10-12-2017 Outdoors


The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds anglers that lake trout and splake season in the waters of Lake Michigan between Menominee and Platte Bay including Grand Traverse Bays as well as the waters of Lake Huron closed on September 30. Lake trout and splake season in the waters of Lake Michigan between Arcadia and New Buffalo remain open until October 31.

This week’s DNR tip is what to do when you’re looking for crappie in the fall. These fish often stay in deeper water longer than other panfish, and they also tend to move around more as they target large schools of baitfish. If you use bait that imitates a crappie’s food of choice you will be more likely to find them.

Keep in mind that crappies will get less and less active as the water cools off and they slow down. You will then want to slow your presentation and offer smaller bait to keep seeing success. Try your luck at some great crappie fishing this fall. For more information on this species, visit their Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website.

Fishing on Lake Michigan has been slow for boat anglers heading out of South Haven, St. Joseph and Grand Haven. Salmon anglers caught a few in 100 to 175 feet, about 49 feet down. A few lake trout were taken off the bottom with spin-N-glo’s.

Perch fishing was slow with a few taken in 45 feet of water by South Haven and 30 to 40 feet by St. Joseph. Pier fishing in all areas was slow for all species. Inland lake fishing has slowed some, but with patience, limits of panfish are being taken.

Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reported slow but steady panfishing. Anglers seem to be catching enough panfish to keep them going out and some are getting limits. Pike fishing seems to be doing good right now and a few salmon and one steelhead was taken from the river.

The DNR announced that the total fish stocking effort from this past spring and summer are; a total of 25,470,199 fish that weighed more than 320 tons and consisted of 11 different species and one hybrid. There were 19 specialized stocking trucks that traveled over 103,000 miles to nearly 760 stocking sites. To find out where many of these fish were stocked, check out the DNR’s Fish Stocking Database at michigandnr.com/fishstock.

Fish stocking is a critical activity of the DNR. These efforts help pump between $2.4 billion and $4.2 billion into the state’s economy through the sportfishing industry and associated businesses. Fish are reared in the state fish hatcheries anywhere from one month to one and a half years before they are stocked.

The public is welcome at any of Michigan’s state fish hatcheries to see firsthand the fish-rearing process. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/hatcheries.


The DNR reminds hunters of the current and upcoming hunting seasons. Goose season in the North Zone is open until December 16; In the Middle Zone until December 22; in the Southern Zone it will open October 14 to December 10; Muskegon County GMU opens October 17 to November 14.

Duck season in the North Zone is open to November 20; Middle Zone until December 3; and South Zone opens October 14 to December 10.

The early archery deer season opened last week, October 1 and runs through November 14.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa has confirmed that the 3-1/2 year old female deer taken during the youth hunt in September has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The animal was harvested in Montcalm Township in Montcalm County and is the 19th free-ranging deer in Michigan to have CWD.

To date, more than 14,000 deer have been tested since the first positive case was found, with 10 cases of CWD confirmed in free-ranging white-tailed deer identified in Clinton, Ingham and now in Montcalm counties. As additional deer have tested positive, the DNR has put specific regulations in place. Currently, there are two CWD Core Areas, which are deer management units (DMUs) 333 and 359. To review regulations, visit www.michigan.gov/cwd.

With this confirmation of CWD in Montcalm County deer, DNR Director Keith Creagh has signed an interim order (effective October 4, 2017 through March 29, 2018) outlining next steps as governed by Michigan’s CWD Response and Surveillance Plan.

The order: Creates a nine-township Core Area that includes Douglass, Eureka, Fairplain, Maple Valley, Montcalm, Pine and Sidney townships in Montcalm County, and Oakfield and Spencer townships in Kent County within the Core Area specifically.