11-21-2019 Outdoors

Fishing The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fishing Report states that across the state the snow, coupled with extremely cold temperatures, have pretty much slowed fishing activity to a standstill. Those anglers brave enough to face the elements will find walleye, perch, whitefish and steelhead fishing opportunities. The extreme snow we got in the Tri-City Area kept anglers home as the Ellinee Bait & Tackle Shop on Paw Paw Lake will attest to as well as the lack of DNR reports out of South Haven and St. Joseph. The DNR fishing report is intended to give anglers an idea of what is going on around the state. Updates come from fisheries staff and Conservation Officers. With more than 11,000 inland lakes, the Great Lakes and thousands of miles of rivers and streams, not all locations can be listed. However, it is safe to say if a species is being caught in some waters in the area, they are likely being caught in all waters in that section of the state that have that species. Several fish species found around the state are marked in some way, and the details on the fish and tags are important to several DNR studies and management efforts. Such species include chinook and Atlantic salmon, steelhead, walleye, lake sturgeon, brown and lake trout. A fish may have an external mark, such as a fin clip, or the mark could be internal and not visible to the naked eye. For tagged fish intended for release, don’t remove tags; just report the tag information. Tags can be reported through the tagged fish form, available on the DNR’s Eyes in the Field observation reporting system. The form asks for contact information; catch location, fish and tag details; and (if available) photos. Anglers who catch and keep fish with large internal or external tags (about the size of a finger in some cases) are urged to return the tags to the nearest DNR office. Questions can be directed to Elyse Walter at 517-284-5839.

Hunting DNR offices around the state continue to field questions from people confused about the status of the baiting and feeding ban for deer and elk in the Lower Peninsula and the core CWD surveillance area in the Upper Peninsula. The DNR wants to let all hunters know that the ban has NOT changed and remains fully in effect. Bills to lift the ban have been approved in the Michigan Legislature, but nothing has been sent to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer or signed into law. The governor has promised to veto the legislation should it come to her desk. This is important information, given that Michigan’s firearm deer season started last Friday. The DNR will notify the public of any significant changes to deer regulations that might occur. For more information contact the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-9453. DNR officers in Gaylord are seeking information about a bull elk that was poached in the Pigeon River State Forest, east of Vanderbilt in Otsego County. Anyone with information should contact the DNR Customer Service Center in Gaylord at 989-732-3541 or call or text the 24-hour Report All Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800. Information can be left anonymously; monetary rewards are available for information that leads to the arrest of violators. To limit the spread of chronic wasting disease in Michigan, hunters who harvest deer from the CWD core area and the CWD management area are asked to present their deer at a DNR check station or drop box within 24 hours of harvest. The DNR website has a video on how to use a drop box and one on whole carcass transportation. Questions? Contact DNR Wildlife Division, 517-284-9453.

Tale of the Hunt: First deer ever… successful hunter

By Maggie Avery Editor’s note: Maggie Avery, 19-year-old from Hartford, shot her first deer, an 8-point buck at 7:30 a.m. opening day. Maggie is a member of the Straight Shooters 4-H Club. Julie Holtsclaw is a leader of the club and her partner on this hunt. This is Maggie’s story:

Late fall and early winter are great times for insect-averse people to take walks in the woods. By then insects have hunkered down to wait out the winter temperatures that are not conducive to insect activity. Most insects move into a state of “suspended animation” called diapause. In this state, they can experience lower temperatures without dire consequences. Some are freeze-avoidant. They burrow into cover or build shelters then flood their system with glycerol which allows them to become supercooled but not frozen. Other insects are freeze-tolerant. They produce ice-nucleating proteins in the fluid that surrounds its cells. These become the preferred “sites of freezing.” Ice slowly (very important) forms and uses up water in the fluid. This controlled dehydration means no water is available for freezing inside the cell where ice formation would be disastrous. The dehydration process even worked for naturally dried fly larvae from the African desert. They survived immersion in liquid helium to -269°C!! Join us Saturday, Nov. 23 at 3:00 p.m. for a photo presentation on Sarett’s recent natural history tour to Iceland! They experienced mountains, waterfalls, glaciers, icebergs, lava caves and fields, black beaches, geysers, the Valley of Thor, and more! Cost is $5/person. Kids ages 7-12 can be a part of the Junior Naturalist club, which is meeting on Saturday, Nov. 23 from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Cost is $6.