Sturgeons, students, migrating birds and salmon: This week in environmental news

By Annie Perry, MNA Intern

Every Friday, MNA shares recent environmental news stories from around the state and country. Here’s some of what happened this week in environmental and nature news:

DNR has new regulations in place regarding northern pike and other fish species. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

DNR: New Fishing License Required April 1 (CBS Detroit): The 2013-2014 fishing license season started this past Monday, which means fishing licenses need to be renewed. Anglers can choose from a variety of licenses, including a 24-hour license, 72-hour license, restricted license, and all-species license. Prices have not changed since last year. In addition, new regulations are in place this year regarding muskellunge, northern pike, bow and spear fishing, netting, and others.

Outdoors: Teen’s nature bodes well for future (Detroit Free Press): Last year, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources put out a call to kids ages 14-18, seeking youth that were eager to get their peers involved on “rebooting the future” of Michigan’s natural resources. Together, they formed the Natural Resource Commission Youth Conservation Council, a group of 18 teenagers from all parts of the state and with different outdoor and recreation backgrounds that come together to meet with peers and natural resource mentors, brainstorm ideas, and participate in outdoor activities with the DNR staff. This article features one of the members, 16-year-old Wolfgang Lohrer.

Sturgeon studies and students (Great Lakes Echo): Researchers at Black Lake in the Lower Peninsula are studying threats to the lake’s sturgeon and using the findings to teach biology to students from kindergarten through high school. Threats to sturgeon include pollution, dams and invasive species. Researchers used the data found in their studies to develop a K-12 curriculum that focuses on the scientific method, egg survival, juvenile capture and spawning behavior, as well as giving students a feeling of attachment to the environment and a sense of responsibility for its protection.

A lakefront landing strip for migrating birds (Chicago Public Media): The Chicago Park District plans to restore native habitat for migratory songbirds along a 2.2 mile strip of land that lies in between railroad tracks and Lake Shore Drive. The area, which the Park District named the Burnham Wildlife Corridor, includes land east of Lake Shore Drive, where restoration has already begun. If the restoration is successful, this stretch of land, which will mostly be woodland dominated by oak species, will be a resting spot for more than five million migrating birds.

State DNR to release 100,000 salmon in Lake Huron (Michigan Radio): The Michigan DNR plans to release 100,000 Atlantic salmon into Lake Huron and two of the lake’s tributaries this spring. This will be the first time the DNR has successfully stocked the fish since the 1970s, although Lake Superior State University has been stocking 20,000 to 30,000 Atlantic salmon each year for about 20 years. Lake Huron’s native salmon have declined because invasive species have eaten their food source, but the DNR believes the Atlantic salmon will succeed because it is “more of a generalist in its feeding behavior.”

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