12-26-2019 Outdoors

Fishing The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported that anglers are ice fishing in the northern half of the Lower Peninsula and in the Upper Peninsula. Caution still needs to be used when going out on the first ice. Ice anglers are reminded to be respectful of the natural resources they are using and take out whatever you take in. Please do not leave trash out on the ice. Ellinee Bait & Tackle on Paw Paw Lake by Coloma reported some ice in the Tri-City Area on channels such as the Van Auken Lake channels and shallow lakes like Lake of the Woods. Extreme caution should be taken on this early ice. Anglers reported fair catches and a few steelheads are still being taken out of the local rivers. Wind and wave action have kept anglers off the piers. On the Grand River at Grand Rapids, the anglers still were getting the occasional steelhead when drifting beads. Anglers on Muskegon Lake reported walleye were caught on purple bandits. The night bite was slow. Perch fishing was slow and the fish were small. On White Lake, perch have been caught but most were small. Panfish have been caught in shallow waters along the shoreline. The odd steelhead or coho was caught along the channel. Fishing Tip: Ice fishing in the middle of the day. The DNR often emphasizes the best times to go ice fishing are early morning and around dusk – but what about those folks who can’t go during those times and would prefer to fish in the middle of the day? Don’t worry! There are options for those anglers too! A few species are ideal midday targets, including northern pike, yellow perch, bluegill, and rainbow and brown trout. For northern pike you can set up tip-ups and enjoy a leisurely day on the ice. For yellow perch you can drill a high number of holes and move around frequently. For bluegill you can use a fish locator to follow around a school under the ice. And for rainbow and brown trout you can sight-fish for them in shallower water. Trustees seek Kalamazoo River restoration ideas as part of proposed $25 million agreement with NCR Corporation. A group of state and federal natural resource trustees is soliciting Kalamazoo River watershed restoration project ideas that could be funded through the proposed $25 million agreement to partially settle natural resource damage claims stemming from past discharges of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) into the river in southwest Michigan. The site includes soil and sediments contaminated by PCBs in 80 miles of the Kalamazoo River, from Morrow Dam to Lake Michigan, along with paper mill properties, riverbanks and floodplains, and a three-mile stretch of Portage Creek. This resulted in injuries to natural resources including fish, mammals and birds. In 1990 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency named the area a Superfund Site by adding it to the National Priorities List. Under the proposed settlement, the Kalamazoo River Natural Resource Trustee Council will use the $25 million to plan and complete several environmental restoration projects. These projects will be selected with public input and based on the restoration criteria described on the Final Restoration Plan and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Restoration. This information is available on the Kalamazoo River webpage and the public is encouraged to submit habitat and recreational restoration project ideas through the restoration portal. The Michigan DNR has recommended 21 community and state parks, trails and sports facilities across the state to share $4,613,500 in Land and Water Conservation Fund grants. Projects recommended for funding are in Berrien, Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Macomb, Oakland, Ottawa, Saginaw, St. Clair, Van Buren, Wayne and Wexford counties. The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a federal program administered in Michigan by the DNR on behalf of the National Park Service. Application materials for future grants are available at Michigan.gov/LWCLGrants. For more information about this grant program, contact DNR Grants Management at 517-284-7268 or DNR-Grants@michigan.gov. Hunting Three more elk poached in northern Michigan; DNR seeks information! The Michigan DNR conservation officers in Gaylord are seeking tips from the public regarding three adult cow elk poached in Otsego County – the third elk poaching case in northern Michigan in roughly a month. “This is the worst year we’ve had as far as elk poaching,” Lt. Jim Gomo said. Area residents found the three elk about 50 yards north of Hardwood Lake Road near Bobcat Trail, in the Pigeon River State Forest, east of Vanderbilt. Officers believe that the three elk were shot either Saturday or Sunday while they were bedded down near each other. Lt. Gomo said, “If you or anyone you know has information that can help us solve this crime, we want to hear from you”. Public tips received regarding a bull elk poached in November helped identify a suspect in that case. Anyone with information regarding this poaching incident can contact the DNR Law Enforcement Division at the DNR Customer Service Center in Gaylord at 989-732-3541, or call or text the Report All Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800, available 24/7 year-round. Information can be left anonymously; monetary rewards are available for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of violators.

Coloma Rod & Gun Club

Information for CPL and Hunters Safety courses can be requested by emailing inquiry@colomarodandgunclub.com. More information is also available by visiting their website at www.colomarodandgunclub.com.

Free pre-diabetes class in St. Joseph

Spectrum Health Lakeland is offering a free program designed to help anyone with higher-than-normal blood sugar levels learn about lifestyle changes which may help them avoid or delay the onset of diabetes. The class will take place on Thursday, January 9, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the pharmacy conference room at the Center for Outpatient Services, located at 3900 Hollywood Road in St. Joseph. During the first hour of the program, a registered nurse will guide attendees through the disease process of diabetes and introduce healthy lifestyle changes. The final hour will be spent with a registered dietitian who will suggest meal selections that can help you maintain health and manage weight. This program does not require a physician referral. Pre-registration for this free class is required, and class size is limited. For more information or to register, call 269-556-2868.