DNR News: Talk with fisheries staff, get new virtual views, watch invasives webinars

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News Digest - Week of March 22, 2021

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Beautify your backgrounds with stunning virtual backdrops like this.

Some of this week's stories may reflect the impact of COVID-19 and how the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has adapted to meet customers' needs and protect public health and safety. We will continue to share news and information about the best ways to enjoy our state's natural and cultural resources.

Follow our COVID-19 response page for FAQs and updates on access to facilities and programs. For public health guidelines and news, visit Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

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.

Larger, higher-res versions of some of the images used in this digest are available below at the end of the email.

Photo ambassador snapshot: A spectacular sunset

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Want to see more stunning pictures like this, taken by Michigan state parks photo ambassador Brandon Johnson at Muskegon State Park in Muskegon County? Visit Instagram.com/MiStateParks to explore photos and learn more about the photo ambassadors! For more on the program, call Stephanie Yancer at 989-274-6182.

Catch up on fisheries info at ‘Conversations & Coffee’ meetings

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Have questions about fishing in Michigan and 2021 fishing regulations? Check out these upcoming virtual “Conversations & Coffee” events, focusing on fisheries management areas around the state, to get answers and talk with DNR Fisheries Division staff.  

These events cover local and statewide regulation changes affecting anglers and are a great opportunity to meet fisheries managers and biologists, discuss local issues and management activities, and get specific questions answered. 

Enjoy your preferred coffee (and learn about specific fisheries management units) from the comfort of home at one of the following “Conversations & Coffee” virtual meetings:

  • Northern Lake Michigan
    • 7 to 8:30 p.m. EST/6 to 7:30 p.m. CT Tuesday, April 6
  • Western Lake Superior 
    • 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 6 
  • Eastern Lake Superior
    • 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 8 (in partnership with the Michigan Sea Grant workshop) 
  • Lake Erie
    • 7 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 12
  • Central and Southern Lake Michigan
    • 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 15
  • Northern and Southern Lake Huron
    • 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 6 (in partnership with the Michigan Sea Grant workshop)

For detailed meeting and contact information, visit the Conversations & Coffee webpage.

NotMiSpecies webinar series returns this week

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Want to learn more about what Michigan is doing to prevent and control invasive plants, pests and animals? The Michigan Invasive Species Program’s NotMISpecies webinar series explores how agencies, universities and locally led organizations are working together to protect Michigan’s natural resources. The series examines species-specific actions, innovations in research and technology, and programs designed to help communities prevent and manage harmful invasive species. 

Coming up 9 a.m. Thursday, March 25, is “Why Spotted Lanternfly?” focusing on the threat posed by one of the newest invasive pests on Michigan’s watch list. Learn about how Michigan is working with other states and the federal government to determine which species are real threats and to prepare for their potential arrival.

Tuesday, April 20, at 9 a.m., “Not in MI Waters” dives into the world of technicians and biologists responding to new aquatic invasive plant detections. Find out how they’re using the science of early detection to control European frog-bit, parrot feather and other recently introduced species.

Recordings of previous NotMISpecies webinars, including grass carp management, hemlock woolly adelgid field operations and technological advancements in managing red swamp crayfish, are available for viewing at Michigan.gov/EGLEEvents.

For an extra helping of invasive species news, tune in to the latest edition of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Fresh from the Field podcast. Plant industry specialist Mike Bryan and invasive species specialist Rob Miller talk about mountain pine beetle, an invasive tree pest moving eastward from the West Coast and Rocky Mountains, and Japanese knotweed, an invasive shrub found in many parts of the state. Listen at Anchor.fm/MDARD.

Questions? Contact Joanne Foreman at 517-284-5814.

The first 'zooms' of spring


The sun is out, and so are new virtual backgrounds from the DNR!

Merry marigolds, relaxing rivers, Great Lakes gulls and more – these scenes, found in the DNR’s collection of virtual videoconferencing backgrounds for Zoom and other applications, can brighten the backdrop of your next virtual call. They’ll add some charm and beauty next time you’re meeting by screen with friends, family or colleagues.

With these new additions, you can enjoy the sights of spring from your home office – or get inspired to go out and enjoy the sunshine at a state park, on a hike or on a water trail. Browse the gallery, available at Michigan.gov/DNRPressRoom in the Photos and Videos section.

In addition to their visual appeal, virtual backgrounds serve a practical purpose. When you’re meeting online with people outside your immediate contacts, security experts recommend using virtual backgrounds to obscure details of your home and surroundings.

The high-resolution images should be compatible with most virtual meeting platforms, too, and can be used as computer backgrounds.

Questions? Contact Beth Fults at 517-284-6071.


The maple syrup is running, and so are the participants of the Outdoor Adventure Center Lumberjack Run Virtual 5K Saturday, March 27. Get your flannel and get moving!


Now's a great time to check out spring fishing opportunities. Before you head out, make sure to have your most important gear: a 2021 fishing license, required beginning April 1.  


It's officially spring! You can help protect Michigan’s trails by avoiding them when muddy. Learn more about trail etiquette and do your part to protect these natural spaces.

/Note to editors: Accompanying photos are available below for download. Suggested captions and photo credit information follow:

Conversations & Coffee graphic: Enjoy your preferred coffee (and learn about specific fisheries management units) from the comfort of home at one of the “Conversations & Coffee” virtual meetings. For detailed meeting and contact information, visit the Conversations & Coffee webpage.

Marigolds: The DNR’s collection of virtual videoconferencing backgrounds can brighten the backdrop of your next virtual call. Browse the gallery, available at Michigan.gov/DNRPressRoom in the Photos and Videos section./

Enjoy responsible recreation

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