07-06-2017 Outdoors


The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fishing report this week said that all the rivers in east-central Michigan were flooded, unfishable and dangerous for boat and shore anglers.  Most rivers in the state experienced higher water levels, stronger currents and floating debris after all the rain over the last few weeks.  Anglers should avoid the rivers until the water levels recede.  Prolonged rainfall in the Upper Peninsula has left several rivers and creeks with higher water levels.

If you have been wanting to fish Lake Michigan but you aren’t sure when or where to go, you might want to check out the DNR’s new “Roadmap to Fishing Lake Michigan.”  It is located on the DNR website.

Michigan is the Great Lakes State and whether you own a boat, plan to own one someday, or you simply tag along with family and friends, the DNR would like your input.  The online boating survey will help the DNR make decisions about amenities in Michigan’s public boat launches and harbors.

Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reports that fishing was slow on Lake Michigan for salmon and steelhead.  Trout were biting good and being caught in 100 to 150 feet of water.  Pier fishing was slow with a few fish being caught.  A few perch were found in 40 feet of water. They were small.  Inland fishing was doing well with bluegill and bass action on Bear, Duck, and Eagle lakes.  Anglers on Swan Lake were getting some good crappie action.

Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reported a super busy weekend with the entire area running out of minnows.  They got calls from South Haven, Kalamazoo and St. Joseph looking for minnows.  Bass and crappie are biting well with pan fish just as anxious to be caught.

Few boats have made it out onto Lake Michigan from St. Joseph, but those that did caught a few coho and lake trout on spoons in 120 and deeper.  Very few perch anglers have made it out on the lake.  Pier anglers in St. Joseph have caught a light number of steelhead when floating shrimp under a bobber.  Lots of freshwater drum was caught on crawlers.

Large numbers of Skamania were moving in the St. Joseph River through the Berrien Springs Ladder. Walleye fishing has slowed, but there are some being caught by those trolling small crank baits, especially between the I-94 bridge and the big lake.

The Michigan DNR announced environmental DNA (eDNA) sample results from the St. Joseph and Kalamazoo rivers show no signs of invasive silver and bighead carp.  According to DNR fisheries biologist Nick Popoff, none of the 260 eDNA samples collected May 1 and analyzed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service indicated the presence of genetic material.

Concern about the possibility of invasive silver or bighead carp reaching Michigan’s waters was heightened by the June 22 capture of an 8-pound, 27-inch-long silver carp in the Illinois waterway.  The fish was netted by a commercial fisher participating in a scheduled Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee monitoring event.  The carp was caught just nine miles from Lake Michigan, some 27 miles beyond the electric barrier system meant to keep the fish from entering the Great Lakes.

Everyone out on the water is being reminded by the DNR to keep an eye out for unusual fish and report potential invasive carp sightings to www.michigan.gov/invasivecarp.


The DNR reminds hunters that the fall turkey hunting application period opened Saturday, July 1 and applications will be available through August 1.  The application fee is $5.00 and applications and licenses may be purchased at any authorized license agent or online at www.mdnr-elicense.com.

The 2017 fall turkey season runs from September 15 to November 14.  A total of 51,350 licenses are available, including 4,650 general licenses and 46,700 private-land licenses.  Drawing results and leftover license availability will be posted at www.michigan.gov/turkey August 14.  You can also find additional information about the hunt at this website.

The Michigan DNR has confirmed the presence of a cougar, also referred to as a mountain lion, in Bath Township, Clinton County.  This is the first time the presence of a cougar has been verified by the DNR in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

The DNR encourages citizens to submit pictures of possible sightings for verification.  Observations should be reported at www.michigan.gov/eyesinthefield.  If you find physical evidence of a cougar such as scat, tracks or a carcass, do not disturb the area and keep the physical evidence intact.  Please include any photos with your report.

The odds of encountering a cougar in the wild are very small and attacks on humans are extremely rare.  Should you encounter a cougar:

Face the animal, stand tall, wave your arms and talk in a loud voice.

Never run from a cougar or other large carnivore.  If children are present, pick them up so they cannot run.

Do not crouch or get on all fours.

If attacked, fight back with whatever is available.  DO NOT play dead.

Report the encounter to local authorities and the DNR as soon as possible.

To learn more about cougars, visit www.michigan.gov/cougars.

Coloma Rod & Gun Club

The Coloma Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW Class on July 8.  The class is taught by a certified NRA and RSO instructor and the cost of the class is $100.00.  For more information or to be put on the list, call 269-621-3370.

Watervliet Rod & Gun Club

The Watervliet Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW classes on July 13 and 15.  Registration is on July 11 between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m.  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.

Many times, our pond study specimens are rather shy as they sit in our collecting trays. The fingernail clam, however, was quite the showoff.

Fingernail clams are mollusks with two shells; they are also known as bivalves. The name is a good indication of their size and color. The adults, with their little pink or grayish shells, are the smallest of the bivalves. Ironically, their eggs and juveniles are the largest.

The pale tissue protruding from the shell is the clam’s foot. It is used to push the clam along the substrate or into the substrate for feeding. Clams are excellent burrowers and this habit allows them to survive drought periods as long as several months.

Two tube-like siphons form a feeding tube for the clam. Tiny hairs with the structure called cilia beat together to create a current that moves water into the tube. Minute pieces of food are absorbed into the tissues and the stream moves out the opposite siphon.

The tiny clams can travel long distances to new homes by attaching themselves to animals such as adult aquatic insects, salamanders and water birds. Occasionally a duck’s stomach becomes the mode of transportation. The clam travels, alive and undigested, until the duck relieves itself.

Visit sarett.com for more information on activities at Sarett Nature Center.


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