Fishing If you want to fish southeast Michigan’s Great Lakes areas (St. Clair System & Lake Erie), Lake Huron, Lake Michigan or Lake Superior but you aren’t sure when or where to go – then check out the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Great Lakes Fishing Roadmaps. These serve as starting points to provide you with information on many Great Lakes ports and the best time of the year to fish out of them. Love Trout fishing and need a new place to go to target them? The DNR Trout Trails web application is an interactive tool featuring fisheries biologist-verified Trout waters that are often lesser known but considered outstanding destinations. The application has been updated for 2018 and users now can conduct even more specialized searches, thanks to its new filter feature that lets visitors search based on fish species and/or watersheds. Although Trout Trails is not a downloadable application, it is compatible with all types of electronic devices. Each destination features extensive information including Trout species available, regulations, presence of stocked or naturally reproducing fish, driving directions, area lodging, restaurants, and noteworthy information (such as presence of fast water, canoe/kayak/tube accessibility, best times to fish, types of bait or lure to use, etc.). Learn more by contacting Elyse Walter at 517-284-5839 or visiting www.michigan.gov/trouttrails. Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reports anglers going out on Lake Michigan are doing well. Most are fishing in 20 to 60 feet of water and catching Brown Trout, Coho, King Salmon and a few Steelhead. Trout are close to the bottom and Coho are 10 to 20 feet down. The pier fishing is slow, but a few Coho have been taken by anglers casting small spoons or using spawn. No Perch have been reported. The Black River up by South Haven has been quiet, but one lucky angler got a Walleye. The inland lakes are slow but picking up. Duck and Eagle lakes have been producing some nice Crappie. Ellinee Bait & Tackle Shop on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reported that the inland lakes are starting to heat up. Water temperatures are reported to be around 47-degrees with a few warm spots of 50-degrees. Several anglers have reported getting limits of Crappie. As the water warms up, so will the bite. Anglers fishing on Little Paw Paw Lake are doing well with the panfish. The Paw Paw River has been quiet as the temperatures rise. On Monday anglers reported St. Joseph River as a hot spot for Channel Cats. Some nice Trout were taken out of Pipestone and Mill creeks over the weekend. Bait of choice seemed to be Small Rooster Tails. The DNR reports that overall more boat and shore anglers are starting to show up on the inland lakes. They are catching Bluegills, Sunfish, Crappie and Bass. Boat anglers out of St. Joseph caught Kings and Coho in 50 feet with small spoons. A decent number of Coho were also caught in 25 feet when trolling small crank baits. St. Joseph River was producing Steelhead at the Berrien Springs Dam. Bluegills were caught just beyond the Union Lake Dam. Kalamazoo River anglers were getting Steelhead, including some limit catches.
Hunting When cleaning out gardens, flower boxes or home or office landscaping this spring, don’t be surprised if you find something extra. Duck nests, particularly Mallard nests, appear just about everywhere this time of year. While you may think these are not the most ideal nesting locations, there’s really no cause for concern. You can expect a female mallard to sit on a nest for about a month prior to her eggs hatching. The mother will lead her ducklings to the nearest body of water, often the same day they hatch. Canada geese sometimes build nests near houses or in parks, often near water. Just like mallards, Canada geese will lead their young to water soon after they hatch. If you are lucky enough to have a bird’s nest in your yard to watch, you may notice the babies are starting to outgrow the nest. Because baby birds learn to fly by trial and error, it’s not uncommon to find them on the ground outside their nests after an attempt at flight – especially if their flight feathers haven’t fully grown in yet. If you do see one on the ground it is best not to touch it. The mom and dad will continue to take care of the bird even if it’s on the ground. If you find a sparsely feathered chick on the ground, it may have accidentally fallen from the nest before it is ready to fledge (learn to fly). If you know where the nest is, it’s okay to put the chick back in the nest only if you can do so safely. Birds, their nests, and their eggs are protected by law and must be left alone. Only licensed wildlife rehabilitators may possess abandoned or injured wildlife. To learn more, contact DNR wildlife communications coordinator Hannah Schauer at 517-284-6218.
Coloma Rod & Gun Club
The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW Class on Saturday, May 12, 2018. Class registration is held on Sunday, May 6 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 May 10 and May 12, 2018. Registration is on May 8, 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.
What are the warning signs that someone may become an animal kidnapper? A belief that animal mothers care for their offspring every minute of every day; a belief in the myth that animal mothers reject babies that have been touched by humans; an overwhelming urge to save a baby; an incomplete knowledge of wildlife biology and needs. Every spring nature centers and wildlife rehabilitators are overwhelmed by well-intentioned animal kidnappers. These kidnappers believe they are rescuing orphaned animal babies. However, most of the time these babies are not truly babies or not truly abandoned. An independent animal does not mean a fully-grown animal. Four-inch long rabbits and quarter-sized turtles are fully capable of caring for themselves… in the place they grew up in. Take them out of that area and they won’t know where food or shelter is. Many animal moms leave their young alone in nests or carefully chosen safe spots. They only visit them two or three times a day. The small amount of contact reduces the babies’ chances of acquiring a scent that a predator could discover. Take them away from their best teacher (mom) and they will have an exceptionally challenging time learning how to forage or hunt and survive. Don’t be an animal kidnapper! Call for help FIRST. Call All Species Kinship (877-596-7776) and wildlife rehabilitators (numbers listed on michigandnr.com/dlr).
Help manatees; enter a virtual run
Scenic Lake St. Clair Metropark in Harrison Township, Michigan is the location on Saturday, May 19 for the 15th annual Save the Manatee 5K! Participants in the race will be contributing to the ongoing conservation and education efforts of Save the Manatee Club, a nonprofit conservation organization based in Florida and established in 1981 by singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett and former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham. Race directors Lesley Argiri and her husband Brian McDonald, teachers at L’Anse Creuse public schools in Harrison Township created the 5K, 2-mile Walk, and Mini-Manatee-Mile, so that people of all ages have the option to run it, walk it, casually jog it, or just be there for the fun of it. The 5K attracts over 1,200 people each year in the physical race with hundreds more taking part in the Virtual Run, which drew interest last year from all 50 U.S. states and 13 foreign countries. Now everyone, not just Michiganders, can join the race by doing a Virtual 5K on a date, time, and place that’s convenient. Choose the activity, too. Run, swim, kayak, cycle, stroll along, or rollerblade on a favorite course or trail, all in support of manatees. To get more information and to register, go to savethemanatee5k.com. Questions can by directed by email to Lesley Argiri at firstname.lastname@example.org.