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Tag Archive | "U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service"

Trout Unlimited receives funds to restore Cedar Creek


N-Cedar-Creek-Trout-Unlimited-web

Cedar Creek will benefit this summer from restoration activities funded through a federal grant by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

According to Nichol DeMol, with Trout Unlimited, Cedar Creek, which is a tributary of the Rogue River running through downtown Cedar Springs and emptying into the Rogue River near 12 Mile and Friske Road, is important to the overall health of the Rogue River. This tributary is a significant source of cold groundwater to the river. This groundwater provides stable coldwater rearing for juvenile trout and summer shelter for adult trout when the Rogue River gets warm.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recognized the importance of this stream, and has awarded Trout Unlimited over $27,000 for restoration activities as part of the Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative project.  This funding is provided through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the National Fish Habitat Partnership-Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership.

In collaboration with the City of Cedar Springs and private landowners, Trout Unlimited will plant trees and other native plants on stream banks, provide localized cattle access, fence out cattle along a portion of the creek, and construct in stream habitat structures. 

The on-the-ground restoration is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2014. Volunteers will be needed to assist with this work. If you would like to volunteer or want to know more about the Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative project please contact Nichol De Mol at 231-557-6362 or ndemol@tu.org.

 

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Not everyone goes south for the winter


For some, the Great Lakes are a winter destination

Did you know the Great Lakes have thousands of feathered friends floating out there right now? Have you ever wondered how duck, geese and swan populations are tracked?

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with many other states in the nation, estimate duck, geese and swan populations (waterfowl) by looking at areas that traditionally hold birds in January—the open water.

“Anytime Mother Nature causes wildlife to naturally group together, surveying can be much more efficient,” said DNR wildlife biologist Mark Monroe. “Looking for birds by truck or plane at the same time across the nation gives agencies a great feel for populations and habitat trends.”

From Jan. 5-11, DNR staff visited (either by plane or truck) the same areas that have been surveyed in the past, not just to count waterfowl but also to identify the species. Mallards were the most common duck observed, although many “diving ducks” or sea ducks—such as canvasbacks and redheads—were counted.

“I’ve been flying this survey in the northern Lower Peninsula for quite a few years,” said Monroe, “and I have seen thousands of ducks every year out in the open water; it’s really neat to see.”

The northern Lower Peninsula area was flown by plane. One DNR pilot and two DNR observers spent the day traveling over 750 miles, searching out large groups of waterfowl in water that still remains open. The Manistee River, Lake Michigan from Pentwater to the Sleeping Bear Dunes, the inlet at Elberta and the Grand Traverse Bay area are locations in Northern Michigan where large numbers of birds are traditionally found. The crew revisits other “hot spots” where they have found waterfowl populations in the past, conducting flyovers at elevations of 200 to 500 feet. The Great Lakes and large rivers hold thousands of ducks that will spend the winter here, either because they are resident birds and do not migrate or because they have migrated to the Great Lakes from farther north. That’s right—some waterfowl that breed near the Arctic will actually head south to the Great Lakes to winter!

“In the northern Lower Peninsula we counted just over 12,000 ducks, just under 100 geese and more than 300 mute swans,” said Monroe. “It’s amazing how many birds are out on the water that’s still open.”

Winter waterfowl surveys can help detect any significant changes in the populations as well as help determine results of recent waterfowl hunting seasons and help dictate further regulations for future seasons. The January waterfowl survey also provides the best information on the number of mute swans in Michigan so population trends can be established for yearly comparisons.

To learn more about the different wildlife surveys completed by the DNR, visit the Wildlife Surveys page on the DNR website or contact DNR wildlife outreach technician Katie Keen at 231-775-9727.

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