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07-09-2020 Outdoors

Wow! It’s hot! It can’t walk away, seek shade or take a dip in the lake. So, what’s a plant to do to deal with the high temperatures? First, the food factory, also known as photosynthesis, is temporarily shut down. The leaf’s ability to absorb and use carbon dioxide to produce food is inhibited when temperatures rise. This stopping of photosynthesis is why the application of weed killer during a heat wave is useless. Another strategy called transpiration cooling reduces the amount of water available for photosynthesis. Absorbed water is used to “soak up” heat and is released as water vapor through the leaf openings (the stomata). Continued high temperatures will cause the plant to quickly finish its “job” which is the production of the next generation. The early maturation usually means a smaller yield of a desired crop for us. So maybe more, but smaller, tomatoes. Looking for something fun for your child to do at your own home this summer? Pre-order our new Nature Discovery Kits for children ages 4-7 and 8 and over filled with fun activities, DIY crafts, videos, books and more to engage in nature at home! Go to to learn more and order these kits prepared by Sarett Naturalists today. Individual kits are available and you can also buy a subscription to be mailed or picked up for the remaining five weeks.

Fishing With extremely hot weather last and this week, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported that anglers may witness a fish kill, which can occur naturally in lakes and streams during periods of hot weather. It is not unusual to see dead or dying fish when this happens. High temperatures and low dissolved oxygen levels combined cause stress on fish. Most prone to summer kills are pike, perch, suckers, bass and bluegill living in shallow, productive lakes or bays with excessive amounts of algae or rooted aquatic vegetation. The plants consume large amounts of oxygen at night, causing a temporary shortage just before dawn. A cloudy calm day extends the critical period by reducing reoxygenation from photosynthesis and wave action. Fish in oxygen-depleted areas do not sense the danger and therefore do not swim to deeper water. Boat anglers are beginning to catch perch along Lake Michigan. New Buffalo and St. Joseph was enjoying good perch fishing in 30 to 45 feet and in St. Joseph, most were fishing south of the piers. South Haven perch anglers caught decent numbers straight out and south of the piers in 30 feet of water. In Holland, perch fishing was very slow. A few lake trout were caught in 120 feet by St. Joseph. In South Haven they were being caught on the bottom at 100 feet. Good lake trout action on the bottom was seen in Holland where they were using yellow or green spin-glo’s. Salmon fishing was slow by St. Joseph and South Haven. At Holland the salmon and steelhead action picked up slightly. Orange, green and blue spoons worked the best and green meat rigs brought in a few salmon. Pier fishing along Lake Michigan was a mixed bag with anglers taking in freshwater drum and a few steelhead casting silver spoons. South Haven also had freshwater drum caught up into the Black River. The Kalamazoo River anglers were catching catfish on cut bait and walleye were hitting on jigs and body baits. Avid catch-and-release anglers who enjoy taking photos of their fish caught before releasing them, should follow these steps to ensure the fish can live to be caught another day: Wet your hands before you handle the fish; that way you won’t remove any of the protective mucus (or slime) that coats the fish’s body. Fish can’t breathe out of water and 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, so if it squirms out of your hands it will land in the water and not on a hard surface. While holding the fish, do not pinch or squeeze it and do not stick your fingers in its gills. Be mindful of the different kinds of fish that have teeth and/or spines that could stick you. Because of new COVID-19 operational procedures and protocols related to large-scale events, the 2020 Chicago to Mackinac Race has been canceled and the 2020 Bayview Mackinac Race was moved. That means a number of harbor slip reservations will open at Mackinac Island State Harbor for July 12-14 and July 19-21. REMINDER: Due to high water levels, the harbor’s electrical service is unavailable this season. Water and modern restroom facilities are available. No generators are allowed. Hunting Fall turkey application period is open now through August 1. The fall turkey season plays an important role in managing turkeys. This hunt stabilizes and reduces wild turkey numbers in certain areas of the state to meet local goals. To find the map of turkey management units and license quotas, see the Fall Turkey Digest at Turkey. Check out Turkey Tracts for a place to hunt. These public land areas provide excellent turkey habitat and accessibility for all hunters. Michigan’s wild turkey patch program is coordinated by the Michigan chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, in partnership with the DNR. Young hunters, up to 17 years of age, who have a valid wild turkey hunting license may receive a free patch. Adult hunters, collectors and other interested individuals may purchase the patch for $5.00, including postage and handling. Only the current-year patch is available for purchase. A turkey does not need to be harvested to purchase a patch. Purchase a 2020 turkey patch at Check results online or call 517-284-9453 to learn who was successful for the 2020 bear and elk hunt drawings. There were 7,080 bear licenses and 260 elk licenses available for the 2020 fall hunting seasons. For anyone who was successful and cannot use their license they can transfer or donate their success to an unsuccessful youth applicant or any person with an advanced illness. Transfer forms and other information are available at Transfers.


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