Week of January 8, 2007

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes




Beyond the Great Lakes




Letter to the Editor


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Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

There’s a monster blue catfish out there in Badin Lake, N.C.

RALEIGH, NC – Eric Fincher of Mount Pleasant knows it, because he caught and released the record-breaking catfish, certified at 89 lbs and 4'- 4" long, in the Stanly and Montgomery counties reservoir.


“I brought him in and pretty much went into shock," Fincher said. "He was too big for the net, but I told my wife I had to get him in the boat, he was a record setter. And somehow, we did."  Unable to find certified scales that afternoon, Fincher took the giant blue catfish to his father-in-law’s house, where he made a makeshift holding tank by damming a nearby creek. That was Nov. 25.


On Nov. 27, certified scales were located and Lawrence Dorsey, a fisheries biologist with the Wildlife Resources Commission, was on hand to make things official. Fincher

used an Eagle Claw medium rod with an Abu Garcia 6500 reel, fishing a live shiner at 18 feet in a 43-foot depth, on 15-pound test line, while trolling for striped bass.  "The next day I took him back to the lake and he swam right off," Fincher said. "I’m confident he’s still in there and getting bigger."


The previous record of 85 lbs, caught at Lake Norman, was set in 2004.



Or go to:  www.ncwildlife.org  .


Study: Eating Too Much Fish Harms Babies in Womb

HONG KONG -- Pregnant women who eat fish more than three times a week could be putting their baby at risk because of higher mercury levels in their blood, according to a study by Taiwanese researchers.


Mercury exposure is especially risky for fetuses when their internal organs are developing, and can result in neuronal, kidney and brain damage, and stunt growth. Expectant Chinese mothers tend to eat more fish as they believe it is healthier than red or white meat.


A study of 65 pregnant women in Taipei found mercury concentrations of around 9.1 micrograms per liter in their blood and around 10 micrograms per liter in blood in their umbilical cords. The researchers also found an average of 19 nanograms per gram of mercury in their placenta.  Such levels were way over what are considered safe, the researchers wrote in a paper to be published in January in the International

Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.


89% had blood mercury concentrations exceeding the US National Research Council's recommended value of 5.8 micrograms per liter. The women were recruited for the study 24 weeks into their pregnancy.


"When a woman consumes fish, it is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and enters the bloodstream. The trace elements of mercury, or methylmercury, the commonly found form of mercury in fish, passes through the placenta and then to the fetus," the researchers said.


The US Food and Drug Administration advises pregnant women to avoid eating fish with high mercury levels such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. Instead, it recommends fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury, such as shrimp and tilapia.


Animal Rights Group defeated in Mute Swan Case

On December 15, 2006, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of Safari Club International and Ducks Unlimited, and the USFWS in an appeal brought by the animal rights group Fund for Animals concerning the State of Maryland’s ability to manage the invasive mute swan.  The Fund had sued the FWS claiming that it violated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) by removing the mute swan from the list of birds protected by that Act. 


SCI and DU intervened and helped the Federal Government defend the case.  The defense successfully argued that a law passed by Congress in 2004 clearly confirmed that the MBTA does not protect non-native birds, such as the mute swan. 

The Court rejected “Plaintiffs’ creative attempt to weave ambiguity out of clarity.” 


Safari Club International President, Ralph Cunningham applauded the victory, stating "Safari Club International and Ducks Unlimited fought hard to ensure that Maryland and other States along the eastern seaboard have the ability to manage this harmful and invasive species.  This allows the States to protect the ecosystem and provide opportunities for sustainable use hunting of native waterfowl.  Our legal team was able to supply the Court of Appeals with one of the main legal arguments on which the Court relied to defeat the anti-hunting group’s lawsuit.”

Theodore Roosevelt on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in 

every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be NO divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but ONE flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt - 1907

New Passport Requirements Jan. 2007

Beginning in January 2007, all air travelers, including US citizens, will need a valid passport to enter the U.S. You can obtain a passport at more than 9,000 locations in the United

States. For more information visit the U.S. Department of State's website:



Another European Invader hits the Great Lakes

NOAA’s GLERL Lab makes find in Muskegon, MI area

A species of shrimp previously found only in the seas of Eastern Europe has now been discovered in the Muskegon, MI channel of Lake Michigan.


The mysid, Hemimysis anomala, was discovered in the channel in November. It is the most recent addition to a list of Great Lakes invader species that now numbers 183.


Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Great Lakes Research Lab who found swarms of bloody red mysid said the half-inch-long shrimp were likely brought into the Great Lakes in the ballast water of an oceangoing freighter.  "It came from the Ponto-Caspian region -- the same area that gave us zebra mussels, quagga mussels and the goby," said Steve Pothoven, a NOAA fisheries biologist who documented its presence here.


Eight years ago, two researchers at a Canadian university predicted the half-inch, bright orange Hemimysis anomala was a likely candidate to follow other Caspian Sea region invaders such as the zebra mussel into the Great Lakes, if more wasn't done to stop the discharge of contaminated ballast water from oceangoing freighters traveling up the St. Lawrence Seaway. The shrimp has now turned up in Lake Michigan near Muskegon.


Anthony Ricciardi of McGill University in Montreal, one of the scientists who predicted the shrimp's arrival, describes it as another sign of an "ecological takeover" of the Great Lakes by species native to the Black and Caspian Sea regions. The dominant mollusk in most parts of the Great Lakes is now the zebra and quagga mussel, the dominant zooplankton is the fishhook water flea.


The dominant mollusk in most parts of the Great Lakes is now the zebra and quagga mussel, the dominant zooplankton is the fishhook water flea. The bottom-dwelling fish are becoming more and more dominated by the round goby and Ruffe.


This new species of shrimp is likely to turn up in other areas

of the Great Lakes, because the Muskegon port typically receives very little overseas traffic. This means the initial invasion likely happened somewhere else in the lakes.


Juveniles and mature females have been found in the channel connecting Muskegon Lake to Lake Michigan, indicating that the species is likely reproducing in the Great Lakes. If so, that apparently brings the number of Great Lakes invaders to 183, and it probably won't be long until No. 184 is found; for the past three decades a new exotic species has been discovered in the Great Lakes, on average, about every 6½ months.


Native to the Caspian and the Black Sea, Hemimysis anomala was introduced into several water bodies in the former Soviet Union to improve fish production. These populations spread until they reached the Baltic. In 1992, this species was found in the coastal waters of Finland and in 1997 it was first observed in the river Rhine, Germany. Recently, H. anomala was also observed in the Netherlands, and has been recorded for the first time in the UK in November 2004, and in 2005 at a number of sites in the English Midlands.


It occurs in both lentic and lotic environments, including the margins of the relatively fast-flowing River Trent, and large swarms have been observed in one lake. It is not known how the mysid reached the English Midlands, although one site hosts international rowing events.  It is expected that H. anomala will establish populations in other brackish waters along the coasts of Europe.


H. anomala is an omnivorous feeder, but with a strong feeding preference for cladocerans over copepods. Their invasion could therefore have dramatic effects on the zooplankton composition and abundance.


NOAA states Hemimysis anomala is capable of changing its body color from reddish to ivory-yellow to almost transparent with a touch of ivory-yellow color due to the contraction of its ivory-yellow chromatophores. Preserved specimens become opaque after preservation. (See photos at: www.glerl.noaa.gov/pubs/photogallery/Hemimysis.html )

Coast Guard withdraws Live-Fire Proposal

Plan to reconsider number, use, and location of training areas as well as other issues.

Withdrawal notice published in Federal Register, Friday, Jan 5, 2007


CLEVELAND - The U.S. Coast Guard announced on December 18 its decision to withdraw the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to establish 34 safety zones for live-fire training on the Great Lakes.  The decision follows internal review, meetings with many community leaders, as well as nine public meetings, and almost 1000 comments from the public and political arena.


The Detroit Free Press claims the national commander of the Coast Guard, Adm. Thad Allen, ordered the plans to be withdrawn, said U.S. Rep. James Oberstar, a Minnesota Congressman.  In a statement, Oberstar said Allen told him he was dissatisfied with the guard's process in proposing the zones. Allen read the transcripts of the public hearings and decided the only option was to withdraw the plan and rethink it.


The plan had been criticized by at least 80 U.S. and Canadian mayors, business leaders, Lt. Governors and other elected officials, anglers, boaters, conservationists and

environmentalists who said the plan unsafe and not well thought out. Many expressed concerns about the environmental consequences of lead ammunition being deposited in the Great Lakes.


"The Coast Guard appreciates the thoughtful comments we received and we will work with the public to ensure the Coast Guard can meet any threat to public safety or security.  We are committed to addressing the concerns that training be safe, preserve the diverse uses of the Lakes, and protect the environment," said Rear Adm. John E. Crowley, Jr., commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District.


"As a native son of the region I take the Coast Guard's role as guardians of the Great Lakes very seriously.  The Great Lakes are one of the nation's most precious resources.  The current NPRM is unsatisfactory and I will take the time to get this right.  We will not conduct live-fire training on the Great Lakes to satisfy non-emergency training requirements unless we publish a rule, and I intend to reconsider the number, frequency of use, and location of water training areas as well as other concerns raised by the public.  I am also committed to pursuing environmentally-friendly alternatives to the lead ammunition we currently use."

Evidence of Lake Trout Reproduction at Lake Michigan’s Mid-lake Reef Complex

The Mid-Lake Reef Complex (MLRC), a large area of deep (40 m) reefs, was a major site where indigenous lake trout in Lake Michigan aggregated during spawning.


As part of an effort to restore Lake Michigan’s lake trout, which were extirpated in the 1950s, yearling lake trout have been released over the MLRC since the mid-1980s and fall gill net censuses began to show large numbers of lake trout in spawning condition beginning about 1999.


Researchers Dave Jude and John Jensen report the first evidence of viable egg deposition and successful lake trout fry production at these deep reefs. Because the area’s existing bathymetry and habitat were too poorly known for a priori selection of sampling sites, researchers used hydroacoustics 

to locate concentrations of large fish in the fall; fish were congregating around slopes and ridges. Subsequent observations via unmanned submersible confirmed the large fish to be lake trout.


Technological objectives were driven by biological objectives of locating where lake trout spawn, where lake trout fry were produced, and what fishes ate lake trout eggs and fry. The unmanned submersibles were equipped with a suction sampler and electroshocker to sample eggs deposited on the reef, draw out and occasionally catch emergent fry, and collect egg predators (slimy sculpin). Researchers observed slimy sculpin to eat unusually high numbers of lake trout eggs.


Our qualitative approaches are a first step toward quantitative assessments of the importance of lake trout spawning on the MLRC.

Burbot Declining in Apostle Islands Region

A 30-year study by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources found burbot declining in abundance in the Apostle Islands region of Lake Superior.


"The decline is related to changes in the fish community and not sea lamprey predation, fishing mortality, or habitat loss," says Stephen Schram, Lake Superior Fisheries Supervisor with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "Increased numbers of lake trout have likely contributed to the decline in burbot through predation and/or competition for food resources," Schram adds.


Burbot are native predators in Lake Superior whose ecological role is poorly understood by fishery researchers. Burbot are incidentally caught by commercial fishers but then discarded

due to their low market value.


"If we release pheromones into or near traps, we can lure the fish, but first we need to collect and identify these chemical cues," explains Jared Fine, who recently earned his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. "Now, we have developed a practical means to accomplish this."


Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Research Scientist Dr. Timothy B. Johnson analyzed burbot consumption as part of the study. "The diet of burbot shifted progressively from invertebrates to fish as size increases," states Johnson. Also, Johnson found the burbot population from Apostle Islands consumed considerably less prey (0.13 to 3.54 kg/ha) than did those in Green Bay (15.8 kg/ha), or did other predators in western Lake Superior (5.2 to 22.4 kg/ha).

Anglers Shouldn't Fear Round Gobies

Ann Arbor, MI — After an army of round gobies invaded the Great Lakes basin in 1990, concerns arose that anglers were catching fewer sport fish because round gobies competed aggressively with some sport fish for bait and lures. However, data to support those concerns were not found by a recent study.


A recent scientific study on the upper Niagara River found that anglers who caught more round gobies generally did not

catch fewer smallmouth bass. Yet, anglers felt that catching round gobies reduced their likelihood of catching smallmouth bass because baited hooks and lures were not in the water when round gobies were handled.


"It appears that concerns about the effect of round gobies on sport fishing may have been based on perception and not reality," said Dennis Dunning, a fishery biologist who conducted the study.

Invasive Great Lakes Fish Pheromones Can Be Extracted and Used for Control

When researchers are trying to identify fish pheromones (chemical signals that pass among individuals of the same species), they analyze their holding water. This is a great challenge because the actual quantities of such pheromones are miniscule.


Researchers overcame this challenge by developing a procedure to identify the sea lamprey pheromone, trapping a cue so potent that if a single pound flowed over Niagara Falls, it could still be detected for several weeks.


Pheromones clearly have potential to help control invasive fishes, such as sea lampreys and Asian carp.

"If we release pheromones into or near traps, we can lure the fish, but first we need to collect and identify these chemical cues," explains Jared Fine, who recently earned his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. "Now, we have developed a practical means to accomplish this."


The few fish pheromones identified to date come from various body parts and are detected by analyzing their water. Fish holding water is pumped through a special filter called XAD resin, to which the lamprey pheromone sticks and is later removed safely, easily, and inexpensively.


The method was developed to help control sea lampreys, and has potential application for other invasive fishes in the Great Lakes.

Yellow Perch Eat It All

Yellow perch aren't picky about what food they eat, despite changes in the kinds of food available over the past two decades.


Diet studies for fish 100 - 175 mm in size (4 - 7 inches) taken from the southern tip of Lake Michigan have indicated yellow perch are adept at eating small invertebrates or fish eggs, regardless of the food items encountered. Larger fish (greater than 175 mm or 7 inches) are currently feeding on round gobies and alewife - two exotic species in Lake Michigan. Although many species changes in the lake have occurred over the past 20 years, including the invasion of the zebra mussel and the loss of the invertebrate Diporeia, these

changes do not appear to have a negative impact on diet of the yellow perch.


"Yellow perch are really adaptable in what they consume," says Tom Lauer, Professor of Biology at Ball State University. "We often wonder if the food supply changes, will existing predator species, such as the yellow perch, be able to survive the change? In this case, we are pleasantly surprised."


With the continual threats of invasive species in the Great Lakes, the need to know how to properly manage our native and valuable yellow perch population is very important. Understanding what the perch consumes is a giant first step.

The Next Bite Walleye School Feb 3

Gurnee, Ill. – Have you been chasing walleyes for years, in search of the big one? Are you anxiously awaiting The Next Bite? Then Bass Pro Shops has a class for you.


Father and son champion walleye anglers Gary and Chase Parsons will be conducting The Next Bite Walleye School at Bass Pro Shops on Saturday, February 3, 2007 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. The class will take place at Bass Pro Shops, located at 6112 West Grand Avenue, Gurnee, Ill.  Gary and Chase will provide you with a full day of seminars, workshops and panel discussions to help you take your walleye fishing to

the next level.


The tuition for this event is $100.00 and each attendee will receive a tackle pack worth $100.00, as well as a full day of walleye fishing education from two of the country’s top walleye pros.  Reservations can be made by credit card by calling our customer relations desk at 847-856-1229 or you can stop by the store in Gurnee. Seating is limited, so please make your reservations soon.

For more information regarding Bass Pro Shops stores, products or events please visit www.basspro.com.

Beyond the Great Lakes

Low water levels force closure of a marina on Lake Mead 

The National Park Service is closing a popular marina on Lake Mead because of dwindling water levels. 


Park officials have begun notifying boaters that Overton Beach Marina will close following the expiration of a concession

contract on Jan. 1, according to the Las Vegas Journal

Review. Boat slips will be moved to other marinas on the lake and many residents of a neighboring RV park will be forced to relocate, according to the newspaper.  The water levels cannot sustain floating facilities, park officials said in a statement. A trailer park and other concessions are not economically viable without the floating facilities.


The Outdoor Channel announces 1st Quarter program highlights

TEMECULA, CA --The Outdoor Channel (TOC), the #1 television destination for outdoor enthusiasts, announced several new programming titles and returning series season premieres planned for the 1st Quarter of 2007, including a revamped schedule that will accommodate primetime programming blocks of the network’s most popular outdoor activities.


Beginning in January 2007, The Outdoor Channel will offer nightly programming blocks oriented around the following themes: Mondays—Fishing; Tuesdays—Big Game Hunting; Wednesdays—Western Lifestyle/Shooting; Thursdays—Bird Hunting; Fridays—Off-Road Motorsports; Saturdays—Adventure; and Sundays—Big Game Hunting.


Each nightly programming environment is highlighted by a high-quality TOC exclusive series that exemplifies the excitement of the individual genres:


• On Mondays, viewers can look forward to the premiere of TOC’s all-new adventure fishing series Speargun Hunter, featuring some of the world’s best free divers in their incredibly dangerous pursuit of record-setting catch. In addition to Speargun Hunter, the Monday night primetime fishing line-up also includes new episodes of old favorites In Fisherman-- with host Doug Stange and some of North America’s finest fishing locations, Hank Parker’s Outdoor Magazine, featuring tried-and-true techniques from the master angler, and big game saltwater adventures with Mark Sosin’s Saltwater Journal. 


• On Tuesdays, fans of Big Game Hunting can tune into a line-up that features TOC’s popular returning series Step Outside, with hosts Doug Painter and two-time Olympic gold medalist Kim Rhode furthering the mission of the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s (NSSF) Step Outside program as they hunt some of North America’s prime locations. Step Outside is part of The Outdoor Channel’s longest running programming block “Tuesday Night Pursuits” presented by Mossy Oak Brand Camo. Mossy Oak is best known for its signature program Hunting the Country, which has been part of The Outdoor Channel’s Tuesday night lineup since 1999.


• Wednesdays will feature a block of Shooting and Western Lifestyle programming including TOC returning original Cowboys, a celebration of all things related to the Cowboy including world-class Cowboy Action shooting, historical reenactments, and skills and crafts of the Old West.

• Thursday’s block features Bird Hunting and TOC’s exclusive series Turkey Call, produced in association with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and hosted by Rob Keck, this returning favorite brings viewers the best in turkey hunting throughout the world. Turkey Call joins Mossy Oak’s Whistling Wings to present some of the most exciting turkey hunting adventures ever captured.


• Friday nights are Motorsports nights on TOC-- featuring Ride To Adventure, a fast-paced series hosted by world famous adventurer Bill Baker that provides a behind-the-scenes look at all manner of motoring excitement on Land, Sea, and Air. The rest of the Friday night lineup offers the latest and greatest of TOC’s Off-Road motoring programs.


• Saturday nights are now reserved for TOC’s Adventure series—featuring marine, aviation and snowmobile programming. Signature series include the pioneering aviation program Wings To Adventure, hosted by Tom Gresham, and Personal Watercraft Television, a high-energy half-hour hosted by Kevin Cullen that presents the top events and latest equipment in the personal watercraft industry.


• Hunting programming wraps up TOC’s week on Sundays, featuring the return of one of TOC’s longest running and most popular series, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, showcasing top hunting pros like Brenda Valentine, Jerry Martin, Bob Foulkrod, Walter Parrott and Alan Treadwell, among others. Also debuting on Sundays is Whitewater Trails, hosted by popular outdoorsman Bodie Owens-- providing one-of-a-kind tips, stories, and epic adventures in some of the most pristine hunting and fishing locations throughout the country.


In addition to the new primetime programming blocks, starting in January horizontal strips of some of TOC’s most popular shows from past seasons including Ultimate Match Fishing, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Fishing, Getting Close, and Dream Season will air in daily blocks from 2-4pm EST-- as TOC shoots new episodes for a fall debut. Viewers can also look forward to an all-fishing block of programs on Saturday mornings from 8-11am EST, featuring past episodes of TOC standards Bass Champs’ Tournament Trail, and Strike King’s Pro Team Journal.


For more information regarding TOC’s series, or for specific airtimes in your area-- please visit the website at: www.outdoorchannel.com.




Michigan Ballast Water Law Launched January 1

Has Legal Implications for Other States

For the first time, a state plans to regulate ballast water beyond national standards. On January 1, Michigan Senate Bill 332 went into

effect. Although the new law has raised legal questions about a state's right to regulate international commerce and provoked criticism from the shipping industry, it is lauded by some as an important step towards curbing the movement of aquatic invasive species.


"Commerce on navigable waters is typically the domain of the federal government, not state government," said Dale Bergeron, Minnesota Sea Grant’s maritime transportation extension educator. "I suspect that the new ballast water law, if it isn't defeated in a legal challenge, could deter shipping traffic from Michigan's ports."


The law requires salt-water freighters that stop at any Michigan port to pay $150 a year for a ballast permit. The ships can comply either by not releasing their ballast water or by treating it with biocides that eliminate any potential invaders before the water goes into the Great Lakes


"Similar ballast laws are being considered in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Indiana," said Bergeron. "What happens with the Michigan law will likely impact what these states attempt."


Bergeron consulted with staff at the National Sea Grant Law Center in Mississippi to evaluate the rights of a state regulating shipping. They concluded that although states have a right to protect their waters, an international ballast water treaty, four Congressional bills, and several clauses in the U.S. Constitution could preempt Michigan's ballast water law. Since many fleet operators would need to install new equipment, retrofit existing infrastructure, and train personnel to comply, legal challenges may cite that Bill 332 damages international commerce.


The U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards shoulder the burden of

keeping aquatic invasive species out of the Great Lakes. They

require ocean-going ships carrying ballast water to either exchange the water offshore, or keep it onboard. Of the roughly 500 ocean-going vessels entering the Great Lakes in a year, about 90 % are exempt from these regulations because they are cargo-laden and report no ballast onboard (NOBOB). NOBOB vessels must submit ballast water reporting forms and are encouraged to flush their ballast tanks mid-ocean (swish and spit) but they may still carry residual water or sediments into the Great Lakes.


By ratifying Bill 332 two years ago, Michigan legislators indicated dissatisfaction with the efficacy of mid-ocean ballast flushing and

endorsed four ballast treatment systems considered experimental by many experts.


Among Michigan ports, Detroit and Menominee could be most affected by the new law since they handle the majority of saltwater ships in the state. However, the number of ships is very small since most of the salties on the Great Lakes are bound for Canadian ports and terminals in other states. To date, no shipping companies have applied for a Ballast Water Control General Permit from Michigan -- although there is still time, since the ocean-going shipping season doesn't begin until late March.


A virus responsible for massive fish die-offs in the Lower Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway has fueled additional ballast water discussions across the Great Lakes. In November, Michigan requested that the federal government order an emergency ban on freighters filling their ballast tanks in waters where the VHS virus has been found. Shipping industry representatives fear that such a ballast ban would cripple shipping within the Great Lakes.


A copy of the Sea Grant ballast water white paper is available online: http://seagrant.umn.edu/downloads/ballast.pdf


Women’s Winter Weekend Planned at Porcupine Mtns State Park Jan 27-28

A weekend packed with snow-related activities for women is planned for Jan. 27-28 at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula. Sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources’ Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program, the classes are designed to acquaint women 18 and older with the delights of cross country, downhill and telemark skiing as well as snowshoeing.


The session begins Saturday with a brief meeting, followed by cross-country ski lessons and gliding time on the groomed trails. After lunch, participants will have their choice of either downhill or telemark ski lessons for the remainder of the afternoon. That evening, cross-country ski on a groomed trail lighted with old-fashioned oil lamps. Hot chocolate will be waiting at a trailside bonfire. Sunday morning, participants will explore the backwoods of the Porkies on a guided snowshoe



The $100 registration fee includes two lunches, Saturday evening dinner, snacks, lift tickets and trail passes. Participants will be responsible for lodging in nearby Silver City and breakfast. Rental equipment is available for an additional cost. The registration form is available on the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr.   Click on the “Learning Corner” to locate the BOW page.


“Many women are familiar with the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman programs offered in Michigan, and this special weekend will focus on winter activities in one of the most beautiful places for snow-related recreation in the Midwest,” said Ann Wilson, coordinator of the U.P. BOW programs.


For additional information, contact Ann Wilson at (906) 228-6561 or Bob Wild at (906) 885-5275.

Black Lake Sturgeon Spearing Season

Application Period Begins January 8

DNR fisheries officials reminded anglers the application period for the 2007 Black Lake sturgeon spearing lottery is Jan. 8-12.


Interested anglers may register for the spearing lottery by calling the DNR Gaylord Operations Service Center at (989) 732-3541 or applying in person at the center between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the application period. All applicants 17 years and older must hold a valid Michigan fishing license. Those under 17 years old also may register for the season. Those applying for the drawing should have proper identification on hand during the application process. This may include a valid Michigan driver license, a Michigan ID card, a DNR sportcard or a valid Michigan fishing license.


The limited sturgeon spearing season on Black Lake, located in Cheboygan and Presque Isle counties, opens Feb. 3, 2007,

and runs through Feb. 11 or until the total harvest of five fish has been reached. A total of 225 anglers, or 25 per day, will be selected to participate. The drawing to determine those participants will be held Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Chateau North, 10621 Twin Lakes Road, in Cheboygan. Successful applicants will be notified of their date to fish by mail in advance of the season.


Last  year, 695 individuals registered for the spearing lottery. Only four fish were harvested during the season, which lasted the full nine days. These sturgeon ranged in size from 45 to 65 inches and weighed between 23 and 64 pounds. Biologists also determined the age of three fish, which ranged from 23 to 40 years.


For more information on the lottery application process and other rules regarding the Black Lake sturgeon spearing season, contact Lindsey Dowlyn at the DNR Fisheries Division’s Gaylord office at (989) 732-3541.

Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center Offers Winter Programs

The Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center in Oden is offering several outdoor programs in January and February, aimed at getting people outdoors.


*  Saturday, Jan. 6, 13 and 20, at 2 p.m. -- Guided beginner snowshoe walks. Programs begin at the Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center on US-31 in Oden. No fee for the program. We have a limited number of snowshoes to loan for this event; registration is required.


*  Sunday, Jan. 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- Snowshoe-building workshop. Create and keep your own authentic pair of snowshoes! Cost of the workshop is $130, which includes all materials and lunch. Space is limited; registration is required.


*  Saturday, Feb. 10, from 1 to 3 p.m. -- Ice Fishing on Crooked

Lake! Join our staff and our friends at Little Traverse

Conservancy for an outing on Crooked Lake. Program begins

at the Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center on US-31 in Oden; from there we proceed to the lake. We will provide all necessary equipment. Participants age 17 and older must bring their fishing license. No fee for this program; registration is required.


The visitor center’s regular hours have ended for the season, but the center will be open for special programs through the winter months. The Oden State Fish Hatchery remains open for public tours through the winter. Visitors are asked to call (231) 348-0998 to make a reservation.


The Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center is located on US-31 in Oden, about five miles east of Petoskey. For more information about events and programs, contact Maureen Jacobs at (231) 348-0998 or by e-mail: [email protected] .

Michigan OKs Nestle Water Withdrawal from Trout Streams

LANSING, (ENS) - The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, (DEQ), has issued a proposed determination that a water withdrawal being considered by Nestle Waters of North America is not likely to cause an adverse resource impact under Michigan's new water withdrawal law.


The agency's proposed determination is the first to apply Michigan's new water withdrawal law. It responds to a request from Nestle for the DEQ to determine whether the proposed withdrawal would have an adverse resource impact.  Under the law, an adverse resource impact occurs when water is withdrawn from a stream at a rate that could harm fish populations.


Nestle is proposing to withdraw water for bottling via a well in Osceola County with a maximum proposed pumping rate of 216,000 gallons per day.  The proposed withdrawal would intercept groundwater discharging to Twin Creek and Chippewa Creek, two designated trout streams in Osceola Township. Historic DNR sampling indicated the presence of numerous brook and brown trout, mottled sculpin, creek

chubs, and blacknose dace.


Based upon the calculated base flow of the two creeks, along with DNR studies of natural flow variation in streams statewide, the DEQ proposes to determine that the allowable withdrawal from the two watersheds is a combined 691,200 gallons per day, well above the amount to be withdrawn by Nestle.


While not required under the new law, the DEQ is making its proposed finding of no adverse resource impact open to public comment. Copies of the public notice, the report submitted by Nestle's consultant in support of the petition, and a decision document providing the basis for the DEQ's proposed determination are available online at: http://www.michigan.gov/deqwater


Comments on this proposed determination received by January 15, 2007, will be considered in the issuance of a final determination. Comments can be submitted to Brant Fisher, DEQ Water Bureau, PO Box 30273, Lansing, MI 48909-7773, or by email at [email protected]


Boat owners urged to go online to renews boat registrations

COLUMBUS, OH - Ohioans with boat registrations due to expire March 1 are urged to visit www.ohiodnr.com on the Internet to renew their boat registration.


The online system, which can be accessed 24 hours each day

through September 30. Registrations are valid for a period of

three years and fees remain unchanged from last year. Ohio has more than 400,000 registered watercraft and ranks ninth nationally in the number of watercraft registered.   A listing of watercraft registration agents is available at www.ohiodnr.com and by calling the Div of Watercraft toll-free at 877-4BOATER (877-426-2837).

Ohio boating fatalities decline 50 % during last 6 years

COLUMBUS, Oh - Calling it a milestone in recreational boating safety, the Ohio DNR announced that boating-related fatalities on state waterways declined 50 % in the three-year period from 2004 through 2006, compared to fatalities over the previous three years. Boater deaths in Ohio have declined approximately 85 percent since record keeping began in 1965.

The ODNR Division of Watercraft reported 30 persons died in boating-related incidents from 2004 through 2006, while 60 died between 2001 and 2003. In 2005, a total of 697 people died on the nation’s waterways in boating-related incidents, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. By comparison, the National Transportation Safety Board reports that in 2005, 616 people died in aviation accidents, 789 died in railroad accidents and 43,443 died in motor vehicle accidents.

Letters to the Editor

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