Goshen News, Goshen, IN

March 24, 2013

OUTDOOR COLUMN: Bass seminars highlight of show

By LOUIE STOUT
THE GOSHEN NEWS

GOSHEN — Three former Bassmaster Classic winners will join other top bass fishing pros at the D&R Sports Spring Fishing and Boat Show in Kalamazoo next weekend.

Classic winners Davey Hite, Skeet Reese and Kevin VanDam will be giving seminars along with Ish Monroe and Jonathon VanDam.

There is no admission fee.

In addition, outdoor television host Mark Zona, Lake St. Clair guide Gary Gostenik, and Lake Michigan smallmouth guide Chris Hoffsinger will offer fishing tips.

The Berkley’s Experience Trailer also will be on hand along with factory reps from the nation’s top lure, tackle and electronics manufacturers.  

Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Visit www.dandrsports.com for a complete schedule of workshop topics and times.

Boating class

The South Bend Power Squadron will sponsor a boating safety class for all boaters, including personal watercraft operators, beginning April 1.

The class will be taught at the Battell Center in Mishawaka and run through May 11. Class hours are 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The newly revised course includes lessons on seamanship, boat handling, boat typed, rules of the road, navigation aids, regulations, adverse conditions, marine VHF radio, knots, trailering and optional introductory piloting.

Children and families are welcome.

For more information, call 574-273-4078 or visit online at www.sbsps.org.

Fish projects announced

Southwest Michigan fisheries biologist Jay Wesley has announced fish management plans over the next year.

Those plans include fish stocking, habitat rehabilitation projects, creel census, fish community surveys and angler access programs.

Wesley’s district covers the Grand, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Galien river watersheds and all the lakes and streams within that area.

Some of the highlights of DNR projects on waters frequently used by Hoosier anglers include fish surveys on Sand, McCoy and Pipestone creeks; a reduction of brown trout stocking on the Galien River; a fish survey at Benton Harbor and St. Joseph; a survey on Lake Templene; and walleye and channel cat stockings on Palmer Lake.

Here are some of the DNR’s other plans:

Berrien County: Extensive habitat improvement along McCoy Creek through the city of Buchanan is planned for this spring and summer. Chinook salmon stocking will be reduced from 140,000 to 48,000 at the Port of St. Joseph to reduce predation in Lake Michigan. Brown trout stocking rates will be reduced on the South Branch Galien River to better match the streams carrying capacity.

Cass County: Shore and wading opportunities for brown trout are available at Dodd County Park on the Dowagiac River and Russ Forest Park on Dowagiac Creek.

St. Joseph County: The Type B trout regulation will be removed from Corey Lake, but this regulation change will not go into effect until at least 2014.

Barry County: A proposal to increase the muskellunge size limit from 42 to 46 inches and to potentially stock muskellunge in Gun Lake will be out for public input throughout the spring. A bass recruitment evaluation will be conducted this fall on Gun Lake. Thornapple Lake will continue to be stocked with Great Lakes strain muskellunge to maintain a brood stock population and will be stocked with walleye. The size limit of northern pike on Fish Lake has been reduced from 30 to 24 inches.

Branch County: Fish community surveys are planned for Lake Lavine, Prairie River and Fisher Creek.

Kalamazoo County: The Long Lake northern pike size limit will change from 24 inches to a 24-34 inch protected slot size limit.

Van Buren County: North Scott Lake is scheduled for a fish community survey. The South Branch Paw Paw River and Pine Creek will continue to be stocked with brown trout, and some sites will be moved. Sand Creek will continue to be stocked with brown trout. Chinook salmon stocking will be reduced at South Haven and a creel survey will be conducted there.

For more information about management activities, contact Wesley at 269-685-6851, or email him at wesleyj@michigan.gov.

New muskie/pike regs

The Michigan DNR reminds anglers that new muskie and pike regulations go into effect April 1.

New Northern pike regulations now include the establishment of a 24- to 34-inch protected slot limit regulation on several waters. The DNR believes this new regulation has the potential to increase predation levels by larger northern pike on smaller northern pike and result in a greater number of larger northern pike on various waters.

A new provision for waters where up to five northern pike may be taken restricts harvest to only one northern pike greater than 24 inches allowed as part of the daily possession limit of five pike on those waters.

Muskie changes include limiting anglers to only one fish (including tiger muskie) per season.    Anglers must have a new muskie harvest tag in possession to keep a fish, but are not required to obtain the free tag to fish for muskies.

For more information on fishing for muskellunge and northern pike in Michigan, please review the 2013 Michigan Fishing Guide.

Hunter safety class

Bend of the River Conservation Club in Niles will host a Hunter Safety/Bow Hunter Safety Class April 4-6 with registration March 24 and 28.

Class hours are 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. April 4-5 and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 6. You must attend all three days to receive a certificate. Cost is $10, which includes lunch on April 6.

Sign up will be at the club between 4-6 p.m. March 24 and 7-9 p.m. March 28. For information, call Jim Leonard, 574-387-4899.

3D Archery Hunt

The Michigan City Izaak Walton League will conduct a 3D Archery Hunt April 7 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will 30 3D targets on a one-half mile course cut through wilderness and it will entertain beginners and challenge experts. Cost is $10 for non-members and $8 for members. Lessons will be offered and breakfast and lunch available. For more information, call Jason Hogan, 219-877-5800.

Contact Goshen News outdoor writer Louie Stout at info@louiestout.com.