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05-10-2018 Outdoors

Fishing Fishing is finally picking up across the state the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reports. The warm rain should really help to get things going. Anglers should find trout in the rivers, however the trout opener to the north was slow because of colder air and water temperatures. Bluegills and Crappie are being caught in the inland lakes. Walleye, bass and pike fishing continue to get better as it warms up. The DNR gave a few fishing tips for targeting the Northern Pike now that the season is open. Northern Pike like to spend their time in the weedy shallows of both the Great Lakes and inland waters. In rivers they can be found around log jams or fallen timber. They are often taken with live bait (such as large minnows) or different kinds of artificial lures. When fishing for Northern Pike, many anglers like to use a six to eight-inch wire or steel leader directly in front of hook or lure. Pike have large, deep mouths with extremely sharp teeth. They are known to engulf the entire bait or lure and sever the fishing line with their teeth when it is attached directly to the hook or lure. This leaves the angler watching as the fish swims away with their offering. Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reports that boat anglers on Lake Michigan are catching a lot of Lake Trout, with plenty of limits, they are hot right now. They have also caught a few King Salmon down about 49 feet in 60 feet of water. The trout are being found on the bottom. No word of Perch being taken by South Haven, but they have been catching Perch by Grand Haven. South Haven pier fishing has been slow. Inland lakes in the area have been producing Crappie limits and Bluegill is closer to shore. On the Kalamazoo River at the Allegan Dam anglers are still getting Steelhead and now some anglers are catching Walleye. The Ellinee Bait & Tackle Shop on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reports some great pan fishing on all the local lakes. They recommend you pick your favorite lake and get fishing! Crappie limits are being taken out of Paw Paw Lake and Little Paw Paw Lake. Bluegill bite is picking up and bass are biting too. The Paw Paw River has been quiet the past week. On the St. Joseph River they had good numbers of Steelhead going through the Berrien Springs fish ladder. At Grand Haven anglers trolling the shoreline are catching a few Brown Trout on small orange spoons. Boats going offshore looking for Coho reported slow fishing. The best action was 60 to 140 feet down in 160 to 230 feet with orange and green spoons. Yellow Perch were caught in 60 to 80 feet south of the channel. Pier anglers caught a few Brown Trout on spawn.

Hunting Hunt 234, the statewide spring turkey hunt is May 7-31. A statewide hunting license valid for public and private lands, except for public lands in unit ZZ (southern Lower Peninsula), the Hunt 234 license is also valid to hunt Fort Custer military lands with permission. Hunt 234 licenses will be sold throughout the entire spring turkey season. Hunters are limited to one turkey license for the spring season. For more information contact the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-9463 and check out the 2018 Spring Turkey Digest. Fur harvesting update: The 2018 kill tags for bobcat, otter, fisher and marten will NOT be available on May 1, 2018. Due to potential regulation changes to some fur-harvesting bag limits, these free kill tags will not be available until after regulations have been finalized. The fur-harvesting regulations are up for action at the June 14 Natural Resources Commission meeting. Learn more about proposed regulation changes, meeting locations and agendas at The 2018 fur harvester license became available for purchase May 1. The 2018 base license is required to purchase a fur harvester license. All who hunt and trap furbearing animals must have a valid base license and fur harvester license. The licenses are valid May 1, 2018 – April 20, 2019. New in 2018 – a Fur Harvester Digest – with 2018 fur-harvesting regulations for hunting and trapping furbearing species will be available after the regulations for 2018 are finalized. As spring finally approaches, Michigan’s native frogs and toads are beginning to call and mate in ponds, lake, flooded river beds and woodlands throughout the state. It’s a good time for the DNR to remind the public about state regulations regarding the collection and possession of frogs, toads and salamanders. In order to protect breeding colonies, these animals (including tadpoles) may only be collected and possessed by the public from the last Saturday in May (May 26 this year) through November 15. Outside of this possession season, the public is encouraged to take walks and observe them in their natural habitat but not interfere with or directly handle the animals.

Coloma Rod & Gun Club The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW Class on Saturday, May 12, 2018. 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. 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.

Proos supports area Natural Resources Trust Fund projects

Sen. John Proos on May 3 supported approval of Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) projects for 2018, including two projects in Berrien County. The trust fund is supported by interest earned on funds generated from the development of state-owned mineral rights. “Michigan’s Natural Resources Trust Fund was created to invest constitutionally restricted funds into vibrant parks and recreational resources that make our state a better place to live, work and raise a family,” said Proos. “I was proud to support funding these tremendous area projects that will give Michigan residents and out-of-state tourists more and better access to our great outdoors.” As approved by the Senate, Senate Bill 883 would authorize the trust fund to use $49.9 million in restricted funds to support 34 acquisition projects and 97 development projects. Matching funds of $45 million would bring the total investment to more than $94.9 million. In Berrien County, the bill would use $56,000 from the trust fund to acquire 12 acres contiguous to Love Creek County Park and $278,100 for a development in Oronoko Township featuring the addition of two football/soccer fields, a concession and restroom building, a parking lot, a trailhead, accessible pathways and a section of regional trail. The bill also includes $300,000 for the development of the Riverside Kayak Park in Hagar Township. The project at the 112-acre trailhead recreation area features paved parking, restrooms, a pavilion, accessible picnic tables and grills, and accessible road, boardwalk and kayak launch to connect users to the Paw Paw River and its water trail network. SB 883 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

The large number of tiny white flowers that cover the branches of the leatherleaf plant in our demonstration bog indicates that the plant had a good amount of snow cover this past winter. If the delicate buds are exposed to winter’s cold winds, they will not open the following the spring. One might assume that the small size of the flower dictates that a small insect should be the chief pollinator. However, bumblebees (easily twice as big as the flower) seem to be the species that is getting the job done. The seeds that are produced seem to fall out of the fruit case and germinate on the sphagnum moss mat that is the leatherleaf’s preferred growing medium. Although it produces seeds, leatherleaf’s main mode of spread is via adventitious roots and epicormic branching. The first method involves roots that can “sprout” directly from the stem. The second occurs when dormant buds low on the stem “wake up” to produce branches and roots. These vegetative growth methods, coupled with leatherleaf’s affinity for the acid conditions produced by sphagnum moss, make it one of the dominant plants in North American bogs. Join us at the Livery in Benton Harbor on Thursday, May 17 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. and support Sarett at Community Pint Night. One dollar from each beer will be donated to Sarett. Food and non-alcoholic drinks are also available.


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