Managed waterfowl hunt area planning effort begins

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Several ducks sit on or near a log floating in a wetland with wetland grasses and some trees in the background.

Managed waterfowl hunt area planning effort begins

Opportunities for engagement and stakeholder input will be announced as they are scheduled.

A new planning effort will look to set habitat and hunting management goals and objectives for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources' seven managed waterfowl hunt areas in southern Michigan – Fennville Farm Unit of Allegan State Game Area (Allegan County), Fish Point State Wildlife Area (Tuscola County), Harsens Island Unit of St. Clair Flats State Wildlife Area (St. Clair County), Muskegon County Wastewater (Muskegon County), Nayanquing Point State Wildlife Area (Bay County), Pointe Mouillee State Game Area (Monroe and Wayne counties) and Shiawassee River State Game Area (Saginaw County).  

A workgroup, comprised of DNR Wildlife Division staff, is charged with developing two interrelated managed waterfowl hunt area plans – one for managed hunting operations and one for habitat management. The purpose of these plans will be to provide direction for short- and long-term decision-making processes, define priorities, recognize the importance of these areas to a diversity of wildlife and wildlife-related recreation, identify how the areas contribute to the Wildlife Division strategic plan and provide consistency between areas while still recognizing their uniqueness.

These managed waterfowl hunt area plans are needed to address declining hunter numbers and identify how these areas and associated habitats contribute to regional and statewide habitat goals, climate resiliency and local community plans. The plans will also address updated goals and objectives in the Wildlife Division strategic plan, including managing habitats and wildlife for a diverse set of values and working with communities to improve conservation outcomes.

Over the next several months, the workgroup will focus on evaluation and assessment of current managed waterfowl hunting. During the spring and summer of 2022, the workgroup will conduct a structured decision-making process to develop objectives and alternatives for managed hunting operations. The workgroup expects to have a complete 10-year managed hunting plan, with implementation beginning in August of 2023. 

The plan for the development of a 10-year managed waterfowl hunt area habitat plan will use a similar structured process beginning in 2023, with implementation expected in August of 2024.

A formal process will be used to set objectives and develop plans that are science-based, transparent and inclusive. There will be multiple opportunities for stakeholders to provide input and feedback during the development of the plans. Stakeholder input is valued and necessary for success, and the workgroup will seek a diversity of perspectives. A variety of management alternatives will be identified and evaluated with stakeholder input.

Future opportunities for engagement and stakeholder input will likely include opportunities for online input, structured in-person meetings and surveys. These opportunities for input and participation in the planning process will be announced as they are scheduled.

Learn more about the DNR's managed waterfowl hunt areas at or email with questions.

Managed waterfowl areas ►

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