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08-13-2020 Outdoors

Fishing Strong north winds caused the waters of Lake Michigan to turn over, bringing much colder water to the Michigan side, which will change up fishing patterns for boat anglers, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported. Pier anglers may find a few more fish in closer to shore. The bite on the inland waters also improved a bit with the cooler weather. Word out of Ellinee Bait & Tackle located on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma was that some nice walleye and bass were being caught. A local walleye angler that has targeted the fish for years has been doing very well trolling and drifting leaches. Bass are biting well on plastic baits and wacky-worms. Panfish, bluegills and crappies have slowed, but are still biting. Catfish are biting on cut bates in both the Paw Paw and St. Joseph rivers. Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reported the fishing on Lake Michigan for all the big fish. Fishing in depths from 80 to 200 feet, lake trout were being taken on the bottom 20 feet on Laker-Takers. Salmon were being taken in the top 60 to 85 feet with a nice mixed catch of king salmon, coho, and steelhead. They were biting on spoons and flies, with greens and blues being the preferred colors. The cooler water brought some steelheads closer to shore and pier anglers were able to catch a few. The Black River by South Haven was producing some nice smallmouth bass and northern pike. Perch fishing has been spotty more than good, but a few were caught earlier. Inland lakes in the area are still producing bluegill and crappie, but they are about 15 to 20 feet down right now. With the waters of Lake Michigan turning over last week, St. Joseph pier anglers were catching steelhead with shrimp under a bobber or when casting spoons. Perch were caught north of the piers in 40 feet. Boat anglers caught good numbers of lake trout and the occasional salmon in 100 feet or more. The St. Joseph River had good walleye action for those drifting crawlers or trolling crankbaits. Anglers are reminded to register muskellunge and lake sturgeon this season within 24 hours – it’s required. They can register two ways: Online at or by calling the new number at 906-287-0816. Fishing for bass at night is the DNR fishing tip this week. With summer in full swing, fish can become quite lethargic. For certain species such as bass, tweaking the time of day to target them helps. Some of the best fishing occurs during the first hour or so after dark. After dark, bass tend to move shallow in search of an easy meal. Target them near the same areas you would during other times of the day while also casting targeting the shallows. Anglers may want to change their technique, though. Since after dark weed line or other underwater structures can’t be seen, fishing subsurface lures is not recommended. It is time for surface presentations. After the cast, an angler should work them aggressively with a jerking motion, making sure they pop and gurgle across the surface of the water during the retrieve, watching and listening for the strike, which can be explosive. For anyone feeling adventurous, they should get on the water at 10 p.m. and fish the shallows for bass until midnight or 1 a.m. The results can be spectacular! Hunting The DNR is seeking input on the 2021 deer regulations. Deer hunting regulations for 2020 were finalized in July, and it is already time to start thinking about those for 2021. Hunters and others interested in deer hunting regulations are invited to attend and give input during two virtual open house events next week. The sessions will be held virtually from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 20 and from 10 a.m. to noon Friday, Aug. 21. The content will be the same at both meetings. Participants will hear from DNR experts about deer population dynamics, disease and harvest and hunter trends. Attendees will be given a look at, and an opportunity to weigh in on the DNR-proposed 2021 deer hunting regulations. The potential changes are meant to simplify deer hunting regulations and remove barriers to participation in deer hunting. Once public input has been gathered, it will be sent to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission for review before the commission votes on the proposed regulations in December. A video recording of the virtual open houses and a survey link will be available at once the sessions have concluded. Hunters can provide feedback on the proposed regulations via the survey through August 28. Second-year results from the multistate West Nile virus in ruffed grouse study show similar results to the previous year, that while the virus is present in the Great Lakes region, grouse exposed to the virus can survive. In coordination with Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin natural resource departments, ruffed grouse hunters provided more than 700 samples for virus exposure and infection analysis. Blood samples were analyzed for antibodies that would indicate if the bird had been exposed to WNV. Heart tissue was tested for the presence of the virus. During the 2019 season, Michigan hunters submitted 281 samples from four study areas in the Upper and northern Lower peninsulas. Of these, 20 tested positive for exposure, with antibodies confirmed in seven birds and likely in 13. Reaction results for 35 samples are still pending. When final results are available, they can be found on the WNV FAQ sheet. Hunters who provided email contact information with their 2019 samples will be notified of their results this fall. Further information on WNV in ruffed grouse can be found on the Michigan DNR’s WNV and Ruffed Grouse FAQ sheet.

I&M conducting aerial inspections Indiana Michigan Power is conducting aerial inspections of its high-voltage lines from a helicopter which began Monday, Aug. 3. The inspections help maintain the reliability of the electric transmission system. The approximate dates for inspections in Southwest Michigan are Aug. 3-15. I&M’s contractor is conducting the inspections from a red-and-white helicopter with the number N-88LH. The aircraft will fly about 50-100 feet above the lines at a speed of 40-45 mph, covering about 350 miles each day. During inspections, the helicopter may need to circle a single structure or area several times to check the condition of electrical equipment.

Most people are familiar with the red, spiky leaves of a Venus flytrap plant. The red color and nectar oozing on the leaves’ edges are irresistible to insects. If, during its explorations, an insect touches special bristly hairs, the leaves snap shut in less than a second. Digestive solutions dissolve the insect over the course of a few days releasing much-needed nutrients for the plant’s survival. What most people haven’t seen is the Venus flytrap flower. A tall stalk emerges from the center of the plant’s seven leaves. When the stalk is tall enough to ensure that pollinating insects won’t fall victim to the trap leaves, small white flowers bloom. Tiny period-size seeds are the result of successful pollination. The process of bloom and seed production requires an enormous amount of energy from the plant. Wild plants growing in their native spots in North and South Carolina handle this drain by slowing down for a while. However, cultivated plants growing in a pot may lose all of their hard-earned reserves and die. For them, flowers are fatal. Venus flytraps are not found in the wilds of southwest Michigan, but other carnivorous plants such as the pitcher plant and sundew can be found in certain wetland habitats. Visit Sarett’s outdoor, netted Butterfly House this summer. Learn more and make reservations by visiting


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