06-18-2020 Outdoors

On a recent walk to our creek, I saw a flash of iridescent green fly by my head. The black-winged damselfly paused on a branch before continuing on his hunt for small insects to eat. I knew this was a damselfly because his abdomen was quite thin and his wings were over his back, instead of straight out, when he landed on the twig. I knew it was a male because the wings were solid black. If it were a female, it would have a bright white dot at the tip of each wing.

Pause at a pond at this of year and you will see both sexes. The female will be laying eggs on plant stems in the water. Watch her touch the stem multiple times with her abdomen. The male will be perched at the edge of the pond “guarding” the area and the female from other males. If a foe comes too close, the male will spread his wings wide open and raise his abdomen as a “go away” gesture that usually works. Once the egg laying is completed, the pair will part ways. Sarett is selling birdseed online with curbside pickup. Go to www.sarett.org, pay online, and your birdseed will be ready the same day! Call us at (269) 927-4832 to also place an order. We offer mixed seed, sunflower seed, and thistle.

Fishing The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has started to publish a fishing report again. They suggest anyone heading out to fish should do their part to keep them and others safe by following COVID-19 public health and safety guidelines. People should go fishing only if they are feeling well. They should practice proper social distancing, at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live in their household. And everyone should frequently wash their hands with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer. Fishing has picked up, but windy conditions have limited some activity. Remember, all anglers 17 years of age and older are required to have a fishing license. In the southwest Lower Peninsula bluegill bedding is wrapping up in the area; however, there are still fish to be found on the beds. Pumpkinseeds are on the beds, and the bass are post-spawn. Warm weather and spawning stress have resulted in small-scale fish kills throughout the region. Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Big Paw Paw Lake near Coloma reports that fishing on the inland lakes of the area has been really good this past week. Panfish have been plentiful with a lot of bluegills and crappies. Some crappie is still on the beds. Anglers have been catching some nice channel catfish with stink bait and quite a few nice walleye have been caught also. This Father’s Day weekend coming up would be a good time to head on out to a nice weedy spot and target some bass. Bass anglers have been doing quite well. Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reported fishing was good on Lake Michigan. Fishing in 90 to 120 feet of water, some nice lake trout were being taken with Laker-Takers. A few steelheads were caught as well as a couple king salmon and coho. All three fish were biting on spoons and flies. Pier fishing was slow for all species, but as the water cools, the steelhead will start up the river. A few catfish were caught on the St. Joseph River. No perch to speak of yet. On inland lakes in the area anglers have been doing well with bluegills, using worms under a bobber, and catching crappie with Pinkies and Minnie Mites. With higher water levels, boat anglers should always be on the lookout for submerged trees, sticks and other debris when running at high speeds. The DNR fishing tip this week is how to help prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species. Anglers and boaters can do their part to help make sure Michigan’s rivers, lakes and streams are protected against invasive species by following these simple steps: Clean boats, trailers and equipment; drain live wells, bilges and all water; dry boats and equipment; dispose of unwanted bait in the trash. To learn more about how to help, visit Michigan.gov/Invasives. As this year’s open-water fishing season gets underway, anglers at many lakes, rivers and Great Lakes ports may encounter DNR fisheries staff members (Creel Clerks), collecting data about their fishing experiences. “The information we gather from anglers helps us get a clearer picture about fish health, movement and population trends throughout Michigan,” said DNR fisheries biologist Tracy Claramunt. “We really appreciate anglers taking a few minutes to talk with us.” Information about where creel clerks are stationed and the data they collect is available on the DNR website or by calling Tracy Claramunt at 517-282-2887.

Hunting DNR conservation officers in northwest Michigan are seeking information regarding a bear that was illegally shot in Oceana County earlier last week. Anyone with information regarding this poaching incident can call or text the RAP hotline at 800-292-7800, available 24/7. Information can be left anonymously. Monetary rewards are available for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of violators. The female bear was found near the edge of Ruby Creek, located near Riverbend Road, northwest of the Ruby Creek Tavern in Branch Township. When officers arrived, the bear was near the creek trying to get out to her three cubs that had climbed a tree. A wildlife biologist examined the bear and due to a gunshot wound the bear was unable to move its rear legs. It had to be euthanized. Officers estimate the bear was shot last Tuesday or Wednesday, and was found after a call to the DNR’s Report All Poaching hotline on Thursday.

Please share your hunting and fishing trophy pictures with the readers of the Tri-City Record Email to record@tricityrecord.com or call 463-NEWS