DNR News: NRC meeting Thursday, fish stocking, wild mushrooms & more

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News Digest - Week of May 6, 2019

A billboard from the Michigan DNR's Forests for a Lifetime campaign

A billboard from the DNR's sustainable forestry campaign, currently running in the metro Detroit area.

Here's a look at some of this week's stories from the Department of Natural Resources:

See other news releases, Showcasing the DNR stories, photos and other resources at Michigan.gov/DNRPressRoom.

PHOTO FOLDER: Larger, higher-res versions of some of the images used below are available in this folder.

Natural Resources Commission meets this week in Lansing

Close-up view of a Michigan white-tailed buck

Chronic wasting disease regulations, upgrades to the DNR's license sales system and the department's sustainable forestry campaign are just some of the discussion topics for the next regular meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission, set for Thursday, May 9, at Lansing Community College's Gannon Building, 422 N. Washington Square, in downtown Lansing.

All sessions will take place in the Michigan Room. Scheduled committee meetings include:

  • 9 a.m.: Marketing, Partnership, Youth and Outreach Advisory Committee.
  • 10:30 a.m.: Policy Committee on Wildlife and Fisheries.
  • 1 p.m.: Committee of the Whole.

See the meeting's full draft agenda at Michigan.gov/NRC. For more information or to schedule time to speak at the meeting, contact Cheryl Nelson at 517-284-6237.

On the road again: DNR fish-stocking trucks

a side view of a Michigan DNR fish-stocking truck, with pine trees in the background

If you’ve been driving Michigan’s highways and back roads in recent weeks, you might have spotted DNR fish-stocking trucks nearby. The department is right in the middle of its spring stocking season, which means there’s a good chance of coming across one of these trucks releasing its prized recreational cargo – thousands of fish – at hundreds of locations throughout the state.

Stocking is a valuable tool used by fisheries managers to restore, improve and create fishing opportunities in Michigan’s inland lakes and streams and the Great Lakes.

The DNR accomplishes this task by rearing fish at its six fish-production facilities, cooperatively managing up to 29 rearing ponds and six Great Lakes imprinting net pen/pond locations and maintaining a fleet of 18 specialized fish-stocking vehicles.

Every year, the DNR stocks more than 20 million fish weighing more than 350 tons. Species stocked include steelhead; Atlantic, chinook and coho salmon; splake, brown, brook, lake and rainbow trout, plus muskellunge and walleye. Beginning in mid-March and ending in early June, DNR trucks will travel well over 100,000 miles to stock more than a thousand locations.

For information on local fish-stocking locations, visit MichiganDNR.com/FishStock.

Questions? Contact Steve VanDerLaan, 269-668-2696, ext. 26.

ICYMI: Need-to-know info for wild mushroom season

Little boy in overalls, standing in front of a house, with a net bag of morels in one hand, with his other hand outstretched holding a morel

The hunt for wild mushrooms is on in Michigan, and people are searching the forests for these coveted, tasty treasures – both for their own enjoyment and for selling to others.

Before you join the hunt, though, there are some important things to keep in mind when it comes to properly identifying mushrooms, choosing ideal locations to search and understanding Michigan's Food Code requirements governing who sells hand-picked mushrooms. 

In case you missed it, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development recently wrote about wild mushroom season and things for consumers and restaurateurs to know. Read the full story before beginning your mushroom hunt! For additional information, check out the DNR's newly updated Michigan morels webpage at Michigan.gov/MiMorels.

New Wildtalk podcast: Birds, skunks, wetlands & more

Wildtalk podcast graphic showing an elk profile and a pair of hands holding headphones, on a wood background

Each month the DNR Wildlife Division releases a new episode of the Wildtalk podcast, a fun and interesting look inside the world of Michigan's wildlife and the people who help take care of it.

In the May episode, you'll find out what DNR wildlife staff have been up to around the state, talk birds and the MI Birds partnership with Erin Rowan, and hear listener questions – on topics ranging from skunk removal to salt blocks to fawns found alone – answered in the mailbag segment. The episode wraps up with a discussion about activities on public land and the Explore MI Wetland Wonders Challenge.

Questions? Contact the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-9453.

Happy 100th birthday, Michigan state parks!

three ilttle girls with smiling, dirty faces, having a good time at a state park

From Belle Isle in Detroit, all the way to the Porkies in the west end of the Upper Peninsula, Michigan is home to 103 state parks that offer the best in outdoor recreation, nature programming and gorgeous green spaces.

It all started in 1919 with the creation of the Michigan State Park Commission, and this year (officially May 12) marks the 100th anniversary of the state parks system. Many campers already have booked their spots to be a part of this historic weekend, but there's a full year of special events and programs planned to celebrate this milestone, too, including:

  • Campfire storytelling dates throughout the summer.
  • Happy Little Trees (with Bob Ross Inc.) tree-planting events.
  • A centennial geocaching tour around Michigan.
  • Special events (yoga on the beach, learn to fish and more).
  • Centennial-themed T-shirts, hats and other gear that gives back.
  • Plenty of volunteer opportunities to show your state park love!

Learn all about the state parks centennial at Michigan.gov/StateParks100 and find your favorite way to celebrate.


Take an indoor nature walk, paint a pet rock, meet a lumberjack, make 1920s paper dolls and much, much more family-friendly fun during Say Yes to Michigan Day Saturday, May 11, at the Michigan History Center in downtown Lansing. 


If you have soon-to-be graduates in your life, and they love the outdoors, consider giving state park and harbor gift cards – perfect for your favorite camper, boater or outdoor enthusiast. Available as plastic gift cards or e-gift cards.


Fighting invasive species is everybody's business! You can help by signing up to host an Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz location, where you'll help boaters learn about "Clean, Drain, Dry" and other important messages.

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