Fishing The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported the wind and rain across the state made fishing difficult last week, especially on the Great Lakes. Walleye were found in deeper water in Saginaw Bay and Lake Erie. The pike and muskie bite has picked up and the inland lakes continue to produce panfish, bass, pike, catfish, bowfin and some walleye. Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reported good fishing on Lake Michigan. The bite was a little slow, but in 80 to 150 feet they were catching lake trout on the bottom, steelhead and a few king salmon. Perch fishing was slow but should get better as the water has turned. Perch were being caught in 25 to 35 feet south of the piers. Anglers were catching a few Skamania using shrimp off the pier in South Haven. They also caught some freshwater drum on alewife or small jigs. The Black River anglers caught a couple of walleye and both the Kalamazoo River and St. Joseph River are giving up smallmouth bass and walleye. Inland lakes are producing nice bluegills, but you have to fish deep on the bottom to get them. Duck Lake and Eagle Lake have been good. Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reported good panfishing on all the local lakes. Bluegills are in deep water because of the warm water. Fishing early morning and late evening a lot of fish come to the shallows to feed and you might find them there at that time of day. Boat anglers going out of St. Joseph last week reported slow salmon fishing. Lake trout were caught in 80 feet and a couple of steelhead was caught around the pierheads. Pier anglers floating shrimp under a bobber also caught steelhead. Lots of freshwater drum were caught on alewife, fishing on the bottom. Perch fishing was slow. This week’s DNR fishing tip is a list of great places around Michigan to target muskellunge. Many anglers that target muskellunge would place the four water bodies listed on their lists of top spots to visit. Tahquamenon River in Luce County from below Tahquamenon Falls all the way to Lake Superior produces great muskie fishing. Thornapple Lake in Barry County, muskies can be found on the east or west ends of the lake. Please note there is a 50-inch minimum size limit on the lake. Skegemog Lake in Kalkaska County, a good spot to focus here is the edges of a deep hole that’s off the entrance to Elk Lake. Lake St. Clair in St. Clair County, lots of inlets and outlets on this lake provide ideal conditions for muskies. If you harvest a muskellunge, don’t forget you have 24 hours to register it. This action is required and can be done online at www.michigan.gov/registerfish, toll-free by calling 844-345-3474, or in person at any DNR Customer Service Center during normal state business hours with advanced notice of arrival. Take an Adult Fishing Day is this Saturday, August 4. Kids can initiate their next fishing trip by finding their gear, locating a place to fish nearby by searching through the Family Friendly Fishing Waters website, and asking an adult to go. Plan to head out Saturday, August 4 and share your picture with Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources using the hashtag #TakeAnAdultFishing. DNR conservation officers seized more than 2,000 pounds of live, illegal red swamp crayfish – the largest aquatic invasive species seizure by the Michigan DNR. Red swamp crayfish are prohibited in both Michigan and Canada. They burrow and create shoreline erosion, creating instability. Additionally, they compete with native crayfish, reducing the amount of food and habitat available for amphibians, invertebrates and juvenile fish. Native in southeast states of the U.S., red swamp crayfish are the most widespread invasive crayfish in the world, and often are used in classrooms as teaching tools and at food festivities such as crayfish boils. Any possession of live red swamp crayfish in Michigan is illegal. The DNR is working to increase awareness and reporting of the illegal crayfish, in addition to removing infestations from confirmed locations.
HITTING THE MARK… On June 24, 2018, the Berrien County Straight Shooters Club of Watervliet Rod & Gun traveled to the Paw Paw Conservation Club to shoot 3-D targets, archery targets, .22 targets and trap. They enjoyed good times, good food, good friends, and great facilities! Pictured (from the left) are Marissa Lowell, Instructor Julie Holtsclaw, Morgan Lowell, Instructor Keith Krieger, Maggie Avery, and Maddie Swisher.
Hunting The 23rd annual Saginaw Bay Waterfowl Festival is set for August 4-5 at Bay City State Park’s Saginaw Bay Visitor Center. Festival activities run 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The weekend’s festivities include: a hunting and outdoor recreation expo; the Michigan Duck and Goose Calling Contest; a duck-calling clinic; a wildlife arts and crafts show and a wildlife carving show; and the 2019 Michigan Duck Stamp Competition. The festival also offers a variety of other family-friendly activities. For more information, visit friendsofpark.org/waterfowl-festival=2019.html or call 989-667-0717. Preseason planning for your fall bird hunt can really pay off. You can find tools to get started on planning your fall bird hunting trip right on your mobile device. GEMS and Mi-HUNT are two DNR-developed programs to help you build a public-land hunting itinerary.
Nineteen GEMS (Grouse Enhanced Management Sites) in the northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula will be available to explore this fall. GEMS are large blocks of land managed for young forests, with winding hunter walking trails that provide added comfort to those unfamiliar with an area or those with mobility challenges. Mi-HUNT is another option for hunters who already know the general area they’d like to hunt but want specific stand and road information. For more information contact Katie Keen at 989-385-0338.
Coloma Rod & Gun Club The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW Class on Saturday, August 11, 2018. Class registration is held on Sunday, August 5 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The class is taught by a certified NRA and RSO instructor and the cost of the class is $100. For more information or to be put on the list, please call (269) 621-3370.
Butterflies are laying eggs like crazy. Females search for, inspect and evaluate possible egg-laying sites. Scientists believe that the butterflies can visually recognize the general leaf shape of their target plants. They then drum on the leaf with their front feet. The chemoreceptors located there “taste” the tiny bit of fluid that oozes out of the leaf. Some will also use their proboscises (mouth parts). The correct taste results in egg deposition. Usually, some species can recognize the presence of egg-clusters previously placed by another female. If possible, they will avoid the site and continue to an egg-free host plant. A few species ensure their offspring get the plant to themselves by combining an oviposition-deterring pheromone with the eggs. The eggs’ protective hard shell is formed inside the female before fertilization takes place. Each egg has tiny funnel-shaped openings at one end called micropiles. After the male has delivered his sperm-filled spermatophore during the mating process, the sperm enter the eggs through the micropiles. Meet some of Sarett’s animal ambassadors today, August 2 or August 9 at 3:00 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults; children are free. Sarett naturalists will be at the St. Joseph Days in Niles on August 4 and 5 with the voyageur canoes from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Experience paddling the large canoe and learn some Michigan history.