Creatures Small & Great

Northern Michigan Animal Rescue Network, Inc. (NMARN)

NMARN works to carry out rescue efforts that aid domesticated animals such as -- but limited to -- cats and dogs. A network of volunteers transports animals in need of veterinary care, or to safe shelters and to foster or permanent homes. Additionally, NMARN is actively recruiting, organizing and training volunteers, promoting animal welfare and the prevention of cruelty to animals, and educating the public about issues facing animals. NMARN offers a low co-pay spay/neuter program to stop unwanted litters and help keep family pets healthy.

NMARN is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Call 231-238-7297 for information, or ONLINE

Straits Area Audubon Society

The Straits Area Audubon Society offers programs to educate children and community about conservation and enjoyment of the natural world with emphasis on local natural communities of wildlife. The Straits Area Audubon Society holds field trips as well as free monthly programs on the second Wednesday of every month from Sept. through May. Programs are held at the Cheboygan Area Public Library, 100 S. Bailey St. in Cheboygan at 6 p.m. Find them ONLINE

Mackinac Straits Raptor Watch / Mackinaw Raptor Fest

The Mackinac Straits Raptor Watch conducts scientific studies of hawks and owls migrating through the northern Michigan area, and educates the public about the bids and their migration. They count northward-bound hawks in the spring, and survey owls in both spring and fall, recording and reporting data for public access. Find them ONLINE

Mackinaw Raptor Fest is held in April. Raptor Fest promotes the significance of Mackinaw City and the Straits of Mackinac during migration. It also promotes positive public attitudes towards raptors and waterbirds and their importance to the environment. Get updates ONLINE

Oden Fish Hatchery & Visitor Center

The Oden Fish Hatchery is located next to US-31 near Oden and plays a key role in raising trout for Michigan waterways.

It holds 20,000 to 25,000 full-grown brood stock that produce more than 1 million eggs each year. The hatchery also raises hundreds of thousands of smaller fish for planting.

Approximately 30,000 people a year come through the Oden Fish Hatchery visitor center. There’s no charge to go through the visitor center, which is open May 1-Oct. 31. Among the more popular aspects of the tour is a viewing chamber where you can look through a large window below stream level and see how trout behave underwater.

A large pond outside the facility has a pier system and viewing platform. The pond is a great place not only for people who are interested in seeing fish, but wildlife in general. There are always lots of brown and rainbow trout to be seen in the pond. Blue heron, osprey, eagles, and an otter family have also been spotted.

While the visitor center is only open during summer months, the hatchery itself is busy all year. The hatchery is just off of US-31 a few miles northwest of Oden. For visitor center hours and information, find Oden State Fish Hatchery on the state DNR website, or call 231-348-0998.

To get there from Indian River, take M-68 to Alanson, turn left at the light, and stay on US-31.