Archives for January 2015

Free Boater Safety Coarse at Detroit Boat Show

Free boating safety course offered at Detroit Boat Show Feb. 21

The Detroit Boat Show is partnering with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Conservation Officers and the Oakland County Marine Division to offer a free boating safety class at Cobo Center during the Detroit Boat Show. Those who finish the class will get one free ticket to the show. Boaters young and old are invited to learn the rules of the water and other helpful safety tips for boating during a free six-hour seminar held Saturday, February 21st.

“Not only is it smart to take a course to keep your friends and family safe on the water,” said Detroit Boat Show Manager Nicki Polan. “Passing this exam also often accounts for discounts on your boat insurance.”

Michigan conservation officers and Michigan county sheriffs encourage all persons operating boats in Michigan to enroll in a boating safety course, according to the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources. Michigan Law mandates boaters 12 to 16 and PWC operators, 14 and older (born after 1978) must pass the boating safety course to operate on state waters. All those born on July 1, 1996 or after must have a certificate to operate any vessel.

Registration starts at 10 a.m. followed by the course from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Space is limited so pre-registration is recommended at or contact Sgt. Al Bavarskas via email: Walk-ins will be accepted if space allows.

The 57th annual Detroit Boat Show is February 14-22 at Cobo Center in Detroit. Admission to the boat show is $12 for adults; children 12 and under are free with an adult, and seniors 65 and older receive free admission on Monday. Discount tickets, other special admission days and hotel accommodations provided by Courtyard by Marriott Downtown are available at HOURS: Saturdays: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Sundays and Monday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and Tuesday through Friday: 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. Parking is available at Cobo Center and surrounding lots.
DNR Press Release

Changes to DNR’s Master Angler program announced for 2015

The Department of Natural Resources recently announced that, effective Jan. 1, 2015, multiple changes have been made to Michigan’s Master Angler program, which allows anglers to submit large fish they have caught for recognition. The program has been in place since 1973. 

The Master Angler program recognizes two categories of catches: catch-and-keep and catch-and-immediate-release. Previously, the catch-and-keep category was determined by the weight of the fish caught, but that requirement has been removed and replaced with a length requirement. Now recognition in both categories will be awarded based on an established minimum length for each recognized species. Verified entries will receive the Master Angler patch. Only one patch will be awarded for both catch-and-keep and catch-and-immediate-release entries. No more than one patch per species will be awarded to each angler per year.

“Eliminating the weight requirement for part of the Master Angler program really helps to streamline both the application and the verification process – especially as anglers will no longer have to find a certified scale to have their catch weighed,” explained Lynne Thoma, the program’s coordinator. “We hope this change will make it even easier for anglers to have their large fish recognized.”  

In addition to the change to the category criteria, some changes were made to the submission procedures. A witness signature is no longer required and each application must have a color photo submitted with it. Anglers can now submit their applications in hard-copy or electronic formats.  

Please note, state-record fish still are recognized by weight and still require identification by a DNR fisheries biologist. 
The 2015 Master Angler entry application is available online at

Lake Erie Yellow Perch

Trevor with a 2014 Lake Erie Yellow Perch