• IMX-Pro
  • Moore Boats
  • Vanford
  • IMX-Pro Ice

There's no shortage of recreational opportunities to explore - and what better time to do so than the 2019 Winter Free Fishing Weekend!

The 2019 Winter Free Fishing Weekend will be held Feb. 16-17. As part of these weekends, all fishing license fees are waived for two days with residents and out-of-state visitors allowed to enjoy fishing on all waters for all species during their respective open seasons. Please note all other regulations still apply.

To encourage involvement in Free Fishing Weekends, organized activities are often offered in communities across the state. These activities are coordinated by non-profit groups, schools, parks (local/state), businesses and others.

If you would like to plan an event, check out www.Michigan.gov/freefishing for information and resources to help! On the site you'll find two toolkits; one focused on planning and the other on promoting your event.

Once your event is coordinated, please register it as an official 2019 Winter Free Fishing Weekend activity online at https://www.research.net/r/2019WinterFFW-registration. Upon doing so you will be contacted about receiving a packet of materials from Fisheries Division to use during your event.

MDNR Report

DNR Director Daniel EichingerGov. Gretchen Whitmer recently announced appointments for several state agencies, including Daniel Eichinger, who joins the DNR as the department's new director.

Eichinger most recently served as executive director of Michigan United Conservation Clubs, the nation’s most effective state-based conservation organization. In that role, he led MUCC’s return as a driving force for conservation and our outdoor heritage. Under his leadership, MUCC revamped its organizational structure, grew membership and launched new programs to connect people with nature.

From 2007 to 2012, he worked in various capacities with the Department of Natural Resources, first as legislative liaison, where he was heavily involved in passing the innovative Recreation Passport to fund state parks. Later, he helped establish the first Policy and Regulations Unit for the agency’s Wildlife Division.

Gov. Whitmer called Eichinger "a trusted leader in the conservation of Michigan’s abundant natural resources and outdoor heritage" and someone who "has the broad experience needed to bring innovative ideas and also successful implementation of conservation efforts and recreation opportunities here in the state.”

Eichinger, who holds bachelor’s and master's degrees in fisheries and wildlife from Michigan State University, as well as a master’s of public administration, is eager to get started in this new role. 

“Conservation is a team sport," he said. "I look forward to working with our partners to continue the thoughtful stewardship of the extraordinary natural and cultural resources that so deeply define us as Michiganders.”

By Louie Stout

Kudos to Michigan legislators for passing a law that prohibits the Michigan DNR from issuing any more game sterilization permits to cities.

It’s hard to imagine such a bill is necessary, but the DNR gave Ann Arbor such a permit a few years back that allowed the city to sterilize whitetail deer.

The new legislation put a moratorium on the practice until April 1 2022, giving the state time to study the effectiveness of the Ann Arbor project and find “more suitable ways” to manage urban deer herds.