Outdoors In Mid-Winter: What the Dept. of Natural Resources Wants You To Know

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snowmobile file photo

File photo

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Feb. 20, 2014)  — Winter is not over yet, but it may be losing its grip. And with that, come some things the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wants you to be aware of.

First , if you are a snowmobiler and do some of riding on lakes, ice can melt quickly. With rain and temps in the 40s, it is important to make sure that ice is solid enough to hold the weight of you and your machine. Most of the ice in West Michigan has been covered with snow all winter, and the snow has insulated the ice. That means the ice may not be as thick as you may think. Clear ice that has a bluish tint is the strongest ice.

If ice fishing is your thing, you have to have your shanty off the ice in the Lower Peninsula by March 1. The deadline in the Upper Peninsula is March 15; the deadline on Lake St. Claire is this Sunday, February 23. After these dates, you can still use a shanty on a frozen lake, but you must take it down at the end of each day.

As for new Michigan fishing, hunting, and off-road licenses, new prices go into effect March 1.

As for boating and camping, marinas and camp grounds are now taking reservations on a first come first serve. Reservations at the state parks are not available for dates more than six months out, but they go fast at popular parks.

Reservations can be taken over the phone or on line.

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