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Michigan bass opener today; safety urged near power dams

Outdoors report

IRON MOUNTAIN — Today is the large and smallmouth bass opener in Michigan.

When temperatures start to rise, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources suggests trying spinner baits in areas of bass cover, such as logs, boulders or weed patches.

Temperature swings this past week have kept catch rates down, especially for walleye, but action at Peavy Falls Dam in Iron County has been steady, said Bob Kennard at Midtown Bait & Tackle in Channing.

“Squaw Lake (in Marquette County) has been very good,” he added.

During the Memorial Day weekend, We Energies and Upper Peninsula Power Co. are placing an added emphasis on dam safety.

Stay safe near hydroelectric dams by obeying warning signs, heeding horns and sirens, staying outside of buoy lines, staying aware of rapidly changing water conditions, and bringing a cellphone in case of emergency.

In the central Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin, water levels and river flows can be monitored at https://www.wisconsinpublicservice.com/environment/hydrodata.

Marinette County anglers were targeting perch in the main channel of the lower section of the Peshtigo River, the Wisconsin DNR said. Sheepshead, rock bass and bullheads and perch were caught in the backwater areas of the lower river with nightcrawlers working for all species.

June 5 and 6 is Free Fun Weekend in Wisconsin. Fishing will be free for residents and non-residents and park admission fees and trail passes will be waived.

The Michigan DNR reported this Upper Peninsula activity:

Ontonagon: Catch rates were decent on the big lake as fish were moving out to deeper water. Fishing locations vary every day depending on wind direction. Some nice lake trout and salmon have been caught.

Ontonagon River: Walleye fishing was hit-or-miss. Those finding fish have done well but were sorting through a good number of small ones.

Keweenaw Bay: When they could get out, boat anglers caught lake trout in deep water. Low fishing pressure was reported on Huron Bay, the Silver River and the Falls River.

Little Bay De Noc: Anglers continue to catch a few perch near Kipling.

Big Bay De Noc: Anglers have caught walleye and smallmouth bass.

Munising: Boat anglers targeting coho and splake did not do well at all. Some did manage to catch the occasional brown trout, rainbow trout or king salmon. Surface water temperatures did climb to the low 40s before the cold front moved in. There were no anglers fishing the Anna River because the action has been very slow.

Grand Marais: Boats trolling for trout and salmon reported slow catch rates. Pier anglers were getting some limit catches with the strong northwest winds.

St. Marys River: Walleye have been caught in Munuscong Bay.

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