May NRC Meeting: Mandatory Deer Registration up for Information, Lake Trout Bag Limits for Action

Changes to the lake trout and splake bag limit in Lake Huron unit MH-1 is the only Natural Resources Commission (NRC) order up for action at the May meeting. 

The May meeting of the NRC is Thursday, May 12 at Crystal Mountain in the Hudson Bay Room, located at 12500 Crystal Mountain Dr. Thompsonville, Michigan 49683. At 8 a.m. in the Arctic Bay Room, there will be a coffee with commissioners event preceding the meeting.

Commissioners are expected to take action on a single fisheries order: Fisheries Order 253.22A. This order is a change in the limit on lake trout and splake in the area designated MH-1 from three lake trout and splake per day to no more than two in combination. This is a result of overharvest by recreational anglers requiring Department of Natural Resources (DNR) remediation as part of the 2000 consent decree agreement.

There is also a proposed amendment on the table that in conjunction with lowering the limit in MH-1 would raise the limit in neighboring MH-2. Commissioner Tom Baird asked for the amendment to be prepared at April’s meeting in the event that the commission wanted to take up the issue. His intent was to give the public more time to consider the order. 

Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) does not have a position on either the order or proposed amendment.

Up for information is Wildlife Conservation Order Amendment 4 of 2022 requiring mandatory deer check in within 72 hours of harvest and before transferring possession of their deer (for example dropping it off at the processor). The reporting will be through a web based app and eventually a mobile app. Under the proposed order, failure to register your harvest will be a misdemeanor with potential educational opportunities.

The DNR believes that this new system, which is similar to what other states have, will increase hunter participation in reporting, provide vital information to biologists in real time, and save the department costs with reduced mailings and hard copy surveys.

MUCC does not have a position as it relates to mandatory deer check.

For the Director’s orders, there is a land use review for group 4 consisting of Gratiot, Huron, Isabella, Lapeer, Lenawee, Marquette, Monroe, Roscommon, Sanilac, and Washtenaw counties. This is  a 10-year review of state owned properties. Of note, only Marquette and Roscommon Counties have transactions resulting in large-scale (greater than 80 acres) exchanges or disposals of state land. 

There are a series of land use orders up for information as well. 

Land Use Order of the Director Amendment 2 of 2022 would expand hours of state parks where a dark sky is designated. 

Land Use Order of the Director Amendment 3 of 2022 clarifies prohibited actions at North Higgins Lake State Park, and the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center.

Land Use Order of the Director Amendment 4 of 2022 addresses camping at equestrian campsites without a horse, adding an enforcement tool for the DNR against those who take advantage of these sites. It also clarifies rules regarding drones and unmanned aircraft and when it is prohibited on state managed lands. 

Land Use Order of the Director Amendment 5 of 2022 clarifies prohibited conduct at certain boating access sites, provides enforcement for prohibited skateboarding, and clarifies drone and unmanned aircraft rules. 

For Directors Report this month there will be a recognition of five past commissioners, Louis Klarr, Vicki Pontz, Rex Schlaybaugh, Chris Tracy, and John Walters. 

Furtakers of America will be presenting the Trappers College Award.

Nicole Hunt with the DNR, will be presenting the Director’s Land Use Order Amendments 2-4. 

Lastly, Chad Steward with the DNR, will be providing commissioners with a presentation on deer harvest reporting.

Preceding the committee of the whole, the NRC Wildlife Committee will be meeting at 9 a.m., where Chad Stewart will be finishing a presentation on deer regulations. Dwayne Etter, and Dr. David Williams will be presenting a MSU research update. Lastly, Captain David Malloch, Law Enforcement Division, will be providing a presentation on utilizing dog trackers.

As always MUCC will be streaming the meeting on our Facebook page.

To ensure our natural resources remain protected and managed thoughtfully in perpetuity, join Michigan United Conservation Clubs today: 

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