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Entries in Michigan (27)


Invasive Species Top List of Tourism Concerns in Michigan

Invasives species, including Asian carp, rank at the top of concerns by Michigan tourism professionals.

Tourism industry professionals in Michigan were asked to “identify key issues facing and threats to the integrity of Michigan’s tourism resources.” Since Michigan is a Great Lakes state, the results are not surprising: Invasive species rank as the top threat.

The tourism folks know what they’re talking about, not only for Michigan, but for much of the rest of the country as well.

As a matter of fact, I think that they correctly have identified the top four for many of the states, and they have appropriately placed climate change and increasing the number of wind farms where they belong--- at or near the bottom.

Sadly, a good number of them have bought into the environmental left’s hatred of fracking, when no evidence supports the notion that it poses a threat to our lands and waters. In fact the former head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson, said unequivocally that her agency has found no evidence of contamination.

  • Spread of invasive species (aquatic & terrestrial) – 65.2 percent
  • Lack of/limited funding for resource protection/maintenance – 59.5 percent
  • Declining water quality of our lakes, rivers and streams – 42.7 percent
  • Declining water levels of our lakes, rivers and streams – 41.3 percent
  • Diversion of water from the Great Lakes – 39.3 percent
  • Reduction in historic preservation tax credits – 28.9 percent
  • Closure of Department of History, Arts and Libraries – 25.1 percent
  • Fracking – 24.5 percent
  • Need for better/faster adoption of technology at tourism sites – 20.8 percent
  • Under-appreciation of Native American history and culture – 20.0 percent
  • Climate change – 16.8 percent
  • Spread of infectious diseases – 8.5 percent
  • Increasing number of wind farms – 7.7 percent

Another Troublesome Invasive Plant Is Spreading

A pilot project in Michigan has resulted in the discovery of an increased threat to fisheries posed by European frog-bit, an exotic floating plant.

Statewide monitoring by the Early Detection Rapid Response coalition revealed European frog-bit in Saginaw Bay, Munuscong Bay, and around Alpena on Lake Huron. Previously, it was thought to be established in just a few localized sites in the southeastern Lower Peninsula.

“Responding quickly to a new invasive species is critical to increasing our chances of success, and it requires a well organized, collaborative effort between multiple agencies and other partners,” said Russ Mason, chief of the Wildlife Division for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Thanks to grant funding for the project through the federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, control measures were quickly implemented, including physical removal and trial treatments with herbicides. By mid September, 1,500 pounds of the invasive had been pulled out of the infected areas.

Additionally, education, outreach, and future control activities are being planned with angling groups and other stakeholders.

European frog-bit resembles a miniature lily pad, with leaves about the size of a quarter. Forming dense mats, it shades out beneficial submerged native plants, disrupts natural water flow, and inhibits access.

It originally was accidentally released into Canadian waters during the 1930s, spreading throughout Ontario and into New York, Vermont, and other eastern states.

(This article appeared originally in B.A.S.S. Times.)


Those Who Want to Prohibit Fishing and Hunting Never Stop

Just a reminder that as we fishing and hunt and generally mind our own business, those who want to stop us are hard at work. Unless we actively oppose them, they will win, first the small skirmishes and, eventually, the big battles. We ignore them at our own peril.

Here’s what is going on.

“We are seeing a nationwide influence by those who oppose, and very successfully, the age-old role of hunting and fishing in wildlife management. A recent example occurred in Michigan where a national anti-hunting organization, well-funded, sent their people and bankrolls into the state to circulate petitions and generate support for overturning a long standing dove hunting season. The sportsmen there laid back and wildlife support groups were less than serious and aggressive in countering the out-of-state national group of anti-hunting offensive.

“The election resulted in a majority of the Michigan citizens voting to repeal the long standing dove hunting season. Considering Michigan is known as one of the nation’s predominant states with favorable habitat for wildlife and fish and a larger than average number of sportsmen, the election results were a surprise.

 “The effort to effectively end Maine’s traditional annual bear hunt is being led by a newly-formed organization called “Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting.” Its website is full of pictures of cuddly-looking bear cubs and emotional appeals.

“What is not so apparent, however, is the fact that the shadow-group is not made up of Mainers at all, but is simply a hollow website maintained by the Washington, D.C.-based Humane Society of the United States.

“HSUS is an extremist group that misleads the public and profits greatly off of its prolific fundraising efforts. People may know it for its television ads that feature Sarah McLachlan singing and soliciting contributions to support its animal shelters. What is not mentioned is that only one percent of its $100 million racket actually goes to animal shelters.”

 “California AB 711 (Rendon) Hunting: nonlead ammunition – Would expand the current ban on lead ammunition for hunting in the range of the California Condor to prohibit the use of all lead ammunition for any hunting throughout the entire state.

Because the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has made a determination that rifle and pistol nonlead ammunition meets the tests for illegal armor piercing ammunition, AB 711 could result in stopping hunting with rifles and pistols as there would be no ammunition for these firearms that would be legal for hunting.”


Michigan Record Muskie Receives Additional Honors


The state-record Great Lakes muskellunge caught by Joseph Seeberger of Portage, Mich., on Oct. 13, 2012, has now been listed as a world record by the International Committee of the Modern Day Muskellunge World Record Program (MDMWRP). 

Seeberger caught the fish on Lake Bellaire in Antrim County. Michigan Department of Natural Resources verified the record and documented that the fish weighed 58 pounds. Although the DNR did not measure the length (Michigan records are determined by weight only), the angler measured the fish at a length of 59 inches with a flexible tape. Later in the day, a taxidermist reported the length at 58 inches.

“Mr. Seeberger’s fish is another example of the capacity of Michigan waters to produce enormous, world-record fish,” said acting Central Lake Michigan Management Unit manager Scott Heintzelman. “Added protection from recent regulation changes will allow more of these magnificent fish to reach their maximum potential and provide anglers the chance to catch the fish of a lifetime.”

MDMWRP is a committee of muskellunge scientists, industry leaders, anglers and outdoor media personalities that formed in 2006. The program facilitates the recording and verification of muskellunge world records, covering a current void of record availability to North American muskellunge anglers for fish in the 58- to 68-pound range. This range has been chosen because it is considered the maximum ultimate range of growth for this species. Prior to Seeberger’s submission, there had not been a MDMWRP world-record entry verified.

MDMWRP is one of many organizations that recognize world-record catches. Many of these organizations differ on their required criteria.

Over the past year, the DNR has made changes to muskellunge fishing regulations in an effort to improve fishing opportunities and to further protect the species. Starting April 1, the possession limit will change to allow anglers to keep only one muskellunge per season, instead of one per day. Anglers must also obtain a free harvest tag that must be attached to the muskellunge they intend to keep. These tags are available wherever fishing licenses are sold and will be available March 1.


Low Water Threatens Access, Navigation on Huron, Michigan, Superior

Top photo of Lake Michigan shoreline at Pere Marquette Park is from Oct. 12, 2012, while the lower is of the same location on July 20, 2011.

Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Superior all are dangerously close to all-time record lows.

Additionally, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers warns that if the current trend continues, these lakes will reach historic lows later this year or early in 2013. That could have serious negative implications for access and navigation, as well as the environmental health of the Great Lakes ecosystem.

A mild winter with little snow followed by a hot summer with little rain likely is the biggest factor leading to these low-water conditions.

Read more here