Hunting & Fishing

Hunting

Bear hunting regulations survey deadline is Friday, Jan. 29. For anyone interested in helping shape bear harvest quotas and regulations, now’s the time to make their voice heard on proposed changes to the 2021-2022 hunting seasons. Proposals were discussed at the virtual Bear Forum in December. Review the Bear Forum Summary for full proposals and take the survey.


In the Allegan County Goose Management Unit, the late goose season continues now through Feb. 14. In the remainder of the South Zone, the late goose season continues through Feb. 8. During the late season, the bag limit for dark geese (Canada geese, white-fronted geese and Brant) is five. Only three can be Canada geese, and only one can be a Brant. The bag limit for light geese (snow, blue and Ross’s geese) is 20.


An approximately 3-mile segment of Van Buren Trail State Park (or snowmobile trail LP 595) in Van Buren County is temporarily closed due to construction activity by American Electric Power. The company is completing non-trail work along the 14-mile, multiuse trail that runs along a former railroad right-of-way and links the cities of Hartford and South Haven.


Some of the construction work will be staged in areas where there are no alternative trail access points. The detour and closure are as follows: 1.95-mile marked detour along the paved section of trail from Lovejoy to 16th Avenue (this section of trail is slated to re-open in mid-March); 1-mile unpaved section of trail is completely closed from 16th Avenue to County Road 389 with no detour in place. This section is slated to re-open in early June. For more details about the Van Buren Trail State Park closures, contact Jill Sell at 269-330-4849.


Anyone can learn more about efforts across the state to prevent and control harmful land and water invaders by checking out the Michigan Invasive Species Program’s NotMISpecies webinars. The live, monthly series features people on the front lines of invasive species response, sharing their work with non-native species that pose a threat to Michigan’s environment, economy and, sometimes, human health. A question-and-answer period follows each presentation.


The next one will be Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 9 a.m., “Ahoy, Boaters!” This program considers the relationship between recreational boating and the spread of aquatic invasive species and explores activities and resources available through Clean Boats, Clean Waters and MI Paddle Stewards. For more information contact Joanne Foreman at 517-284-5814.


Fishing


Where there is snow and ice, snowmobilers are on the trails and anglers are on the ice. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds anglers that they need to use extra caution when heading out onto the ice.


Anglers in the southwestern part of the Lower Peninsula are targeting crappie, bluegills, bass, pike and walleye. Fishing has been productive on all species. Fishing on the Kalamazoo River and the St.

Joseph River has been keeping anglers happy with some nice catches.

Regardless of someone’s favorite winter activity, here are some tips to help prepare for heading outdoors: Wear light layers that can easily be added or removed; carry the appropriate equipment for the activity; have spare equipment available in case something breaks; stay hydrated and fueled – bring water and snacks; recreate with a buddy; inform others about where you will be and how long you plan to be gone; carry a two-way communication device that receives service in remote areas; be mindful of your health – if you are not feeling well, don’t go out.


The Lake Sturgeon season on Black Lake in Cheboygan County begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, and registration is open until Feb. 5. A new online registration process is required to participate, as well as a current Michigan fishing license for anyone 17 or older. Anglers must certify that they understand and will abide by the rules and safety requirements.


The catch quota this year is six Lake Sturgeon total. In the past, the season quota often has been met within the first day. For more information on the Sturgeon season, visit Michigan.gov/Fishing.

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