Department of Natural Resources

Yankech gary on Flickr

There was a plan to release hundreds of pine martens — a slender, furry predator native to the Upper Midwest — in Michigan's lower peninsula over several years.

But that never happened.

Fishtown Preservation Society

 

The few full-timers left working as commercial fishers in Michigan received good news this month amid a tumultuous year for the industry.

John Levanen / Flickr

In a scathing letter, several Michigan legislators urged the state Department of Natural Resources to renew all commercial fishing licenses and permits from 2020.

That’s after the DNR announced new restrictions that close the fishery for part of the year and limit the depth where fishers can catch whitefish to 80 feet. 

Robert Ruleau III

 

A dispute between Michigan's Department of Natural Resources and the commercial fishing industry is heading to court. 

 

The state announced it will prohibit fishing in water deeper than 80 feet and other restrictions commercial fishers say will mean the end of their livelihoods. 

Peter Payette

The few commercial fishers that remain in Michigan are suing the state’s Department of Natural Resources over changes to industry rules. 

Department of Natural Resources

The Michigan History Center is looking for stories on local history from the public for a trail that will go through Grayling. 

It will connect North Higgins Lake State Park with Hartwick Pines State Park.

 

Daniel Spegel with the Department of Natural Resources and Michigan History Center says this program began in 2013 when the state was looking for ways to expand recreation.

 

Ryan Hagerty, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

 

In a dim, out-of-the-way corner of the state fish hatchery in Marquette are a few thousand skinny, grey fish, each no more than nine inches long.

 

“They are skittish,” says Jim Aho, who runs the facility for the Department of Natural Resources. “Movement above them definitely puts stress on them, so they’re in a dark, quiet few tanks here.” 

 

 


Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Arctic grayling were wiped out of Michigan nearly a century ago. Since then, researchers have been trying to restore the iconic fish to the state, without success. 

 

 

Now, more than 50 collaborators across the state think they have a shot. 

 

Read the full feature here.

 

Google Maps

There’s a lot of interest in solar energy in Michigan as the technology becomes cheaper and more efficient, and utility companies set ambitious renewable energy goals. But building up the state's solar capacity will require miles and miles of land. And that could be a problem, because many people don't want solar farms in their communities. 

 As Line 5 undergoes repairs from an incident in June, the Department of Natural Resources has requested that Enbridge Inc. pledge to pay for all potential damages caused by Line 5.

 

The written agreement would assure that Enbridge Inc. would pay for all losses caused to property or individuals due to the Line 5 dual pipelines through the Straits of Mackinac.

 

Michigan could soon be facing a new invasive species

Jun 23, 2020
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

A rapidly spreading invasive species may soon be on its way to Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is asking Michiganders to keep an eye out for the spotted lanternfly.

“The spotted lanternfly is an insect that has the potential to seriously affect Michigan’s agriculture and natural resources,” said Jennifer Holton, communications director for the MDARD.  

State Park campgrounds reopening Monday

Jun 19, 2020
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Michigan State Park campgrounds are reopening Monday.

That means campsites in addition to most bathrooms, visitor centers, showers, playgrounds, fishing piers, viewing platforms, sports areas and picnic tables will be accessible.  The only exception is drinking fountains, which will remain closed until further notice.

But if you plan on camping this summer, you should probably start planning, said Joshua Drage, the lead ranger at Leelanau State Park.

Potential new cormorant management plan

Jun 11, 2020
Sam Corden

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has crafted a new plan to address double-crested cormorant conflicts in the US.

 

It proposes killing as many as 77,000 of the migratory birds in the Mississippi and Central flyways each year. That covers 24 states, including Michigan.  The FWS estimates the population in the region is about 500,000 migrating cormorants, which nest in Canada, the Great Lakes and other parts of the upper Midwest. 

 

Too many dams, too little money

Jun 8, 2020
Tim Cwalinski

Of the nearly 2,600 dams in Michigan, more than 90% are going to hit or exceed their design life in 2020, according to a 2014 report

Among those is the 54-year-old Cornwall Creek Dam in Wolverine, Michigan.

Michigan DNR

 

Overnight camping at Michigan state parks won’t be allowed until late June, the state Department of Natural Resources says.

State forest campgrounds and harbors run by the DNR will open on June 10, while overnight camping and shelters at state parks are set to open on June 22.

Most state-maintained parks, trails and dock sites are currently open to the public.

The parks have canceled reservations before June 22, including the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the DNR says. 

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

Firearm deer season begins Friday.

It’s also the first opening day in about 10 years where hunters won’t be able to bait deer because of a baiting ban.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

A cougar was spotted in Gogebic County last month by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, making it the 39th cougar sighting in Michigan by the DNR since 2008.

Nearly all of those spottings have been in the Upper Peninsula.

The DNR says it's unlikely that there's a significant breeding population of cougars, otherwise known as moutain lions, in the U.P.

They say the animals likely emigrated to Michigan from South Dakota, Wyoming and northwest Nebraska.

Volunteers count frogs for annual DNR survey

Jun 13, 2019
Creative Commons

Frogs and toads are highly sensitive to habitat degradation, and that makes them a good barometer for environmental health.

Every year volunteers from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources do a listening survey to determine which species of frogs and toads are present and how abundant they are.

 

Volunteer Kathy Gray's survey route is on Old Mission Peninsula.

“Well, I do love the toads. I love the trilling toads," Gray says.

 

The Michigan DNR has proposed a partial ban on deer baiting in the U.P. among other recommendations, in advance of the 2019 hunting season.
Michigan DNR

A ban on deer baiting could spread to the Upper Peninsula for the 2019 hunting season.

Last year, the first deer tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in the U.P. and that prompted the recommendation by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The deer was found in southern Dickenson County.

Chad Stewart, deer and elk specialist for the DNR, says the ban would not be across the entire U.P.

“We’re proposing just a small area focused around that index case that we identified last year,” he says.

Wikimedia Commons

Anglers across Michigan won’t be able to catch as many perch. Right now they can get 50 per day but this spring it will be 25.

Randy Claramunt with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says perch populations have been declining for decades.

"There’s a lot of pressure on them in specific areas," Claramunt says. "So this … recognizes the value that yellow perch are to anglers in Michigan."

Claramunt says anglers pushed for the change because it may increase perch numbers. The new limit takes effect on April 1.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Largemouth bass virus has been found in two more northern Michigan lakes. Samples from Beaver Lake in Alpena County and Avalon Lake in Montmorency County have tested positive. This follows a recent discovery of the disease in Cedar Lake in Iosco County. Both Beaver Lake and Cedar Lake have now seen fish kills related to LMBV.

Quick warming of Otsego Lake causes fish die-off

Jun 8, 2018
University of Wisconsin

A large number of dead fish have been washing up on the shores of a lake near Gaylord. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the dead fish along Otsego Lake are adult white suckers that have died after spawning.

DNR biologist Dave Borgeson says fish die-offs happen in Michigan’s inland lakes every year, but this one is unusually large.

“There’s a lot more suckers this year,” says Borgeson. “I think it had to do with a late spring and then that really rapid warm up, which caused it to be a little more dramatic this year.”

Dan Kennedy / Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Environmentalists will celebrate the return of the Kirtland’s warbler this weekend.

The small songbird has been on the brink of extinction since 1973. It was put on the endangered species list that same year.

Aaron Selbig

A state board recommends the State of Michigan buy 300 acres of Lake Michigan shoreline that’s currently owned by a sand mining company. The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund board of directors has voted to spend $7.5 million toward a new deal with Sargent Sand Company.

Sargent Sand has been mining sand on its property inside the borders of Ludington State Park since the 1930s. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has tried several times to buy the land back from the company but the deals have always fallen through.

Michigan is filled with winter enthusiasts, including people who ice fish.

Despite being a winter enthusiast himself, Stateside host Lester Graham has never sat out on the ice to catch fish. Evidently, he’s not alone.

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