Removal Dates Begin this Weekend for Portions of Lower Peninsula
Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers that ice shanty
removal dates are quickly approaching starting with Lake St. Clair this
Sunday and to always use extreme caution when on the ice.
Regardless of the set removal dates, changing ice conditions could
require the removal of fishing shanties before those dates. This is a
possibility every year because all shanties must be removed once ice can
no longer safely support them.
Based on the 10-day forecast, portions of the Lower Peninsula are
predicted to experience fluctuating temperatures near or above freezing,
said F/Lt. Jason Wicklund, DNR Law Enforcement Division. Temperature
fluctuations can create unstable and unsafe ice conditions very fast.
Its the anglers responsibility to safely remove their shanty before it
falls through the ice.
Shanty owners whose structures fall through the ice are subject to
penalties of up to 30 days in jail, fines up to $500, or both. If a
shanty is removed by a government agency, the court can require the
owner to reimburse that agency for up to three times the cost of
Ice shanties on Lake St. Clair, located northeast of Detroit,
must be removed before sunset Sunday, February 21st.
Shanties in the northern Lower Peninsula must be removed by midnight
Monday, March 15. Those counties include Alcona, Alpena, Antrim, Arenac,
Bay, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Clare, Crawford, Emmet, Gladwin,
Grand Traverse, Iosco, Isabella, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee,
Mason, Mecosta, Midland, Missaukee, Montmorency, Newaygo, Oceana,
Ogemaw, Osceola, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon and Wexford.
Ice shanties in the remaining counties of the Lower Peninsula must be
removed by midnight Monday, March 1st.
On Michigan-Wisconsin boundary waters, ice shanties must be removed by
midnight Monday, March 15th.
All other bodies of water in the Upper Peninsula must have ice shanties
removed by midnight Wednesday, March 31st.
Daily use of ice shanties is permitted anywhere in Michigan if ice
conditions permit and if the shanties are removed from the ice at the
end of each day.
People venturing onto the ice should use extreme caution as temperatures
begin to rise or fluctuate. The repeated thawing and refreezing of ice
weakens its strength, decreasing its ability to support the additional
weight of people, snowmobiles, ORVs and shanties. Deteriorating ice,
water currents and high winds increase the probability of pressure
cracks, which can leave anglers and others stranded on ice floes or at
risk of falling through the ice.
Learn more at Michigan.gov/IceSafety.
The end of ice fishing season means it is time to start preparing for
spring fishing. Are you boater safety certified? In Michigan, anyone
born on or after June 30, 1996, must successfully complete an approved
Boater Safety Education course to operate a vessel. Complete boater
safety online at Michigan.gov/RecreationalSafety.
For more information on all fishing opportunities, go to Michigan.gov/Fishing.
Take in Michigan's Winter Beauty on Pair of
for a fun way to explore our states scenic outdoors this winter, and get
some exercise while youre at it? Were offering several guided snowshoe
hikes in February:
Tahquamenon Falls State Park Upper Falls guided snowshoe hike: February
13th, 20th and 27th.
Strap on your snowshoes (or borrow a pair of ours) and join the park
naturalist for a free guided hike through the forest of the Upper Falls.
Hike lasts approximately one hour and includes blazing a trail through
unpacked trails, and going up and down hills. The hike is suitable for
ages 9 and up. Masks must be worn during hike. Registration is required,
and participation will be limited to 20. Register for a Tahquamenon
Falls snowshoe hike online.
Hartwick Pines State Park guided snowshoe hikes: February 13th and 27th,
Enjoy a guided tour through the old-growth forest. Hear about the men
and women who worked in the logging camps during the White Pine Logging
Era and about the wildlife and trees that live and grow at Hartwick
Pines State Park. Depending on the snow conditions, snowshoes may not be
needed. Registration is required, and participation is limited. Register
for a Hartwick Pines snowshoe hike online or contact the Hartwick Pines
Visitor Center for more information.
If you're interested in a self-guided snowshoe adventure, check out our
Learn The "Ins and Outs"
of Ice Fishing
is a great time to fish, and the DNR Outdoor Skills Academy can help
boost your ice fishing know-how with upcoming Hard Water School classes.
The classes will be held outdoors at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and
Fishing Center, located in Mitchell State Park in Cadillac.
Hard Water School: Feb. 20th and March 6th
This one-day, introductory class on ice fishing will focus on techniques
for pan fish, walleye and pike. It will cover everything from how to set
up equipment and how, where and when to fish, to ice safety and rules
and regulations. Cost is $35, which includes one-on-one instruction from
a pro, lunch on the ice, bait and a goodie bag.
Participation for all classes is limited to 20 students, and COVID-19
safety protocols will be followed.
For more details and to register for classes, visit Michigan.gov/OutdoorSkills.
Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board Recommends $37.8
Million Dollars to Boost Outdoor Recreation
Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board recommended Wednesday to the
Michigan Legislature that 76 recreation development projects and land
acquisitions totaling $37,789,600 be funded in 2021. The board this year
considered a total of 136 applications seeking over $60 million in
funding. In a competitive process, all eligible applications were
evaluated based on scoring criteria approved by the Trust Fund board.
“Easy access to the beauty of Michigan’s natural places and open spaces
during a challenging, uncertain year has been a source of comfort and
connection for residents across our state, and the Trust Fund is a major
part of making those opportunities available,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
“Whether you’re enjoying a trail or park close to home or exploring the
deep forest, outdoor recreation resources like these are big contributors
to each community’s quality of life and unique appeal.”
The Trust Fund board recommends funding to both state and local
agencies for development projects and land acquisitions that will further
access to public outdoor recreation.
This year, the board recommended $27,289,600 for
acquisition grants and $10,500,000 for
development grants. There were 26 acquisition grants awarded to
local units of government for a total of $20,805,400, while four
acquisition grants went to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources
for projects totaling $6,484,200. The Trust Fund board also recommended a
total of $9,300,000 in 42 development grants be awarded to local units of
government while four DNR projects garnered a total of $1,200,000.
“This year’s grant recommendations represent a broad range of land
acquisition and outdoor development projects that will make a real
difference,” said DNR Director Dan Eichinger. “With the results of
Proposal 1 this fall, it’s clear that Michigan’s residents support this
program and its continued investment in projects that speak to the
recreational needs of communities across our state.”
The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is a restricted fund that was
established in 1976 to provide funding for public acquisition of lands for
resource protection and outdoor recreation, as well as for public outdoor
recreation development projects. It is funded through interest and
earnings on funds derived from the revenues of state-owned oil, gas and
minerals. Over the past 44 years, the Trust Fund has granted more than
$1.2 billion to state and local units of government to develop and improve
recreation opportunities in Michigan.
“Under the challenges of gathering with friends and family this year,
outdoor spaces and public recreation played a major component in people’s
lives,” said Trust Fund board chair Bill Rustem. “This program’s ability
to continue to acquire and develop parks and green spaces is more
important now than ever to ensure that every Michigander has access to the
state’s natural resources.”
The Trust Fund board's recommendations will go to the Michigan
Legislature for review as part of the appropriations process. Upon
approval, the Legislature forwards a bill to the governor for her
A list of the final recommendations made by the Trust Fund board is
Invasive pest already confirmed in five southwest Michigan counties
recent discovery of hemlock woolly adelgid as far north as Ludington State
Park in Mason County is a reminder of the importance of checking hemlock
trees for signs of the invasive insect.
The Michigan departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture and Rural
Development encourage those who have eastern hemlock trees on their
property to take time this winter to inspect the trees for signs of
hemlock woolly adelgid. Anyone taking to the woods can help by looking for
signs of the insect while hunting, hiking or enjoying any outdoor
Winter is the optimum time to look for evidence of an infestation,
according to Robert Miller, MDARD’s invasive species prevention and
“Cooler temperatures trigger feeding activity,” Miller said. “As
hemlock woolly adelgids feed, they secrete a white, waxy material that
creates ovisacs. The presence of these small, round, white masses makes it
possible to identify infested trees.”
As they feed, these tiny, soft-bodied insects consume a hemlock’s
stored nutrients, slowly sucking the life from the tree.
These insects are considered invasive because they are not native to
the state and can cause significant harm to Michigan’s hemlock resource,
estimated at 170 million trees.
Infestations of hemlock woolly adelgid have been confirmed in Allegan,
Ottawa, Muskegon, Oceana and Mason counties, all bordering Lake Michigan.
Winter surveys underway
Throughout the winter, survey crews from several Cooperative Invasive
Species Management Areas will take to the woods looking for signs of
hemlock woolly adelgid. Surveys will be conducted within a 5-mile border
along the Lake Michigan shoreline in both the Lower and Upper peninsulas.
At the same time, DNR staff will survey state parks and federal lands
in the vicinity of Lake Michigan.
Because hemlock trees can be protected from these insects with proper
insecticide treatments, infested trees and any other eastern hemlocks
within the area will be mapped and tagged, then prioritized for summer
CISMAs will seek landowner permission to conduct surveys of hemlocks on
private lands within the shoreline border. CISMA survey efforts are
supported by funds from the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program and
the U.S. Forest Service and are provided at no cost to landowners.
Your help is needed
Though dozens of crew members will assist in the surveys, they won’t be
able to check all trees. If you have eastern hemlocks on your property,
whether it’s within or beyond the 5-mile shoreline border, take some time
to look for signs of hemlock woolly adelgid. Anyone spending time outdoors
is encouraged to do the same.
In Michigan’s northern forests, hemlock trees are found in moist soils
along streams and riverbanks and along coastal dunes. Hemlock also is
popular as a landscape tree in parks and residential areas.
Identify hemlock trees
adelgids feed and form ovisacs only on eastern hemlock trees in Michigan,
it is important to distinguish hemlocks from other conifers like pines or
spruces. Look for:
Cone- or egg-shaped trees up to 75 feet tall.
Drooping or feathery branches.
Flat needles growing individually from the sides of twigs.
Needles that are dark green on top with two parallel, white stripes
Papery cones about three-quarters of an inch long that hang downward
Look for signs
Late fall through early spring is the best time to check hemlock trees.
Look on the undersides of branches for evidence of round, white ovisacs
near the base of the needles.
Up close, ovisacs look like balls of spun cotton and may appear alone
or in clusters. The short video “Hemlock
woolly adelgid: invasive species in Michigan” provides helpful
Report your findings
Report infested hemlock trees by using the Midwest Invasive Species
Information Network, available online at MISIN.MSU.edu or as a
downloadable smartphone app. The MISIN smart phone app will take a GPS
location point if a report is made at the site; it also will allow you to
upload photos with a report.
Reports also can be made by email to MDA-Info@Michigan.gov or by phone
to the MDARD Customer Service Center at 800-292-3939.
Identify the location of infested trees and, whenever possible, take
one or two pictures of infested branches to help confirm identification.
To avoid spreading the insect, do not collect sample branches or twigs.
Manage your trees
If you find hemlock woolly adelgids on your property, it is important
to know that certain insecticides are successful in treating the
infestation if used correctly. Without treatment, infested trees can die
within four to 10 years. A qualified arborist, such as one certified by
International Society of Arboriculture, can diagnose and assist
with treating infested trees.
If you are able to handle treatment on your own, follow the guidance
provided in the MSU Extension Bulletin: “How
to treat hemlock trees for hemlock woolly adelgid.”
Reporting infested trees, even if you will be managing them on your
own, is important to help determine how far hemlock woolly adelgid has
spread. This information also indicates where additional surveys may be
Find more information
On Jan. 22, 2021, “Hemlock Rescue” is featured in the
NotMISpecies webinar series. This free program will take a look at
the labor-intensive effort to inventory and treat trees infested with
hemlock woolly adelgid. A question and answer period will follow the
presentation. Register for the webinar at
For more information on identification, reporting or treatment, visit
the Michigan Invasive Species Program’s hemlock woolly adelgid page at
dorsement on their hunting license, unless
hunting pheasant only on hunting preserves.
Want to become a ruffed
grouse and American woodcock cooperator? Download the cooperator
report and tell us about days spent afield and what flush rates
were like. This information provides an indicator of the hunting season
and population trends for grouse and woodcock.
For more information on the 2020 pheasant and ruffed grouse season
regulations and dates, see the 2020
Hunting Digest available at Michigan.gov/DNRDigests.
Rachel Leightner at 517-243-5813.
Zooming in a Winter Wonderland
snowy, lantern-lit trail, a cardinal’s crimson plumage, ice-bejeweled
berries and more – these scenes, found in the DNR’s collection of virtual
videoconferencing backgrounds, can brighten the backdrop for your next
virtual call. They’ll add some charm and beauty next time you’re meeting
by screen with friends, family or colleagues.
With these new additions, you can enjoy the wonders of winter while
remaining cozy indoors – or get inspired to go out and try a new winter
activity like snowshoeing, winter hiking or fat-tire biking.
Browse the gallery, which is available at Michigan.gov/DNRPressRoom in
the Photos and Videos section.
In addition to their visual appeal, virtual backgrounds serve a
practical purpose. When you’re meeting online with people outside your
immediate contacts, security experts recommend using virtual backgrounds
to obscure details of your home and surroundings. Steps to enable and
upload backgrounds in a Zoom account are available on the Zoom virtual
background support page. The high-resolution images should be compatible
with other virtual meeting platforms, too, and can be used as computer
Questions? Contact Beth
Fults at 517-284-6071
ICYMI: #ADA30 and the Growth of Accessible
01DEC20-This year marks the 30-year anniversary of the Americans with
Disabilities Act. The landmark civil rights legislation – which the U.S.
Department of Justice said prohibits disability discrimination and
guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as
everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life – was
patterned after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits
discrimination based on color, race, sex, religion or national origin.
In case you missed it, to commemorate the signing of this important
legislation, the DNR recently released
a video exploring the expansion of accessible recreation in Michigan
and capturing testimonials from officials, staff and residents about these
evolving opportunities and the hard work and drive that got us to this
point. Read the full
Showcasing the DNR story for more information.
Seeking Local History to Complement
new segment of Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail currently under development
will add about 20 miles to the trail’s planned 828-mile biking route, but
project managers also plan to add layers of story to this stretch that
Higgins Lake Nursery and the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum at
North Higgins Lake State Park with Hartwick Pines State Park and you can
Led by the Michigan History Center, this heritage trail project in
Crawford County, unofficially dubbed the "Forest Heritage Trail", is
welcoming local history stories. The Center is partnering with Central
Michigan University and local stakeholders to identify the unique and
critical history of the area and plan for a series of interpretive
informational signs for people to enjoy while exploring the trail.
Dan Spegel coordinates
Michigan’s Heritage Trails program. He said the right stories can
help trail visitors connect with an area’s history and better understand a
region’s development, character and place in the state’s bigger history.
He pointed to the Kal-Haven Trail, in southwest Michigan, as an example.
“When we put the call out for the Kal-Haven, the community came forward
with some great stories,” he said.
“For example, in 1948 Joe Louis spent a month training at Great Bear
Lake to get ready for a fight with Jersey Joe Walcott. We found out that
in 1901, A.M. Todd started a mint-oil operation that grew and
revolutionized the global industry. We also learned about Julia Schelske,
who in 1916 became one of the earliest female car dealers for Ford Motor
Company in the town of Grand Junction,” Spegel said. “Bringing those
stories into the trail makes for an experience that immerses visitors into
the area’s natural and cultural history.”
Spegel stressed that heritage stories about the Forest Heritage Trail
do not have to directly connect to or be about the forest. That working
title for the project was chosen simply because the completed trail
segment will connect the CCC Museum with Hartwick Pines, and the forest
clearly has a strong presence/history in the area.
Want to learn more about the project and share some stories? Join in a
virtual meeting from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9. Advance
registration for the meeting is not needed; just visit
TinyURL.com/Forest-Heritage-Trail around 6:50 p.m. to sign in and
join the meeting.
For more information, contact
Dan Spegel at 517-420-6029.
Prune Oak Trees in Winter to Avoid Oak Wilt
Leaves are down, temperatures are cooler, and that means it’s prime
time for pruning oak trees, which can be infected by the oak wilt fungus
if they’re pruned during the high-risk period April 15-July 15.
“Beetles that can carry the disease from tree to tree are not very
active now, and the trees are not vulnerable to infection,” said Simeon
Wright, forest health specialist with the DNR Forest Resources Division.
The beetles are attracted to fresh bark damage or wounds where tree limbs
have been removed.
Firewood can harbor the fungus, too. If you suspect your firewood is
infected, burn it, chip it or debark it before April. Once the wood has
been dried over a year and/or all bark loosens, it can no longer spread
“Not moving potentially infected oak firewood into areas that are free
of oak wilt is critical to protecting our oak trees,” Wright said.
Oak wilt, identified in the 1940s, is widespread across Michigan’s
Lower Peninsula and along the Wisconsin border in the Upper Peninsula. Red
oaks are most susceptible and can die within weeks of infection. These
trees have leaves with pointed tips and include black oak, northern red
oak and northern pin oak. Trees in the white oak group have rounded leaf
edges and are less susceptible. Affected trees will suddenly wilt from the
top down, rapidly dropping leaves, which can be green, brown or a
combination of both colors.
If you suspect oak wilt:
Learn more about invasive species and diseases at
Simeon Wright at 906-203-9466.
In those instances where there is an aggressive wild animal,
particularly animals such as geese, swans, turkeys, deer and bears,
landowners should get in touch with the nearest
DNR Customer Service Center to let the local DNR staff know about
the issue. As each situation is unique, staff will first assess the
problem and then determine the appropriate action based on the species and
Landowners can contact one of the nuisance wildlife control
permittees for assistance with removal of species such as coyotes, fox,
raccoons, opossums and skunks.
Specially permitted nuisance control companies can be hired to assist
landowners with goose control programs. The U.S. Department of
Agriculture’s Wildlife Services also offers removal assistance, such as
nest destruction and relocation permits.
DNR Customer Service Centers
Baraga - 906-353-6651
Bay City - 989-684-9141
Cadillac - 231-775-9727
Detroit - 313-396-6890
Escanaba - 906-786-2351
Gaylord - 989-732-3541
Lansing - 517-284-4720
Marquette - 906-228-6561
Newberry - 906-293-5131
Plainwell - 269-685-6851
Roscommon - 989-275-5151
Sault Ste. Marie - 906-635-6161
Traverse City - 231-922-5280
Crystal Falls - 906-875-6622
Gwinn - 906-346-9201
Naubinway - 906-477-6048
Norway - 906-563-9247
of the mad dash to get a good camping spot at Pictured
Rocks National Lakeshore at Little Beaver Lake Campground, Twelve Mile
Campground, or Hurricane River Campground? These campgrounds now
require reservations, after years of a "first come, first served" policy.
Since visitation has nearly doubled in the last few years during the summer months
reservations can now be made at