06-06-2019 Outdoors

Fishing According to the weekly fishing report from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the waters are warming slowly but are still about two weeks behind when it comes to water temperatures especially in the Northern Lower and Upper Peninsula. Muskie season opened on Saturday, June 1. All anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license with the exception of this weekend, June 8 & 9. It is the summer free fishing weekend in Michigan. To get more details or find a local event, visit Michigan.gov/FreeFishing. Overall in Southwest Lower Peninsula, bass were on the beds in the Kalamazoo area. Bluegills were starting to move on the beds in the shallow lakes. In St. Joseph, boat anglers continue to take a decent number of Chinook salmon on spoons in 100 to 130 feet. A mixed bag of lake trout and coho were taken on spoons in 40 to 70 feet. Pier anglers caught freshwater drum on alewife or when casting spoons. Channel cats were caught on stink baits. No perch to report. Boat anglers in South Haven targeting salmon caught a fair number in 85 to 120 feet. Most were Chinook. Lake trout and the occasional steelhead were also caught. Pier fishing was very slow for all species. The salmon action is heating up in the Grand Haven area with good numbers of Chinook caught throughout the water column in 40 to 120 feet with orange and green spoons or with a white flasher/fly combo. Large and smallmouth bass were caught on swim baits. The water is still high in the Grand River at Grand Rapids and muddy so very few anglers have been out. For those going as far north as Muskegon, boat anglers caught a decent number of Chinook 30 to 100 feet down in 60 to 120 feet with orange spoons, green and white flies and white meat rigs. In Muskegon Lake, bluegills were coming up into the shallows on the north end and were starting to prepare the beds. Fish were found in 3 to 10 feet. Walleye are still being caught around the channel and near the Coast Guard Station when casting rapalas. High water continues to hinder fishing efforts. Muskegon River water temperatures were up between the high 50’s and low 60’s. Water levels were still high. A mayfly hatch is currently ongoing. Trout could be found on the gravel. Hunting June 1 was the deadline to get bear and elk license applications. Drawing results will be posted June 24. Also, hunters should remember that they can increase their chances of hunting bear and elk next year with the Pure Michigan Hunt – applications are available until Dec. 31, with drawing results posted in January 2020. Curious about the work that Pure Michigan Hunt and hunting license dollars support? Check out the DNR Wildlife Division’s annual reports. For more information on hunting in the state of Michigan, visit www.Michigan.gov/DNR and click on the link to “hunting”. To get hunting application reminders via text message, text “MIDNR HUNTAPP” to “468311.” You’ll get a reminder the day applications go on sale, midway through the application period and the last day they’re available. You’ll also get a text when application results have been posted.

Celebrate Wildlife Weekend at state parks June 21-23 Residents of Michigan and out-of-state visitors will be celebrating our feathered friends with programs in many state parks during Wildlife Weekend, June 21-23. From hummingbirds to song sparrows to trumpeter swans and more, learn about Michigan’s birds by joining in featured hikes, informative talks, identification programs and various other activities. These programs are fun, educational and great for the whole family. Wildlife Weekend is an annual event with a different group of animals featured each year. A variety of outdoor education opportunities are offered throughout the summer at more than 50 state parks and fish hatcheries, with enthusiastic, nature-minded staff leading hikes, activities and interesting programs that shine a spotlight on each location’s unique resources. To find Wildlife Weekend events or other outdoor education programs near you or your travel destination, visit Michigan.gov/NaturePrograms.

Tin Can Tourists vintage camping show at Hoffmaster State Park is a step back in time Want a front-row view to the evolution of camping? Head to P.J. Hoffmaster State Park Saturday, June 8, for the annual Vintage Camper Gathering and Open House, which runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The park is at 6585 Lake Harbor Road in Muskegon, situated along three miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. The Tin Can Tourists, a social group centered around the preservation and celebration of classic trailers and motor coaches, has been organizing this crowd favorite at Hoffmaster for the past 10 years. This year’s event happens to coincide with the 100-year anniversaries of both the Tin Can Tourists and Michigan state parks. Campers and day visitors are invited to walk the wooded campsites and get a firsthand look at nearly 100 trailers from the 1930s to the 1980s that will be on display. “Whether you’re camping or just visiting for the day, everyone is welcome to see this wonderful array of vintage campers and trailers,” said Melissa VanderVelde, unit supervisor at Hoffmaster State Park. “The event is different from a car show because the trailers are often available for visitors to take a peek inside and to talk to owners. It is a really fun experience.” Additional Tin Can Tourist events will take place at Interlochen State Park June 22 and Port Crescent State Park July 27.

Learn more about the upcoming centennial events and other ways the state is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Michigan state parks at Michigan.gov/StateParks100. For more information, contact Melissa VanderVelde (Hoffmaster) at vanderveldem@michigan.gov or 231-798-3711 or Brandon Morrison (Tin Can Tourists) at brandon_morrison@hotmail.com.

The fuzzy “toes” of the pussy willow are one of our favorite spring touching activities. Those soft hairs have a function other than providing our tactile delight. The fuzzy hairs trap air heated by the sun against the flower’s dev