Fishing The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reports that the rain and cooler temperature helped produce some better fishing last week across the state. Salmon are in the rivers; however, water temperatures are just too warm especially in the smaller shallow rivers. The bite on the inland lakes across the state is starting to pick back up. The DNR fishing tip this week is how to catch panfish in the fall. The fall can be an ideal time to target panfish as cooler temperatures arrive and aquatic vegetation starts to decline. As a result, these species can be found in much shallower water than usual and will be perfect for targeting. When choosing your bait for fall panfish, don’t be afraid to go with something a little more substantial, such as small plugs and spinners. And of course, the standard hook and worm never hurts. Be sure to target panfish in their favorite fall locations as well, including by deep weed beds or near drop-off points. If you want even more information on targeting Michigan panfish this fall, check out their page on the DNR’s website. Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reports that fishing has slowed on the Great Lake, but they are still catching lake trout in 100 to 150 feet of water on the bottom. They are catching them on Laker Takers. Pier and river fishing has slowed way down, but they are catching a few salmon off the pier and in the river. A few perch are being taken in around 35 feet of water, south of the piers. The Kalamazoo River has been producing some walleye, but salmon are scarce. The inland lakes in the South Haven area have been slow. Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reports fishing very slow. There has been no word on salmon in the Paw Paw River. Boat anglers out of St. Joseph reported slow salmon fishing however they did catch lake trout in 90 feet of water. Perch fishing was pretty good with some nice catches taken in 30 feet. Pier fishing was slow. In the St. Joseph River at the Berrien Springs Dam there are good numbers of coho and some Chinook in all three ladders. Smart ship technology is making waves in Michigan waters. The new Marine Autonomy Research Site in Lake Superior, near Michigan Technological University in Houghton is managed by the University and will serve as the world’s first freshwater location for testing unmanned (autonomous) surface and underwater vessels for operation in Great Lakes and U.S. coastal waters The Michigan Office of the Great Lakes – an office within the DNR – assisted with development of the testing site, a hub for the development of futuristic, state-of-the-art smart ship technologies. University researchers envision unmanned surface and underwater vessels being used to augment manned research ships to transport remote—sensing technology, collect sonar and video imagery, deploy under frozen Great Lakes waters to gather winter samples and venture to sites unsafe for humans. Other testing could involve autonomous underwater vehicles monitoring structures such as pipelines for their integrity, identifying shipwrecks or recovering evidence when working with the Michigan State Police. Hunting The Michigan Department of Natural Resources requires a person to obtain a free salvage permit to possess wildlife killed in vehicular collisions. The permit cannot be used to possess badger, bobcat, brant, coot, crow, bear cub, duck, elk, fisher, Florida gallinule, goose, marten, moose, otter, snipe, sora rail, spotted fawn deer, Virginia rail, wild turkey, wolf, or woodcock. The driver of the vehicle has first choice to take possession of the game. If the driver leaves it, another individual may take it for salvage. This permit does not apply to an individual who uses a motor vehicle to kill or injure game intentionally. To apply for a salvage permit, complete the online application form available on the DNR website. Before beginning the application, you need to know the date and location where the salvaged animal was collected. Contact the Wildlife Division Permit Specialist at 517-284-6210 regarding questions on the permit. Deer archery season begins Oct. 1 and goes until Nov. 14, 2018 and returns Dec. 1, 2018 and ends Jan. 1, 2019 with a valid Michigan hunting license. Other seasons in progress include Ruffed Grouse: Sept. 15 – Nov. 14; Squirrel – Fox and Gray (black phase included): Sept. 15 – Mar. 1; Woodcock: Sept. 22 – Nov. 5, 2018. Opossum, porcupine, weasel, red squirrel, skunk, ground squirrel, woodchuck, feral swine, feral pigeons, starling and house sparrows may be taken year-round with a valid Michigan hunting license. The Michigan Hunting and Trapping Digest, or other species-specific hunting digests should be consulted for a more complete list of dates and regulations regarding each hunt period.
Coloma Rod & Gun Club The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW Class on Saturday, October 13, 2018. Registration is on Sunday, Oct. 7. The class is taught by a certified NRA and RSO instructor and the cost of the class is $105. 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 October 11 and 13, 2018. Registration is Tuesday, October 9 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.
Adult Mental Health First Aid course offered in Benton Harbor Community members are invited to attend a mental health first aid training course. The class will take place on Thursday, October 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Consortium for Community Development, located at 175 West Main Street in Benton Harbor. Adult Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based public education and prevention tool which works to improve the public’s knowledge of mental health and substance use problems, helps adults take the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations, and connects people with care. Studies show one in five Americans has a mental illness, but many are reluctant to seek help or might not know where to turn for care. When more people are equipped with the tools needed to start a dialogue, more people can get the help they may need. A training manual and certification is provided upon completion. Preregistration is required; call (269) 556-2808 or (866) 260-7544.
In the beginning of 2018, we added Kettie, a broad-winged hawk, to our education animal crew. Kettie had trauma that affected sight in his right eye and nerve damage to the end of his right wing, making him non-releasable back to the wild. Since his arrival, staff has been training him to be used in educational programs and he has made an excellent addition. Broad-winged hawks are a smaller hawk, with short broad wings and tail, streaked with brown, white and a buff chest. This small raptor builds its nests in forested areas and hunts for small prey including mammals, insects, reptiles, birds and amphibians. Broad-winged hawks are a migratory bird of prey and travel thousands of miles north in the spring. These hawks can be seen in large groups, or “kettles,” during their spectacular migration. Be on the lookout for this diurnal migrant through October, when they head from their nesting sites in the north to their South American wintering grounds. Learn about bats, how they hibernate and the fungal disease threatening their survival in a presentation by Dr. Alan Kurta from Western Michigan University at the Nature Center on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. Cost is $8 for nonmembers. On Sunday, Sept. 30 at 2 p.m. join Susan and Michael Wood as they present their visit to Bhutan, and view the beautiful photos of this unique country. Cost is $5 for nonmembers.