Archives: September 2017

Weekly Fishing Report for Week Starting September 14th

From the Michigan DNR – Upper Peninsula

Lake Gogebic: Walleye and perch fishing were about the same as last week. Those trolling crank baits and crawler harnesses suspended in deeper water caught a nice bag walleye, perch and a few crappie. Those drifting and anchoring caught perch and walleye but no big numbers. Sorting is a must due to the small walleye. The north end was still producing some nice bluegills and sunfish along with the small ones. Try crawlers and leeches. Those using minnows near shore have also caught fish.

Keweenaw Bay: Most boats were heading north and trolling around Pequaming where they caught lake trout and a few coho. Catch rates were getting better at the South Entry with lake trout taken off Farmers Reef when trolling spoons. Coho were showing up around the lighthouse. Those jigging caught lake trout in 150 to 160 feet.

Little Bay De Noc: Anglers caught walleye mostly at night when trolling stick baits or crawlers in 18 to 25 feet between the Second and Third Reefs. Best day catches were in the southern waters between Breezy Point and the Minneapolis Shoals area when trolling stick baits or crawlers in 10 to 16 feet at Round Island or 25 feet at the shoals. Perch numbers were down but some nice jumbo perch were caught on crawlers in 17 to 23 feet off Kipling. Pike were active throughout the bay with a couple fish over 40 inches taken near Escanaba when trolling rapalas along the edge of the shipping docks. Salmon were caught at the dam in the Escanaba River.

Manistique River: Salmon fishing just keeps getting better with anglers taking Chinook, coho, pink salmon and brown trout. Boat anglers are trolling from the mouth to where the fast water starts using Mega lips, jointed rapalas, spoons or spawn. Shore anglers are fishing between the “Big Bass Hole” and the dam. The water is fast and muddy in this area making for poor visibility. Many of those targeting salmon have caught the bonus walleye. Anglers are reminded that the fish cleaning station is shut down but the DNR freezer is still there if you catch a fish with a missing adipose fin.

Marquette: Lake trout fishing was slow as most struggled to catch two or three fish. Coho were caught near the lower harbor and near the mouth of the Carp and the Chocolay Rivers. A couple Chinook were caught in the rivers but no word on coho yet.

Au Train: Limit and near limit catches of lake trout were taken within a few miles of Au Train Island. A few coho and Chinook were caught in 60 feet or less near the mouth of the Au Train River. No word on any salmon caught in the Rock or the Au Train River.

Munising: Surface water temperatures have cooled to around 59 degrees which is much cooler than last year and anglers are hoping this will bring fish in sooner. Coho salmon have been caught and while most boats were getting one to three fish, some had none. Most were trolling within the bay, towards Sand Point and out into Trout Bay and fishing in 60 to 70 feet. There has been very little activity at Bay Furnace. The city docks and the Anna River were producing some legal size splake but anglers were putting in a lot of time just to catch a couple fish. Try spawn bags or casting Cleos. Lake trout were caught near Wood Island Reef, Grumps Hump and Big Reef when the winds allow.

Grand Marais: Most boats stayed close and caught limits of lake trout about a mile out just off the break. A few coho were also caught. No activity at the Sucker River.

Two Hearted River: Coho salmon are staging outside the mouth. Few fish have entered the river as anglers have only reported a few catches. Warmer temperatures this week will most likely keep the fish out in Lake Superior a bit longer.

Tahquamenon River: Boat anglers caught a few muskie but pike reports were few and far between. Fishing pressure at the dam and pier were almost non-existent.

St. Marys River: A good number of Atlantic salmon and some whitefish have been caught behind the Cloverland Power Plant. Cloverland is performing maintenance on the turbines, and will periodically have the plant shut down. Fishing is poor during these times, so check flow from the park to east of the powerhouse first. A fair number of pink salmon have been caught when jigging spoons. Yellow perch fishing was steady in the early morning until 9 a.m. and just before dark in the North Channel. Use crawlers or minnows on the bottom in 25 feet. Walleye fishing continues to improve in the shipping channel in 30 to 32 feet with a green crawler harness and bottom bouncer. Most were caught between the 3-Mile and 7-Mile Buoys. Smallmouth bass were caught on the rock piles. Walleye were caught on the north end of Lake George in 9 to 12 feet. In the lower river, only a few walleye were taken in 12 to 17 feet in Munuscong and Raber Bays. Yellow perch fishing was slow but a few 9 to 12 inch fish were found in the weed beds in 10 to 18 feet.

Detour: Had good catches of lake trout taken a foot off the bottom along the 90 foot flat which is two miles straight south of the Detour Lighthouse. Try an orange and white or chartreuse and white spin-glo with an 18 inch leader behind a flasher. A few smaller Chinook salmon were caught when trolling 50 to 60 feet down in 80 to 100 feet from Fry Pan Island southwest to the green buoy. Hot colors were chartreuse, chrome or chrome and white.

Drummond Island: The fall yellow perch bite has started to pick up. Successful anglers caught 10 to 25 fish between 8 and 14 inches. Most were taken while drifting leaf worms and minnows on colorful perch rigs near structure The location of the schools seem to change daily, but some spots to try would be Scott Bay or around Rutland, Peck, Harbor and Bald Island. The perch are not schooled up in large groups yet, but were found in small pockets of weeds and rock piles in various depths. Hot colors were green, red and reflective silver or gold on sunny days.

Cedarville and Hessel: Cedarville had reports of a few perch caught when drifting worms and shiners in 8 feet in Musky Bay off Conners Point. Largemouth bass were very good in 3 to 5 feet off the weed beds when casting a weedless surface lure. Those casting spinners under the docks in 4 to 6 feet throughout the Les Cheneaux Islands also caught fish. Pike up to 30 inches were taken around Little LaSalle Island. Try chubs in 8 feet where there is a current. Hessel had no reports of yellow perch caught from the finger docks at the marina. A few pike were caught on chubs and spoons in the early morning. A few perch were caught by walleye anglers in Mackinaw Bay when drifting a jig with a shiner in 8 to 12 feet.

Carp River: Had some salmon activity but catch rates were slow. Pier anglers using spawn, spoons and crank baits had little to no success. Fishing slowed on Nunn’s Creek as well but anglers still managed to catch a few Chinook 9 to 11 pounds with a silver and green or silver and blue spoon as well as fresh spawn.

New Website Makes It Easy To Find Michigan Historical Markers, Visit Historic Places Throughout State

New website makes it easy to find Michigan Historical Markers, visit historic places throughout state

By SARAH LAPSHAN/Michigan Department of Natural Resources
and TOBI VOIGT/Michigan History Center

On the M-109 loop that runs between Empire and Glen Arbor in Leelanau County, along the Lake Michigan shoreline – near an area once touted as the “Most Beautiful Place in America” by ABC’s “Good Morning America” show – stands a stately sign that marks the forward-thinking of more than a century ago that recognized Michigan’s need for a statewide parks system.

This particular sign commemorates the creation of D.H. Day State Park (now part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore) and Michigan’s post-World War I movement to preserve other scenic sites as public outdoor recreation destinations.

These green-and-gold signs, known as Michigan Historical Markers, dot buildings and landscapes, sharing snippets of Michigan’s rich history.

Just about anyone who’s traveled the state’s byways and highways over the last 50-plus years likely has encountered a marker or two, and for good reason – Michigan’s historical marker program is among the nation’s oldest.

close-up view of the green-and-gold Kirtland's warbler markerSince it was authorized by the Legislature in 1955, the program has approved and placed more than 1,700 markers throughout the state, as well as in several other states (for example, in Kentucky at the Perryville Battlefield State Park, honoring the Michigan soldiers who aided the Union in this pivotal Civil War battle) and in Europe (at the home of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, the French explorer who founded Detroit).

Although a marker can’t tell the full story – after all, the text is limited to a few hundred words – it does provide a great starting point to learn more.

“Michigan Historical Markers capture the stories of our state’s significant places, events and people in and around the locations where they happened or lived,” said Sandra Clark, director of the Michigan History Center, an agency within the Michigan Department of Natural Resources that manages the marker program. The Michigan Historical Commission approves the markers and their final texts.

Historical markers originally were placed at highway rest areas, in state parks, and at locations where historic events occurred. Today, historical markers can be found nearly everywhere, including the sides of buildings, the yards of residences and businesses, and at schools.

Clark said that Michigan’s earliest markers focused on European settlement, geology, geography, Native peoples and military conflicts, but, as the program grew, it began to commemorate historically significant architecture, the contributions of individuals, and other milestones.

Stop in at the I-75 rest stop south of Grayling and you can read, briefly, about one of Michigan’s greatest wildlife conservation stories. The “Return of Kirtland’s Warbler” historical marker explains how the bird nearly became extinct in the mid-20th century as logging and other industries damaged its natural habitats, but then successful habitat restoration and conservation efforts turned the tide. The marker reads, in part:

close-up view of the Houghton historical marker“… Guided by research to mimic natural fire processes, government agencies and private conservationists began harvesting older jack pine stands and replanting the trees to restore the warblers’ habitat. … From an all-time modern low of 167 nesting pairs in 1974 and 1987, the summer population of the warbler rebounded to more than 1,700 pairs in 2007. The recovery of the species testifies to the effectiveness of habitat restoration efforts. …”

Visitors to Eagle River on the Upper Peninsula’s Keweenaw Peninsula can see the “Douglass Houghton” marker that honors the man who served as Michigan’s first state geologist. It was an 1841 report from Houghton, describing the U.P.’s copper country, that convinced hundreds of people to flood the Keweenaw in search of copper fortunes. The marker also highlights several of Houghton’s other contributions, including studying smallpox among the Chippewa Indians, serving as a correspondent for the Detroit Journal, and recording more than 200 plants.

One of the newest markers, installed just this past July, highlights the civil unrest in Detroit in 1967. The marker was placed on the site where the rebellion and riot began, now occupied by Detroit’s Gordon Park, on the 50th anniversary of the uprising. It sets the scene:

“In July 1967 the civil unrest that had been spreading across the United States reached Detroit. In the early morning hours of July 23, Detroit police officers raided a blind pig, an illegal after-hours bar, where patrons were celebrating the return of Vietnam War servicemen. …”

Clark says it’s this diversity of moments, milestones and memories in our state’s history that makes the markers compelling reading for both historians and citizens. Now, with the launch of a new web-based tool, Clark hopes even more people will get in on the hunt for the markers.

view of crowd surrounding the Detroit July 1967 historical markerUntil recently, curious Michiganders have relied on a list or a book – and a lot of good, old-fashioned exploring – to find the state’s historical markers. Then staff at the DNR and the Michigan History Center put their expertise together to find a way to make it easier than ever for folks to find and learn about the markers and the history they honor.

The result? A new, interactive website (www.michigan.gov/markers) that can be accessed by phone, computer screen or tablet – no special app required.

“The Michigan Historical Commission originated and pushed for this project, and DNR technical and history staff made it happen,” said Clark. “We hope this historical marker database will pique the curiosity of Michiganders, help Michigan travelers better connect to the communities they visit, and inspire everyone to keep learning more about the real stories that make up Michigan’s fascinating past.”

Once on the website, visitors will find an interactive map that shows marker sites across the state. A search box at the top right corner of the map makes it possible for users to find markers near their homes, businesses or vacation spots.

On the map, each marker is represented by a small green icon. When a visitor clicks on an icon, a menu box with title and address information pops up. The pop-up box includes clickable links that enable a visitor to zoom in on the map, learn more about the marker, or get driving directions to the marker using Google maps.

The detail link provides specific information about the marker, including its location and installation dates, an image, and the marker text. Visitors also can download a PDF copy of the marker information.

But the website is much more than just a map, said Mary Patrick, Michigan Historical Marker program coordinator.

screen shot showing map of Michigan dotted with historical marker locations“This research tool is full of features that make it practical for students, researchers, trip planners and other explorers to find historical marker information that will interest them,” she said.

For example, the filter feature (located below the map) enables visitors to pull out map results by county, theme or time period. Clark said the theme filter is particularly handy for planning road trips around topics of interest.

“If someone is interested in the early auto industry, they can select that filter to find all the markers related to that topic and use the directions feature to plan the ultimate Michigan automobile road trip,” she said.

The website also includes the ability to customize the view. Visitors can switch the style of the map by clicking on different options – from road to topographical – in the basemaps feature.

The map defaults to show only the markers, but visitors also can add state parks and campgrounds, as well as Michigan’s network of rail trails, making it easy for families planning a Michigan vacation to map out a trip incorporating visits to historical markers close to where they will be traveling.

Ortonville resident JoAnne Brodbeck is one such traveler.

“My 11-year old son has become a big history buff,” Brodbeck said. “This summer we took a trip to Mackinac Island, and read every marker he stumbled upon. I showed him this website, and he was very excited. It will make it possible for him to find and map out markers before our next vacation.”

four young boys standing in front of Mackinaw Island historical markerBrodbeck said she also plans to keep the website in mind when looking for history topics for school projects.

The Michigan Historical Marker website also was built with researchers and marketers in mind. The database upon which the map is built is available as a free download (either as a KML or CSV file) on the marker main page. It is made available as part of the DNR’s Open Data project (http://gis-midnr.opendata.arcgis.com/), which provides accessible, high-quality information and analysis to drive informed decision-making.

Patrick said that although the marker website is live, there still is information to add, particularly photographs of all the markers. DNR staff are field testing and updating the database this fall, continuing to add photographs and verify information.

Michigan History Center staff also would love to hear how others are using the website.

“We encourage visitors who don’t see a marker in an exact GPS location to look around and see if it’s nearby,” Patrick said. “If they can’t find it, we hope they will let us know.” Patrick said the best way to share that information is by using the contact form link at the top of the marker website’s main page.

“There’s something fitting, and exciting, about using the latest technology to help share the pieces of our past, making these important stories more accessible to more people,” said Clark. “As information is added or updated, it will be right at users’ fingertips – we’re putting history in your hands.”

For more information, visit the historical marker website at www.michigan.gov/markers.