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Tag Archive | "trout"

Michigan’s 2018 fishing license season kicks off April 1


A new fishing license is required April 1 to coincide with the 2018 fishing season. Anglers can pick up a license and a 2018 Michigan Fishing Guide at retailers located across the state.

Don’t forget—new license required

For those interested in going fishing in Michigan, a new license is required starting Sunday, April 1. That day is the kickoff to the state’s 2018 fishing license season, as well as the new fishing regulation cycle. All 2018 fishing licenses are good through March 31, 2019.

Anglers have eight options to choose from when making their purchase. All fishing licenses are good for all species.

  • Resident annual – $26
  • Nonresident annual – $76
  • Senior annual (for residents age 65 or older) – $11
  • 24-hour (resident or nonresident) – $10
  • 72-hour (resident or nonresident) – $30
  • Resident combo hunt/fish (base, annual fishing, two deer) – $76
  • Senior resident combo hunt/fish (base, annual fishing, two deer) – $43
  • Nonresident combo hunt/fish (base, annual fishing, two deer) – $266

There are several regulation changes this year, creating many new fishing opportunities for anglers. The new regulations go into effect on April 1, 2018, including the following: 

  • Muskellunge harvest season has changed statewide to the first Saturday in June and includes a new catch-and-immediate release season open all year.
  • A new suite of waters has been added where anglers may retain an additional five brook trout in their daily possession limit of trout (10 brook trout possession waters).

Additionally, a new registration system has been put into place for anglers who harvest a lake sturgeon or muskellunge. The lake sturgeon fishing permit and harvest tag and the muskellunge harvest tags are no longer required or available. An angler who harvests a lake sturgeon or muskellunge is now required to report the harvest within 24 hours, either online at michigan.gov/registerfish, by calling the toll-free number 844-345-FISH (3474) or in person at any Department of Natural Resources Customer Service Center during normal state business hours with advance notice of arrival. Please note that fish registrations won’t be accepted at any state fish hatcheries or DNR field offices, only at DNR Customer Service Centers.

For more information on Michigan fishing licenses and regulation changes, check out the 2018 Michigan Fishing Guide—available at license retailers or online at  www.michigan.gov/dnrdigests. The online version is always up to date and available to download.

Don’t forget, there are two simple ways to buy a fishing license in Michigan:

Visit a local license retailer or DNR Customer Service Center and make a purchase in person.

Use the E-License system to buy a license online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Just visit mdnr-elicense.com on your computer, smartphone or tablet to get started.

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Fishing with feet

By Ranger Steve Mueller


Ranger Steve Mueller

Ranger Steve Mueller

A reader told me that I probably would not believe him but he said he caught a trout with his foot. Before he said more, I said, “I believe you because I have also.” How many others have done the same? Trout fishing season is under way but angling with feet is not a chosen fishing tactic.

The reader was wading a stream when a fish tried to dart past him just as he stepped down and caught the fish between foot and substrate. My experience was similar.

In Calf Creek in Utah, I was wading bare foot in a small desert stream fed by snow melt and ground water from Boulder Mountain. The mountain road summit was over 12,000 feet with a spruce/fir forest in highest locations and ponderosa pines in the 8,000-foot range. Down the mountain, pinyon pines and juniper trees reigned at 7,000 feet.

Calf Creek was at 5,500 feet but that water remained cold, rich in oxygen, and full of trout food. Willows and other woody plants were abundant along the three to ten feet wide creek. In most places the creek was one to twelve inches deep. A beaver constructed a couple dams and created a pond where it built a lodge. After a few years, the beaver exhausted its food supply. The pond filled and became a wet meadow full of life.

It surprised me to see a Great Blue Heron standing on a bare sandstone desert cliff over Calf Creek. It made sense because trout were present for the heron to hunt in the stream’s shallow clear cold water.

My barefoot walk for about two miles was in the stream’s cold water but the desert air was near 100 F. The stream bed was mostly bare sandstone a few inches deep with frequent holes a foot to three feet deep. Deep holes were places the trout hid in shadows. They often remained stationary in shallow water with use of their powerful tail muscles beating just enough to hold their stable position.

As I walked downstream, a trout facing upstream was alarmed by my presence and attempted to dart past me up stream. My right foot was just coming down as the trout slipped between my foot and rock. The fish’s body pressed against the bottom of my foot and was squeezed to the sandstone stream bed.

Quickly, I shifted my weight to my left foot to prevent hurting the fish. Too late. The fish began to roll downstream stunned by physical trauma. I picked up the fish and held it with head upstream to allow water to flow over the gills.

For several minutes, I hoped it would recover as it continued to open and close its mouth. Each time I released it, it could not swim and rolled in the current. After considerable time, I let the fish roll out sight.

Such events are now out of sight but not out of mind. It occurred in the 1990’s but stays with me. Previously, I wrote about this in my column. Like most stories shared with family and friends, they get repeated at gatherings, campouts, or in another group setting. We all have experiences to share and reminisce.

Many do not end in tragedy like it did for this trout. When you are fishing or on adventures into the wondrous world around us, remember to bring back fish stories or those of your personal experiences with wildlife and nature niches. Truthful stories are best and most interesting. Exaggerated “fish stories” are not necessary. The more time you are outdoors the more exciting stories you will accumulate for sharing.

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.

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DNR seeks comment on inland trout management plan

The public is welcome to comment on the DNR’s draft Inland Trout Management Plan, designed to protect species like Michigan’s state fish, the brook trout.

The public is welcome to comment on the DNR’s draft Inland Trout Management Plan, designed to protect species like Michigan’s state fish, the brook trout.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has released its draft inland trout management plan and is seeking public comment on it. The plan, available online at michigan.gov/fishing under Angler Alerts, focuses on the ecology and management of populations of inland trout in rivers and inland lakes of Michigan.

The intent of the inland trout management plan is to provide an overview of inland trout habitats in Michigan, the biology and ecology of inland trout populations, and management activities directed toward inland trout and their habitats. This information provides a basis for understanding the role of inland trout in current and future management of fisheries in Michigan’s inland lakes and streams.

This report does not cover species such as Chinook or coho salmon and migratory rainbow trout (steelhead), which reside in the Great Lakes and migrate inland on a seasonal basis. It does cover inland trout that primarily reside in streams and inland lakes throughout their lives.

Sections of the report focus on distribution of trout waters in the state, origin of inland trout fisheries, biology of inland trout in streams and lakes, fishing regulations, status of fisheries and other topics.

Public comments may be submitted via email to DNR-FISH-ManagementPlans@michigan.gov by Friday, April 14. Written public comments also will be accepted at Marquette Fisheries Research Station, attention Troy Zorn, 484 Cherry Creek Road, Marquette, MI 49855.

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Tuesday Talks: Trout in Cedar Creek

OUT-Tuesday-Talk-Brook-TroutThe Rogue River Watershed Partners present:

Tuesday Talks: Trout in Cedar Creek

Learn about the fascinating results of GVSU student Justin Wegner’s brook trout movement study on Cedar Creek. He will be at Cedar Springs Brewing Company on March 28, 6-7 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public.

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Help prevent spread of invasive New Zealand mudsnail


Anglers should do what they can, including cleaning their boats and equipment after any and all fishing trips, to protect against the spread of the invasive New Zealand mudsnail.

Anglers should do what they can, including cleaning their boats and equipment after any and all fishing trips, to protect against the spread of the invasive New Zealand mudsnail.

In 2015, the Michigan departments of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources confirmed the presence of the invasive New Zealand mudsnail in the Pere Marquette River near Baldwin, which is a popular destination for trout and salmon anglers.

New Zealand mudsnails are each only about 1/8 inch long and can be difficult to see. However, these snails can significantly change the aquatic habitats they live in by reaching extremely high densities. When that happens, they can out-compete native species that are important food sources for trout. They also have no nutritional value for trout species that may feed upon them, which can negatively affect the overall condition of the trout.

The threat of New Zealand mudsnail spreading to new waters is high because they are easily transported via recreational users, such as anglers, due to their ability to attach to fishing equipment, wading gear and other hard surfaces. Once attached, they can hitch a ride to a new river or lake and begin the invasive process again. Additionally, a single snail can reproduce once transported.

New Zealand mudsnails are very resilient and have been known to survive in damp environments for up to 26 days.

As the spring fishing season gears up, anglers are anxiously awaiting the opportunity to target steelhead on the Pere Marquette and other popular Michigan rivers. It is important for anglers to clean, drain and dry their equipment to help prevent the spread of these invasive snails, as well as all types of aquatic invasive species.

Anglers are encouraged to clean boats and equipment (including waders) with hot water or a diluted bleach solution, and, when possible, allow the equipment to dry for at least five days before reusing.

Additional information about the New Zealand mudsnail and other aquatic invasive species can be found at michigan.gov/invasives.

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Catch of the week

Catch of the week

Johnathon Funk, 8, was fishing Sunday morning, June 17, at Duke Creek Campground, after all the rain, when he caught this 13-inch trout. According to his parents, Amanda and Tim Funk, Johnathon and his brother have caught several trout in the creek there at the camp already this summer.

Congratulations, Johnathon, you made the Post Catch of the Week!

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Weekly fishing tip: Fly Fishing Frenzy

June is the month in Michigan for fly fishing after dark, with big bugs for big trout. The month’s hatches start with the brown drake mayfly, followed by the isonychia mayfly, and rounded out by Michigan’s biggest mayfly, the hexagenia. Each bug can be expected to hatch in one to two weeks on a given water body, with some overlap. With the warm weather so far in 2012, the hatch schedule has been accelerated in Michigan so the hatches this year may be more intense and last fewer nights that usual.

Bugs will begin to emerge in the evening after sunset and can continue well after dark. Roughly 48 hours later those same bugs will return to the water they hatched from and die. Both events cause a feeding frenzy in the fish community and provide a lot of fun for the anglers that take advantage of the feeding fish. Contacting a local fly shop or bait shop is a good place to look for information on hatch activity on a specific water body. For information on fishing for trout in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/fishing.

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Catch of the week

Joey Meade, age 8, of Cedar Springs, is shown here with his grandpa Alan Oberlin, and Joey’s first ever rainbow trout! Joey, the son of Craig (CJ) and Stacy Meade, of Cedar Springs, caught the fish on South Manistique Lake, Curtis, Michigan, while on vacation with grandparents Alan and Sherri Oberlin. Grandpa and Grandma were catching blue gills, and Joey, who loves to fish, pulled in two pike (18 and 20 inches), this 16-inch trout, and a bullhead 12-inches long. The pike were too small, however, and had to go back in the water. It was a good week in the UP!
Congratulations Joey, you made the Post Catch of the Week!

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Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative

Thanks to Josh Zuiderveen from Streamworks, LLC, the City of Cedar Springs received a grant to restore trout habitat in Cedar Creek. Josh is working with City DPW workers to rebuild the banks and create habitat in Veteran’s Memorial Park and also between Main Street and the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail.

By Tom Noreen and Judy Reed

Many a Cedar Springs resident remembers fishing along the banks of Cedar Creek for brook trout, and telling stories of the one that got away. Thanks to a grant the city received to restore trout habitat by rebuilding the bank along Cedar Creek, those memories (and stories) will stay alive for years to come. And it’s all part of the Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative.

In an effort to protect the watershed, Nichol DeMol, Project Manager for Trout Unlimited, is working with local governments to review master plans and ordinances. She is also partnering with the local Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited organization, Rogue River Watershed Council, the West Michigan Land Conservancy, and other groups.

“Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited recently began work on a project along Cedar Creek, which will improve the stream bank and flow of the water through the City of Cedar Springs,” explained De Mol.

She and other volunteers have been gathering data to assess which areas need restoration and reconnection since last fall. They are collecting temperature data, looking at turbidity (clarity), and insect populations. Sampling aquatic insect larva provides a good look at the quality of the water, as some are very sensitive to thermal stress. She is also checking every bridge and culvert of tributary streams within the watershed to ensure fish can navigate through them.

Trout Unlimited’s Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative, which began in October 2010, is one of twelve such projects in the US and the only one in Michigan. DeMol said they chose the Rogue because of its location just north of Michigan’s second largest metropolitan area and because it is a coldwater watershed supporting trout populations throughout its drainage. She said, “This project will work over the next several years to address the impacts of urbanization on the river. The emphasis of the work will be to focus on restoration actions, working with local governments, and educating citizens.”
Even though the headwaters of the Rogue River lie in what was Rice Lake, which is now the muck fields east of Grant, 77 percent of the Rogue River watershed lies in Kent County. Its tributaries include Cedar Creek, Little Cedar Creek, White Creek, and Duke Creek in the northern park of the county. It drains a total of 262 square miles.

The Rogue River is home to steelhead, rainbow, and browns below the dam in Rockford. Above the dam you can find brown and rainbow. In the coldwater tributaries such as Cedar Creek you can find brook trout.

Trout need cold water below 70 degrees Fahrenheit and prefer water closer to 60 degrees F. From De Mol’s data, during the summer months the Rogue’s temperature rises to the high 60’s while tributaries, like Cedar Creek, stay cooler. Cedar Creek’s average temperature is slightly less than 60 degrees F in the summer months. The warmest section of Cedar Creek is the portion that flows through the City of Cedar Springs. This is why unrestricted access from the Rogue to the tributaries is critical; fish must be able to move into the cold water as the river warms up.

Key factors that degrade the quality of the water are thermal stress and sediment. While 50 percent of the watershed drains agricultural land, the major sources of stress are from urban areas. As farmland has been converted to subdivisions and shopping areas, water has less chance to soak into the ground. This runoff carries with it both sediments and nutrients from lawn fertilizers and enters the streams at a higher temperature. When rain and snow melt are able to soak into the ground, sediments and pollutants are removed and the temperature is lowered. Retention and detention ponds that collect runoff also help reduce this problem, as do rain gardens for homes. Farmers help by leaving buffer strips around fields that act as a filter and slow down the runoff so it can soak into the ground.

Community outreach is one of De Mol’s projects for sustaining the watershed. She said that since these projects were started, all have been successful for both the community and the river. She is willing to speak to community groups, service clubs, and schools.

She also coordinated a Rogue River Cleanup on a three-mile section below the Rockford dam this spring and is hoping to collaborate with other communities, like Cedar Springs, when they conduct their annual Earth Day cleanup of Cedar Creek. Cedar Springs also recently received a grant for waders and trash picks to clean up the area.

DeMol is looking for volunteers to help with the monitoring. Training is minimal. If you live on or near the Rogue or one of its tributaries and are interested in collecting data at a specific location contact her at the email or phone number listed below. The next large monitoring effort will take place on October 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The link up location will be at the Algoma Township Hall.

For more information or on how to volunteer please contact Nichol DeMol via telephone at 231-557-6362, email at ndemol@tu.org.

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Trout fishing at state forest campgrounds and parks

Looking for a vacation destination that combines great fishing, beautiful scenery, and affordability? Many of Michigan’s state parks and forest campgrounds are located on or near high-quality trout waters.

Michigan boasts more than 130 state parks and state forest campgrounds that are within one mile of a trout lake or stream.

The Department of Natural Resources’ Forest Management Division and Fisheries Division have teamed up with the Michigan Chapter of Trout Unlimited to collate and catalog these opportunities. Maps of campground locations and corresponding fishing opportunities are available online at www.michigan.gov/dnrrecreationcamping and www.michigan.gov/fishing.

Campgrounds near trout fishing are located throughout the state. In southern lower Michigan, state parks provide the camping experience. In the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula, there are camping opportunities in both state parks and state forest campgrounds.  All offer a unique experience.

“State forest campgrounds provide an opportunity for anglers to enjoy great fishing in a rustic setting,” says Lynne Boyd, chief of the DNR Forest Management Division.

The state parks offer many fishing opportunities for everyone from the first-timer to experienced anglers, said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division. Trout fishing is available everywhere from Spring Mill Pond in Island Lake State Recreation Area to Tippy Dam on the Manistee River.

“The diversity of camping locations and the diversity of trout fishing experiences available are numerous, and would likely take any one person years to experience,” said Jim Dexter, acting chief of the DNR Fisheries Division.

The Recreation Passport has replaced motor vehicle permits for entry into Michigan state parks, recreation areas and state-administered boating access fee sites. Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking “YES” on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area. To learn more about the Recreation Passport, visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport or call (517) 241-7275.

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Ray Winnie
Intandem Credit Union


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