09-07-2017 Outdoors

Fishing

As summer fishing comes to an end, fall fishing is already starting to heat up. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fishing report says that Chinook and coho salmon are both staging at the mouth of the rivers as well as moving up into some of the river systems, especially in the north half of the Lower Peninsula. Catch rates will only get better. The inland lakes across the state are producing panfish, bass, pike, walleye and bullheads.

The DNR fishing tip for this week is how glow lures are popular with Great Lakes salmon. Salmon fishing on the Great Lakes is really hitting its stride as many species are getting ready to begin their upstream migration. At the moment Lake Michigan is particularly popular for Chinook salmon with anglers trying various techniques to land this pried sport fish.

One tactic that can be particularly useful when targeting Chinooks is fishing with glow lures. This species can often 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.

Ellinee Bait & Tackle located on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reported that walleye fishing has been hot in big Paw Paw Lake. Dave believes they must be the fish that were stocked four years ago by the Paw Paw Lake Foundation. He said most that are being caught are around 20 inches long, which would be the right size to be part of the stocked fish.

Surrounding inland lakes are all producing plenty of panfish, bass and some crappie. Anglers are waiting for the steelhead to make their run up the Paw Paw River, but no reports of nearby catches.

South Haven had some good fishing for perch by drifting in 40 to 45 feet of water. Salmon fishing was spotty as the fish were scattered in 90 to 120 feet. The pier fishing was slow as was the Black River fishing near town. Farther up the river there were reports of steelhead being caught up near Bangor. Surrounding inland lakes are still producing panfish and bass.

Hunting

Goose hunting season began Friday, September 1 and runs to December 16 in the North Zone. The Middle Zone dates are September 1-30 and October 7-December 22. The South Zone dates run September 1-30, October 14-December 10, December 30-31 and January 27-February 12, 2018.

Hunters need to be aware of new aggregate bag limits for dark geese and light geese. The DNR encourages hunters to review the season dates and new regulations. Waterfowl hunting regulations, dates and bag limits can be found in the 2017-2018 Michigan Waterfowl Hunting Digest available at all licensed dealers and on the web at www.michigan.gov/dnrdigests.

The DNR will be offering an introductory archery clinic at Ludington State Park on September 16. The cost for the clinic is $30.00 and includes lunch. Participation is limited to 30, so register soon. For more information, contact Alan Wernette at 231-843-9261 or wernettea@michigan.gov.

With hunting season just around the corner, now is the time to head to the shooting range for some practice or to sight in your firearm. The DNR has seven staffed shooting ranges in southern Michigan—Clinton, Ingham, Jackson, Lapeer, Livingston and Oakland counties—that offer a fun and safe shooting environment. Staffed by customer-friendly and highly trained employees, the DNR shooting ranges feature amenities like handgun, rifle, shotgun and archery ranges and restroom facilities. For more information and location, go to the DNR web site.

For those who have a few acres of forestland – be it one to 100 or more – the DNR Outdoors Skills Academy will host a workshop on managing your forestland on Saturday September 16 at the Hartwick Pines Visitor Center in Grayling. Cost of the workshop is $25.00 and includes lunch.

Professional forester will explain how to manage forestland based on the land owner’s specific goals. Participants will receive handouts about forest management, a tree identification book, and the Forest Management Guidebook from the Michigan Chapter of the Society of American Forestry. For more information contact Craig Kasmer at 989-348-2537.

Coloma Rod & Gun Club

The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW Class on September 9. The class is taught by a certified NRA and RSO instructor and the cost of the class is $100. For more information or to be put on the list, please call (269) 621-3370.

Watervliet Rod & Gun Club

The Watervliet Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW classes on September 14 and 17. Registration is on September 12 between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. and cost of the class is $100.00. 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.

They don’t have the body parts or strength to cause physical harm, yet some male butterflies seem determined to maintain a breeding territory. The Florida malachite butterflies in our Butterfly House are good examples.

A few of them have chosen a tree as their “home base.” If any other malachite passes by, they take off in pursuit. They are likely hopeful that they are following a receptive female. However, if their advances are rebuffed, then the romantic dance becomes an aerial acrobatics competition.

The winner returns to the tree, lands and assumes his watchful perch. The loser must find somewhere else to go.

This “perching” is one type of territorial behavior exhibited by butterflies. Another is to patrol an area that has larval food plants that may be attractive to females. Again, if a male finds himself rejected he may view the interloper as a rival and chase “him” away before resuming his patrol flight.

Come witness these behaviors and others in the Butterfly House while it is still full of butterflies. Admission is $6 for adults, $2 for children.

The Barn Party, our most important fundraiser, is September 10 at 4:00 p.m. Delicious food, interesting auction items and great comradery. Price is $50 per person. Please call (269) 927-4832 to make your reservation.

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