Outdoors

Fishing

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reports that the inland lakes across the state are producing Bluegill, Crappie, Sunfish and Bass.  Water levels on the rivers and streams are quite low and boat anglers need to use caution.  The lower levels can make it harder for boat anglers but those wading have more opportunities.  Check out the DNR’s latest how-to videos on the web site to help build skills. One video is all about the online tools and the other is all about fishing safely and fishing etiquette.  The DNR gave a couple of tips on fishing for Northern Pike in the summer heat.  They say that Northern Pike are opportunistic feeders and will take any advantage of chowing down. There are two things to do to increase success of catching Pike this August.  Understand their habitats.  These fish prefer cool water, spring beds, inlets and deep water so be on the lookout of them when you head out.  Use a Lake Map to help you find drop offs and other spots Pike might be hanging out.  Also, remember that Northern Pike are visual feeders, so chose your bait wisely.  Large, willow leaf spinner baits work well in shallow water with lots of cover, as do surface baits.  Large spoons can also be enticing and are great for use near weed edges.  Northern Pike can also be caught on live bait (such as suckers or large shiners).  Pyle’s Porthole in South Haven reported Steelhead, Salmon and Lake Trout were being taken in 80 to 100 feet of water in Lake Michigan, straight out from the piers.  Perch are also being caught straight out in 30 to 35 feet of water.  Pier and Black River anglers are catching Catfish, Bass and a few Northern Pike.  Inland lake anglers are doing well for pan fish in the surrounding area.  Ellinee Bait & Tackle reported there still is not a lot of action with Walleye or Northern Pike.  Pan fishing in Paw Paw Lake is doing well, along with the surrounding inland lakes in the area, for Bluegill and Crappie.  Some Bass are being caught also.   Salmon anglers going out of St. Joseph did very well with Chinook caught in 70 feet of water.  Lake Trout and Salmon were also caught in 110 feet of water.  Most were taken on spoons and white paddles with green flies.  Perch fishing continues to be good in 20 to 30 feet of water both north and south of the piers.   Steelhead fishing off the St. Joseph piers slowed, but a few Catfish and Freshwater Drum were taken on crawlers.  The Kalamazoo River anglers found Trout fishing had slowed, but those trolling were still taking some Walleye early or late in the day.  Those fishing near structures caught a few smallmouth Bass and Channel Cats were hitting on crawlers, cut bait and shrimp.  Public tours of the Black River Sturgeon hatchery will be offered August 20 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  The hatchery is located in Cheboygan County on the Upper Black River adjacent to the Kleber Dam.  The streamside rearing facility is an important component of Lake Sturgeon rehabilitation efforts in the Cheboygan River watershed.  The Sturgeon fingerlings reared at the hatchery are scheduled to be released into the Black River and Mullett Lake after the tours conclude on August 20.  For more information on Lake Sturgeon and how to become involved in the rehabilitation efforts visit www.sturgeonfortomorrow.org, www.michigan.gov/sturrgeon or www.fw.msu.edu/glsturgeon.

Hunting

 The DNR reminds hunters that waterfowl reserved hunt applications are available now through August 28.  To apply for reserved hunts on certain managed waterfowl areas, visit a license agent or go to www.mdnr-elicense.com.  Applications are $5.00 and hunters may only apply once.  Drawing results will be posted September 17.  Reserved hunts will be held both mornings and afternoons of the opening weekend of waterfowl hunting season at Fish Point State Wildlife Area, Harsens Island and Shiawassee River State Game Area, and morning-only reserved goose hunts will be held at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge.  For more information about waterfowl hunting, visit www.michigan.gov/waterfowl.

Watervliet Rod & Gun Club

 The Watervliet Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW class on August 25 and 27.  Registration is Tuesday, August 23 between 6 and 7 p.m.  The cost of the class is $100.00.  Classes have a Michigan lawyer explaining the law pertaining to concealed carry.  Please call 269-468-3837 or 269-470-9191 for more information or to be put on the list.

Look inside a rolled-up leaf to find a variety of surprises. This type of shelter is usually constructed by a larva from one of the many insect species grouped as “leaf rollers” (how appropriate). The larva retreats into its “tunnel” when threatened.  Sac spiders also roll leaves. The female spider places her egg sac inside the cozy abode. Unlike most spider species, she also stays in the shelter to guard the eggs and young hatchlings against predators. When she gets hungry, she will leave the nest at night to hunt for food to catch with her long front legs.  Sac spiders usually feed on other spiders, as well as small insects and eggs. They will also drink nectar…another unspiderly thing to do. It seems to increase their survival rate and success at producing offspring.  Sarett’s Young Adult Club (for 20- and 30-somethings) will kayak on the Kalamazoo River on August 21 at 10:00. The $25 fee includes transportation and equipment rentals. Pre-registration is required. Please call (269) 927-4832 to register.  Learn about the Monarch butterfly on August 21 at 2:00 p.m. by visiting the butterfly house and nearby milkweed field. Admission is $6 for adults, $2 for children.  Watch Snake Feeding on August 23 at 3:00 p.m. Admission is $4 for adults, $1 for children.  Learn about amphibians on August 25 at 3:00 p.m. Admission is $4 for adults, $1 for children.

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