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Tag Archive | "fisheries"

Muskegon River walleye egg collection to occur this spring


 

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds Muskegon River anglers that Fisheries Division personnel will be taking walleye eggs below Croton Dam this spring.

The DNR plans to collect approximately 62 million walleye eggs from the Muskegon River in 2014 that will result in 13.4 million fry for transfer to rearing ponds throughout the Lower Peninsula. These walleye will be raised to fingerling size and stocked in late spring or early summer in lakes and rivers throughout the state.

Lake Michigan walleye populations in the Lower Peninsula depend on the fingerlings produced from Muskegon River eggs, as well as many inland lakes in the Lower Peninsula. The size of the walleye spawning run in the Muskegon River is presently about 40,000 to 50,000 each year. DNR crews will strip milt and eggs from approximately 700 adult fish, which will be returned to the river, except for 60 that will be sent to Michigan State University for fish health testing.

“This adult population consists of mostly stocked fish,” said Rich O’Neal, fisheries biologist for the Central Lake Michigan Management Unit. “The Muskegon River has the largest run of walleye in the Lake Michigan watershed south of Green Bay.”

The DNR plans to collect walleyes with an electro-fishing boat beginning as early as the week of March 24 and concluding by April 15. Eight days of fish collections are planned during this period. The actual date when collections will begin depends on water temperatures and the presence of ripe fish. This schedule can change on a daily basis for many reasons, but it is anticipated most work will be completed during the last week of March through the second week of April.

Sampling using electro-fishing usually begins each day at Croton Dam at about 8:30 a.m. and proceeds downstream to the Pine Street access site. If more eggs are needed, additional collections may occur downstream to the Thornapple Street access site.

Egg collection and fertilizing is conducted at the Pine Street access site, about 2 miles downstream of Croton Dam. This process generally begins between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. The public is welcome to observe how the eggs are removed from the fish and fertilized before they are packed and shipped to Wolf Lake and Platte River state fish hatcheries.

Anglers who wish to avoid the walleye collection activities should fish downstream of the areas of the river previously noted. The DNR asks anglers to exhibit caution when fishing near the electro-fishing boats. Wading anglers will be asked to exit the water when the boat approaches to ensure anglers’ safety during the electro-fishing work. The DNR appreciates angler cooperation during this critical egg take operation.
Learn more about fisheries management and fishing opportunities at the DNR website www.michigan.gov/fishing.

 

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New fishing regulations adopted for 2013-2014 season take effect April 1


OUT-Fishing-license-father-To ensure Michigan’s fisheries resources are managed properly and provide the best benefits to anglers and the public, the Department of Natural Resources annually adjusts fishing regulations. For the coming 2013-2014 angling year, which starts Monday, April 1, the DNR would like anglers to be aware of the following new fishing regulations:

Muskellunge Possession Limit Change – Only one muskellunge (including tiger muskellunge) may be harvested per season per angler. A new non-transferrable muskellunge harvest tag is required to harvest muskellunge in Michigan waters. The muskellunge harvest tag is free and available at all fishing license vendors. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/muskie.

Northern Pike Fishing Regulation Changes – Northern pike regulations now include the establishment of a new 24-inch to 34-inch protected-slot-limit with a daily possession of two northern pike on six waters. A new provision has also been added to the no minimum size limit regulation waters where five northern pike may be harvested daily – only one northern pike greater than 24-inches is now allowed as part of the daily possession limit. The general statewide 24-inch minimum size limit with a daily possession of two northern pike is still in effect for all other waters not listed as an exception.

Bow and Spear Fishing Regulations – Crossbows are included as lawful gear on the waters where bow and arrow use is lawful. The spearing prohibition on Houghton Lake in Roscommon County was removed. Netting Regulations – Netting regulations have been modified and some season dates have changed.

Inland Trout and Salmon Regulations – There are five new research streams in the Upper Peninsula where an additional five brook trout may be retained for the daily possession limit.

Possession Limit Change – The Platte River daily possession limit is one rainbow trout from the Upper (Hatchery) Platte River Weir downstream to Lake Michigan. The Little Manistee River daily possession limit is one rainbow trout from 300 feet downstream of the Little Manistee River Weir down to Manistee  Lake.

Spawning Closure – the lower portion of the Betsie River from the Betsie Valley Trail Bridge (former railroad trestle bridge) west to a line in Betsie Bay between the westernmost dock of the Northstar Marina  and the westernmost dock of the Eastshore Marina is closed to fishing until further notice.

These regulation changes are detailed further in the 2013 Michigan Fishing Guide, now available at all  major retailers and at the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/fishingguide.

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Smelt dipping is open statewide


With the warm spring weather, anglers should be aware that smelt dipping is open on all waters at this time and anglers can take 2 gallons daily. Smelt can be taken by hook/line, hand nets or dip nets.

“There is some confusion as there are two Fisheries Orders that appear to conflict with each other and this situation was just brought to our attention,” said Gary Whelan, regulatory affairs supervisor for the Department of Natural Resources’ Fisheries Division. “We will ensure that our orders are consistent for next year’s fishing and anglers should take advantage of our smelt fishing opportunities at this time.”

For more information on fishing and where the smelt are running in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/fishing.

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