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Clear H2O

By Louie Stout

Last week’s story about a confirmed cougar sighting in southern Michigan brought us mail from readers who believe they saw one in this area as a year ago.

Scott Helms of South Bend wrote:

“Last year my wife and I spotted one at Potato Creek State Park. We were driving not too far from the main gate, heading toward the nature center to go walking when we smelled a dead carcass in the air. Immediately after, we spotted a large cat-like animal run across the road in front of our vehicle. Unfortunately, it didn’t want to stand around for a photo op, otherwise we would have taken a picture. When we reported it to a DNR officer at the Nature Center, he told us they have had other reports just like ours, but until someone gets a photo, they can’t confirm it. During the past year, someone reported on Facebook a sighting west of South Bend. That person didn’t get a photo either.”

By Louie Stout

It’s time for Michiana youngsters to register for one of Indiana’s largest kid fishing derbies slated for Aug. 12 at Worster Lake in Potato Creek State Park.

The St. Joe Valley Bass Masters will host their 41st annual event, opened to the first 300 kids to register. Applications must be mailed by August 7.Click here to download a registration form.

Historically, the event draws from 150-200 kids and has drawn as many as 300, all of whom go home with a t-shirt and a goodie bag filled with candy, school supplies and a few toys.

The event has become such a tradition that several parents of participating children took part in the derby when they were young.

By Louie Stout

It’s no secret that Juno Lake near Edwardsburg is a good fishing lake. Bluegill and bass fishermen love it.

The Michigan DNR paid a visit there last month to see just how good it is.

“We hadn’t been there for several years, so we wanted to get a good look at it,” said Scott Hanshue, fisheries management biologist.

The fisheries crew set large and small nets to capture young of the year bluegill, forage, non-game fish and whatever they might encounter.

They also ran a shocker boat around the shallows at night. The shocker boat has long electrodes to put out enough juice in the water to stun fish to the surface where they can be netted, measured, scale samples taken and released.

The survey included connecting waters of Christiana and Painter lakes.