08-15-2019 Outdoors

Fishing

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported that summer steelhead have been caught in a few rivers across the state. On the inland lakes word was that walleye, bass, pike and panfish could be found along the weed beds and drop-offs. A reminder to all anglers 17 years of age and older, they are required to have a fishing license. In the Southwest Lower Peninsula, boat anglers going out of St. Joseph found salmon fishing was slow but good numbers of lake trout were caught near the bottom in 80 feet of water. Perch fishing was not consistent, but those caught were in 20 to 25 feet of water. Pier anglers caught freshwater drum with crawlers on the bottom. South Haven boat anglers caught lake trout and the occasional steelhead with spin-glo in 90 feet of water. The perch fishing in South Haven was a little better than in St. Joseph, south of the piers in 27 feet of water. Pier fishing was slow for all species. Grand Haven boat anglers found Lake Michigan producing a mix of trout and salmon in 110 to 180 feet of water. The lake trout were hitting green or yellow spin-glo on the bottom while the salmon were hitting glow spoons, green flies and meat rigs 50 to 120 feet down. Grand Haven pier anglers caught large and smallmouth bass on tube jigs or freshwater drum when casting spoons. A word of caution, the Harbor Island Boat Lunch parking lot was mostly underwater. Here’s some walleye fishing tips from the DNR, compliments of Cory Kovacs and Seth Herbst. Most anglers targeting walleye know that catching them in the spring is much easier than catching them during the warmer summertime months. In most Michigan inland lakes, walleye typically seek cooler, deeper and darker waters while feeding in the shallow waters only at night. Walleye are predators that eat a wide range of small baitfish like yellow perch and various minnow, which logically have many anglers targeting these fish with minnows and crank baits. However, walleye also feed on aquatic insects when they are available and using crawlers on crawler harnesses can be an effective technique for working towards a limit. Mid-summer is a time of year when walleye in many lakes will typically be in depths ranging from 20 to 35 feet where they are feeding on insects or baitfish. During these feeding periods many walleye will be suspended in the water column and trolling a crawler harness at low speeds can be an effective way to hooking these elusive fish. Walleye fishing is sometimes a frustrating activity due to some long waiting periods between catches and finding the perfect conditions. However, once you get a bite it typically signifies something special and hopefully a memorable experience with family and friends.

Hunting

The ruffed grouse West Nile Virus surveillance project will enter year two this fall. The collaborative study began in 2018 between Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources and the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study group. Great Lakes Ruffed Grouse hunters – they need you! Submit your birds for testing. Participation from grouse hunters in the region will be an important component of the study. They encourage grouse hunters to voluntarily submit birds for testing. Further information on WNV in ruffed grouse and how to obtain sampling kits in Michigan can be found on the Michigan DNR’s WNV and Ruffed Grouse FAQ sheet. Contact Kelly Straka at 517-242-0061. August 15 was the last day to apply for an antlerless deer hunting license. The drawing results will be posted September 4, at Michigan.gov/deer. The reserved waterfowl hunt application period is open until August 28. Hunters can apply on line at MDNR_eLicense.com or anywhere licenses are sold. Waterfowl hunting details are available at Michigan.gov/Waterfowl. Fall 2019 turkey drawing results were posted online August 13 at Michigan.gov/Turkey. Leftover licenses will go on sale to unsuccessful applicants August 26 at 10:00 a.m. Any limited-quota license that remains as of September 3 at 10:00 a.m. may be purchased by any hunter with a current base license. Hunters may purchase one license a day until quotas are met.

Watervliet Rod & Gun Club

The Watervliet Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW classes on August 15 and 18, 2019. The cost of the class is $100. 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.

Coloma Rod & Gun Club

The Coloma Rod and Gun Club is holding classes for Hunter Safety Course 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. This is a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recognized and approved instructional course. The two 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.

Superhero Mud Run at Hartford Speedway on Saturday

Youtoo. nonprofit is hosting the 2nd Annual Superhero Mud Run, sponsored by Honor Credit Union, on Saturday, Aug. 17, at Hartford Speedway, 301 Bowie Street. Participants are encouraged to dress in their favorite Superhero costume to add to the fun! The fee for this event is $40; anyone can register whether they run, walk, jog or even skip. This event is meant to be fun. The gates open at 7:30 a.m. and the race starts at 9:00 a.m. Entry fee includes a T-shirt and a medal. First place female and male winners will receive a trophy as well as their medals. Organizers advise wearing clothing that can get dirty and bringing towels for clean up and the drive home. They encourage everyone to wear their superhero capes/outfits and/or masks since the event is benefiting little superheroes at local children’s hospitals. ALL money from this event goes directly to local children’s hospitals and the surprise packages delivered to their patients. If you would like to volunteer at the event or have an organization that would like to be a part of it by taking pictures with the runners before the race, message youtoo. on Facebook. Be a part of this amazing event and help make a child smile during the process!

Milkweed is the host plant for the monarch butterfly. The adult butterflies lay their eggs on the underside of milkweed leaves. When those eggs hatch, the caterpillars munch on the leaves of milkweed and rely on the plant to provide them with the sustenance to grow, molt, then eventually pupate and turn into a butterfly. But did you know milkweed plants are beneficial to more species than just the monarch? As I observe the eight common milkweed plants daily in my front yard, the species diversity list keeps growing daily! Milkweed tussock moth caterpillars munch on the common milkweed leaves first as a large group of small white larvae, than grow long black, orange, and white hairs for protection. This native caterpillar also benefits from the toxicity of the milkweed plant, a defense from predators. Red and black large milkweed bugs seem to always be wandering around the milkweed plants, looking for a seed pod to feed from or another milkweed bug to mate with. I’ve also seen lightning bugs and leafhoppers resting on the leaves, many species of butterflies feeding from the flowers, and of course many stages of the monarch caterpillar! My favorite sighting so far has been consistently seeing two grey tree frogs. These two half-inch long frogs are usually perched right in the middle of a milkweed leaf. With so much insect diversity on the milkweed plants, these natural predators can find plenty of food!

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