05-25-2017 Outdoors

Fishing

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported that water temperatures on some of the inland lakes as well as the Great Lakes were still on the cool side which had made fishing a little more difficult last week.  The bite has been improving as the warmer weather moved back in this week.

In the Southwest Lower Peninsula the bluegills on the inland lakes of this area of the state were getting ready to bed as fish had been seen up in the shallows.  Bluegills are being caught on rubber spiders, small dry flies, red worms and wax worms.  Crappies were in shallow waters and hitting on minnows and wax worms.

Boat anglers going out of South Haven were catching lake trout in water 60 to 90 feet deep.  Some coho were caught on small spoons and crank baits in 100 feet of water, but the fish were scattered.  Some Chinook were caught as well, but many were on the small side.

Pier fishing was slow but anglers were catching some smaller walleye off the south pier last Saturday night.  Inland lakes in the area are producing some nice catches of bluegill and crappie.

Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Paw Paw Lake in Coloma reported good fishing on all the inland lakes in the area, especially Paw Paw.  The bluegills are bedding now and anglers are catching them on red worms or wax worms.  Crappies are just off the beds in the shallows and biting on minnows.

Anglers going out of St. Joseph reported good numbers of lake trout and coho along with a decent number of Chinook that were caught on spin doctors and flies.  Most of the Chinook were on the small side.  The fish are scattered and could be found anywhere in the water column from shallow water to over 200 feet.

FIRST TIME CATCH!… Kellie Grinage and Kenny Krugler proudly show the pike Kellie caught when fishing for the first time. On the night of May 20, Kellie went for her first fishing adventure for walleye that were biting on the south pier in South Haven. After watching the oth-ers around her bring in walleye, around 10:00 p.m. she got her first bite and was shocked to see the large fish on her line! The walleye that she had watched being caught had been small, but this fish was big! With help she brought it in and found she had caught a 33-inch northern pike, weighing 10 pounds. She was fishing with repella stick bait. (TCR photo by Angela Stair)


St. Joseph pier anglers continue to catch a good number of channel catfish and freshwater drum with crawlers.  Overall fishing for trout and salmon was slow but a few Chinook were caught off the piers.

The DNR is requesting the assistance of anglers and the bait industry in containing the recent outbreak of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSv) in the St. Clair River/Lake Erie corridor so it doesn’t spread to other waters.

Cold water temperatures are allowing VHSv to continue to affect fish from the St. Clair River to Lake Erie.  Anglers are asked to refrain from harvesting minnows for personal use within the borders of St. Clair, Macomb, Wayne and Monroe counties until further notice from the DNR.

Those who fish should not move any live fish between water bodies and dispose of bait properly after use.  Boaters should make sure their bilges and live wells are emptied prior to leaving a boat launch and all equipment is cleaned and disinfected after use.  These measures will help prevent this invasive pathogen from moving into new waters outside of the currently affected area.  The public can provide reports of fish kills of more than 25 fish by emailing DNR-Fish-Report-Fish-Kills@michigan.gov.

As this year’s fishing season gets under way the public is reminded that the DNR creel clerks will be gathering information this summer.  They will be stationed at boat launches and piers around the state asking anglers questions as they return from fishing trips.  The information gathered is important in the DNR’s management of the state’s fisheries resources.

The DNR again this year are encouraging Great Lakes anglers who catch marked and tagged fish to report them.  The DNR has used the coded-wire tag program to mass mark various fish species in Michigan since the 1980s.  Mass marking provides critical data as fisheries biologists look to determine the value of naturally reproduced fish versus stocked fish, and lake wide movement of fish.

A coded-wire tag is implanted into the snout of a fish and is invisible to the naked eye.  A fish containing a coded-wire tag can be identified because its adipose fin (the small, fleshy fin between the dorsal and tail fins) has been removed.  An angler who catches a tagged fish should record needed information about the fish, remove and freeze the fish’s snout and drop it off at a designated location.  Statewide locations can be found on the DNR website.  To learn more, visit www.michigan.gov/taggedfish.

Hunting

This is the time of year when fawns are spotted.  For the first few weeks of a white-tailed fawn’s life, its mother will hide it in secluded locations.  This behavior helps reduce the potential of predators finding the fawn.

Its spots are excellent camouflage and will help it stay hidden from predators.  In addition to being hidden by its mother and having its own spotted camouflage, fawns have another adaptation to help them survive – they are virtually odorless when they are young.

If you find a fawn alone, do not touch it.  There is a good chance it is supposed to be there.  The best thing to do is leave the fawn alone and enjoy the experience from a distance.

Jill Teegardin’s sixth-grade class at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Comstock Park won the 2016-2017 “Year in the Life of a Bear” contest.  The class “followed a bear” by using actual data points from a radio-collared Michigan black bear.  They followed the bear through its seasonal movements to see what it is like in a year of its life and then wrote about it.  The class will be rewarded $1,000 to purchase science supplies for their classroom.  Prizes are provided by the Michigan Bear Hunters Association and the DNR.

Coloma Rod & Gun Club

 The Coloma Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW Class on June 10.  Class registration is held on Sunday, June 4 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 June 8 and 10.  Registration is on June 6 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.

During spring, many students experience the habitats of the Grand Mere area. The morning is spent hiking and learning about dune ecology. In the afternoon, they conduct a biosurvey of the waterway at North Lake.

At first the students are quite disappointed that frog-catching is not part of a water health assessment. Once they discover the biodiversity in a healthy aquatic system, however, that disappointment is long forgotten.

Aquatic macroinvertebrates (large enough to easily observe) are commonly used as indicators of an area’s water quality. They live in water for all or a significant portion of their life cycle. They depend directly on the habitat and the water quality for survival. And… they’re easy to catch.

The students collected numerous “baby” damselflies and dragonflies as well as scuds, a crayfish, a few clams and some aquatic sow bugs (aka roly polys). These organisms are considered pollution tolerant… they’d prefer pristine water, can tolerate some pollution or decreased levels of oxygen dissolved in the water but cannot survive in worse conditions.

Adults and teens can learn the basics of kayaking on May 28 at 2:00 p.m. at North Lake Park in Stevensville. The fee is $15. Pre-registration is required.

Create a Fairy Garden at Sarett on June 3 at 1:00 p.m. Fee is $35 per garden. Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.

Please call (269) 927-4832 to register for progra

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