48,138 Square Miles Open To Spring Turkey Hunting

Last Minute Reminder — spring turkey hunters Feb. 1 is the deadline for spring license. Hunters may apply at any authorized license dealer or online using the state’s E-License system at www.michigan.gov/dnr.

The 2009 season runs from April 20 through May 31 with hunts lasting from seven to 42 days, depending on the hunt unit. A total of 113,890 licenses are available, including 48,890 general licenses and 65,000 private-land licenses.

“Hunters looking for the greatest flexibility should consider Hunt No. 234, which includes all open areas of the state except the public lands of southern Michigan,” said DNR upland game bird specialist Al Stewart.

Hunters may purchase a license for Hunt No. 234, which runs May 5-31, so they do not have to pay the $4 fee to enter the lottery for restricted licenses. However, Hunt 234 licenses will not be sold after Feb. 1.

Applicants can check if they were specifically drawn for a license beginning March 2 at www.michigan.gov/dnrdrawings

Michigan’s Winter Free Fishing Weekend Scheduled for Feb. 14-15

The DNR invites everyone who is curious about ice fishing to take advantage of Winter Free Fishing Weekend, Feb. 14-15. The annual celebration of Michigan’s ice fishing heritage allows everyone to fish without purchasing a license.

The Winter Free Fishing Weekend, now in its eighth year, is modeled on the state’s annual Free Fishing Weekend held every year in June. Because of winter ice on most of the state’s lakes, anglers have access to areas that they could never reach without a boat during wet-water months.

Numerous ice fishing clinics, contests and festivals are held in conjunction with the weekend, including DNR-sponsored events at state parks and fish hatcheries. Most offer instruction on the basics of ice fishing, loaner fishing equipment and a quick program on ice safety.

Programs are free, but participants at state park events require the purchase of a $6 daily or $24 annual 2009 Michigan State Park Motor Vehicle Permit.

In addition, numerous fishing clubs and service organizations sponsor events, many of them at little or no cost to participants. In many cases, equipment and bait are available at the events.

For a list of Winter Free Fishing Weekend activities, visit the DNR’s Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnrfishing, under the Fishing in Michigan section.

Woods-N-Water News Winter Show Schedule

There’s no better cure for the “winter blues” or a case of “cabin fever” then taking in one of the numerous sports shows this winter. Woods-N-Water News will be attending several and we encourage you to stop by. See us at the following shows:

Michigan Deer & Turkey Spectacular – Feb. 13-15 – Lansing Center

Outdoorama – Feb. 26-March 1 – Rock Financial Showplace, Novi

Lansing Boat & Fishing Show – March 12-15 – Lansing Center

Ultimate Sport Show – March 19-22 – Devos Place, Grand Rapids

Southeast Michigan Anglers 2009 Newsletter Available

The 2009 newsletter that details the fisheries management activities in Southeast Michigan, specifically in the Lake Erie Management Unit (LEMU) is now available on the Department of Natural Resources Web site. The newsletter can be found at www.michigan.gov/dnrfishing.

“This document is intended to inform anglers about fishery management activities and surveys during the 2008 field season,” said DNR LEMU Supervisor Gary Towns. “Lake and stream fish surveys, fish disease monitoring, results from a sturgeon angler mail survey and is designed to keep anglers updated on what we have been doing to manage fish populations in this area.”

Largely authored by DNR Fisheries Technician Dennis Tar and Fisheries Biologist Jim Francis, the newsletter is a collection of specific findings from fish surveys on local waters and of fish plantings and other activities conducted in 2008 in all or part of 10 southeastern counties of the state. The LEMU includes all or part of Sanilac, St. Clair, Lapeer, Macomb, Oakland, Livingston, Wayne, Monroe, Lenawee, Hillsdale or Jackson counties. The LEMU manages lakes and streams within the Black, Clinton, Huron, Rouge, Raisin, Pine and Belle river watersheds.

The newsletter will also contain information on fishery activities on the Great Lakes waters in southeastern Michigan, including the Detroit and St. Clair rivers, Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie.