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Hunting and Fishing

Hunting


Although large game hunting is over for the season, there is still some small game hunting open. Snowshoe hare and Cotton Tail rabbits are huntable until March 31. Gray and Fox Squirrel are also huntable until March 31. Crow season will open back up on Feb. 1 and run to March 31.

Whether you want to spend more time in some of Michigan’s most beautiful destinations, keep busy in retirement or lay the foundation for a career in natural resources, one of hundreds of positions as a seasonal park worker or ranger with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Parks and Recreation Division may be right for you.

There are approximately 1,300 seasonal park worker positions available in state parks, state forest campgrounds, boating access sites and harbors. These frontline staff positions help answer visitor questions, register campers, clean park buildings, mow grass, maintain trails, and more. Pay ranges from $10.20 to $11.00 per hour with flexible scheduling and up to 1,040 hours between April and October.

More than 50 seasonal park rangers also will be hired throughout the state. A park ranger helps carry out day-to-day operations and maintenance and other essential duties. Positions are paid between $18.29 and $25.70 an hour and receive state employment benefits.

Learn more about these and other openings at Michigan.gov/DNRJobs.

The DNR is also currently accepting applications for volunteer campground and harbor hosts at many locations across the state. Volunteer hosts are responsible for 30 hours of service per week, such as answering visitor questions, planning activities and performing light maintenance duties. In exchange, camping and slip fees are waived.


Fishing


The Michigan DNR reported that nearly 13.5 tons of eight different species of fish were stocked in the fall 2021 fish stocking efforts at 123 locations across the state.

“It was another outstanding fall fish stocking season that will provide enhanced opportunities throughout Michigan,” said Ed Eisch, DNR fish production manager. “When added to our successful spring and summer stocking efforts, that brings the total for 2021 to more than 18.2 million fish put into Michigan’s waters.”

The fall fish stocking consisted of eight species that included: Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Channel Catfish, Coho Salmon, Lake Trout, Eagle Lake and Steelhead strain Rainbow Trout, Walleye and Muskellunge. Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery (west of Kalamazoo on Red Arrow) stocked 9,850 Great Lakes strain Muskellunge fall fingerlings at 13 locations.

Three sites were stocked with a total of 5,035 channel catfish from Ohio. These fish were part of an annual agreement that includes Michigan providing Ohio with Steelhead eggs in exchange for fall fingerling channel catfish. Also, as part of an annual cooperative exchange, 2,123 Northern strain Muskellunge from Wisconsin DNR were stocked at four locations, in both the Upper and Lower peninsulas. The DNR provided Wisconsin with Great Lakes strain muskies in exchange for these fish.

In general fish are reared in Michigan’s state fish hatcheries anywhere from one month to one and a half years before they are stocked. The DNR welcomes visitors to its state fish hatcheries and interpretative centers to witness firsthand the fish rearing process and to learn about Michigan’s waters.

Learn ice fishing skills from the pros with upcoming classes. For more details and registration information for the following classes, go to Michigan.gov/OutdoorSkills.

Hard Water School will be held at the DNR Outdoor Skills Academy on Jan. 22-23 and again on Feb. 5-6 in Cadillac. The cost is $40, which includes one-on-one instruction from a pro, lunch, bait, and goodie bag. This two-day class will cover everything from how to set up equipment, how and where to fish and when to be out on the ice, to ice safety and rules and regulations. The focus of this class will be techniques for pan fish, Walleye and Pike.

Michigan’s 2022 Lake Sturgeon fishing season on Black Lake in Cheboygan County will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 5. All anglers must register online by Feb. 4 to participate in the fishing season. The harvest limit for the 2022 season is six lake sturgeons.

Anglers must register for the season, and those 17 or older must have a valid Michigan fishing license. This year, anglers must register online by Feb. 4 to participate. Get more registration information at Michigan.gov/Sturgeon.

Anglers should be aware of marginal ice conditions on regional lakes so far this year and use extreme caution if fishing.

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