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Friday: Outdoors

A wildlife paradise: U.P. couple improves their land for nature

IRONWOOD — When Bill and Betty Perkis of the Upper Peninsula plan their vacations each year, an enthusiasm for the outdoors always shines through; they love to camp and tour national parks to explore the beauty of nature. That passion led the couple to wonder — how could they bring the ...

Outdoors North: Autumn echoes of days gone by

“Sit by my side, come as close as the air, sharing a memory of gray,” – Phil Ochs The sun coming up over the trees sent a mellow feeling moving through me as warm as the sound of a piano. I’m sure the tree branches were cold though, encrusted in snow and frost and ice. The past few ...

Gone fishin’

Keweenaw Bay: Mixed weather brought in mixed bags of fish, as those who got out were rewarded. No limits, but they did catch lake trout, steelhead, splake, coho and the occasional Chinook. A couple boats jigging for lake trout found fish on the bottom. Marquette: Has seen a major cold ...

U.P. Habitat group continues work

MARQUETTE — Having gone through several iterations since its creation in 2015, the Upper Peninsula Habitat Workgroup re-emerged recently after a months-long hiatus, with several new members, but an unchanged focus: to conserve and improve deer wintering habitat across the region. To avoid ...

Gone fishin’

Upper Peninsula Keweenaw Bay: Most boats are being pulled from marinas, as boat activity is slowing down. Shore anglers have caught a few here and there. Those fishing a few of the river mouths found some coho and a few splake. Marquette: Fishing activity was on the upswing, with more boat ...

Gone fishin’

Keweenaw Bay: Reports of slow fishing, with a few boats out trolling and a few catches of salmon and trout. Marquette: Boat angling season is winding down, especially with windy weather limiting angler opportunities. A few boats have been out in the lower harbor and fishing the mouth of the ...

Outdoors North: Late autumn reflections

“How many roads must a man walk down, before you can call him a man,” - Bob Dylan The wind was rolling colored leaves on end across the earth in a pinwheel fashion. The maple leaves seemed to be rolling the best. They were reds and golds, mostly. Over the next few hours, the ...

Self-cloning salamanders?

MARQUETTE — There’s an unusual creature right in our midst, although the vast majority of Marquette residents don’t know it. Eli Bieri, a Northern Michigan University senior majoring in ecology, has discovered rare forms of the blue-spotted salamander on Presque Isle called ...

Conservation in times of COVID

MARQUETTE — Studying a worksheet can lead to fun in the outdoors. The Upper Peninsula Land Conservancy, based in Marquette, acknowledges education is challenging in the age of COVID-19 and its related restrictions. So the UPLC, in partnership with Michigan State University Extension, has ...

Outdoors North

“Somewhere along the high road, the air began to turn cold.” — Bob Seger With the autumnal equinox fading fast in the rearview mirror, the shift in the cosmic scene and the arrival of the new season seemed abrupt, like a curtain dropping or a door slamming shut, likely the door to ...

Gone fishin’

Upper Peninsula Keweenaw Bay: Fishing has been difficult over the past week. A little bit of everything is being caught, but no significant numbers. Anglers are marking lots of fish but had few hits. Those caught were full of small baitfish, which seems to be hindering the bite. Marquette: ...

Remembering the birth of Isle Royale’s wolf-moose study

LANSING — When L. David Mech arrived at Isle Royale in 1959, he had no idea he would pioneer the nation’s longest-running prey-predator study, one that would become a model for wildlife biologists around the world. Nor did he likely expect to eat beaver brains or loon there. Mech’s ...

Outdoors North

Editor’s note: This week’s Outdoors North is an encore publication of a column first issued on Sept. 27, 2017. “All the leaves are brown, and the sky is gray, I’ve been for a walk on a winter’s day.” — John Phillips and Michelle Gilliam With the curtain set to fall on another ...

Gone fishin’

Upper Peninsula Keweenaw Bay: Boat anglers were marking fish, but the bite was tough. Those trolling picked up a little bit of everything, but no big numbers of fish. Surface water temperatures were in the mid to high 50s. If we get some cool rain and the right winds, fish may start showing ...

Grassroots project

MARQUETTE — The possible heroes for keeping local beaches from being eroded live underground. It’s a “grassroots” effort — literally. Leading a local conservation project on Thursday was Tyler Penrod, program manager of the Great Lakes Conservation Corps, a part of the Superior ...

Outdoors North

“All that is left of me now is waiting to drown, over the waterfall.” — Robert Earl Keen I can’t really recall with any certainty the first time I ever visited this place in the forest where the ground is covered in fallen white pine needles, chickadees sing, and the river has cut ...

Every mile counts

MARQUETTE — Are you up for an outdoors challenge when leaves change colors? During Michigan Trails Week, Sept. 20-27, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance invite Michiganders to enjoy trails and collectively walk, run, ride, hike, bike ...

Outdoors North

“If you ever felt a locomotive shake the ground, I know you don’t have to be told why I’m going down to the railroad tracks and watch them lonesome boxcars roll.” — Butch Hancock In late July, a man I knew who spent a good portion of his life collecting old postcards, coins and ...

Gone fishin’

Upper Peninsula Keweenaw Bay: Strong winds have hampered fishing. When anglers could get out, fish were marked, but the action was spotty, with the majority getting a few lake trout. A few Chinook, coho and steelhead were also caught. Little Bay de Noc: Most walleye anglers were fishing ...