09-20-2018 Outdoors

Fishing As transition to fall is close, this is one of the best times of year to head out fishing the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said. The large crowds are gone for the most part and the fish will soon start a feeding frenzy as they prepare for winter. On the inland lakes, panfish were found deeper in 12 to 15 feet of water. Pike are in the shallows along the weed beds. Boat anglers going out on Lake Michigan from South Haven continue to catch lake trout on the bottom in 80 feet of water. Those boat anglers that are targeting the pierheads are beginning to catch a few salmon however fishing was slow. Pier anglers have caught the occasional salmon on spoons. The perch in the area were scattered, but anglers were getting a few when they were drifting. A few salmon were starting to move up into the Black River and boat anglers caught a couple Chinook when trolling. All the local inland lakes are producing nice catches of panfish. The best part is some have been producing good size bluegills like in Duck Lake. The fish bite has picked up with the cooler weather that had moved in for a time. Boats going out from St. Joseph has found the catch rates were slow. No perch were reported and pier anglers had slow catch rates too. In the St. Joseph River a good number of steelhead, coho and Chinook salmon were moving through the Berrien Springs fish ladder at the beginning of the week. While there were some Chinook, most were coho and steelhead. The DNR fishing tip this week is targeting walleye in the fall can offer some of the best fishing of the season. Here are a few things to keep in mind for targeting this sport fish in the near future. In the early fall, walleye can be found in a variety of locations within the water body, including deep, shallow or anywhere in between. Keep that in mind and don’t stick to one depth range. In the morning, check the areas where deep water meets the shallow spots. As the day progresses start heading deeper as walleye can be photosensitive. The nighttime hours can be a very productive time during the fall, especially along rock points and flat areas. The DNR Becoming an Outdoors-woman Program is offering a Beyond Bow Steelhead fishing workshop for women. The workshop is scheduled for October 26-28, 2018 and is open to 12 participants. The registration deadline is September 24, when a random lottery selection will be held to determine class participants. Workshop information and registration materials are available online at www.michigan.gov/ bow. This will be a rain, shine or snow event. Keep Michigan lakes and rivers ‘Great’ – everyone’s stewardship matters. Here are some simple steps to take to protect the lakes. Be cautious near islands and other shoreline areas. Nesting birds need quiet water to maintain nests and raise their young. Slow down, keep some distance and watch for signs and buoys that mark nesting areas. Be safe when on the water, remember to wear a life jacket and watch for severe weather patterns that might affect the day. Pack out everything packed in. Ducks, loons, turtles and other animals can become tangled in fishing line, plastic can rings and other litter left behind. Clean, drain and dry boats and trailers and keep wader boots squeaky clean. Recreational equipment can spread aquatic invasive species to new locations.

Hunting The DNR Outdoor Skills Academy will hold a Waterfowl Hunting Clinic on September 29 in Cadillac. This class will cover everything anyone will need to know to get started, including how to find a location, scouting, calling and gear. Learn more about the Outdoor Skills Academy and see other upcoming classes at www.michigan.gov/outdoorskills. Lake Superior Sportsman’s Club will hold their 9th annual trapping workshop set for September 29 in Ontonagon County. The workshop will begin at 10 a.m. EDT September 29: lunch will be provided. The club is located 1.5 miles east of Silver City at 31433 West M-64. For more information or to pre-register call Don Harris at 906-885-5245. Warren Dunes State Park will hold a volunteer day of work to help remove black locust and other misfit trees and shrubs before they spread to the dunes. The workday is this Saturday, September 22, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information contact Wayne at 269-921-0232. Michigan Trails Week, September 22-29 is a great time to explore the outdoors and many Michigan residents already know there’s no place like home. With more than 12,500 miles of state designated trails that connect communities and provide health and economic benefits, it’s easy for hikers, bikers, equestrians, snowmobilers, off-roaders, mountain bikers and even kayakers to find a trail just about anywhere in the state. Learn about events and opportunities at www.michigan.gov/trailsweek or contact Doug Donnelly at 517-284-6109.

The display of autumn leaves and spring flowers are spectacular and awe-inspiring. Lichens are equally inspirational but their display is a bit more subtle… so subtle that most people never notice them. They are found in most terrestrial habitats: from deserts to Antarctica, atop cooled lava and even on sterile soil. Lichens are actually two organisms, a green alga or cyanobacterium and a fungus, living together as one. Scientists are still debating whether this is a mutualistic partnership or a parasitic relationship on the part of the fungus. The algal partner is able to photosynthesize food for both parts when the fungus absorbs enough water. The fungus also provides a protective shield for the alga. If you want to view lichen, you simply have to look carefully on soil, rocks, tree trunks, or old untreated wood. Lichen is usually small but many may be growing side by side. The individual lichens are slow growing, some only grow one centimeter over the span of one hundred years! Lichens can be seen in many places. However, you will not see them where the air is polluted or acid rain is common. The lichen is unable to metabolize the toxins and dies. They are so sensitive that air scientists use their presence, or lack of, as one determinant of air quality. So, grab a hand lens and go lookin’ for lichens!

Kamran Ahmad’s Tale of the Hunt? or Find! By Angela Stair Kamran Ahmad is an avid sportsman, fishing for trophies in the summer and hunting in the fall and winter. Last month he was picking up a beautiful 35-inch Pike he had caught and had mounted by Hayden’s Taxidermy in Lawrence. As he went to leave he turned to owner Hayden Stair and said, “I’ll be back to see you and I’ll bring a deer for you to mount for me.” Said in jest, neither man thought it would come to pass so quickly. On September 13 Ahmad was on his way home from work. He lives in Dowagiac and works the night shift in Benton Harbor and takes back roads rather than the highway because it cuts off miles. At 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, something caught his eye that looked like antlers in the ditch. He stopped to check it out and found a dead 14-point deer in the ditch. No vehicle was in sight, so he called the local police from Dowagiac. The officer checked with the County and State Police and the car/deer accident had not been reported. Ahmad got permission to take the road-killed deer and another man that had come by the scene helped him load the deer into his truck. The man said good call, because if he had gotten there first he would have picked it up. He also jokingly asked Ahmad if he wanted the fender and lights to mount with it. The deer was a huge one and field dressed at an estimated 225 pounds. Ahmad noted that the extent of blunt force trauma they found when dressing the deer must have killed it instantly. The hit was on a road where a bean field was on one side and a corn field on the other side. He said the deer was full of corn and when skinning him out, the deer had three layers of fat they had to remove.

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