12-01-2016 Outdoors

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Fishing

The Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers that the catch-and-release Sturgeon season on the Great Lakes and connecting waters closed on Wednesday, November 30.

Perch fishing has picked up on the inland lakes across the state.  Those anglers that are targeting Bluegills have been catching fish on a teardrop with a wax worm.  The DNR fishing tip this week is “Where to find Northern Pike in Michigan.”

As the temperatures continue to drop, fishing for Northern Pike will really pick up.  Pike are extremely popular during the ice fishing season, but are readily available throughout much of the year.

There are many notable Northern Pike fisheries located throughout Michigan, including on Muskegon, Portage and Manistee Lakes and also Michigamme and Houghton Lakes.  But this species can be found in many lakes and virtually all larger rivers in the state.

Please read up on this species in the 2016-2017 Michigan Fishing Guide to check the regulations for Northern Pike regarding minimum size and possession limit.

Captain Kenny from Rampage Fishing Charters in South Haven reports anglers are doing well in the Black River on Steelhead and a few Northern Pike using Hot & Tots and Flat fish.  No one has been fishing on the pier.  The Kalamazoo River has been “on fire” for Steelhead anglers and they have caught a few Walleye too.

The Ellinee Bait & Tackle by Coloma reports that the anglers that are going out, seem to be doing good on Crappie, Perch, and other panfish, but not many are going out.  They are either waiting for the ice or are out hunting.  Pike fishing is very slow now, cooler temperatures may change that.

Anglers on the St. Joseph River were getting a few more Steelhead after the last rain.  Fish movement through the ladder essentially stops when water temperatures drop below 40 degrees.  At this time, the water temperature was about 45 degrees.

Hunting

A 1.5-year-old buck taken on November 16 in Clinton County’s Eagle Township is likely the ninth free-ranging deer in Michigan to test positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD).  The hunter brought the deer to a DNR check station where preliminary tests conducted came back positive for CWD.  The animal currently is being tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa to finalize confirmation of the disease.  Confirmation will take a couple weeks.

The DNR reminds individuals that they must check all deer they harvest in the Core CWD Area, which includes 17 townships and is referred to as Deer Management Unit (DMU) 333. With the discovery of this new suspect positive, hunters harvesting deer in three additional townships are strongly encouraged to have their deer checked.  These townships are: Portland and Danby townships in Ionia County and Roxand Township in Eaton County.

There are five check stations accepting deer for CWD testing within DMU 333, and are operating seven days a week (excluding major holidays).  A complete map of check stations, including locations and hours of operation is available at www.michigan.gov/cwd.

Women interested in pursuing a new outdoor adventure are encouraged to sign up for this winter’s “Becoming an Outdoors-Woman” (BOW) program set for February 24-26 in Marquette County.  The BOW program offers instruction in more than a dozen different types of indoor and outdoor activities, including cross-country skiing, archery, winter shelter building, ice fishing, photography, wilderness first aid, and more.

Registration for this popular program fills up fast, so you need to register soon.  Typically, about 80 women attend the weekend’s activities.  Instructors provide basic and advanced teaching that is tailored to each participant’s individual ability.  For more information, contact Sharon Pitz at the DNR office in Marquette at 906-228-6561 or by e-mal at pitzs@michigan.gov.

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.