ISHPEMING, Mich. (WJMN) – The City of Ishpeming is reminding outdoors enthusiasts to be cautious when visiting the Al Quaal Recreation Area after recent reports of suspected predator activity in the area.

The city issued a public notice in a Facebook post on Wednesday, stating that multiple sightings of predator activity have been reported in the Al Quaal Recreation Area north of Teal Lake between Ishpeming and Negaunee. Reports include sightings of tracks, animal carcasses, and animal sightings on or along Teal Lake during early morning hours.

The notice from the city states that visitors to the area are asked to remain vigilant and watchful to prevent potential problems. Pedestrians with pets are reminded to maintain all animals on a physical lead / leash.

Accompanying the notice, the city wrote the following regarding avoiding conflicts between pets and any potential predators:

To minimize the conflict between wolves and dogs, it is best to avoid areas of recent wolf activity. These sites can change throughout the year. Typical sites are forest openings or edge areas and often are near water. Activities can be identified by the concentration of tracks, droppings and animal carcasses. Be especially vigilant when walking dogs and ensure you’re following state “Leash Law”.

Currently, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has not reported any conflicts between wolves and dogs in the area in 2023. Thus far in 2023, the DNR has confirmed one injury to a dog sustained in a wolf-dog conflict in the Upper Peninsula in Iron County.

“Obviously, a large predator of some type did get a hold of a deer, but didn’t find the carcass so we couldn’t look at feed signs that help me tell what’s going on too,” said Brian Roell, Michigan DNR. “In the realm of possibilities, could be wolves, could be coyotes, you know, that just don’t know. But to be cautious within the City of Ishpeming, we just wanted to let folks know.”

The DNR lists the following steps you can take to avoid conflicts between dogs and wolves:

  1. Report all suspected wolf-dog conflicts to the DNR immediately to allow a timely investigation.
  2. Become familiar with coyote and dog tracks, so they can be correctly distinguished from wolf tracks.
  3. Consider adding bells or beepers to dog collars – some hunters have reported this can reduce wolf attacks.
  4. Remain up-to-date on wolf-dog conflicts in the area you plan to recreate or hunt by periodically checking the map on this webpage.

You can read more information from the Michigan DNR regarding wolf-dog conflicts here.