Very few anglers have been out over the past two weeks the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported this week. Fishing was pretty much non-existent because of the rain and snow. Strong winds continue to make fishing difficult especially along the Great Lakes. Many are now waiting for ice fishing season to get started.
Captain Kenny Bard of Rampage Fishing Charters out of South Haven reported pier anglers are using spawn and catching whitefish and steelhead. Anglers on all the piers from Grand Haven down to St. Joseph have also been doing well.
The Black River and Kalamazoo River have been running high and fast, making it difficult to fish, but mid-week they were starting to go down. There are still quite a few fish being taken at the Allegan Dam.
Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reported the anglers that were going out on the local inland lakes were doing well on crappie and bluegill. Their favorite bait seemed to be wax worms.
As the water goes down on the Paw Paw River this past weekend, anglers were gathered at Watervliet for some steelhead fishing. St. Joseph River has been flowing high and the water was turbid, but also is going down. A light number of steelhead was still moving through the Berrien Springs ladder.
The DNR recently completed an emergency dredging project in Keweenaw County to restore the Grand Traverse Harbor channel for commercial and recreational boating. Marine Tech, LLC of Duluth, Minnesota pumped 9,000 cubic yards of sand to a beach area north of the harbor.
More extensive sand removal and containment efforts are needed to protect important lake trout and whitefish spawning habitat on Buffalo Reef and a juvenile whitefish area south of the Grand Traverse Harbor. Modeling predicts that by 2025, 60 percent of the reef will no longer be viable for lake trout and whitefish spawning.
The EPA has provided $3.1 million to the Army Corps to design and carry out the dredging work, scheduled for May 2018. The stamp sands that are drifting and covering the reef and spawning area are the waste material resulting from the milling work of copper. They were dumped into Lake Superior and on the shoreline.
The dredging project will buy five to seven years of protection for the reef and the whitefish juvenile recruitment area south of the harbor. Steve Casey, Upper Peninsula district supervisor for the Department of Environmental Quality’s Water Resources Division said, “In the meantime, we need to develop a long-term, adaptive management plan, a solution, for the stamp sands problem.”
The regular firearm season closed today, November 30 and the muzzleloader season will open in all three zones, Friday December 1 to December 10 in zone 1 and 2 and until December 17 in zone 3. A late antlerless firearm season is open December 18, 2017 to January 1, 2018. The late archery season is still open to January 1, 2018.
The pheasant season (male only) in zone 3 (partial) opens December 1 to January 1. There is still time to put in an application for the 2018 Pure Michigan Hunt. The deadline is December 31. Drawing results of the three lucky winners will be posted online, January 22, 2018.
The DNR Outdoor Skills Academy will team up with the National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever, Cabela’s and Tails-A-Waggin’ Acres’ guide service for an upland game bird hunting clinic on Saturday, December 2. Pre-registration is required. To pre-register or for more information, contact Ed Shaw at 231-779-1321.
Coloma Rod & Gun Club
The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW Class on December 9. Class registration is held on Sunday December 3 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. For more information or to be put on the list, please call (269) 621-3370
Watervliet Rod & Gun Club
The Watervliet Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW classes on December 7 and 9. Registration is on December 5, between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. and cost of the class is $100. 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.
Honey locust trees, found only in the southernmost part of Michigan, are not the friend of someone looking for a nice tree to rest against. A specimen found in Buchanan has one to four inch thorn clusters all along the trunk, a defense used to deter wildlife from nibbling on it. While it may prevent a human from resting on it, animals such as deer, squirrels and bobwhite will eat the leaves and fruit. The fruit, an eight to eighteen inch pod is filled with sweet pulp between the numerous oval seeds.
Honey locust is named so due to the sweet, sticky pulp it produces. Native Americans used the pulp as a sweetening agent and used the wood to create bows for hunting. The wood of honey locust is strong and coarse-grained. Today it is used for railroad ties, fence posts, furniture and shipping pallets. Even the thorns have been used to create pins, spear points and animal traps.
Sarett is hosting a greens wreath-making workshop on Saturday, December 9 at 2:00 pm. Cost is $10 and includes greens and instructions. Call 269-927-4832 to register. Santa will be visiting Sarett on Sunday, December 10 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. Bring your camera to take photos with Santa and cash for naturalist provided crafts for $1-$2. Crafts will be available from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
BUCK HUNTER… Nathan Schmitt, 8 years old, shoots first buck in Keeler. His guide was his grandpa, Joe Arnt. He shot a doe last year. Nathan is the son of Matt and Jennifer Schmidt of Watervliet.