DNR

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

This week on Points North: The foundation of the historic Point Betsie Lighthouse in Frankfort is crumbling.

High waters and waves cracked the barrier that protects it from Lake Michigan.

Plus, there are not many commercial fishers left in the Great Lakes.

In Michigan, they have long been at odds with the state Department of Natural Resources.

Now people who catch fish to sell say the state is attempting to put them out of business.

 

 

Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

 

If you’re upset about drunken crowds on northern Michigan rivers in the summer, don’t expect change anytime soon.

This week, the U.S. Forest Service said it will not prohibit alcohol on the Au Sable, Pine and Manistee rivers this year. 

And at a forum about the Boardman River Wednesday, a Michigan DNR officer said they can’t arrest people for being drunk and disorderly on the water.

Giving up on an alcohol ban

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

 

Each year thousands of people enter a lottery to hunt elk in northern Michigan, but only 200 people win tags.

To ensure success, most hunters hire a guide. Increasingly, elk guides are breaking hunting laws, so hunters are guaranteed a shot. Some guides are now worried the rule breakers are damaging the sport’s reputation.

At the elk park in Gaylord, guide Preston Casselman watches elk chew cud and relax.

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, we dissect how many elk were poached this winter and why that number has increased. 

Plus, guides are illegally helping hunters bag an elk. What’s next for the guide industry?

Last month, three more elk were poached in the Pigeon River State Forest.

It was the latest in a series of elk poaching that has made the past few months some of the worst in recent memory for Michigan’s elk herd.

A series of elk poachings have made the past few months some of the worst in recent memory for Michigan's elk herd.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Last month, three more elk were poached in the Pigeon River State Forest.

It was the latest in a series of elk poaching that has made the past few months some of the worst in recent memory for Michigan’s elk herd.

Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

The state of Michigan is asking Enbridge Energy for more information about its oil and natural gas liquids pipeline that runs through the Straits of Mackinac.

Michigan DNR

Five elk have been poached this year, which makes it the worst elk poaching year on record, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

All the poaching cases for northern Michigan happened roughly within a month. 

Brian Frawley / Michigan DNR

 

Early indications show the Upper Peninsula’s deer harvest is down 21 percent this year.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources uses the annual Mackinac Bridge deer count to estimate the number of deer killed.

 

Toll workers at the Mackinac Bridge add up deer using a tally clicker each time a driver brings one across the bridge. Those totals help the Michigan Department of Natural Resources estimate the harvest from the Upper Peninsula.

 

Michigan DNR

 

A second elk has been poached in northern Michigan.

The state’s Department of Natural Resources says a bull elk was shot earlier this week in Montmorency County, north of Atlanta.

Another elk was shot last weekend in the Pigeon River State Forest in Otsego County.

DNR Lieutenant Jim Gorno says he believes a hunter may have mistook the most recent elk for a deer.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Gaylord authorities say a bull elk was poached near Vanderbilt.

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

Two men confessed to shooting and killing a two-year-old bald eagle near Manistee on Saturday, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

 

The Pere Marquette River is a nationally recognized trout stream attracting anglers from all over the world.

 

Ten years ago, fishermen started noticing unstable land just below a rail line that crosses the Pere Marquette. 

 

Locals are worried that the train will soon derail, spilling train cars with chemicals into the river. Some say it may be too late to stop a disaster.

 

 

Wikimedia Commons

This week on Points North, we look at animals and the threats they face. Great Lakes piping plovers were on the verge of extinction in the 1980s, but recently they’ve been making a comeback. Still, their slow recovery is hindered by absent-minded beach walkers, high water levels and racoons.

 


Shelly McSawby

This week on Points North, Native American tribes have treaty rights to hunt, fish and gather, but many face racism and harassment when they use them. Plus hear some pet peeves of people in northern Michigan.


A man with a long dark ponytail stands in a river holding a 3-pronged spear.
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

For April in the western Upper Peninsula, it’s a pretty warm day. The Little Carp River, surging with snowmelt, winds through a forest of hemlock trees.

Robert Rajacic is scrambling up and down riverbanks, expertly carrying a spear in his right hand. He’s hoping to use it on some rainbow trout.

Courtesty of Theresa Schurman

This week on Points North, a hunter was shot and killed by another hunter on opening day of deer hunting season last fall. It was ruled an accident, but it became apparent there was more to the story. Plus, the bond between a hunter and his dog.


Courtesty of Theresa Schurman

Last year, two people were shot and killed in Michigan while deer hunting. One of the victims, Justin Beutel, was hunting on family property near Torch Lake. 

It was Nov. 15, opening day of firearm deer hunting season, when another hunter shot Beutel from about 50 yards away. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources investigated the case. 

“We would classify it as an accident at this point,” says Lt. Jim Gorno, a DNR conservation officer.

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.

Daily lake trout limits on Grand Traverse Bay are going down from one to two this year.
Gretchen Boyd

The daily lake trout limit for anglers on Grand Traverse Bay is reduced from two fish to one - effective immediately.

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission announced the change Friday.

 

They say it was necessary because last year’s recreational harvest limit for lake trout in Grand Traverse Bay was exceeded by nearly 16,000 pounds.

 

“We would encourage anglers to keep the first lake trout they catch and then shift to targeting other species,” says Heather Hettinger, a local DNR fisheries biologist.

Taylor Wizner

In the first episode of Points North, a teen parenting program called "Generations Ahead" in Grand Traverse County expands to include dads. It helps parents day-to-day and encourages them to stay in school. Plus, we look at new harvest limits for lake trout fishers in Grand Traverse Bay and visit a wood baseball bat craftsman in the middle of his busy season. 


MDNR

People will not be able to catch as many lake trout in Grand Traverse Bay this year. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says recreational fishers harvested an extra 15,800 pounds from the bay in 2018. As a result, the harvest limit has to be reduced by around 30,000 pounds this fishing season.

Harvest limits are determined by treaty tribes, the federal government and the state. 

Larry Martin puts another arrow on his bow string at FPS Archery shop in Cadillac.
Dan Wanschura

Deer hunting is declining in Michigan. In the late 1990’s, almost 800,000 people were hunting deer in the state. Twenty years later, that number has dropped by around 25 percent.

A new ban on deer baiting is likely to further that trend. 

But the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the ban is necessary for the long-term health of the state’s deer herd.  


Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The state of Michigan is buying part of a controversial sand mine near Ludington. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will buy 100 acres of sand dunes, wetlands and forests for $17 million from Sargent Sand, a sand mining company.

"This purchase will permanently protect a beautiful tract of critical sand dunes, conserving a unique landform and its plants and animals for public enjoyment," DNR Director Keith Creagh says in a press release.

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