Fishing The large and smallmouth bass opener last Saturday, (June 16), on Lake St. Clair, St. Clair River and the Detroit River found anglers doing very well. The catch-and-release season had been really good, which was a good indicator of the opener would be like. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) gave a few tips on how to take great catch-and-release photos. Wet your hands before you handle the fish, that way you won’t remove any of the protective mucus the fish has coating their body. Remember a fish cannot breathe out of water, so they will become uncomfortable rather quickly. Keep the fish in the water until your camera is ready to take the shot. Take the photo with the fish fairly close to the water, that way if it squirms out of your hands it will land in the water not on a hard surface. While holding the fish do not pinch or squeeze it and do not stick your fingers in the gills. Be mindful of the different kinds of fish that have teeth and/or spines that could injure you. Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reports the fishing has slowed down, but they are still getting lake trout, a few king salmon and a steelhead now and then. They are fishing in 80-120 feet of water, with the lake trout on the bottom. Anglers are catching them with Laker Takers. Pier fishing was slow, but a few Skamania steelheads have been taken on shrimp under a bobber. Freshwater drum were caught on small tube jigs. A few perch were caught earlier last week, but not many. Black River and the Kalamazoo River are producing catfish, smallmouth bass and by the Allegan Dam a few walleye. All inland lakes in the area are producing panfish. The Ellinee Bait & Tackle shop on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reports fishing has been good on the inland lakes of the area. Crappie is in deeper water now and most of the bluegill is through bedding and heading to deeper water. Pike and walleye seem to be slow right now, but bass both large and smallmouth are pretty active. Boat anglers going out of St. Joseph, targeting salmon, reported slower fishing but some decent size Chinook were caught in 120 feet or more. The most consistent fishing was found around 100 feet. Coho and lake trout were also caught. Pier anglers caught steelhead on shrimp, but the action was slow. Catfish are hitting on stink baits and freshwater drum were caught on spoons. The DNR confirmed the catch of a new state record black buffalo on June 12. The fish, a member of the sucker family, was caught by Brandonn Kramer of Muskegon on Friday, May 25 on the Grand River in Ottawa County. Assistance was provided by Kramer’s friend and fishing cohort, Shawn Grawbarger also of Muskegon. The fish weighed 46.54 pounds and measured 39.75 inches. Kramer was bow fishing when he landed the record fish. Michigan’s historic effort to reintroduce Arctic grayling to the state’s waters will be supported by a $5,000 grant from the Oleson Foundation to the DNR. The anticipated cost to reintroduce Arctic grayling is expected at around $1.1 million, with virtually all of that amount being supplied through private and foundation support. To date, nearly $425,000 has been raised for the initiative. For more information about Michigan’s Arctic grayling initiative and answers to frequently asked questions, visit MiGrayling.org.
Hunting The DNR Wildlife Division officials said the state’s wolf population has remained relatively stable over the past four wolf surveys, the most recent of which occurred this past winter. The DNR wildlife biologists estimate there was a minimum of 662 wolves found among 130 packs across the Upper Peninsula this past winter. The 2016 minimum population estimate was 618 wolves. Fifteen more wolf packs were found during this past winter’s survey than in 2016, but pack size has decreased slightly and now averages less than five wolves. Wolves in Michigan remain a federally protected species which may only be killed legally in defense of human life. The DNR reminds the public that your actions can affect bear movement. “Bear, like other wildlife, are smart and make finding food their job,” said DNR bear specialist Kevin Swanson. “If they come across an easy and reliable meal like a bird feeder, they will take advantage of it and will likely return for more.” Bear can be found in more than half of Michigan, with an estimated population of over 12,000 adult bears (2,000 in the northern Lower Peninsula and 10,000 in the Upper Peninsula). For your safety, never intentionally feed a bear – it is in your, as well as your neighbors’ and the bear’s best interest. It is critical that bears retain their natural fear of humans. Learn more about Allegan State Game Area at the June 26 open house to be held at the headquarters, located at 4590 118th Avenue in Allegan. The open house will run from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. For more information call Maria Albright at 269-673-2430.
Watervliet Rod & Gun Club The Watervliet Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW classes on June 21 and June 23, 2018. The 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.
Fishing Rodeo in Hartford for kids on Saturday The annual “Fishing Rodeo” held at the Van Buren Sportsmen’s Club in Hartford is this Saturday, June 23 beginning at 1 p.m. This event is for kids age 16 and under. The club is located at 54030 CR 687. Bring fishing pole, tackle and bucket. Bait will be supplied. Also, there will be hotdogs, chips, pop and water for the kids along with prizes. Girls on the Run SW Michigan launches new camp program For more than 10 years, Girls on the Run Southwest Michigan has provided life-changing after-school programming to girls ages 8-13. Today, the organization—whose evidence-based curricula is known for being both fun and effective—is announcing a new program designed to be offered during school breaks called Camp GOTR. Launching in summer 2018, Camp GOTR by Girls on the Run will provide a one-of-a-kind opportunity for girls to develop self-confidence and learn life skills they can use now and as they grow. Girls will enjoy building friendships in an exciting and inclusive setting that includes interactive games, being physically active, and expressing creativity through arts and crafts and storytelling. Led by caring and qualified Girls on the Run coaches, this week-long camp combines the best of the Girls on the Run program with all the fun of camp. Camp GOTR is open to 3rd – 5th grade girls and will be offered as follows: July 16–20, noon – 4:00 p.m. at the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph YMCA, St. Joseph and August 6-10, 8:00 a.m. – noon at the Bronson Wellness Center, South Haven. For more information on how to register as a volunteer or participant, please visit www.gotrswmi.org.
June is the month to see the evidence of spittlebugs. Children are most likely to notice these creatures as the perching spots are at a child’s eye level. They may ask why somebody spit on the plants as they view a tiny pile of bubbles. Spittlebugs are the nymph stage of an insect that looks like a leafhopper as an adult. They hang onto a plant, usually a tall grass, upside down and feed on the plant’s sap. Extra sap, which is excreted through the abdomen, drips over tiny hooks that cause the sap to form bubbles. This froth covers the entire insect in a protective slimy coating. Insect predators aren’t too keen on rummaging through slime to find a meal. Scientists also think the spittle helps to keep the nymph from drying out. After a few weeks, a small brown adult insect will crawl out of the spittle. The adult will continue to feed on plant sap but does not produce the protective spittle cover. Visit on Thursday, June 21 at 3:00 p.m. and meet with the weekly wildlife ambassador. Admission is $5 for adults, kids are free. Join Ron Dudek on Sunday, June 24 at 3:00 p.m. for an in-depth look at the fantastic lives of butterflies followed by a visit to the Butterfly House. Admission is $7 for adults, $3 for children.