SS Badger is expected to run as usual in 2021

The popular car ferry, which makes a four-hour trip from Manitowoc to Ludington, Michigan, and back through summer months

The ferry is also under new ownership, after being purchased by Cleveland-based Interlake Holding company in December 2020, along with the Lake Michigan Car Ferry and the Pere Marquette Shipping companies. The new company is called Interlake Maritime Services. Most changes within the company will be behind-the-scenes and few changes are planned for the SS Badger at this time other than possible sprucing up or painting,SS Badger

read more

Hundreds of shipwreck artifacts, worth about $1.5M – Racine Heritage Museum

RACINE — “Captain” Dan Johnson, a shipwreck hunter, was just a diving apprentice in 1978 when he decided to enter the waters of Lake Michigan in Racine in search for the Kate Kelly.

The Kate Kelly was a 126-foot schooner ship that sank in May 1895 off the coast of Wind Point. According to WisconsinShipwrecks.com, the Kate Kelly sank during “a vicious spring storm (that had) exploded across Lake Michigan.”

Three summers after Johnson’s first dive, in 1981, he discovered the Kate Kelly. “It was my first shipwreck I discovered,” said Johnson, 66.

 

Now, Johnson is in talks with the Racine Heritage Museum to donate the Kate Kelly artifacts, along with other artifacts related to shipwrecks in the Racine side of Lake Michigan, totaling up to a value of over $1.5 million.

“We’re very excited,” said Christopher R. Paulson, executive director of the Racine Heritage Museum. “The opportunity to share (the collection) with our constituency is a welcome one.”

read moreGreat Lake Diving Suit

The Stonehedge of Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan — April 29, 2019

In 2007, a researcher was scanning the depths of Grand Traverse Bay in Northern Lake Michigan looking for shipwrecks. His name is Mark Holley, and he is a professor of underwater archaeology from Northwestern Michigan College, a public community college in Traverse City. What he found was even more remarkable than a rusted hull or the wooden beam of an old sailing ship.

Holley documented a formation of stones that appear to have been set in a specific order. The size, shaping, and placement of the stones seem to indicate they are not naturally occurring. If that is the case the stones must have been placed when the lake bed was dry, around the end of the last ice age. read more

This is one of those stories the internet loves. Tons of speculation, shreds of proof, all mixed with unexplainable circumstances. Did you know Lake Michigan has a spot on its sandy bottom where there appears to be a man-made stone formation?

Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan

Large trout stocked in Clinton and Huron rivers, Spring Mill Pond

Approximately 4,500 adult trout were stocked this week by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in the Clinton River (Auburn Hills), the Huron River (Proud Lake Recreation Area) and Spring Mill Pond (Island Lake Recreation Area) in southeast Michigan. These fish are retired broodstock (mature fish used for breeding) from Michigan’s state fish hatcheries.

The Clinton River, at Riverside Park in Auburn Hills, was stocked with 500 brown trout ranging in size from 13 to 17 inches. The Huron River was stocked with 1,700 brown trout and 1,200 rainbow trout, all ranging in size from 13 to 19 inches. Spring Mill Pond received 600 brown trout and 500 rainbow trout, both ranging in size from 13 to 20 inches.

Special regulations apply for anyone interested in fishing for these trout: read more

Share your thoughts with the DNR at upcoming meetings

March 21, 2019

Share your thoughts with the DNR at upcoming meetings

The Department of Natural Resources is committed to providing Michigan citizens the opportunity 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 at meetings of the public bodies that advise the DNR and, in some cases, also set policies for natural resource management

Conversations and Coffee fisheries meetings

In addition, the public is invited to join DNR Fisheries Division staff at Conversations & Coffee events this spring for an informal opportunity to discuss local issues and management activities, and to get specific questions answered. More information is available at www.Michigan.gov/Fishing or by contacting Elyse Walter at 517-284-5839.

  • April 2, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Tahquamenon Area Public Library, Newberry
  • April 4, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Holiday Inn Express Munising-Lakeview, Munising
  • April 8, 6 to 8 p.m., Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery Visitor Center, Mattawan
  • April 9, 2 to 3 p.m., webinar for those interested in southern Lake Huron waters, register online
  • April 9, 6:30 p.m., Bay City State Park Visitor Center, Bay City
  • April 10, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Waterford Fisheries Station, Waterford
  • April 16, 6 p.m., Lake Superior State University, Sault Ste. Marie
  • April 23, 6 to 8 p.m. (CDT), Gogebic Community College, Ironwood
  • April 24, 7 to 9 p.m., Ishpeming Township Hall, Ishpeming
  • April 25, 7 to 9 p.m., Portage Lake District Library, Houghton

April meetings

read more

Boating Safety Certificate Advocates urge boaters to ‘Spring Aboard’ this season

Michigan Boating Safety Certificate

Online or classroom

www.boat-ed.com/michigan

www.boaterexam.com/usa/michigan

The reminder is in line with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators Spring Aboard – Take a Boating Education Course campaign (March 17-23). Many states require completion of a NASBLA-verified course to rent or operate a powerboat. In Michigan, boaters born after June 30, 1996, must have a boating safety certificate to operate a boat, and boaters born after Dec. 31, 1978, need a boating safety certificate to operate a personal watercraft.

read more

Lake Erie Charter Fishing Trips

A trip on a charter fishing boat is a great way to spend a day on the water

Looking to spend a few hours or a whole day fishing this summer? Michigan’s waters offer plenty of opportunities to catch a variety of fish, and summer is an ideal time to try. Charter fishing businesses throughout the state offer a great way to explore Michigan’s world-class fisheries. 

Licensed charter captains provide the boats and all the equipment, plus the knowledge needed for a fun half-day or day on the water. Charter businesses in Michigan help children and adults have memorable fishing experiences – whether it’s reeling in a fish for the first time or trying your hand at catching a new species.

“Last year 72,000 anglers in Michigan participated in more than 18,000 charter fishing trips on the Great Lakes and other navigable waters,” said Donna Wesander, a DNR fisheries technician who tracks charter fishing data. “These anglers caught nearly 300,000 fish that included a variety of salmon and trout, walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass and muskie.” 

Lake Erie walleye charter trip in Michigan

Al with a Lake Erie walleye caught aboard Stray Cat Charter Fishing

When hiring a professional charter, customers need only to provide personal supplies and fishing licenses. Those licenses can be purchased online (mdnr-elicense.com) or through a DNR customer service center or license agent.  

Find a fishing charter for a specific location by searching online for charter operators and regional charter fishing organizations, contacting the local chamber of commerce or city tourism office, or visiting the Michigan Charter Boat Association website at michigancharterboats.com

Lake Erie Perch Catch Levels for 2018

Yellow Perch Anglers can expect excellent perch fishing in the Western Basin in 2018. Perch anglers in the west will primarily catch fish from 2014 and 2015, providing a good range of sizes. Fall fishing in 2017 produced both excellent sizes and catch rates. The largest perch in the Western Basin will come from 2013 and older year classes. 

Perch Fishing charter Stray Cat Fishing Charters, near Monroe Michigan

Lake Erie perch fishing near Monroe, MI 2017

 

Michigan Catch and Cook

 DNR Director Keith Creagh, NRC Chairman Tim Nichols, along with radio host Tom Lounsberry, Bill Parker of Michigan Outdoor News, and outdoor columnist Bob Gwizdz, joined “Stray Cat” charter boat captain John Giszczak to catch Yellow Perch on Lake Erie, as part of the state’s new Michigan Catch & Cook program. The fisherman later enjoyed their catch at Trapperz Tavern, in La Salle, Mi. For additional information on MI Catch & Cook, visit http://www.michigancatchandcook.com/

Catch and Cook

Michigan Catch and Cook Program

Catch & Cook allows charter fishing clients who catch fish from Michigan’s Great Lakes an opportunity to take their fresh catch to a participating Michigan restaurant to cook and serve those fish to those clients.

Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan Sea Grant, Michigan Charter Boat Association, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan Restaurant Association are pleased to partner on Catch & Cook – an effort to promote and encourage creative, yet safe, marketing of Michigan Great Lakes sports fish through a partnership with the charter fishing industry and local restaurants.

Piping plovers return to Lake Erie

Piping plover nests were found on the shores of all five Great Lakes last year for the first time since 1955.

The shore-dwelling bird disappeared from most of the Great Lakes in the 1980s and was listed as endangered in 1986, said Vince Cavalieri, the Great Lakes piping plover recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

At one point, up to 600 pairs nested throughout the Great Lakes. In 1990, only 12 pairs remained. Once found on sandy beaches from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania, most of the survivors were clustered around the Sleeping Bear Dunes on Lake Michigan’s northwest shore.

But with the discovery of a nesting pair in Pennsylvania’s Presque Isle State Park last year–the first to take up residence on Lake Erie for 60 years–the winds have changed. Researchers found 76 nesting pairs throughout the Great Lakes region in 2017.Piping Plover

Two projects on the shores of Lake Michigan have already found success developing plover-friendly habitat: one at Wilderness State Park on the northern shore of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, the other on a series of eroded islands in Wisconsin’s Lower Green Bay.

Results came quickly. The park staff started clearing brush and trees from the shore in 2014, DeLoria said. In the summer of 2015, they observed a pair that had nested there. In 2016, that same pair returned to raise three chicks.

Efforts to restore beaches on the Cat Island Chain in the Lower Green Bay have brought similar success, said Reena Bowman, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Minnesota and Wisconsin Great Lakes piping plover lead.

“The species came back like immediately,” she said. “It was kind of a ‘build it and they will come’ kind of thing. And it wasn’t just plovers.”

read more