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It’s that time of the year when we take a look at the past with an eye on the future.

The year 2014 delivered a lot of interesting news for outdoorsmen, yet it also left a lot of unfinished business on the table. With that in mind, here’s a look at issues from last year that we can only hope will be resolved in the coming months:

Development of the Eagle Lake public access site near Edwardsburg continues to move at a snail’s pace, but Michigan DNR officials said this week they are still “in the process of securing the site.”

The state-owned property is on the east side of Eagle Lake Road, just north of the former Dock property. The land designated as a future parking area for a DNR boating access site has sat idle since the state purchased it last August. Future plans call for a new boat ramp on Eagle across the road.

The DNR’s Jordan Byelich said his agency is ready to present boat launch access plans to the Cass County Road Commission sometime next month. The DNR has met with commission staffers to discuss preliminary plans, he added, and “is working on changes per the staff changes.”

In addition, the DNR also must apply to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for development approval.

In a ruling announced by Cass County District Court Friday, Judge Sue Dobrich supported the Ontwa Township’s zoning board decision that favored the proposed boat launch on Eagle Lake.

The popular fishing lake in southwest Michigan has been without sufficient access all year. The DNR purchased land on Eagle Lake Road near Edwardsburg with the intent to develop a parking area and safe boat launch but has received stiff resistance from the Eagle Lake Improvement Association.

Last summer, the lake association filed suit against Ontwa Township and the Michigan DNR over the township’s zoning board vote that approved the proposed launch.

By Louie Stout

You gotta love those celebrities.

Whenever a controversial issue comes before us, someone from Hollywood steps forward to voice a position based on naivety and emotion.

Like PETA supporter Kristen Bell, best known as the “Anna” voice in the popular animated film “Frozen,” who came out the other day and issued a plea for Michiganders to vote down the two sportsmen proposals in this week’s election.

Remarkably, some naïve Michigan editorial writers gave the woman that PETA named America’s “Sexiest Vegetarian” a sounding board on their pages the past few weeks.

I guess in some people’s minds that gives her credibility.

Trout and salmon continue to stream up the St. Joseph River, but panfish may be making the most news. According to area baitshop operators, bluegills redear and perch are moving shallower and the anglers finding them are catching good sacks.

“The perch fishing on Wawasee keeps getting better and it’s been good on Tippecanoe, too,” said Jim Housman of the Tackle Box in North Webster. “They’re catching a lot of big redear at Tippy and Waubee as well. The fish are moving into the bays.”

Darrin Schaap of Clear H2o near Edwardsburg says perch fishing is improving on southern Michigan lakes, too, and that everyone who is fishing for bluegills has been doing well.

“It’s time to start stocking up the freezer,” he added. “Crappie fishing is picking up, too.”