In brief

Funding for water quality, habitat, etc., available

EAST LANSING — Conservation funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is available to landowners in the western Upper Peninsula for implementing conservation practices that improve water quality and wildlife habitat and reduce the risk of forest fires.

The funding was made available through the work of the Partners for Watershed Restoration which includes the USDA, the U.S. Forest Service, state, local and tribal governments, and other area businesses and organizations. The USDA has $180,000 of financial assistance available to landowners for designated conservation practices.

Agricultural producers and private non-industrial forest owners in Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, Marquette and Ontonagon counties are eligible to apply. Applications must be submitted to local offices of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service by Feb. 16 to be eligible for the current round of funding.

Some practices eligible for financial assistance include forest management plans, forest stand improvement, tree and shrub establishment and early successional habitat development and management. Additional supporting practices are also eligible for financial assistance.

The Partners for Watershed Restoration project is designed to reduce wildfire threats, protect water quality, and improve and restore aquatic habitat in Lake Superior watersheds. Landowners interested in applying for conservation assistance should contact their local USDA service center or visit the Partnering for Watershed Restoration web page.

Fall fish stocking successful

HARVEY — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced the totals from its 2017 fall fish-stocking efforts. The DNR stocked nine different species totaling 834,175 fish that weighed nearly 11.5 tons. Fish were stocked at 76 locations throughout the state.

The Marquette State Fish Hatchery in Harvey 65,615 fall fingerling and adult brook and lake trout that weighed a combined 4,371 pounds. These fish were stocked at a total of 52 locations.

“It was another outstanding fall fish-stocking season that will provide enhanced opportunities throughout Michigan,” said Ed Eisch, DNR fish production manager, in a news release. “When added to our successful spring and summer stocking efforts, that brings the total for 2017 to more than 26.4 million fish put into Michigan’s waters.”

The number and type of fish stocked varies by hatchery as each facility’s ability to rear fish differs because of water supplies and temperature. In Michigan, there are six state and three cooperative hatcheries that work together to produce the species, strain and size of fish needed by fisheries managers. These fish must then be delivered at a specific time and location for stocking to ensure their success. Most fish in Michigan are stocked in the spring.

Fall fish stocking in 2017 consisted of nine species that included brook trout, brown trout, coho salmon, lake trout, Eagle Lake and steelhead strain rainbow trout, lake sturgeon, walleye and muskellunge.

Other stocking efforts were:

– The Harrietta State Fish Hatchery west of Cadillac stocked 33,698 fall fingerling Wild Rose strain brown trout weighing 1,625 pounds at one location.

– The Oden State Fish Hatchery near Petoskey stocked 135,683 fall fingerling Eagle Lake rainbow trout that weighed 1,577 pounds and three Black Lake strain lake sturgeon weighing 37.5 pounds. Oden stocked four locations with these fish.

– The Platte River State Fish Hatchery west of Traverse City stocked 134,000 fall fingerling coho salmon weighing 8,466 pounds. These salmon were stocked in Medusa Creek Imprinting Pond in Charlevoix County.

– The Thompson State Fish Hatchery near Manistique stocked 302,442 fall fingerling steelhead that weighed 3,623 pounds. Thompson stocked six locations.

– Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery west of Kalamazoo stocked three species of fall fingerlings in 2017. These included 150,764 fall fingerling steelhead weighing 2,047 pounds at two locations. Wolf Lake also stocked 1,365 Northern strain muskellunge fall fingerlings that weighed 155 pounds and were stocked at three sites. Lastly, 10,606 Muskegon strain fall fingerling walleye that weighed 1,004 pounds were stocked at six sites.

Several DNR Fisheries Management Units – Northern Lake Michigan, Lake Erie and Southern Lake Huron – also stocked fall fingerling walleye in 2017. The Northern Lake Michigan Management Unit stocked 2,929 Bay De Noc strain fall fingerling walleye weighing 232 pounds, while the Lake Erie and Southern Lake Huron management units stocked 7,250 Muskegon strain fall fingerling walleye weighing 135 pounds.

The DNR welcomes visitors to its state fish hatcheries and interpretative centers to witness firsthand the fish-rearing process and to learn about Michigan’s waters. For more information, visit michigan.gov/hatcheries.

To find out if any fish were stocked in your favorite fishing spot, visit the DNR’s fish stocking database at michigandnr.com/fishstock/.

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