Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall, 2011 has Arrived

How the time flies when you are having fun.  Sorry it has been a while since I posted.   Had some great times so this will just highlight what has been going on "Up North".

I had a great kayak trip down the Jordan River.  Here are a few shots.

This is a nice little stream that gently flows down a beautiful valley.  It is a cold water stream and very few cottages.

The Jordan has a nice flow and you only have to watch the corners and the few logs.  These just serve to keep your attention on what you are doing.  Molly, Joey Gary, and Jane went with me this fine late summer day.

About 3/4s of the way you go through the culvert pipe under the crossing road.  It is a fun chute down to the next level.  My kayak always tips down and I get wet during this slight plunge. 

We saw a great canoe.  Here are a few shots.  He is a professional fishing guide and owns a restaurant.

How cool is that?

And check out the bow.

Remember, you can click on any picture to enlarge it.

I am in the middle, my brother, Gary, is on my right and my daughter, Molly is on my left.  Sorry, this shot was posted for my family.

Next adventure was a boat ride out to South Fox Island from Northport.  I got a call from Phil that he wanted a crew to go out to the lighthouse and do some grounds keeping work.  I got my crew together.  I am on the board of the South Fox Island Lighthouse Association (FILA) and we are restoring the seven building on South Fox Island.

The FILA  boat has outlived it's useful days so we are relying on friends to get us out to the island.  It takes about 2 hours and $200 of gas to get out so we want to have a full work crew going along.

Because of the wind and water conditions, we had to anchor off the East beach.  It was shallow and we just climbed overboard and carried our working supplies to the island, down the beach, up the trail to the lighthouse.  It was a hike!

This is a shot to the lighthouse building from the boathouse walkway.  Note the new red metal roof we installed a year ago.

We had to mow, cut shubbery back, spray and pull poison ivy.  Nasty work, but the jungle wants to reclaim the land so every trip out includes these basic chores. Molly, Joey and JJ are hard at work.

Gary and Phil re-install the grate over the lighthouse door at the end of the work session.
Now it is time for a beach walk.

Molly is taking the short-cut to the beach and boat by cutting through the woods and down the hill.

You can see the Fog Signal Tower in the background.  After the walk and a swim it was time to head back to the boat and load up for the trip home.

When Fall comes, the salmon start running.  The first place to get them is off the pier.  These fish are fresh and strong.  Most of the anglers are using Little Cleos or plugs to catch them.

There is nothing like a 15-18 # salmon hitting your lure.  Bang... then they kick it into high gear.  The first two runs are so strong that you have to let them take line.  Steady pressure after that and you will be rewarded with a fresh, silver salmon that is good eating.

Even I get lucky!  It hit a glo Cleo about 7:00 am.

This is a shot at the Little Man Weir.  It is loaded with salmon, awaiting the DNR to collect eggs.  It is quite an operation.  The large salmon are guided up chutes to the station where they are stunned by a mechanical devise and then air is injected into the stomach and the eggs pop out.  They are fertilized with milt and shipped off to surrounding states and also used for our planting in Michigan.

Random Fish shots.  This is your reward for reading along so far.

This is what 800 salmon look like in the the Little Man.

Charlie with a Backwaters smallmouth bass.

Here I am with a Fall smallmouth bass.  I was using a curly tail jig.

This is for Kelly and Jeff, a picture of a cougar near Sleeping Bear Dunes.  They heard this cat under their feet as they climbed up the Scenic Outlook near Arcadia Bluffs on a late summer night.

Perch and largemouth bass from Portage Lake.

A summer brown hit the black maribou streamer, which was above a white streamer.  I guess black is best.

A nice bluegill hit my brown streamer on Portage Lake.

Another summer largemouth bass from Portage Lake.

Well, that is all for now.  I hope to get into the Fall Feeding Frenzy that I read about.  I am not putting my boat and fishing gear away just yet.  Steelhead are starting and I still want to hit the Backwaters before I head down to Key West for 6 weeks.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Grayling in MIchigan

I just read an article  in the Great Lakes Life and Times abouty a plan to bring back Grayling to Michigan.  Overfishing and destruction of trout habitat from lumbering led to the demise of the Arctic Grayling in Michigan streams. 

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The Little River Band of Indians is trying to plan for the re-establishing of the Arctic Grayling in the Manistee River with help from Michigan Technological University.  The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians received a US Fish and Wildlife Service tribal wildlife grant to partially fund a native species restoration plan.

The Manistee River was selected to be studied for the stocking of Grayling.  The Manistee River flows southwest for over 230 miles.  A seven year sturgeon restoration on the Manistee River has continued with support from the Little River Band and Michigan Tech.  The Manistee River has more than 80 species of fish and the 11 mile section from Hodenpyle to Tippy Dam was selected because of it's remoteness and six cold water inputs.

The grayling is distinctive by an oversized dorsal fin.  Montana has the sole self-sustaining grayling population in the lower 48 states.  I did catch grayling in Yellowstone National Park a few years back.  We parked and hiked with float tubes several miles back  to Grebe Lake.  Grayling have a small mouth like a whitefish.  I used small nymphs and manged to catch 5-6 small grayling.

The initial study may lead to stocking.  The State of Michigan tried both river and lake stocking of grayling in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but the fish didn't establish due to a number of factors, including hooking mortality, disease, predation, and competition.

Grayling are a somewhat fragile species and not very aggressive.  The stream survey will add more information on water discharge, substrate, water temperature, and "food drift".    The land around the river in this area is national forest and adjacent to tribal land.

It is exciting to hear that the Arctic Grayling might one again swim in a stream in Michigan.  It is even more exciting when it is happening in your own back yard!