08-17-2017 Outdoors

Why do caterpillars of silk moths produce their famous threads? Silk is produced and used by caterpillars of moths and butterflies as a safety device and to form their pupal homes.

Most caterpillars consume their leafy diet high in the tree canopy. The suction cup-like prolegs hold the caterpillar in place but, occasionally they fail. Or, the caterpillar purposely falls off a leaf to avoid a predator.

A caterpillar’s mouth is equipped with spinnerets which shoot out a lifeline of silk. One end sticks to a leaf or branch and the other end is the mouth. When the coast is clear, the caterpillar uses its thoracic legs (which are usually used to hold onto food) and side-to-side body movements to climb back up to its eating area.

The tubular spinnerets are attached to silk glands which are modified salivary glands. Like a spider’s, when the caterpillar’s liquid silk is exposed to air it solidifies.

Caterpillars also use silk to attach their bodies to a structure for pupation. Butterfly caterpillars form a sticky silk pad, insert their last pair of caterpillar legs into it and begin their last molt. Silk moth caterpillars cover themselves with a silky cocoon before undergoing their last molt.

Join YouTube personality “Bob the Spider Hunter” on August 20 at 3:00 p.m. for a look into the world of spiders. Admission is $5 for adults, $1 for children.


Summer fishing continues across the state.  The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reports those fishing around the weed beds on the inland lakes are taking a variety of species including panfish, Walleye, Bass and Pike.  Chinook Salmon fishing has picked up in the Great Lakes.

Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reports King salmon being taken on Meat Rigs in 100 to 150 feet of water on Lake Michigan.  They are anywhere from 70 to 90 feet down in the water column.  Anglers are also getting some Lake Trout and Coho. Perch fishing was slow due to fish being scattered.  Pier fishing is slow with few anglers going out to try.  Black River anglers are catching a few Small Mouth Bass, catfish and Sheepsheads’.  Bluegill fishing is real good on most of the inland lakes of the area.

Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reports pan fishing has stayed steady with most anglers proclaiming that fishing this year has been the best in several years.  Bass fishing has slowed down, but you just have to change your tactics to catch them.  Fish the weed beds and on top the water.  Move a little slower and you should get some results.

St. Joseph Salmon anglers going out on the big lake are catching a mixed bag in 80 feet of water which seemed to be the most consistent.  Some were going well past 130 feet and caught some Coho Spoons, meat rigs, and flies were the ticket.  Perch fishing continues to improve, though the fish seem to be scattered and were caught in 25 to 55 feet.  Pier fishing was slow.

The DNR fishing tip of the week is, How to Catch Bass on Top of the Water.  There is something to be said for seeing a Bass strike your lure with your ow two eyes.

Fishing on top the water for Bass comes down to location and lre selection.  You may want to target areas that provide good cover for the Bass that have a few feet of water over them, such as weed beds, logs, big rocks, etc.Cast a floating lure next to the cover and play with it a bit before reelin it in.

When it comes to lures, select those that float and are designed to resemble the favorite foods of Bass such as frogs.  Top water fishing for Bass works best in low-light conditions such as early in the morning or late in the evening.  For more information on fishing for Bass in Michigan, visit the DNR Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website.

August 19 the DNR, Michigan State University, Tower-Kleber Limited Partnership and Sturgeon for Tomorrow will host a Sturgeon Hatchery tours at the Black River Facility.  Tours are free and will run from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the hatchery located in Cheboygan County on the Upper Black River.  For more information visit www.michigan.gov/sturgeon.


Hunters that applied for a Fall Turkey Hunting License can check your application results by visiting www.michigan.gov/turkey.  On August 21 at 10:00 a.m., those that applied but were not successful will be able to buy remaining turkey licenses online at E-License or anywhere DNR licenses are sold.  August 29 at 10:00 a.m. all remaining licenses are available to anyone, including those who did not apply.

The Fall Turkey season runs September 15 to November 14.  A total of 51,350 licenses are available, including 4,650 general licenses and 46,700 private-land licenses.  For more information , visit www.michigan,gov/turkey or call 517-284-9453.

At its June meeting, the Michigan Natural Resources Commission signed an order equiring anyone who receives compensation for processing wild game to be registered with the Michigan DNR.  The new requirement was brought forward as part of a larger set of deer management regulations related to hunting licenses, chronic wasting disease response measures, urban conflict and other issues.  The commercial game processor registration requirement is effective immediately.

This permit is free and commercial wild game processors should register immediately so they are legal for the fall hunting season.  The form to register is located at www.michigan.gov/wildlifepermits, and anyone who is unable to fill out the online form should call 517-284-9453 for assistance.  Wild game processors who have questions related to being licensed or food safety requirements can visit www.michigan.gov/meatprocessing or call at 800-292-3939.

The DNR offers waterfowl hunting clinics in Bay City and Cadillac.  The Bay City clinic will be held August 26 at the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center in Bay City.  The cast will be $60.00.  The Cadillac Clinic will be held on September 2 at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center in Cadillac. The cost is $35.00.  Registration is required for both classes.

This “A to Z” class will cover everything new waterfowl hunters need to know to get started, including how to find a location, scouting, calling and gear.  Instructors will demonstrate how to set up a waterfowl hunting site and decoys, calling and other techniques.  All students will leave with firstand experience that will increase their chances of success this upcoming waterfowl season.

For more information contact Ed Shaw at 231-779-1321.

The DNR invites residents and out-of-state visitors to enjoy Free ORV Weekend August 19-20.  During the weekend you can legally ride DNR-designated routes and trails without purchasing an ORV license or trail permit.  This free weekend offers an opportunity to explore Michigan’s vast system of nearly 3,700 miles of trails, but to consider purchasing an ORV license or trail permit for the season  For more information, contact Rob Katona at 906-228-6561 or Jessica Holley at 517-331-3790.


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