The MDNR continues to plow the way for UP winter fishing access
The MDNR is trying to make winter fishing as accessible as possible.
GWINN, Mich. (WLUC) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) continues to plow boating access sites at 25 Upper Peninsula ice fishing locations to keep them accessible.
The effort started in 2021 when the MDNR partnered with local road commissions, townships and bait shops to keep access points clear. MDNR U.P. Field Deputy Stacy Haughey said the department has always wanted to do this. However, it was restricted by funding.
“We can’t use one thing for the other so in this case we can’t use booters dollars for winter use,” said Haughey. “So, we reached out to Minnesota and Wisconsin and tried to figure out how they did this, and this is a really creative solution to try and get people outdoors.”
Haughey went on to say that all program partners sit down each spring and discuss how often plow sites are used. Forsyth Township Supervisor Joe Boogren said this program helps more than just fishermen.
“It is primarily for fishermen, but you know I’ve seen people out snowshoeing on these lakes since we’ve opened them up,” said Boogren. “People will come out just because it’s available and go for a walk around it, “
Boogren expressed that at Johnson Lake in Gwinn, the communities seem to be having a blast.
“It’s nice to see it used and on the weekends, you will see a lot of pop-up tents you know people aren’t putting out ice shanties as much as they used to in the old days but there are a lot of people that fish with their kids,” said Boogren.
Everyone involved said the goal is to have year-round accessibility in a four seasons area. They added that winter activities like ice fishing are why people love the U.P.
Locations to have boating access sites plowed this winter include:
- Baraga County: Vermilac Lake, Silver River
- Chippewa County: Conley Point
- Delta County: Little Bay de Noc (Kipling, Ford River)
- Dickinson County: Lake Louise
- Iron County: Indian Lake, Swan Lake, Lake Mary, Lake Emily, Lake Ellen
- Keweenaw County: Gratiot Lake, Lake Medora, Lake Bailey
- Luce County: Little Lake Harbor, Kak’s Lake, Big Manistique Lake
- Mackinac County: South Manistique Lake, North Manistique Lake, Milakokia Lake and Millecoquins Lake
- Marquette County: Lake Michigamme, Greenwood Reservoir, Johnson Lake, Big Shag Lake, East Bass Lake
- Schoolcraft County: Big Spring Landing
For more information on places to fish in Michigan, visit the DNR’s webpage at: Michigan.gov/Fishing.
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