DNR News: Regional fishing info, CWD deer regs, spike in geocaching

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News Digest - Week of July 15, 2019

Profile view of a piping plover standing on a sandy Michigan beach

Recently reintroduced federal legislation would bring critical wildlife conservation funding to Michigan.

Here's a look at some of this week's stories from the Michigan 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 the images used below are available in this folder.

CWD deer regulations, federal wildlife conservation support

Michigan white-tailed deer in the grass, blue sky in background

In case you missed it, last week saw two important developments for Michigan wildlife. At the national level, U.S. Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) reintroduced the Recovering America's Wildlife Act, critical bipartisan legislation that, if passed, would provide $1.4 billion for state-led conservation efforts across the country, with roughly $27 million a year coming here to Michigan. Sponsors of the original legislation include U.S. Reps. Dan Kildee, Rashida Tlaib and Fred Upton. 

"Bold solutions are needed to safeguard our nation’s wildlife from further decline,” said Dingell, in her office's announcement. “The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act represents a strong commitment to addressing the current biodiversity crisis using innovative, state-based management that will safeguard our nation’s environmental heritage for current and future generations." 

Learn more about how this legislation could help Michigan at Michigan.gov/WildlifeActionPlan

In Lansing, the Michigan Natural Resources Commission approved a series of deer regulations aimed at slowing the spread of chronic wasting disease, a fatal neurological disease found in deer, elk and moose. The regulations pertain to baiting and feeding deer, especially in areas of the state with known occurrences of CWD. 

For more on chronic wasting disease, visit Michigan.gov/CWD. This website is in process of being updated with 2019 regulations.

Before you head to Kitch-iti-kipi this week ...

Kids looking over edge of raft at Palms Book State Park

Palms Book State Park in Manistique draws thousands of visitors from all over the state every summer, many to see Kitch-iti-kipi – Michigan's largest freshwater spring, stretching 200 feet across and 40 feet deep. If you're planning a trip early this week, the park staff wants you to know that the self-guided observation raft will be unavailable for use Tuesday, July 16, for needed repairs. The park is open, but the raft will not be operational.

If you've never seen Kitch-iti-kipi up close, add it to your travel bucket list. On the self-guided raft, you can see more than 10,000 gallons a minute gush from fissures in the underlying limestone into the water that remains a constant 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Get a peek at the park and spring in this 40-second video

Questions? Contact park supervisor Lee Vaughn, 906-341-2355. Get more information about camping, beaches, programs and other outdoor fun at Michigan's 100-plus state parks at Michigan.gov/StateParks.

Geocachers find beauty, treasures on State Parks Centennial GeoTour

two young men and a young woman, kneeling down in the woods, opening a hidden geocache container

More than a month into the State Parks Centennial GeoTour, geocaching fans in Michigan are showing off their treasure-hunting smarts! Recent numbers show more than 7,500 "found" logs had been entered for caches, which have been hidden at dozens of state parks throughout Michigan. That count includes nearly 1,200 individual geocaching accounts with at least one find. The most popular cache, found 102 times, is at Interlochen State Park.

The tour is a partnership with the Michigan Geocaching Organization, providing the chance to seek out 100 new caches while and enjoying the outdoors in a new way during this state parks centennial year

Active geocachers on the GeoTour have recorded more than 1,700 favorite points, so tagged because the geocachers really liked something about the hide; it could be the location, the cache container or the overall experience. The Bay City State Park cache, with 48 favorite point votes, remains the most "favorited" cache of the tour. So far, three cachers had managed to find all 100 GeoTour caches, but more are sure to follow. 

"If you're totally new to geocaching and all of these numbers and terms sound confusing to you, don't worry," said the DNR Parks and Recreation Division's Stephanie Yancer, who helped coordinate the GeoTour. "It's super easy to get started with geocaching, and people are finding it's a great way to use smartphone technology to get you outdoors doing something fun with family and friends."

Questions? Contact Stephanie Yancer, 989-274-6182.

Weekly Fishing Report helps anglers see what's biting

smiling little boy holding a fishing pole in one hand and a fish on the line in the other hand

Michigan’s warmer weather is bringing more anglers out, but hotter temperatures are pushing many fish into deeper, cooler water. Walleye action throughout lakes Erie and Huron has been good, with anglers catching fish on crawler harnesses. Catch rates for bass have been strong throughout much of the state, too, especially along shorelines and near docks. Boats targeting lake trout throughout the Great Lakes have seen limited success.

While the heat persists, your best times to hit the water are early morning and evening. Check out the latest fishing news from across the state by reading the DNR”s Weekly Fishing Report. Get more information about fishing opportunities and resources at Michigan.gov/Fishing.


Michigan's second Free ORV Weekend of the year is set for Aug. 17-18, a great opportunity to explore state-designated trails at no charge, all weekend long!


If you're planning on doing some turkey hunting this fall, you've still got just a few weeks left to apply for your license! Application period closes Aug. 1.


Sadly, some people still dump garbage in Michigan's beautiful forests. Want to help clean it up? Join the Adopt-a-Forest effort and make a real difference.

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