2018-03-08 / Outdoors

Outdoors Briefs

DNR releases new Fisheries Management plan

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division has completed the agency’s first Lake Michigan Fisheries Management Plan. The plan can be found online through a partnership with Michigan Sea Grant at mdnrlmfmp.wordpress.com/.

The plan sets long-term vision and goals for the Lake Michigan fishery and establishes a process to continuously involve the public to seek alignment on shorter-term strategies and tactics. The plan was developed through engagement with focus groups, advisory committees, DNR staff and public meetings.

“We’re ready to start implementing the plan and to continue to receive feedback from stakeholders,” said Jay Wesley, the DNR’s Lake Michigan Basin coordinator. “As we work together to manage Lake Michigan’s world-class fishery, it’s important to have a common vision and to be adaptive in our approach to managing it. We will annually report on outcomes during the fall of each year and will also make adjustments to the plan based on public feedback and ecosystem changes.”

The plan focuses on five goals: (1) Healthy aquatic ecosystems and sustainable fish populations, (2) Providing diverse fish opportunities, (3) Strategic resource partnerships, (4) Strategically focused assessment and decision support tools, and (5) Strategic funding of plan priorities.

For more information, contact Jay Wesley at 269-685-6851, ext. 117 or wesleyj@michigan.gov.

Volunteers needed for 2018 frog, toad survey

LANSING – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking volunteers throughout the state to assist with its annual frog and toad survey, an effort that helps biologists monitor frog and toad abundance and distribution in the state.

Declining populations of frogs, toads and other amphibians have been documented worldwide since the 1980s. Studies suggest amphibians are disappearing due to habitat loss, pollution, disease and collection.

“In Michigan, over the past 20 years, we’ve noticed a decline in Fowler’s toads and mink frogs,” said Lori Sargent, the DNR’s frog and toad survey coordinator. “These are two species that have a limited range in Michigan, unlike most of the other species that occur statewide.”

Michigan’s is the second-longestrunning such survey in the country, after Wisconsin’s.

The surveys are conducted by volunteer observers along a statewide system of permanent survey routes, each consisting of 10 wetland sites.

Those interested in volunteering should contact Lori Sargent at 517- 284-6216 or SargentL@michigan. gov. More information on the frog and toad survey and other projects supported by the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Fund is available at www.michigan.gov/wildlife.

DNR announces hand netting season opening

LANSING – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers about netting seasons as we get closer to spring. The hand netting season opened March 1, and closes May 31, while the dip netting season opens March 20, and also closes May 31.

The following species can be taken during both seasons: bowfin, carp, goldfish, gizzard shad, longnose gar, smelt and suckers. Waters open to hand netting include all Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River, the Detroit River and the St. Marys River including all tributaries to those waters from the mouth to a half-mile upstream. Waters open to dip netting include all Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula streams, except Designated Trout Streams.

All other waters are closed to these activities; visit michigan. gov/dnrdigests for full details.

The use of seines, hand nets and dip nets for minnows is allowed all year on all waters (except Designated Trout Streams and those waters closed to minnow harvest) while cast nets can be used for alewives, minnows, smelt and gizzard shad all year on the Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River, the Detroit River and the St. Marys River.

For those interested in dipping for smelt later this spring, visit the DNR’s smelt dipping and fishing opportunities page online.

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