11-24-2016 Outdoors

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Fishing

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reports that between windy conditions and the opening of the firearm deer season, very few anglers could be found.  Those fishing in the marinas are taking some panfish and occasional Bass.

It is getting to be that time of year where many anglers are preparing to store their fishing equipment.  Here are a few tips from the DNR to help you through this process:

Take your reels apart to clean them and then grease and oil them.

Check out the hooks on your lures and determine if they need replacement or sharpening.

Remove the fly line from your reel.  If you plan on reusing it then consider cleaning it with dish soap.

Use rod sleeves to store your rods; also, so the parts do not get mismatched.

Store your rods vertically to avoid any bends.

Keep your rods at room temperature.

Check your waders for any leaks: pinhole-sized leaks can be found by putting a flashlight inside your waders in a dark room.

Captain Kenny of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reported great Black River fishing.  Anglers are catching Steelhead with spawn and hot & tots.  Lake Trout have been biting too; you can catch them, but not keep them as the season has closed.

Before the wind and waves chased the anglers off the piers, they had been catching Steelhead, fishing on the bottom.  Inland fishing has been quiet.

Ellinee Bait & Tackle reported a few anglers are still going out to panfish.  They also heard of the good fishing in South Haven’s Black River and the St. Joseph River.

Anglers are finding Steelhead all the way up to the Berrien Springs Dam.  The DNR suggests trying spawn and beads, flies or small spoons and rapalas.  The Kalamazoo River is producing Steelhead below the Allegan Dam.  Those fishing early morning or late evening caught the occasional Walleye.  Grand Haven pier anglers and those surfcasting have caught Steelhead on spawn.  A few Whitefish were caught on a small minnow or wax worm.

A new pilot program from the DNR now allows boaters to make slip-specific reservations in select Michigan state harbors during the 2017 season.

Five facilities are participating in the pilot project; William G. Milliken State Harbor (Wayne County); Straits State Harbor (Cheboygan County); Grand Haven Marina (Ottawa County); Lake St. Clair Marina (Macomb County); and Saint Clair Boat Harbor (St. Clair County).

Under the pilot program, boaters have the opportunity to reserve their favorite slips, reserve slips next to another boat, or choose which side they want to tie up.  Based on the success of this pilot project, the DNR will determine if transitioning all facilities to a slip-specific reservation system is viable and advantageous to customers.

Harbor reservations can be made up to six months in advance by visiting www.midnrreservations.com or calling 800-447-2757.The six-month window for May has arrived.  For more information, visit michigan.gov/boating.

Hunting

Conservation officers with the Michigan DNR urge deer hunters to engage in an ethical hunt: Buy a license before going out and do not loan kill tags.  Dean Molnar, assistant chief of the DNR’s Law Enforcement Division said, “Buying a license is not only the ethical and responsible thing to do, it is the law.  Harvesting a deer without a license is poaching.”

For more information on deer hunting in Michigan, go to www.michigan.gov/deer.  To report a natural resources violation, please call the Report All Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800.  Learn more at www.michigan.gov/rap.

The firearm deer hunting season kicked off last week to mixed reviews across the state.  Thick fog in some areas made hunting difficult.  With an anticipated 500,000 firearm deer hunters afield in search of white-tailed deer, early reports indicate varied success across Michigan.  Warm weather and fog in some areas seem to have had an effect on deer movement.

The fog had an impact on the first two days of firearm season in the Northern Lower Peninsula.  That, coupled with warmer temperatures, seemed to put a damper on hunters seeing and harvesting deer in this region.

The fog was also a hindrance in the Southwestern Lower Peninsula.  Since weather was warm, hunters were choosing to go to processors before bringing their deer in to be checked, except in the Core CWD Area, where deer check is mandatory.  Impressive antler beam measurements have been noted for all age classes of bucks this year.  Corn in this region is about 85 to 90 percent down, which should help with the weather getting a bit colder.

Deer check numbers are slightly down from last year in the Southeastern Lower Peninsula.  This seems to be due to warmer temperatures and much of the corn in the area still being up.

Through Wednesday, November 16, just over 1.2 million deer hunting licenses were purchased from nearly 560,000 deer hunters in Michigan since March, including 107,654 sold Monday, just prior to Tuesday’s opener.  The firearm deer season runs November 15-November 30.

Coloma

Rod & Gun Club

 The Coloma Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW Class on December 10.  Class registration is held on Sunday, December 4 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 $100.00.  For more information or to be put on the list, call 269-621-3370.

Watervliet

Rod & Gun Club

 The Watervliet Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW classes on December 1 and December 3.  Registration is on November 29 between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m.  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.

nature-notes-header

Since the time humans began to establish new homesteads, they have moved plants around the globe. Sometimes the transfer was purposeful… they wanted to have their favorite plants with them. Sometimes the transfer was accidental… like the ancient Iceman who stuffed insulating grasses into his shoes before crossing the mountain.

Some of these plants happily established themselves in their new habitat. In fact, they established themselves so well that they displaced the native plants. They are appropriately called “Invasives.”

Begrudgingly, one has to admire their adaptations. They can reproduce from vegetative growth (e.g., tiny bits of roots) or seed. Their flowers produce a prodigious number of seeds, numbering from thousands to millions per plant. Those seeds are not picky about their germination location and can remain viable for five or more years! Plants are capable of rapid growth.

The non-native invasive plants have no natural enemies to keep their populations in check. Garlic mustard in its native Europe has over 30 insect predators; there are no predators here.

Land and forest managers are waging war against powerful opponents!

Spots are filling fast for Sarett’s Greens Workshop on December 3 at 1:00 p.m. The nature center will supply several varieties of greens. You supply the tools and frames (or buy one from Sarett) to create a holiday decoration. The fee is $10. Please call (269) 927-4832 to register.

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