MicBlogs

Predicting record lows

Will Lakes Michigan and Huron set a new (modern day) record for low water level this winter?  All signs point to yes. For the past decade the levels in these lakes have fluctuated up and down annually a foot or more but always lingering on the down side of normal. Now, last winter's relative warmth and last summer's drought and…

IJC kicks the can

Each of the Great Lakes comes with its own set of problems. That’s been the case for over a century and that’s why the governments of Canada and the U.S. banded together to create an organization called the International Joint Commission more than a century ago – to handle the problems. Along the way, the IJC has done some great…

On the hunt

It’s on! Sept. 15 has traditionally marked the beginning of fall hunting seasons for a lot of Michigan hunters. Sure elk season opened late last month for a select few who won the elk lottery. Bear hunting season started on Sept. 10 for several  thousand hunters who were successful in that lottery and the early goose seasons have pretty much …

Salmon are the symptom

Lake Michigan salmon fans are all abuzz with the recent announcement that beginning next spring 68 percent fewer king salmon will be stocked in Lake Michigan. Why? Because the best science says there are so many salmon in the lake they are going to eat all the alewives. (Alewives are the small baitfish king salmon depend on for food.) There…

People, not guns, are evil

The tragic, senseless massacre at a Colorado movie theater is yet another call for more gun control – at least that’s what a lot of gun-grabbing simpletons would have you believe. “Americans own too many guns.” “Why do hunters need guns that shoot multiple bullets?” “If we get rid of all the guns there won’t be any more of these shooting.”…

Humane Society should remain mute on swan policy

Mute swans may not have much of a voice but the people who love them are doing a lot of squawking as the Department of Natural Resources attempts to reduce the population of this invasive species that has increased to about 15,000 birds statewide. Recent public hearings in southern parts of the state have generated all sorts of comments and…

Woman solos on Lake Michigan

If you see a strange looking, yellow boat being rowed south along Michigan’s Lake Michigan shoreline in the next few weeks or shored up in one of the harbors, don't be surprised. In fact, cheer Jenn Gibbons on to finish her quest. She’s attempting to become the first person to row a boat around Lake Michigan. Gibbons is a rowing…

Single or treble?

Some Great Lakes fishermen prefer lures with single hooks. Other prefer treble hooks. Which group is right? Obviously, if one kind was demonstrably better than the other, the argument would be finished. Almost all of us would be fishing with one style or the other. One could surmise treble hooks would be three times as effective in hooking and catching…

Lifetime licenses? Devil is in the detail.

Legislation has been introduced in Lansing to create a package of lifetime hunting and fishing licenses. On the surface, it sounds like a good idea that would save sportsmen and women a few bucks. But the devil is in the detail. The legislation, HB 5334 sponsored by Rep. Richard LeBlanc (D-Westland), calls for establishing lifetime licenses for fishing (restricted and…

Rule No. 2

My purpose here isn’t to keep rule No. 1 a secret, it’s a takeoff on the saying my high school football coach often eschewed. Odd though it may seem, he’d find a way to fit it into pep talks, chew-outs and general conversation time and again. He’d say, “Watermelon is the second best thing in the world. Everyone has their…

Is 10 brook trout too many?

The Department of Natural Resources’ proposed change in the brook trout creel limit from five fish to 10 fish is more controversial than I thought it would be. It wasn’t that long ago that the daily limit was 10 fish, and it had been 10 for quite a few years. From what I understand, the change from 10 to five…

Butt Out

I gave up smoking 30-some years ago but I’ll admit that before I did, I often tossed my cigarette butts into the lake when I was fishing. I didn’t consider myself a litterbug and would never have tossed empty bottles or cans, plastic bags or any other non-biodegradable refuse, overboard. But butts were small, and I thought the remnants of…

Conservation organizations, hunters should work hand-in-hand

Hunters sometimes look down their noses at some conservation organizations, particularly those that don’t seem to be perfectly aligned with their interests. National Rifle Association, Ducks Unlimited, Quality Deer Management Association – to name just a few – are organizations that more or less make their missions plain in their titles. It’s not always as evident with groups such as…

A moral dilemma

Chilly temperatures and blustery winds greeted turkey hunters in southern Michigan Tuesday morning on opening day of the spring gobbler season. The turkeys didn’t seem to mind. Three toms boisterously announced the arrival of daybreak with a series of gobbles that brought instant excitement to this seasoned gobbler chaser. They carried on triumphantly for the first half hour of daylight,…

Boat trailer corrosion

Several years ago the pressure treated lumber industry changed from infusing boards with chemicals with an arsenic base to salts with a copper base. Both types do a good job of keeping teated lumber from rotting when exposed to the outside elements. After the change-over, carpenters learned they couldn’t continue using galvanized or plain steel nails or screws with this…

Michigan Outdoor News writer Don Ingle passed away

My heart is heavy as I write this blog while mourning the death of friend and fellow outdoor writer Don Ingle. Don and his wife Jean both died late last week in a nighttime house fire at their Lake County residence in Baldwin, Michigan. They were long-time residents of Baldwin. Details of the incident are sketchy as of this writing since…

Firearms deer take one of lowest in recent years

With ice and or snow seriously lacking in many parts of the state, hordes of sportsmen and sportswomen appear to be reflecting on the recent firearms deer hunting season. Phone calls, emails and letters have been flooding into the MON office over the last few weeks from hunters across the state. Some call to share their success stories from the recent…

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…

Ride my train

It’s called a train of thought when one thought or idea leads to another and another. You start thinking about orange juice and end up thinking about book shelves. What’s up with that? Let me share a thought train I had recently, which started with invasive species in the Great Lakes then veered off on a track of it’s own….

Lake Michigan’s other fish

I’m often asked by newcomers to Great Lakes fishing if fish other than salmon or trout are ever caught. Though I’m tempted to say things like “why would you want to,” I bite my tongue and tell them the truth. There aren’t many occasions when anything else besides salmon or trout are caught.But it happens. (Perhaps it happens more on…

Cougars are here; will they stay?

The recent images of a cougar recorded on trail cameras in the Upper Peninsula have been interesting. The animal has been doing a lot of traveling in Michigan and is thought to have come all the way from South Dakota. The DNR says additional images of the cat, which is wearing a radio collar, were recorded in Wisconsin. South Dakota…

Sault Tribe can’t fit moose in its game bag

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians just announced this month that its Inland Conservation Committee voted to oppose Michigan’s proposed moose hunt. The tribe’s new chairman, Joe Eitrem, was quoted in the news this week saying, “The Sault Tribe is not in agreement with the state of Michigan concerning the appropriateness of a moose hunt.” The tribe’s action…

Adrift off Ludington

When the wind is blowing and the waves are rolling, it’s not a time to worry about money. Especially if your motor has just revved up and your propeller has stopped turning. Especially if you are 6 miles offshore of Ludington and the forecast is for the 3-foot waves to become 4-, 5- or 6-footers as the morning progresses. Worry…

King rules

This is the time of the year most Great Lakes fishermen anticipate the most. The time of year when mature king salmon, also called chinook salmon, make their way back to the streams they left as tiny fingerlings three-and-a-half years ago. They are back as the biggest, meanest, toughest-to-catch fish that swim in the Great Lakes.Many articles have been written…