FISHING WAS GREAT… Robert Nunley of Coloma caught this 5 pound Sheepshead on February 28, 2018 while wintering on Anna Maria Island, Florida.
Anglers are catching Steelhead in the Black River by South Haven and the Dowagiac River at the Pucker Street Dam. The Kalamazoo River has a good number of Steelhead and the St. Joseph River has Coho, Brown Trout and the occasional Steelhead being caught by pier anglers and by those trolling along the beach. In Grand Haven, boat anglers were getting a few perch south of the piers. Governor Rick Snyder announced the grand prize winner of the Great Lakes Invasive Carp Challenge. The solution proposed by Edem Tsikata, a software consultant at Harvard Medical School in Boston, received the top award at the Carp Tank competition held at the Port Authority in Detroit. Tsikata plans to use his $200,000 award to invest in other projects and future challenges. Tsikata’s “Cavitation Barrier to Deter Asian Carp” would utilize a row of specially designed propellers to generate a wall of cavitation bubbles that implode and emit high-speed jets of water. The painful sensation of the bubbles along with the noise of the propellers would repel fish and prevent their passage beyond the bubble barrier. The Carp Tank competition is the culmination of the Challenge which invited innovators from around the world to develop methods to prevent invasive carp from entering the Great Lakes. Gov. Snyder announced the challenge in February 2017 and solutions were accepted through October 2017. A second-place award of $125,000 went to David Hamilton for his “AIS Lock Treatment System,” to function in a lock system. A third-place award of $100,000 went to Michael Scurlock from Carbondale, Colorado; for adjustable physical velocity barriers designed to concentrate water flow in a lock system. Dr. D.J. Lee from Orem, Utah took fourth- place, $75,000, for his design that would direct all fish through an automated imaging and sorting system that uses unique recognition software to divert invasive carp to a holding area for harvest. To learn more about Michigan’s efforts to Block Asian carp, visit www.BlockAsianCarp.org. The DNR has jaw-tagged 3,000 Walleyes in a number of Saginaw Bay tributary rivers recently and is now asking anglers to collect and report information on tagged fish they catch. Anglers who catch a tagged Walleye can report their catch by mail using the address on the tag, by calling the DNR Bay City Customer Service Center at 989-684-9141, or online by visiting www.michigan.gov/taggedfish. About 20 percent of the tags include a $100 reward when reported. Anglers can keep or release the fish, but in order to obtain the reward they must provide a clear photo of the reward tag. If the fish is released and anglers are not interested in being eligible to receive a reward, anglers should leave the tag in the fish’s jaw and not remove it. This also will be the second year that a new, brightly colored disk tag will be used on some fish to test how well anglers notice and report the tags. This information is essential to measuring the health of the Walleye population and to use gathered data for future plans.
Hunting The 2018 Pure Michigan Hunt winners received all their winnings at the recent Natural Resources Commission meeting in Grand Rapids. The latest winners of the Pure Michigan Hunt drawing were Kevin Ornatowski of Taws City, Don Rademacher of Lake Odessa and Jim Tilton of Alma. Each Pure Michigan Hunt winner received a 2018 elk, bear, antlerless deer, and spring and fall turkey hunting licenses. They will also get first choice at a managed waterfowl hunt area on opening morning. Each winner went home with a hunting prize package valued at more than $4,000. Applications for the next Pure Michigan Hunt drawing are now available. To purchase and learn more, visit www.michigan.gov/pmh. The money generated by the application process is used to help fund wildlife habitat restoration and improvements in Michigan. On Friday, April 13, the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Michigan DNR will introduce the third Turkey Tract in southern Michigan at the Barry State Game Area in Barry County. The event will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the new Turkey Tract location, off M-179 in Middleville. “Turkey Tracts are designed to promote and highlight public access to quality turkey hunting, educate the public of ongoing habitat management and the impacts on wildlife and people, and build a connection with the users of these Turkey Tracts and local community businesses,” District biologist for the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ryan Boyer said.
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 Tuesday April 10, 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.
“Are owls color-blind?” asked a student after an owl program. If one uses the dictionary’s definition of color-blindness, a defective perception of color, then owls are NOT color-blind. However, they cannot see much more than whites, blacks and grays. This is due to the photoreceptor design of its retina, not a defect. Vision has different wavelengths of light “turn on” photoreceptors which transmit signals to the brain where they are interpreted as colors. Cone receptors require higher wavelengths (i.e., more light) than rod receptors. Owls have many more rods than cones (92% vs. 8%) and, unlike humans, they only have one type of cone. So, their visual images tend to be monochromatic, but not just black and white. The color vision of diurnal animals differs immensely among species. Humans have three types of color-sensing cones. Cats and dogs only have two; their images lack red tones. Most monkeys and apes are also dichromats, but their images are slightly red-hued and lack blue-green tones. Songbirds and diurnal raptors live in a color-saturated world. Some snakes can “see” infrared wavelengths (which we interpret as heat) with their pit organs. The common bluebottle butterfly has 15 types of cones!! Go on an evening Woodcock Walk to witness the unique courtship display of the American Woodcock on Saturday, April 14 at 8:30 p.m. Fee is $3. Please call (269) 927-4832 to register.