11-09-2017 Outdoors

Fishing

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reports that angler numbers continue to drop as we move into November. Windy conditions have forced many to fish the inland waters. The DNR says this is the time to target bigger fish as they continue their feeding frenzy before winter hits.

Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reported no one is going out on the big lake right now. A few trout and Steelhead were caught in the Black River by South Haven before the big rain. Both the Black River and the Kalamazoo River are running high from the recent rain.

Steelhead is still being taken at the Allegan Dam and in the rivers. Pier fishing in South Haven is slow and few are braving the windy conditions. November is usually a good time for white fish to come in, but until the river goes down and cleans up, there is no sign of them yet. Inland fishing has been slow.

Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reports slow fishing on the inland lakes as the hunting season picks up and fewer anglers are going out. With patience, you can still get a nice bass or a pan full of panfish to hold you over till the ice forms.

In the Southwest Lower Peninsula, the weather has kept the boats off Lake Michigan out of St. Joseph. There were no perch reports and pier anglers putting spawn bags on the bottom hooked a couple of steelhead. Those surfcasting with spawn bags also took a couple of fish.

On the St. Joseph River there is still good fish movement at the Berrien Springs Dam. The fish moving through are steelhead. Anglers at the Grand River at Grand Rapids are getting steelhead, but it was difficult with the high-water levels. Most were fishing at the 6th Street Dam.

The State of Michigan announced that the Great Lakes Invasive Carp Challenge, which sought innovative solutions to stop the movement of invasive carp, received 353 entries from 27 countries. The challenge, hosted by global crowd-sourcing company InnoCentive, netted new ideas and raised the global profile of this important issue.

The state pledged $1 million to seek innovative methods to prevent the movement of invasive carp species into Lake Michigan from the Illinois River through the Chicago Area Waterway System. The carp pose a significant threat to the Great Lakes ecosystem, the $7 billion fishery, and other economic interests dependent on the Great Lakes and its tributaries.

Solutions will be reviewed by a panel of expert judges, with up to eight solutions selected for awards of $25,000. Stage 1 awardees will be announced in February 2018. For final awards, a select number of Stage 1 awardees will be invited to present their ideas before a live audience of judges, industry experts, nonprofit organizations and venture capital representatives for additional cash awards totaling up to $500,000.

This live event will take place in late March 2018 in Detroit and will provide an in-person platform for ideas to be pitched to judges for final awards.

Hunting

The DNR reminds deer hunters that the early archery season ends on Tuesday, November 14. The late archery season begins on December 1 until January 1, 2018. Regular firearm season opens Wednesday, November 15 to November 30, 2017.

The DNR reported that a second hunter-harvested deer in Montcalm County is suspected positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). A sample has been sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for confirmation. If confirmed positive, the 1.5-year-old buck harvested in Sidney Township, would be the 11th free-ranging deer in Michigan found to have CWD.

There is no cure; once a deer is infected with CWD, it will die. To learn more about CWD, visit www.michigan.gov/cwd.

The DNR is asking hunters to report bear den sightings in the northern Lower Peninsula. If a bear den is encountered, please record the location, with a GPS unit if possible, and contact Mark Boersen at 989-275-5151. As a reminder, the DNR says to avoid disturbing the den. It is illegal to disturb a bear den or disturb, harm or molest a bear in its den.

A Michigan Bear Forum meeting is set for December 16 to discuss management, regulations and harvest information. The meeting is open to the public, and DNR staff will be available after the meeting to answer additional questions. The forum will be held on December 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Little Bear East Arena, located at 275 Marquette Street in St. Ignace.

Fur harvesters are reminded that their licenses