Baby, it’s warm outside
Whether you believe humans are contributing to whatever it is
that is causing our climate to change, it is indeed changing.
Here it is early January and the chances of me cutting my grass
one more time seem to be better than having to shovel my driveway
anytime soon. Ice anglers started to get out on schedule in the
Upper Peninsula, but they had to retreat when the temperature
climbed to the point where for several days it wasn’t even getting
below freezing at night. Fishermen were still using boats to get
out in some places in December – almost unheard of in the U.P.
Farther south, 25 fewer inches of snow had fallen on Gaylord
than what would normally have fallen by this time of year, and
Houghton Lake usually has received 15 inches more than it has seen
so far this season.
Hunters have complained about the unseasonable weather through
the fall. Deer didn’t move as much as they do when it’s colder. The
same for waterfowl, especially birds that migrate in late season.
When the season closed at the beginning of December, northern
mallards were just starting to trickle into the state.
There was an interesting story published in the Dec. 9 issue of
Michigan Outdoor News that discussed an Ohio State University
study, which detailed how warmer water temperatures are affecting
the fish populations in Lake Erie and other Great Lakes. It noted
that Great Lakes levels will probably continue to decline – not
something that any outdoorsman wants to hear – and fish species
that prefer cooler water will expand their range north.
The causes of climate change may be up for debate, but there
will likely be more heated discussion coming as sportsmen and fish
and game managers debate the changes we will undoubtedly see in
hunting and fishing seasons because of the warmer weather.