Fish for dinner tonight! With good warmer weather the bite has been good on Lake Michigan and our local inland lakes for the past week. Ellinee Bait & Tackle located on Big Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reports plenty of anglers going out on the local lakes and catching some nice fish. Bluegills are biting on crickets, wax worms and red worms. Crappie and walleye are being caught with minnows. Anglers catfishing at night have been doing well with stink bait. Largemouth and smallmouth bass catch and keep seasons opened two weeks ago, (May 23), and anglers have been doing well on the local lakes. Ellinee is open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and are being kept busy by the activity. Captain Denny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reports Lake Michigan fishing is doing well. Best area to fish is in the 150 feet area. Lake trout have been plentiful and are found on the bottom; catching with Laker-Takers. A few king salmon and steelhead were caught in 120 to 130 feet of water. Most kings have moved farther north now. Pier fishing has picked up with a few steelhead (Skamania) being taken on shrimp below a bobber. No reports of perch by South Haven yet. Anglers have been targeting and catching catfish in the river. Inland lakes have been busy with bluegill anglers taking some good catches. They seem to be moving into their beds by shore. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Director Dan Eichinger approved the addition of marbled crayfish (Procambarus Virginalis) to Michigan’s list of prohibited species at the Natural Resources Commission meeting. Also known as marmorkrebs and virgin crayfish, they are increasing in popularity in the aquarium trade due to their unique ability to reproduce by cloning. All known specimens are genetically identical females that can produce up to 700 eggs per reproductive cycle without the need for fertilization. Marbled crayfish have not been detected in the wild in Michigan. However, if a single one escaped captivity or was released into open water, it could have the potential of initiating an entire population because it can individually reproduce in large numbers. The marbled crayfish is considered medium-sized, ranging from 4 to 5 inches in length, with slender or narrow claws. Their distinguishing feature is a streaked or marbled coloration pattern, which is most visible on the back, or carapace. In the wild, most range in color from olive to brown, but in captivity, colors can include tan, red or blue. Those who suspect they have found a marbled crayfish in the wild should photograph it, record the location and time, and report the find to Lucas Nathan, DNR aquatic invasive species coordinator at 517-284-6235. If it is possible to capture the crayfish, place it in a container in the freezer until it can be analyzed. For more information and how to distinguish it from native species, visit Michigan.gov/Invasives.
The DNR is offering temporary hunter education safety certificates for eligible online students. Many had their field day classes canceled, which normally are required as a final step to earn the Michigan DNR hunter education safety certificate. As long as the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order was in place, to receive a temporary hunter education safety certificate online students must meet one of the following criteria: Completed the online hunter education safety training since March 15, 2019, but not yet completed the field day. Started the online program on or after January 1, 2020, and are still in process of completing the course. Begin and complete the online program between now and the end of the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive order. Eligible students will receive an email from Kalkomey Enterprises, LLC and be able to print a temporary certificate from the student portal, allowing them to purchase a license through December 31, 2020. Anyone who receives a temporary safety certificate will be required to take a field day once the classes resume. The DNR offers several recreational safety certificates online, including boater education and ORV and snowmobile safety. Get more information about these certifications and other safety resources at Michigan.gov/RecreationalSafety. To learn more about earning an online hunter safety certificate, go to Michigan.gov/HunterEducation. This year, the printing and distribution of hunting digests will be limited. To save on paper, and for on-demand digest access that travels where you do without the need for internet access, consider downloading the DNR hunting and fishing digests to your phone. The digests are available for download on Android and Apple products. Find the current digests and downloading instructions at