LANSING — Information for all Michigan trails – including those on the water – would soon be available at the click of a button under legislation recently introduced by lawmakers.
That kind of accessibility is part of the Department of Natural Resource’s plan to attract tourists to Michigan’s trails by improving them and making them easier to find.
Lawmakers recently introduced a package of five bills that would label all state trails as Pure Michigan trails, use “trail towns” to connect trails between communities and make trail information available both on a computer and through an app.
LANSING – The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is in its final sampling year of a tag-and-recapture study of the walleye population in the inland waterways of Northern Michigan.
Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
It’s part of ongoing research about the popular species by the Fisheries Division.
“The studies have provided data on the exploitation rate of the population, walleye growth rates and the movements between waters,” said Edward Baker, manager of the Marquette Fisheries Research Station.
LANSING – As the number of active state-licensed commercial fishing operations dwindles on the Great Lakes, their downward spiral signals a change in culture as well as economics and environment, according to Laurie Sommers, a folklorist and historic preservation consultant.
“A few commercial fishermen still make a good living, but Great Lakes ecosystems are in crisis,” said Sommers, the author of a new book about the Leelanau Peninsula area known as Fishtown.
“The fish are disappearing, and with them the commercial fishermen,” she wrote in “Fishtown: Leland, Michigan’s Historic Fishery” (Arbutus Press, $19.95). Lake Michigan, for example, has only seven state-licensed operations left. Among the reasons: “Biologists point to a combination of factors affecting the fish population: habitat, infectious diseases, pollution, global warming and changes in the food web due to invasive species.” Continue reading →
LANSING — The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has moved 31 turkeys from Barry County north to repopulate the flock in Lake County.
Source: U.S. Fisheries and Wildlife
“We’ve seen a decline in the gobblers in northern Michigan for a number of years, so when I heard about the nuisance birds in southern Michigan, the wheels started to turn in my head,” said Jim Maturen, a member of the Michigan Wild Turkey Hunters Association based in Chase.
Turkeys become a nuisance when they move into a city as they have been known to do. In Barry County, the birds were scratching and eating silage and leaving their own bit of feces behind. Continue reading →
LANSING — Michigan has more than 2,600 dams, many of which are not maintained and no longer serve a useful purpose, experts say.
Many are considered unsafe due to risk of collapse. Unmaintained dams deteriorate, threatening homes, property and people downstream, said Chris Freiburger, a supervisor with the Fisheries Division of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
“When we look at the number of dams we have and the age that we know of, it becomes a concern,” Freiburger said. “It’s a real infrastructure issue here that needs to be dealt with.” Continue reading →
LANSING — Researchers based in Marquette have potentially grave news for Michigan anglers: Hundreds of shallow basins dug into riverbeds to collect trout- and salmon-harming sediment might be more like fish coffins than protectors.
After two reportedly successful experiments in the 1980s, sand traps were constructed worldwide in an attempt to save fish populations hurt by excessive sand in freshwater streams. Michigan has more than 250.
But now, researchers from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) say they doubt whether these measures have had any benefit. In some cases, sand traps could even harm river ecosystems, experts say. Continue reading →
LANSING – Removing sand from the Salmon Trout River in Marquette County has helped protect the spawning sites of coaster brook trout, according to researchers.
Coaster brook trout. Photo credit: Casey Huckins, Michigan Technological University
A sand collector was installed upstream last spring to intercept sediment before it reached the endangered trout’s spawning habitat, according to a report from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Marquette Fisheries Research Station.
The machine pumps sand out of the river, preventing it from covering stream-bottom rocks where the majority of coasters spawn. Continue reading →
LANSING – This year’s fishing season is starting on the wheels of stocking trucks, new regulations and programs to attract more participants.
Fish stocking at Red Cedar River. Source: Department of Natural Resources
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said its $9 million program is stocking 19 million fish – 370 tons – including eight trout and salmon species and four cool-water species, including walleye and muskellunge.
This year, DNR’s fish-stocking vehicles will travel nearly 138,000 miles to more than 700 spots around the state. Continue reading →
LANSING – Green groups like the Little Traverse Conservancy and Mid-Michigan Land Conservancy are pushing to protect and preserve as much of Michigan’s pristine beauty as possible. That’s what they do.
But at a time when a new law limits the ability of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to acquire more land, more responsibility might fall on the shoulders of conservancies in the state; a role experts say conservancies can’t fill.
The law that took effect in July 2012 caps the amount of state-owned land to roughly 4 million acres. That’s disconcerting for environmentalists, who call the limit arbitrary and argue it will render the state potentially unable to cope with rising demand for public land. Continue reading →