New fishery regulations ripple through Saginaw Bay


Yellow Perch, Courtesy of the DNR

Yellow Perch, Courtesy of the DNR


In an attempt to restore Yellow Perch populations in the Saginaw Bay, the DNR is proposing new fishing regulations.

The regulations could cut the number of Yellow Perch you take home in half while at the same time doubling the number of Walleye you can catch.

Todd Grischke , Lake Huron Basin Coordinator for the DNR, said this is just one step in a long process.

“Yes, Walleye are feeding on Yellow Perch we know that. It’s very important that we don’t draw just a straight line from high walleye-low yellow perch. There’s alot going on there with yellow perch and were taking actions a lot of other management actions to address yellow perch.”

Grischke said fisheries are complex, every decision ripples through the ecosystem.

“This is not, uh you know, the silver bullet. Really, managing the Great Lakes is complex, and there are a lot of things in play. So were trying to do what we can to move in the right direction to help improve Yellow Perch population and Yellow Perch fishing.”

The regulations are scheduled to take effect in April of 2016.

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DNR Fishing Regulations: Click Here

New bill would change first offenses for minors in possession of alcohol to a civil fee instead of a misdemeanor.

mip

In an effort to give people convicted of “minor in possession” (MIP) another chance, a senate bill would reduce the punishment for first offenses.

The bill would change a first time MIP offense from a misdemeanor, to a civil violation.

The punishment would include a fine and a call home to parents.

Republican state Senator Rick Jones is the bill’s sponsor.

“I believe that 95 percent of young people that get caught, once they pay the fine and their parents are notified, would not reoffend. And for those that do continue to reoffend, it would go up to a misdemeanor and perhaps at that point the judge would want to put them into some sort of program.”

Under the proposal, a second offense MIP would be a misdemeanor .

Petition to ban prevailing wage moves forward, pot legalization stalled

pot

A state elections board has given a green light to a petition drive to ban prevailing wage requirements in Michigan.

The petition language mirrors legislation currently in the state House that would end laws requiring union-level pay and benefits for workers on publicly-funded construction projects. Those bills appear to be stalled. Continue reading

Officials confirm first case of a fatal disease in free-ranging deer

deer

State wildlife officials have confirmed the first case of a fatal neurological disease in free-ranging deer.

It’s called chronic wasting disease. It only affects deer, elk and moose.

CWD can leave them acting strange towards humans with- what officials call – “zombie-like” movements.

Dr. Steve Schmitt is with the DNR wildlife disease lab.

“The animals are thin, that’s because they’re not eating, they show abnormal behavior, they lose their fear of humans, you can approach them. Sometimes they walk in circles, sometimes they isolate themselves, sometimes they stand around with their tongue out drooling.”

The six year old doe was found in Ingham county in April, when someone called the police reporting suspicious activity from the deer. After testing done by the DNR, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health, the deer was found positive of CWD.

Keith Creagh is the DNR Director. He has helped create an action plan for for Clint, Shiawassee and Ingham counties.

“Mandatory checking of deer will be required in this area in the hunting seasons, and restrictions will apply to the movement of carcasses and parts of deer taken in this area, I’ll also create a chronic wasting disease management zone which will include Clinton, Shiawassee, and Ingham counties.”

Although this is the first case reported in free-ranging deer, there could be others within the state.

Creagh says hunters all over Michigan should watch deer for chronic wasting disease, and notify the DNR if you suspect a case.

Officials say humans do not contract chronic wasting disease. However, as a precaution, hunters are urged not to eat the meat of an infected deer.

Lawmakers eye electric vehicles for road money

Ride_and_Drive_EVs_Plug'n_Drive_Ontario

Republican state lawmakers are looking to drivers of electric and hybrid vehicles as a potential source of more road funds. But environmental groups say now is not the time to make alternative fuel cars more expensive.

Electric and hybrid vehicles are already more expensive than fossil-fuel-powered cars and trucks, which also means higher sales taxes and registration fees. Continue reading

Board to decide if pot legalization, prevailing wage petition drives will move forward

potTuesday is a critical day for two groups – one which hopes to legalize and tax recreational marijuana in Michigan, and another which seeks to ban prevailing wage requirements in the state.
Continue reading

Stay protected from cyber attacks this summer

identity-theft-1

Security experts say before you head out on vacation this summer, you may want to double check your online identity.

Hackers can access information from laptops, iPads, cell phones and ATMs. Data files, passwords and bank accounts can be found and hacked. Continue reading

State Police cracking down on seat belt laws this weekend

Michigan State Police

The Michigan State Police is working to prevent accidents this holiday weekend. Additional patrols are set to watch highways for speeding, distracted driving, and tailgating. Lieutenant Michael Shaw said troopers are also running a “Click It Or Ticket” enforcement campaign. Continue reading

CMU prepares to host Early Childhood Summit

Central Michigan University is preparing to host what is being billed as a global summit on early childhood.

In two weeks (June 3-5), the campus will welcome policy makers, health care providers, educators and the public to a weekend event focusing on issues affecting the development of young children.
Continue reading

House committee begins road funding hearings

A special state House committee has begun deliberations on how to find more than $1 billion for roads and transportation. That’s after voters overwhelmingly said “no” to the Legislature’s last plan on the May ballot.

House Republican leaders say they want a solution in hand in less than a month. They say the plan is to search for savings and efficiencies before tackling the tougher questions about raising revenue. Continue reading

Controversy stirs around bill limiting information requests on infrastructure

Monitor, Keyboard, and Mouse

The public would not be able to obtain certain information about pipelines and other infrastructure under legislation in the state House.

Supporters of House Bill 4540 say it’s an attempt to protect critical infrastructure from being attacked. Continue reading

Senate introduces bill to remove the classification of “policewoman”

MI_-_State_Police_logo

The Michigan State Police may be getting a vocabulary change this summer.

Legislation has been introduced to remove the “policewoman” classification for female officers. Instead, they would be called “troopers,” like their male counterparts. Continue reading