The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds anglers that the Walleye, Pike and Muskellunge seasons opened on Saturday, April 29. The statewide trout opener, on all Type 1 and 2 streams as well as all Type A and D designated inland trout lakes, was also on Saturday.
Most of the smaller trout streams should be fishable but may still be cold. Many of the large rivers are coming down and clearing up and should be in good shape unless we get a lot of rain before the weekend. Rivers in the Upper Peninsula may still be high. The inland lakes should be in good shape though water levels may be a little high.
Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reports fishing has been good on Lake Michigan this past week. Lake trout are being taken in 60 feet near the bottom of the water column. Coho and Steelhead are still being caught anywhere in the water column. Pier and river fishing is slow with inland panfishing picking up on Duck Lake and Big Bear Lake. Perch fishing was slow.
Ellinee Bait & Tackle reported the fishing was doing real well until the rain moved in at the beginning of the week. As it warms back up this week the bite will be back, with the Crappie close to shore, either spawning or right on the verge of spawning. Little Paw Paw Lake and Lake of the Woods have been real generous with Crappy. Anglers are getting some Pike with shiners and catch-and-release Bass with minnows.
Anglers out of St. Joseph caught good numbers of Coho well beyond 150 feet with small spoons. Pier fishing was very slow for trout and Salmon, but good numbers of Catfish were taken using crawlers on the bottom. Perch fishing was very slow.
In the Kalamazoo River anglers should look for Steelhead up near the Allegan Dam. Walleye anglers should find a few fish there as well. In Grand Haven Coho were caught 25 to 150 feet down in 170 to 200 feet with orange and green spoons or body baits. Catch rate was hit or miss for boat anglers targeting Perch. Try minnows, wigglers or wax worms. Pier fishing for Brown Trout was slow with only a couple taken on live minnows.
The DNR recently jaw tagged 3,000 Walleyes in a number of Saginaw Bay tributary rivers. Anglers who catch any tagged fish are asked to collect information from the fish and report it to the DNR. Jaw tagging is part of a long-term research project to monitor survival and harvest rates and to learn about Walleye movement.
The program depends on anglers to report when they catch a tagged Walleye, catch location, as well as the fish’s length, weight (if known) and tag identification number. Once reported, anglers will receive a letter back detailing the history of their fish.
This year about 20 percent of the tags include a $100 reward for reporting the tag. Each tag is stamped with a unique identifying number and a P.O. Box address. If anglers prefer, they can report a tagged Walleye online at michigandnr.com/taggedfish.
Anglers are reminded that to be eligible for a reward, photos of the flattened tag are required. Anglers can keep or release the fish. 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.
Anglers are reminded that the new license season began April 1, so be sure to purchase a new license for this season. The 2017 fishing licenses are valid through March 31, 2018. Also remember that this is the second year of the two-year Michigan Fishing Guide.
The Learn to Hunt program will offer several upcoming opportunities for new hunters to learn how to hunt for wild turkeys. Learn to Hunt Turkey programs are scheduled for: May 5-6 in Escanaba (Delta County); May 12-13 in Middleville (Barry County); and May 19-20 in Bellevue (Eaton County).
During the two-day programs, participants will learn about turkey behavior, how to scout for turkeys, cleaning and processing birds, and patterning shotguns. They’ll also have the opportunity to hunt with a mentor on two hunts. Cost is $50. This program is for adults who are new to hunting. No previous hunting experience is necessary, and equipment is available if needed. Space is limited, so those interested should register soon. For more details about each session and registration information, visit the Learn to Hunt website www.learntohuntmi.org.
Recognizing the challenge posed by the presence of chronic wasting disease in Michigan’s white-tailed deer population, the Michigan Natural Resources Commission (NRC) recently adopted a resolution to engage the scientific community to identify practices that will address the threat of CWD. The resolution was approved at the commission’s April meeting in Lansing.
In 2014, the Michigan Natural Resources Commission and the DNR agreed to maintain deer regulations on a three-year regulatory cycle to stabilize regulations reduce public confusion and enhance communications. That three-year time frame has ended and the DNR has prepared recommended changes to deer regulations and will present those changes at the May 11 NRC meeting at West Shore Community College in Scottville, MI.
Coloma Rod & Gun Club
The Coloma Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW Class on May 13. Class registration is held on Sunday, May 7 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, call 269-621-3370.
Watervliet Rod & Gun Club
The Watervliet Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW classes on May 18 and 21. Registration is on May 16 between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. 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.
My grandson is modeling a case-building caddis fly larva. When it gathers food its hardened head and one or two pair of its legs protrude from the case. It uses the legs to move around the bottom of its watery habitat and to collect bits of food. If it feels threatened the larva can pull its body totally inside the case.
Caddis fly larva cases can be quite a work of art. In fact, some artists use the construction skills of the larvae to create jewelry. The artists provide the raw materials (beads, small bits of metals, etc.) for a case. The larvae use a silken thread produced on their jaws to weave the materials into a protective shelter around their soft, vulnerable bodies. After a larva has completed its metamorphosis through the pupal stage, the artist collects the unneeded case.
Those soft bodies can absorb dissolved oxygen directly through their skin. They enhance the process by undulating their body within their cases to move water across their skin. Those soft bodies are also easily poisoned by pollution so caddis flies are important water quality bioindicators.
Learn the basics of using a lathe at Sarett’s woodshop then shape a wooden Mason jar lid on May 6 at 10:00 a.m. The fee is $18. Pre-registration and pre-payment are required. Class size is limited so call right away.