Boat Launch Improvements Completed at Victoria Dam in Ontonagon County

May 24, 2017

Ontonagon, Michigan – With walleye season now open, Michigan Department of Natural Resources fisheries officials have announced improved access to good fishing opportunities at the Victoria Dam via a boat launch facility improved recently by the Upper Peninsula Power Co.

“The improved boat launch site now includes parking for both cars and trucks with trailers, four spots each,” said Jarrod Nelson, UPPCO environmental specialist. “Additionally, the upgrades have provided added space for launching boats, with an improved grade for pulling in and out of the boat launch.”

The project, which was funded by the Bond Falls Mitigation Enhancement Fund, which UPPCO maintains, was completed to improve recreational access to the Victoria Reservoir and improve parking at the site. Work began in August 2016 and was completed in October.The Victoria Dam on the West Branch of the Ontonagon River provides good sport fishing opportunities.

UPPCO owns and operates seven hydroelectric generation stations in the Upper Peninsula, including the Victoria station, a facility on the West Branch of the Ontonagon River, built in 1931, with two units having a combined 12 megawatt capacity.

George Madison, DNR fisheries manager for the Western Lake Superior Management Unit, said the Victoria reservoir provides a very attractive fishery for walleye, bluegill, largemouth bass and black crappie.

“Pond-reared walleye are stocked here on a periodic basis, but natural reproduction from resident walleye spawning in the gravel upstream reaches of the impoundment helps maintain an annual supply of legal-size fish (15 inches),” Madison said. “This reservoir is an excellent body of water for catching walleye by means of trolling the mid-water drop offs, or by jig fishing in the opening pocket-points to the bays.

“Yellow perch are one of the natural forage favorites of walleye here, so anglers fishing yellow and green body-bait lures will be able to mimic perch as a bait item.”

UPPCO has posted signs in the area downstream of the dam impoundment, in cooperation with the DNR, reminding anglers of a DNR fisheries order in place there for roughly 30 years.

That order closes the West Branch Ontonagon River — from its confluence with the Victoria Hydro Station tail race (T50N, R39W, SE ¼ of the SW ¼ of S29) upstream to Victoria Dam to all fishing from April 1 through June 10.

The rule is in place to protect concentrations of spawning fish.

A regulated utility, UPPCO serves approximately 52,000 electric retail customers in 10 of the Upper Peninsula’s 15 counties, or about 12 customers per square mile. The company’s service territory of 4,460 square miles covers primarily rural countryside.

The improved boat launch facility at the Victoria Dam is shown.Industries served by UPPCO include forest products, tourism and manufacturing.

The company’s assets include seven hydroelectric renewable energy generation facilities and two combustion turbines providing a total generation capacity of 79.5 megawatts.

“UPPCO’s hydroelectric projects provide wildlife habitats and offer recreational opportunities on land and water for Upper Peninsula residents and tourists to enjoy, while they also help to support the local tax base,” Nelson said.

UPPCO owns 4,354 miles of distribution lines that traverse some of the most heavily-wooded areas in Michigan. UPPCO also operates 58 distribution substations.

Find out more about UPPCO’s hydroelectric projects, including tips on how to stay safe near dams.

For more information on fishing in Michigan, visit the DNR’s webpage at: www.michigan.gov/fishing.

DNR’s Stream Fish Population Trend Viewer Updated With Fresh Content

May 24, 2017

DNR’s Stream Fish Population Trend Viewer Updated With Fresh Content

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced the annual update to its web application designed to inform the public on local and regional trends in abundance, growth and survival of important fish populations in selected streams across Michigan is complete.

The application was developed and launched by the DNR in 2014 and summarizes data collected from a network of fish population survey sites, with data for some sites going back to 1947.

“The Stream Fish Population Trend Viewer features more than 40 streams that represent a range of conditions in terms of stream size, temperature and Great Lakes access,” said DNR fisheries research biologist Troy Zorn. “The focus is on streams with long-term data and naturally reproducing populations of trout, Great Lakes salmonids or smallmouth bass to provide users with information on self-sustaining fish populations around the state.”

Since trends in stream fish populations largely are influenced by regional climate and flow conditions, repeatedly going back to the same locations annually provides a clear understanding of trends in a stream. Users will be able to see what the population trends are in different areas of the state by comparing trends for key sites in each region. For fishery managers, understanding regional trends is critical to determine the best course of management on these streams, as well as interpreting survey data on streams that are surveyed less frequently. Understanding these trends is equally important to anglers, watershed or conservation groups, and the public.

Anglers, fisheries professionals and the public can look up a river and see what the most recent trends are in terms of abundance, growth and annual survival of selected fish species. Information can be viewed in map, graph or table formats. Approximately half of the sites are sampled each year, with new data added to the Trend Viewer each spring.

The Stream Fish Population Trend Viewer app can be found at http://www.mcgi.state.mi.us/fishpop/#.

Calendar – Outdoors – Fur and Feather Swap in Trenary – May 27

May 24, 2017

Trenary – Great Northern Poultry and Livestock Connection (GNPLC) will have their first fur and feather swap and flea market of the 2017 season on Saturday, May 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Holmquist Feed Mill in Trenary.

A silent auction will run from 10 a.m. to noon. Donations for the auction will be accepted and appreciated. There will be a 50/50 raffle, concessions will be available, as well as a bake goods fundraiser.

GNPLC members may sell for free, and non-members pay $5 to sell. Membership is $15 per year/per family. Admission to the event is free to the public. All dogs must be on a lease. All poultry will be tested and there is a fee for the test.

For more information, call Eileen at 225-9920 or Connie at 362-6521.

Calendar – Outdoors – Wildflower and Woodlands Walk at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – May 27

May 24, 2017

Munising – A Wildflower and Woodlands Walk at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore will be held on Saturday, May 27 beginning at 1 p.m. at Miner’s Castle Information Center, 6 miles north of H-58 at the end of Miners Castle Road in Munising.

Ranger Andrea Chynoweth will lead the leisurely one hour stroll for all ages. Participants will identify wildflowers, learn about northern hardwood forest ecology, and discuss the impact of invasive species. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Be prepared for bugs, bring water and don’t forget your camera.

For more information, call Ranger Chynoweth at 906-387-2607, ext. 1214.