sessions has included a presentation on an interesting and
important wildlife-related topic, with additional information provided to
private landowners on the value of a Forest Stewardship Plan.
This month’s raptor forum will be followed up with a May 17 “Wildlife
Through Forestry” Songbird Forum also at Northern Michigan University.
“We want to get folks fired up about sound resource management so that
they establish a family legacy with their forest ownership,” Willis said.
“We want to show folks the importance of working closely with a resource
professional to accomplish their goals and objectives for ownership. We
also want folks to have a good time getting together to discuss topics of
interest to us all.”
A panel of resource professionals will be on hand to discuss the
development, preparation and implementation of Forest Stewardship Plans.
More than 150 professional foresters and 20
wildlife biologists develop
Forest Stewardship Plans
for forest landowners in Michigan. For information about these plans or
Commercial Forest Program,
contact Gary Willis, DNR Service Forester, 427 U.S. 41 North, Baraga,
Michigan, 49908; 906-353-6651, ext. 207-0122 or
Many county conservation districts in Michigan have
foresters on staff available for a free site visit to private landowner
properties. They can discuss landowner wildlife habitat and forestry goals
and help decide if there are financial assistance programs that can
provide cost sharing for resource management plan preparation and
In Marquette and Alger counties, contact Matt
Watkeys, forester, at
or call the Marquette County Conservation District office at 906-226-8871,
How The AuSable River
Changed The World
By CASEY WARNER-Michigan
Department of Natural Resources
16APR18-With the opener of Michigan’s trout season right around the
corner, anglers soon will be donning their waders and heading out to
one of the thousands of cold, quality streams that make the state a
nationally known trout-fishing destination.
Perhaps the most renowned place to cast a fly in Michigan – the Au
Sable River, running 138 miles through the northern Lower Peninsula –
is significant for much more than its outstanding trout fishing.
In 1959, 16 fishermen, united by their love of trout and the Au Sable
River and concerned about the need for long-term conservation of
Michigan’s cold-water streams, gathered at George Griffith’s home east
“For some time I and several others have been considering ways and
means to protect and preserve trout and trout fishing, and have come
up with the idea of forming an organization to be known as Trout,
Unlimited,” wrote Griffith, a member of the Michigan Conservation
Commission, in an invitation letter to a fellow angler in 1959.
“Such an organization could work with state and federal agencies now
charged with that responsibility … it would help educate the public on
the dire need of sound, practical, scientific trout management and
regulations to protect the trout as well as satisfy fishermen.”
The sportsmen that responded to Griffith’s invitation to meet at
his cabin on the Au Sable believed that better and more scientific
habitat management would improve the environment as well as the
state’s trout population and fishing.
Nearly 60 years after that initial meeting, the organization those
fishermen founded – Trout Unlimited – has become a national champion
of fish habitat conservation.
Today, the organization has almost 300,000 members and supporters,
with 30 offices nationwide, and sponsors the International Trout
The Michigan History Museum in Lansing is showcasing Trout Unlimited’s
founding on the Au Sable in a special exhibition, “The River that
Changed the World,” open through July 29th.
“The Au Sable River has influenced – and continues to influence –
people around the world,” said Mark Harvey, Michigan’s state archivist
and the exhibition’s curator. “The stories in the exhibition
demonstrate the innovative and unprecedented ways private citizens and
state government worked together to conserve and protect the river and
sustainably manage its fish populations.”
Harvey said that the idea for the exhibit stemmed from the Michigan
History Center’s longstanding relationship with, and eventual donation
of materials from, Art Neumann, one of the cofounders of Trout
Unlimited and its executive director from 1962 to 1965.
“Instead of just focusing on the Trout Unlimited group, we took a
wider view of the river that inspired these people to work for
systemic change,” Harvey said.
The exhibition features George Griffith’s 24-foot-long Au Sable river
boat and a re-creation of Neumann’s Wanigas Rod Shop, where he made
fly rods considered works of art and became known as a champion of
A “battery” of glass beakers from the Grayling fish hatchery, each
of which held thousands of eggs, highlights the late 19th-century work
of state conservationists and private citizens who tried to save the
An iconic cold-water fish that once dominated northern Michigan
streams but was almost extinct by the beginning of the 20th century,
Arctic grayling were native only to Michigan and Montana in the lower
“When sportsmen first discovered the grayling in the Au Sable, it drew
international attention,” Harvey said.
Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative
now aims to restore self-sustaining populations of the fish within its
historical range in Michigan.
Original paneling and artifacts from the Wolverine fish car, which
carried millions of fish by rail across Michigan, tell museum visitors
the story of efforts to plant trout in the Au Sable.
Fred Westerman, one of the first employees of the Wolverine and former
fisheries chief in the Michigan Department of Conservation, forerunner
to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, once reported:
“Frequently … thirty cans of fish would be dropped off at some spooky
junction – like in the jack pine at Au Sable-Oscoda with the cemetery
across the tracks and the depot a mile from town – on the night run of
the Detroit & Mackinac, to await the morning train going up the river
The exhibition also introduces the relationship between the
Anishinabe (Odawa and Ojibwe people) and the Au Sable River and
explores Grayling as a fishing and tourism hotspot since the mid-19th
Current DNR Fisheries Chief Jim Dexter applauded the vision and
passion of those who recognized the Au Sable’s promise as a premier
“As the name of the exhibit implies, the Au Sable is a world-class
fishery resource attracting anglers from every corner of the earth,”
Dexter said. “It’s one of the most stable groundwater-influenced
watersheds in North America, and produces exceptional trout fishing.
“It wasn’t always that way, though. Without the creation of Trout
Unlimited at the Au Sable River, by those who understood the potential
of our cold-water resources, Michigan might not be home to one of the
world’s greatest trout fisheries.”
Trout Unlimited’s work has also encouraged other groups like the
Anglers of the Au Sable, who now lead the charge for preserving this
unique, high-quality body of water. Dubbed the “river guardians,” the
Anglers group has fought multiple environmental threats to river.
The exhibit and related events also offer opportunities for hands-on
Visitors can learn how to tie a fly and compare tied flies to real
insects under a microscope or sit in a kayak and take a 360-degree
virtual reality paddle down the Au Sable.
They can also explore the essence of the Au Sable without leaving
mid-Michigan through a series of museum programs revolving around the
"While the exhibit focuses on the wonderful stories, images and sounds
of the river, we wanted to bring the Au Sable River to the capital
region," said Michigan History Center engagement director Tobi Voigt.
“We designed a series of programs highlighting themes from the exhibit
– like fly-fishing and kayaking – that can be enjoyed by a variety of
age groups. We're especially excited to showcase a fly-fishing star
and host our first-ever kayak tour."
Programs include a
with noteworthy fly-tier and fly-fishermen Jeff “Bear” Andrews, a
kayak tour on the
Red Cedar River, and the
Second Saturdays for Families
series featuring hands-on activities like making a compass, a sundial
or a miniature boat.
To learn more about “A River That Changed the
World” and to find Michigan History Museum visitor information, go to
Check out previous “Showcasing the DNR” stories at
Subscribe to upcoming articles and other DNR publications at the
bottom of our webpage at
protect lake sturgeon from illegal harvest by joining the Black Lake
Chapter of Sturgeon For Tomorrow mid-April through early June.
Hundreds of volunteers are needed to stand guard along the Black River
during the sturgeon spawning season.
register online at
Recipients of DNR's Habitat Grants for Fish and Aquatic
16APR18-Fourteen habitat restoration projects totaling more than $2
million will be funded by several Michigan Department of Natural
Resources grant programs in 2018. Nonprofit organizations, government
agencies and private citizens submitted a total of 41 applications
requesting more than $7.72 million in funding to complete priority
habitat projects in their areas. These projects were submitted,
evaluated and awarded through three grant processes.
Habitat Grant Program seeks to protect and restore fish and aquatic
habitats; the Dam Management Grant Program focuses on dam removal,
maintenance and repair; and the Habitat Improvement Account provides
funding for habitat projects in the Manistee, Muskegon and Au Sable
“These projects continue our investment in habitats to sustain healthy
fisheries for generations to come,” said Joe Nohner, a DNR fisheries
biologist. “We’re excited to award these grants and work with the
recipients to improve upon Michigan’s already world-class fisheries.”
This year's grant recipients (applicant, project name, county and
grant amount) include:
Aquatic Habitat Grant Recipients
Huron Pines, Brook Trout Habitat Restoration: Improving Regional
Priority Road/Stream Crossings (Ogemaw and Presque
Isle), $110,000 |
DNR Fisheries Division, Manistique Dam Center Flume Wall Removal
(Schoolcraft), $362,650 |
Conservation Resource Alliance, Reconnecting the North Branch of the
Platte River (Benzie), $100,000 |
Golden Lotus, Inc., Pigeon River Restoration at Song of the Morning
Ranch (Otsego), $301,850 |
Ottawa County Parks, Grand River Shoreline Restoration & Bayou
Connectivity Project at Riverside Park (Ottawa), $88,000
Clinton River Watershed Council, Clinton River Restoration at Yates
(Oakland), $287,500 |
TOTAL: $1,250,000 |
Dam Management Grant Recipients
DNR Wildlife Division, Trowbridge Dam Removal - Kalamazoo River
(Allegan), $52,000 |
Conservation Resource Alliance, Lake Kathleen Dam Removal - Maple
River (Emmet), $125,000 |
Gladwin County Road Commission, Heil Dam Removal - Black Creek (Gladwin),
Friends of the Shiawassee River, Shiatown Dam Removal - Shiawassee
River (Shiawassee), $108,000
TOTAL: $350,000 |
Habitat Improvement Account Recipients
Huron Pines, Au Sable - Small Dam Removal and
Culvert Replacement (Alcona and Oscoda),
Trout Unlimited, Bank and Access Repair Below
Tippy Dam (Manistee), $185,043 |
DNR Fisheries Division, Walleye Pond Improvements
(Muskegon), $46,944 |
Upper Manistee, Habitat Improvement and Erosion
Control (Kalkaska), $88,070 |
TOTAL: $467,963 |
The Aquatic Habitat Grant Program is funded by revenues from fishing
and hunting license fees. The Dam Management Grant Program is funded by
General Fund dollars appropriated by the Legislature. The Habitat
Improvement Account is funded by Consumers Energy as part of a major
settlement agreement that relicensed the company’s hydropower projects on
the Au Sable, Manistee and Muskegon rivers.
Learn more about these programs and other grant
opportunities on the DNR website at michigan.gov/dnrgrants.
volunteers will roll up their sleeves and remove trash and debris at
the annual spring cleanup event at Belle Isle Park Saturday, April 21
from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Coordinated by the DNR and the Belle Isle Conservancy, the day is an
opportunity for individuals, families and community groups to help
beautify the island. Volunteers should check in at 8 a.m. at the Belle
Isle Athletic Complex and are asked to dress for the weather. Cleanup
efforts will be followed by a community celebration with music and a
complimentary hotdog lunch. The Recreation Passport will be waived for
For more information, contact Genevieve Nowak of Belle Isle
the DNR hosts a number of volunteer stewardship workdays at state
parks and recreation areas in southeast and southwest Michigan.
Volunteers help with everything from collecting native seeds and
removing invasive species to conducting plant and animal surveys and
other activities. The workdays are a great way to spend time in
Michigan's great outdoors, while helping to restore the state's
of volunteer stewardship workdays and
volunteer registration form are
available on the DNR's newly designed website at www.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers under
"Restore and Cleanup." To register, please complete the online form or
emailing the listed contact
16APR18-Started by J.
Sterling Morton – a Michigander who had moved to the Nebraska
territory and encouraged others to plant trees for windbreaks and
shade – in 1854, Arbor Day is the celebration of trees and their
importance in our lives. Taking place on April 27 this year, Arbor Day
is also a time to think about what we can do for trees and the world
in which we live.
resources are vital to environmental quality and quality of life.
Trees are in our backyards, neighborhoods, cities, farms and forests.
They connect us to our past and to our future.
To find out how you can get
involved in planting trees or plan your own celebration of trees,
visit the Michigan
Arbor Day Alliance website.
completes copper exploration at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
protective measures followed by mining company
12APR18-Copperwood Resources Inc. – a subsidiary
of Highland Copper – has completed its winter exploration begun in
February of a 1-mile section of the westernmost portion of
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.
Exploratory drilling was conducted in this part of Gogebic County to
see if the eastern extension of a mineral deposit first explored in
the 1950s might feasibly be mined, which could potentially enlarge the
mining company’s Copperwood Project beyond its currently-permitted
Drilling and testing will determine hydrologic and geologic
composition of the bedrock beneath the surface. Copperwood Resources
is leasing the mineral rights from another company which owns those
rights beneath this part of the park. The state of Michigan manages
the land surface features.
Earlier this winter, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources
granted a land use permit for the work, allowing the mining company to
resume exploration begun last winter at the park. Additional permits
were required from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
for two of the drilling sites situated in wetland areas.
Three holes were
drilled this winter on park land. A separate land use permit was
granted by the Gogebic County Road Commission for drilling work at
three sites that took place on county property, within the
right-of-way of County Road 519.
Two additional test holes
were drilled to the ore body from Copperwood Resources property situated
west of the park. The mining company has completed winter exploration on
“We are pleased to have completed the drilling program on our Copperwood
project, and would like to thank the DNR, DEQ, and the Gogebic County Road
Commission for their cooperation over the last few months,” said Justin
van der Toorn, exploration manager of Copperwood Resources Inc. “The
winter conditions have held out well for us and allowed us to finish all
eight drill holes as planned. The information and assays that are derived
from this work will now be incorporated into our ongoing feasibility study
that is still on schedule for completion this summer.”
The road commission and DNR permits included several provisions aimed at
protecting land surface features.
“All of the stipulations in the use permit were followed,” said Doug Rich,
western U.P. district supervisor for the DNR’s Parks and Recreation
Park management officials visited the site after drilling had ceased.
Some details of the
winter drilling work include:
diamond drill holes were completed for a total of 9,484 feet.
|The holes ranged in depth from 768 feet to 1,298
|All holes were cemented upon completion.
|Two diamond drilling rigs were used to help ensure
the program was completed on time, and because of some early delays.
|At one of the sites along County Road 519, timber
matting was used to prevent any ground disturbance and ensure the ground
remained frozen beneath. This was done in agreement with the road
commission as an additional protective measure, as daytime temperatures
briefly rose above freezing. |
|Work was completed March 29. |
|Reseeding will take place where needed, once the
ground has thawed this spring. |
|The DNR received daily updates on the project.
None of this exploration
work was conducted in the wilderness section of the park, but in an area
where several historic impacts have occurred, including logging and a
If Copper Resources eventually decides to extend the Copperwood Project,
the copper deposit would be accessed from outside the park boundary,
without disturbance to park surface features.
Any potential mining of the minerals would require a separate regulatory
process through the DEQ. Copperwood Resources would have to amend its
“The DNR will ensure there would be opportunity for public review and
comment before any mining would occur on minerals beneath the park,” said
John Pepin, DNR deputy public information officer.
For more information on the Copperwood Project in the western Upper
U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service proposes removing the bird from the Endangered Species list
12APR18-The Michigan Department of Natural
Resources today applauded the
decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
to potentially remove the Kirtland’s warbler from the federal list of
threatened and endangered species. The proposed delisting now enters a
90-day public comment period. A final decision is expected within a
“This is a great day for conservation and for Michigan,” said DNR
Director Keith Creagh. “This decision recognizes over 50 years of
dedication and commitment to Kirtland’s warbler conservation by many
agencies, organizations, industries, and individuals in our state and
beyond. Together we have been able to benefit local economies while at
the same time providing necessary nesting grounds for this species.
The decision by our federal partners marks a significant wildlife
Forty years ago, the Kirtland's warbler was on the brink of
extinction. Today, the yellow-breasted songbird, which lives in
northern Michigan's jack pine forests, has made a comeback. The bird
rebounded from a population low of about 350 in 1987 to more than
4,000 today. The Kirtland’s warbler population continues to grow and
has for the past 16 years exceeded population recovery goals. Once
thought confined to northern Michigan, the bird species has since been
found in Wisconsin and Canada.
“Kirtland’s warblers were one of
America’s rarest birds, but today they represent the power of partnership
to recover imperiled wildlife,” said Tom Melius, Midwest Regional Director
for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Kirtland's warbler was among the first animals to gain federal
protection in 1967 under the Endangered Species Preservation Act, a
precursor to the Endangered Species Act. The species started to rebound
once agencies and their partners began to implement long-term efforts to
conserve young jack pine. Large areas of jack pine of a certain age class
are essential for Kirtland’s warbler nesting. Also essential to a thriving
Kirtland’s warbler population is control of brown-headed cowbirds. The
brown-headed cowbird is a nest parasite that knocks eggs out of Kirtland's
warbler nests and replaces them with its own.
The Kirtland’s Warbler Breeding Range Conservation Plan was
developed in 2015 by the Michigan DNR, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
and the U.S. Forest Service. The plan is now the guiding management
strategy for the species. Additionally, funding and other commitments to
habitat management and cowbird control are in place to ensure continuation
of conservation actions in the absence of Endangered Species Act
The U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service will receive comments on the proposed delisting through
July 11, 2018.
To submit comments
starting Thursday, April 12) and enter FWS–R3–ES–2018–0005 in the search
box. To submit a hard copy, submit by U.S. mail or hand-delivery
to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R3–ES–2018–0005, U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA
about the Kirtland’s warbler and the proposal to remove Endangered Species
Act protections is available at:
Avoid Oak Wilt: Don't Prune or Injure Oak Trees During Risk Period
11APR18-Have an oak
tree on your property? To keep it healthy, don’t prune it from
mid-April through the summer. That’s a key time for infection with oak
wilt, a serious disease that can weaken white oaks and kill red oak
trees within weeks.
Oak wilt, caused by a fungus, has been reported throughout the
Midwest, including Michigan, said Ryan Wheeler, invasive species
biologist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Red oaks are most susceptible to the disease. These trees have leaves
with pointed tips and include black oak, northern red oak and northern
pin oak. Trees in the white oak group have rounded leaf edges and
include white oak and swamp white oak. They are less susceptible.
Symptoms most often appear from June until September.
"Affected trees will suddenly begin to wilt from the top down, rapidly
dropping leaves, which can be green, brown or a combination of both
colors," Wheeler said.
Oak wilt is spread above ground mainly by sap-feeding beetles that
carry the disease spores from an infected tree, or wood cut from an
infected tree, to fresh wounds, including pruning cuts, on healthy
trees. The infection also spreads below ground, through root grafts
among neighboring trees.
The highest risk of
infection occurs April 15-July 15, but it is prudent to avoid pruning
or injuring oak trees until they have lost leaves for the winter,
typically from November through mid-March, Wheeler said. If you must
prune or remove oaks during the risk period, or have a tree that gets
damaged, immediately cover wounds with tree-wound paint or latex-based
Don’t move firewood, especially if it comes from oak wilt-killed
trees, as it can harbor the fungus. If you suspect your firewood is
tainted by oak wilt, cover it with a plastic tarp all the way to the
ground, leaving no openings. This keeps beetles away so they can’t
move spores from the firewood to otherwise healthy trees. Once the
firewood has been cut long enough, to the point where all of the bark
loosens, the disease can no longer be spread.
If you suspect your
oak trees have this disease:
Get help from an oak-wilt
qualified specialist. Visit
for a listing and more information. |
Michigan State University’s
Diagnostic Clinic can verify infection. Find instructions at
or call 517-355-4536.
Report infections to
or by phone at 517-284-5895; you also can use the
MISIN website or
10APR18-Since the state's first confirmation in May 2015 of chronic
wasting disease in a free-ranging, white-tailed deer, a total of 57
deer in Clinton, Ingham, Ionia, Kent, Mecosta and Montcalm counties
have tested positive for CWD. The DNR has taken swift action, guided
by Michigan's comprehensive CWD surveillance and response plan.
Hunters and residents interested in learning more about CWD or who want to share their observations
about it are
encouraged to attend upcoming public engagement
meetings in Bay City,
Cadillac, Detroit, DeWitt, Gaylord, Houghton, Iron Mountain,
Kalamazoo, Marquette, Newberry and Rockford. Those who can't make a
meeting can join in a web-based opportunity, starting April 10. More
information on chronic wasting disease,
the meetings and the web option is available at
10APR18-More than 4,000 adult trout – fish that had been used for
breeding at our state hatcheries – recently were stocked in the
Clinton River (Auburn Hills, Rochester Hills), the Huron River (Proud
Lake Recreation Area) and the Spring Mill Pond (Island Lake Recreation
Area), making southeast Michigan a great destination for spring
The Clinton River was
stocked with 800 rainbow trout and 650 brown trout, all upstream of
Yates Dam; the Huron River took 1,600 brown trout and 1,200 rainbow
trout, all ranging in size from 11 to 22 inches; and 400 brown trout
and 400 brown trout between 14 and 22 inches now call the Spring Mill
Before you hit the
water to target these trout, remember that special regulations apply.
The Huron River at Proud Lake Recreation Area is limited to flies
only, catch-and-release fishing and Spring Mill Pond at Island Lake
Recreation Area is limited to artificial lures only, catch-and-release
fishing, both from April 1 through April 27. Starting April 28, all
baits are allowed on both waters and anglers may keep up to five trout
over 8 inches, but just three that measure over 15 inches.
For additional details, see the 2018 Michigan
Fishing Guide at
michigan.gov/dnrdigests or contact
Jeff Braunscheidel, 248-666-7445 or
Sara Thomas, 248-666-7443.
Michigan's Coastal Management Program Celebrates 40
Years With 'Year of the Coast'
COALE - Michigan Department of Natural Resources
06APR18-A drop of
water in the Great Lakes system passes an incredibly diverse coastline
on its journey eastward to the Atlantic Ocean.
Starting at the northern red rock shores of the Keweenaw Peninsula,
this water droplet – perhaps fallen from the sky to Earth during a
spring rainstorm – could be moved by currents south and east toward
the stunning painted cliffs of Lake Superior’s Pictured Rocks National
Or it might begin its journey near Chicago, passing the towering
Sleeping Bear sand dunes that crown Lake Michigan, moving north and
then east through the Straits of Mackinac.
The lake flow would then likely bring the droplet around the more than
10,000 islands that stud the map of Lake Huron, before spilling into
the fertile wetlands along Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie.
Along its long journey,
this drop of water could travel under a fishing dock in a tiny “up-north”
village or be tossed and tumbled by a kayak paddle along the busy
waterfront of the Detroit River.
Whatever the course, the journey of water through the massive Great Lakes
system is a tremendous trip.
Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas are surrounded by four of the five
Great Lakes – Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie. These freshwater lakes
are so vast they’re nicknamed “the Sweetwater Seas,” and they form the
world’s longest freshwater coastline.
Combined, these four lakes cover nearly 90,000 square miles in water area.
From early logging
and fishing industries to today’s hottest tourist destinations and
emerging technology sector, Michigan’s Great Lakes coastline
represents an economic engine for the state, carrying forward an
incredible legacy reflecting a special Michigan way of life.
However, at some
points in the not-too-distant past, waterfront industrial and
development activities often had negative consequences, with coasts
and waterways damaged by habitat loss and pollution.
Beginning in the late
1960s and 1970s, growing calls to value water not just as a resource
to be used and consumed – but as something we need to care for –
prompted the establishment of modern environmental protection laws and
an increasing stewardship ethic.
Today, more people
recognize Michigan’s coast for the asset it is and see value in
working to protect it, so generations to come will be able to enjoy it
too. That’s where coastal management comes in.
Driving this coastal
stewardship work is the
Management Program, which was
established in 1978 through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
coastal zone is vital to the well-being of our country. It is home to
roughly half of the nation’s population and supports ecologically
important habitats and natural resources,” the NOAA website states. “The
National Coastal Zone Management Program works with coastal states and
territories to address some of today’s most pressing coastal issues,
including climate change, ocean planning, and planning for energy
facilities and development.
“The program is a
voluntary partnership between the federal government and U.S. coastal
and Great Lakes states and territories authorized by the Coastal Zone
Management Act of 1972 to address national coastal issues. The program
is administered by NOAA.”
In Michigan, the coastal management program is administered through
the Office of the Great Lakes, which, since December, is housed within
the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Previously, the office was part of the Michigan Department of
The coastal management program has helped elevate the importance of
Michigan’s “freshwater coast” on a national level and drive the last
four decades of work to protect, enhance and restore the state’s 3,288
miles of Great Lakes coastline.
Check out the
“The Geography I Call Home,” “Never Quite the Same,” and “Church of
the Open Sky.”
of the Great Lakes is calling attention to Michigan’s incredible Great
Lakes coastal resources and the work of our state’s Coastal Management
Program by naming 2018 the "Year of the Coast.”
According to NOAA,
“coastal management” refers to the actions taken to keep the
environmental, community and economic aspects of coastal life in balance.
Michigan’s Coastal Management Program celebrates its 40-year anniversary
this year, along with saltwater coast states including California, Hawaii,
and Maine, and fellow freshwater state, Wisconsin.
Michigan’s program team members each focus on a specialty area of coastal
stewardship, including habitat, public access, water quality, community
development and hazard management.
program protects our coast’s unique places, including freshwater
wetlands, dunes and beaches, home to rare and endangered species found
nowhere else in the world,” said Karen Boase, the program’s coastal
habitat coordinator. “Michigan’s state wildflower, the dwarf lake
iris, is only found in the Great Lakes region, but faces threats due
to habitat degradation and shoreline development. Piping plovers, lake
sturgeon and mudpuppies are other coastal species in need of habitat
Public access to the Great Lakes is critical to the Michigan way of
Weston Hillier, the program’s public access coordinator, helps
communities establish trail systems,
add beach access,
protect historic resources like lighthouses and shipwrecks, and
elevate coastal tourism efforts.
“These projects enhance our ability to recreate outdoors and enjoy our
coastal resources,” Hillier said. “The goal is to partner with, and
invest in, coastal communities to create and enhance coastal public
access, so everyday activities such as swimming, kayaking and hunting
for Petoskey stones are more accessible and enjoyable.”
Recent projects include boardwalks and stairways for people to safely
access beaches and wetlands, restoration of a historic fishing tug in
partnership with a maritime museum, and continued work on water trails
to establish Michigan as “The Trails State,” in the water as well as
on the land.
“Developing water trails
includes planning projects, as well as development of coastal access
sites, such as the installation of accessible kayak launches and
navigation signs,” Hillier said.
Public access connects people to coastal resources in meaningful ways – to
learn and play. Keeping those resources healthy for people and wildlife is
the mission of Madeleine Gorman, the program’s coastal water quality
She tackles coastal issues by engaging residents in water stewardship
through partner programs like
Michigan Clean Marina.
“We also work with
communities to implement green infrastructure techniques, like rain
gardens and porous pavement that soak up storm water, mimicking
nature’s processes,” Gorman said. “This work helps communities reduce
runoff pollution and become resilient to the effects of flooding and
changing water levels.”
It’s no secret that
waterfronts can be an incredible community asset. Leveraging that
asset sustainably supports a healthy environment and local economy.
The coastal program supports community growth through smart planning.
Program community development
coordinator Matt Smar helps support sustainable waterfront towns that
are good places to live and visit. This takes a thorough understanding
of the Great Lakes assets that make coastal communities special.
The beauty of the Great Lakes and the title ‘lakes’ can lead people to
underestimate them. The Great Lakes system is dynamic and needs to be
“Storms, erosion, rip currents, and
meteotsunamis can occur on the Great Lakes,” said Matt Warner,
the program’s coastal hazards coordinator.
communities on coastal management techniques that can reduce risks
from those hazards, saving lives, homes and infrastructure.
“Innovative ways to think about protecting coastal residents and
assets emphasize techniques that work with coastal processes instead
of trying to battle a lake’s forces,” Warner said. “For example,
natural shorelines with hardy native vegetation can be more effective
than an armored seawall. They also provide scenic and environmental
benefits for the shoreline property owner.”
establishment, the Michigan Coastal Management Program has made
strategic investments of millions of dollars in coastal communities
and provided the technical assistance to get the work done.
In this 40th year, the program plans to focus on community
resiliency, coastal dunes and education. The team will promote water
stewardship, continue work to establish and enhance Michigan’s water
trails, and work in boating communities to keep marinas clean. This
work continues a decades-long legacy of service to our state’s coastal
communities and natural resources.
Learn more about the Great Lakes Coastal Management Program at www.michigan.gov/coastalmanagement.
Follow the journey throughout “The Year of the Coast” online with #YearoftheCoast2018 for
coastal facts, information, and projects. Subscribe to the e-mail
list and follow on Twitter at @MichiganOGL.
Check out previous Showcasing the DNR stories at www.mi.gov/dnrstories.
Subscribe to upcoming articles and other DNR publications at the
bottom of our webpage at www.mi.gov/dnr.
DNR Urges ORV Enthusiasts to be Ready To Ride
Know the rules and your vehicle before heading out
06APR18-The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds
off-road vehicle enthusiasts to learn riding and safety rules before
taking to the trails.
“The arrival of spring means countless ORV enthusiasts are preparing
to hit the trails,” said Cpl. John Morey, head of the DNR Law
Enforcement Division’s ORV safety education program. “But there’s a
lot to know when it comes to riding legally and safely. ORV riding is
a great sport. Enjoy it to its fullest by understanding the laws,
knowing your vehicle, being respectful of others and always putting
Riders under the age of 16 must have a valid safety training
certificate when operating an ORV. To obtain a certificate, the
operator must take an ORV
safety education course and pass the certification exam.
Students have the option of taking an online or classroom-based
course. Operators must carry their certificate on their person and
present it to a law enforcement officer upon request.
“We encourage all new riders to take a safety class even if they
are exempt from the age requirement,” Morey said. “ORVs are fun but
they are not toys. They are built primarily for off-road recreation
and can be dangerous if you don’t understand your vehicle or know
proper riding procedures.”
In addition to the age requirement for certification, other
laws governing ORV riding include:
|All operators and passengers must wear a U.S. Department of
Transportation-approved crash helmet and protective eyewear, except
in specific circumstances defined by law. |
|Open containers of alcoholic beverages may not be transported in
or upon an ORV unless in a trunk or compartment separate from the
vehicle’s passenger compartment. |
|Roads, streets and highways maintained for year-round automobile
travel are closed to ORVs, including the shoulder and right of way.
However, ORVs registered as motor vehicles by the Secretary of State
may be operated on the roadway. |
|ORVs may be operated on a roadway in accordance with a locally
enacted ordinance. Riders are responsible for contacting local
authorities to find out which roads are open to ORV use.
|Private land is closed to ORVs unless the operator is invited by
the landowner. |
|It is unlawful to operate an ORV in or on the waters of any
stream, river, marsh, bog, wetland, swamp or quagmire unless the
vehicle is driven on a ridge, culvert or similar structure.
Morey offered general safety and riding tips as well:
|Be sure your vehicle is in good mechanical condition.
|Familiarize yourself with your ORV by reading the owner’s manual.
|Wear protective clothing suitable for the environment.
|Make sure the lights work properly and are on during operation.
|Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or when
|Know the terrain where you plan to ride.
|Be aware of the weather forecast and never venture out alone.
|Prepare for emergencies by packing first-aid and survival kits.
Useful items include a map and compass, high-energy food such as
candy bars, a flashlight, hand axe, signal flares, waterproof
matches, mobile phone and a tarpaulin. |
|Respect any people or animals you encounter.
|Be courteous on the trail and follow proper etiquette. This
includes riding only where permitted, always yielding to uphill
traffic, slowing down when someone is passing you, yielding the
right of way to bikes, horses and hikers; carrying out what you
carry in, and being considerate of others on the trail by keeping
your vehicle to the right. |
|Report any illegal riding activity by calling or texting the
Report All Poaching (RAP) line at 1-800-292-7800. |
ORV owners must have their vehicles titled through the Secretary of
State. A Michigan title is not required on ORVs owned by nonresidents
and used in Michigan.
ORVs must be licensed by the DNR if they are used anywhere other
than private property. The annual licensing fee is $26.25. In
addition, an ORV trail permit is required to operate on
state-designated ORV trails, routes or areas. The cost of an ORV trail
permit is $10.
The DNR is working with stakeholders to map forest roads on public
lands in accordance with Public
Act 288 of 2016. The initiative encourages more people to enjoy
Michigan’s public lands by enhancing ORV opportunities across the
state. It will open thousands of miles of forest roads to ORV use
unless the roads
are designated closed by the DNR for reasons such as safety or
environmental concerns. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/forestroads.
Visit www.michigan.gov/recreationalsafety for
more information on ORV riding requirements, safety and opportunities.
DNR’s Russ Mason Receives Conservation Service Award
from Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever
Forever and Quail Forever recently presented
Dr. Russ Mason, Michigan Department of
Natural Resources Wildlife Division chief, with their Conservation Service
Award during the 83rd North American Wildlife and Natural Resources
Conference in Norfolk, Virginia.
“It’s a special honor to
be recognized by a conservation-minded organization like Pheasants
Forever. I’m humbled and delighted to represent the hard work and
dedication of professionals in Wildlife Division and the rest of Michigan
DNR, as well as countless hunter-conservationists,” said Mason.
Mason was nominated for
this award because of his outstanding efforts to promote upland hunting
and habitat conservation throughout the state as part of the Michigan
Pheasant Restoration Initiative. His achievements include:
|Support of the Farm Bill biologist partnership in Michigan to assist
private landowners with habitat projects. |
|Unwavering support of the
Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative
and expansion of this important program throughout the state.
|Financial backing of the Habitat Incentive Program in south-central
Michigan to get more landowners enrolled in Farm Bill programs.
|Support of $105,000 in funding over three years to partner with
Pheasants Forever on a new statewide Adopt-A-Game-Area Program with
local chapters. |
“It is through Chief Mason’s support of
upland game bird management and his leadership that we are able to foster
and expand pheasant habitat in the state,” said Al Stewart, DNR upland
game bird specialist. “It’s great that Russ was honored at a national
level by Pheasants Forever for all the work that has been implemented in
Michigan for pheasants and pheasant habitat. With his continued support,
we’re looking forward to additional accomplishments in the future.”
In addition to
Mason, Pheasants Forever selected six other nationwide award winners for
their distinguishing contributions to wildlife habitat conservation
efforts, including partnership programs that have achieved landscape-level
habitat improvements for a variety of wildlife species.
"Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Conservation Service Awards
recognize individuals who have helped impact the mission of our
organization through habitat improvements, public access, policy and R3
(recruitment, retention and reactivation) initiatives in the United
States,” said Howard Vincent, president and CEO of Pheasants Forever and
Quail Forever. “These folks represent the spirit and motivation of The
North American [Model of Wildlife Conservation] and are part of the
solution for sustaining America’s wildlife populations and outdoor
check out examples of work completed to improve habitat for turkey and
other wildlife, join the DNR and the National Wild Turkey Federation
dedication of the third Turkey Tract location
on Friday, April 13th, at 1:30 p.m. at the Barry State Game Area, 8386
M-179 in Middleville.
information, contact Ryan Boyer with the National Wild Turkey
Federation at 231-878-5131.
about wildlife photography, how to help pollinators, composting, birds
of prey, beavers and more with April programs at the DNR’s Outdoor
Adventure Center in Detroit. Try your hand at archery or join us for
hikes where we’ll talk about ring-necked pheasants, native Michigan
trees, and the unique murals and street art along the Dequindre Cut.
Check out the full slate of family fun on the
Outdoor Adventure Center events calendar.
Detroit’s riverfront, the Outdoor Adventure Center gives visitors a
taste of Michigan’s great outdoors in the heart of the city. Learn
05APR18-Get ready for
fishing season with the DNR’s Outdoor Skills Academy. Classes coming
up in April include a Steelhead Clinic, Fly-Tying Workshop and
Open-Water Walleye Clinic. May brings an array of other outdoor skills
classes including walleye fishing with Walleye Trail World Champion
Mark Martin, wildlife photography with world-renowned photographer Tom
Haxby, mountain biking and fly fishing.
The Outdoor Skills
Academy offers expert instruction, gear and hands-on learning for a
range of outdoor activities, from hunting and fishing to hiking,
birding and much more. Classes explore each topic in-depth, for a full
day or more, with knowledgeable and skilled instructors leading the
Check out the full
calendar of classes at
05APR18-Need help finding a great place to
view Michigan’s feathered friends? Wetland Wonders, or managed
waterfowl areas, can be found around the state. DNR staff and
volunteers from Ducks Unlimited and Audubon clubs will lead tours,
which may include a “sneak peek” driving tour into refuge areas that
normally are closed. Find
dates and locations.
Take part in a guided tour at dusk to hear and
see the American woodcock perform its spring aerial display. The Lame
Duck Foot Access Area GEMS (Grouse Enhanced Management Sites) in
Gladwin County will host its second-annual spring Woodcock Walk on
Wednesday, April 25, at 8 p.m. Call 989-426-9205, ext. 7630, for more
information. A rain date is scheduled for Wednesday, May 2nd.
You Can Volunteer to Help Guard Michigan's Sturgeon
Effort takes place on the Black River in Presque Isle County
05APR18-The Black Lake
Chapter of Sturgeon for Tomorrow in Cheboygan County is seeking volunteers
to join in its effort, in partnership with the Michigan Department of
Natural Resources’ Law Enforcement and Fisheries Divisions, to help
protect lake sturgeon from illegal harvest during the annual spawning run.
Every spring, mature
lake sturgeon, a fish species that is threatened in Michigan and
rare throughout the United States, become vulnerable to poaching as they
briefly leave Black Lake for spawning sites upstream in the Black River.
volunteers are needed to stand guard along the Black River during the
spawning season, from mid-April through early June, to report any
suspicious activity and deter the unlawful take of this iconic fish.
“For over 18 years, the
annual Sturgeon Guarding Program has proven that people serving as
sturgeon guards watching over the river have virtually eliminated
poaching, while helping to ensure the protection and reproductive success
of the species,” said Ann Feldhauser, a DNR retiree and the guarding
program’s volunteer coordinator. “It’s a unique and rewarding experience
to witness these majestic fish, which can live up to 100 years and weigh
over 200 pounds, swimming up the Black River and to be a key player in
safeguarding one of Michigan's most valuable natural resources.”
When spawning begins, sturgeon guards are assigned in shifts to sites
along the river. The volunteers stand watch and, if suspicious activity
occurs, use cellular phones provided by Sturgeon for Tomorrow to contact
DNR conservation officers who are actively patrolling the area in support
of the guarding effort. Aerial surveillance is also deployed to help
secure the area.
“The experience of watching researchers capture, tag and release these
amazing fish is, in itself, worth the effort of becoming involved,” said
Brenda Archambo, coordinator of the Sturgeon Recovery effort in the Black
River watershed. “We also encourage those who enjoy mountain biking,
mushrooming, hiking, kayaking, canoeing and camping in beautiful wild
areas to partner with the sturgeon guarding effort, where the diversity of
the experience on the Black River offers a wonderful experience.”
opportunities over the approximately six-week-long spawning season are
available for those who wish to help. Coordinators will be on-site at the
river to assist and answer questions. In addition to guarding the
sturgeon, volunteers can also play a key role by recording the number and
activity of fish they see. This has become a popular activity for
families, scouting and church groups, as well as students interested in
natural resource management. Often artists participate as well, especially
Individuals or groups
interested in volunteering should contact Mark and Ann Feldhauser at
906-201-2484, or 906-346-9511.
Volunteers can also register online at
www.sturgeonfortomorrow.org/guarding-program.php or web search
Sturgeon for Tomorrow, Black Lake Chapter.
For those traveling from
outside the local area, hotels, restaurants and Onaway State Park (located
on Black Lake) which has improved camping and cabin rentals, are close to
the guarding locations.
Volunteers are also
encouraged to set up their rustic camps along the banks of the Black
River. There is no charge for camping on the state land adjacent to the
Lake sturgeon rehabilitation in the Cheboygan River watershed is a
cooperative effort involving the Black Lake Chapter of Sturgeon for
Tomorrow, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan State
University and Tower-Kleber Limited Partnership.
In addition to the guarding program, this effort includes activities such
as tagging sturgeon adults and raising young fish for stocking in the
Black, Burt and Mullet Lakes, all in Cheboygan County.
research and information about the fisheries of Lake Huron, the DNR –
in partnership with Michigan Sea Grant and others – hosts regional
workshops each spring.
This year’s workshops
will be held April 10th through May 3rd in five different locations
along the Lake Huron coast.
There's no admission
fee needed to attend.
information and more, visit
Mecosta County Man Sentenced Following DNR
Game ranch owner falsified information related to chronic wasting
Mecosta County game ranch owner has been sentenced on charges resulting
from an investigation by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Law
Enforcement Division, in cooperation with the Michigan Department of
Agriculture and Rural Development.
Lester Jay Gemmen, 64, of Morley was charged with providing false
information regarding the origin of two deer heads that were submitted for
disease testing, and for failing to properly maintain fencing at the Super
G Ranch. The ranch is a privately owned cervid (POC) facility, a
designation that includes game ranches and hunting ranches.
He was sentenced by the 77th District Court to 60 days in jail for each
count, ordered to pay $775 in fines and costs and must perform 80 hours of
The investigation began in 2017 after two of the six deer heads submitted
by Gemmen tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD).
“I commend the detectives from our Special Investigations Unit and our
field conservation officers for their thorough, professional approach to
this investigation,” said 1st Lt. David Shaw, supervisor of the Special
Investigations Unit of the DNR Law Enforcement Division.
The facility’s remaining deer were depopulated and tested, but no further
evidence of CWD was found. The facility remains under quarantine,
currently preventing ownership of farmed cervids.
The Privately Owned Cervid Program is jointly managed by the DNR and MDARD.
There is mandatory CWD testing in all registered herds in Michigan, under
the oversight of MDARD. The DNR oversees POC registration and performs
inspections of POC facilities. Proper maintenance of POC facilities is
critical to protecting Michigan’s free-ranging and privately owned cervid
CWD is a fatal central nervous system disease that affects white-tailed
deer, mule deer, elk and moose. It attacks the brain of infected animals,
creating small lesions in the brain, which result in death. It is
transmitted through direct animal-to-animal contact or by contact with
saliva, urine, feces, blood, carcass parts of an infected animal or
infected soil. To date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection
in humans. However, as a precaution, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention and the World Health Organization recommend that infected
animals not be consumed as food by humans or domestic animals.
Since May 2015, CWD-positive deer have been found in Michigan. As of
mid-March 2018, 57 free-ranging deer have tested positive for the disease.
CWD has not been found in the Upper Peninsula, though it has been
discovered in Wisconsin, approximately 40 miles from the western Upper
The DNR is working with stakeholders to address the status of CWD in
Michigan. In the coming weeks, the DNR and the Michigan Natural Resources
Commission will host a
series of public engagement meetings across the state on CWD. The
sessions will provide hunters, business owners and residents with
opportunities to share their ideas and observations.
In addition, the DNR, NRC and MDARD are evaluating recommendations from
the CWD Working Group, which was created after last year’s CWD Symposium.
The symposium brought national and international experts to Michigan to
discuss CWD. During the coming months, the DNR, NRC and MDARD will work
with stakeholders to develop new CWD regulation recommendations.
for more information about the disease, preventive measures and the public
Share Your Thoughts With the DNR at April Meetings
Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to providing
Michigan citizens opportunities to share input and ideas on policy
decisions, programs and other aspects of natural resource management and
outdoor recreation opportunities. One important avenue for this input is
the public bodies that advise the DNR and, in some cases, also set
policies for natural resource management.
The following boards, commissions, committees and councils will hold
public meetings in April 2018. The public is encouraged to attend. The
links below will take you to the web page for each body, where you will
find specific meeting locations and, when finalized, meeting agendas.
Please check these pages frequently, as meeting details and agendas may
change and sometimes meetings are canceled.
Coldwater Resources Steering Committee -
April 26, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Jay’s Sporting Goods, Gaylord
Lake Huron Citizens Fishery Advisory Committee -
April 25, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Jay’s Sporting Goods, Clare
Pigeon River County Advisory Council -
April 20, 5 p.m., Pigeon River Country Headquarters, Vanderbilt
Waterways Commission -
April 25, 9 a.m. to noon, DNR customer service center, Lansing
DNR Seeks Public Input on North and South Higgins
Lake State Park General Management Plans
28MAR18-The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking public
input on new general management plans for both North Higgins Lake and
South Higgins Lake state parks.
The public is invited to share their opinions and ideas via an
online survey that is available through April 30th. Links to the
online survey will be available for South Higgins Lake State Park at michigan.gov/southhiggins
and North Higgins Lake State Park at michigan.gov/northhiggins.
The general management plan will guide the future of the parks and will
define a long-range (10- to 20-year) planning and management strategy that
will assist the DNR in meeting its responsibilities to 1) protect and
preserve the sites' natural and cultural resources, and 2) provide access
to land- and water-based public recreation and educational opportunities.
The online surveys are one of several opportunities for the public and
stakeholders to be involved in the planning process. The DNR will also
host a public open house later this year, providing an opportunity for
review and comment on the draft plan.
North Higgins Lake State Park is located on the northern shore of
Higgins Lake in Crawford County, approximately 12 miles south of the city
of Grayling. The park is home to year-round camping, mini-cabins, a
swimming beach and a boat launch, as well as land open to hunting, hiking,
biking and cross-country skiing. The trails extend into the adjacent state
forest land. A nearly two-mile section of paved trail for the biking route
of the Iron Belle Trail was recently completed in the park. The park’s 429
acres are also home to the Historic Higgins Lake Nursery and Civilian
Conservation Corps Museum as well as the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference
South Higgins Lake
State Park is located on the southern shore of Higgins Lake in northern
Roscommon County. The park features nearly a mile of shoreline of the
park's popular 10,000-acre lake, nearly 400 campsites (including some full
hook-up sites), a boat launch, a swimming beach and two pet-friendly areas
along the water. In addition, Marl Lake provides more recreation
opportunities, including paddling, boating, hunting and more than five
miles of hiking trails that surround the lake.
Additional information on the DNR’s management plan process can be
found at michigan.gov/parkmanagementplans.
For more information about the management plan process, contact
Debbie Jensen, DNR park management plan administrator, at 517-284-6105
(TTY/TDD711 Michigan Relay Center for the hearing impaired) or via email
Hunters and Citizens
Invited to Collaborate on Michigan’s Chronic Wasting Disease Response
Department of Natural Resources and the Michigan Natural Resources
Commission will host a series of public engagement meetings on chronic
wasting disease – a fatal central nervous system disease found in deer,
elk and moose. The meetings will provide an opportunity for the commission
and department to hear suggestions and observations from hunters and
residents interested in the health of the state’s deer herd.
Vicki Pontz, chair of the
Natural Resources Commission, said that both the commission and the DNR
are focused on achieving specific CWD management objectives that include:
|Slowing the spread of the disease.|
|Achieving a low prevalence rate.|
|Preventing the disease from reaching new areas.|
|Maintaining Michigan’s rich hunting traditions.|
“Hunter and citizen
involvement and support of efforts to contain and eradicate chronic
wasting disease are critical,” Pontz said. “We want to hear from our
stakeholders. We are asking them to share their thoughtful opinions on any
new hunting regulations they believe may be needed before the start of the
2018 deer hunting season.”
meetings, DNR staff members will provide a CWD update and then collect
attendees’ written ideas on how best to address this issue. Those unable
to attend a meeting may participate in a web-based opportunity available
starting April 10 at
CWD public engagement meetings will take place in:
|Marquette, April 24 –
6 to 8 p.m., Marquette High School, 1203 W. Fair Ave.
|Iron Mountain, April 25 –
6 to 8 p.m. (central time), Bay College, 2801 North US 2.
|Gaylord, May 1 –
6 to 8 p.m., Ellison Place, 150 Dale Drive. |
|Newberry, May 2 –
6 to 8 p.m., Tahquamenon High School Auditorium, 700 Newberry Ave.
|Houghton, May 3 –
6 to 8 p.m., Magnuson Hotel, 820 Shelden Ave.
“Michigan’s hunters have successfully partnered with the DNR for many
decades on wildlife and conservation challenges and opportunities,” said
DNR Director Keith Creagh. “We know they care deeply about the long-term
health and vitality of Michigan’s wildlife, and right now the state’s wild
deer population faces no more serious issue than chronic wasting disease.”
Since May 2015, CWD-positive deer have been found in Clinton, Ingham,
Ionia, Kent and Montcalm counties. As of mid-January 2018, 57 free-ranging
deer in those counties have tested positive for chronic wasting disease.
CWD has not been found in the Upper Peninsula; however, the disease has
been discovered in Wisconsin, approximately 40 miles from the western
Upper Peninsula border.
Since the first CWD finding, the DNR has taken quick, thoughtful action
based on Michigan’s comprehensive CWD response and surveillance plan.
Meeting information, additional ways to provide
input on CWD management, the latest testing numbers and more information
are available at michigan.gov/cwd.
Michigan's 2018 Fishing License Season Kicks Off April 1st
26MAR18-For those interested in going
fishing in Michigan, a new license is required starting Sunday, April 1.
That day is the kickoff to the state’s 2018 fishing license season, as
well as the new fishing regulation cycle. All 2018 fishing licenses are
good through March 31st, 2019.
Anglers have eight
options to choose from when making their purchase. All fishing licenses
are good for all species.
Resident annual - $26|
Nonresident annual -
Senior annual (for
residents age 65 or older) - $11|
24-hour (resident or
nonresident) - $10|
72-hour (resident or
nonresident) - $30|
hunt/fish (base, annual fishing, two deer) - $76|
Senior resident combo
hunt/fish (base, annual fishing, two deer) - $43|
hunt/fish (base, annual fishing, two deer) - $266|
There are several regulation changes this year, creating many new
fishing opportunities for anglers. The new regulations go into effect on
April 1, 2018, including the following:
|Muskellunge harvest season has changed statewide to the first
Saturday in June and includes a new catch-and-immediate release season
open all year.|
|A new suite of waters has been added where anglers may retain an
additional five brook trout in their daily possession limit of trout (10
brook trout possession waters).|
a new registration system has been put into place for anglers who harvest
a lake sturgeon or muskellunge. The lake sturgeon fishing permit and
harvest tag and the muskellunge harvest tags are no longer required or
available. An angler who harvests a lake sturgeon or muskellunge is now
required to report the harvest within 24 hours, either online at michigan.gov/registerfish,
by calling the toll-free number 844-345-FISH (3474) or in person at any
Department of Natural Resources Customer Service Center during
normal state business hours with advance notice of arrival. Please note
that fish registrations won’t be accepted at any state fish hatcheries or
DNR field offices, only at DNR Customer Service Centers.
For more information on Michigan fishing licenses and regulation
changes, check out the 2018 Michigan Fishing Guide – available at license
retailers or online at www.michigan.gov/dnrdigests.
The online version is always up to date and available to download.
Don’t forget, there are two simple ways to buy a fishing license in
Visit a local license retailer or DNR Customer Service Center and
make a purchase in person.
Use the E-License system to buy a license online 24 hours a day,
seven days a week. Just visit mdnr-elicense.com on
your computer, smart phone or tablet to get started.
The Michigan Department of Natural
Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management,
use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for
current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.