05-23-2019 Outdoors

Fishing The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported that the walleye and pike season for the Upper Peninsula Great Lakes, inland waters, and the St. Marys River opened on May 1. Trout fishing was still slow in the northern regions due to the cold nights and cold river temperatures. The action should pick up in the next week or two. Largemouth and smallmouth bass season for catch-and-keep opens on all waters, including the Great Lakes on Saturday, May 25 and runs to December 31. The catch-and-keep season on Lake St. Clair, St. Clair and Detroit rivers opens June 15 and runs to December 31. The DNR tip this week is how to take really great catch-and-release photos so you ensure the fish can live to be caught another day. Wet your hands before handling the fish – that way you won’t remove the protective slime the fish has coating their body. Remember a fish cannot breathe out of water, so they will become uncomfortable rather quickly. Keep the fish in the water until your camera is ready to take the shot. Take the photo with the fish close to the water in case it squirms out of your hands it will land in the water – not on a hard surface. When holding a fish do not pinch or squeeze it and DO NOT stick your fingers in its gills. Be mindful of the different kinds of fish that have teeth and/or spines that could stick you. Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reports that fishing on Lake Michigan has been good. They have been fishing in 100 to 150 foot of water with lake trout being found on the bottom of the water column and some nice king salmon in the top 20 to 60 feet. The fish have been biting on the laker-takers. Pier fishing in South Haven has been really slow. There have been no reports of perch being caught on the big lake. The Black River is running high which makes it difficult to fish. Some boat anglers are catching catfish in the river. Inland lake fishing in the area has been good, with the crappie leaving their beds and bluegills finishing up. Best bate, Little Pinkies and minnows. Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reports good inland lake fishing all around the area. Not only bluegill and crappie are really biting, but bass catch-and-release anglers have been very happy with the action. It looks like this Saturday’s May 25 bass opener should be very successful. Trout anglers have had good catches on the local streams; Miller, Pipestone and Blue Creek have been very productive. In the Southwest Lower Peninsula, the high water levels have made river fishing much more difficult. Area trout streams have been producing some nice brown trout. Try after a rain when the water is receding. A few good choices that have public access would be the South Branch of the Galien, Swan Creek, Dowagiac River, Rabbit River, Rice Creek and Battle Creek. Boat anglers targeting salmon out of St. Joseph reported good catch rates well south and somewhat north of the port in waters 100 feet and deeper. Bates of choice was magnum spoons, spin-doctors and flies as well as meat rigs. Pier fishing was slow with only a couple trout or salmon taken on spoons. Gun Lake in Barry County continues to produce crappie and some bluegills. Bass have been caught and released. In Grand Haven the yellow perch action has slowed for the boat anglers. A few chinook and lake trout were caught in 30 to 60 feet. Try spoons and body baits in orange, blue and green. Pier anglers targeting brown trout had slow catch rates. The DNR will begin collecting Great Lakes Muskellunge from the Detroit River. These fish will be reared at Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery in Mattawan and stocked in Michigan waters this fall. As a safety issue and a precaution, the DNR requests that boats on the water avoid coming close to the electrofishing boat during nighttime shocking work. “We want to make sure the public stays clear of the electric field for safety,” Lake Erie Basin coordinator Jim Francis said.

Hunting Explore the Wetland Wonders and win. The DNR has a new Wetland Wonders Challenge (May 1 through July 14). Visitors are invited to visit just one of the Wetland Wonders sites, snap a photo by the official challenge sign and then submit it for a chance to win one of four Cabela’s gift cards ranging from $250 to $1,000. Scattered across the state, from Portage Marsh State Wildlife Management Area in the Upper Peninsula, to Pointe Mouillee State Game Area just 25 miles from the Ohio border, these areas provide great year-round recreation opportunities like birding, boating, fishing, hiking and hunting, not to mention capturing great photos. Get full contest entry details and Wetland Wonders location information at Michigan.gov/WetlandWonders. If you have questions contact Holly Vaughn at 313-396-6863.

Coloma Rod & Gun Club

The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CPL Class on Saturday, June 8, 2019. Class registration is held on Sunday, June 2, 2019 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 $105. For more information on the CPL Class or Hunter Safety Class, email inquiry@colomarodandgunclub.com or visit their website at www.colomarodandgunclub.com.

Six homes toured in South Haven Cottage Walk

SHOUT for South Haven is announcing the 25th annual Cottage Walk on Saturday, June 29 from noon to 5:00 p.m. The public is invited to tour six homes in this unique lake front community. Summer and year-around residences will be featured. At the same time, tour takers can enjoy the many specialty shops and outdoor dining areas in the city. SHOUT for South Haven Cottage Walk proceeds enhance the community in many ways; planting the beautiful flowers on Dyckman Bridge, providing the two four-faced clocks, one downtown and one on the river channel, plus public statuary on the lawn of City Hall and in front of the Taste restaurant. Last year SHOUT gave the city the bridge that crosses the stream that runs from the Celery Pond area to the Black River in a park named SHOUT Park. A considerable donation, made by SHOUT to the Michigan Maritime Museum, enabled them to purchase the Wilhelm Baum, a large tugboat that will be used to enhance their collection for public viewing and education. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased from the South Haven Visitor’s Bureau at 546 Phoenix Street (269-637-5252) or in front of the Farmer’s Market on the day of the event. SHOUT for South Haven is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to community enhancement not funded by the city of South Haven. For more information contact: Sue Cunningham, 269-639-8657.

Is it time to put out the hummingbird feeder? According to Lanny Chambers (hummingbirds.net), the northern limit of the spring migration matches that of the yellow-bellied sapsucker, which has been here since the first part of April. If the arrival occurs before hummingbird-appropriate flowers are blooming (or feeders aren’t out yet), the hummers feed at the “wells” created by the sapsuckers in trees. Here they get enough energy to sustain them while they hunt for their main food… insects. Hummingbirds are primarily carnivores. Insects provide them with energy-rich fats for their quick metabolism and amino acids to replenish muscle cells. Before they begin their 18-hour trek over the Gulf of Mexico, the birds gorge on insects and spiders… enough to double their body weight to fuel the non-stop flight. Migration maps (see hummingbirds.net/migration.html) indicate that a few hummers have been spotted in southern Michigan. Upon their arrival birds will visit the same flowers, and feeders, that were previously part of their hunting territory. So, fire up the stove and get that hummer juice cooking. And, remember… no red dye or food coloring! “Go Native” by adding native wildflowers, grasses and ferns to your landscape and join us for Sarett Nature Center’s annual Wildflower Sale on May 25 and 26 during regular business hours. Sarett will continue to sell plants after the weekend during regular business hours. Call 269-927-4832 for more information.

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