This quarterly publication is an outreach item to Michigan anglers to describe what the DNR's Fisheries Division does and why we do it. Specifically it strives to highlight the work Fisheries Division employees are accomplishing on inland lakes and streams. Reel in Michigan's Fisheries will often showcase waters that are actively managed and provide the public with enhanced knowledge and the opportunity to access the wealth of information contained in survey reviews and management reports.
Check out brief descriptions about each story below. To read more, simply click on the corresponding link.
St. Marys River Assessment
The Northern Lake Huron Management Unit includes most of the St. Marys River, a large international boundary water connecting Lake Superior to Lake Huron. River management is coordinated by the St. Marys River Fisheries Task Group, which has representatives from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority and member tribes, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Lake Superior State University, Sault College, and Algoma University also participate as resource members.
Efforts this spring in Southwest Michigan look to boost state's muskellunge rearing program
Thornapple Lake is a 409 acre lake that lies in eastern Barry County, about five miles west of the village of Nashville. It is a popular recreation lake with two boat launches and shore fishing opportunities. The lake originally supported a native Great Lakes-strain muskellunge population until it declined in the 1950s. Stocking of Northern-strain muskellunge in Thornapple Lake began in 1964, and the lake was used as a muskellunge broodstock source from the early 1970s to 2010.
Last year's survey of Lake Margrethe shows plenty of angling opportunity
At 1,922 acres, Lake Margrethe is the largest lake in Crawford County in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula. Located just a couple of miles west of Grayling, it is easy to get to, making it one of the most popular fishing lakes in this part of the state. It has long been stocked by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources with walleye and Great Lakes-strain muskellunge, but had not been surveyed since 2007 (general netting survey) and 2009 (fall electrofishing survey targeting walleye). Walleye had recently been stocked in 2011, 2013 and 2015, and muskellunge were stocked in 2012 and 2014 (plus Northern-strain muskellunge a number of years prior). So it was time for the DNR to go see how the fish populations of Lake Margrethe were doing.
Wild Rivers Invasive Species Coalition is a partnership focused on making a difference
The Wild Rivers Invasive Species Coalition (WRISC) is a cooperative invasive species partnership operating in northeast Wisconsin and Michigan's western Upper Peninsula. The partnership consists of a wide range of members from local, state, tribal and federal agencies; land managers; utility companies; civic organizations; businesses and individuals. All members are interested in the education and management of invasive species in the five county area WRISC covers.
Fisheries Division grant programs making big differences
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Division offers several competitive grants for projects that improve or protect aquatic habitat and address aging dams. The Aquatic Habitat, Habitat Improvement Account, and Dam Management grant programs focus on addressing environmental stressors, restoring aquatic system health, facilitating aquatic organism passage, and improving ecosystem functions. Staff from the DNR's Grants Management Section and Fisheries Division work together to provide administrative and technical support to grant applicants and recipients, review and score projects, and track progress of funded projects.
Lots of fish to be found in Hillsdale County's Lake Diane
DNR fisheries surveys of Lake Diane - a 283-acre impoundment located 13 miles south of the city of Hillsdale - have consistently shown plenty of fish representing a variety of species. Despite this data not much is known about angler activity - but that doesn't mean folks shouldn't consider paying it a visit. Lake Diane was created by building a dam on Clark Fork Creek in 1966, which inundated two natural lakes (Goforth and Hagerman) forming the impoundment we see today. The water is turbid from suspended clay particles and reaches a maximum depth of 52 feet. On average it is approximately eight feet deep.
Equipment Spotlight: Stream Shocker
What does the Department of Natural Resources use to sample a stream or wadeable river to assess fish populations? The answer is a barge or stream shocker. What is a stream shocker you might ask? A stream shocker is a small, boat-like tub that can be pulled or dragged through the water to house the equipment necessary to shock and capture fish (with generators and electricity).