In brief

Study to track walleye, whitefish

STEVENS POINT, Wis. — The U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System are collaborating on a large-scale study to determine movements of walleye and lake whitefish in and around Green Bay.

This important research will provide new information regarding seasonal movements of individual fish and help determine which spawning locations are critical to the sport and commercial fisheries for these species.

The study consists of implanting transmitters into 300 walleye and 400 lake whitefish. The transmitters are black cylinders that are surgically implanted into the body cavity of the fish. These transmitters periodically send out a coded signal that is detected by an array of more than 150 acoustic receivers located in and around Green Bay.

The transmitters will allow tracking of fish for up to four years. A small temperature sensor, attached to each transmitter, will also allow researchers to better understand the water temperature preferences of individual fish along with likely water depths used by each fish.

Each fish implanted with a transmitter also will receive an external orange loop tag, indicating a $100 reward for return of the transmitter. Recovered internal transmitters can be implanted in other fish to continue tracking efforts.

If one of these tagged fish is legally harvested, anglers are asked not to freeze the fish and to contact Dr. Dan Isermann with University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point at 715-346-2178 or to coordinate the tag’s return and reward.

Buchanan receives resources honor

BIG RAPIDS — The Michigan Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation has named Clay Buchanan, an employee with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in Lansing, as Outstanding Conservationist of the Year for 2017.

The award was presented to Buchanan recently at the National Wild Turkey Federation Michigan State Chapter Convention meeting in Big Rapids.

As the DNR Wildlife Division’s statewide grant coordinator, Buchanan is responsible for the Wildlife Habitat Grant Program. The purpose of this program is to provide funding to conservation partners to assist the Wildlife Division with developing or improving wildlife habitat for game species.

The Wildlife Habitat Grant Program, which began in October 2013, is funded with a portion of the revenue from hunting and fishing licenses sold each year. The program is administered by the DNR through a cooperative effort between its Wildlife Division and Grants Management Section.

The Wildlife Habitat Grant Program is handled through a competitive-bid application process for local, state, federal and tribal governments, nonprofit and for-profit groups, and individuals.

Minimum grant amounts are set at $15,000. Applications are scored on a variety of criteria, including need and potential impacts.

Grantees are required to provide at least a 10-percent match, but those who offer to provide a higher match are rewarded in the scoring process. Approximately $1 million in grants is distributed annually.

The National Wild Turkey Federation has been a grant recipient on several habitat improvement projects.

“NWTF has coordinated a number of these grant projects that have helped a variety of species by enhancing wildlife openings and increasing mast production,” said Ryan Boyer, the regional biologist with the National Wild Turkey Federation. “We’ve partnered with Whitetails Unlimited, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, the U.S. Forest Service, the Michigan National Guard and the Ruffed Grouse Society.”

Art Pelon, president of the Michigan State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, said: “We believe that Clay Buchanan is committed to making a difference. He has been key to getting wildlife habitat established through partnerships in this state.”

The National Wild Turkey Federation, which is devoted to the conservation of wild turkeys and the preservation of hunting heritage, recognizes notable wildlife professionals in natural resources agencies around the country.

“This is an especially important tribute to bestow upon a wildlife professional because recipients are chosen for this award by NWTF members based on recommendations from their wildlife employee peers,” Pelon said. “We feel privileged to be able to partner with Michigan’s internationally recognized biologists and wildlife management leaders on conservation programs in Michigan.”

Mason said: We are honored to have one of our employees recognized for his contributions by a major conservation group such as the National Wild Turkey Federation. This award reflects positively on the employee, and it confirms that key organizations appreciate quality employees, like Clay Buchanan, who work for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.”

Learn more about Wildlife Habitat Grants and all DNR grant opportunities at