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.

Michigan Free Fishing weekend February 17, 18, 2018

Everyone in Michigan is invited to fish for free Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 17 and 18, for the 2018 Winter Free Fishing Weekend. A license is not required to fish those two days, but all other fishing regulations still apply.

Free FIshing Weekend

Free Fishing Weekend Feb> 17, 18, 2018

These two days make up #MiFreeFishingWeekend – an annual effort to promote Michigan’s world-class fishing opportunities. While many individuals and families will bundle up and head out to fish for free on their own, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources points out that there are many events organized throughout the state to get you started, too. Here are a few: read more

Michigan Arctic Grayling habitat research

$117,175 grant from the

Recently completed work supported by this grant addressed two immediate needs for a successful Arctic grayling reintroduction. The first was to collect stream habitat and fish community data in the upper Manistee River. This data collection allowed for both the evaluation of current stream habitat conditions and the development of criteria to determine which other streams may provide suitable habitat for Arctic grayling.Arctic Grayling Fishing

Michigan’s Arctic Grayling Initiative is a statewide partnership effort focused on restoring self-sustaining populations of this native fish and was founded by the DNR and the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians in June 2016. Interest in this initiative has grown rapidly since 2016, and the partnership now includes more than 40 organizations.

For more information on Michigan’s Arctic Grayling Initiative, visit migrayling.org.

Seasonal lake sturgeon releases put nearly 6,000 fish into Michigan waters

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and several partners released nearly 6,000 juvenile lake sturgeon into various public waters across the state this summer and fall in an effort to rehabilitate this culturally significant fish species.

Juvenile lake sturgeon were collected from the wild during April and May and reared in streamside facilities until they were large enough to tag. Most fish were tagged prior to being released into their respective rivers to allow future evaluations of stocked fish.Lake Sturgeon

“Many of these stocking efforts were public events that shined a spotlight on how important lake sturgeon are to Michigan,” said DNR Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter. “Our state has a long history with the lake sturgeon, and working with our partners helps us protect them for future generations.” read more

Tagged fish provide DNR with critical information

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources again this year is encouraging Great Lakes anglers who catch marked and tagged fish to report them. The DNR has used the coded-wire tag program to mass mark various fish species in Michigan since the 1980s. Mass marking provides critical data as fisheries biologists look to determine the value of naturally reproduced fish versus stocked fish, and lakewide movement of fish.

The coded-wire tag program involves implanting a small, coded-wire tag, which is invisible to the naked eye, into the snout of a fish. A fish containing a coded-wire tag can be identified because its adipose fin (the small, fleshy fin between the dorsal and tail fins) has been removed. An angler who catch a tagged fish then can record needed information about the fish, remove and freeze the fish’s snout, and drop it off at a designated location. A statewide list of dropoff locations can be found on the DNR website.

For years the DNR primarily tagged Chinook salmon and lake trout as part of its mass marking effort in Lake Huron. Tagging these fish has helped biologists understand more about lakewide natural reproduction and how many wild fish are available in the Great Lakes. It also has helped determine if the percentage of wild fish varies from year to year and how fish stocking locations contribute to lake and river fisheries. Additionally, it provides insight into fish movement and where fish are stocked compared to where they are caught.

read more

DNR creel clerks to collect angler information this summer

As this year’s open-water fishing season gets under way, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers that Fisheries Division personnel are at lakes, rivers and Great Lakes ports collecting fishing data from anglers.

Giant Lake Erie Pike

Monster Lake Erie Northern Pike aboard the Stray Cat

DNR creel clerks will be stationed at boat launches and piers around the state asking anglers questions as they return from fishing trips. Information will be requested on trip length, target species and number and type of fish caught. In some cases, creel clerks may ask to measure or weigh fish and to take scale or other body parts for aging. These data are key information in the DNR’s management of the state’s fisheries resource.

The DNR appreciates anglers’ cooperation with these interviews, and it will only take a couple of minutes to answer the questions.

read more

DNR hiring summer seasonal workers at Belle Isle Park and Milliken State Park and Harbor

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is accepting applications for summer seasonal workers at Belle Isle Park and Milliken State Park and Harbor in downtown Detroit. 

Applications are being accepted until positions are filled. Applicants must be 18 years old (or 17 and graduating from high school this year) with a valid driver’s license and must be able to pass a criminal history background check and a drug and alcohol screening. Uniforms, which include a shirt, name bar and hat, are provided.

The following summer seasonal positions are available:

  • Operations: Register park visitors via computerized reservation system, sell Recreation Passports, provide information to visitors, clean park grounds and public restrooms and other duties. Good cash-handling skills required. Hiring day, afternoon and midnight shifts.
  • Janitorial: Clean buildings including toilets, showers, sinks, floors and other areas that require physical effort. Also includes minor maintenance and other duties.
  • Maintenance: Mow grass, pick up litter, maintain trails, light construction, paint, stain, rake, clean public restrooms and other duties. Physically strenuous outdoor work in a variety of weather conditions

The 40-hour-per-week positions run May through September and pay $8.50 per hour. Positions include weekends and holidays.

read more

Don’t allow fish farms in Michigan waters

03-03-2016

By Howard A. Tanner                                                                

One of my frustrations in my retirement has been a difficulty in speaking out on issues that are of some concern to me. Being 92 has its limitations – but my friends assure me, it’s not limited my expertise.

But I’m speaking out today to express my strong opposition to aquaculture in the waters and connecting rivers of the Great Lakes – including the Au Sable River.

When I think of Michigan’s latest infatuation with aquaculture – be it in Grayling on the Au Sable River, or in the Great Lakes – I am reminded of a saying: Some people learn from their mistakes. Smart people learn from the mistakes of others.

There are many mistakes to learn from when it comes to using our public waters as the sewers for private companies raising and selling fish. All around the globe, fish farming in public waters has led to water pollution, spread of fish disease, and widespread opposition by those who have to live with the visual pollution and other consequences of fish farming.

We here in Michigan have labored for sixty years to make our lakes clean. We are leaders of all matters related to the Great Lakes. Half the population of Michigan gets its water from the Great Lakes, part of 30 million people in the basin who rely on the lakes for drinking water. Maintaining the cleanliness of this water should be the top priority for state and federal officials.

The phosphate emissions from the fish in one net pen operation is the equivalent of the phosphate emissions from a sewer plant for 10,000 people. This fish sewage will create filamentous algae, which will wash up on nearby beaches, rot and stink. If this is going to be a $1 billion industry, as advocates say, there will be about 100 net pen operations, filling virtually every bay of any size in Michigan’s portion of the Great Lakes. Imagine one in Grand Traverse Bay, or in front of the Grand Hotel, or in the South Arm of Lake Charlevoix.

Already, the lakes are under pressure, with algae blooms from high phosphorous levels (the kind virtually guaranteed to grow with fish farming) creating toxins forcing closure of water intakes in cities including Cleveland and Toledo in recent years. Will Rogers once counseled wise men should drink upstream from the herd – but many of Michigan’s major cities would be downstream from this herd of fish.

Any mistakes in the Great Lakes are uncorrectable. People advocating for aquaculture talk about adaptive management – when they make a mistake, they will correct it. But in a huge area, you can’t make a correction.

And the impact of a mistake on a river like the Au Sable could easily damage the river, and its economic potential, for generations. The addition of more than 1,500 pounds of algae-creating phosphorous a year from the proposed Grayling fish farm will be devastating to the river’s ecosystem.

People have learned this the hard way in Norway and in Chile, where massive net penning operations have collapsed financially. As can easily be expected when you put that many animals into a confined area, the fish farms have introduced diseases into the natural population. Today, the natural Atlantic Salmon fishery in the North Atlantic is shrinking. It’s an ecological disaster.

These same patterns are seen in flow-through fish farms, such as the one being developed on the Au Sable. They all do the same thing – they make no pretense of treating the fecal and urine matter of a large number of animals. They discharge that matter into the public water – our drinking water, for many communities on the Great Lakes.

I know these issues well. I grew up in Bellaire, and guided anglers on the Chain O’ Lakes. I fished the “Holy Waters” with George Griffiths, and stayed at his beloved “Barbless Hook” on the banks of Au Sable.

I studied fish and their habitats – including an experiment where I looked into the impact of adding nutrients to six lakes. My conclusion: This was a big mistake. And I was part of a team that introduced salmon into the Great Lakes.

So it’s with a love of Michigan’s great waters, experience as a scientist and teacher and the understanding of the pressures facing regulators gained through a long career with the Department of Natural Resources that I speak today.

Michigan shouldn’t be inviting any industry into our state that says, “don’t make us treat our waste. Let us dump it into your fresh water.”

You wouldn’t put a pigpen in a rose garden. It’s just common sense.

Don’t put fish farms on our rivers or in our Great Lakes. It’s just common sense.

bridgemi.com/2016/03/dont-allow-fish-farms-in-michigan-waters

Michigan betting on Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic Salmon

Jerry Romanowski watched thousands of 6-inch Atlantic salmon dance across the water Tuesday, minutes after they dove into Lexington State Harbor.

Romanowski, a director of the Flint River Valley Steelheaders, drove from Lapeer to set off small fireworks to scare cormorants hoping to make an easy meal of the young fish.

“It’s important for the fishermen,” he said. “Fishing brings a lot of money into Michigan, a ton of money.”

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources hopes Tuesday’s deposit of about 19,500 Atlantic salmon at the Lexington State Harbor will increase salmon stocks in Lake Huron.

The salmon will join about 60,000 stocked in the Thunder Bay and AuSable rivers.

Jim Baker, manager of the southern Lake Huron fisheries management unit, said this is the second year the state has stocked Atlantic salmon in the harbor.

Lexington State Harbor received about 5,000 more Atlantic salmon than it did last year from the DNR’s Platte River State Fish Hatchery in Beulah.

“All of our sites along Lake Huron got a little bit of a bump this year because the hatchery is slowly tooling up, and they found they’re able to raise a little more fish,” Baker said.

Lake Superior State University has successfully stocked salmon in the St. Mary’s River for years, Baker said. The DNR hopes to replicate the university’s success in lower Lake Huron.

He said the plantings are experimental — a replacement for dwindling Chinook salmon populations.

“Atlantic salmon seem to feed all the way from the top to the bottom of the food chain,” Baker said.

“They are a better fit for the lake than we have out there now, for the food web that we have out there now.”

Baker said the Chinook population began to dwindle when the alewife populations crashed thanks to the zebra and quagga mussels’ entry into the Great Lakes.

“We’re having to try many new things in Lake Huron in order to maintain our cold-water fishery because the food web has changed so dramatically,” Baker said.

“We’re having to look at new species to help fill the void left by the Chinook.”
Baker said only time will tell whether the plantings are a success. He said none of last year’s plant — identified by a clipped adipose fin on the fish’s back behind the dorsal fin — have been reported by anglers to the DNR.

“We’ve been looking diligently for those fish, and we haven’t seen any yet,” Baker said. “We’re concerned. Hopefully, they’ll show up come this fall.”

Fish planted last year had an adipose fin clip to distinguish them from Atlantic salmon planted in the St. Mary’s River by Lake Superior State University. The LSSU fish have a left pectoral fin clip, Baker said.

This year’s fish in Lexington Harbor, the AuSable River and Thunder Bay River also have an adipose fin clip and a coated wire tag in their snouts.

Baker said anyone who catches a fish with an adipose fin clip should save the head or snout and give it to the DNR.

The DNR can tell from the tag where and when the fish was stocked.

“The Lexington plant is unique in that it’s the one place we’ve ever had where we didn’t have a river for them to return to,” he said.

“We will have to see if they’re going to return to the harbor where they were planted.”

The plant in Lexington is a put and take fishery, meaning any fish put in the harbor will be harvested by anglers and likely will not spawn.

“This is a way to enhance fishing in the Great Lakes when there are bottlenecks that keep fish from reproducing on their own,” Baker said.

“If things go as planned, they should start catching them next spring, assuming that this experiment works.”