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Northern pike rules adjusted for some Dickinson-Iron waters

Outdoors report

IRON MOUNTAIN — New northern pike regulations are in place to allow increased harvest opportunities on a number of Michigan waters.

The new regulations, which took effect Friday, are meant to address abundant and slow-growing northern pike populations, the Department of Natural Resources said.

Up to five northern pike of any size may be taken –with only one greater than 24 inches allowed — on these Upper Peninsula waters:

— Dickinson County: Hamilton Lake, Lake Louise and Lake Mary.

— Gogebic County: Lake Gogebic and Sunday Lake.

— Houghton County: Prickett Impoundment.

— Iron County: Bass Lake, Paint Lake, Perch Lake and Shank Lake.

— Menominee County: Bass Lake.

— Ontonagon County: Lake Gogebic.

— Schoolcraft County: Colwell Lake and MacDonald Lake.

Also, walleye regulations on Lake Gogebic are returning to the statewide 15-inch minimum size limit, with a daily possession limit of five fish in response to concerns from anglers over greatly reduced walleye catches. The previous, more liberal regulation, approved in 2016, allowed a daily possession limit of up to two walleye between 13 and 15 inches. The change in 2016 was in response to anglers’ desire to take advantage of an abundance of walleye smaller than 15 inches, the DNR said.

Due to the new regulations taking effect outside of the typical April 1 start date, they will not appear in the printed fishing guide until the 2022 edition becomes available next spring. For current regulations, anglers are encouraged to view and refer to the digital version of the fishing guide at Michigan.gov/DNRDigests.

Water temperatures remain high — in the upper 60s, locally — but a cool-down is expected this weekend. At Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis., Doug Whisler reported at least one musky catch at 45 inches.

“They’re catching a few crappies and perch on small minnows and plastics,” he said.

Grouse hunters are having better luck as the leaves continue to drop, while a few archery hunters have been getting bucks, Whisler added.

Wisconsin’s black bear season has wrapped up. Milan’s Custom Butchering in Armstrong Creek, Wis., reported on its Facebook page a record 200 bruins processed this year as of Oct. 8. The Michigan season ends Oct. 26.

The ringneck pheasant season opens statewide in Wisconsin at 9 a.m. today and runs through Jan. 9.

The Michigan DNR reported this Upper Peninsula activity:

Ontonagon: Anglers were catching lake trout. The average size was in the three-to-five-pound range with a few 10-pound fish being caught. Anglers were trolling spoons in 100 to 150 feet looking for cooler water.

Union Bay: Lake trout were caught between 100 and 140 feet, but anglers were having to troll deep to find cooler water and active fish. Lake trout were averaging three to five pounds with the occasional 15-pound fish being caught.

Black River Harbor: Anglers were finding lake trout, but they were having to go out deeper compared to other years at this time. Two-to-four-pound lake trout were common with a few fish in the 10-pound range. Spoons performed the best.

Keweenaw Bay: Anglers were reporting lake trout, coho and Chinook catches out of Keweenaw Bay. Anglers had success with catching salmon on shore and at the river mouths. Boats anglers were catching lake trout while trolling and bobbing in deep water. Fishing was best in the mornings more than in the afternoons.

Munising: Shore and pier fishing pressure was low. Only a few splake and coho were caught.

Grand Marais: Boat anglers were targeting lake trout and were having good catches of fish averaging around three pounds. Anglers fishing the Sucker River were catching a few steelhead. Anglers were using mainly spawn but a few were caught using spoons.

AuTrain: Shore anglers fishing the mouth of Rock River reported very slow action. Anglers were fishing with crawlers or spawn. A number of boat anglers were out from AuTrain mainly targeting lake trout and reporting good catches with fish averaging around three to five pounds. Most anglers were fishing around 100 to 120 feet down – mainly around Shelter Bay and just outside AuTrain Island. Boat anglers trying for coho reported poor fishing with very few caught.

Marquette: Boat anglers were primarily targeting coho and Chinook with very few caught. Anglers were mainly trolling from Lower Harbor over towards the Carp River and then to Chocolay River. A few lake trout were caught while trolling. Lake trout appeared to be staging shallower for spawning. A few anglers were fishing off the Lower Harbor breakwall for lake trout but reported slow action. Some boat anglers were out at the Chocolay River with a few steelhead, coho and brown trout observed. Mornings provided the best action.

Big Traverse Bay/ South Portage Entry: Anglers reported catching lake trout from fishing in 40 to 140 feet of water. Most lake trout were caught while jigging in mid depth water. Pike anglers were having success close to shore. Some anglers reported steelhead in the Big Traverse River.

Little Bay de Noc: Anglers fishing out of Kipling had some success with perch, although a good deal of sorting for keepers was needed. An assortment of night crawlers and minnows were used in depths of around 14 feet of water. Walleye fishing out of the Ford River and out of Kipling had only limited success. Schools seemed to be relatively widely scattered. Some salmon were spotted in the rivers.

Big Bay de Noc: Walleye anglers were fishing out of Nahma with marginal success. Smallmouth anglers were catching fish in deep water. Some anglers were using live bait out of Fayette. Anglers were also catching pike.

St. Ignace/Les Cheneaux: Fishing and angler pressure slowed down in both ports. Anglers were targeting and catching Chinook salmon in Nunns Creek. Anglers were also catching a few perch in the middle entrance out of Cedarville around Musky Bay.

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