A new program will ensure that boating access sites at more than two dozen popular Upper Peninsula ice fishing sites will remain cleared of snow this winter.
The pilot program organized by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and various local partners was created to ensure that ice fishing opportunities in the UP are consistently available during the winter.
The 26 sites – located in 10 of the 15 counties of the UP – are MRN nautical access sites managed for recreational boating.
“Because we have had ongoing requests from the public to maintain access throughout the winter, we have partnered with a number of entities to assist with snow removal for winter access,” Zack said. Bishop, MNR Parks and Recreation Division Unit Supervisor.
“We have made agreements with each partner to test this concept for a year. Depending on the success of the pilot program, we may or may not continue it until next winter. “
An assessment will take place at the end of the winter to determine how often the snow-cleared sites are used and if damage occurs to the access ramps, which has been a concern.
The boating access sites that will be cleared of snow this winter include:
- Baraga County: Lac Vermilac, Rivière d’Argent
- Chippewa County: Conley Point
- Delta County: Kipling
- Dickinson County: Hamilton Lake
- Iron County: Indian Lake, Swan Lake, Mary Lake, East Lake Emily, Ellen Lake
- Keweenaw County: Lac Gratiot, Lac Medora, Lac Bailey
- County of Luce: Little Lake Harbor, Kak’s Lake, Big Manistique Lake (county line access)
- Mackinac County: Lac Manistique Sud, Lac Manistique Nord, Lac Milakokia and Lac Millecoquins
- Marquette County: Michigamme Lake, Greenwood Reservoir, Johnson Lake, Big Shag Lake, East Bass Lake
- Schoolcraft County: Great Spring Landing
Partners proposing to make the program possible include County Roads Commissions in Baraga, Chippewa, Dickinson, Iron, Keweenaw, Luce, Mackinac, Marquette and Schoolcraft, Forsyth Township, Bayshore Resort Bait & Tackle, Travel Marquette, South counties. Shore Fishing Association and Gwinn. Bait and material.
The money used to build and maintain MNR’s water access sites comes from the state’s Waterways Fund, which comes from a portion of gasoline taxes and proceeds from the sale of personal watercraft registrations, according to one. Press release.
This funding is limited to be used only to support boating and MNR’s boating access sites are designed and built for boating, not winter.
Therefore, MNR had to be creative to make the program possible. Staff also consulted with their counterparts in Wisconsin and Minnesota to find out how those departments are handling this same situation.
“It is often dealt with on a site-by-site basis. Wisconsin said it works with several local government units and Minnesota mentioned that resort owners often keep sites open to attract tourists, ”said Stacy Welling Haughey, DNR UP field assistant.
“In the UP, we have worked with local government units, tourism groups, county road boards, bait shop owners, fishing groups and individuals to create this opportunity for this winter, and we hope people will come out and take advantage of the additional access. “
For more information on where to fish in Michigan, visit the DNR webpage at: Michigan.gov/Fishing.