04-18-2019 Outdoors

Fishing The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) stated in their fishing report that the return of cooler air and even some snow this past week would no doubt slow catch rates once again. Areas in the Upper Peninsula still had ice and snow. Suckers are running in most warm water rivers in the Lower Peninsula right now. The month of April is often a perfect time to fish for steelhead in Michigan’s rivers. Our state is thought to offer some of the best steelhead fishing in the country, the DNR stated. A variety of techniques can be used to fish for this aggressive species, including live bait, artificial lures and flies. Rivers across Michigan provide access for steelhead fishing. Some better-known rivers include the Betsie, Grand, Little Manistee, Manistee, Manistique, Pere Marquee and St. Joseph rivers in the Lake Michigan watershed, the Au Sable River in the Lake Huron watershed, the Huron River in the Lake Erie watershed, and the Huron and Two Hearted rivers in the Lake Superior watershed. If you would like more information on steelhead fishing in Michigan, visit their page on the DNR’s website. Ellinee Bait & Tackle located on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reports good fishing on all the local inland lakes. Crappie anglers are doing well. Crappies are biting on minnows and are still in the deep water. Steelhead fishing in the Paw Paw River has been making a lot of anglers happy. In Watervliet both accesses to the Paw Paw River (both sides of M-140) was busy all week. Anglers are using a lot of different bait with success; spawn, hot & tots, night crawlers, and salmon eggs. The river anglers are also catching suckers. Boat anglers going out on Lake Michigan from South Haven are trolling and caught a few coho, mainly south of the piers, on small spoons and crank bait. Pier fishing for coho has been slow. The Kalamazoo River had a good number of anglers targeting steelhead below the Allegan Dam. The Grand River at Grand Rapids had anglers continuing steelhead fishing up near the 6th Street Dam. The cold front will slow the bite, but will also prolong the run and keep fish in the river a little longer. Anglers are using a little bit of everything, including spawn, flies, crawlers, spinners or a jig and wax worm. A good number of suckers were also caught.

Anglers fishing for lake trout in the waters of Grand Traverse Bay this year need to be aware of a new regulation now in effect. At the meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission in Lansing, the commission acted to reduce the daily possession limit of lake trout in those waters from two fish to one. This regulation change was necessary because the 2018 recreational harvest limit for lake trout in the bay was exceeded. Lake trout harvest limits are required by the 2000 Consent Decree between certain tribal governments, the State of Michigan and the United States. The limits support population rehabilitation and maintain sustainable harvest. This specific regulation change is not listed in the printed version of the 2019 Michigan Fishing Guide; however it is reflected in the electronic version of the guide found at www.michigan.gov/fishing. The change also is noted on the DNR’s Fishing Regulations Hotline at 888-367-7060.

The DNR encourages Michigan boaters to prepare now for the coming season by making sure they are boater safety-certified. In Michigan, boaters born after June 30, 1996, must have a boating safety certificate to operate a boat, and boaters born after December 31, 1978, need a boating safety certificate to operate a personal watercraft. The DNR offers boating safety education as a self-paced, online course and as a traditional classroom experience. Learn more or register for a class at the DNR boating safety certificate webpage. If you have questions, contact Lt. Tom Wanless at 517-284-6026.

Hunting Registration is open for the summer’s “Becoming an Outdoor Woman” program which is set for May 31 – June 2 in Marquette County. This will mark the 22nd annual BOW gathering for women, 18 and older, who are seeking an opportunity to improve their outdoor skills in a relaxed, noncompetitive atmosphere. The summer program typically fills quickly, so early registration is encouraged. The $200 registration fee includes all food and lodging, as well as most equipment and supplies. The deadline for registration is May 4. For more information on the summer BOW program, contact Michelle Zellar at the DNR Customer Service Center in Newberry at 906-293-5131.

Wildlife photography class, art market, hatchery tours and more will be happening this spring at Wolf Lake. The Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery Visitor Center in Mattawan (Van Buren County) is now open for the season and will offer a variety of programs this spring. On Saturday, April 27 from 8:00 a.m. to noon an Introduction to Wildlife Photography class will be offered. The class is designed for those with little or no experience in wildlife photograph. The class will introduce photography basics, equipment requirements, how to photograph wildlife and managing and editing photographs. This class is part of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Skills Academy and the class is open to those 16 years of age and older. The cost is $10. Saturday, May 4, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., an Art Market will be held. Sponsored by the Friends of Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery, this event offers a chance to view and purchase fish – and water – inspired art. For more information about upcoming programs, contact the Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery Visitor Center at 269-668-2876. Build a dinghy in South Haven Enjoy an unparalleled view of South Haven’s Maritime District while learning to build a craft unique to the area. Join the Michigan Maritime Museum August 2-4 for their Family Boat Building Class. During this course, families will learn to build an 11-foot Davis Dinghy – the perfect size for a family! A dinghy is traditionally a type of small boat, which is often carried or towed for use as a lifeboat or tender by a larger vessel. The Davis Dinghy design is named for the long-time South Haven resident Dave Davis. A vessel like this is perfect for learning how to use hand tools and traditional building techniques. Learn side by side with the Museum’s own Shipwright, Francis Peet a graduate of the Great Lakes Boat Building School in Cedarville MI. Upon completion of the class, families will have a dinghy that’s water ready as well as the knowledge to finish it to their liking. The 3-day class will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Groups are welcome to have up to five members participate in the project. Age is limited to 12 years and up. All levels of experience are welcome. Registration is limited. Cost for the class is $850 per group and includes all materials, tools, and two oars. Build lasting family memories with a Davis Dinghy and become a part of the maritime heritage of South Haven. For information and registration contact Ashley Deming at ashley@mimaritime.org or 269-637-8078 ext. 3.

Whenever we look for signs of spring during maple sugaring time, we can always count on seeing a mourning cloak butterfly. Of course, the children cry, “He’s looking for flowers for food!” During a normal early spring, there aren’t any flowers for the butterflies. So what do they eat? It’s not a coincidence that we see these butterflies while we are maple sugaring because they, too, are looking for maple sap leaking from broken twigs. Oak tree sap, however, is their favorite. The mourning cloaks are quite hungry after their long overwintering period. They spent this time in crevices in tree bark or rocks in a type of suspended animation. As the autumn temperatures decreased, glycerol amounts in the insect increased. The glycerol lowered the freezing point and allowed the butterfly’s body fluids to drop below freezing without forming ice. After the butterfly warms, emerges and feeds on the sap, its only goal is to mate… and then it dies. Join the staff for a walk through Sarett’s trails to see and learn about early wildflowers on Sunday, April 21 at 2:00 p.m. Members & children free, non-member adults is $5 which includes general admission fee.

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