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09-03-2020 Outdoors

GUEST SPEAKER… Diane Parrigin spoke to the Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club on Aug. 26, 2020 about her husband’s car accident 10 years ago. Her husband, Steve, received life altering injuries after his vehicle was hit by a drunk driver. Pictured (from the left): Penny Moss, Program Chair; Diane Parrigin; and Dave Moss, Rotary member.

Turtle-spotting at the nature center can be tough, but finding turtleheads this time of year is easy. Just look for the stalk of white flowers that resemble snapdragons or a small turtle head. Or, you could look for spiny orange-and-black Baltimore checkerspot caterpillars. They will group together to spin a thick tent on the plant where they will spend the winter. Come spring they will finish feeding on the plant before completing their metamorphosis. Large bees prefer to dine on the abundant nectar if they can get to it. The “lips” of turtlehead are tightly closed forcing the bee to wriggle its way inside to the deep nectary. The movement of the bee inside the flower makes it look like the flower is chewing. Some bees cheat and just chew a hole from the side. The top flowers are male flowers and are tightly closed. The lower, female flowers are slightly open to make it a bit easier for the pollen-covered bee to enter and provide pollination services. Visit Sarett’s outdoor, netted Butterfly House before summer ends. Learn more and make reservations by visiting The Butterfly House will be closed for Labor Day weekend and will reopen on Tuesday, Sept. 8. Our trails remain open from dawn to dusk every day.

Fishing The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported that no real word on salmon in the rivers has come in just yet. Brook trout fishing was good in rivers and streams across the Upper Peninsula and the northern half of the Lower Peninsula. Ellinee Bait & Tackle located on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reported less fishing action as Labor Day approaches and vacations end. Fishing is still productive with anglers catching plenty of panfish with a wax worm or red worm under a bobber. Crappie and bigger bluegills are biting on minnows and even some nice perch have been caught on Paw Paw Lake. Salmon fishing on the Great Lakes will soon hit its stride, as many species are getting ready to begin their upstream migration. One tactic that can be particularly useful when targeting chinook is fishing with glow lures. Chinook often can be caught near the surface in low-light conditions, and glow lures make that opportunity even more appealing. In particular, glow lures work well in the early morning hours before the sun comes up or at night. Many believe this type of lure attracts salmon because it can be seen in the dark from longer distances and encourages them to strike. Anglers interested in targeting Chinook salmon this late summer/early fall, can check out the DNR salmon webpage for additional hints. Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reports the fish were scattered in 100 to 140 feet. Anglers took lake trout on the bottom with Laker Takers and a few steelhead and king salmon were caught on Magic Man and Coppers. Blue, green, and orange seemed to be the best liked colors. Pier fishing was slow for all species as the water warmed back up, slowing the bite. Perch fishing was inconsistent, as some anglers had nice catches while many others had very few. Most anglers were fishing to the south of the pier in 40 to 55 feet. After the big blow on Lake Michigan the water is pretty dirty with sand and perch bite has suffered. Captain Bard said word has come down that a few steelheads were taken up at the Allegan Dam. So, it shouldn’t be long before the run starts. Smallmouth bass are still being taken on the Kalamazoo River and channel cats are biting well in the Black River by South Haven. Inland lakes around South Haven have been producing some nice catches of bluegills. They are being caught an inch or two off the bottom in 15 to 20 feet of water. Officials with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), said the recent fish kill along the southern reaches of the Escanaba River at Gladstone was the result of a pipe failure at Verso Corporation’s Escanaba Paper Mill. The fish kill affected at least a dozen species. “Once the assessments are complete, EGLE will begin enforcement proceedings against Verso, which may include resource compensation to reinvest in the fishery,” Tom Asmus, who monitors compliance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program for EGLE in the eastern Upper Peninsula.

Hunting The 2020 fall turkey drawing results are now available. Check the drawing results online or call 517-284-9453. Leftover turkey licenses went on sale to everyone on Monday, Aug. 31. Licenses can be purchased over the counter or through DNR e-License. There is no guarantee that leftover licenses will be available for any hunt unit. Licenses are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. A current-year base license or mentored youth license is required to obtain a fall turkey license. Find quotas, bag limits, season dates and purchase a license at There will be an early Teal season, open statewide from September 1-16. During this special early season, blue-winged and green-winged teal are the ONLY ducks that can be harvested. Hunting hours are from sunrise to sunset, and the bag limit is six teal. Hunters are strongly encouraged to study their duck identification for early teal season – they should not shoot if they aren’t sure of their target! Goose seasons opened September 1, with the exception of Muskegon County Goose Management Unit which is Oct. 17 – Dec. 22. For the North Zone and Middle Zone, the seasons are from Sept. 1 to Dec. 16. In the South Zone, there are four seasons and the first one is from Sept. 1 – 30. The other seasons are Oct. 10 – Dec. 26-27 and Jan. 23 – Feb. 8, 2021. Allegan County Goose Management Unit also has four seasons with the first season Sept. 1–30. The other seasons are Nov. 7-14, Nov. 26 – Dec. 6 and Dec. 19 – Feb. 14, 2021. Canada geese, white-fronted geese (or specklebellies) and brant are part of a dark goose aggregate daily bag limit. From Sept. 1-30, the dark goose aggregates daily bag limit for Canada geese, white-fronted geese and brant is five, only one of which can be a brant. This means that hunters can take five Canada geese per day during September. After Sept. 30, the daily limit for dark geese is five, only three of which can be Canada geese and one of which can be a brant. An aggregate bag limit is also in place for light geese, including snow, blue and Ross’s geese. Hunters may harvest 20 light geese per day during goose seasons.


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