The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds anglers that the season opener for Muskellunge in the Upper Peninsula has changed – in addition to all other waters in Michigan. On all Great Lakes and inland waters, the St. Mary’s River, St. Clair River, Detroit River and Lake St. Clair, the season does not open until Saturday, June 2. But catch-and-immediate-release Muskellunge fishing is allowed on all waters all year. Walleye and Northern Pike season on the Upper Peninsula Great Lakes, inland waters and the St. Mary’s River opened on Tuesday, May 15. The openers could be on the slow side until the waters warm up.
SUCCESSFUL HUNT… Robert Nunley, of Coloma, shot this 22-pound turkey in Coloma on Thursday, May 10. It had a 10-1/4 inch beard and 1-1/4 inch spurs. Nunley shot the turkey with a shot gun.
The DNR fishing tip this week is a few things to think about when fishing for trout. Many anglers search for the latest tips and tricks when fishing for trout and one of the best may also be the simplest, don’t forget that trout can see! Trout are known to have excellent vision, so consider the following if you head out this spring: Cast out far ahead of you to prevent the trout from seeing you; when wading, do so carefully and avoid rapid movement which could spook the fish; don’t wear any shiny objects, including watches or tools on your vest; stay away from wearing bright colors, stick to dark browns and greens; remember that trout usually swim into the current, so cast upstream. Anglers can currently catch and immediately release Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass on most waters statewide. The possession season for bass opens statewide on Saturday, May 26 with the exception of Lake St Clair, the St. Clair River and Detroit River, which open on Saturday, June 16. Overall, the DNR reports that the Chinook salmon fishing is off to a great start in the far southern portion of Lake Michigan. Some limit catches including fish over 20 pounds were reported. The fish will continue to move north as the waters warm. Inland lakes are producing panfish, including some limit catches of Crappie. The DNR reports that the boat anglers out of St. Joseph caught Lake Trout and a fair to good number of Chinook salmon. Most were trolling spoons in 80 to 100 feet. A few Coho were also caught. St. Joseph pier anglers managed to catch a few Brown Trout and Coho on spawn. Boat anglers going out on Lake Michigan from South Haven had decent fishing with a good number of Lake Trout and the occasional Chinook salmon and Steelhead taken. Fish were caught in 45 to 70 feet of water with magnum spoons. Pier fishing activity was low but a few Coho and Brown Trout were caught. Those using spawn did best. There still are no perch to report. The DNR Outdoor Skills Academy will offer Women in Waders, a fly-fishing class for beginners on Saturday, May 19 at the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center in Bay City Park in Bay City. The class will provide a full day of instruction on the basic skills needed for fly fishing. The class is designed for beginners but will provide new information and skills for women anglers at all levels. For more information, contact Valerie Blaschka at 989-667-0717. Michigan’s historic effort to reintroduce Arctic Grayling to the state’s waters will be supported by a grant of $11,000 from the Petoskey Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation to the Michigan DNR’s Fisheries Division. A total of $418,175 has been secured for the project which has an estimated cost of $1.1 million. Arctic Grayling thrived in northern Michigan’s cold-water streams until the onset of the 20th century. Fishermen and wildlife enthusiasts visited destinations such as the Au Sable River to see this beautiful fish. But by the 1930s three factors contributed to their demise; habitat destruction from logging, overfishing and competition with introduced trout species. The local extinction of this wild native fish was a tragic loss for Michigan. The DNR Fisheries Division and the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians lead the Arctic Grayling initiative. More than 45 organizations are supporting the landmark project.
The DNR reminds hunters that they have until June 1 to apply for a chance at a bear or elk hunting license in the drawings to be held. For more information you can contact Katie Keen at 989-385-0336. It’s not too late to get out and hunt a Michigan turkey this spring. There are many licenses available for the Hunt 234 and you have until May 31 to get your bird. Go to www.michigan.gov/ turkey and see where licenses remain and read the spring rules and regulations. For more information contact Katie Keen at 989-385-0336. The Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative 2017 Annual Report, highlighting accomplishments of initiative coalition partners last year, is now available online. The Initiative is a conservation initiative to restore and enhance Michigan pheasant habitat, populations, and hunting opportunities on private and public lands via pheasant cooperatives. The initiative works by acquiring state, federal and other partner resources to assist landowners in the cooperatives to improve wildlife habitat on their properties and by improving habitat on selected state game areas, recreation areas or other public lands.
MYOI Golf Outing June 15
Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative (MYOI) is hosting a golf outing fund-raiser on Friday, June 15. The outing is being held at Lake Michigan Hills Golf Club, 2520 Kerlikowske Road in Benton Harbor with a 10 a.m. shotgun start. MYOI serves current and former foster youth in Berrien County by helping them develop leadership, advocacy and financial skills to ensure long-term success. This program provides much-needed support and services to our youth. Entry fee to participate is $75 per person due May 28, 2018, or $85 per person day of event. The fee includes 18 holes with cart, continental breakfast, prize holes, lunch and complimentary round of golf for 2019.