In addition to our conference session that will feature Michigan’s fishery, there are also some interesting updates from the MDNR Fisheries Division:
- Fish Stocking: MDNR stocks more than 20 million fish – that’s more than 350 tons of fish annually. Species stocked include steelhead; Atlantic salmon, chinook salmon and coho salmon; splake, brown trout, brook trout, lake trout and rainbow trout; as well as lake sturgeon, muskellunge and walleye. Beginning in mid-March and ending in early June, DNR fish stocking trucks travel well over 100,000 miles to stock more than 1,000 locations. Visit the DNR’s fish stocking website at MichiganDNR.com/FishStocking for information on local fish stocking locations.
- Inland Fisheries Surveys: MDNR fisheries management units completed over 260 fisheries surveys across Michigan in 2021. Specifically, DNR fisheries staff surveyed 152 inland lakes and 115 streams. Want to learn about the DNR’s lake and stream surveys, especially in your part of the state? Contact the fisheries management unit in your area.
- Sturgeon for Tomorrow: Volunteers are needed in Cheboygan County now through early June to stand guard as mature lake sturgeon head upstream to their spawning sites along the Black River. The Black Lake Chapter of Sturgeon for Tomorrow is working in partnership with the MDNR and tribes to protect the fish from being illegally harvested during the six-week spawning season. Register to volunteer and learn more: Sturgeon for Tomorrow, Black Lake Chapter.
- The Fisheries Habitat Grant Program:
Twelve fish habitat conservation projects in streams and lakes across the state will share close to $1.8 million in Fisheries Habitat Grants administered by MDNR. The projects, supported by an additional $1.6 million in matching partner contributions, will rehabilitate and protect valuable fish habitat that provides the foundation for Michigan’s world-class fisheries. Four of the funded projects are identified by the DNR as priority habitat conservation projects.
The Fisheries Habitat Grant program provides funding for a variety of activities including fish habitat conservation, dam removal and repair, resource assessment studies and access to recreation opportunities like fishing. Funding from fishing license sales, state of Michigan general funds and a settlement with Consumers Energy is distributed through three grant areas: aquatic habitat conservation, dam management, and aquatic habitat and recreation in the Au Sable, Manistee and Muskegon river watersheds.
Joe Nohner, a resource analyst with the DNR Fisheries Division, said the funded projects will protect and rehabilitate fish habitat across the state, while in many cases also improving public safety through the removal of dams. “These projects are critical to improving and maintaining populations of fishes and other aquatic species,” Nohner said. “They will improve fish migration in over 210 miles of Michigan streams and make these areas safer for people through the removal or replacement of five dams and 11 culverts. Additionally, projects will reconnect northern pike spawning marshes to Stone Ledge Lake, add woody habitat structures to the East Branch of the Au Sable River and the shorelines of Au Train Lake, and improve stream habitat by planting trees to cool water temperatures, reduce erosion and, eventually, provide woody habitat for trout.”