Fishing The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fishing report for the southwest Lower Peninsula this past week stated that overall; most of the inland lakes have bluegills and sunfish up in the shallows. Anglers have done well with flies, wax worms or a leaf worm in waters up to eight feet deep. Crappie fishing was good also. Largemouth bass were guarding the beds. Walleye, pike, bass and suckers have been caught in the rivers. Aquatic vegetation has sprung up and many lakes have been or are currently being treated. Please report any associated fish kills to the DNR’s Eyes in the Field application. Ellinee Bait & Tackle located on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reports fishing was good last week, but with the cooler temperatures and rain it slowed down the first of this week. Fishing is still good, but a little slower. With most schools out now families have been going out and catching some nice bluegills and crappie. Anglers have been catching a little bit of everything. Pike and bass, both largemouth and smallmouth, have been caught on the surrounding inland lakessuch as Rush Lake, Van Auken, Little Paw Paw Lake and Lake of the Woods. Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reported good numbers of fish have been taken in 100 to 130 feet of water. Lake trout were being caught on the bottom with Laker-Takers. Salmon were being caught in the top 70 feet or so with blue or purple spoons. An occasional steelhead was taken on orange spoons or other bright colors. A few perch have been taken, but the bite is very slow. South Haven Pier anglers caught a few freshwater drums. All of the local inland lakes have action going on bluegills and a few crappies. Bass are biting well also. The rivers are still running high, but a few anglers have caught some suckers. Boat anglers going out of St. Joseph were still taking a good number of fish. It seems the salmon have moved slightly north and were caught on spoons in 90 to 120 feet of water. A few coho were taken in 40 to 60 feet. St. Joseph pier anglers casting spoons or spinners caught freshwater drum. No perch were reported. A fishing tip from Mark Tonello, a DNR fisheries biologist, is it isn’t a secret that Michigan hosts some of the best trout streams in the nation. The surprising thing is how under fished they are. Anglers can have some fantastic fishing all to themselves on some incredibly beautiful streams if they do their homework. Michigan’s trout streams range in size from jump-across tributaries to the mighty Muskegon, Manistee and Au Sable rivers. While the streams can be busy at times (opening weekend, salmon/steelhead runs, etc.) they can be utterly devoid of anglers at other times. Michigan trout streams hold brown, brook and rainbow trout, and they can be caught by all kinds of tackle and techniques, ranging from nightcrawler dunking to spinner tossing or fly fishing. Anglers should check with the Fisheries Division management biologist for the area they wish to fish and the species they wish to target. Earlier this month, the DNR surveyed the unique Lake Superior lake trout populations located at Isle Royale. This survey is conducted every five years, and it yields data essential for the proper management of the fishery resources around the island. Survey data indicates the lake trout populations around Isle Royale remain healthy and are expected to continue providing world-class recreational fishing for years to come. The research vessel Lake Char deployed gill nets to capture the lean, siscowet and redfin strains of lake trout – the types of trout known to cruise the deeper waters around the island complex. A highlight of the survey was captured and subsequently released. It was a redfin lake trout that was 53 inches long and weighed 34 pounds. To learn more about fishing for lake trout in Michigan, go to Michigan.gov/Fishing. A reminder from the DNR, if you reel in a marked or tagged fish please let them know. Anglers who catch these tagged fish can then record needed information (like where and when the fish was caught, details from the tag, and the species, length and weight of the fish), remove and freeze the fishes’ snouts and drop them off at designated locations. For more information, contact John Clevender, 231-547-2914 or Elyse Walter, 517-284-5839.
Hunting Need a place to hunt? Now is the time to search out what HAP lands are available. These are private properties available to hunt through the Hunting Access Program (HAP). The HAP webpage includes details about enrolled properties available to hunt at Michigan.gov/HAP. It also includes types of hunting allowed and aerial photos of the property. To find HAP properties and other places to hunt, use the DNR’s MI-HUNT – a web-based interactive mapping tool that shows approximate boundaries of lands (both public and private) that are open to public hunting. To get started, go to Michigan.gov/MIHUNT. Explore one of Michigan’s Wetland Wonders that are scattered across the state. Find the official “Explore MI Wetland Wonders” contest sign, take a selfie by the sign and you could be entered to win a $1,000 gift card for outdoor gear. The contest is sponsored by Consumer’s Energy with contest partners MI Birds and MI United Conservation Clubs. Four lucky winners will be randomly drawn on July 10 and will receive Cabela’s gift cards in varying amounts. The grand prize winner will take home $1,000, the second prize winner $750, the third prize winner $500, and the fourth prize winner $250. To be entered for the prize drawing, participants must find the official “Explore MI Wetland Wonders” contest sign at one of the Wetland Wonders and take a selfie by the sign. Email your photo along with your name, email address, phone number and mailing address to DNR=WetlandWonders@Michigan.gov. Watervliet Rod & Gun Club The Watervliet Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW classes on June 21 and 23, 2019. Registration is on June 19, 2019, between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. and cost of the class is $100. 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.
Boats and Brews! June 15 in South Haven It’s a day of nautical fun for antique boat enthusiasts and families at the 38th Annual Antique & Classic Boat Show at the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven. The show will be held on Saturday, June 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during South Haven’s HarborFest weekend. In addition to beautiful boats on land and in the water, the show will feature local craft beer from the South Haven Brew Pub which visitors can enjoy while they peruse the boats. Cost for the show is $10 for adults and $5 for kids (under 3 free). The cost includes the show and admission to all Museum exhibits.
Being a naturalist means you get a lot of questions about nature, the status of animals and plants in our community and the world, and science in general. It’s important to stay up to date on these topics and one easy way to learn a little bit every day is to listen to nature podcasts. Podcasts are essentially on-demand internet radio talks available on smartphones and computers and are a great way to enrich your mind while still being able to do other things, like driving, walking the dog, doing chores, or just taking a break. There are thousands of podcasts out there on every topic imaginable, but these are some favorite nature and science theme podcasts for adults. For general nature knowledge, I recommend The 90 Second Naturalist, hosted by the Cincinnati Zoo featuring a short podcast every weekday on a different animal or nature theme. Nature Guys is also based in Ohio and hosted by a retired naturalist and a nature lover and features a new nature topic every two weeks. A new favorite is The Wild, where biologist and storyteller Chris Morgan communicates complex nature problems. Interested in birds? BirdNote, American Birding Podcast, and Talkin’ Birds are all reputable and entertaining. Podcasts about the environment and science are also plentiful – Michigan Environment Report, Ologies, Science Friday, and SustainabiliME (a new southwest Michigan podcast) are all on my list. Happy listening!