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Could we be on the verge of one of the best steelhead runs in the history of the St. Joseph River stocking program?

Perhaps, says Lake Michigan biologist Brian Breidert, noting the summer run is beginning to look “the way it used to be, with summer-run steelhead showing up in July.”

It already is looking that way in Trail Creek and Salt Creek that are jammed with steelhead and more are coming.

“A guy sat at our (Trail Creek) weir this week and counted 132 steelhead jump the barrier in three hours,” said Breidert. “I’ve not seen anything like this in the 32 years I’ve been working here. There are fish from one end of Trail Creek to the other.”

Ever wonder what’s going on beneath the water of your favorite lake?

A new item we’ve added to Michiana Outdoors News will provide a little insight.

Beginning this week, we’ve added “Lake Studies” under our “News” heading. These are overviews of research projects conducted by district fishery biologists.

Hot weather has reduced fishing activity, but it hasn’t kept the fish from biting.

In fact, some anglers are having good success during these dog days of summer. When water temperatures rise, so does fish metabolism, therefore they have to eat more often.

“The people braving the heat are catching fish,” said Bryan Williams of Trailhead Mercantile in Niles.

Make no mistake about it — inland fish are moving deep and require deepwater tactics to catch them. Bluegills have pulled off the drop-offs and bass are holding closer to deeper weed clumps.

“For bluegills, mark them on your depthfinder and set your bait and bobbers accordingly,” noted Kevin Claire of Lunkers in Edwardsburg.

Bass have been biting a variety of soft plastics finessed through deep weed edges and topwaters early and late.

Click here to view an conceptual illustration of the DNR’s proposed access site.

Not surprisingly, the Eagle Lake Improvement Association has stepped up efforts to block a proposed public access site and community park for Eagle/Juno lakes.

Attorneys for The Eagle Lake Improvement Association filed objections with the Michigan DNR prior to its presentation to the Michigan Waterways Commission, prompting Michigan Parks and Recreation Chief Ron Olson to postpone the project.

While this doesn’t mean it’s dead, the association’s interference does create delays in the DNR’s option to purchase the land from First Source Bank.

The project would provide badly needed launching facilities to two of southwest Michigan’s most popular fishing lakes, Eagle and the Juno Chain, not to mention offer shore fishing for children and families around a pond located on the land parcel.

The DNR’s plan would improve the appearance and functionality of the site, but the association doesn’t want to hear about that.

Eagle and Juno lake residents have made it clear: They don’t want “us” on “their” (public) lakes.

That was exemplified in Edwardsburg, Mi. recently when lake associations pinned back the ears of Michigan DNR representatives over a proposal to develop a new public launch site between the two lakes.

They strongly opposed development of a dual-purpose launch site along Eagle Lake Road. The DNR is ready to purchase the property from First Source Bank to improve access to Eagle and add a launch ramp on the channel leading to the Juno Chain.

The DNR gets negative reactions wherever they conduct public access open houses. In most cases, the uproar dies down after the site is built, in operation, and the residents realize it wasn’t nearly as threatening as they believed.

But these homeowners came organized with talking points (irrational mostly), notebooks, and video cameras. If an angler voiced support for the project, he got a tongue lashing.