04-30-2020 Outdoors

Many people are familiar with the seasonal occurrence of bird migration. Equally well known is the Monarch butterfly migration. Unbeknownst to most are the migration feats of other insects. Research conducted in the United Kingdom led scientists to estimate that trillions of insects migrate. The biomass of the insect bodies was calculated to be 3,200 tons! That was just the UK. One scientist explained that “if the densities observed… are extrapolated to the airspace above all continental landmasses, high-altitude insect migration represents the most important annual animal movement over land, comparable to the most significant oceanic migrations”. The purposes of the migrations are a mystery. One thought is that the insects migrate to disperse their offspring. Many female green darner dragonflies captured during their autumn migration along the eastern seacoast of the U.S. are pregnant. However, biologists don’t know if the dragonflies head for a specific area to lay eggs or if they just deposit them in any spot along the route. However, many insects become reproductively inactive prior to migrating. Insect species known to migrate include: butterflies (other than Monarchs), moths, dragonflies (one species moves from southern India to Africa across the Indian Ocean), damselflies, aphids, large milkweed bugs, hoverflies, ladybugs, aphids, lacewings and some flies. The Nature Center building will be closed until further notice. The trails will remain open and free during this time. Online donations are being accepted. Check www.sarett.com for activities being planned to help the community practice social distancing in the out-of-doors.

Fishing Boating, including motorized boating, falls within the outdoor activities permitted under the governor’s updated, “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order. Any outdoor activity, including boating, must be done in a matter “consistent with remaining at least six feet apart from people outside the individual’s household. State harbors are closed through at least May 15. There are no services available, including bathroom buildings, electrical, fuel, pump-outs, etc. and no slip reservations can be made. Ellinee Bait & Tackle located on Big Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reports a steady stream of anglers going out on local inland lakes. With the opening of the Northern Pike and Walleye seasons on Lower Peninsula inland waters last Saturday, April 25, (from April 25 to March 15), anglers that target these fish have been very happy with their catches. A father and son who had been targeting Walleye on Little Paw Paw Lake caught a nice 26-inch fish to display. April 25 also saw the opening of the Northern Pike season and several anglers were out targeting them and did well on Big Paw Paw Lake. Salmon and Trout season on inland Type 1 and Type 2 streams and inland Type A and Type D lakes also saw opening day on April 25. Hunting Visitors to the Silver Lake State Park ORV Area in Oceana County can tentatively plan for an opening day of Wednesday, June 3. That decision is in response to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s extension, through May 15, of her “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order that was announced April 24. The popular ORV scramble area typically opens April 1 each year. Once nonessential work is permitted, staff is tentatively scheduled to begin working May 15 and the prep work to open the area is anticipated to take about three weeks. Updates will be provided on the park website at Michigan.gov/SilverLake. Anyone planning to visit any state-managed land is encouraged to first visit the DNR COVID-19 response page for updates and frequently asked questions on facility closures, changes in services and event/meeting cancellations. DNR burn permits Just over a month since it suspended open burning across the state in response to COVID-19 concerns, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that it began issuing burn permits starting April 28, 2020. People are still expected to check in at Michigan.gov/BurnPermit to get the latest update.

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