08-01-2019 Outdoors

Fishing More anglers across the state are heading out with the cooler temperatures the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported. Water levels are still up in many locations around the state however the rivers should start to recede by the weekend. The DNR reminds all anglers 17 years of age and older, they are required to have a fishing license. Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reports that the Lake Michigan fishing is going well with plenty of lake trout being taken off the bottom in 80 to 120 feet of water. An occasional steelhead was also caught at 40 to 60 feet in the water column. Perch fishing was light in 28 feet of water, south of the piers in South Haven. Pier fishing was slow for all species, but an occasional Skamania (summer steelhead) were caught using alewife and shrimp. Duck Lake and Eagle Lake were the busiest for bluegills in the area. Ellinee Bait and Tackle on Big Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reported visiting families are keeping busy catching panfish and the occasional nice bass off the local docks. With nice weather, the big lake is busy with boating traffic, which is usual for the summer. Locals are going out in the early evenings when it quiets down to target walleye. They have been doing well with minnows, but also spoons and Texas rigs, and they are fishing deep. Going out of St. Joseph the weather hampered salmon fishing last week, with very few boats making it out. Pier anglers caught steelhead and catfish by St. Joseph. Most anglers fished shrimp on the bottom. Yellow perch were caught in 30 feet of water and fishing was good both north and south of the piers. By Grand Haven good numbers of lake trout continue to be caught on the bottom in 100 to 160 feet with green or yellow spin-glo. The occasional salmon was taken 30 to 60 feet down with spoons and flies. Steelhead action on the piers by Grand Haven is slow. CAUTION – Water continues to cover most of the Harbor Island launch parking lot. Saturday, August 3 is the third annual Take an Adult Fishing Day in Michigan. On that day the DNR will ask anybody who takes an adult fishing to share their picture with them using the hashtag #TakeAnAdultFishing. They will randomly select a few winners to receive a fishing gear prize. Kids can initiate their next fishing trip by finding their gear, locating a place to fish and asking an adult to go with them. Maybe they would like to locate a spot nearby by searching through the Family Friendly Fishing Waters website or visit one of several state parks or visitor centers that offer instruction on how to fish through the Hook, Line and Sinker program.

Hunting The DNR states that successful hunters are safe hunters. Hunting is a time-honored Michigan tradition. The responsibility for continuing that tradition into the future begins with you. Successful hunters agree that the lasting fun of hunting comes only when it is done safely and responsibly. Hunter education courses teach new hunters firearm safety, responsibility, ethics, wildlife conservation and identification, game care, survival and first aid. Courses are available through the Department of Natural Resources, in a traditional classroom setting and as a self-paced, online course (with one required field day). Locate and register for a hunter safety course nearby at Michigan.gov/RecreationalSafety. Also check the Coloma and Watervliet Rod and Gun clubs for future classes. Dangerous high-water conditions and strong currents in the Sable River outlet into Lake Michigan have prompted the Michigan DNR to close the outlet to swimming. The outlet area is not part of Ludington State Park’s designated beach area, but access normally is not prohibited. Kasey Mahony, Cadillac district supervisor for the DNR said that, “If you’re in the designated swim areas, it’s easier to be mindful of the beach safety flags and any new warnings. We strongly encourage anyone who insists on swimming in non-designated areas to still take the time to check the flag status in the designated areas.” The flag warning system colors and conditions include: Green = Fair. Enter the water but stay aware of changing conditions; Yellow = Caution. Watch for dangerous currents and high waves; Red = Stop. Do not enter the water and do not swim. Mahony said that recent conditions make it even more important for people to take extra precautions while swimming, tubing or boating. Even when swimmers are in an area they have visited for years, the recent high waters like this area has been experiencing can completely change the landscape, the water currents, everything. For more information about the beach flag warning system and the types of water currents swimmers are likely to experience in the Great Lakes, visit Michigan.gov/BeachSafety.

Coloma Rod & Gun Club The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CPL Class on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. Class registration is held on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. 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 email inquiry@colomarodandgunclub.com. A DNR approved Hunter Safety Course is being offered including archery with Tom Fogarty. It is important for hunters to know their gun and/ or bow, know their responsibilities, and their way around the woods. Pre-registration is taking place Sunday, Aug. 4, 8:30-11:30 a.m. and the 2-day course is on Saturday, August 24 and Saturday, September 7 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call Tom Foharty at 269-325-8065. Coloma Rod and Gun Club is located at 6145 Angling Road. The Coloma Rod & Gun Club is holding a BBQ to raise funds for a new playground at the club. The BBQ is being held on Saturday, September 21 from 5 – 8 p.m. There will be kids games, marshmallows and a bonfire beginning at 8 p.m. The meal includes a choice of pulled pork or chicken along with two sides, rolls, dessert and drink. Tickets are $15 per person and will be available at the club’s booth during Coloma Glad-Peach Festival. They can also be purchased at the club or by calling 269-944-6464. Tickets need to be purchased in advance. Children 5 and under eat for free.

New disc golf club at Flaherty Park Railhead disc golf club meets at Flaherty Park in Watervliet every Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. Currently, it has 32 members and gives out prizes and ace pool money when someone gets a hole in one. So far two people have won the ace pool this season. The club, with the help of Tyler Dotson, Watervliet city manager, has made the course better than ever.

The sight of a necrophagous bird feasting on its roadkill meal repulses many people. However, these scavengers, particularly turkey vultures, are important “germ cleansers.” When they eat animals that died from a bacterial or viral infection, they prevent those microbes from spreading. Studies have proven that their droppings and dry pellets (like owl pellets) have no sign of disease. So why don’t the vultures get sick? A vulture’s stomach juices are so acidic that they destroy most pathogens. They are 10 to 100 times more acidic than human stomach juices. However, some hardy microbes can survive in this environment. Fortunately, vultures have what has been described as the “strongest immune system among vertebrates.” Blood tests have shown that vultures have very high amounts of antibodies against salmonella and botulinum toxins. Biologists aren’t sure if this is a genetic trait or if young birds develop the immunity after ingesting small amounts of infected food throughout their “childhood.” Next time you see a vulture, thank it for reducing the germ count! Go back in time with our naturalists to experience what it was like for the Voyageurs to canoe up and down the St. Joseph River this Saturday, Aug. 3 and Sunday, Aug. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event is located in Niles, at the Fort Street boat launch and Fort St. Joseph archeological site.

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