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By Louie Stout

Ethanol Issues Keep Outboard Boat Mechanics Busy

If your outboard engine runs and stops or not at all, Andy Peterson probably knows why.

Too much Ethanol in the fuel. Your car may run fine on it, but outboards…not so much.

“We’re seeing numerous problems because of ethanol,” said the co-owner of Starboard Choice Marine in Edwardsburg, Mich. “It’s a huge marine issue throughout the country.”

And he’s not kidding.


By Louie Stout

Rattlers Thrived on South Bend Southwest SideOur rattlesnake column a few weeks ago has triggered some interesting conversations.

If you missed that story, it noted how the 2000-plus acre Ed Lowe Foundation property east of Cassopolis harbors one of the Midwest’s largest populations of Massasauga rattlesnakes.

More than 800 have been documented on the property over the past seven years. The Massasauga is the only poisonous snake in Michigan and northern Indiana. However, populations have dwindled rapidly due to habitat loss and the snake may be placed on the national endangered species list.

After that story ran, reader Ken Price of Granger dropped us a note pointing out that rattlesnakes were once prominent around South Bend.

In fact, a large population living on the city’s southwest side some 60 years ago created quite a stir and led to a public demonstration demanding the city eradicate the snakes.

Price recalls a huge rattler colony in a large field adjacent to a trailer park once located on the south side of the old Lincoln Way near the Michiana airport. The field ran all the way to the edge of Mayflower Road.


By Louie Stout

A Rant Over Launch Etiquette

Excuse me while I rant this week.

Admittedly, I’m not very patient. It’s a flaw, I know. But so is being an inconsiderate, lackadaisical schmuck who holds everyone up.

It happens everywhere. Like, the other day I stood in line for 15 minutes behind several people at a fast food joint. I was headed to the lake, wanted a bite to eat and figured McDonalds could keep me on schedule.

Wrong. Of course, there were the stereotypical indifferent behind the counter. We’ve come to expect that.

But when the lady customer in front of me - who waited in line as well - finally gets her turn to order, she steps to the counter and says, “Oh gee…I don’t know what I want” and then wants to play 50 questions with the apathetic girl wearing golden arches on her shirt.

I was good, avoided saying what was on my mind, bit my tongue, got my order and left – in a huff.

So what does this have to do with the outdoors? Try visiting one of Michiana’s boat launches on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

Same deal.


By Louie Stout

In Michigan, If you catch 25 bluegill like this one caught  by Brooke Schaap, you’ve limited out.  In Indiana, you can keep 100.

In Michigan, If you catch 25 bluegill like this one caught by Brooke Schaap, you’ve limited out. In Indiana, you can keep 100.

Proponents seeking an Indiana bluegill bag limit gained some support from a 2016 DNR Licensed Angler Survey conducted last winter.

At least 60 percent of the anglers responding to a mailed survey said they would support a bluegill harvest limit and a size limit on crappies. Less than 26 percent expressed opposition.

Are you listening DNR?

Northern Fisheries Supervisor Jeremy Price says biologists are listening but want to proceed carefully.

As it stands today, you can keep 100 bluegills if you wish.

Remarkably, some anglers do.

As you may recall, Indiana proposed a bluegill bag limit a few years ago, but backed off when it was pointed out that the proposal put too many constraints on tourist anglers.