As fishing season begins, the Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers that department personnel will be collecting data at lakes, rivers and Great Lakes ports about anglers' fishing experiences this year.
DNR creel clerks will ask anglers how long they fished, what species they were targeting, and how many fish were harvested and/or released. In some cases, clerks may ask to measure or weigh fish and take scale samples.
These efforts are part of the DNR’s Statewide Angler Survey Program, a long-term monitoring program designed to track recreational fisheries across the Great Lakes.
"The point of the whole program is to characterize how many fish are harvested, how many hours anglers spend fishing, and what fish they are targeting," said DNR fisheries biologist Tracy Kolb. "We use this information to manage fisheries across the state."
The DNR appreciates anglers' cooperation as it usually only takes a couple of minutes to answer the creel clerks’ questions.
Anglers interested in seeing the results from surveys of Great Lakes ports in previous years can find them online at www.dnr.state.mi.us/chartercreel.
Apply for elk and bear licenses through June 1
The DNR reminds hunters that applications for Michigan elk and bear hunting licenses are available now through June 1.
There will be 200 elk licenses and 7,906 bear hunting licenses available for the 2013 hunting seasons.
Only Michigan residents are eligible to apply for an elk license. Bear licenses are available for both residents and nonresidents; however, no more than 2 percent of licenses in any bear management unit will be issued to nonresidents.
Hunters can apply online at www.michigan.gov/huntdrawings, at any authorized license agent or at a DNR Customer Service Center. A nonrefundable $4 fee is charged at the time of application. Hunters may purchase just one application for each species.
Applicants may call (517) 373-1263 by June 1 for assistance with their application and may check their drawing results online at www.michigan.gov/huntdrawings beginning June 24 for both species.
See the 2013 Michigan Elk Hunting Digest and 2013 Michigan Bear Hunting Digest for more details about the application processes.
All hunting digests can be found at www.michigan.gov/dnrdigests.
Spring turkey season reminders: cooperator patches available, report your harvest
With Michigan’s spring turkey season now in full swing, the DNR reminds hunters of two important spring turkey hunting opportunities.
Commemorative 2013 Wild Turkey Management Cooperator patches are available from the Michigan Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). Once given only to successful turkey hunters who submitted feather samples to DNR for data collection purposes, now this special patch is available to any turkey enthusiast through a partnership between the NWTF and the DNR.
The NWTF took over the patch program in 2001 and worked with the DNR to incorporate a contest for youths to design the patches, which has been very successful.
Lauren Gamboa, a freshman at Lake Orion High School, was in eighth grade when she submitted her winning design for the 2013 Wild Turkey Management Cooperator patch. The oval patch features drawings of feathers from a turkey’s breast, wing and tail on a bright green background.
Hunters, collectors or other wild turkey enthusiasts can order a patch by sending a $5 check and a self-addressed stamped envelope to Wild Turkey Patch Program, P.O. Box 8, Orleans, MI 48865.
Youths 16 and younger can receive a free patch by mailing a copy of their spring turkey hunting license.
For more information on the turkey patch program, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The DNR would also like to remind hunters to submit their spring turkey harvest information. Although not required, reporting information about hunting experiences and success is encouraged. This information helps the DNR make scientifically supported recommendations regarding turkey harvests to the National Resources Commission.
To report your harvest online, visit www.michigan.gov/hunting and click on the “Wildlife Surveys and Reports” tab on the left hand side of the page.