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Clear H2O

Plans for a new public access on Michigan’s Eagle Lake in Cass County are moving forward despite a lawsuit filed by the Eagle Lake Improvement Association against the DNR and Ontwa Township.

A court hearing is planned for Monday morning at 10 a.m. in Cass County Circuit Court. Judge Susan Dobrich will preside.

The lake association opposes development of a DNR boating access site on Eagle Lake Road despite support the project received from the township and public last winter.

There is reason to believe that Michigan bass season may take on a new look next year.

Michigan is one of only four states with a closed bass season during the spawn. As it stands now, the season closes from Jan. 1 through the last Saturday in April after which a catch-and-release only season is offered until Memorial Day weekend. Michigan anglers aren’t permitted to “keep” bass until the holiday weekend each year.

Another 1,100 steelhead moved through the South Bend dam last week, pushing April’s totals to more than 8,000 fish and assuring the spring run is the second largest in history.

In addition, hatchery managers say this is the latest they’ve ever recorded steelhead migrating into South Bend. The total steelhead run, including those few fish that ran into the river last summer, is 16,124 through April 30.

And it’s not over. Biologists expect a few more fish to move up over the next few days before the run ends.

“This is one of those rare years when you can catch river steelhead into May,” said Lake Michigan biologist Brian Breidert.