Wildlife Management

Invasive Species

On November 6, 2014, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources added seven species to the aquatic invasive species list:

  1. Stone moroko: part of the minnow family, this species is a known carrier of a parasite that can negatively impact other fishes.
  2. Zander: a close relative of the walleye, this species could compete with the native fish or reproduce with it and create a hybrid.
  3. Wels catfish: this fish is considered a serious danger to native fish populations.
  4. Killer shrimp: this species is an aggressive predator and could severely threaten the trophic levels of the Great Lakes by preying on a range of invertebrates.
  5. Yabby: this large crayfish would negatively impact other crayfish species.
  6. Golden mussel: similar to zebra and quagga mussels, this species has destructive qualities that would threaten native biodiversity.
  7. Red swamp crayfish: this species can quickly dominate waterbodies and is virtually impossible to eradicate.

Wildlife Mangement Activites

  • Assist the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi develop hunting and fishing rules and regulation to preserve, protect, and enhance fish & wildlife resources on tribal property, and assist with issuance of tribal hunting, fishing, and gathering licenses and permits. 
  • Conduct baseline fish and wildlife inventories to be used in the development of forestry, wildlife, and fisheries habitat management plans. Prepare written reports concerning fish & wildlife populations and habitats and issue recommendations. 
  • Implement and manage: Wetlands Reserve Program and Natural Resource Conservation Service – WHIP & EQIP projects, through establishment of warm season prairies, shallow wetland marshes, food plots, and annual prescribed burning.
  • Keep abreast of new environmental policies and legislation. Contribute ideas about changes to policy and/or legislation, based on ecological findings.

Spotlight Project: Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP)

The WRP is a specially designed U.S. Department of Agriculture/Natural Resource Conservation Service program in which the Band was able to enroll 1,147 acres of  property near North Liberty, Indiana in 2008. The program is aims to restore vegetative conditions and the re-creation of marsh and other wetland habitats using sometimes new and innovative methods of vegetation management and low impact earthwork. Many of these practices have been successfully implemented by the DNR to achieve a successful wetland management program. Since 2008, the property (formerly in conditions to those of the Grand Kankakee Marsh) has experienced several different types of wetland habitat re-plantings with native vegetation, undergone prescribed burns in the messic prairie zones, and was fit with water-control structures to rebound the natural flow of the surface water and to restore the original state of the wetland.     

Achievements and Special Recognition  

  • At their annual meeting in January 2011, the St. Joseph County Soil and Water Conservation District presented the Pokagon Band with their Natural Resources Conservation Award for outstanding accomplishments in wildlife habitat and forestry development.
  • In 2009, the Pokagon band received a Quality Vegetative Mangement award for the successful restoration of the WRP site. Some of these practices were highlighted in an accompanying DVD that narrated a brief history of the North Liberty WRP project.