Debating Ag Land Windfall, Finding Trout Trails

For April 14, 2017

1 – Agricultural land is the only type of property in Michigan that’s increased in overall value since 2008.

According to Midwest Energy News and Bridge Magazine, that may be in part due to wind energy development. Areas that have seen significant development — such as the Thumb region — also had some of the greatest property value increases.

One analysis says commodity prices of corn, sugar beets and soybeans are the primary reason for the increased agricultural property values.

But a Lansing-based consulting firm says that analysis focused on a property’s value, not including other taxable features like wind turbines.

5 Lakes Energy says counties that host the largest number of turbines, including Huron County,  have seen the largest increase in the total taxable value of property in their areas.

2 – Those who love to fish for trout will want to check out a new online Trout Trails tool.

michigan-trout-trails

Credit: MDNR

The application pinpoints quality trout streams and lakes throughout the state.

The state Department of Natural Resources says the tool features lesser-known waters that are considered to be outstanding places to fish for trout, and they’ve verified by biologists.

Almost 100 new sites were recently added to the application, which includes about 300 locations in the Great Lakes basin.

Each entry features extensive information, including the trout species available, regulations, the presence of stocked or naturally reproducing fish, driving directions, area lodging, restaurants and more.

Visit michigan.gov/trouttrails to access the information.

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard at 9:30 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR. Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes

 

 

Saginaw Bay Scavenger Hunt, Goodbye Winter, and Lake Huron Fish

Mr. Great Lakes (Jeff Kart). As heard in Bay City, Michigan, at 9 a.m. Fridays on Delta College Q-90.1 FM. Part of Friday Edition. 

1 – Calling all photographers. 

Ducks at the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge.

Ducks at the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is holding a Saginaw Bay Photo Scavenger Hunt at Fish Point State Wildlife Area in Tuscola County, Nayanquing Point State Wildlife Area in Bay County, and the Shiawassee River State Game Area in Saginaw County.

Successful hunters in the Wetland Wonders Challenge are eligible for prizes, and there will be nature walks scheduled at each area to help people find items to shoot — with a camera.

To participate, sign up your team online by midnight on Wednesday, May 8.

The hunt list includes 90 items, and you have to find at least 65 to win.

You can find more information at the Facebook page for Michigan Waterfowl Legacy and via the Michigan DNR.

The Waterfowl Legacy program is sponsored in part by the Bay City-based Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network.

– Wetland Wonders Challenge II Saginaw Bay Photo Scavenger Hunt Rules

2 – Goodbye winter.

The U.S. Coast Guard and its Canadian counterpart recently concluded ice-breaking operations on the Great Lakes, including Lake Huron.

The efforts were dubbed as Operation Taconite and Operation Coal Shovel.

Operation Taconite began in December was carried out in Lake Superior, the St. Marys River, the Straits of Mackinac, and northern Lake Huron.

Operation Coal Shovel began in January was carried out in southern Lake Huron, the Detroit and St. Clair River systems, Lakes Erie and Ontario, and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

A group of cutters spent more than 3,000 hours breaking ice, assisting with hundreds of vessel transits, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Ice-breaking enables commercial shippers on both sides of U.S.-Canada border to transport an average of $2 billion worth of cargo each winter, including heating fuel and food supplies.

3 – A follow-up on those Lake Huron fishery workshops held last month (April) in Ubly, Oscoda and Cedarville.

According to a summary from Michigan Sea Grant, this year researchers had mostly positive news to share regarding the status and trends of fish populations and fishing on the lake.

The overall message was that Lake Huron is proving to be resilient and still offers a diverse and valuable fishing experience, despite drastic ecosystem changes driven by invasive species.

Fisheries researchers and managers have gained a better understanding of how invasive species have re-designed Lake Huron’s food web, and explored new research and management strategies over the past several years.

Findings presented at the workshops include a healthier population of naturally reproducing Chinook salmon, and an expanding number of native species including lake trout and walleye.

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