George Heartwell portrait

For the second time this month, Michigan's Republican-led Senate has blocked one of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's appointments to the state commission that regulates hunting and fishing. The Senate on Thursday rejected George Heartwell, a former mayor of Grand Rapids. Gun-rights groups opposed his nomination in part because, as mayor, he backed an ordinance banning guns in public buildings and was a member of a gun-control group co-founded by former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Heartwell, who no longer hunts but fishes, has said he supports the Second Amendment and hunting.

DNR logo
Michigan Department of Natural Resources /

Michigan Senate Republicans have blocked Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's appointee to a commission that regulates hunting and fishing. Democrats say Thursday's mostly party-line vote rejecting Anna Mitterling of Mason to the Natural Resources Commission was done because the GOP opposes a different nominee to the commission who supports gun control. It marks the first time in nearly a decade that a governor's nominee was rejected by the Senate. Whitmer named Mitterling, a Lansing Community College adjunct biology professor, to the commission in December.

Hunting wildlife has long been ingrained in Michigan's culture, but it is currently on a decline across the state.

The decline is partly due to more baby boomers aging out. Young adults, urbanites and others are also far less likely to participate in hunting.

Michigan had as many as 1.2 million hunters in the 1970s, '80s and into the '90s. But reported Sunday that by 2018, less than 675,000 people had at least one hunting license in the state.

Fishing season opens in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

May 15, 2017

Drop a line: Fishing season is starting in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The state Department of Natural Resources says the seasons for walleye, northern pike and muskellunge open Monday for all Upper Peninsula waters. That includes the Great Lakes, inland waterways and the St. Marys River, which runs between Sault Ste. Marie and the city of the same name in Ontario. 

Authorities say fishermen are safe after getting stranded on an ice floe in Saginaw Bay. Bay County Sheriff Troy Cunningham says the fishermen were about a quarter mile into the bay on Thursday when the ice broke loose. Rescuers responded and an airboat was the first to reach them. No one was injured. 

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says state law doesn't allow for net-like commercial fishing enclosures in the Great Lakes. In an opinion released Tuesday, Schuette said net-pen aquaculture operators would have to register with the state, and laws related to aquaculture don't permit registration of such facilities in Michigan's Great Lakes waters.

Backcountry Hunters and Anglers,

Guests join in from the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Michigan Chapter, are here to discuss Michigan public lands that have come under attack and what the community should know.

Naturally Speaking

Jun 14, 2016
DNR logo
Michigan Department of Natural Resources /

Naturally Speaking, a monthly segment with guests on behalf of the Department of Natural Resources. Today's topic, Fishing and the Great Lakes, with Todd Grischke from the Fisheries Division.

Up North

May 23, 2016

You can head Up North this summer to golf, fish, canoe, find mushrooms and more.  Guests from the Gaylord Area Tourism Bureau share are here to tell you all about it.

Lake Michigan photo
3bylunch via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0 /

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says anglers should enjoy productive fishing for lake trout in the state's Great Lakes waters this year.

The DNR's annual assessment is based on trends observed by research teams that focus on Lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron.

According to the forecast, trout abundance in Lake Superior's Michigan waters has remained stable during the past 10 years, although juveniles are in decline.

In Lake Michigan, the DNR says catch rates should be boosted by an expanding lake trout population and falling numbers of Chinook salmon.