Lake Superior Fisheries Workshop

Event Date: 5/24/2017

This May 24 workshop is a chance for anglers, and others to network, get updates from researchers, and agencies on Lake Superior Fisheries.

Lake Superior Fisheries Workshop planned for May 24 in Central Upper Peninsula

Do you like to fish on Lake Superior and want to know what others are catching on the lake? Are you curious how lake trout are being managed? Do you want to understand more about what invasive species are present and how they impact the Great Lakes? If the answer was yes to any of these questions, then the Lake Superior Fisheries Workshop is for you!

Michigan Sea Grant hosts a number of workshops across the Great Lakes that help inform the angling community and general public about fish populations and management. This year Michigan Sea Grant in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) will host a Lake Superior Fisheries Workshop in Harvey, Mich., just outside of Marquette. The workshop will feature a variety of talks from managing agencies such as the MDNR, US Geological Survey, US Fish and Wildlife Service and Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission. The talks will help anglers and the general public understand what research is taking place on the lake and how it is informing fisheries management decisions. There will also be plenty of time for question and answers allowing anglers to give valuable input.

The workshop takes place 6 p.m.-9 p.m. May 24, 2017, at Chocolay Township Hall, 5010 US-41 Harvey, MI 49855. Parking is available at the Township Hall and overflow parking is available at the nearby Silver Creek Church just northwest of the facility.

Presentations will include:

  • Lake Superior Nearshore Sampling, Troy Zorn –  MDNR: Fisheries Research
  • Aquatic Invasive Species Sampling and Update, Jared Myers – US Fish and Wildlife Service)
  • Lake Superior Prey Fish Updates, Dan Yule –  US Geological Survey)
  • Lake Trout Status and Updates, Shawn Sitar – MDNR: Fisheries Research)
  • Sea Lamprey Control Status, Jessica Barber – US Fish and Wildlife Services)
  • Fishing Enforcement in 1836 Treaty Waters, Marvin Gerlach – MDNR-Law Enforcement Division
  • Fishing Enforcement in 1842 Treaty Waters, Steven Amsler and Matt Kinskern – Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission
  • Lake Superior Angler Creel Data, Cory Kovacs – MDNR: Fisheries Management)

The Lake Superior Fisheries Workshop is free and open to any and all interested participants.

Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to learn about what is happening with the Lake Superior Fisheries!

How can we stop drownings in the Great Lakes?

Water safety conference to address ways to improve safety, education and more

Water rescue safety stations have been installed on beaches in northern Lake Michigan. Photo: Ron Kinnunen | Michigan Sea Grant

Water rescue safety stations have been installed on beaches in northern Lake Michigan. Photo: Ron Kinnunen | Michigan Sea Grant

Rip, structural, outlet, and channel currents continue to take the lives of many swimmers each year in the Great Lakes. Each of these types of dangerous currents have unique characteristics that pose a danger to swimmers. Learn why drownings in the Great Lakes were up 78 percent last year and what you can do about it. Many coastal communities are working together on water safety measures that will help protect swimmers using their beaches.

Join the Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium for compelling presentations by and networking opportunities with experts in water safety, risk communication, lifeguarding, beach safety, and hazard mitigation. Speakers from the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network, National Weather Service, Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, universities, and many others will share the latest science, techniques, and technologies. Upon completion of the conference, attendees will leave with new strategies, insights, and know-how to save lives in their communities and the best ways to respond in the event of a tragedy.

Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

Michigan Sea Grant project looks at cisco restoration in Lake Michigan

How can cisco restoration efforts be tailored to fit the needs of Lake Michigan stakeholder groups?

A school of cisco swim in Lake Superior near Isle Royale National Park. Photo: Ron Kinnunen | Michigan Sea Grant

A school of cisco swim in Lake Superior near Isle Royale National Park. Photo: Ron Kinnunen | Michigan Sea Grant

The alewife supported the salmon fishery in the Great Lakes but had negative qualities such as high levels of thiaminase which interferes with reproduction of trout and salmon. The alewife also is a predator on many of our native larval fish and thus affects recruitment of species such as lake trout and walleye. The cisco, which is a native species, does not share these negative attributes of the alewife.

In recent years the alewife population has declined in lakes Huron and Michigan which has led to a window where the native cisco might recover in areas where there are remnant populations or be reintroduced into areas where it no longer exists. Many stakeholders have promoted the reintroduction of cisco. Though many stakeholder groups are interested in restoring cisco, they disagree on the best approach. Some advocate helping remnant populations recover, while others recommend stocking Lake Michigan with young cisco from Lake Michigan’s remnant population or from elsewhere in the Great Lakes region. Michigan Sea Grant has an integrated assessment project underway on Cisco Restoration in Lake Michigan (PDF). During an integrated assessment project researchers work closely with stakeholders to examine an issue from many perspectives, identify challenges, and evaluate feasible solutions.

If stocking of cisco is to occur some issues that need to be resolved are the development of hatchery facilities that can produce large numbers of cisco and the genetic lines that should be used in this rehabilitation effort. Restoration through hatchery production can result in loss of genetic variability because eggs and milt often are taken from a relatively small number of individuals that may not be a good representation of the gene pool of the entire population. Ecological conditions in the lakes have changed drastically and there is concern whether cisco could survive once stocked.

As part of the Michigan Sea Grant project a research team led by Sara Alderstein, an associate research scientist at the University of Michigan, will use existing data and guided workshops and discussions to help stakeholders create a path for cisco restoration in Lake Michigan. Michigan Sea Grant Extension recently presented information on this project at the Lake Michigan Technical Committee meeting and at the Annual Michigan Fish Producers Association Conference. A workshop is planned this summer during the Lake Michigan Technical Committee. Through the workshops, the project team will provide a framework for helping managers and the fishing community advance a preferred option for Lake Michigan cisco restoration.

Northeast Michigan place-based education network explores Environmental-STEM learning opportunities

School and community partners from the Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative explore how environmental-STEM learning can support student engagement in Great Lakes stewardship.

MSU Extension educator Tracy D'Augustino (standing) works with teachers during the recent Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative network meeting. Photo: Michigan Sea Grant

MSU Extension educator Tracy D’Augustino (standing) works with teachers during the recent Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative network meeting. Photo: Michigan Sea Grant

Imagine students spending an entire year studying marine debris and auditing their school cafeteria to learn about single-use versus reusable plastics – and then getting really excited to share their results with their entire school and community. This is just one example of a school project success story teachers learned about during a recent conference.

The Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (NEMIGLSI) network partnership supports place-based stewardship education and connects schools with community partners, educators and youth seeking to enhance their learning through Great Lakes and natural resource stewardship projects.

Last month, more than 75 educators and community partners celebrated successes through this partnership during the 12th annual regional NEMIGLSI network meeting held in Alpena, Michigan. Facilitated by Michigan State University Extension (Michigan Sea Grant and 4-H Youth), NOAA Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Huron Pines AmeriCorps— among other leadership partner, this regional meeting serves to strengthen school-community partnerships across the region. Educators from more than a dozen schools came together with community partners to share educational presentations, trade resources and explore new ideas.

This year’s meeting offered an opportunity to celebrate a recent international Innovative Education award recognizing the NEMIGLSI network’s excellence in engaging students in environmental-STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning experiences. This award from UL (underwriter laboratories) and the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) reflects how northeast Michigan students are applying their e-STEM learning in accomplishing meaningful stewardship projects of importance to their local communities. Christiane Maertens, Deputy Director from NAAEE, kicked off this year’s meaning as keynote speaker addressing the importance of this effort to engage youth, through their e-STEM learning, in environmental stewardship projects locally.

Engaging youth as community partners and leaders is a core principle for the NEMIGLSI network, and this meeting looked to cross-tie a series of new Guiding Principles for Exemplary Place-Based Stewardship Education (PBSE), a set of principles co-developed in collaboration with the Great Lakes Fishery Trust and nine statewide GLSI network hubs with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Drawing on the expertise of local NEMIGLSI network educators, the day’s educational panel presentations also included perspectives toward e-STEM learning applied in context of PBSE guidelines and best practices. These panelists shared as follows:

  • Setting the focus: Community as the classroom (Tina Denbleyker, Lincoln Elementary, Alpena Public Schools) – Denbleyker has recently engaged her students in exploring local pollinator habitats along the Thunder Bay River within the city limits of Alpena. She shared how easy it was to take students on exploratory walks within their own community, connect pollinator (monarch butterfly) studies with important learning objectives like life cycles, and to connect with community partners. The city welcomed her student explorations, and even changed mowing practices to protect important pollinator habitats identified by students.
  • Foundations for Place-Based Teaching: Team teaching, school culture, and community collaborations (Mike Berenkowski, Tim Lee, Matt Hinckley, and Matt McDougall, Oscoda Area Schools) – This Oscoda school educator team has excelled in integrating PBSE practices as a core educational strategy in their school. They shared a wide variety of projects that connected students with community partners, engaged students in environmental stewardship, and enhanced learning goals for their school. These educators stressed the importance of team teaching, coordinating with school administrators, and communicating student projects successes with community.
  • Foundation for Place-Based Learning: Interdisciplinary opportunities in Shipwreck Alley (John Caplis, Alpena High School) – An Earth Science class, Caplis has designed his Shipwreck Alley course as a community-centered and interdisciplinary learning experience for students. His class incorporates history and social studies, Great Lakes science and ecology, and student leadership in community development projects such as the Great Lakes fisheries heritage exhibit in development with the Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan. Caplis centers his student studies on their local community and Great Lakes resources – from which many hands-on and interdisciplinary learning opportunities arise for students.
  • Deepening the Impact: One issue, many projects, lots of learning (Alecia Deitz, All Saints Catholic School) – A simple question centered on the issue of marine debris in the Great Lakes launched Deitz into a year-long learning opportunity with students. Students conducted class cafeteria audits for single-use versus reusable plastics, and after collecting data, they hosted a schoolwide assembly where they highlighted the impact of the marine debris on the environment and shared the collected weekly tally for single-use plastics. Expanding their work into the community, students presented their research during the Thunder Bay International Film Festival and partnered in the NOAA Students for Zero Waste Week. Their efforts continued into student-led litter clean-up efforts and culminated with a student-planned Friday Earth Day Celebration complete with a ‘Trashion’ show. Most impressively, the artwork of Malley M., a 2015-16 eighth-grade student at All Saints Catholic School local youth leader was featured in the national 2017 NOAA Marine Debris Calendar. Deitz’s students illustrate how one Great Lakes issue can lead to lots of learning and many student leadership opportunities.

As part of the event, participants also learned about zero waste strategies as drink and food containers were reused or recycled and food waste and paper products were collected for composting. Less than a grocery bag of trash resulted from this meeting including more than 75 people attending.

In 2017, supported by Great Lakes Fishery Trust’s Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative funding, the NEMIGLSI network served 32 schools, supported 110 educators, and engaged 5,155 youth in place-based stewardship education experiences. These project partnerships show how place-based stewardship education strategies can enhance school and student learning through hands-on science learning in their community. This regional meeting reflected on these accomplishments, discussed upcoming opportunities, and engaged participants in planning toward a brighter future for the NEMIGLSI network.

2017 Fisheries Workshops Series

Event Date: 4/4/2017
End Date: 5/24/2017

Michigan Sea Grant, in partnership with fisheries agencies and stakeholder organizations, hosts public information workshops annually. The workshops focus on current research and information related to the regional status of Great Lakes fisheries. These workshops are open to the public and provide valuable information for anglers, charter captains, resource professionals and other interested stakeholders.

If you’re interested in attending a workshop, please register using the information below so the organizers can plan accordingly.

Workshop Schedule

Port Huron
Tuesday, April 4
6–9 p.m.
Charles A. Hammond American Legion Hall, 1026 6th Street, Port Huron, MI 48060
Register Online

Bay City
Wednesday, April 12
6–9 p.m.
Bangor Township Hall, 3921 Wheeler Rd, Bay City, MI 48706
Register Online

Harrison Township
Thursday, April 13
6–9 p.m.
Sportsman’s Direct, 38989 Jefferson Ave, Harrison Township, MI 48045

South Haven 
Thursday, April 20, 2017
7–9:30 p.m.
South Haven Moose Lodge, 1025 Wells St., South Haven, MI 49090

Oscoda 
Wednesday, April 26
6–9 p.m.
American Legion Oscoda, 349 S. State Street, Oscoda, MI 48750
Register Online

Cedarville 
Thursday, April 27
6–9 p.m.
Clark Township Community Center, 133 E. M-134, Cedarville, MI 49719
Register Online

Harvey
Wednesday, May 24
6–9 p.m.
Chocolay Township Hall, 5010 US-41, Harvey, MI 49855
Register Online

Farming for Fish? Webinar will explore how to get started

Event Date: 4/10/2017

Webinar series for beginning farmers includes an overview of this fast-growing business sector.

Aquaculture tanks are shown in a recirculating aquaculture facility. Photo: Todd Marsee | Michigan Sea Grant

Aquaculture tanks are shown in a recirculating aquaculture facility. Photo: Michigan Sea Grant

A Beginning Farmer webinar series taking place throughout winter and spring 2017, seeks to assist farmers across the country with starting up and improving their agricultural practices. This series of nine webinars includes “Getting Started with Aquaculture.” The aquaculture webinar will be held 7-9 p.m. April 10, 2017. The cost is $10 for individual webinars, or $45 for access to the entire series.

Aquaculture, or fish farming, is the fastest growing sector of the seafood industry. While global demand for seafood continues to rise, wild catch of fish has not increased and, in some cases, it has decreased as wild fisheries have been overharvested. Michigan is well suited for aquaculture with its vast water resources and increasing demand for local agriculture products. The aquaculture industry in Michigan is currently less than a $5 million industry. A recent strategic assessment of aquaculture in Michigan states that there is potential for growth up to a $1 billion industry. Aquaculture in Michigan can be a way to supply high quality locally produced products.

The Michigan Sea Grant and Michigan State University Extension webinar will introduce a variety of subjects for farmers interested in pursuing the innovative farming techniques of aquaculture. Topics covered will include market demand, types of aquaculture systems, aquaculture facilities in Michigan, and what is needed to start your own facility.

Seminar: Fish Spawning Reef Planning Techniques

Event Date: 5/15/2017

reef-restoration-graphic

This seminar will be held in conjunction with the International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) 2017 conference in Detroit. You do not need to register for IAGLR to participate.

A number of factors, including construction of shipping channels, land use changes and dams, have degraded rocky fish spawning habitat or made it inaccessible to native, migratory fish. One method for compensating for spawning habitat losses is to construct fish spawning reefs, essentially beds of loose rock placed on the river bottom that provide adequate protection and flow through the rocks for egg incubation. Though simple in concept, reef projects need to be carefully sited and designed to avoid accumulating sediment, attract desired fish and support young fish through the critical early life stages.

This team- taught seminar will share techniques developed through eight reef projects established in the St. Clair and Detroit River System over the past fifteen years. Specific topics will include: site assessment and selection, hydrodynamics and sedimentation concerns, reef design and construction strategies and monitoring of early life stages of fish.

One highlight of the workshop will be a practical lesson on river hydraulics and sediment transport and a hand-on exercise with free river modeling software, led by a scientist from the USGS Geomorphology and Sediment Transport Lab. This interactive seminar is open to all types of restoration practitioners, including professional engineers, project managers, researchers and anyone hoping to champion, design or monitor a constructed spawning reef in Great Lakes nearshore areas, connecting channels or larger rivers.

Date: Monday, May 15, 2017
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Location: IAGLR’s Great Lakes Research Conference, Cobo Center Room 258, 1 Washington Blvd, Detroit, Michigan
Continuing Education: Seminar participants will receive a certificate showing they completed 7 hours of continuing education suitable for professional license renewals.
Cost: $75 for professionals, $30 for students 
Registration deadline: 5:00 p.m., May 10, 2017
Cancellation: No refunds will be issued for cancellations after May 5.

For professionals ($75):
 

For students ($30):

For questions, contact:
Lynn Vaccaro
University of Michigan Water Center
Lvaccaro@umich.edu
(734) 763-0056

Quiet Water Symposium

Event Date: 3/4/2017

quiet_water_symposium_arena_exhibits_2015

Mark your calendar and make plans to attend the 22nd Annual Quiet Water Symposium, which promotes non-motorized outdoor recreation.  Visit our Michigan Sea Grant booth and try your luck at winning a prize!

Last year’s Symposium featured over 200 exhibits, speakers and demonstrations. This year will feature presentations by noted travel writers, Jim DuFresne, Kevin Callan, Hap Wilson and the dean of outdoor writers, Cliff Jacobson.

Campers, hikers, cyclists, sailors, anglers, and of course paddle sport enthusiasts will all find something interesting at the symposium.

We hope to see you there!

When: Saturday, March 4, 2017
Where: Michigan State University Pavilion, 4301 Farm Lane, East Lansing, MI
Time: 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Cost: Adults $10.00, Students with I/D $5.00, under 12 free.

www.quietwatersociety.org

SCDRS Annual Meeting

Event Date: 3/2/2017

“Charting the Course for Action in the St. Clair-Detroit River System”

Thursday March 2, 2017

Weber’s Inn, Ann Arbor, Michigan

9:00 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST, Registration opens at 8:30 a.m.

On behalf of the St. Clair – Detroit River System (SCDRS) Initiative Steering Committee, I would like to invite you to join us at the 2017 Annual Meeting. The week of January 30th, which will include a draft agenda, registration information, the briefing book form and instructions, hotel information, and other relevant materials for your consideration and review before the Annual Meeting.

Agenda topics include:

  • Steering, Science & Monitoring, and Communications Committee updates
  • Priority Objectives, Indicators Status Update & Discussion on Fisheries, Habitat, AIS, Areas of Concern, Contaminants, and Nutrients

We are hoping to have participation from a variety of organizations and interests working in the SCDRS to continue to help inform our collective path moving forward. Registration will be limited to 50 attendees, so please plan to register early.

If your organization is interested in being a sponsor of the workshop, please contact Mary Bohling at bohling@anr.msu.edu.

For more information on the SCDRS Initiative, see the website at: http://scdrs.org

Contact: Michelle Selzer
SCDRS Initiative Communications Subcommittee
Lake Erie Coordinator
Michigan Office of the Great Lakes
(517) 284-5050
selzerm@michigan.gov

 

Birding Trails Workshop

Event Date: 2/24/2017

Michigan Audubon and Sea Grant Michigan Host Birding Trails Workshop

Friday, February 24, 2017

9:30 AM-3:00 PM

Location: Boardman River Nature Center, Traverse City, MI

Communities across Michigan are recognizing birding as an economic driver. The US Fish and Wildlife Service indicates that wildlife-watching generates a billion dollars of economic activity in Michigan every year. Michigan’s grassroots-driven birding trails are a demonstration of the commitment of citizens, businesses, non-profit organizations, and agencies to preserving natural resources and promoting bird appreciation and protection. Birding trails offer birders, naturalists, and general eco-tourists opportunities to explore diverse habitats across Michigan. Birding trails are typically driving routes linking prime birding locations.

The growth of birding trails combines Michigan residents’ and visitors’ passion for birding and love of the open road, creating new opportunities for connecting birds and people. We want to nurture this growth by providing resources and support for new and existing birding trail organizers and teams.

On Friday, February 24, 2017, Michigan Audubon and Sea Grant Michigan will host a birding trails workshop to support this grassroots effort throughout the state. Click below If you are interested in attending and learning more about establishing and maintaining a successful birding trail. For additional information or questions, please contact Elliot Nelson at elliotne@msu.edu or (906) 322-0353. This event is free and open to the public.