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MDNR Report

Didymo on a lure

The Michigan departments of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and Natural Resources confirmed a report of didymo, a nuisance freshwater alga, in a stretch of the Upper Manistee River in Kalkaska County. Also known as rock snot despite its coarse, woolly texture, didymo can grow into thick mats that cover the river bottom.

The Manistee River finding marks the first detection of didymo blooms in the Lower Peninsula. In 2015, extensive mats of didymo were found on the Michigan side of the St. Marys River near Sault Ste. Marie in the Upper Peninsula.

“Didymo can attach to fishing equipment, wading gear and other hard surfaces and be moved to new waterways,” said Bill Keiper, an aquatic biologist with EGLE’s Water Resources Division. “With each new detection, it becomes more important for people who fish, wade or boat to clean boats and equipment, including waders, after each use.”

MDNR Report

The Michigan DNR is accepting candidates for the positions of conservation officer recruits and probationary conservation officers.

Stationed in nearly every county of the state, these fully licensed law enforcement officers enforce laws and regulations related to fish and wildlife, state parks, trails and forests, and outdoor recreation activities such as off-road vehicle use, snowmobiling and boating. They also are first responders during natural disasters and life-threatening situations.

An in-service training program is being offered to anyone who:

  • Currently holds a Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards license, or
  • Is eligible to immediately be licensed upon employment and meets the DNR’s hiring requirements.

“This probationary training program will allow eligible recruits to participate in a seven-week, in-service training program focusing on conservation officer-specific laws and functions,” said F/Lt. Jason Wicklund, DNR Law Enforcement Division.

p>Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers and ice rescue personnel clad in dry suits worked today to try to recover a dozen elk that died Tuesday after falling through the ice of a private lake in Otsego County.

“This is a very tragic and unfortunate event,” said DNR Director Dan Eichinger. “Elk are an important species in Michigan’s successful conservation history. We are indebted to the conservation officers and hunting guides who tried to help in responding to this incident Tuesday afternoon.”

In all, the carcasses of three spike bull elk, five cows and three calves were recovered from the lake today. The remaining elk carcass was not found. The ice thickness measured 2 inches where the elk fell through, with the water about 50 feet deep.

The incident began at about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday when conservation officers were called by an elk-hunting guide who reported that 10-12 elk had fallen through the ice on Crapo Lake, which is a 92-acre lake located about 20 miles northeast of Grayling.

MDNR Report

Michigan DNR Officers with illegally-taken deer

Police investigating an October domestic violence complaint discovered nine poached bucks in a barn located in Decatur.

Michigan DNR conservation officers determined the illegal, trophy deer belonged to a previously convicted felon who is suspected of driving his truck through fields, shining and shooting deer.

Justin Ernst, 33, Decatur, faces up to $59,500 in reimbursement to the state if convicted of the more than one dozen violations he was charged with. He was arraigned Nov. 9 in 7th District Court in Paw Paw.

Ernst has a prior DNR conviction from 2018 for illegally taking or possessing whitetail deer. Previous felony charges on record for Ernst include possession of methamphetamine or ecstacy, third-degree fleeing a police officer and third offense (felony) operating a vehicle under the influence of liquor. 

“It’s a shame that this criminal ruined the chance for ethical, legal hunters to have their opportunity to take one of these trophy deer,” said Lt. Gerald Thayer, of the Michigan DNR Law Enforcement Division. “Not only did this felon steal from the natural resource, he also damaged agriculture crops, and has been doing so for some time. The financial penalty is the minimum he should serve.”

MDNR Report

Cecil Edward Day Jr.

A Gaylord man was recently convicted in Otesego County Circuit Court on several charges ranging from wildlife and felony weapons violations to third-offense drunken driving and being a habitual offender.

Cecil Edward Day Jr., 56, is currently serving up to 7 1/2 years in state prison for his involvement in three separate incidents that Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers have been investigating since 2018.

"This individual was a thief of our natural resources," said Sgt. Mark DePew, Michigan DNR Law Enforcement Division, who led the investigations. "Our officers' teamwork should be a lesson to those who seek to steal fish and game from the citizens of this state."