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Club assists hunter education; Michigan offers free gun locks

Outdoors report

IRON MOUNTAIN — To acquire a hunting license in Michigan, anyone born after Jan. 1, 1960, is required to successfully complete an approved hunter education course.

Online courses are available but also require an in-person field day. Sagola Township Sportsmen’s Club will host a hunter education field day from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 10. To register, students must take and pass an approved online safety class.

More information is available at https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/things-to-do/hunting/education.

The class size for the Sagola Township field day is limited to 30 and it is first-come, first-served. Once the online course is completed, students must register for the field day through the Michigan DNR website.

Gun owners are reminded of the availability of free gun locks at Michigan Department of Health and Human Services county offices. Cable-style gun locks from Project ChildSafe are being offered as part of an effort to protect children from unsecured firearms.

About 75,000 gun locks have been made available while supplies last, funded by a $500,000 allocation in the fiscal year 2024 Michigan State Police budget.

Turning to fishing, anglers on the Peshtigo River were catching yellow perch on crawlers, but sizes ranged from just 4 to 9 inches, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said.

Weather patterns since last summer have been kind to trout, as many large brook trout have been caught this season. That’s the word from Negaunee-based Rivers North Guide Service, which covers the entire Upper Peninsula.

The Michigan DNR reported this Upper Peninsula activity:

Little Bay de Noc: Smallmouth bass anglers were catching quality fish. They also noted that most of the fish had moved off beds. Anglers reported catching fish both in the shallows and deeper near bait, although fish were harder to entice due to the mayfly hatch earlier in the week. Additionally, some anglers had success targeting bass in open water, where they were feeding on alewives. Walleye anglers reported a tough bite, as walleye are also feeding on the plentiful supply of alewives. Minneapolis Shoals and “black bottom” offered some action, although overall anglers were struggling.

Manistique: Anglers reported some bait showing up. However, the bite was tough, and there were only a few reports of Chinook salmon being caught. Flasher/fly combinations or spoons were the preferred lures anglers used when trolling.

Keweenaw Bay/Huron Bay: Anglers who were able to get out in the last week found plenty of lake trout while jigging and trolling, but the catch on salmon slowed down from previous weeks. Reports indicated that the fish were holding near bait balls, and fish were biting soft while trolling and jigging. Lake trout were found throughout the water column and during all times of the day, but a majority of the fish were caught during the mornings. Most large salmon were reported to have been caught during slightly windy days before noon.

Traverse Bay/South Portage Entry Canal: Anglers were having successful fishing trips while both trolling and jigging, with the focus being on salmon. Jigging produced more fish when anglers were using cut bait of either smelt or sucker; however, lake trout were biting on both natural and artificial presentations. Trolling trips produced lake trout mainly, with plenty of good-sized fish being caught. Some anglers also targeted northern pike in the nearshore water in former weed beds with some luck.

Ontonagon River: Fishing was tough over the past week, as recent storms caused high turbidity in river waters. Some walleye were still being caught, most successfully in the early morning hours. Trolling artificial lures has recently been the best reported method used.

Ontonagon/Silver City/Union Bay: These ports saw somewhat low fishing efforts over the past week, with inclement weather being a primary cause. Reports show that anglers were catching lake trout in average numbers. These fish were found at varying depths while trolling.

Black River Harbor: Angling efforts at the harbor were limited by weather conditions over the past week. Those who got out on the lake reported catching lake trout in average numbers. Angler reports show that the fish being caught while trolling are in varying water depths.

Le Cheneaux/De Tour: Anglers in Detour had luck catching plenty of lake trout when trolling with spoons in the flats. Lake trout were also reported to have been caught when jigging in 80 to 100 feet of water. There were a few Atlantic salmon caught when trolling around both the lighthouse and the green can area in approximately 45 feet of water.

St. Ignace: Lake trout anglers caught fish trolling spoons in 40 feet of water between Bois Blanc and Mackinac islands.

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