05-14-2020 Outdoors

Fishing Fishing had finally been good early last week and then the temperature started dropping as the cold, wet and windy conditions moved in for the weekend. This brought a halt to many anglers going out and the bite was dropping off with the cold conditions. A better weather swing is in the forecast now as temperatures return to the upper 40s and by the weekend should be up to 60 degrees. The fish will once again be biting and anglers will go out. Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven said he was glad the ban on charter fishing was lifted May 9. The use of masks and gloves are required and charters are being asked to take out smaller groups to help with social distancing. Captain Bard said the winds have kept Lake Michigan churning and the water is dirty because of it. Waves have been running about six feet, wavering between four and seven. They were still getting King salmon and Lake Trout in waters 60- to 80-foot deep. Salmon were mostly in the top 40-50 feet and Trout were from 20 feet to the bottom. He said because of the tumbled water they are scattered all through the water column. Morning fishing was the best as by afternoon the lake would get rough.

Anglers were able to fish the river side of the piers and were targeting Walleye. Kalamazoo River has also been producing some Walleye for anglers. The cold wind has been too much for inland lake anglers and not much has been going on. This weekend should make a big difference. Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Big Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reports that as good as the fishing had been the first part of last week, by the cold wet weekend, both anglers and fish had quit. The warming trend this week is bringing the fishing back as fish get more interested in biting. This weekend is supposed to be beautiful and the bite should reflect that as temperatures rise. Those fishing for Lake Trout on either northern Lake Huron or portions of Lake Michigan will be pleased with the updated Lake Trout regulations on the two great lakes.

At its April meeting, the Michigan Natural Resources Commission approved the following fishing regulation changes, with immediate effect: In the northern Lake Huron Lake Trout management unit MH-1, the daily possession limit is now three fish (up from a two-fish limit in 2019). This regulation now applies to all Lake Huron waters. In Lake Michigan Lake Trout management unit MM-4, the daily possession limit is two fish (up from a one-fish limit last year). Anglers had exceeded daily possession limits for both Lake Trout management units in recent years, prompting the decrease in 2019 to ensure compliance with the 2000 Consent Decree recreational harvest limits. The reduction worked and the trout harvest stayed within specified limits. This information is updated both in the online 2020 Michigan Fishing Guide (available at Michigan.gov/DNRDigests) and on the DNR’s fishing regulations hotline (888-367-7060). For questions, contact Jay Wesley (Lake Michigan) at 616-490-5090 or Randy Claramunt (Lake Huron) at 231-622-3820. Hunting The application periods for the 2020 bear and elk seasons are now open through June 1. Hunters can apply online at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses. The 2020 bear season dates, quotas and hunting regulations are available at Michigan.gov/Bear. For anyone curious how the preference point system works, they should check out the video at the DNR website “Michigan Bear Draw Preference Point System Explained”. New for this 2020 elk season, additional licenses and new hunt unit boundaries! Sixty additional licenses will be available this year, increasing the total number of elk licenses to 260. The new boundaries further management goals and provide consistency between the fall and winter hunts. Apply for a license today at Michigan.gov/Elk. Drawing results for bear and elk applications will be posted online July 6, 2020. Registration for the DNR hunt waiting list is open now through July 10. The Bear and Elk Hunt Transfer Program allows hunters who are successfully drawn for a bear or elk license to transfer their drawing success to an eligible person they know, or to an individual on the DNR hunt waiting list.

Hummingbirds are arriving back to Southwest Michigan after long migratory journeys from southern Florida or Central America. These late spring migrants, some of which cross the Gulf of Mexico in a single flight, can be seen feeding from nectar rich flowers and backyard feeders. While the occasional vagrant may appear, Michigan’s only nesting hummingbird is the ruby-throated hummingbird. These mostly green-feathered birds (males have a ruby red throat patch) are about three inches long and beat their wings around 53 times A SECOND. A lot of energy is required to keep up with their high metabolism. The most important food sources for these tiny birds are nectar-producing flowers and small flying insects. We can delight in the sight of these birds close to home by putting up our own nectar feeders to offer an additional food source (red flowered ones attract them the best). You don’t need store bought food or red dye to attract them. Mix 1/4 cup table sugar and 1 cup water and slightly heat on the stove until the sugar dissolves. Allow the mixture to cool. I like to make bigger batches and keep the extra in the fridge. Routine maintenance is a must, as the mixture can mold and cause serious illness in the birds. Change your water and clean the feeder at least every three days or sooner if it’s in the sun. The Nature Center building is closed until further notice. The trails remain open and free during this time. Online donations are being accepted. Check www.sarett.com for activities to help the community practice social distancing in the out-of-doors.

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