The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fishing tip this week was about eating safe fish in Michigan. There are many benefits to eating fish, but anglers should be aware that some fish have mercury, dioxin, PCBs or other chemicals in them that can be bad for your health if you eat too many. The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services’ Eat Safe Fish Guide helps you learn about eating safe, local and healthful fish from throughout the state. Their “3C’s” message is simple and easy to remember when it comes to eating safe fish: Choose – Take a quick quiz at www.michigan.gov/eatsafefish to determine if you are at a lower or higher risk when eating fish from Michigan waters and which species you should look for. Clean – Learn about cleaning techniques (including trimming as much fat from the fish as possible) to help remove chemicals from the fish . Cook – Discover cooking techniques that can be used to remove even more chemicals from fish. Pyle’s Porthole in South Haven reports anglers on Lake Michigan are getting some King Salmon in 80 to 90 feet of water. Lake Trout are being caught in 100 to 120 feet of water, right on the bottom. Perch are being caught in 28 to 32 feet of water, north of the pier. Pier anglers are still getting Steelhead with shrimp. As the water warms, the bite has slowed down. River anglers are getting Catfish, Small Mouth Bass, Sheepshead and a few Pike. Inland lakes have slowed down, but are still producing panfish. As the water warms, the bite will increase. Ellinee Bait & Tackle in Coloma by Paw Paw Lake said Little Paw Paw Lake has been doing real well with producing panfish. Paw Paw Lake and other larger inland lakes are also doing well with panfish and some Bass. Pier fishing at St. Joseph has been yielding Steelhead, but has slowed this week as the water warms around the piers. Steelheads have been caught by anglers fishing with shrimp under bobbers. Boat anglers targeting Salmon on Lake Michigan, found fishing slow. There were a few reports of Lake Trout being caught in 120 feet of water. Fish are scattered and inconsistent. Perch fishing in the area has improved over this past week. The DNR recently launched a new tool on its website that assists individuals with locating retail bait shops across Michigan. The “Retail Bait Shop Locator” is a comprehensive map featuring licensed bait retailers that sell minnows, wigglers and crayfish to the general public. The web-based application is ideal for those planning trips across the state who might need to purchase bait along the way. It can be found by visiting www.michigan.gov/fishing and clicking on Fishing in Michigan and then Commercial Bait Industry in the lift navigation. The Retail Bait Shop Locator is not a downloadabe app, but is compatible with all types of electronic devices.
Bear and Elk license drawing results are posted and leftover licenses go on sale in July. The 2016 Bear and Elk hunting license drawings are posted at www.michigan.gov/huntdrawings. A total of 6,896 bear licenses were available during the application period of May 1-June 1. A total of 99 leftover bear licenses are still available in the Bergland Management Unit for the third hunt period, which runs from September 25-October 26, and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis as follows: Holders of Lifetime Comprehensive Licenses who were not selected in the drawing may purchase leftover licenses beginning at 10 a.m,, Wednesday, July 6. Unsuccessful applicants may purchase leftover licenses beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 13. Any hunter, including those who did not apply, may purchase a leftover license beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 20. Leftover bear licenses are available for residents only. Hunters, except for Lifetime Comprehensive license holders, are reminded that their preference points will reset to zero if they purchase a leftover license. Successful elk drawing applicants will receive detailed information about their hunt, including assigned hunt periods, elk management unit and type of license (any-elk or Antlerless-only). A total of 60 any-elk and 140 antlerless-only licenses have been issued through the drawing. Applicants are asked to be sure their mailing addresses are kept up-to-date with the Secretary of State, Elk hunter must attend a mandatory hunt orientation class prior to their hunt. The first hunt period of the 2016 elk season begins August 30-September 2 and includes September 16-19 and September 30-October 3. The second hunt will run December 10-18. An additional hunt may be held January 18-22, 2017 if the DNR determines the harvest insufficient to meet management goals.
Coloma Rod & Gun Club
The Coloma Rod and Gun Club will hold their CCW Class on July 9. Registration day is July 3 between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. at the club house. The Class Fee is $100.00 with $50.00 deposit due at sign-up. Class is taught by a certified NRA and RSO Instructor. For more information, call 269-621-3370.
Watervliet Rod & Gun Club
The Watervliet Rod and Gun Club will hold their CPL/CCW class on July 14 and 16; sign up is July 12 between 6 and 7 p.m. at the club house. The fee for the classes is $100; a Michigan lawyer explains the law pertaining to concealed carry and you receive two NRA certificates. For more information or to be put on the list, call 269-468-3837 or 269-470-9191.
Brandishing a seedhead that resembles a medieval weapon, Gray’s sedge is also known as mace sedge. First-time observers are usually hesitant to touch the spiky case but the braver ones discover the spikes are not as sharp as they appear. These sedges, commonly found in our fen, are larval plants for Eyed Brown butterflies. As they fly about looking to lay eggs, the small brown butterflies can confuse those hoping to spot the endangered Mitchell’s satyr butterfly in the same area. The spikelets contain specialized seeds that are inflated and, thus, able to float on water to a new growing area. Once established the plant will produce inconspicuous flowers that are wind-pollinated. Mace sedge also grows in woodland settings where its seeds are probably bounced along by wind.
Join a naturalist on July 5 at 3:00 p.m. for Snake Feeding Time. Admission is $4 for adults, $1 for children.
Meet the amphibians of Sarett on July 7 at 3:00 p.m. Admission is $4 for adults, $1 for children.
Hunt for endangered
Mitchell’s Satyr Buttergly
Learn about and hunt for the federally endangered Mitchell’s Satyr Butterfly on July 9 at 11:00 a.m. Admission is $3.00 for adults.
Amphibian feeding time
Join a naturalist on July 12 at 3:00 p.m. for Amphibian Feeding Time. Admission is $4 for adults, $1 for children.