Fast-melting snow means trout streams are running clear for this weekend’s April 15 trout opener. Host and Outdoor News Publisher/Managing Editor Rob Drieslein and Editor
April 15, 2023
Fish pirates have largely vanished from the Fox and Wolf rivers in recent decades, but spawning sturgeon from the Winnebago system’s big lakes in east-central Wisconsin still need some watchdogs during their vulnerable journeys of reproduction.
And Don Mielke, 67, is there to help. Mielke, a rural Menasha resident, was disappointed when COVID-19 precautions forced the DNR to cancel its volunteer Sturgeon Guard patrols in 2020 and 2021. After a two-year absence – and faced with dwindling volunteers, few complaints, and the frustrating logistics of feeding all the guardians – the DNR suspended Sturgeon Guard indefinitely a year ago.
It was a classic turkey standoff. Dad and I had struck gobblers late in the morning – a pair of toms that climbed all over my calls. Our original setup was, I felt, a long shot. More than 300 yards of real estate separated us from the gobbling pair and, while we plunked our butts down immediately, I knew we were asking them to come a long way to investigate the hen they’d heard.
Legislation that could lead to DNR selling the World Shooting and Recreation Complex passed the Illinois House by a vote of 101 to 1 before being sent to the Senate, where it landed in the Judiciary Committee on April 12.
The chief Senate sponsor of HB 3456 is Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro. Bryant, in an interview with Lee Newspapers’ Springfield bureau, said she “has heard from local government officials and business owners in the region who have expressed concerns about the future of the complex under state ownership.”
Two Michigan DNR conservation officers recently received the DNR Law Enforcement Division’s Lifesaving Award for their actions assisting people during emergency situations last year. Presentations to both officers took place during events at Shanty Creek Resort in Bellaire.
Sgt. Bill Webster received his second Lifesaving Award during the Michigan Natural Resources Commission’s March meeting. Conservation Officer Jeff Ginn received awards (from two separate events) during a DNR staff meeting March 10.
Spring is in the air. That means spawning runs for fish like walleyes, steelhead, and suckers are occurring in rivers across Michigan. Bass, pike, and panfish also migrate toward shallow waters in their respective lakes for their annual spawning rituals.
Another Michigan native that spawns in the spring is the giant lake sturgeon. The oldest living species in the Great Lakes according to Michigan State University, lake sturgeon fossils have been found dating back 135 million years.
The Poconos Mountains in northeast Pennsylvania can be divided into two sections, the southern ridge and valley area and the elevated northern section.
This is important for anglers because mayflies and such zoom around in the southern ridges in mid- to late April while most bug activity in the northern section is delayed until early May.