Written by MUCC Policy Assistant, Ian FitzGerald
Spring Turkeys and Great Lakes Fish up for Action at November NRC Meeting
The Natural Resources Commission (NRC) will meet on Thursday, Nov. 7 at the West Campus of Lansing Community College (5708 Cornerstone Drive Lansing, MI 48917) in room M119-121. If you are unable to attend in person, check out the MUCC Facebook page! A full agenda for the day can be found here.
Meetings for the day will begin at 9 a.m. with the Michigan State Parks Advisory Council. Plans for a number of state parks are on the agenda, including Maybury State Park, Watkins Lake State Park, Yankee Springs State Recreation Area and Rifle River. The advisory council will also receive an update from MDNR Parks and Recreation Division Chief Rn Olson.
At 11 a.m., the NRC Policy Committee on Wildlife and Fisheries will meet. MUCC will begin its live stream at this time. This three-member committee is scheduled to receive updates from the chiefs of the MDNR Wildlife and Fisheries Divisions, respectively.
The committee of the whole will gather at 1 p.m. for a number of items for information and action. Per usual, the NRC will receive an update from the MDNR Director. This Director’s report is slated to include a number of Parks & Recreation Division lifesaving awards, as well as the presentation of hunter safety instructor awards and recognitions. MDNR Director Eichinger will also update the NRC on an order regarding target shooting at the Lapeer State Game Area.
This month, there is only one item up for information: the regulation of public hunting at the Yankee Spring State Recreation Area. This order would add 350 more acres of land open to hunting in the Yankee Spring State Recreation Area. More information on this order can be found here.
The NRC will take up two items for action this month, including spring turkey regulation changes and alterations to Fisheries Order 200.20 governing statewide trout, salmon, whitefish, cisco, grayling, and smelt.
A regulation that increased the bag limit from five to 10 for brook trout on certain U.P. streams sunsetted on Oct. 1. The commission has the opportunity to reinstate this regulation at this month’s meeting. MUCC is opposed to the regulation where it will likely decrease brook trout populations over time and have a negative effect on the species and their sizes. The specific fisheries order can be found here.
Spring turkey hunting regulations for 2020-23 will likely see some changes under this Wildlife Conservation Order. These changes include an allowance for hunters to utilize elevated platforms for turkey hunting and a change in the season structure to improve hunter opportunity. MUCC testified last month urging the commission to amend the order to have a Saturday opener for the spring turkey season.
Changes to fishing regulations include a number of administrative changes, which can be found here. These changes should help to improve angler understanding by simplifying creel limits on connected waterways.
For Action by the Director
A number of land transactions are slated for action by the director. More information on these postings can be found here.