07-13-2017 Outdoors

Fishing

If you have a young person in your life that loves to go fishing, encourage them to plan an outing on Saturday, August 5 for the first-ever Take an Adult Fishing Day in Michigan! Let them coordinate the trip by finding the necessary gear, locating a place to fish, and asking an adult to go with them.

The DNR would like to ask anybody who takes an adult fishing to share their picture with them using the hash tag #TakeAnAdultFishing. The DNR will randomly select a few winners to receive a fishing gear prize.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reports that while the mayfly hatches have slowed fishing in some areas; anglers were doing better as the water temperatures continue to warm. Walleye fishing in Saginaw Bay and southeast Michigan has been very good with limit catches reported.

Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reports that fishing has slowed down some, but that the pan fish such as bluegills, crappie and sunfish are still biting well on wax worms, red worms, and night crawlers.

Out of South Haven anglers on Lake Michigan found the salmon fishing was inconsistent.  A few fish were caught on spoons in 120 feet of water.  Spoon’s that had some yellow on them seemed to work the best with the fish. A few perch were caught in 30 feet of water. Pier fishing was slow with the odd steelhead caught now and then, but the water temperatures are warming up.

Anglers going out on Lake Michigan from St. Joseph found salmon fishing was spotty with only a few fish taken in 70 to 120 feet of water, or deeper. Most fish were caught on blue or green magnum spoons. A few perch were caught in 50 feet or so of water, but rough water has made it difficult for anglers to get out.

Pier fishing in St. Joseph has slowed down as water temperatures warmed up. In the St. Joseph River large numbers of steelhead continue to move through the Berrien Springs fish ladder.

The DNR reminds anglers that fishing with family and friends is a great way to spend time together. Taking your catch home and making a meal out of it, makes it that much more special. The DNR invites you to check out their How to Clean & Care for Your Catch video to learn the simple steps to properly clean and care for your catch.

Hunting

The DNR’s Outdoor Skills Academy will offer three bear hunting clinics at the Carl T. Johnson Hunt and Fish Center in Cadillac on Saturday, July 29, Saturday, August 5 and Sunday, August 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Students will learn the ins and outs of bear hunting with experienced hunters and DNR educators. The class will cover habitat, gear, stand placement, baiting, rules and regulations, carcass care and hide care. Participants will spend time in the classroom and then hit the trail to learn in the woods how to place a stand and bait.

Registration is required and the fee for the class is $30. This includes the clinic, door prizes donated by the Michigan Bear Hunters Association, and Michigan DNR bear patch and lunch. For more information and to register, contact Ed Shaw at 231-779-1321.

The DNR will highlight the wonders of Michigan’s mammals during Mammals Week July 10-18 in a handful of Michigan state parks. The family-friendly programs are free for campers and visitors. The annual program provides a fun and educational experience during the week, with hands-on programs that will take place in 31 Michigan state parks. They will feature hikes, animal tracking programs, games and much more. To find a program in your favorite park, visit www.michigan.gov/natureprograms and click on the link “Michigan Mammals Week” under special programs and activities.

The Michigan Duck Hunters Association, in cooperation with the DNR introduced the 2017 collector’s edition Michigan duck stamp and prints. The 2017 Michigan duck stamp features a striking pair of northern shovelers, painted by Guy Crittenden, from Richmond, Virginia.

To learn more about the Michigan Waterfowl Stamp Program and supporting conservation efforts in Michigan through the purchase of limited-edition signed and numbered prints and collector’s edition stamps, visit www.michigan.gov/waterfowl.

Stewardship volunteers are needed in Southwest Michigan state parks.  Dates and locations listed below:

Saturday, July 15 at Saugatuck Dunes State Park (Allegan); Sunday, July 16 at Muskegon State Park (Muskegon); Saturday, July 22 at Grand Mere State Park (Berrien); Saturday, July 29 at P.J. Hoffmaster State Park (Muskegon)

For more information on park stewardship volunteer opportunities, contact Heidi Frei at 517-302-1360.

Watervliet Rod &

Gun Club

The Watervliet Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW classes on July 13 and 15. 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.

The first week of July allowed for many animal sightings. Among the usual deer, groundhog, raccoon and frog views, I caught a glimpse into the life of a family of red foxes.

Red foxes are usually seen alone, but family groups can be seen together from March to September when mom and even dad take care of the young and teach them survival skills.

Late one evening I viewed two kits and one adult red fox pouncing on something in the grass. Perhaps a rodent or even a grasshopper was on the menu tonight. Red foxes are extremely adaptable and feed on a variety of food. Along with small mammals and ground-nesting birds, red foxes will eat berries, nuts, insects, carrion, snakes, salamanders and crayfish.

Being opportunistic in feeding has helped this species, allowing their range to cover most of the United States and Canada. Red foxes pose no threat to people.

My last sighting of the two kits showed me they aren’t very different than my house cats. The young foxes spent a few minutes grooming each other peacefully on the back porch, watching the sun rise.

Visit the Sarett Butterfly House Sunday, July 16 between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. to enjoy a variety of music from harpist Meg Rodgers. Admission is $6 per adult and $2 per child.

Learn about our live owls and vulture and their adaptations for survival on Thursday, July 20 at 3:00 p.m. Admission is $5 per adult and $1 per child.

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