Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Oklahoma Weekly Fishing Report

Tyler Reed caught a new lake record striped bass hybrid at Lake Overholser on April 18. It was 27.50 inches long and 10.7 pounds. 

CENTRAL

Arcadia: April 22. Elevation normal. All fishing slow. Report submitted by Sheila Hutton.

Draper: April 21. Elevation 1 ft. above normal, water 61 and clear. Crappie fair on minnows at 3-5 ft. around structure. White bass fair on jigs at the water inflow pipe. Blue and channel catfish fair on cut bait. Report submitted by Chad Strang, game warden stationed in Cleveland County.

Hefner: April 22. Elevation dropping, water 58-62 and murky. Largemouth bass good on crankbaits and spinnerbaits at 3-6 ft. along rocky shorelines. White bass and striped bass hybrids good on grubs and gay blades at 6-10 ft. Channel and blue catfish fair on cut bait at 10-15 ft. along the dam. Crappie good on minnows and jigs at 5-15 ft. along the dam and docks. Walleye fair on jerk baits and crankbaits at 2-6 ft. along the dam. Report submitted by Lucky Lure Tackle.

Overholser: April 22. Elevation below normal, water 66 and clear to murky. Catfish fair on cut bait and artificial grubs. Striped bass hybrids fair on minnows and artificial lures. Crappie slow. Report submitted by Jerrod Davis, game warden stationed in Oklahoma and Canadian counties.

Thunderbird: April 21. Elevation normal, water clear. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs at 3-5 ft. around structure. White bass fair on jigs and road runners in Little River. Saugeye fair on jigs, grubs and worms around windy points. Report submitted by Chad Strang, game warden stationed in Cleveland County.

Wes Watkins: April 22. Elevation 2 ft. below normal, water 66 and clear. Crappie good on minnows and jigs. Largemouth bass fair. Report submitted by Mike France, game warden stationed in Pottawatomie County.

NORTHEAST

Bell Cow: April 20. Elevation 3 ft. below normal, water murky. Bass excellent on soft plastic baits shallow. Channel catfish fair on worms and chicken liver. Crappie good on minnows and jigs at 3 ft. Report submitted by Gary Emmons, game warden stationed in Lincoln County.

Carl Blackwell: April 22. Elevation 4 3/4 ft. below normal, water 60. Crappie fair to good on minnows and jigs shallow around rocks and brush throughout the day. Channel catfish good to excellent on punch bait, chicken liver, shad and nightcrawlers early morning and late evening. Catfish fair on juglines and trotlines baited with large live shiners, night crawlers and cut shad. Saugeye, white bass and striped bass hybrids excellent on crankbaits, spoons and large casting jigs at 4-6 ft. around rocks and points or trolling the flats of the main lake and windy blown coves; the best times are early morning and late evening. Largemouth and spotted bass fair to good on football head jigs and Texas-rigged plastic baits in woody cover. Trout poor to nonexistent. Report submitted by Chris Pulchny.

Chandler: April 20. Elevation 3 ft. below normal, water clear. Bass excellent on crankbaits at 6 ft. and on soft plastic baits shallow. Channel catfish slow. Crappie good on jigs at 2-3 ft. Report submitted by Gary Emmons, game warden stationed in Lincoln County.

Copan: April 21. Elevation normal, water 60s and clear. Crappie good on jigs at 2-5 ft. near submerged structure. Channel and blue catfish fair on cut shad. Report submitted by Joe Alexander, game warden stationed in Washington County.

Eucha: April 22. Elevation 1/2 ft. below normal, water 62 and dingy. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs at 3-5 ft. around brush and structure. Largemouth bass fair on jerk baits. Catfish fair. Report submitted by Dwight Moore, City of Tulsa.

Fort Gibson: April 22. Elevation 1 3/4 ft. above normal, water 60 and steady. White bass and paddlefish good up the river around Chouteau Bend. Catfish good on cut bait, punch bait and shad. Crappie good to excellent at 3-5 ft. until right at dark. Largemouth bass good on crankbaits and plastic worms in shallow water around structure. Report submitted by Rick Stafford in Wagoner, Okla.

Greenleaf: April 21. Elevation normal, water 54 and clear. Bass good on crankbaits, bill baits and spinnerbaits along creek channels, rocky points and brush structure. White bass good on grubs in white and florescent green in the upper end. Catfish good on fresh cut bait on bottom. Crappie fair on minnows and electric chicken jigs around fishing docks and brush structure. Report submitted by Lark Wilson, game warden stationed in Muskogee County.

Hudson: April 21. Elevation normal, water 60 and partly murky. Largemouth bass good on plastic baits and jerk baits. White bass fair to good on small lures and minnows below the dam in the upper end and in creeks and tributaries flowing into the lake. Channel and blue catfish fair to good on cut bait. Crappie fair to good on small jigs and minnows. Report submitted by Steve Loveland, game warden stationed in Rogers and Mayes counties.

Hulah: April 21. Elevation normal, water 60s and clear. Crappie fair on jigs at 2-5 ft. near submerged structure. Channel and blue catfish fair on cut shad. Report submitted by Joe Alexander, game warden stationed in Washington County.

Kaw:  April 21. Elevation normal, water low 60s in the creeks and upper 50s in the main lake and clear. Crappie excellent on minnow and jigs 2-4 ft. all over the lake. Crappie excellent in the creeks 1-2 ft. around structure. Males are shallow while females are staged a little deeper. Walleye fair on minnows and jigs in the creeks. Largemouth and spotted bass fair on jerk baits and spinnerbaits at 2-8 ft. near rocks from south of Kaw City to the dam. Blue and channel catfish excellent on cut bait in the shallows of the Arkansas River arm, fair on juglines in the Coon Creek area and good on worms below Kaw Dam. Paddlefish fair off the east side after generation. White bass and striped bass hybrids excellent on jigs and Alabama rigs below the dam. Generation below the dam typically only occurs during the week unless there is a high water event. For up to date lake level and water release information on Kaw Lake call (580) 765-2151. The next good rain of 1-inch or more with runoff will cause the white bass to make their annual run up the creeks specifically Big Beaver, Little Beaver, Bear and Osage creeks. Be ready and remember to stay on maintained roads for bank fishing access. Report submitted by Spencer Grace, game warden stationed in Kay County.

Keystone: April 22. Elevation 3/4 ft. above normal, water 58. Largemouth bass excellent on plastic baits and chatter baits at 2 ft. Crappie good; moving closer to banks. Catfish good on cut bait. White bass good on small spinnerbaits and grubs. Report submitted by Karlin Bailey, game warden stationed in Creek County.

Lower Illinois: April 20. Water upper 40s. Water releases are occurring with one unit running almost constantly. Trout fishing is better and easier with less water moving down the river. Several fish over 3 pounds have been caught on larger spoon type baits at the Watts area. Good numbers of average size fish have been caught on Power Bait around the dam at the edge of the current. Report submitted by Jeremy Bersche, game warden stationed in Sequoyah County.

Oologah: April 20. Elevation normal, water near 60 and clear. Crappie good on minnows and jigs at 3-6 ft. in creeks and fair on minnows and jigs at 6-10 ft. around brush piles in the main lake. Blue and channel catfish fair on shad at 10-15 ft. along the flats. White bass good on jigs in the river above the lake and fair on jigs below the dam. Report submitted by Brek Henry, game warden stationed in Rogers County.

Skiatook: April 21. Elevation 10 ft. below normal, water clear. Largemouth bass fair on spinnerbaits in backs of coves. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs at 5-10 ft. around structure. All other fishing slow. Report submitted by Paul Welch, game warden stationed in Osage County.

Sooner: April 22. Elevation normal. Largemouth bass good on crankbaits around points. White bass and striped bass hybrids fair on slabs and live shad. Catfish fair on cut bait and live bait in channels. All other fishing slow. Report submitted by Doug Gottschalk, game warden stationed in Noble County.

Spavinaw: April 22. Elevation slightly above normal, water 62 and dingy. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs along banks in hollows and coves. Largemouth bass fair on jigs and crankbaits. Catfish and crappie fair to good on live minnows at 2-4 ft. Report submitted by Dwight Moore, City of Tulsa.

Tenkiller: April 21. Elevation 1 ft. above normal, water 62 and clear. Largemouth bass fair on spinnerbaits, soft plastic baits and crankbaits on windy points. White bass good trolling deep runners in the main lake and good on spoons, spinnerbaits and jigs from Hwy 82 Bridge to above Horseshoe Bend. Crappie good on tube jigs and minnows at 3-20 ft. in the upper end. Report submitted by Monte Brooks, Cookson, Okla.

Webbers Falls: April 21. Elevation normal, water murky. Largemouth bass good on crankbaits, bill baits, and spinnerbaits around brush piles, creek channels and riprap. Catfish good on fresh shad and stinkbait along mudflats. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs in black and purple around bridges and brush structure. All other fishing slow. Report submitted by Lark Wilson, game warden stationed in Muskogee County.

NORTHWEST

Ft. Supply: April 21. Elevation normal. White bass fair on jigs and spinnerbaits all over the lake. Crappie fair on jigs around brush piles at jetties and cattails. Walleye good on minnows on the west side near the intake. Report submitted by Mark Reichenberger, game warden stationed in Woodward County.

SOUTHEAST

Arbuckle: April 20. Elevation 6 ft. below normal, water 63 and clear. Crappie fair to good on minnows and jigs at 12-15 ft. around brush piles and fair around docks early morning. White bass chasing shad along the dam and coves. Bass good on jigs, crankbaits, jerk baits and Alabama rigs. Report submitted by Jack Melton.

Broken Bow: April 20. Elevation normal, water mid 60s and clear. Bass good on crankbaits, shallow running spinnerbaits and Carolina-rigged worms shallow around beds. Catfish good on juglines and trotlines baited with cut bait. Crappie good on green weenies, electric chickens and minnows at 2-5 ft. around structure. Walleye fair to good on deep running crankbaits around rocky points moving to deeper water. Report submitted by Dru Polk, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

Eufaula: April 20. Elevation normal, water 61 and clearing. Largemouth bass fair on crankbaits and spinnerbaits shallow along rocky areas and structure. White bass fair around windy points. Blue catfish fair on shad and various catfish baits along shallow flats. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs at 1-9 ft. around brush, standing timber, boat docks and riprap areas. Report submitted by Ed Rodebush, game warden stationed in McIntosh County.

Hugo: April 20. Elevation normal, water 60. Largemouth bass fair to good on soft plastic baits and spinnerbaits along buck brush, drop-offs in creeks and creek channels. Catfish good on trotlines baited with cut bait and live goldfish and good on cut bait below the dam. Crappie fair to good on minnows and jigs at 4-6 ft. around brush and good on jigs below the dam. Report submitted by Jay Harvey, game warden stationed in Choctaw and Bryan counties.

Konawa: April 22. Elevation normal, water 63 and clear. Largemouth bass good on soft plastic baits, crankbaits and live bait along shorelines with structure and vegetation. Channel and blue catfish good on stinkbait, dough bait and cut bait around points. White bass and striped bass hybrids good on jigs, cut shad, crawfish and minnows around points, road beds, creek beds and the discharge canal. All other fishing slow. Report submitted by Tyler Howser, game warden stationed in Seminole County.

Lower Mountain Fork: April 23. Water flow 100 c.f.s above the powerhouse. Visibility 52 inches, water 55 and clear. Best areas are Spillway Creek, Evening Hole and Zone 2. Best access points are Beaver Lodge Nature Trail, Evening Hole Bridge and Old Park Dam. April means Caddis. Hatches are running a couple of weeks behind due to the cold winter/spring. Report submitted by Woodruff Guide Service.

McGee Creek: April 20. Elevation 2 1/3 ft. below normal, water 60 and murky. Largemouth bass fair on shad colored rattletraps, chartreuse spinnerbaits with a red blade and jerk baits at 2-5 ft. Channel catfish fair on juglines baited with cut bait. Report submitted by Larry Luman, game warden stationed in Atoka County.

Murray: April 21. Water 61 and clear. Largemouth and smallmouth bass good on spinnerbaits, jerk baits and crankbaits at 2-4 ft. close to banks. White bass good on crankbaits in the north end near Martin's Landing and trolling minnows and jigs. Channel catfish fair on stinkbait and chicken liver at 4-7 ft. Crappie fair on minnows and jigs at 3-4 ft. around structure. Walleye slow to fair on chartreuse jigs early and late. All other fishing slow. Report submitted by Jeremy Brothers, game warden stationed in Carter County

Pine Creek: April 20. Elevation normal, water clear. A few big bass are still being caught. Successful anglers are throwing a red rattletrap or crankbaits to land the big lunkers. The decrease in temperatures have pushed the crappie out to 4-8 ft. but big slabs are being caught on green jigs and pink jigs. Catfish good on nightcrawlers, chicken liver and cut shad. Report submitted by Mark Hannah, game warden stationed in McCurtain County.

Robert S. Kerr: April 21. Crappie excellent on minnows and jigs in grass beds, Hawthorn Pits and up big San Bois Creek. White bass good on rooster tails and twist tail grubs up the Canadian River and Big San Bois Creek. Bass good on spinnerbaits and jigs in mouths of creeks and shallow structure. Catfish fair on trotlines, juglines and rod-and-reel along flats around the Arkansas River in the lake. Report submitted by Allen Couch, game warden stationed in Haskell County.

Sardis: April 19. Elevation normal, water 64 and murky. Bass fair to good on swim baits and spinnerbaits at 2-8 ft. White bass slow. Channel and blue catfish fair to good on juglines baited with cut bait and dead minnows at 12-14 ft. Crappie fair at 2-6 ft. Walleye slow. Report submitted by Dane Polk, game warden stationed in Pushmataha County.

Texoma: April 20. Elevation 6 1/4 ft. below normal, water 54 and clear. Largemouth and smallmouth bass fair to good on crankbaits and plastic worms at 5-20 ft. in creeks. Striped and white bass fair to good on live bait and sassy shad at 10-20 ft. from Caney Creek to Fobb Bottom. Channel and blue catfish fair to good on live bait, worms and stinkbait. Crappie fair to good at 5-15 ft. in Glasses, Widowmoore and Kansas creeks and along the north and south dikes. Report submitted by Danny Clubb, game warden stationed in Bryan County.

Wister: April 20. Elevation normal, water murky. Largemouth bass good on 12-inch black plastic worms, spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Crappie good on minnows and jigs. Catfish good on juglines and trotlines baited with live sunfish, goldfish and cut bait. Report submitted by Randy Fennell, game warden stationed in LeFlore County.

SOUTHWEST

Ellsworth: April 20. Elevation 3 ft. below normal, water murky. Crappie slow on minnows and jigs over structure. Catfish fair on juglines baited with cut bait. Report submitted by Mike Carroll, game warden stationed in Comanche County.

Fort Cobb: April 20. Elevation 6 ft. below normal, water 59 and stained. Crappie slow on minnows and jigs off structure. Catfish slow on cut bait. Saugeye slow on minnows and jigs. White bass and striped bass hybrids slow on jig heads with swim baits and crawfish, minnows and shrimp. Reports submitted by James Edwards Jr., game warden stationed in Caddo County.

Foss: April 22. Elevation 14 1/2 ft. below normal with gates closed, water mid 50s and clear. Striped bass hybrids fair on live bait and drifting lures. Walleye slow to fair on live bait. Crappie slow on Bobby Garland jigs around the marina. Catfish fair on juglines baited with stinkbait. Report submitted by Eric Puyear, B & K Bait House.

Lawtonka: April 20. Elevation normal, water clear. Crappie and saugeye fair to good on minnows and jigs off the dam. Catfish fair to good on cut bait. Report submitted by Mike Carroll, game warden stationed in Comanche County.

Tom Steed: April 22. Elevation 14 ft. below normal, water 56 and murky. Crappie fair to good on minnows and jigs at 3-6 ft. near rocks. White bass good on jigs off points. Blue catfish good on stinkbait at 3-6 ft. on the west side of the lake. Report submitted by David Smith, game warden stationed in Kiowa County.

Waurika: April 21. Water 54. Striped bass hybrids good on minnows and crankbaits along the dam and riprap. Catfish good on cut bait and stinkbait. Crappie good on minnows and jigs. All other fishing fair. Report submitted by Chris Stover, game warden stationed in Stephens County.


To check current Oklahoma lake conditions across the state go to the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department's website at http://www.travelok.com/checkmyoklake/. This website provides information on blue-green algae, lake updates, water safety tips, etc.

Emerald ash borer hits Aloha State Park

English: Agrilus planipennis, the emerald ash ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Department of Natural Resources officials recently have found evidence of the emerald ash borer, an invasive species that targets ash trees, at Aloha State Park near Cheboygan. Aloha State Park is a popular northern Michigan destination for many campers during the summer.

This season, because of the damage to the trees, campers will see a change in the campground. Ash trees once made up about 85 percent of the trees within the campground. Over the past six months, approximately 400 dead ash trees have been removed from the park. 

“The speed at which these trees have died is the most striking thing to me,” said Aloha State Park Supervisor Jeremy Spell. “Trees that looked healthy during the summer had bark falling off this winter. 

"The DNR recognized years ago this could happen. The department has planted around 200 trees within the past five years thanks to grant funding received from the Odwalla Plant-A-Tree Program. We will continue to plant a diversity of trees each year but also recognize it will take a long time before the park looks like it did last year.”

Since these trees were in the campground area, the park worked during the winter to remove the dead trees for campers' safety. Park staff is now removing stumps and doing general cleanup at the campground. The extremely harsh winter has made these efforts more difficult, leaving the park buried with more snow than usual. Spell says the campground will be ready for the main camping season, but the park will look very different to those who regularly camp there. Replanting trees is a top priority for the park.

For more information about Aloha State Park’s efforts to restore the campground from the emerald ash borer, please call the park at 231-625-2522.

The Recreation Passport is an easy, affordable way for residents to enjoy and support outdoor recreation opportunities in Michigan. By checking "YES" for the $11 Recreation Passport ($5 for motorcycles) when renewing a license plate through the Secretary of State (by mail, kiosk, online atwww.expresssos.com or at branch offices), Michigan motorists get access to state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds, nonmotorized state trailhead parking and state boat launches. The Recreation Passport is valid until the next license plate renewal date. Nonresidents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($31.10 annual; $8.55 daily) at any state park or recreation area or (annual passes only) through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore.
Learn more about this creative way of sustaining Michigan's outdoor recreation and natural resources at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport

May 3 inland fishing opener kicks off another exciting year of Wisconsin fishing

New this year: largemouth bass harvest available statewide

Editor's note: This and the trout stocking release are the first in a series of releases relating to the 2014 fishing season. Check back in coming weeks for stories on new informational tools available for anglers, fish consumption advice and new findings supporting the health benefits of sport-caught fish, cold water boating safety, and how to keep Wisconsin fish healthy by taking steps to prevent spreading aquatic invasive species and fish diseases.
Picture of Walleye
Anglers trying their luck at the 2014 inland fishing opener get a shot at this nice walleye caught and released by DNR creel clerk Donna Sorenson during spring surveys in Connors Lake in Sawyer County.
WDNR Photo
MADISON - Anglers heading out for the May 3 opening day of Wisconsin's regular inland fishing season will find a mixed bag of fishing conditions but strong populations of anglers' favorite fish species as well as the opportunity to harvest largemouth bass in northern Wisconsin for the first time in 22 years.
"People can look forward to another year of exciting fishing in Wisconsin," says Mike Staggs, fisheries director for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "It's clear it's going to be another later spring like last year, so what worked for people last year is a good bet to work again this year.
"Opening day is a great Wisconsin tradition, so whether you're fishing open water or setting tip-ups, we hope to see you out enjoying the day and reeling in another year of great fishing stories."
This will be Staggs' last opening day as Wisconsin's fisheries director; he's announced hisretirement as soon as DNR finds his successor.

Fishing conditions expected to vary statewide

Southern Wisconsin waters are open. In northern Wisconsin, the spring thaw is still a work in progress.
"The ice is about 20 to 24 inches on most lakes right now and this coming week is predicted to be pretty cold so no more significant melting until near the weekend again," says Steve Avelallemant, longtime DNR fisheries supervisor in northern Wisconsin.
Graphic of northern bass zone in Wisconsin
Largemouth bass may now be harvested in the northern bass zone starting May 3 for the first time in 22 years. Smallmouth bass are still catch-and-release only in the northern zone through June 20.
WDNR Photo
"But we've still got almost three weeks to the opener and it might finally turn into full blown spring by this next weekend. My best guess is that we will have ice-out by the opener on most lakes in the north."
Avelallemant says that early spawning game fish like northern pike and walleyes will still be spawning and in-shore so anglers should key on the spawning substrates for both species.
"Panfish and bass won't even be thinking about spawning and will likely be in the shallower bays off of the main lakes where those are available," he says.
Skip Sommerfeldt, DNR fisheries biologist stationed in Park Falls, suggests walleye anglers try rivers, smaller flowages, and smaller lakes where the ice is more likely to have melted by May 3.
"The rivers are going to be open, and maybe some of the smaller flowages and lakes," he says. "Walleye anglers will want to target those waters and use early season tactics and baits."
Walleye are likely to be right in the middle of spawning on opening day. "Walleye do feed during their spawning period," Sommerfeldt says. "They usually spawn at dark in water six inches to three feet, and during the day, they'll drop back to a little deeper water from 6 to 20 feet. Try throwing a rapala along rocky points or even a jig and minnow on the gravel drop offs."
Sommerfeldt says that panfish also will be another good target for anglers fishing northern Wisconsin and looking for their first shore lunch of the season.
"Look for shallow, warm bays with a weedy or mucky bottom. Try a slip bobber with a small minnow or a worm along any emergent weed lines or on the mud flats in 2 to 4 feet of water."
A little farther south, Bob Hujik, fisheries supervisor in western Wisconsin, expects that lakes in western Wisconsin will be open by opening day.
"Walleye and pike will be finished spawning and looking for an easy meal. Minnows and small crank baits worked slow should trigger bites. Sheltered bays with trees in the water should be a good place to find crappies and bluegills on sunny warm days. Small jigs and crappie minnows should be baits of choice for early season panfish."
Hujik says that trout anglers should find the streams in good shape, unless there are some locally heavy rains. "Early season anglers have been reporting good catches of trout on many of the western Wisconsin streams during the early catch-and-release trout season," he says. "So it stands to reason that the regular season will be no different."
Anglers can find information about fish populations in specific waters in the 2014 Wisconsin Fishing Report. Forecasts are arranged by fish species and listed in alphabetical order by county.

Largemouth bass can now be harvested statewide starting May 3

This year, for the first time in 22 years, anglers fishing in northern Wisconsin can take home largemouth bass on opening day.
The bass catch and release season in place in northern Wisconsin since 1992 has been culled -- smallmouth bass are still protected from harvest but largemouth bass are now fair game in the northern bass zone.
"Bass populations throughout the state are doing great, particularly in terms of numbers, and largemouth bass are doing so well in northern Wisconsin that we're having some issues with slow growth," says Jon Hansen, a fish biologist who leads DNR's bass team. "So starting May 3, you can harvest largemouth bass statewide. They make for a fine fish fry, so don't feel bad taking a few home if you want."
The largemouth bass season runs from May 3 to March 1, 2015. Smallmouth bass must still be immediately released in the northern zone from May 3 through June 20. From June 21 to March 1, smallmouth bass 14 inches and greater in the northern zone may be harvested. During the harvest season for each of the bass species, anglers are allowed a daily bag limit of five bass in total. While the statewide length limit for bass is 14 inches, many waters have no length limit so check the hook-and-line regulations for specific waters.

Season dates and regulations

The 2014 hook-and-line game fish season opens May 3 on inland waters for walleye, sauger, and northern pike statewide.
Musky season opens May 3 in the southern zone and May 25 in the northern zone. The northern zone is the area north of highways 77, 64 and 29, with Highway 10 as the dividing line.
Find the "Guide to Wisconsin Hook and Line Fishing Regulations 2014-15" and "guide to Wisconsin Trout Regulations 2014-15" by searching the DNR website for "fishing regulations."
DNR hasn't yet released final fishing regulations for the Ceded Territory but they will be posted before opening day on the regulations page. So check back or sign up to have them delivered by email when they are posted.
To sign up, enter an email address, and then scroll down the list to "Fishing Updates" and click on the "Fishing Regulations" box.

New veterans' program, discounts for first-timers make it easy to share the fun

Recently returning Wisconsin resident veterans may receive a one-time free annual fishing license under a 2013 law.
Veterans who wish to receive a free license must first contact the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs to determine their eligibility for this program. Such eligibility-related questions should be directed to the Veterans Benefits Resource Center via web chat [www.wisvets.com (exit DNR)], email wisvets@dva.wisconsin.gov or phone 1-800-WIS-VETS (947-8387).
Anglers who have never purchased a fishing license - or who haven't purchased one in 10 years - can get a discounted "first time buyers" license. The discounts are automatically applied when the license is purchased. Residents' discounted license is $5 and non-residents' is $25.75 for the annual licenses.
Anglers who recruit new people into the sport can get rewarded for their efforts. Wisconsin residents who have been designated as a recruiter three or more times within one license year are eligible for a discount on the license of their choice the next year.
Anglers can buy a one-day fishing license that allows them to take someone out to try fishing, and if they like it, the purchase price of that one-day license will be credited toward purchase of an annual license. The one day license is $8 for residents and $10 for nonresidents.
Buying a license is easy and convenient over the Internet through the Online Licensing Center on the DNR website at all authorized sales locations, or by calling toll-free 1-877-LICENSE (1-877-945-4236).
Wisconsin residents and nonresidents 16 years old or older need a fishing license to fish in any waters of the state. Residents born before Jan. 1, 1927, do not need a license and resident members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty are entitled to obtain a free fishing license when on furlough or leave.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Staggs, 608-267-0796; Steve Hewett, 608-267-7501; your local fish biologisthttp://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/people/fisheriesbiologists.html

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

New senior hunt/fish combo license gives Michigan resident seniors price break, refund

English: The Michigan Department of Natural Re...

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is making it easier for Michigan seniors age 65 and older to get a price break on the hunt/fish combo license. The new senior hunt/fish combo license includes a fishing license (good for all legal species), a base hunting license and two deer licenses for $43.
When purchasing the 2014 licenses without a senior discount, seniors who purchased the regular hunt/fish combo license paid $76. The only way to get a senior discount on these items was to purchase them separately as senior licenses.
The newly packaged discounted license is available for purchase as of April 14. In addition, resident seniors who paid the higher $76 price for a 2014 license will be receiving a letter from the DNR offering a refund of $33 -- the difference between the regular hunt/fish combo and the senior hunt/fish combo.
"When the license year began on March 1, we had quite a few seniors who qualified for discounts on individual licenses but were buying a hunt/fish combo and missing out on the senior discount,” said Denise Gruben, manager of Licensing and Reservations for the DNR. “This packaged senior hunt/fish combo provides an easy checkout for seniors to get their discount and get the combo all at once.”
Seniors who qualify for the refund will be receiving a letter in the mail within the next three weeks, giving recipients the option of getting a refund. Those who opt for the refund will receive a check from the State of Michigan. The DNR asks seniors not to seek refunds from the location where they purchased their license. Seniors who are eligible for the refund should keep the license they received when they purchased the hunt/fish combo; these licenses are valid and do not need to be replaced.
Questions about the refund may be directed to the Licensing and Reservations Customer Service office at 517-373-1204 or MDNR-elicense@michigan.gov.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Michigan DNR awards Wildlife Habitat Grants for projects around the state

English: Ruffed Grouse
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Department of Natural Resources today announced recipients of the 2014 Wildlife Habitat Grants. A total of $737,720 was awarded to various conservation and nonprofit organizations, units of government and landowners.

Examples of funded projects include planting native grasslands for pheasant habitat at Lake Hudson State Recreation Area, planting fruit trees for wild turkey and ruffed grouse food sources in several locations across the state, and improving accessibility for limited-mobility hunters and wildlife enthusiasts at Sharonville State Game Area.  

Below is a list of successful applicants, the award amount and the county in which the habitat projects will take place.

Applicant
Amount
County
Conservation Resource Alliance
$31,500
Benzie, Grand Traverse
Gratiot Conservation District
$16,900
Gratiot
Hiawatha Sportsman’s Club
$28,200
Mackinac
Huron-Manistee National Forests - Baldwin Ranger District
$15,500
Newaygo, Oceana
Kipple Creek Cliffs LLC
$53,900
Marquette
Mid-Forest Lodge
$16,800
Roscommon
Michigan United Conservation Clubs
$181,800
Statewide
Muskegon Conservation District
$59,200
Muskegon
Pheasants Forever, Inc.
$44,000
Lenawee
Pierce Cedar Creek Institute
$18,200
Barry
Ruffed Grouse Society
$30,800
Gratiot, Ionia, Montcalm, Clinton
Sanilac Conservation District
$35,100
Sanilac
Superior Watershed Partnership
$40,300
Alger, Luce
The Nature Conservancy
$32,400
Van Buren
U.P. Whitetails Association, Inc.
$19,800
Delta
Zero Day
(Combat Veteran Job Skills Program)
$113,320
Jackson, Washtenaw
TOTAL
$737,720
 

The Wildlife Habitat Grant Program (WHGP), which began in October 2013, is funded with a portion of the revenue generated by the sale of hunting and fishing licenses each year. The WHGP is administered by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources through a cooperative effort between the DNR's Wildlife Division and Grants Management Section.

The main objective of the WHGP is to enhance and improve the quality and quantity of game species habitat in support of specific goals from the Wildlife Division’s strategic plan - The GPS. Those goals are:
  • GPS Goal 2 – Manage habitat for sustainable wildlife populations in a changing environment.
     
  • GPS Goal 4 – Increase public participation, acceptance, and support of hunting and trapping and increase participation in non-consumptive wildlife-related recreation. 
To learn more about the Wildlife Habitat Grants program visit www.michigan.gov/wildlife orwww.michigan.gov/dnr-grants.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

2014 South Dakota Elk Seasons Set

Bull Elk
 (Photo credit: Odalaigh)
The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission finalized the 2014 elk hunting seasons at their April meeting in Oacoma.
The Custer State Park elk hunting season will run from Sept. 20-Oct. 5 with five “any elk” licenses available, one of which is set aside for a successful entrant in a raffle conducted by a nonprofit organization dedicated to big game management. The Custer State Park early archery elk hunting season will run from Sept. 1-30 with four “any elk” licenses available.
The Black Hills archery elk hunting season will have 92 “any elk” and 15 “antlerless elk” licenses available for the season running Sept. 1-30. Unit 7 for the archery season was also changed; with the area east of Interstate 90 being removed and placed in Unit 9 of the prairie elk hunting season.
The Black Hills elk hunting season will have 420 “any elk” and 250 “antlerless elk” licenses available for the season that will run Oct. 1-31 for “any elk” hunters and Oct. 16-31 and Dec. 1-15for “antlerless elk” hunters. Unit 7 for the Black Hills elk hunting season was also changed and follows the same adjustment as made to the Black Hills archery season.
The prairie elk hunting season will have 57 “any elk” and 36 “antlerless elk” licenses available. Season dates are unit specific.  Prairie Unit 9 was modified to include an area northeast of Highway 34 and the portion removed from Unit 7 for both the Black Hills and Black Hills archery seasons.
Online applications for the 2014 elk hunting seasons are now available and can be accessed here: http://gfp.sd.gov/hunting/big-game/elk/default.aspx.