It comes almost as a shock that August is already here, but we might as well get used to it and begin the scramble to fit in all those things we planned on doing this summer. One of the reasons the summer appears to be shooting by for me is the wonderful weather we've been experiencing. Time appears to stand still when the temperatures are high and sunshine dominates the day, bringing back memories of the long summer vacations of youth.
Another pleasant result of the warm, sunny weather is a much warmer Lake Superior, which has resulted in satisfying one summer desire - spending many hours swimming in the clear waters of the big lake.
On the other hand, many inland lakes and rivers have warmed up more than normal this summer, which can create problems for those who enjoy recreating on and along them.
River anglers in particular are being challenged by the warmer water, unless of course you're one of the type that hunts out cold, spring-fed creeks that shun the hot weather and remain at temperatures that trout need to function properly - including feeding regularly.
Countering the warming trend of rivers and inland lakes, though, has been the significant increase in precipitation that we've received in recent weeks. After being 5.11 inches below normal for precipitation on June 1, we are now sitting at .01 of an inch above normal.
However, there's still plenty of time left this fishing season for the waters to cool down to more normal temperatures and offer up some good fishing conditions.
And, of course, late-season fishing is always one of the most anticipated activities each year, and will start next week for me as I enjoy a week off with no place to go but camp and some favorite fishing holes.
This is also a good time of the year to catch up on a few outdoor-related news items that seem to sneak up on you.
Here are a few items that may be of interest to outdoor enthusiasts:
The Michigan Natural Resources Commission will be looking at three options for amending the crossbow regulations at its meeting next week in Escanaba.
Included in all three options are reducing the age from 12 to 10 years old for using a crossbow while hunting, removing the 350 feet per second bolt velocity limit and allowing the use of modified bows when crossbows are legal.
More information about the proposals can be found on the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment website at www.michigan.gov/dnre, or by contacting Teresa Gloden at 517-373-2352 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
As usual, the DNRE will be operating its Pocket Park at the fair and the department is looking for volunteers to help instruct young anglers and shooters. There will be a stocked fishing pond and pellet gun and archery ranges in the park, where volunteers are needed to teach basic fishing techniques and how to safely shoot a pellet gun or bow.
To sign up to volunteer, call Debra Frazier at 906-293-5131. For more information, call Pocket Park coordinator Jon Spieles at the same telephone number.
There will be about 50 check stations statewide, including 11 in the U.P. Included are the usual DNRE offices spread across the U.P. as well as a few businesses and a tribal casino.
I always get fired up for hunting when I read about such things as deer check stations and crossbow regulations, but it really is too early in the year to really get serious about the sport.
Instead, I think I'll go back to thinking about having next week off and going fishing.
Editor's note: City Editor Dave Schneider can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 270. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.