The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reports that the cooler daytime and nighttime temperatures should improve catch rates. Salmon are still being caught out in the big waters as movement towards the rivers has been slow. Inland lakes are producing panfish, bass, walleye and pike. The DNR reminds anglers that if their weekend travel plans include crossing the Mighty Mac, please keep in mind the Mackinac Bridge Authority will close the bridge Monday, September 2 from 6:30 a.m. to noon for the 62nd annual Mackinac Bridge Walk. Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reported the lake trout fishing on Lake Michigan has been good. They are being caught on the bottom in 80 to 140 feet of water and biting on Laker-Takers. A few steelhead and king salmon were also taken. The pier has been quiet as well as the Black River at South Haven. Perch fishing was slow as the water temperature went down and wind scattered the fish. The Kalamazoo River is still producing some smallmouth bass. Inland lakes are still producing some nice catches of bluegills, like at Duck Lake. Some lakes are still too flooded to get out and fish on. Ellinee Bait & Tackle reports not many anglers are going out. Rain and wind have been a deterrent to many anglers. The fish are out there waiting for someone to come feed them. By St. Joseph the weather once again hampered fishing for boat anglers and few had been out this past week. Perch fishing was slow because the fish were scattered. Try fishing anywhere from 20 to 35 feet to catch some perch. St. Joseph pier fishing for salmon and steelhead was slow. A few freshwater drum along with a few perch were taken on live bait. Grand Haven boat anglers caught a few trout and salmon 55 to 120 feet down in 75 to 275 feet; however, the fish were scattered. Try green spoons, meat rigs and glow plugs. Grand Haven pier anglers caught freshwater drum and gizzard shad. The DNR fishing tip this week is how to target panfish. Summer is a great time to target panfish (bluegill, pumpkinseed, sunfish) – in fact all year is a great time to target them. The species is an especially good target for beginning anglers, if you know how to choose the right equipment. Check out the DNR video that provides an explanation of the simple tackle you’ll need to catch lots of panfish in Michigan. What is happening in Lake Erie? Lake Erie is the focus of a three-part Michigan Environment series. Check out the DNR’s recently posted MI Environment three-part series that discusses the basics of what algal blooms are; how invasive species are affecting the Lake Erie Watershed; and what local state, and federal agencies are doing to improve the situation. It’s been more than 20 years in the making, but this month a fish spawning habitat restoration dream becomes a reality for Saginaw Bay. The DNR and Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy have built a coalition to restore a 2-acre rock reef at the Coreyon Reef site, about 11 miles northeast of the mouth of the Saginaw River. The restoration project focuses on the trailing edge of a historic rock reef complex that existed naturally in the bay until it was heavily degraded by sand and sedimentation from long-standing erosion in the watershed. For more information contact Dave Fielder (DNR) 989-356-3232, extension 2572. Hunting The 2019 waterfowl hunting season opens Sunday, September 1. Reserved hunt applications were taken until August 28. Refer to the 2019 Waterfowl Digest for particular species and zone season details. If you witness or suspect a natural resource violation, call or text the DNR’S report all poaching hotline, available 24/7, at 1-800-292-7800. Eight men from Macomb, Oakland and St. Clair counties recently were arraigned in the 42nd District Court in New Baltimore on poaching charges stemming from Michigan’s 2018 waterfowl season. The group collectively was ordered to pay fines of more than $18,500 in reimbursements for species protection and other court costs. The men pleaded guilty to taking an over limit of geese and failure to retrieve game. Each was ordered to pay $2,312.50 in reimbursement for the illegally harvested birds, in addition to court costs and fines. The daily limit at the time was three Canada geese per person.
Coloma Rod & Gun Club
The Coloma Rod & Gun Club is holding a Hunter Safety Class on Saturday, September 7, 2019. For more information on CPL classes or Hunter Safety Classes, email firstname.lastname@example.org. On Saturday, Sept. 14 CRGC is hosting a Sportsman’s Shoot competition. Site in weapons from 9-11:30 a.m. with competition beginning at noon. Call 944-6464 or check the club’s Facebook page for more information. Rain date is Sept. 21, 2019.
Watervliet Rod & Gun Club
The Watervliet Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW classes on September 12 and 14, 2019. Registration is on September 10, 2019, between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. and 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.
Paw Paw River Water Trail workshop and paddle
Southwest Michigan Planning Commission in Benton Harbor announces workshop and paddle planned for Saturday, Sept. 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Become an ally in the fight against aquatic invasive species! Paddlers 18 years and older are invited to join Michigan Sea Grant and partners for a one-day volunteer program about protecting water trails from aquatic invasive species (AIS). Participants will learn how to detect and report aquatic invasive species spotted while paddling, and how to clean your crafts to avoid giving invaders a free ride. As a new paddle steward, you’ll be encouraged to pass your knowledge to other paddlers and seek out other volunteer opportunities to help keep Michigan’s waterways clean and healthy. This workshop includes lunch and a paddling experience (a limited number of kayaks and gear provided by Michigan Sea Grant or bring your own) on a nearby water trail! Participation is free! Find more detailed information about the workshop and register at www.michiganseagrant.org/mi-paddle-stewards. This is a free workshop thanks to Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program with coordinating assistance from Southwest Michigan Planning Commission, Two Rivers Coalition, and SW x SW Corner CISMA. For more information, contact Mary Bohling at (313) 410-9431 or email@example.com, or Katelyn Brolick at (616) 994-4542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The best sinks to wash dishes in are ones with windows close by. This week while scrubbing plates I observed two northern flickers for about ten minutes foraging on the ground around an old stump and a grassy area. The two strikingly patterned woodpeckers were fervently digging with their slightly curved beaks, presumably eating their favorite meal, ants and beetles. You can ID a northern flicker by their black bib, spotted chest, and a white flash on the rump. They are a little less than a foot tall and in the eastern United States they will have some yellow in their wings and tail. Northern flickers are residents or short-distance migrants in southwest Michigan and fairly common, but since they don’t visit bird feeders regularly, it is harder to observe their behavior. Find northern flickers around wooded edges or in your yard if you have a mix of trees and open ground or a maintained birdbath. The Nature Center building and Butterfly House will be closed Labor Day weekend, August 31 to September 2. The trails will be open dawn to dusk. Join us September 7, 2019 at the Nature Center for the Fall into Autumn Festival! The festival will feature many family friendly events all day including nature hikes, wagon rides, crafts, music from Campfire Stu, face painting and more throughout the day! Check out www.Sarett.com for more details.