New Canadian law will change rules for American boaters and anglers

Kayak event on the Detroit River

Kayak event on the Detroit River

Reporting to Canadian Customs no longer necessary under certain conditions.

Things are about to get easier for American boaters and anglers who venture into Canadian waters thanks to a new border enforcement law stemming from a bill drafted by Canadian Sen. Bob Runciman and recently signed by Governor General David Johnston. The House version was authored by House of Commons member Gordon Brown.

Bill S-233 received Royal Assent on June 19, 2017, meaning that American boaters and anglers will no longer be required to report to Canadian Customs as long as they do not leave their vessel, land, anchor, moor, or make contact with another conveyance in Canadian waters. However, the new law does require that boaters and anglers report to Canadian Customs if requested to do so by Customs agents. The change also means Canadians who venture into United States waters also do not have to contact Canadian Customs unless they leave their vessel, land, anchor, moor, or make contact with another conveyance in U.S. waters.

Prior to passage of the new law, American boaters and anglers were required to call Canadian Customs at (888) 226-7277 to check-in with their passport number, boat registration and express their intentions for entering Canadian waters and how long they anticipated being there.

“The reporting requirements were overly rigid, they were out of step with those facing Canadians who enter U.S. waters and they were hurting the economy of tourism-dependent border regions. And they didn’t do anything to enhance border security,” said Sen. Bob Runciman when asked why the rule change was important.

Although the new law makes it easier to boat and fish in Canadian waters, remember that valid fishing licenses are always required when fishing in U.S. and Canadian waters.

Additional information about Bill S-233 can be found on Sen. Runciman’s web­­site. The Royal Assent can be found on the Parliament of Canada website.

Detroit River Restoration Tour

Event Date: 8/17/2017

The Detroit River has seen its fair share of environmental challenges. Now, after years of dedicated restoration work, the Detroit River and its ecosystems are heading toward recovery.

On August 17, 2017, join the Friends of the Detroit River, Michigan Sea Grant, and our many partners as we celebrate the hard work and dedication of those who have helped shape a new future for the Detroit River. This is your opportunity to visit the habitat restoration sites of Grosse Ile and Belle Isle for an up close, behind the scenes, expert-guided tour.

During the event, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Tour Stony Island by boat
  • Visit the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle
  • See Belle Isle restoration highlights such as Lake Okanoka and Blue Heron Lagoon
  • Connect with river restoration groups, elected officials, media partners, and project supporters
  • Meet a live sturgeon

Would you like to join the celebration?

Registration: ow.ly/DiBq30cQDBf

Contact: Mary Bohling, (313) 410-9431, bohling@msu.edu

Hiring Program Coordinator

Event Date: 6/21/2017
End Date: 7/1/2017

Michigan Sea Grant (MISG) is seeking a motivated, organized, and outgoing individual with an understanding of Great Lakes and coastal issues to serve as a Program Coordinator. The right candidate will have a passion for sharing science-based information and be highly collaborative in their work. A combined effort of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, MISG promotes knowledge of the Great Lakes through research, outreach, and education. MISG is part of the NOAA-National Sea Grant network of 33 university-based programs in coastal areas around the country.

See: Details and Apply

Responsibilities

  • Assist with administration of the MISG research program, including:
    • Developing biannual Request for Proposals (RFPs), assisting with proposal review and selection, and coordinating initial and mid-term research meetings.
    • Monitoring research projects through funded period with annual check-in calls and review of progress reports.
    • Coordinating peer review of draft reports, providing summary of reviews to Principal Investigators (PIs), and coordinating publication and promotion of final reports and resources.
    • Assisting with production of annual reports for research program.
    • Providing support and coordination as project liaison for research PIs.
  • Coordinate community outreach projects with Michigan Sea Grant Extension, including:
    • Assisting with preparation, writing, and formatting of project plans, reports, grant proposals, and other documents as needed.
    • Coordinating as project liaison with MISG Extension and communication staff.
    • Coordinating with local communities, including providing logistical support and community analysis.
    • Coordinating and preparing progress and final reports and news briefs.
  • Provide general support for grant projects as needed, including summarizing meetings, activities, and accomplishments, and assisting with project coordination.
  • In collaboration with the MISG team, assist with the development of pre- and full proposals depending on opportunities, research, recommend, and coordinate project team, coordinate and implement work plan, and publish and promote training resources.
  • Assist MISG Extension specialists with promoting the use of educational resources and identifying cooperative efforts.
  • Initiate communications with stakeholders and partners.
  • Provide logistical and administrative support for MISG seminars and events. (Note: Some evening and weekend work and attendance may be required for seminars and events.)
  • Additional duties as may be assigned.

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in a relevant field (e.g., environment policy, natural resource management, water related sciences) and 1 – 3 years’ relevant work experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Ability to work independently and to meet a well-defined series of deadlines.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills.
  • A strong network within the relevant resource management, policy-making, university and/or Great Lakes industry/business communities.
  • Detail oriented with the ability to manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines in a timely manner.
  • Strong computing skills, including Microsoft Office suite and Google apps, online research skills, and general comfort with web-based systems.

Desired Qualifications

  • Grant writing and grant management experience.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with ability to work as a team member within established office structures.
  • Creative thinking and desire to contribute to a fun and inspired office environment.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.

Work Schedule

  • Monday – Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm.
  • Some evening and weekend attendance may be required for MISG seminars and events.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Michigan Sea Grant receives John D. Dingell Friend of the Refuge Award

Michigan Sea Grant representatives Steve Stewart and Mary Bohling with John D. Dingell, Jr., IWRA Chairman Richard Micka, and Refuge Manager John Hartig.

Michigan Sea Grant representatives Steve Stewart and Mary Bohling with John D. Dingell, Jr., IWRA Chairman Richard Micka, and Refuge Manager John Hartig. Photo by Mark Messer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

  • Rhett Register, Michigan Sea Grant Communications Lead, (734) 647-0767, rregist@umich.edu
  • Cindy Hudson, Michigan Sea Grant Extension Communications Manager, (517) 353-9723, hudsoncy@msu.edu

The International Wildlife Refuge Alliance (IWRA) and the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge recently honored the work of Michigan Sea Grant with the John D. Dingell Friend of the Refuge Award.

Michigan Sea Grant staff have been involved with both the IWRA and the Detroit River Refuge since they were organized. The IWRA recognized Michigan Sea Grant’s continued efforts in providing classroom and vessel-based education in southeast Michigan and their ongoing commitment to the mission of both the IWRA and the Refuge.

The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge consists of nearly 6,000 acres of unique habitat, including islands, coastal wetlands, marshes, shoals, and waterfront lands within an authorized boundary extending along 48 miles of shoreline. 

The IWRA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the mission and purposes of the Detroit Refuge, the only international refuge in North America. It provides many vital services to the Refuge, such as community outreach, education programs, habitat restoration, special events support, volunteer staff, advocacy, and fundraising.

“The Refuge is such a wonderful asset to the Detroit area,” said Mary Bohling, a Michigan Sea Grant Extension educator. Bohling also is a current board member and one of the original organizers of the International Wildlife Refuge Alliance. “The Alliance has been an important part of building fantastic partnerships to help protect, conserve, and manage the Refuge’s wildlife and habitats. As a Sea Grant educator, I’m very proud to have been a part of making this happen.”

Since 1991, more than 100,000 students and adults have participated in Michigan Sea Grant’s Great Lakes Education Program. In addition to classroom lessons, students, teachers, and adult chaperones board the schoolship Clinton to learn more about conservation and stewardship of our state’s Great Lakes and waterways. Soon students will be boarding the schoolship at the newly constructed fishing pier and boat dock in the Detroit Refuge Gateway. The accessible dock and fishing pier are expected to open in the fall of 2017.

“We’re honored to receive this John D. Dingell Jr. Award,” said Extension Educator Steve Stewart on behalf of Michigan Sea Grant. “We’re also looking forward to welcoming many more students on board the Clinton from the new dock at the Refuge Gateway. It is critical that students have the opportunity to experience and learn about these incredible water resources, and there is no better way to do that than on a schoolship. They will be our future decision-makers and the stewards of these incredible water resources.”

The award is named after former Michigan U.S. Congressman John D. Dingell Jr., who championed many conservation causes and legislation, and who supported the creation of the Detroit Refuge.

Michigan Sea Grant helps to foster economic growth and protect Michigan’s coastal, Great Lakes resources through education, research, and outreach. A collaborative effort of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University and its MSU Extension, Michigan Sea Grant is part of the NOAA-National Sea Grant network of 33 university-based programs.

Regional network honors Michigan Sea Grant with awards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

  • Rhett Register, Michigan Sea Grant Communications Lead, (734) 647-0767, rregist@umich.edu
  • Cindy Hudson, Michigan Sea Grant Extension Communications Manager, (517) 353-9723, hudsoncy@msu.edu

CLEVELAND – The Great Lakes Sea Grant Network recently honored the work of the Michigan Sea Grant team with several awards during its semi-annual conference in Cleveland, Ohio. The network connects regional state Sea Grant programs and assists in coordinated efforts to solve problems and manage Great Lakes resources.

Michigan Sea Grant Extension Educator Mary Bohling receives the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network’s mid-career award.

Michigan Sea Grant Extension Educator Mary Bohling receives the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network’s mid-career award.

Michigan Sea Grant Extension Educator Mary Bohling of Detroit received a mid-career award noting her excellent work during her 11-year career. Bohling serves the urban Detroit area and works with diverse populations, coastal communities, nonprofit groups, businesses, researchers and politicians applying science-based knowledge to address Great Lakes issues.

Bohling actively assists nonprofit partners in the preparation and reporting of grants, including numerous successful Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants that have totaled nearly $30 million. Bohling is always looking for creative and interesting ways to get urban youth out on the water or bike trails, including helping to bring the Wilderness Inquiry Canoemobile to Detroit several times.

“Mary Bohling is an excellent extension educator who has strong interaction in her communities and with her colleagues. She is creative and has made — and continues to make — outstanding contributions to Michigan Sea Grant and our state,” said Heather Triezenberg, Michigan Sea Grant Extension program leader.

Michigan Sea Grant Extension Educator Brandon Schroeder receives the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network’s Distinguished Service Award.

Michigan Sea Grant Extension Educator Brandon Schroeder receives the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network’s Distinguished Service Award.

Extension Educator Brandon Schroeder of Alpena was honored with a Distinguished Service Award. Schroeder has been with Michigan Sea Grant for 13 years and serves coastal counties, encompassing 230 miles of Lake Huron shoreline in Michigan’s northeastern Lower Peninsula. Brandon’s programming focuses on the changing Lake Huron fishery, coastal tourism and business development, and youth engagement in coastal community development and stewardship.

Schroeder’s leadership and involvement in many place-based education opportunities, 4-H Great Lakes and Natural Resources Camp, Center for Great Lakes Literacy, and fisheries workshops are just some of the ways he shares his expertise with stakeholders.

“His enthusiasm for his work, combined with a natural curiosity, broad knowledge base, and engaging approach to his work, combine in a way that is unique and extremely effective,” said co-worker Steve Stewart, a senior extension educator.

In addition to these individual awards, Michigan Sea Grant received the Network’s Great Lakes Outreach Programming Award for its Sustainable Small Harbors project.

The Sustainable Small Harbors project, funded by Michigan Sea Grant and a host of partners, aims to assist coastal communities in their planning efforts. The project has enabled six coastal communities with public harbors to do in-depth self-assessments, uncovering strengths and weaknesses related to their waterfront assets and to collaboratively envision their future.

The project has come at a time when harbor towns can capitalize on rebounding tourist dollars and a recovering state economy to make needed waterfront upgrades and add amenities that will increase their appeal to visitors. Team members customized and created highly interactive, public input-driven workshops, or charrettes — typically valued at tens of thousands of dollars — at no direct cost to the six case-study communities involved. The project brought together community decision-makers, harbor managers, infrastructure planners, boaters, business owners and others to come up with meaningful pathways for moving their communities forward.

“The economic and environmental health of small towns along Michigan’s coast is essential to strengthening the state’s economy and environment,” said Jim Diana, Michigan Sea Grant director. “If Michigan thrives, then the Great Lakes region as a whole benefits – and that’s why this program has been so important.”

Sustainable Small Harbor program team members Todd Marsee (left) and Mark Breederland accept the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network’s Outreach Programming Award on behalf of Michigan Sea Grant.

Sustainable Small Harbor program team members Todd Marsee (left) and Mark Breederland accept the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network’s Outreach Programming Award on behalf of Michigan Sea Grant.

Team members for the Sustainable Small Harbors project from Michigan Sea Grant included Mark Breederland, Catherine Riseng, Amy Samples and Todd Marsee. Don Carpenter from Lawrence Technological University was principal investigator. Other partners included:

Michigan State University Extension; Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Office of the Great Lakes; Michigan Department of Natural Resources Waterways Program; Michigan Development Corporation; Michigan State Housing Development Authority; Environmental Consulting and Technology, LLC; Veritas Environmental Consulting, LLC; David L. Knight, LLC; Edgewater Resources, LLC; Richard Neumann, architect; Constance Bodurow, designer.

Michigan Sea Grant helps to foster economic growth and protect Michigan’s coastal, Great Lakes resources through education, research and outreach. A collaborative effort of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University and its MSU Extension, Michigan Sea Grant is part of the NOAA-National Sea Grant network of 33 university-based programs.

What’s the best fish to stock in your Michigan fishing pond?

Stocking the wrong species can lead to problems down the road.

Rainbow trout, such as these, are used to stock cold-water ponds. Photo: Ron Kinnunen

Rainbow trout, such as these, are used to stock cold-water ponds. Photo: Ron Kinnunen

Spring is the time of year to evaluate the type and quantity of fish to put in your farm pond. This is a critical decision as it will dictate the quality of fishing in the pond for years to come. Many make common mistakes when stocking fish into their pond that includes stocking the wrong type of fish species or the wrong combinations of fish species that are not compatible with each other.

Warm-water ponds

If you have a warm-water pond it is best to stock largemouth bass. A common mistake when stocking largemouth bass is to also stock bluegills with them. Many think that stocking the bluegills will provide forage fish for the largemouth bass and enhance their growth. Bluegills have the tendency to overpopulate the pond, monopolize the food supply, and stunt out in growth. Largemouth bass in our northern climate have a difficult time keeping bluegill populations in check. When stocking largemouth bass, it is best to have an established minnow population that they can forage on. These minnows can include fathead and bluntnose minnows.

Bluegills are many times stocked in Michigan ponds as the sole fish species. Several years of good fishing will occur after initial stocking of bluegills but over time they will overpopulate the pond, severely deplete the food supply, resulting in decreased growth rates that are not conducive to good quality fishing. Even as the growth of the bluegills decreases they will still remain very prolific producing even more bluegills which will tax the food supply. As an alternative to stocking bluegills, some will stock hybrid sunfish which is a cross between a green sunfish female and bluegill male. This hybrid cross results in the production of mostly male fish which can reduce reproduction in the early years resulting in larger growth and better quality fishing. But over time reproduction will occur and the quality of the fishery will be reduced.

Cold-water ponds

If you have a cold-water pond, you can stock trout. The best species to stock are brook and rainbow trout. These two fish species can also be stocked together. Avoid stocking brown trout as they are difficult to catch and as they grow they will eat other trout making it difficult to restock your pond. When stocking trout do not stock any other species of fish with them including minnows. Minnows will compete with trout for feed and reduce their growth rates. For trout, there is no need to stock forage fish. There are plenty of natural foods, such as aquatic insects, that inhabit the pond on which the trout can feed.

Avoid cool-water fish

Avoid stocking cool-water fish, such as yellow perch, walleye, and northern pike in ponds. These fish need large open water systems and will not do well in ponds. Yellow perch like bluegills are prolific breeders and can soon overpopulate a pond, monopolize the food source, and stunt out.

And never use grass carp to solve excessive aquatic plant growth problems as it is illegal to possess this fish species in Michigan.

Fishing for Drum

Event Date: 6/17/2017

June 17, 2017, 8:00 am-10:00 am

Location: Historic Ottawa Beach Parks, Black Lake Boardwalk-West

Learn to catch big fish from shore! The freshwater drum is a hard-fighting native fish that eats invasive species like zebra mussels and round gobies. Also known as “sheephead”, the drum is related to prized saltwater species like redfish and seatrout.

Michigan Sea Grant Fisheries Biologist and Educator, Dan O’Keefe will lead participants in learning drum biology and how to catch them! Additionally, you’ll learn how to clean and cook this tasty fish.

Bring your own fishing equipment and a valid Michigan fishing license (youth under 17 years of age do not need a license). A limited number of loaner rods will be available if you do not have your own. You may also wish to bring sunscreen, polarized sunglasses, and bottled water.

Sleeping Bear Dunes Water Adventure Expo

Event Date: 6/17/2017

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is partnering with Michigan Sea Grant, area government agencies, and private organizations to host a free water adventure expo on Saturday, June 17, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Platte Point at the end of Lake Michigan Road. The Splash into Summer Water Adventure Expo will include water play safety demonstrations, skills practice, exhibits, and more.

The expo is an event for adults and kids who like to swim or paddle in rivers, inland lakes, or Lake Michigan. Kayak and stand up paddleboard (SUP) demonstrations, mock capsize/self-rescue exercises, and life jacket fittings are among the event offerings. Stations will also be set up for weather and rip current recognition, gear checklists, and drowning survival strategies. Face painting and scavenger hunts for kids will round out the expo. Food trucks will be on site or visitors may pack a picnic lunch.

Learn more about the expo at the event website!

Drill Conductor Training Courses

Event Date: 7/11/2017
End Date: 7/13/2017

Two Drill Conductor Training courses for Great Lakes commercial fishing vessel captains offered

On-vessel drill training is held at Red Cliff Indian Reservation during one of the 2016 Drill Conductor Training courses.

On-vessel drill training is held at Red Cliff Indian Reservation during one of the 2016 Drill Conductor Training courses. Photo: Jim Thannum | Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission

Commercial fishers are required to practice monthly emergency drills that cover 10 contingencies spelled out U.S. Coast Guard regulation.

Michigan Sea Grant, Wisconsin Sea Grant, the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission are coordinating two Drill Conductor Training courses that will be held at Bay Mills Indian Community (Michigan) and Red Cliff Indian Reservation(Wisconsin) this summer.

These courses will help Great Lakes commercial fishing vessel captains fulfill U.S. Coast Guard regulations related to instruction, drills and safety orientations, and onboard emergency instruction.

Required training

Commercial fishers are required to practice monthly emergency drills that cover 10 contingencies spelled out in the regulation. Persons conducting these drills must have passed a Drill Conductor Training course.

Contingencies covered include:

  • Abandoning vessel
  • Fighting fire in different locations on vessel
  • Recovering an individual from the water
  • Minimizing effects of unintentional flooding
  • Launching survival craft and recovering life boats and rescue boats
  • Donning immersion suits and other wearable floatation devices
  • Donning fireman’s outfit and self-contained breathing apparatus if equipped
  • Making a voice radio distress call and using visual distress signals
  • Activating the general alarm
  • Reporting inoperative alarm systems and fire detection system

Other requirements

Both drills and instructions must be conducted each month. Operators are required to give comprehensive orientations to all new persons coming aboard before departure. Commercial fishers need to have written safety information onboard. Depending on crew size this information needs to be posted if four or more crew members are onboard or kept as an available booklet if less than four crew members. AMSEA provides copies of the required information as part of the Drill Conductor class.

Emergency instruction must identify:

  • Survival craft embarkation stations aboard vessel and survival craft to which each individual is assigned
  • Fire and emergency signal and abandon ship signal
  • If immersion suits are provided, the location of suits and illustrated instructions for donning
  • Procedures for making a distress call
  • Essential action that must be taken in an emergency by each individual
  • Procedures for rough weather at sea, crossing hazardous bars, flooding, and anchoring of the vessel
  • Procedures to be used in the event an individual falls overboard
  • Procedures for fighting a fire

Who should attend?

The commercial fishing vessel operator or captain should be the one to attend a Drill Conductor class. If space is limited, we encourage the operator or captain to be the only participant from the crew. However, if there is room in class, we encourage crew members to participate, too. Most of our classes include both operators and crew. The schedule for the upcoming classes include:

All Drill Conductor classes run from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and you must register at the AMSEA web site to attend one of the Drill Conductor classes. For additional information you can contact Ron Kinnunen (Michigan Sea Grant) at (906) 226-3687 or kinnune1@msu.edu.

Training rated ‘excellent’

Last year six classes were conducted in the Great Lakes region. The Drill Conductor Training courses were evaluated by the 77 attendees who rated the training as excellent and indicated the emergency drills on actual vessels helped increase their proficiency should an emergency arise. These courses had representation from commercial fishers from Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie and also included four U.S. Coast Guard personnel needing the training for their jobs.

Learn more

Read about experiences of previous trainees: Great Lakes commercial fishers get hands-on experience in emergency procedures

Clean Marina programs extend stewardship of the Great Lakes environment

Marina on Lake Superior

Michigan Sea Grant, as coordinator of the Great Lakes Clean Marina Network, has been active in supporting environmental sensitivity in the recreational boating industry. It recently provided two grants to support Great Lakes Clean Marina programs. It also produced and distributed informational signs to all of the Clean Marina programs in the region on best practices for environmental stewardship while boating. The network also developed a list of discounts certified Clean Marinas are eligible to receive, including a 10 percent underwriting credit on general liability insurance. With an average $15,000 policy, this credit results in a savings of $1,500 per year.

Clean Marina programs work to reduce pollution to coastal waters by encouraging environmentally friendly marina and boating practices. The Great Lakes Clean Marina Network is a forum for these programs to share resources, information, and best management practices. Funding for the grants and signs was made possible by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

“These projects and signs help Clean Marina programs in their efforts to protect the waters and coastlines that boaters enjoy,” notes Jim Diana, Michigan Sea Grant director. “We are pleased that insurance providers see the value of this program in helping marinas be safer and cleaner.”

Two $5,000 awards were provided to Clean Marina programs in the Great Lakes Region. The Wisconsin Clean Marina Program will expand program participation and certifications by increasing in-person technical assistance and improving program promotion, outreach, and training. The Ohio Clean Marina Program will create a model illustrating Clean Marina best management practices (BMPs) and how an “ideal” clean marina may function and appear. They will also work with agency experts to develop voluntary BMPs not already included in the certification criteria to address additional marina needs and goals.

All funded projects will report to the Great Lakes Clean Marina Network to share best practices and lessons learned.

To learn more about the Great Lakes Clean Marina Network and view a list of discounts available to certified Clean Marinas, visit glcleanmarina.org.

Contacts:
Catherine Riseng, Research Program Manager, (734) 936-3622, criseng@umich.edu
Rhett Register, Communications Program Leader, (734) 647-0767, rregist@umich.edu