03-29-2018 Outdoors

Fishing The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported that fewer anglers were out because of the cold temperatures and strong winds. Warmer temperatures this week should help improve the bite. Anglers are reminded that Walleye fishing on the Saginaw River closed March 15 and will not re-open until Saturday, April 28. Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reports boats going out on Lake Michigan for successful runs. Limits of Coho Salmon are being taken in the top 20 feet of water with body baits. Pier anglers have been doing real good catching Coho when the wind lets them out on the pier. Anglers have been catching some Steelhead on the Black River. Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reports good fishing for panfish on the local lakes. Both Big and Little Paw Paw lakes are producing crappie and other panfish. Lake of the Woods and Van Auken Lake have been good lakes to fish also. Steelhead action is starting to be seen in the Paw Paw River as the temperatures rise. The Bait & Tackle shop will be putting their ice fishing equipment away, but before they do, they will have a two-week sale with 25% off; starting this week. They say if they sell it, it’s less to put away. Ice augers regularly $80 are marked down to $50. For more information, call Ellinee Bait & Tackle at 269-468-7522. The St. Joseph River levels have dropped and the Steelhead fishing will get better as the weather improves and water temperatures begin to warm. Boat and shore anglers are getting some fish. Kalamazoo River anglers were catching Steelhead and Walleye up by the Allegan Dam. A fair number of suckers have also been caught. Don’t forget, a new fishing license for 2018 is needed on Sunday, April 1. The 2018 licenses are good through March 31, 2019. There are several regulation changes this year, creating many new fishing opportunities for anglers. The new regulations go into effect on April 1, 2018, including the following: Muskellunge harvest season has changed statewide to the first Saturday in June and includes a new catch-and-immediate release season open all year. A new suite of waters has been added where anglers may retain an additional five Brook Trout in their daily possession limit of Trout (10 Brook Trout possession waters). For more information on Michigan fishing licenses and regulation changes, check out the 2018 Michigan Guide available at license retailers or online at www.michigan.gov/dnrdigests. The online version is always up to date and available to download. Walleye egg collection efforts on Muskegon River will begin this month. Egg collection could start this week and conclude by April 13. Five days of fish collections are planned this spring. The actual date those collections will begin depends on water temperatures and the presence of ripe fish. Collection with the electro-fishing boats will start at Croton Dam and proceed downstream to the Pine Street Access Site. If additional eggs are needed, collections may occur downstream to the Thornapple Street Access Site. The public is welcome to observe how the eggs are removed from the fish and fertilized before they are packed and shipped to Wolf Lake and Platte River State fish hatcheries. Hunting The DNR and the Michigan Natural Resources Commission will host a series of public engagement meetings on chronic wasting disease – a fatal central nervous system disease found in deer, elk and moose. The meetings will provide an opportunity for the commission and department to hear suggestions and observations from hunters and residents interested in the health of the state’s deer herd. The commission and the DNR are focused on achieving specific CWD management objectives that include: slowing the spread of the disease; achieving a low prevalence rate; preventing the disease from reaching new areas; and maintaining Michigan’s rich hunting traditions. At the meetings, DNR staff members will provide a CWD update and then collect attendees’ written ideas on how best to address this issue. Those unable to attend a meeting may participate in a web-based opportunity available starting April 10 at www.michigan.gov/cwd. Meeting information, additional ways to provide input on CWD management, the latest testing numbers and more is available at the same web site. Meetings will take place 6 to 8 p.m. at all locations, which follow: Bay City, April 10; Cadillac, April 11, Wexford Center; Kalamazoo, April 12, Kalamazoo County Expo Center; Detroit, April 17; Rockford, April 18; DeWitt, April 19; Marquette, April 24; Iron Mountain, April 25; Gaylord, May 1, Ellison Place; Newberry, May 2 and Houghton, May 3. Home and property owners in much of the Lower Peninsula should avoid outdoor burning for the next few days because the dry conditions could cause fire to spread. If you plan to burn yard debris or other materials at any time, you should contact the DNR for a burn permit at www.michigan.gov/burnpermit or contact their city, village or township for local burning rules.

Coloma Rod & Gun Club

The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW Class on Saturday, April 14, 2018. Class registration is held on Sunday, April 8 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The class is taught by a certified NRA and RSO instructor and the cost of the class is $100. For more information or to be put on the list, please call (269) 621-3370.

Watervliet Rod & Gun Club

The Watervliet Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW classes on April 12 and April 15, 2018. Registration is on April 10, between 6 and 7 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.