11-07-2019

Fishing The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said the number of Steelhead moving into the rivers across the state is picking up as the salmon runs are pretty much done. A few whitefish are starting to be caught by pier anglers. Rivers around the state are on the high side which makes fishing a little more difficult. Not many reports on the inland lakes across the state, even though walleye fishing should be good. The fishing tip this week is a question: Getting too cold to catch muskellunge? The DNR answer is: Never! Everyone knows muskellunge are a difficult species to catch, but as the temperatures cool does it get even harder to find them? Not so, according to some anglers. In the fall many anglers use larger lures and slow the speed of their presentations. They will often search for muskellunge in shallower and warmer water and take advantage of this fish’s larger appetite that comes prior to winter’s arrival. Want even more insight on targeting muskellunge – during all times of the year? Check out their page on the DNR’s website. Ellinee Bait and Tackle located on Paw Paw Lake near Coloma reports few anglers are going out on the inland lakes in the area. Some anglers have been out on the lake trying their hand at walleye fishing, but not many. Some say they will wait until next spring when the weather is kinder and many say they are waiting for the ice now. The Paw Paw River was quiet with a few steelheads being taken. Weather hampered fishing opportunities for boat anglers out of St. Joseph. There were no perch reports and pier fishing was slow. Anglers however did manage to land a couple steelheads or whitefish when using spawn. The St. Joseph River had high water levels after recent rains. Steelheads were caught in the lower river and up near the Berrien Springs Dam. Boat anglers were doing better than shore anglers. Try spawn, beads, small spoons or body baits. Boat anglers that could make it out of South Haven were targeting trout and salmon and found the fishing was slow. There were no perch reports this past week and pier fishing was also slow. Only a few lake trout or whitefish were taken by those using spawn on the bottom. The Black River was producing a good number of lake trout along with the occasional steelhead. Most of these fish were caught on spoons. Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Eichinger confirmed the commitment of $8 million in state funds for the preconstruction, engineering and design phase of a multifaceted barrier system at Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Illinois, to prevent invasive Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. Recent eDNA findings of Asian carp in waters near Lake Michigan underscore need for action. Complete article can be found on the DNR website. Contact Ed Golder at 517-284-5815.

Hunting First season hunters and seasoned veterans need to remember to put safety first. Treat every firearm as if it is loaded; keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction at all times; put your finger on the trigger only when you are ready to shoot; beware of your surroundings – know your target and what is beyond it; keep the safety of your firearm on until you are prepared to take your shot. Other important safety practices include: Unload the firearm when crossing obstacles and/or getting in or out of a tree stand; when transporting firearms in vehicles, make sure that they are unloaded and in a case; obey “no trespassing” signs – they are there for a reason; if your game goes onto property marked as “no trespassing,” you must have the landowner’s permission to retrieve your game; hunter orange should be worn as the outermost layer of clothing and must be visible from all directions. Camouflage garments legally must be at least 50 percent hunter orange. For more hunting safety tips and resources, go to Michigan.gov/HuntingSafety. The DNR reports a 2-year-old, hunter-harvested doe from Hamilton Township in Gratiot County, recently tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) – the second confirmed CWD-positive wild deer from that county. The first was discovered in late 2018. In light of this new detection, the DNR asks hunters in southeastern Gratiot and southwestern Saginaw counties, especially, to have their deer tested this year. Deer check stations and drop boxes will be open throughout the deer seasons. For check station locations and hours, visit Michigan.gov/DeerCheck. Firearm deer season begins November 15. Make sure you are up to date with the 2019 regulations. The 2019 Hunting Digest has all deer hunting regulations, season dates and bag limits. Important changes: Deer baiting and feeding is banned in the entire Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula Core Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance Area; new regulations in the Upper Peninsula Core CWD Surveillance Area; new antler point restrictions. Visit Michigan.gov/Deer for more deer hunting details. Fall Turkey hunting is open through November 14. Any limited-quota licenses that remain may be purchased by any hunter with a current base license or mentored youth license, including those who did not apply for a fall turkey license. Hunters may purchase one license a day until quotas are met. Find leftover licenses availability at Michigan.gov/Turkey.

Coloma Rod & Gun Club The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CPL Class on Saturday, November 9, 2019. The class is taught by a certified NRA and RSO instructor and the cost of the class is $105. For more information on the CPL class or Hunter Safety Class, email inquiry@colomarodandgunclub.com.

Parks officials seek public input on 2020-2024, Berrien County Parks 5-Year Plan Berrien County Parks and Recreation officials are seeking public input on the development of the 2020-2024 Berrien County Parks Five Year Plan. The plan will cover Rocky Gap, Silver Beach, Love Creek, Madeline Bertrand, Historic Courthouse Square, Paw Paw River and Galien River county parks. A draft of the 2020-2024 Five Year Plan is available at Love Creek, Madeline Bertrand, Historic Courthouse Square and the Parks Administration office in St. Joseph. The draft is also available at the public libraries in Watervliet and New Buffalo. The draft may also be viewed electronically at on the Berrien County website at Berriencounty.org in County News section. The public may provide input by sending written comments to Berrien County Parks, 701 Main Street, St. Joseph MI, 49085 or email comments to parks@berriencounty.org. Please have written or emailed comments in by 5:00 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, 2019.

Now that much of summer’s vegetation has become part of the topsoil, some interesting swellings can be observed on the stems of goldenrod plants. The ball-shaped growths are the winter home of the spotted-winged fly’s larva. The fly laid an egg on the stem in early summer. After hatching, the larva burrowed into the stem and hollowed out a tiny chamber. Meanwhile, the plant reacted to the intrusion by growing abnormal plant tissue around the larva. The resulting shape is called a gall. The fly is one of 2,000 known gall-making insects, each of which chooses one particular site on one particular plant species. The insects “thank” the plant for the protection by eating only the plant tissue within the gall. The hard shell of a gall protects the larva from the weather and many predators. However, chickadees and downy woodpeckers are but a few of the creatures that get past the defenses to enjoy a tasty snack. Join Wanderlust Outfitters and Sarett naturalists for a volunteer workday on the Nature Center grounds on Saturday, November 16, from 1 – 5 p.m. Be sure to bring along work gloves and a shovel if you have them.

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