Fishing The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds anglers that the fishing and possession season on Type 1 and 2 streams as well as the Type A and D inland trout lakes closed Sunday, September 30. The possession season for Brook Trout, Brown Trout and Atlantic salmon on Type 4 streams also closed September 30. In the Southwest Lower Peninsula bass and bluegill are actively feeding in the morning and evening, reports the DNR. Try jigs and spinners for bass and red worms for bluegill. Along the deep weed lines and drop-offs, try a worm under a slip bobber. Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reported boat anglers going out on Lake Michigan are still catching plenty of lake trout on the bottom about four to eight miles out. Perch fishing continues to be decent including some nice catches in 35 to 50 feet south of the piers. South Haven pier anglers were still getting a few salmon and plenty of sheepshead. But the bite was slow for most species. The Allegan Dam had some good salmon and steelhead catches. Farther up the Kalamazoo River they got a few coho along with some steelhead. Inland lakes in the area are producing bluegill down about 16 feet or so. They were doing well on Duck Lake. Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reported the fishing is picking up in the inland lakes, and salmon are in the Paw Paw River now. One young man brought his fish to be weighed and measured and it was a whopping 42.5 inches long and weighed in at 27 pounds 6 ounces. It is now in the lead on the Biggest Fish Board at the shop. Another leader for the biggest fish board was a beautiful 35-inch-long pike a local man caught. The bite has picked up on the inland lakes and panfish biting is being taken at a good rate. Boat anglers out of St. Joseph targeting lake trout reported decent catch rates in 80 to 100 feet. Perch fishing was good north of the pier in 40 feet. Pier anglers caught a few Chinook when casting spoons and spinners. St. Joseph River appears to have a decent number of Chinook and coho. Michigan has a new state-record hybrid sunfish, out of Lake Anne in Grand Mere State Park in Berrien County. Joel Heeringa, of St. Joseph, caught the fish July 9 while still-fishing with a crawler. The record fish weighed 1.8 pounds and measured 11.7 inches. The fish was verified by Brian Gunderman, a DNR fisheries unit manager for southern Lake Michigan. Because the fish was believed to be a hybrid, additional identification was required, delaying final confirmation. The fish also was examined by University of Michigan fisheries experts who confirmed it indeed was a hybrid sunfish. For more information, contact Gunderman at 269-685-6851. The Natural Resources Commission will consider higher Brook Trout possession limits on some Upper Peninsula streams at their October meeting. Stream segments to be considered are: Montreal River, Gogebic County; Presque Isle River, Gogebic County; W. Branch Sturgeon River, Dickinson County; Upper Dead River, Marquette County; Days River, Delta County; N. Branch Stutts Creek, Schoolcraft and Alger counties; McAlpine Creek, Mackinac County; and Millecoquins Lake upstream (52 miles). For more information visit www.michigan.gov/ nrc.
Hunting The DNR reminds hunters there is no longer mandatory check anywhere in the state unless you move your deer out of CWD areas. If you are in the Core CWD Area or the CWD Management Zone, there are carcass transportation restrictions in place. If you hunt in one of the CWD areas and will not be leaving the area, you do not have to have your deer checked nor are you subject to transportation restrictions. If you are leaving CWD areas (including taking deer from the Core Area to the remaining counties in the Management Zone), you may do so only with the following: deboned meat; quarters or other parts of a cervid that do not have any part of the spinal column or head attached; antlers, antlers attached to a skull cap cleaned of all brain and muscle tissue; hides; upper canine teeth, or a finished taxidermy mount. Or you must present your deer to any DNR check station in the state (including partnering processors or Taxidermists) or place the head in a drop box within 24 hours of harvest. For more information on how to find and use a drop box, visit the DNR web site. An interactive map will also show you locations of the Core CWD Are, CWD management Zone and Drop boxes around the state. Michigan’s archery hunting season opened on Monday, October 1. The DNR gave a few reminders to those going out into the field. Archery hunters in the Lower Peninsula can use a deer combo, deer or antlerless license during the season for more information check your Hunting Digest. There are no safety zones when using archery equipment. Over-the-counter antlerless licenses are still available in select deer management units, see Michigan.gov/deer. Crossbows are legal to use in the entire state October 1 – November 14 and additionally in the Lower Peninsula from December 1 – January 1, 2019. Hunters hunting on private land in the CWD Management Zone have the option of purchasing discounted antlerless licenses at 40 percent off the usual price. These licenses are good for private land anywhere within the CWD Management Zone through November 4, 2018 when they expire. Ask for Hunt # – 2CWD when purchasing this license. In addition to these discounted licenses, hunters can still purchase regular, over-the-counter antlerless deer licenses (see info in your Hunting Digest). Note: This is not a separate season. This license only may be used to take antlerless deer during the archery season on private and with archery equipment from October 1 to November 1.
Coloma Rod & Gun Club The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW Class on Saturday, October 13, 2018. Class registration is held on Sunday October 7, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 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 on October 9, 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.
As we ease into autumn, the temperatures are dropping, daylight is getting shorter and nature prepares for winter. Soon we will see the leaves change colors on the trees and fall to the ground. The preparations are most easily observed in our deciduous trees, the ones that lose their leaves each year. What the trees are preparing for is a drought, when groundwater will be unavailable for the roots to absorb because it is frozen. The trees drop leaves which waste the precious water by letting it escape with oxygen during photosynthesis. The dwindling amount of sunlight is also responsible for the color change in leaves. Chlorophyll, the green part of leaves, needs sunlight to be produced. Less light means less chlorophyll. Less chlorophyll means the other leaf colors, which have been there all along, are visible. Learn to identify some of the native trees found in southwest Michigan on a walk with a naturalist at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 7. Cost is $5 for nonmembers. On Saturday, October 13, join us for the annual Country Fair & Rummage Sale taking place at the Sarett Barn and Farmhouse. From 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. there will be a huge rummage sale in the barn, games, balloon animals, wagon rides and food available! The cost is free and any clean, salable rummage donations can be dropped off the week before the sale during regular business hours.