Fishing The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) warns anglers they need to be aware of higher than normal water levels around the state. Caution needs to be used on the lakes which may have hidden hazards and the rivers due to strong currents and floating debris. The DNR said we have gone from cold water temperatures to warm water with the heat wave. While bluegills were on the beds to the north, they were moving to deeper water in the southern sections of the state. Bass and walleyes were also moving to deeper water. Those heading out on the rivers will definitely want to bring the bug spray. Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Big Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reported excellent fishing all last week in the surrounding area. Little Paw Paw Lake was producing some nice crappie on wax worms and minnows. Bass fishing is good on both lakes and a new “biggest” fish is up on the board in the shop. Walleye fishing has been very good and the fish are biting on night crawler harnesses and leaches. Best time to target them is in the warm early evening hours, trolling in 20 feet by the drop off. River fishing was quiet. Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reported mostly lake trout have been caught on Lake Michigan. They are on the bottom in 80 to 110 feet of water. Occasionally a coho was taken in the same areas at 40 to 70 feet down the water column. Pier anglers did well with catching lots of freshwater drum when casting spoons. Perch fishing had been doing well until the water turned over last Sunday. As the sand settles perch fishing should improve again. Inland lakes in the area are doing well, with bluegill in 10 to 15 feet of water, on the bottom. Eagle Lake had been very generous to anglers. By St. Joseph they had very good perch fishing in 35 feet, both north and south of the piers. Salmon fishing slowed but fish were found southwest of the piers in well past 100 feet of water. Pier anglers caught catfish and freshwater drum with a crawler on the bottom. In Grand Haven the high water continues to cover the Harbor Island boat launch parking lot. Boat anglers caught a mix of trout and salmon 40 to 80 feet down in 90 to 160 feet with orange and blue spoons. The DNR fishing tip this week is how to know if you’ve found an invasive species. An invasive species is one that is not native and whose introduction causes harm or is likely to cause harm to Michigan’s economy, environment or human health. Think you’ve found an invasive species? Familiarize yourself with potential invasive species threats to Michigan by visiting Michigan.gov/invasive and click on the species profiles and reporting information box. Once there you can search for species of plants, insects, diseases, mollusks, fish, mammals, birds or crustaceans and learn about Watch List versus Non-Watch List species. You can also learn how to identify invasive species and how to report it if you think you found one. Recent weather conditions have led to record-high water levels on lakes, rivers and streams, creating heightened safety hazards and potential property damage along shorelines. As water levels continue to increase, it’s important to keep water safety in mind. Speed and no-wake restrictions are in effect for good reasons. Wakes can cause water to overflow onto land or docks, which can lead to property damage, erosion and flooding. Water that overflows onto a dock or marina that has electrical power running to it increases the risk of electric shock drowning. For river safety, be sure and wear your life jacket. Boat sober, and stay in control of your watercraft. Alcohol is the leading known factor of death in recreational boating accidents. And don’t forget Great Lakes beach safety. Rip currents, high waves and other dangerous currents and wave conditions can occur in the Great Lakes. Be aware of the colored flag system used to communicate swim risk levels and read helpful tips about how to escape water currents.
Hunting Hunter reminder… you have now through August 1 to apply for a fall turkey hunting license. Apply online at MDNR-eLicense.com or anywhere licenses are sold. Drawing results will be posted on August 13 at Michigan.gov/Turkey. Apply for an antlerless deer hunting license July 15 through August 15. Apply online at MDNR-eLicense.com or anywhere licenses are sold. You may apply only once. Hunters must choose to apply for either a public-land or private-land license (not both). New for 2019: Additional antlerless harvest opportunities in the Upper Peninsula; antlerless licenses will be available in Deer Management Units 022, 055, 121, 122, 155 and 255. Find more antlerless deer hunting and application information at Michigan.gov/Deer. Drawing results will be posted on September 4. To get hunting application reminders via text message, text “MIDNR HUNTAPP” to 468311. You’ll get a reminder the day applications go on sale, midway through the application period and the last day they’re available. You’ll also get a text when application results have been posted.
Coloma Rod & Gun Club
The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CPL Class on Saturday, July 13, 2019. The class is taught by a certified NRA and RSO instructor and the cost of the class is $105. For more information on the CPL class or Hunter Safety Class, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watervliet Rod & Gun Club
The Watervliet Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW classes on July 18 and 20, 2019. Registration is on July 16, 2019, between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. and cost of the class is $100.00. 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.
County Museum schedules events
The Van Buren County Historical Museum at 58471 Red Arrow Highway is hosting their famous 2 p.m. Sunday Speakers for July and August. The schedule is as follows: July 14 – VBC Railroads speaker Jerry Kerns; July 21 – World War 1 speaker Steve Rossiio; and August 11 – VBC Police Agencies speaker Tyler Sleep. They also have some other fun events coming up such as Salad and Dessert Supper at the museum on Friday, July 26 from 4:30-7 p.m. (free will donation). And once again their very fun Murder Mystery will be on Sunday, August 25. Clues will be given out all day. Call 269-621-2188 Wed., Fri., or Sunday for more information, noon to 5. Admission is $5 for 12 and up, $2 for 5-11.
Visitors of Sarett’s wetlands in July experience some of the best and worst the habitat has to offer. High humidity and hot temperatures greet hikers when they trek down to our wetland trails, which are part of the Paw Paw River valley. While these conditions can scare away many a human, it creates the perfect recipe for butterflies. Butterfly chrysalises develop quicker when there are continuous hot and humid days. A quick walk on the River Trail last week proved plentiful, seeing monarch, eyed brown, Baltimore checkerspot, azures, and many other species flitting around the wetlands either looking for flowers to feed from or other butterflies for mating. If you’re lucky, during July, you might even get a glimpse of the rare federally endangered Mitchell’s satyr butterfly. Sarett provides crucial habitat in the wetland fens for the Mitchell’s satyr, which only flies for about two weeks a year. If you don’t want to brave the heat of the wetland, consider visiting Sarett’s netted butterfly house, full of many North American species such as the giant swallowtail, zebra longwing, common buckeye, monarch, white peacock and more! Visit during regular Nature Center hours until September for $6 per adult and $2 per child to see hundreds of butterflies in one setting. Remember the Butterfly House is netted, so visit on sunny days when the butterflies are active.