03-08-2018 Outdoors

Fishing The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported that steelhead were on the move before the rapid rise in water levels. The ice is completely off some lakes while others had only partial cover. It looks like ice fishing is done as shorelines have opened up and warming temperatures will only weaken any remaining ice. Some have already started boat fishing. A few boats braving the float ice were going out onto Lake Michigan to target lake trout and brown trout. For anyone wanting to fish Lake Michigan but aren’t sure when or where to go, check out the Roadmap to Fishing Lake Michigan on the DNR website. This roadmap provides information on many Lake Michigan ports, times of year when great fishing opportunities exist, and species that might be found during those periods of time. Please note this is not an exhaustive list. When planning a trip consider contacting the port to be visited (whether it’s the local Chamber of Commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureau, or other source) to gather additional details to enhance the adventure. And lastly, don’t forget to purchase a Michigan fishing license! Current licenses expire March 31, 2018. Who needs a Michigan fishing license? A license is required when targeting fish, amphibians, crustaceans and reptiles in public waters of the state. For anyone fishing in Michigan a fishing license is required for those 17 years of age or older. Persons under 17 can fish without a license, but are required to observe all fishing rules and regulations. Turning 17 at any point during the current season, April 1, 2018 thru March 31, 2019? You’ll need to buy a license once you do! As of March 1, 2018, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has developed an electronic license that allows an individual to display an electronic copy of his or her fishing license using an electronic device. A Michigan fishing license can be purchased online at www.mdnr-elicense.com or from a DNR License Agent. Check out www.michigan.gov/fishing for more great information on fishing in Michigan. Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reports panfish and crappie are being caught in the local inland lakes. The fish are in shallow water and being caught using bobbins and minnows. Some anglers have caught their limit on Van Auken Lake this week. It is also reported that some perch have been caught. It is a good time to check fishing boats and tackle boxes for proper running order and needed supplies. As the spring fishing season is gearing up Ellinee Bait and Tackle says they are stocked and ready to help. Hunting A new hunting license year started March 1, 2018. For more information about hunting seasons, rules and regulations, visit michigan.gov/hunting. Most Michigan residents know the Department of Natural Resources is responsible for things like fish and wildlife management, hunting and fishing regulations, and habitat protection, but many don’t know where the funding for these efforts comes from. Some people may assume that their tax dollars fund the DNR’s conservation work, but in reality, only a small portion of the DNR’s funding comes from General Fund (tax) dollars. The protection, preservation and management of Michigan’s natural resources have been primarily funded by the people who hunt and fish through their purchase of equipment and licenses. Thank you to all hunters and anglers for investing in Michigan’s wildlife! Their efforts have resulted in millions of acres of habitat saved and near-miraculous population increases in several species of game and sport fish. Residents can enjoy hunting, fishing, boating and wildlife-related recreational opportunities more than ever before thanks to hunters and anglers! A base license is required for everyone who hunts in Michigan. Hunters may purchase their spring turkey license only after they have obtained a base license for the year. The Fort Custer Training Center near Battle Creek offers turkey hunting opportunities for properly licensed hunters with a disability during May (Hunt 0234). For hunt dates and more information, please visit fortcusterhunt.org or call (269) 731-6570. Hunters with disabilities can find a lot of information specific to them on the Department of Natural Resources website. Click the link “Where Can I Hunt?” under the category Hunting & Trapping. Violations of turkey hunting regulations, including application violations, are misdemeanors. Misdemeanors may be punishable by up to 90 days imprisonment, up to $1,000 fines, and license revocation for up to five years. Reimbursement to the state for unlawful taking of wild turkey is $1,000 per animal plus an additional $1,000 for a turkey with a beard. Turkey hunters, after your hunting season has ended, please report your hunting activity on the Internet by visiting www.mi.gov/turkey. Information provided will improve management and ensure that decisions regarding hunting seasons are based on the best information available.

Watervliet Rod & Gun Club

The Watervliet Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW classes on Thursday, March 15 and Sunday, March 18, 2018. Registration is on Tuesday, March 13, between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. and cost of the class is $100. They will have a lawyer explaining the law pertaining to concealed carry during class. Please call (269) 468-3837 or (269) 470-9191 for more information.

The trilling noise could be heard throughout the nature center. At first, we thought the screech owls were calling. But, the sound was too loud. Then we recognized the call of the gray tree frog. But, the sound was too loud. Then we saw the frog calling from within his coconut shell abode, a.k.a. a frog call amplifier. When you are a lone male trying to attract a faraway female, you need to use all the tools you can. Scientists have shown that mating calls that travel farther and are louder seem to be more attractive to the target listeners. To accomplish this, some species of frogs call from constructed burrows that enhance the distance of the call’s transmission. A male mole cricket’s tunnel is used to amplify his calls. Tree frogs in Borneo use hollow tree cavities for the same purpose. The death-watch beetle bangs his head against the roof of his wooden log eating area. A tiny tree cricket uses leaves to fashion a megaphone. Some animals have learned to use human materials for their amplifiers. Asian male tree frogs use city drains and woodpeckers are famous for drumming on mailboxes and chimney flashing. Learn about maple sugaring on Sunday, March 11 at 1:30 p.m. or 3:00 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults; children are free. Please call (269) 927-4832 to register for programs.

4-H cat and ferret show in Paw Paw

The Young Explorers 4-H Club is pleased to announce that it will be holding an indoor Cat and Ferret Companion Animal Show on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at the Van Buren County Human Services Building, 801 Hazen Street, Paw Paw. The event will begin at 9:00 a.m. and include categories for breed class, showmanship, cage decoration, cat entrepreneur project, and cattitude (a cat form of agility). Local cat and ferret rescues will be on-site. Adoptable cats will compete in the best ‘foster cat’ division. There is no admission charge for the public. Denise Noble, Van Buren County Cat Fair Superintendent, says, “I’m very excited about this event. We’ve invited all Southwest Michigan youth to participate in the event. If folks are interested in showing, adopting, or just like cats and ferrets, it’s going to be a fun day.” For more information, contact Denise Noble at (269) 303-5407.

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