DNR News: 21 million fish stocked, Wildlife Habitat Grants, help the hungry

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News Digest - Week of Oct. 28, 2019

a bumblebee on a bright yellow flower in a field of green

Creating habitat for bees and other pollinators is just one effort supported by DNR Wildlife Habitat Grants.

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 in this email are available in this folder.

More than 21 million fish stocked in 2019 means great fishing opportunities

A fish stocking truck backed up to a pond at sunset

Brown trout, coho salmon, steelhead, walleye and nine other species and one hybrid were among the 21,281,411 fish stocked in Michigan’s public waters so far this year. These fish weighed a combined total of 311 tons.

DNR staff made 449 stocking trips to 857 stocking sites, including Great Lakes, inland lakes and rivers. Eighteen specialized stocking trucks traveled 106,000 miles over the course of 2,693 hours to get the job done.

The number and type of fish stocked varies depending on stocking requests, hatchery rearing assignments, and the source and temperature of each facility’s rearing water. Michigan has six state fish hatcheries and two cooperative hatcheries that together produce the species, strain and size of fish requested by fisheries managers. These fish are delivered at a specific time and location to ensure their survival and success.

Each hatchery stocked the following fish (details on weight and sites are available on the DNR's website): 

  • Harrietta State Fish Hatchery (west of Cadillac) stocked 916,630 brown and rainbow trout.
  • Marquette State Fish Hatchery (near Marquette) stocked 377,076 yearling lake trout, brook trout and splake (a hybrid of lake trout and brook trout).
  • Oden State Fish Hatchery (near Petoskey) stocked 647,699 brown and rainbow trout.
  • Platte River State Fish Hatchery (near Honor) stocked 3,090,753 fish that included yearling Atlantic and coho salmon, spring fingerling chinook salmon and walleye fry.
  • Thompson State Fish Hatchery (near Manistique) stocked 6,944,722 fish that included yearling steelhead, spring fingerling chinook salmon and walleye fry.
  • Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery (near Kalamazoo) stocked 6,233,314 fish that included yearling steelhead, spring fingerling chinook salmon, Great Lakes strain muskellunge, walleye fry and channel catfish obtained from the Ohio DNR.

A cooperative teaching hatchery at Lake Superior State University (in Sault Ste. Marie) stocked 19,894 Atlantic salmon.

The total includes more than 3 million walleye spring fingerlings. These fish are reared in ponds by the DNR and tribal partners, with extensive support provided by local sporting organizations. Also included are 14,544 lake sturgeon fingerlings reared at stream-side hatcheries and released in various inland and Great Lake tributary streams.

Learn more at MichiganDNR.com/FishStock or by contacting Jan VanAmberg, 906-341-5587, ext. 202 or 906-249-1611, ext. 306 or Elyse Walter, 517-284-5839.

Hunters: Help feed hungry families, win prizes by donating deer

woman wearing a baseball cap and apron, holding a box of processed venison

With Michigan’s firearm deer season drawing near and bow season underway, the DNR encourages hunters to help feed hungry families by donating deer to Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger. Since 1991, this all-volunteer, nonprofit organization has worked to connect donors, wild game processors and charities like food banks, pantries and shelters that help feed those in need.

Michigan hunters donated enough deer last year to produce over 50,000 pounds of ground venison, providing more than 200,000 meals.

“This is great, but we know we can do better,” said Dean Hall, Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger executive officer.

To help boost participation, MSAH is partnering for the second year with the DNR and Jay’s Sporting Goods to offer a special opportunity for hunters to donate deer taken in the first few days of the firearm season to local food banks.

Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger will have a truck at the Jay’s location in Clare (8880 S. Clare Ave.) Saturday, Nov. 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 17, from noon to 4 p.m. Hunters who donate a legally taken deer during the event will have their names entered for a chance to win a $500 Jay’s Sporting goods gift certificate.

Deer donated at the Jay’s event will be processed at Carson Village Market in Carson City.

“Last year we received donations of 25 deer, which provided nearly 1,000 pounds of ground venison that was distributed to local food banks,” Hall said. “It shows we can have a big impact working together.”

Hunters who can’t make it to the Jay’s event will have another opportunity to donate a deer and enter a prize drawing. MSAH will hold a separate drawing for a chance to win a wild boar hunt or one of several other prizes, open to any hunter who donates a deer at one of the many participating processors throughout the state.

Learn more about the drawings, find participating processors or make a monetary donation to support venison processing at SportsmenAgainstHunger.org.

Hunters also can make a monetary donation when buying hunting licenses.

For more information, contact Ray Rustem at 517-420-0005.

Nearly $1 million in Wildlife Habitat Grants announced

view of  flooded natural area, surrounded by mature trees

Enhancement of large wetland complexes and winter deer complexes, planting of mast-producing food sources and creation of forest openings and oak savanna are just some of the projects that will be funded through this year’s Wildlife Habitat Grants from the DNR.

A variety of conservation organizations, units of government, landowners and nonprofit organizations will share $996,900 in grants for projects to be completed by Sept. 30, 2021.

The successful applicants, counties where habitat projects will take place and grant amounts are:

  • Audubon Great Lakes (St. Clair), $111,200.
  • Branch County Conservation District (Branch), $22,100.
  • Copper Country Chapter of American Woodcock Society (Keweenaw), $16,400.
  • Ducks Unlimited (Tuscola), $119,400.
  • Kalamazoo Conservation District (Kalamazoo), $111,500.
  • Land Ethics, LLC (Kalkaska), $72,900.
  • Little Traverse Conservancy (Cheboygan), $17,300.
  • Pheasants Forever (Allegan, Gratiot, Huron, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Saginaw), $149,900.
  • Ruffed Grouse Society (Cheboygan, Otsego), $151,100.
  • Springfield Township (Oakland), $86,500.
  • Sustainable Resources Institute (Baraga, Chippewa, Delta, Ontonagon, Schoolcraft), $138,600.

The Wildlife Habitat Grant Program started in October 2013 and is funded with a portion of the revenue from hunting and fishing licenses sold each year. The DNR cooperatively administers the grant program through the department’s Wildlife Division and Grants Management Section.

The program’s main objective is to enhance and improve the quality and quantity of game species habitat in support of the DNR Wildlife Division’s strategic plan.

See more examples of license dollars at work at Michigan.gov/Wildlife. For more on the Wildlife Habitat Grant program at Michigan.gov/DNRGrants.

Questions? Contact Clay Buchanan, 517-614-0918 or Chip Kosloski, 517-284-5965.


Watch the Massing of the Colors, hear from guest speakers and enjoy creative re-enactors and more during the Michigan History Center's annual Veterans Tribute Nov. 3 in Lansing.


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