Week of January 3, 2011

World
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
National

Regional

General
Indiana
Michigan
Ohio
Wisconsin
Other Breaking News Items

 

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World

Potential IGFA World Record Tuna Caught

PENN International Reel brings in Giant 405.2 lb Yellowfin

COLUMBIA, S.C.  – Few world-fishing records have been as elusive as the yellowfin tuna, standing since 1977 – until now. Fishing on December 6th, Mike Livingston of Sunland, Calif., never thought it possible to hoist up a yellowfin that would potentially topple the previous 33-year old world record of 388 pounds, 12 ounces. However, Livingston caught a giant 405.2-pound giant yellowfin tuna, making good use of the PENN International 30SW, and threatening the 33-year old record.
 
“I got him on a sardine,” said Livingston, “and a 9/0 Owner Super Mutu hook. I used my PENN reel, which was a gift from

 

a buddy and was blueprinted by Cal Sheets. I custom- 
wrapped the rod myself. It’s a five and a half-footer, a no-name. After all those years, since 1974, I’ve been out fishing on many boats, and I get this one on a no-name rod! My best yellowfin before was about a 100-pounder.”

 

If the fish is accepted by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) as an official record, it will be the all-time, all-tackle tuna for the yellowfin species. The International Game Fish Association approved the application for the record. Because it was caught in Mexico, the organization's records coordinator says it will take at least 90 days to proclaim it as a record.


Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Charter Arms Off Duty and Undercover Lite

 Charter Arms, manufacturer of American made revolvers has added the Off Duty .38 Special and Undercover Lite .38 Special models to its line of personal defense revolvers. Both models are available in a high polish stainless steel finish with a matte black frame.

 

The five shot, two inch barrel of the Off Duty and Undercover Lite frame are made from 7075 Aircraft Quality Aluminum which assures superior strength. Both models weigh 14 ounces, with serrated front and rear notched sights and come with combat rubber grip panels that can be changed out to a Crimson Trace Grip.

The Off Duty has an internal (DAO) double action hammer, allowing the firearm to be shot repeatedly through the pocket without snagging, while the Undercover Lite model has an external standard hammer. Both of these new models are an ideal choice for any concealed carry situation.   All Charter Arms revolvers are covered with a lifetime warranty.

 

About $365.00 - $400.00 

 

203-922-1652

 

www.charterfirearms.com/


 

Charter Arms .38 Special “The Chic” Lady

 Charter Arms introduced two new models, the Chic Lady and The Chic Lady Off Duty.

 

Both models are finished in a high polish stainless steel, pink anodized frame, rubber grip, 2 inch barrel, 5-shot capacity and weigh in at 13 ounces, presented in a faux alligator pink attaché case with high polish stainless steel trim. It’s the ultimate piece every classy lady would want to have in her own private collection.

 

The Chic Lady has a standard hammer while The Chic Lady

 

Off Duty has an internal hammer (DAO) double action only.

Both lightweight models have a comfortable grip capable of fitting a small hand or can be easily changed out to a Crimson Trace Grip. To acquire an accurate sight picture, each model has a serrated front sight along with a smooth action and quick release cylinder. Both models have a hammer blocked safety system ensuring the revolver cannot fire unless the trigger is held in the full rear position when the hammer falls.

 

About $436.00 - $446.00 

 

203-922-1652

 

www.charterfirearms.com/


National

Group Sues NOAA Over Document Fees

The environmental group Oceana has filed a federal lawsuit against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, accusing the agency of violating the Freedom of Information Act by charging exorbitant fees to fulfill document requests.

 

"The [National Marine] Fisheries Service told Oceana that it would only provide the unclassified, non-commercial documents to which Oceana is entitled if Oceana paid $16,338.60 in advance," according to the suit, filed earlier this month in federal district court in Washington, D.C.

Oceana, based in Washington, D.C., contends that it is entitled to a waiver on the grounds that it qualifies as a media company because it publishes government information to inform the public about environmental issues, SouthCoastToday.com reported.

 

Oceana, which filed an earlier lawsuit in May accusing fisheries regulators of being too lax, was asking NOAA for the documents used to establish agency policy on sea turtles

 


Right to fish under attack! Webinar Jan 6

Help to keep America fishing

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) invites you to participate in a KeepAmericaFishing informational webinar(s) on Thursday, January 6, 2011 to learn how you and 60 million anglers can help protect our right to fish

On Thursday, January 6, 2011, ASA is hosting a series of informational webinars to discuss the unprecedented increase in bans and restrictions to recreational fishing and what anglers can do to protect their right to fish on our nation’s public waters.

ASA’s Communications Committee Chairman John Mazurkiewicz, president, Catalyst Marketing, and ASA’s Ocean Resource Policy Director Mike Leonard will lead a discussion on fishing bans and closures and introduce KeepAmericaFishing to the outdoor media.

Why: Across the country, banning or restricting recreational anglers’ access to streams, rivers, lakes and oceans is being touted as a new way to manage fish populations. This unprecedented method undermines proven methods of science-based fisheries conservation management that has well-served the fishery resource and recreational anglers for decades.

In response, the American SportFishing Association launched

KeepAmericaFishing to unite 60 million under one advocacy campaign. As the voice of the American angler,
KeepAmericaFishing works to engage anglers in the fight to keep our oceans, lakes, rivers and streams open, clean and abundant with fish.

 

When: Register for one or more of the four webinars being offered on Thursday, January 6, held between 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Please see the schedule below. All times are noted in Eastern Standard Time.

We divided the United States into areas – Northeast, Southeast and Gulf of Mexico, Great Lakes and Midwest and West Coast and Southwest - which coincide with the regional issues affecting recreational fishing.

11:00 – 11:30 a.m. – Northeast
1:00 – 1:30 p.m. –    Southeast and Gulf of Mexico
2:00 – 2:30 p.m. –    Midwest and Great Lakes
3:00 – 3:30 p.m. –    West Coast and Southwest

How: Please go to https://secure.confertel.net/tsregister.asp?program=ASA2011 and register for the webinar(s) of interest to you and your readers. Your confirmation e-mail will contain the call-in information. 

Questions? Please e-mail ASAComm@asafishing.org


More on the Health Risks of Naked Body Scanners

December 15, 2010 by Bob Livingston 

The Government’s line that the Transportation and Security Administration’s naked body scanners expose travelers to harmless amounts of radiation is being revealed as a lie as more and more mainstream scientists, researchers and physicians begin to issue reports and opinions based on new research.

 

We covered some initial reports here. But in April, a group of researchers from the University of California, San Francisco wrote to President Barack Obama’s science czar, John P. Holdren, expressing their “serious concerns about the potential health risks of the recently adopted whole body backscatter X-ray airport security scanners.” It’s a letter the mainstream media — which constantly parrots the TSA line on the scanners — has almost totally ignored.

 

The researchers were John Sedat, Ph.D., professor emeritus in biochemistry and biophysics, Marc Shuman, M.D., UCSF professor and a cancer expert and David Agard, Ph.D., and Robert Stroud, Ph.D., professors, X-ray crystallographers, imaging experts and members of the National Academy of Sciences.

 

The TSA claims the dose the machines emit is comparable to the amount of cosmic radiation exposure that all airline travelers receive, or about the same as a chest X-ray. But in the letter, the researchers point out that the scanners deliver low beam energy to the skin and underlying tissue. So while the dose of radiation received might be safe if distributed over

the entire body, the dose to the skin and tissue may be

dangerously high.

 

Not only that, the team points out that there is no independent safety data available on the scanners, nor has the relevant radiation quantity been characterized by the Food and Drug Administration’s top radiation experts.

 

So the researchers raise the following concerns about the scanners:

  • Older travelers are at risk from the mutagenic effects of the X-rays due to melanocyte aging.

  • Some female travelers are especially sensitive to mutagenesis-provoking radiation leading to breast cancer.

  • White blood cells are at risk of damage.

  • Immunocompromised individuals — such as those with HIV or undergoing cancer treatment — are at increased cancer risk.

  • The risk to children and adolescents has not been properly evaluated.

  • The risk to developing fetuses in pregnant women has not been determined.

  • There is an increased risk of sperm mutations.

  • There are questions about the risk to the cornea and thymus.

 

Add to these the chance that the machines could malfunction and emit a higher-than-normal dose and you can see that the Government’s line is, at best, made of gossamer


Regional

States appeal denial of Asian Carp Injunction

MADISON – Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced that on Thursday, December 16, the States of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania filed their notice of appeal and supporting papers with the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, in response to the district court's denial of a preliminary injunction against defendants U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago to prevent Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan.  The appeal would be heard by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in Chicago.

 

The federal district court in Chicago denied the States' motion to order effective measures to prevent the introduction of Asian carp into Lake Michigan through the Chicago area waterway system on December 4, finding that the States had not met their burden of showing that entry and establishment of carp in the Great Lakes was imminent or presently likely, even though it recognized, "The Court stresses its recognition that the potential harm in a worst case scenario is great."

 

"To obtain an injunction, we don’t think we have to show that Asian carp have to be entering Lake Michigan in such numbers as to create a likelihood that they will become established as a breeding invasive species; that's just too big

 

a risk," Wisconsin Attorney General Van Hollen said.  "The magnitude of the harm to the Great Lakes and our States' tributaries is so great if Asian carp become established, that the present risk of their entry should be enough to warrant strong action," he said.

 

The States had asked the court to immediately order defendants to implement best available methods to block the passage and to capture or kill bighead and silver carp in the Chicago waterway, including installing block nets, gates and screens, and other interim physical barriers to fish passage between the waterway and Lake Michigan, and temporarily closing and ceasing operation of the locks at the O'Brien Lock and Dam and the Chicago River Controlling Works except as needed to protect public health and safety.

 

The States asked the court to order both immediate preventive and long-term solutions. In the short term, they asked that certain locks closed, effective barriers created to prevent continued fish migration, and Asian carp killed that have already passed the Barrier System. 

 

“Long-term, we think the best solution is the one nature once provided: the physical separation of the Great Lakes basin and the Mississippi river systems,” Van Hollen said.


Regional Fishery Workshop, January 8

Ludington Ramada Inn & Convention Center

4079 West U.S. 10, Ludington, MI 49431

Michigan Sea Grant invites you to attend the annual Ludington Regional Fishery Workshop to be held on Saturday, January 8, 2011. Topics presented will cover current research on issues that affect Lake Michigan fisheries. A hot lunch buffet will be included in the conference registration fee of $20. Advanced registration is requested to assure an accurate count for food service. Please use the cut-off registration form at the bottom of this sheet and mail it with your check made out to Ottawa

 

County MSU Extension.

 

The mailing address is listed on the registration form. If you should have questions, please call (616) 994-4580. The conference will be held at the Ramada Inn and Conference Center located at 4079 West U. S. 10, on the southeast corner of the US-31/US-10 intersection.

 

For more details and a registration form, go to: Workshop Agenda and Registration Form


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Dec. 31, 2010

Weather Conditions

Quiet weather was experienced across the Great Lakes basin this week.  Most locations saw seasonable temperatures and only light precipitation totals.  A storm system is expected to bring a brief warm-up to the region Thursday and Friday along with rain and freezing rain.  Once this storm pushes to the east, much colder air will filter into the Great Lakes basin and should persist into next week.  Ice formation continues on the lakes, with protected bays and inlets having the most significant ice cover.

Lake Level Conditions

Currently, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 10 and 14 inches, respectively, below their levels of a year ago.  Lakes St. Clair and Erie are 9 and 8 inches below last year's levels, while Lake Ontario is an inch below what it was a year ago.  Over the next 30 days, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are predicted to decline 3 and 2 inches, respectively.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are forecasted to decline 1 to 2 inches during the next month.

Forecasted December Outflows/Channel Conditions

The outflows from Lake Superior into the St. Mary's River and from Lake Huron into the St. Clair River are expected to be below average in December.  The Detroit River's flow from Lake St. Clair is predicted to be below average and the Niagara River's flow from Lake Erie is predicted to be near average this month.  The flow in the St. Lawrence River is forecasted to be above average throughout December.

Alerts

The water levels of both Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron are currently below chart datum and are forecasted to remain below datum over the next six months.  Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels.  Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.

 

Ice information can be found at the National Ice Center's website.

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for Dec 31

600.46

576.90

573.00

570.31

244.36

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

-8

-7

+8

+13

+13

Diff last month

-4

-3

 0

-2

 -1

Diff from last yr

-10

-14

-9

-8

 -1


General

Coast Guard warns ice-sport enthusiasts of weakened ice near open shipping lanes

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The Coast Guard is noticing a developing trend on Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, the St. Mary’s River and other waterways as ice-sport enthusiasts are putting themselves in danger by taking advantage of early and rapid freezing despite active shipping occurring on frozen and partially frozen waterways.

 

“We recognize people are going to venture out onto the ice, but they need to keep in mind we still have three weeks left in the shipping season, and recreational users of the ice are unknowingly risking their lives by traveling through or near open shipping lanes with broken or weakened ice,” said Mark Gill, director of vessel traffic services for Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie.

 

Just last week, Coast Guard units on Lake Michigan responded to an incident when snowmobilers fell through weak ice. Although not linked to an active shipping channel, the case highlights the risk people take when they venture out onto weak ice. In Duluth Harbor, Coast Guard ice breakers have witnessed people in close proximity to tracks they cut in the ice to facilitate ship movements. 

 

"Snowmobilers, ice fishermen and other recreational users of the ice should always be aware of shipping channel locations and stay well clear of them," Gill said.

 

Most of the shipping ports on the Great Lakes don’t close to commercial traffic until Jan. 20, 2011. Vessels traveling through frozen waterways break and weaken the surrounding ice, making it extremely dangerous for people to be on.  Coast Guard responders are also concerned about the warmer air temperatures and rain forecasted for this coming weekend.

 

“Rain is like acid on ice and really accelerates the melting process,” said Gill.

 

Coast Guard personnel understand that winter recreation on the ice around the Great Lakes is a tradition, but encourage people to recreate safely and improve their chances for rescue and survival in the event that something goes wrong.  Gill said one of the most important things ice-sport enthusiasts can do before going out onto any ice is to tell friends or family.

members their plans, including where they will be and what

time they will return.

 

The following are additional safety measures anyone who ventures out onto the ice should always adhere to:

  • Use the buddy system: NEVER go out on the ice alone.

  • Dress in bright colors, and wear an anti-exposure suit that is waterproof, including a personal flotation device. A PFD allows a person to float with a minimum amount of energy expended and allows the person to assume the heat escape lessening position (H.E.L.P.) - bringing the knees close to the chest and holding them in place by wrapping the arms around the shin portions of the legs.

  • Carry two ice picks or screwdrivers for self-rescue. They are much more effective than using your hands.

  • Carry a whistle or noise-making device to alert people that you are in distress.

  • Don’t rely on cellular phones to communicate distress; VHF-FM radios are much more reliable.

  • Stay away from cracks, seams, pressure ridges and slushy areas, which signify thinner ice.

Click here for more ice-safety tips from the Coast Guard.

 

Coast Guard Icebreakers free vessel in St. Marys

 

Coast Guard cutters Biscayne Bay (bottom) and Mackinaw (top) break ice in the lower end of the Rock Cut in the St. Mary’s River in Michigan to free up the freighter Cedar Glen. Cedar Glen was beset for about 19 hours before the Coast Guard vessels were able to free it


Indiana

Study: No Asian carp evidence at Eagle Marsh, IN

The largest sampling to date of Indiana waterways for eDNA evidence of Asian carp yielded negative results on either side of Eagle Marsh near Fort Wayne, University of Notre Dame researchers have reported.  “The absence of any positive water samples collected from the Little River, Eagle Marsh, and the rivers in Fort Wayne is very encouraging,” said Christopher Jerde of the Notre Dame Center for Aquatic Conservation.

 

With assistance from DNR fisheries biologists, Notre Dame researchers collected 247 water samples from Oct. 18-20 in ditches and streams associated with Eagle Marsh, a 705-acre restored wetland near Fort Wayne. All samples were tested for bighead carp and silver carp environmental DNA (eDNA), and all tests came back negative.

 

“We are pleased to have this good report and to see our Asian carp status is secure at Eagle Marsh,” DNR deputy director John Davis said. “We are lucky to have an Indiana resource like Notre Dame able to respond in such a rapid and partner-like manner.” Despite the good news, Jerde recommends the research efforts continue.

 

“It is our hope that further sampling in the region yields the same result,” he said. “Surveillance for any invasive species, including Asian carp in the Wabash, is not a one-and-done project.” 

 

Doug Keller, aquatic invasive species coordinator for the DNR, agreed.  “Additional sampling in the spring under higher flows and during a time when Asian carp spawning may occur is a likely time for the next round of sampling,” Keller said. “Coupling additional eDNA samples with planned Asian carp tracking and spawning studies will tell us a lot more about Asian carp use in the upper Wabash basin.”

 

Notre Dame received a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help protect the Great Lakes from invasive species by further developing and applying eDNA surveillance. Since 2009, Notre Dame researchers have examined more than 1,000 water samples from rivers in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, screening them for traces of DNA markers to determine if a target species has been in the vicinity.

 

“Using environmental DNA as an early detection method is much more sensitive than traditional fisheries methods like electro-fishing and netting for Asian carp,” Notre Dame researcher Andrew Mahon said.

 

The eDNA surveillance approach in the Chicago Area

Waterway System showed presence of Asian carp eight

months before commercial fishermen hired by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources captured a bighead carp in Lake Calumet, approximately six river miles from Lake Michigan.

 

“In the Eagle Marsh application, it was also a matter of practicality,” Mahon said. “Many of the areas that needed to be surveyed were not accessible by boat and not conducive to setting nets.  All we needed were two-liter water samples.”

 

Of the samples collected, 28 were taken from the Wabash River near Huntington, 60 from the Little River, 18 from Graham-McCulloch Ditch, 14 from Junk Ditch, 31 from Eagle Marsh, nine from Aboite Creek, six from Robinson Creek, 21 from the St. Marys River, 34 from the St. Joseph’s River, and 17 from the Maumee River. Nine cooler controls also were processed.

 

The region was identified as having favorable conditions for the potential spread of Asian carp into the Great Lakes.

 

Eagle Marsh straddles a geographic divide separating the Wabash River watershed from the Maumee River watershed. Under normal conditions, there is no direct link between the two watersheds, but tributaries and ditches associated with Eagle Marsh provide a potential connection under certain flooding situations.

 

Concerns that Asian carp could move upstream from the Wabash during flood conditions, cross the divide at Eagle Marsh and enter the Maumee drainage prompted the DNR to construct a 1,200-foot chain link fence at Eagle Marsh in October to block fish passage. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are funding the cost of the fence project through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

 

Bighead and silver carp are two species of Asian carp that were imported into the southern United States to keep aquaculture facilities clean and to provide fresh fish for markets. Both species are voracious eaters, consuming plankton – algae and other microscopic organisms – and stripping the food web of a key food source for small and large native fish.

 

The Asian carp escaped into the wild in the 1980s and have been moving northward ever since. They were first detected in Indiana waters in 1995 and have worked their way up the Wabash River, into the East and West forks of the White River, the Patoka River, and the Ohio River and some of its tributaries.


Michigan changes lake trout regulations; Hoosiers could benefit

The state of Michigan’s lake trout regulations will change in 2011, and again in 2012. According to Indiana DNR fisheries biologist Brian Breidert for the Hoosier portion of Lake Michigan, Indiana anglers could benefit by both changes.

 

In 2011, the state of Michigan’s lake trout season will open April 1 and end Oct. 31. In recent previous years, it opened May 1 and ended Sept. 30.   In 2012, the state of Michigan’s lake trout season will open Jan. 1 and close Oct. 31.  Indiana does not have a closed season on lake trout.

 

According to Breidert, as water temperatures warm each spring in Lake Michigan, Hoosier anglers have fantastic fishing opportunities for trout and salmon.  Breidert said that although Indiana has no closed season on lake trout, Hoosier anglers do not typically catch them in large numbers in Indiana waters. The reason is that lake trout are a long-lived species usually found in depths greater than 60 feet. Those waters are primarily outside of Indiana’s boundaries of Lake Michigan.

 

Michigan’s regulation change should increase the harvest of lake trout coming back to Indiana ports in the spring.

Michigan’s change also will simplify regulations for Hoosiers on one front but possibly create confusion on another. Indiana has a daily bag limit of five trout and salmon of which no more than two can be lake trout greater than 14 inches; Michigan has the same five-trout-and-salmon catch aggregate while no more than three may be lake trout, brown trout or steelhead trout with a size limit of 20 inches for lake trout.

 

“Increasing the fishing season could certainly show some increase in lake trout harvest, especially in the spring,” Breidert said. “For anglers fishing in April, I am sure many will see this as a positive move.” 

 

Indiana anglers often fish within Michigan waters. In previous years they were required to release any lake trout they caught.  Now they will be able to be included as part of the catch.  “As a result, we may see fewer salmon brought back to Indiana during the spring fishing season,” Breidert said. “The spring catch will be monitored during our annual creel program through which we analyze the long-term catch and harvest coming back to Indiana ports on southern Lake Michigan.

 

“Undoubtedly, we will see changes in our spring catch composition as a result of this change by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Environment.


Willow Slough fishing regs temporarily relaxed

Fishing regulations designed to promote quality bluegill fishing at Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area’s J.C. Murphy Lake were temporarily relaxed starting Dec. 15.

 

The change addresses the 1,000-acre Newton County lake’s unusually low winter water levels. It allows anglers to take additional fish home rather than have them succumb to low oxygen levels under the ice and go to waste.

 

The 25-fish aggregate bag limit on panfish (i.e., bluegill, redear, and crappie) currently in place will be lifted, as will the 18-inch minimum size limit and two-fish daily bag limit on largemouth bass. In their place, statewide bag and size limits will apply for all species.

 

The change is necessary because of the combination of the lake’s low water levels, ice and snow cover, and fertile waters. DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife biologists fear that many of the lake’s quality game fish will suffer an extensive fish kill this winter.

 

The lake, which was originally designed as a waterfowl hunting marsh, has long been renowned for its quality fishing opportunities; however, the same shallow, fertile waters that make for quality fishing make it especially prone to winter fish kills.

 

“Murphy is a high-risk/high-reward system when it comes to fish management,” said DNR fisheries biologist Jeremy Price. “Unlike most northern Indiana lakes, there fish kills are a very

real possibility nearly every winter. However, the phenomenal

panfish populations that can develop between major fish kill events make it well worth the effort to manage.”

 

The temporary relaxation of the regulations is scheduled to expire Feb. 28, at which time the 25-fish aggregate bag limit on panfish and the 18-inch bass size limit (and two-bass bag limit) will go back in effect. If conditions improve and the lake level rises significantly before then, the more restrictive original regulations may be reinstated sooner.

 

“Our ultimate goal is to emerge next spring with as many adult gamefish in the lake as possible,” continued Price, “so if conditions improve and appear adequate to ensure survival until ice off, we’ll act accordingly and reimpose the special bass and panfish regulations.”

 

While all statewide bag limits and minimum size limits will be in effect, some Willow Slough property rules and restrictions will still be in place. As an added measure to conserve spawning stock, no fishing will be allowed in the immediate vicinity of the aerated, open-water area near the main office. Additionally, annual closures of certain parking areas frequently used by ice anglers, such as Patrol Road and Birdhouse Point will be imposed until deer hunting muzzleloader season closes on Dec. 19.

 

Anglers should remember that no ice can ever be considered completely safe and are encouraged to use sound judgment and take appropriate safety measures. Ice fishing safety tips are at http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3601.htm.


Gov appoints Wilson new DNR Top Cop

INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mitch Daniels has appointed Scotty Wilson as the new director of the DNR Division of Law Enforcement to replace Col. Mike Crider, who retired December 31.  Wilson, 54, has been a conservation officer for 25 years and spent the last 10 months as the division’s Executive Officer with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

 

As the division director, he will oversee 214 conservation officers and 40 civilian employees.   Wilson joined the DNR in 1985 after being elected class president of that year’s Indiana Conservation Officer recruit school. He spent the next 16 years as a field officer in Knox and Perry counties before being promoted to lieutenant for District 7, a 10-county area of southwest Indiana. He transferred to the DNR central office in 2006 to become logistics officer.

Wilson is a 2003 graduate of the FBI National Academy and was elected by his peers as class president. In 2005, he participated in an FBI Fellowship Program in Washington, D.C., and in 2009 was elected president of the Indiana chapter of the FBI National Academy Associates.

He has a Bachelor of Science degree in human resources management from Oakland City University and an associate’s degree in general studies from Vincennes University.

 

Wilson served four years active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps and two years inactive service, achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Crider, 51, is retiring after 30-plus years with DNR Law Enforcement, the past four as division director.

 


Michigan

Black Lake Sturgeon Season Opens Feb. 5

The Michigan DNRE announced that anglers interested in sturgeon fishing/spearing at Black Lake will again be allowed to participate.

All anglers must register daily. Anglers 17 years of age or older must possess a valid fishing license. All anglers must possess a sturgeon tag, available free from all license vendors.

 

Spearing hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

The season runs through Feb. 9 or when the sturgeon quota, which has yet to be determined, is reached, whichever comes first. For quota status during the season, anglers may call the Onaway Field Office at 989-733-8775 during business hours, or the Gaylord Field Office at 989-732-3541 after 6 p.m.

 

Anglers will be issued a daily disposable flag at registration that must be displayed at the entrance of the angler’s shanty.

 

Harvested sturgeon must be immediately tagged and

 

immediately registered at the DNRE Onaway Field Office. Registration will include an examination of internal organs and removal of a piece of fin tissue for DNA analysis.

 

In the event the quota is reached, anglers will be notified on the ice by DNRE personnel. They must stop sturgeon fishing immediately.

 

This new system allows greater angler participation and still protects the Black Lake sturgeon population from overharvest. These changes were developed cooperatively in recent years with Black Lake Chapter of Sturgeon for Tomorrow, a conservation organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of lake sturgeon.

 

Lake sturgeon rehabilitation in the Cheboygan River watershed is a cooperative effort involving the DNRE, the Black Lake Chapter of Sturgeon for Tomorrow, Michigan State University and Tower-Kleber Limited Partnership

 


DNRE Hosts Fifth Annual State Virtual Archery Tournament

The Michigan DNRE is accepting online registration for Michigan's fifth annual State Virtual Archery Tournament. The tournament, for students enrolled at schools participating in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP), will take place Feb. 1-March 6, 2011.  However, the registration deadline is Jan. 31, 2011.  

 

To register for the state virtual tournament please go to http://nasptournaments.org  and click on Michigan and Log In to register.  The 2011 State Virtual Tournament guidelines can be found at www.michigan.gov/dnrarchery.

 

Teams will be separated by grade level division (4-6, 7-8 and 9-12) and must be comprised of 16 to 24 students with at least five team members of the opposite gender. Schools unable to field a team will be permitted to register students to

 

compete individually. 

 

Team and individual tournament champions will be awarded trophies, medals and other prizes thanks to the generous donations of several archery manufacturers and the National Wild Turkey Federation.

 

Teams who place first or who obtain a qualifying score as well as individual male and female archers placing in the top five places per division will be invited to participate in the NASP National Tournament.  The National tournament will be held May 13-14 in Louisville, Ky. and teams and individuals will be competing for many prizes, including college scholarships.

 

For more information, contact Mary Emmons at (517) 241-9477; e-mail emmonsm@michigan.gov  or visit the DNR the website at  www.michigan.gov/dnrarchery .


Proposed Gear Restriction Regulations

Michigan Fish Chief Dr. Kelley Smith, , outlined the proposed Gear Restriction Regulations for the Black, Manistee, Pigeon, and Pere Marquette Rivers at the recent Natural Resources Commission monthly meeting.

 

Black River Recommendation: The possession season for brown trout would remain open for the entire year. Fisheries recommended leaving upstream boundary at CR-612 for the Manistee River.

Pigeon River Recommendation: Change minimum size limit to 12 inches for brown trout and change daily possession limit to one for brown trout.

 

Pere Marquette River Recommendation: Remove flies-only, extending gear restriction section, and split the season into artificial lures and bait. Also, allow harvest during the gear restricted season, two fish: one rainbow trout and one brown trout at least 18"

 in length.

 

A total of 687 public responses to gear restriction regulations since September show 640 support, 9 mixed, 38 opposed. Of the comments received, 395 were from Michigan, 110 from out of state, 4 from out of the country, and 178 unknown.

 


DNRE returning Walleye Fry production to Historic Levels

The Michigan DNR has begun gearing up to return hatchery production of walleyes to historic levels.  The DNRE plans to take some 50 million eggs this spring to produce fry for pond-rearing and direct stocking, an eight-fold increase over the last two years.

 

Since 2006, the DNRE has cut back on most of its walleye rearing activities because of the presence of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) in the brood-stock waters. Now, after several years of testing, a technique has been found to disinfect walleye eggs and prevent spreading VHS.

As a result, the DNRE will now resume large-scale rearing and stocking of walleyes.

 

The DNRE expects it to take two years to return to full production of walleye fry. A number of the rearing ponds, which have been idled for the last several years, are in need of maintenance before they can be brought back on line for production.

 

Nonetheless, the DNRE expects to produce at least 80 percent of the total capacity for walleye fry in 2011 and be back to full production in 2012. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/dnrfishing.


Tribes provide Walleyes for Stocking in Little Bay de Noc and Mullett Lake

Walleye stocks in Little Bay de Noc and Mullet Lake in Cheboygan County received another unexpected boost this week with the stocking of 10,000 fall fingerlings provided by the Inter-tribal Fisheries and Assessment Program (ITFAP).  Little Bay de Noc received 7,480 fingerlings and Mullet Lake received 2,592 of the robust, six- to eight-inch fingerlings.

 

The ITFAP hatchery program is headquartered in Sault Ste. Marie and administered by the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, with funding support from the Bay Mills Indian Community, and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.

 

The fall fingerling stocking followed a similar Tribal-State cooperative stocking event that occurred in July, when ITFAP provided 143,000 of the smaller (two-inch) summer fingerlings to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment for stocking in the same two locations.  

 

Like the summer fingerlings, these fall fingerlings were surplus to the tribes’ stocking needs.   “We experienced great survival and growth for both our summer and fall fingerlings this year,” said Tribal hatchery manager Greg Wright.  The fall fingerlings are expected to provide more bang-for-the-buck than the summer fingerlings.  “Although the number of fall fingerlings being stocked in these areas is much smaller than the number of summer fingerlings, the survival of these large fall fingerlings is expected to be much greater,” Wright said.

“The tribes continue to be excellent partners in cooperative ventures such as this,” said DNRE Lake Michigan Basin Coordinator Jim Dexter. “We very much appreciate their efforts to ensure that these important walleye populations are maintained and improved, and that anglers and tribal members will benefit from these actions.” 

 

“Earlier this year, MDNRE was able to provide us with additional walleye fry after we experienced high mortality in one of our hatcheries,” said ITFAP Director Tom Gorenflo about the cooperative Tribal-State walleye enhancement efforts. “In exchange, we were able to provide surplus summer fingerlings to them for stocking in Little Bay de Noc and Mullet Lake. Now we are able to provide surplus fall fingerlings for the same areas.”  

 

Joe McCoy, chairman for the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, added, “Little Bay de Noc and Mullet Lake are important fishing areas for both the tribal fishery and state recreational fishery. The fingerlings we provided this year should enhance those walleye populations for the future benefit of all users.”

 

As with the summer fingerlings, the fall fingerlings were tested for VHS prior to stocking.  Samples from the tribal walleye culture pond were sent to Michigan State University and all samples tested negative for the virus. 

 

 


Ohio

104,100 lbs of Venison Donated so far
D
onations to be taken though February 6, 2011

 COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio deer hunters have donated more than 104,100 pounds of venison to local food banks so far this deer season, according to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.

“I am happy to see this program continue to grow each year. Ohio hunters once again have shown their generosity so Ohio’s food pantries will receive the nutritious red meat they so desperately need,” said David M. Graham, chief of the Division of Wildlife.

 

The 104,100 pounds equals approximately 416,400 meals for needy Ohioans. To date, 2,082 deer have been donated with plenty of deer hunting opportunity left in the 2010-11 season. Last year at this time, 1,910 deer had been donated representing 95,500 pounds of venison.

 

Last year FHFH collected 116,750 pounds of venison from 2,336 deer through the entire season, which ran from September 2009 to February 7, 2010. Ohio county chapters with the highest numbers of deer donations so far are: Licking-208; Muskingum, Morgan and Perry-189; Coshocton, Tuscarawas, and Knox-160; Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Meigs, Vinton and Washington-137; and Franklin-121.

 

“We are thrilled that the partnership between FHFH and ODNR has resulted in greater numbers of donated deer – and meals provided – across Ohio again this year. With high unemployment in many areas fueling an even greater need for nutritious food items at food banks and feeding ministries, this growth could not have come at a better time, ” according to Josh Wilson, FHFH national operations director.

 

Hunters still have a weekend of deer-gun hunting, December 18-19, and eight weeks of archery hunting in Ohio. Archery season remains open until February 6. The statewide muzzleloader deer-hunting season will be held, January 8 – 11, 2011.

 

The Division of Wildlife collaborated with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry in an effort to assist with the processing costs associated with donating venison to a food bank. So far, a $100,000 subsidy grant was provided in two $50,000 allotments that are to be matched with funds generated or collected by FHFH. The division subsidized this year's FHFH operation as an additional deer management tool, helping wildlife managers encourage hunters to kill more does.

 

Venison that is donated to food banks must be processed by a federal, state or locally inspected and insured meat processor that is participating with FHFH. Hunters wishing to donate their deer to a food bank are not required to pay for the processing of the venison as long as the program has funds available to cover the cost. There are currently 71 participating meat processors across the state. A list is provided at www.fhfh.org.

 

Currently there are 31 local chapters across the state with a need for more. Anyone interested in becoming a local program coordinator or a participating meat processor should visit the "Local FHFH" page at www.fhfh.org. The Web page includes a current list of coordinators, program names and the counties they serve.

 

 


Ohioans Urged to Use Extra Caution on the Ice

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohioans are reminded to use extreme caution during winter while venturing onto frozen waterways and to be prepared to handle an emergency should someone fall through the ice, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

As some of the lowest temperatures of the season arrive, some people may be tempted to venture out onto the ice and should be aware of basic safety tips, including being prepared for an emergency. ODNR offers these ice safety tips; additional tips can be found online at www.ohiodnr.com and through various other Internet web resources.

 

Ice Safety Tips:

  • Always remember that ice-covered water is never completely safe.

  • Anyone new to ice fishing, or interested in learning how to safely ice fish, should seek out a licensed ice-fishing guide. A list of certified guides is available at www.wildohio.com or by calling the ODNR Division of Wildlife, Sandusky office at (419) 625-8062. Ask at local bait shops about known areas of thin or dangerous ice.

  • Always go out with friends, letting others know when you will be on the ice and when you will return. Whenever possible, wrap a mobile phone in a plastic bag and take it with you.

  • Wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket or float coat. Life vests provide excellent flotation and protection from hypothermia.

  • Use safe alternatives to local streams or lakes for skating or sledding. Check with your local, state or metro park district to see where conditions are suitable

 

  • for skating. Some state parks, including Delaware State Park in Delaware County and Dillon State Park in Muskingum County, offer free access to designated ice-skating areas.

     

  • Understand wind chill factors are relative temperature guides. Although a thermometer may read 40 degrees, a wind speed of 20 miles per hour can cause a body to lose heat as if the temperature was actually 18 degrees.

  • Carry two ice picks, screwdrivers or large nails to create leverage for pulling yourself out of the water. They are much more effective than bare hands. Also, carry a whistle or other noisemaker to alert people that you are in distress.

  • Dress in layers and add extra clothing for the head, neck, sides and groin, which are the primary heat-loss areas. Wool and modern synthetics are good fabric choices for clothing; cotton is slow to dry when wet.

  • Keep an extra set of clothes in your car in case you need dry clothing.

  • Avoid alcoholic beverages. In addition to reducing reaction times, alcohol lowers your internal temperature and increases your chance of suffering hypothermia.

  • Never drive a vehicle, snowmobile or all-terrain vehicle onto ice. Leave this to professional guides. This is extremely dangerous and most insurance policies will not cover the vehicles of ice fishermen that have dropped through the ice.

 


Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Preemption

Shoots Down Cleveland’s Gun Laws

The Ohio Supreme Court made a ruling on December 29 upholding Ohio’s preemption law and siding with both the state and the National Rifle Association’s position, as outlined in an amicus brief the organization filed with the Court. The case, The City of Cleveland v. the State of Ohio, stems from the City of Cleveland’s scheme to establish a series of restrictive gun laws despite Ohio law, which clearly prohibits such municipal gun ordinances.

 

The City of Cleveland filed suit against the State of Ohio in March of 2007, challenging changes to Ohio state gun laws that effectively preempted all municipal ordinances as to possession and concealed carry of handguns. Cleveland’s city council passed a never-ending stream of useless and  burdensome ordinances -- including forced registrations and

bans on both open carry and semi-automatic firearms -- that only impacted the law-abiding. The city filed suit to try to preserve its ability to impose these restrictions. The Court found that the state law in no way violates Cleveland’s home rule powers under the Ohio Constitution, as those powers are still subordinate to matters of general concern within the state.

 

The National Rifle Association immediately moved to intervene but was rebuffed by the trial court and again at the mid-appellate level. The trial court ruled for the state, but the court of appeals reversed and ruled for Cleveland. The NRA, along with Ohioans for Concealed Carry, filed an amicus brief with the Ohio State Supreme Court in support of the state’s ability to make firearm laws of general concern, and thus effectively preempt municipalities from creating a patchwork of gun laws throughout the state.

 


Wisconsin

Changes proposed to ballast water rules

MADISON – Wisconsin is proposing to change its requirements for oceangoing ships arriving in its Great Lakes waters. The change would set ballast water discharge standards to those required by the International Maritime Organization. The proposed change reflects the latest science about reducing the risk from invasive species carried in the ships’ ballast water, state officials say.

 

The proposed modifications to a general permit issued by the Wisconsin DNR to large oceangoing commercial ships will be the subject of a public hearing January 26 in Superior.

 

Large commercial ships take on and release water to help balance the vessels as cargo is loaded on and off. Along with the water, plants, animals and pathogens are taken in and released as well. Ballast water is the primary way aquatic invasive species such as the zebra mussel, round goby and spiny water flea have been introduced into the Great Lakes over the last century.

 

Wisconsin issued a ballast water discharge general permit effective February 1, 2010, with a requirement to determine, by the end of 2010, if effective treatment systems would be available by the implementation date.

 

The department engaged the Ballast Water Collaborative, a group of experts from academia, government, the shipping industry, testing facilities, treatment vendors and nonprofit organizations in an unprecedented in-depth discussion and review of ballast water treatment technologies and the science available to measure their effectiveness. The collaborative concurred with the latest science and technology reports that treatment systems have not been approved to the level Wisconsin’s standard required and cannot be measured to that level to prove the treatment effectiveness. The group concluded that technology does not yet exist to verify whether a treatment system can rid ballast water of organisms effectively enough to meet Wisconsin’s standard. A feasibility report based on the findings is available on the DNR website. This standard is set at a level of 100 times the International Maritime Organization standard.

 

After considering the best science and technology now available, Wisconsin is proposing to set the discharge standard in the permit modification to the international standard. Under the proposal, Wisconsin would continue to require oceangoing ships to treat ballast water to reduce the remaining organisms to a level that meets the international numerical standard.

 

To provide added protection, Wisconsin is also proposing to continue requiring ships to flush their ballast tanks at sea. This ballast water exchange process is now required by the federal government but is likely to change when revised federal rules are final, according to Matt Frank, DNR Secretary.

 

“We want to be confident that we’re getting the highest level of protection possible, and right now that includes making sure ballast water exchange continues, even if the final federal

rules drop that requirement,” said Frank. “The latest research suggests that ballast water exchange, combined with the required international standard, may result in better protection for our Great Lakes and inland waters.”

Breaking research shows that exchanging ballast water at sea can reduce, typically by 95 to 99 percent, the number of invasive species that have the greatest chance of surviving and causing trouble in freshwater bodies, according to Sarah Bailey, PhD, a research scientist for of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and a member of the collaborative.

 

Earlier research raised questions about the effectiveness of ballast water exchange. Bailey’s research is showing that when the exchange is done right, the plants, animals and pathogens are purged at sea as the ballast water is exchanged; organisms remaining in the tank are then subjected to the saltwater taken in, which kills and weakens many of them.

 

“We've been completing analysis of flushing and we’re finding such exchange is much more protective of freshwater ports than marine ports,” said Bailey. “This idea of combining exchange with treatment may be a more meaningful increase in protection because you’re now addressing two of the three factors necessary for a successful invasion, not just one.”

 

The three factors are: how many of a particular species are released over time; whether environmental conditions (including salinity and temperature) are hospitable to a species; and whether the food chain is conducive to the survival and growth of a species.

In issuing its general permit, Wisconsin joined Minnesota, Michigan and New York in regulating large oceangoing ships entering Great Lakes waters to provide greater protection than provided by federal permit requirements. After more than a decade the federal government is still working on developing ballast water regulations.

 

Meanwhile, Wisconsin and other Great Lakes states, the federal government and the shipping industry jointly support the Great Ships Initiative, a research effort designed to find the most cost-effective treatment technology for freshwater shipping on the Great Lakes. It is expected that these research efforts will lead to better and quicker protection of the Great Lakes from aquatic invasive species.

 

Certain Wisconsin requirements for handling ballast tank sediment, seawater, and other substances took effect on February 1, 2010, and applied both to oceangoing ships and to the ships that travel only within the Great Lakes. Other requirements will phase in over time, specifically the numerical treatment standard that would apply only to oceangoing ships. New ships must meet the requirement in 2012 and existing ships in 2014. These implementation dates will remain effective in the proposed permit modification.

 

“If proposed changes to the permit requirements are made,” Frank noted, “Wisconsin still has one of the most protective ballast water permits in the Great Lakes.


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

 

Gun owners preparing to rally in Albany

Sportsmen definitely won’t like what lies ahead as far as proposed gun legislation is concern. The new administration will be pushing for stricter gun control laws and with Eric Schneiderman moving into the Attorney General’s office, you can bet microstamping will be on the top of the list.

 

Enbridge Energy says more oil spilled in Kalamazoo than previously stated

Enbridge Energy says 20,082 barrels (843,444 gallons) of crude oil spilled on July 26, a 3 % increase over the original estimate of 19,500 barrels, or 819,000 gallons. The USEPA estimated since the first days of the spill, which was one of the worst in Midwest history, the volume of oil released into Talmadge Creek and then into the Kalamazoo River was more than 1 million gallons.

 

Brown bridge dam removal project get million dollar grant

TRAVERSE CITY -- The Great Lakes Fishery handed over a one-million-dollar check to the City of Traverse City Wednesday.  The grant represents a significant milestone in the Brown Bridge Dam removal project which has been in the works for five years.

 

Mayors not sold on offshore wind turbines
M
ayors of the three Lambton County, Ont. municipalities bordering Lake Huron are cool to the idea of erecting offshore wind turbines.

 

No sign of Asian carp in local marsh, rivers
About two months after researchers removed water samples from Eagle Marsh, looking for evidence of the dreaded Asian carp, the results are in. At least for now, there is no environmental DNA, or eDNA, evidence of the invasive species.

 

EDITORIAL: Zip, nothing, nada
So far, the federal government's response to the Asian carp threat to the Great Lakes has been singularly ineffective with dim prospects for better results ahead.

 

Lake Erie power plant targeted in fish kill case
Conservationists want a Lake Erie power plant near Toledo to change its ways, and now they're taking the battle to court.

 

Wisconsin proposes relaxing Great Lakes ballast regs
Wisconsin water officials have proposed revising ballast water regulations for ocean-going ships on the Great Lakes.

 

Multitude of mining projects challenge tribal oversight
There's been a flurry of new mining proposals in the ceded territory of Lake Superior, threatening to overwhelm Ojibwe bands that are pledged to protect that region.

 

COMMENTARY: New Asian carp study could delay action until it’s too late
On its face, President Barack Obama’s 2011 battle plan to keep the Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes looks deep and aggressive, but it should actually alarm anyone worried about the survival of the lakes as we know them

 

$47 million in new projects to fight Asian carp

Government agencies announced $47 million worth of new projects to combat Asian carp including a new laboratory in Wisconsin that will do increased DNA sampling for Asian carp around the lakes, aiming to take 120 samples per week. Scientists also will try to find genetic markers

 

Five Great Lakes states appeal ruling on Asian carp threat
On the day the Obama Administration unveiled a new $47 million attack plan against Asian carp, five Great Lakes states sparked another legal battle aimed at closing Chicago-area shipping locks.

 

$47 million in new projects to fight Asian carp
Federal and state agencies announced $47 million worth of new projects Thursday to combat Asian carp and prevent their spread to the Great Lakes.

Hundreds attend wind turbine meeting
Stephana Johnston is 80 years old and sleeping on her son's couch because she can't go home. Every time she goes home she gets a "stuffiness" in her ears and a "buzzing" in her brain. Her home is on the north shore of Lake Erie and surrounded by 18 wind turbines.

 

Rule may blockade Indiana shipping
Thousands of Hoosier jobs could be lost if New York enforces tough new environmental rules that would stop an influx of alien organisms that sail into ports in the ballast tanks of ships.

 

Federal rules urged for ballast from ships using Great Lakes
Several years after Michigan and other Great Lakes states imposed tougher regulations on ships, there’s still a call by environmental groups, biologists and shippers for federal rules.

 

EDITORIAL: Why Michigan needs to regulate power-producing windmills in the Great Lakes
Michigan’s lame-duck Legislature blew off the opportunity to provide a much-needed legal framework for off-shore wind farms.

 

Scaling back of carp study draws fire
More than three years after Congress directed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to explore ways to separate the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins in order to "prevent the spread" of nuisance species like Asian carp between the two grand water systems, the Army Corps is now embarking on what it says likely will be a four-year study.

 

Wind energy: Fair or foul in Ontario?
The collision of forces has propelled the fight over wind energy to an ever-fevered pitch, one being fought in towns and hamlets across Ontario.

Michigan lawmakers pass phosphorous legislation to protect waterways
Michigan's new restrictions on phosphorus in lawn fertilizer will help protect lakes and streams without sacrificing lush green residential lawns, say backers of the law.

 

EDITORIAL: Our View: More needed to save Great Lakes from carp
Will a federal court’s refusal last week to shut Chicago shipping locks give the Asian carp easy access to the Great Lakes? There’s still a chance the voracious species can be kept out, although it seems some Illinois politicians are all but saying, “Let them eat carp.”

 

 

 

The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the GLSFC, its officers or staff. 

Reproduction of any material by paid-up members of the GLSFC is encouraged but appropriate credit must be given. 

Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.

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