Photo of a fisher, from the DNR
LANSING, Mich. (WZZM) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says that a rare animal has returned to the Lower Peninsula.
Fishers have been regularly reported to the DNR, but the agency has now been able to confirm their existence. Fishers are medium-sized mammals of the weasel family. They are typically found in large forests, with a preference for areas dominated by coniferous trees. They have a very diverse diet, mostly comprised of small- to medium-sized mammals such as mice and rabbits, along with dead deer. Fishers also will consume a fair amount of fruits and nuts, and often are noted for being one of the few species that successfully prey upon porcupines, although porcupines typically make up a small portion of their diet, according to the DNR.
Fishers were found throughout both the Upper and Lower peninsulas, although by 1936 deforestation and unlimited harvest resulted in the species vanishing from Michigan. Beginning in 1961, fishers were reintroduced to the Upper Peninsula, and by 1989 the U.P. fisher population had recovered enough to establish a limited trapping season in the western U.P.
Those who believe they have seen a fisher in the northern Lower Peninsula, and have physical documentation (pictures, locations of tracks, etc.), are asked call 989-732-3541, ext. 5901.