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The bill would require completed boater education for all operators within one year of passage, a timeline BoatUS says would be impossible.


Bonefish & Tarpon Trust science partners, fishing guides and The Bahamas National Trust used information from bonefish research to establish six new national parks in 2016 that protect bonefish habitats. 

Some anglers are unwittingly killing fish they’ve caught and released: here's how to help them live to fight again. 


The Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission jointly seized 11 shark fins and dismembered sharks aboard the 40-foot commercial fishing vessel, Miss Shell, near South Sound Creek, Monday.


Construction on the Shell Point Beach Nourishment project, which restored Florida’s Shell Point Beach in Wakulla County with new sand, and included new and improved amenities, is complete and the destination is once again open to residents and tourists.  

A recent study conducted by scientists at the University of Miami suggests that degraded water quality conditions change how people use Biscayne Bay, with significant implications for the local economy. 


This amendment, the Bluefish Allocation Amendment, will review and possibly revise the allocation of Atlantic bluefish between the commercial and recreational fisheries and the commercial allocations to the states. 


Marine biologists from DEC’s Hudson River Fisheries Unit sample the Atlantic sturgeon spawning area near Hyde Park every June to collect information on the adult fish that have returned to the river to spawn. 


Acoustic telemetry helps researchers keep tabs on individual fish and other critters as they migrate. 


The Florida Guides Association honored two Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) staff members recently at the Commission meeting in Sarasota. 


T-H Marine Supplies, Inc., of Huntsville, Alabama, announces that Shana Ramsey has joined the company as Sponsorship and Pro Staff Marketing Manager. 


Last week, NMMA participated in the first meeting of the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force (ANSTF) since its charter was reinstated earlier this year. 

This environmentally beneficial event will be hosted by Mote Marine Laboratory, a world-class marine science institution, in cooperation with Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF), which helps study and address the lionfish invasion and sanctions official Lionfish Derbies. 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has announced a call for abstracts for the upcoming 2018 Lionfish Summit Oct. 2-4 in Cocoa Beach.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is encouraging all boaters and anglers to check for unwanted hitchhikers on their boats and equipment this Fourth of July to help protect Iowa lakes and streams. 


Crafted with a slim baitfish profile, the TRD MinnowZ mimics fish fry and other finger-sized fresh- and saltwater forage, and it's incredible toughness makes it a soft bait that rarely needs changing. 


With the help of a gracious network of guides and anglers, BTT was able to tag eight tarpon ranging from 60 to 105 pounds in two days. 


The season opening comes about a month later than average, after a cold winter killed off the majority of the overwintering white shrimp that normally make up the spring crop. 

Shallow water conditions at a lake being drained for major renovations prompted a fish kill at Schell Lake on June 18, but almost all of the several thousand fish affected are non-native, invasive common carp or grass carp 

FWC staff worked with the airboat education industry and stakeholders to gather public input and develop the rule, which details minimum course requirements for instructor qualifications, student requirements, airboat operators course requirements, basic course topics, proof of completion and refresher course requirements. 

Fisheries biologists from multiple agencies recently conducted a project on the Sandusky and Maumee rivers to assess their ability to capture grass carp, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) 

The Skagit River will close to all recreational fishing to avoid gear conflicts with treaty fisheries scheduled on those dates. 

Hatteras/Cabo Yachts LLC (“Hatteras Yachts”), a world leader in the construction of convertible sportfishing and luxury motor yachts from 45 to 105 feet, announces the launch of the inaugural Hatteras Cup, an elite fishing tournament beginning today that is open exclusively to participants fishing on a Hatteras sportfish. 

The week-long fishing tournament at Elkhead Reservoir State Park near Craig offers great fun, great fishing and $4,500 in cash plus $4,500 in prizes. 

Catfish anglers from several states will travel to the Ohio River at Tell City, IN to compete in Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail. 


Kids age 17 and under are invited to learn to fish at a Kids Fishing Event on Tuesday, June 26 from 9 a.m.-noon at Shevlin Park Pond in Bend. 

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

In Michigan – a state with more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, more than 11,000 inland lakes and more than 36,000 miles of rivers and streams – you are never farther than 6 miles from a body of water or 85 miles from a Great Lake.

With such an abundance of water to enjoy, it’s no wonder Michigan is home to 4 million boaters. The state ranks third in the nation for both watercraft registrations and total expenditures for sale of new powerboats, trailers and accessories.

"Water is one of Michigan's greatest natural resources," said Ron Olson, chief of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation Division. "We encourage residents and visitors to get out and explore all of the on-the-water opportunities the Great Lakes State affords. Michigan is truly a boater's paradise."

Making sure the state’s millions of boaters have ample opportunity to get their boats out on the water is the focus of the DNR’s Waterways Program.

“There are over 1,300 state-sponsored boating access sites throughout Michigan and 82 state-sponsored harbors along the Great Lakes – at a total value of over $1 billion,” said Jordan Byelich, DNR waterways development program manager.

Byelich explained that funding for public recreational boating facilities – land acquisition, design, construction, operation and maintenance – comes from boat registrations, the Michigan marine fuel tax and user fees.  Projects also may be funded, on occasion, with federal dollars through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Coast Guard.

“We have a boating team made up of planning/development, grant management, operations and regulatory experts,” Byelich said. “Our 11 major maintenance crews and two construction crews perform various forms of specialized boating facility construction, including launch ramps, skid piers, vault toilets, parking lots, sidewalks and channel dredging.”

The DNR has renovated several boating access sites and harbors around the state.

One example is the recently constructed and expanded piers for mooring along Snail Shell Harbor at Fayette Historic State Park in Delta County, which offers a floating dock system with seven finger piers – one that is 38 feet long, two that are 45 feet long and four that are 60 feet long.

“This was a great improvement for visitors to Fayette Historic State Park,” said Olson. “The old dock was removed during the fall of 2015. The new pier system is quite beautiful.”

As part of a major reconstruction project at East Tawas State Harbor in Iosco County, boaters now can access modern amenities, improved safety features and a better connection to the local community.

The project helps the harbor respond to current trends in Great Lakes boating. The facility now features many enhancements, including new piers, a greater variety of slip sizes, compliance with the latest Americans with Disabilities Act standards, new electrical pedestals, as well as a new pump-out system. 

“The harbor currently has 160 slips, with all brand-new floating docks,” said Micah Jordan, lead ranger/supervisor at Tawas Point State Park and East Tawas State Harbor. “It is maintained by an all-new electrical system that detects and reports electrical current in the water, meeting the new federal codes for harbors and marinas.”

Connection to the downtown area, which is popular with boaters, also has been improved.

“East Tawas Harbor is unique due to its location in Tawas and location in the state. It’s perfectly located on the beautiful shore of Tawas Bay, only a few hours from many major towns, and therefore it draws large numbers of visitors each year looking to enjoy recreation on the water or as a transient stop on their way north or south,” Jordan said. “The harbor itself is located in the middle of town and provides amazing access to downtown East Tawas within walking distance to major shopping and dining.  It creates a perfect spot for tourism and is a major boost to the local businesses.”

Another DNR facility improved recently is the boating access site at Silver Lake State Park in Oceana County. The work was part of a redevelopment project that relocated the launching area, dredged a new channel, added parking for vehicles with trailers, improved circulation, and created separation of the day-use area from the launching area supporting improved safety and functionality within the park.

Boating access site improvements included adding a two-lane concrete launch ramp, dredging a 300-foot channel to deeper water, a vault toilet, and a maneuvering area for launching and retrieving boats.

A recent renovation project at the Jewell Road boating access site in Cheboygan County, which accesses Mullett Lake, addressed erosion issues at the site and included removal of an old concrete ramp, which was replaced with a new double-lane ramp. The site’s parking lot was also paved as part of the project.

State-funded boating facilities are quite popular with Michigan boaters. 

And while many harbors see heavy use, others don’t get used as much as they could.

Straits State Harbor in Cheboygan County is among them.

“Straits State Harbor's boat launch is still fairly quiet overall for the summer,” said Megan Izzard, assistant harbor master there. “This is partly due to how new our facility is – we’re entering our ninth season – and people still not knowing that we are here.”

Straits State Harbor’s state-of-the-art, sustainable design has earned it certification as a Michigan Clean Marina, a designation given to sites that adopt marina and boating practices that reduce pollution and enhance fish and wildlife habitat.

The state harbor facility – the only one in Michigan using wind turbines for electrical generation – also gives boaters who want to go to Mackinac Island another option, as the very popular Mackinac Island State Harbor is often crowded.

“Straits State Harbor has capacity and is a great way to access Mackinac Island – it’s a good option by taking a ferry,” Olson said.

The location of the harbor’s boat launch also offers some unique benefits.

In the DNR's 2017 harbor survey, 93 percent of respondents said they would visit the harbor/marina again, and 90 percent said they would recommend the facility to a friend.

This support of public waterways facilities is evident. For example, just nine of the state harbors pump a total of more than 300,000 gallons of fuel to boats each year.

“Michigan offers countless boating opportunities,” said Lt. Tom Wanless, boating law administrator for the state of Michigan. “But having fun on the water also means being safe. Taking simple precautions, always staying in control of the vessel and following the law will help ensure an enjoyable outing.”

“You can launch here and be under the Mackinac Bridge in five to 10 minutes, and we are the closest state boat launch that someone can use to get to Mackinac Island,” Izzard said. “This boat launch is attached to a full-facility marina, so you can launch just for the day or you can launch and stay overnight while enjoying our wonderful facility.”

Cedar River State Harbor in Menominee County is what Ian Diffenderfer, unit supervisor at the harbor and at Wells State Park, calls a “very quiet and secluded harbor and boat launch.”

“It’s centered 30 miles between Menominee and Escanaba and is a quiet refuge for a trip to these locations or a stop over from Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula and Washington Island,” Diffenderfer said. “Amenities include pump-out services, gasoline/diesel, bicycles, boat launch, fire pit, restroom and shower facilities, horseshoe court, and local delivery for food.”

Boaters can find location and amenity information about boating access sites and harbors within the Michigan Recreational Boating Information System. Information on harbors also can be found in the Michigan Harbors Guide.

Many harbors accept reservations, which can be made at or by calling 800-44-PARKS.

June 9-16 marks Michigan Boating Week, when the DNR invites residents and visitors to celebrate the state’s unparalleled freshwater resources and boating opportunities.

While enjoying Michigan’s waters, it’s important that boaters protect themselves and others by following important safety tips.

Boaters born after June 30, 1996, and most personal watercraft operators must have a boater education safety certificate. The DNR also recommends a boating safety course for anyone who plans to use a boat or personal watercraft. Classes are offered at locations around the state and online, making it convenient and affordable.

Wanless encourages boaters to:

  • Wear a life jacket.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol.
  • Make sure the boat is properly equipped and equipment is in good working order.
  • File a float plan.
  • Stay alert.
  • Carry a cell phone or marine radio.

Watch a video on how boaters can help stop the spread of invasive species.

Find more information about Michigan boating – maps, safety, closures, rules and regulations, and more – at

Water is Michigan’s largest natural resource, and with so many opportunities to access our state’s freshwater paradise, it’s easy to find a facility that will float your boat.

June 18 - August 21
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Meeting in Key Wes

includes reef fish review and other topics;

June 20-24
Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic

Sandestin, FL.

June 26
Free Inshore Fishing Clinic

With Captain Mike Gore and TV-Radio host Mike Anderson, 7 p.m. at Maus Nissan, 3939 U.S. 19 in New Port Richey, Fla., free food and drink.

July 6-8
Tennessee Valley Hunting & Fishing Expo

Von Braun Center, Huntsville, AL;

Pirate's Cove Billfish Tournament

Manteo, NC

July 10-15
Blue Marlin Grand Championship
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