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What in the world is going on?

We’ve got a real, live bear wandering northern Indiana and gray wolves have moved into Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

And then last week, the Michigan DNR put out a report that a bear attacked a hunter in ground blind just north of Mt. Pleasant.

Get used to it, says Indiana wildlife biologist Budd Veverka, Indiana’s newly appointed bear biologist. Wildlife is expanding and adapting.

“This won’t be the last bear we see in Indiana,” insisted the biologist who has studied bears since he was 14 years old. “It will take a few years, but they’re going to expand their range into Indiana.”

By Louie Stout

The next time you go to the gas pump, pay attention the ethanol rating before you stick that nozzle into your boat’s gas tank.

In fact, you should note the type of gas you’re putting in your lawn mower, chain saw, snowmobile, motorcycle or any other small gas-fired equipment you have around the house.

While the warning may be premature around here, the day is coming when gas pumps will be offering fuels that contain 15 percent ethanol (E15). It’s already offered at some pumps in 24 states.

That might burn fine in your car or truck, but it’s bad news for smaller engines and outboards.

Humans weren’t the only creatures affected by the long, hard winter and cold, wet spring.

The freakish weather patterns also played havoc with the fish community and might explain why anglers are cleaning fish that still have eggs, according to Michigan fisheries biologist Jay Wesley.

In this part of the country, bass typically spawn in late April and into May while bluegill bedding starts in late May and can run into July.

But this is August and some anglers report that they’re still finding fish containing eggs. One angler reported finding eggs in every bass he cleaned from Eagle Lake recently.

Of course, not all fish spawn at once and bluegill have been known to spawn twice in the same summer season. But these bass should have been done with that.

Wesley says that a bass retaining eggs this late in the year is either the result of conditions not being right for that fish to spawn in the spring, or the fish was carrying immature eggs that are in early stages of development for next spring’s spawn.

Eagle Lake residents continue to complain that parking on the DNR property slated as a boat launch parking area is creating problems so the DNR has responded with a plan for the holiday weekend.

The announcement, made by Parks and Recreation District Manager Rollie Johnson, states the following:

The Parks and Recreation Division (PRD) anticipates that the Eagle Lake property will require additional attention over this coming holiday weekend in order to maintain reasonable use by the public.

To that end PRD will provide staffing of the site for ten hours each day on Friday July 3 Saturday July 4, and Sunday July 5. Staff will allow orderly temporary parking on the property to reasonably accommodate boaters and guests. Staff will document the use of the site for future planning purposes (taking photographs and talking with visitors).

The process to achieve a public Boating Access Site (BAS) on Eagle Lake has been an arduous one. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is very committed to providing a safe and pleasing public BAS at Eagle Lake, and as the DNR works through the process the public will be provided with reasonable access to the public land. The staffing of the property during peak use times over the upcoming holiday is a reasonable step to bridge the gap while the site is awaiting construction.

The summer dog days, accompanied by unpredictable weather fronts, are upon us.

Most of the “easy” fishing for spawning fish is behind us as the fish begin to transition to summer patterns.

The inconsistent weather gets the lion’s share of the blame for the slowdown in action. Storms have chased or kept anglers off the water.

“There is still some good fishing but you have to work a little harder for them,” said Bonnie Kelley of Kelley’s Bait in Lakeville. “We just need some stable weather.”

Bluegill fishing might be the most consistent, especially on the St. Joseph River. Mike McNulty of Midway Bait in Osceola said the panfish are still being caught shallow and many are still spawning. Wax worms and red wigglers have produced best.