Week of January 9, 2006

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World

Diatoms algae prefer it light!

Ann Arbor, MI — Studies of the growth efficiency of diatoms (microscopic algae) in Lake Tanganyika, Africa show clear evidence of climate change (global warming) in this region. Because diatoms produce a skeleton made of opal (a form of silicon oxide) and represent a large part of the photosynthetic activity in the world's aquatic ecosystems, this is yet another example of growing effects of global warming.

 

The study measured uptake rates for different silicon isotopes between diatoms and other algae. The preferential uptake of the lighter isotope by diatoms leaves a measurable signature in the lake water that is reflective of the photosynthetic rate.

 

"This process known since the late 90's in the ocean, is

observed for the first time in a lake environment," says Laurent Alleman, a scientist at the Ecole des Mines of Douai - France. "The recent trend of lowered silicon utilization has been ascribed to climate change in African Great Lakes area."

 

This study (a collaborative project between Belgium, Tanzania, and Zambia) clarifies the silicon cycle in Lake Tanganyika. The results may have broad applications to other freshwater environments in addition to marine waters. This study should also stimulate new research in paleolimnology.

 

For information about this study, contact Laurent Alleman, alleman@ensm-douai.fr

 


National

Alaska oil drilling myths

The Washington Times reports drilling for oil in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) makes so much sense, it's no wonder opponents must twist the facts to make it controversial. Yesterday, at last, common sense prevailed when the House passed by 308-106 a bill to authorize development of ANWR.

   

We're talking about 10 billion barrels of domestic oil in an area where there has been a proven track record for environmentally responsible drilling. Yet a host of tall tales from environmental activists and like-minded journalists has made it a tough fight in Washington.

   

The current action in Congress involves adding ANWR drilling to the defense appropriations bill. Given continued high oil prices and political turmoil in many oil-producing nations, now seems to offer a good chance to get ANWR done. But this will finally occur only if the ANWR myths are exposed. Here are several:

   

• ANWR drilling would harm the environment. Some perspective is helpful to understand the ecological insignificance of ANWR drilling. ANWR comprises 19 million acres in Northeast Alaska, 17.5 million of which are totally off-limits to drilling or any other kind of economic activity. This is why the news footage showing beautiful snowcapped mountains is misleading, because the drilling would not be allowed anywhere near those areas. Only the flat and featureless coastal plain would be affected, and even there only a small portion of its 1.5 million acres. The current version of the bill limits the surface disturbance to 2,000 acres, a small piece of a big coastal plain in a very big wildlife refuge in the biggest state in the Union.

   

• Oil wells would despoil one of the few remaining pristine places. Again, the vast majority of ANWR will be completely unaffected by drilling. It would occur only on a small part of the coastal plain where there already is some human habitation. There are plenty of truly pristine places in Alaska worth preserving, but ANWR's coastal plain isn't one of them. As it is, Alaska has 141 million acres of protected lands, an area equal to the size of California and New York combined.

   

• Drilling is incompatible with National Wildlife Refuges. Drilling critics have tried to confuse wildlife refuges with

national parks, wilderness areas and other more highly protected categories of federal lands. But national wildlife refuges typically allow limited mining, logging, drilling, ranching or other activities. Indeed, the statute creating ANWR contemplated future oil production on the coastal plain, subject to congressional approval. It is worth noting that another wildlife refuge in Alaska, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, has had drilling onsite for decades. The oil production there rarely makes the news because it has not caused any problems, even though Kenai has far more wildlife than ANWR.

 

• Oil development harms local wildlife. An extensive track record proves otherwise. In addition to Kenai, Alaska has oil drilling in the Prudhoe Bay field, only 55 miles west of ANWR. Prudhoe Bay has produced more than 10 billion barrels of oil since the 1970s, which has been transported through the Alaska pipeline to the domestic market in the Lower 48 states. Decades of studies show this oil production has affected the environment negligibly. Environmental opponents of drilling cannot cite a single species driven toward extinction or even a decline in numbers attributable to Prudhoe Bay. That drilling also was done with decades-old technology and methods far less environmentally sensitive than ANWR would require.

   

• Caribou herds will be devastated. Environmentalists have been particularly excessive in predicting dire harm to the herd of caribou that migrate through ANWR. But the caribou migrating through Prudhoe Bay have increased from 3,000 to 23,000 since drilling began in 1977.

   

• Alaskans oppose ANWR drilling. In fact, polls regularly show 75 percent or more of Alaskans support drilling. This includes the native Alaskans who live near the potential drilling site. But the few who oppose drilling get most of the media attention. Alaskans know firsthand that resource extraction can co-exist with environmental protection. They also know how silly are the environmental gloom-and-doom predictions: They have heard such nonsense for decades.

  

 If the average American, and his or her representative in Congress, knew the facts as well as the average Alaskan, ANWR drilling wouldn't be controversial. Fortunately, it's not too late for the Senate to join the House's common-sense step and boost domestic oil supplies by allowing ANWR drilling.


NTSB Recommends Coast Guard take greater regulatory role over Charterboat Industry

The National Transportation Safety Board has just completed a lengthy investigation of the capsizing of the Take-Out on June 14, 2003, a fishing charter boat out of Tillamook, Oregon.  Of the 19 occupants onboard, eleven died, including the master.  Six of the seven survivors were able to retrieve lifejackets, which was instrumental in the saving of their lives.

 

Naturally, after the accident the NTSB has now focused much interest on the wearing of lifejackets on commercial passenger vessels whenever transiting hazardous bars and inlets.  Prior to the Take-Out incident, the Coast Guard had 

issued regulations (46CFR-185.508) that requires a master torequire his or her passengers to don lifejackets:

 

a) When transiting bar and inlets;

b) During severe weather;

c) In the event of flooding, fire, or other events that may call for evacuation; and

d) When the vessel is being towed.

 

In its recent report to Congress titled, “Report on Small Passenger Vessel Safety,” the Coast Guard admitted that no citations have ever been issued to vessels or masters for violation of this regulation.


Double-Mouthed Fish Pulled From Neb. Lake

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- This fish didn't have a chance. A rainbow trout pulled out of Holmes Lake late last month had double the chance to get hooked: It had two mouths. Clarence Olberding, 57, wasn't just telling a fisherman's fib when he called over another angler to look at the two-mouthed trout. It weighed in at about a pound.

 

"I reached down and grabbed it to take the hook out, and that's

when I noticed that the hook was in the upper mouth and there

was another jaw protruding out below," said Olberding.

 

Don Gabelhouse, head of the fisheries division of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, said a two-mouthed fish was new to him, too.  "It's probably a genetic deformity," he said. "I don't think there's anything wrong with it."

 

The second mouth didn't appear to be functional, Olberding said. He has plans for the fish, which don't include mounting.” I’m going to smoke it up and eat it," he said.


Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries bill approved by Senate Committee 

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee late last month approved the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2005 with strong bipartisan support. The Magnuson-Stevens Act is the most important law governing fisheries management in federal marine waters within a 200-mile zone in the contiguous United States. The Committee’s actions set the stage for Senate passage of a bill that will make significant positive impacts on marine fisheries conservation

and recreational saltwater fishing.

 

The bill requires that the economic impact of all sectors of fishing be addressed when allocating fisheries resources; establishes guidelines if areas are going to be closed to fishing; improved recreational data collection and creates a registry of recreational saltwater anglers.  Saltwater anglers contribute over $31 billion annually to the United States economy. Many communities in coastal states depend on sportfishing to support their local economies.


Huckabee Supports Castle Doctrine Law

Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said January 4 that he would support legislation in Arkansas for a law like one passed in

Florida last year to protect citizens who use deadly force in self-defense against criminal prosecution and civil liability.


Canada

Ottawa to ban lead sinkers to save Canada's loons

Though in fact the annual death toll is six

The National Post reports this year's fishing season could be the last time Canadian anglers are allowed to use lead fishing sinkers. That's because the federal government is proposing to ban lead tackle and force fishermen to find more expensive alternatives. But even non-anglers should be concerned with how and why the government is making this decision.

 

The Post goes on to say “The circumstances surrounding the proposed lead-sinker ban reveal that whimsy and fabrication have replaced science in setting environmental policies. The government and the environmental group that has spearheaded this crusade, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), claim the move is necessary to save Canadian loons from lead poisoning. Yet the actual evidence suggests the size and danger of the lead-sinker issue has been grotesquely exaggerated. And if the Liberals are prepared to pervert scientific evidence in order to justify new laws for picayune issues such as fishing tackle, what does this suggest for bigger and more significant policies?

 

Now urban folk might require a bit of background on the lead debate. In 1991, the U.S. banned lead shotgun pellets because of evidence that they found their way into lakes and rivers and were then ingested by water birds, causing lead poisoning in loons. Canada followed suit in 1997 with its own ban on lead shot.

 

But success on lead shot prompted a broader and bolder agenda, one that appears to be part lead hysteria and part anti-fishing campaign. Today the WWF and the federal government's Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) argue that if banning lead shot makes sense, then it must also make sense to ban lead fishing tackle, since those small sinkers could get snagged or lost and end up on lake bottoms as well.

 

The WWF and CWS even came up with a catchy factoid -- they claim 500 tonnes of lead sinkers are deposited in Canadian waterways annually.

 

"That's the equivalent weight of dropping 500 cars into our lakes, rivers and streams each year," said former Environment Minister David Anderson last year in announcing the proposal to ban lead sinkers. And this is where policy parts ways with logic and science.

 

There's a fundamental difference between firing a shotgun shell over water and watching the pellets fall into the lake, and fishing with a sinker. Shotgun pellets are not designed to be reused. Sinkers are. In fact there is no reason why a careful fisherman couldn't use a handful of sinkers his entire life. That famous 500-tonne figure -- and the image of an endless parade of cars being driven off piers into our lakes -- assumes that every fisherman in Canada manages to lose his entire collection of sinkers at the end of every season. Selling a sinker is, in the government's mind, the same as ramming it down the throat of an unsuspecting loon.

 

Then there is the fact that a sizeable portion, perhaps even a majority by weight, of lead sinkers sold in Canada are not the tiny bits of metal you squeeze on your line, but what are called downrigger balls. These are five- to 10-pound weights used for trolling for Great Lake salmon and other deep-water fish. And if there are loons out there swallowing 10-pound balls of lead, the environment has bigger problems than sinker ingestion.

 

But of course all this is just speculation. If there really is a credible danger to waterbirds from lead sinkers, then there should be a scientific process to determine the extent of the havoc being wreaked.

 

In fact, ingestion of lead sinkers has been studied extensively

on both sides of the border. When environmentalists first began moving against lead sinkers, the U.S. National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, WI. was asked to study the issue. Scientists there examined 2,240 individual waterbirds over four years and found only 23 birds (including 11 loons) that had lead sinkers in their stomachs. A larger study in Illinois found one bird out of 16,651 was carrying a lead sinker. As a result of these findings, the U.S. government abandoned plans for a nation-wide lead-sinker ban.

 

Canadian research reveals the same basic level of lead-sinker mortality north of the border. Between 1964 and 1999, the CWS was able to identify 71 birds and one turtle that had died from swallowing lead sinkers. A more recent study shows much the same thing. A 2003 CWS publication says: "An average of six cases of wildlife mortality from sinker ingestion have been documented annually in Canada between 1987 and 1998." Six dead birds. Per year. It's not exactly a bird holocaust out there.

 

Now this might be compared with the thousands of loons that have died over the past three years on Lake Erie due to botulism. Or the fact that virtually the entire loon nesting habitat was wiped out in 2004 on Lake of the Woods when the water table rose precipitously. Or that the North American loon population is estimated at 700,000 birds.

 

Six dead birds nationwide due to lead sinker ingestion is insignificant to the point of amusing. Or it would be, if not for the fact that the federal government has seen fit to ignore its own scientific evidence when making policy. Brochures from Environment Canada call lead-sinker ingestion "the leading cause of death reported in adult common loons."

 

The WWF for its part has claimed that the lead-based loonie death toll "could be as high as 30,000 birds per year" in Ontario alone. It is pure fantasy.

 

This winter, Environment Minister Stephane Dion claimed to hold a consultation on the lead-sinker debate. But with his department working hand in glove (or worm on hook) with the WWF and a ban already unveiled as the preferred policy of the government, the fishing community is bracing for an inevitable end to lead sinkers some time this year.

 

The actual monetary impact of a ban is a question mark. Sinkers themselves are relatively inexpensive and phasing out lead might only add a few bucks a year to the cost of fishing. Yet the proposed regulation talks about banning any tackle with a 1% lead content, which would include brass fishing reels and a wide variety of spinners, jigs and other paraphernalia. And at a much greater cost to the industry.

 

Regardless of whether the cost is big or little, however, the key issue remains the process by which government is making this decision, since it appears to be driven by an egregious misrepresentation of scientific evidence.

 

Biologist David Ankney is a member of the CWS editorial board, but he takes a dim view of what passes for science at that government agency.  "In my 30 years as a wildlife scientist, I've seen bad science and I've seen abuse of science," he says of the 2003 CWS report on lead-sinker ingestion. "But never have I seen so much bad science and abuse of science in one document."

 

If six dead loons can become the basis for a policy that could force Canadians to spend more money, change their habits or even give up fishing -- in other words, if a fact-blind environmental agenda can drive government actions -- then what else is Ottawa capable of manipulating? Easy question, of course. The answer is Kyoto.

 


76% Blame Lax Judges for Gun Violence

The National Post says more than three-quarters of Toronto residents believe lenient judges are allowing gun crime to

flourish in Canada's cities, according to a poll conducted on behalf of the National Post and Global News.


Regional

Great Lakes Shipping study riles industry

Cost to fight invasive species brought in by ocean vessels outweighs trade value, report says.

Detroit (AP)--Every year, another aquatic species makes its home in the Great Lakes. They arrive on ocean freighters and alter an already precarious ecosystem.

 

For years, pro-business groups have claimed invasive species are an unfortunate byproduct of global trade -- but a controversial new study casts doubt on whether ocean freighters plying the lakes are big enough money-makers to justify their cost.

 

Trade from ocean vessels in the Great Lakes accounts for $55 million a year, compared to $200 million to $500 million spent by governments in the United States and Canada to contain fish and organisms they have brought in, according to a study by John Taylor, a Grand Valley State University business professor. "There's always been an assumption that ocean shipping coming in and out of the Great Lakes is critical to the economy," Taylor said. "It isn't."

 

The report, released late last month, has infuriated the shipping industry and stoked the already hot debate about invasive species.

 

Scientists have documented 182 new species in the lakes since the 1959 opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, a 2,342-mile network of 15 ports that stretches to Montreal. Most of the creatures are transported in ships' ballast water. They include sea lampreys that harm sport fishing, zebra mussels that make some beaches unwalkable and bottom-feeding gobies that multiply so fast some worry they'll elbow out native fish.

 

Taylor's report doesn't recommend closing the seaway, but he doesn't discourage lawmakers and policy wonks from engaging in the debate. Taylor said an alternative for freighters that stay in the lakes could be to transport cargo to Montreal, then transfer the freight to ocean-bound ships.

 

"I don't think there's any debate this is a critical issue to all of the Great Lakes," said David Reid, a bioinvasive researcher and Deputy Director at the Great Lakes Environmental  Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor. "The debate is what to do

about it and how."

 

Any changes to shipping rules could affect the Big Three automakers, the state's largest consumers of imported steel -- the top cargo of ships entering the seaway. "Without marine shipping, we wouldn't be able to entice many companies to Michigan," said W. Steven Olinek, deputy director of the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority.  "It would be easy to say close the seaway, forget about international shipping, but there are many thousand jobs that depend on it."

 

Olinek couldn't say how many jobs, and Reid said other academics have found any jobs lost by closing ocean shipping would be created again because of an increase in shipping within the lakes. Olinek criticized Taylor's methods and accused him of bias against the marine freight industry. Olinek noted the $60,000 study was funded entirely by the Joyce Foundation, a Chicago philanthropy group that funds numerous causes, including some that could be labeled environmental.

 

Taylor denied any slant, noting that "if anything, my biases are anti-environmental." From an economic standpoint, the seaway has never lived up to expectations, he said. In the 1960s, planners predicted 130 million tons of freight per year. In 2002, the last year of available numbers, there were 12.3 million tons from ocean freighters, Taylor's report says. The impact on Detroit is even more paltry, he said: In 2002, ports received 550,000 tons of cargo from ocean ships -- about 28 full freighters. Most goods are shipped to and from Detroit by truck or rail.

 

"We need to have an honest discussion before we discuss any potential regulations," Taylor said.

 

In the meantime, federal policy-makers continue to struggle to protect a changing ecosystem, said Reid, adding that, on average, a new species enters the lakes each year. "What's here is here to stay now. In the Great Lakes, we can never have a complete removal" of these species, Reid said. "If we could find a way to stop them coming, at least the ecosystems would be able to stabilize."

 


Pollution not blamed in death of thousands of alewives

 Preliminary evidence suggests that a natural anomaly likely caused the deaths of thousands of feeder fish in the Saginaw River. "As far as we can tell, there is no polluting event," said Todd Brookens, an environmental quality analyst with the Michigan DNR Bay City office. "Most likely it was a natural die-off."

 

Carrollton Township residents discovered the dead alewives

on December 28, near a sewer overflow outlet in the river at Carrollton Street and Weiss, said Township Police Chief Craig A. Oatten.  The dead fish range from 4 to about 6 inches long. Brookens said the alewives died probably during the first freeze of the season weeks ago but just became visible because river ice is starting to melt.

 

For more info: http://www.mlive.com/news/sanews/index.ssf?/base/news-17/1135956018296390.xml&coll=9


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for December 30, 2005

Lake Level Conditions:

All of the Great Lakes are 4 to 13 inches below the levels of a year ago.  Lake Superior is expected to fall 3 inches over the next month.  Lake Michigan-Huron is below chart datum and should decline 1 inch over the next 30 days.  Lake St. Clair is expected to fall an inch over the next month.  Lake Erie and Lake Ontario are expected to be an inch lower in 30 days.  Levels over the next few months on all the Great Lakes are expected to remain lower than 2005.  

 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

The Lake Superior outflow through the St. Marys River into Lake Huron is projected to be near average during the month of January.  Flows in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are anticipated to be below average during January.  Niagara River and St. Lawrence River flows are projected to be near average in January.

 

Alerts:

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 web page.

 

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels Data Summary

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Expected water level for Jan 6, in ft

601.2

577.0

573.5

570.6

244.6

Chart datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff from chart datum, in inches

+1

-6

+11

+16

+16

Diff from last month, in inches

-4

-2

+2

+1

-1

Diff from last year in inches

-4

-8

-13

-11

-4

 


General

Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease with Omega-3 Oils

The following is an excerpt from the Blaylock Wellness Report "Heart Saver: Protect Yourself from Heart Attacks and Strokes."

 

A tremendous number of studies performed on both animals and humans clearly demonstrate that a higher content of omega-3 fats in the diet significantly reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes and lowers triglyceride levels.   Triglyceride is a fat that causes the blood to easily form blood clots. Perhaps the sudden rise in blood triglycerides following a high-fat meal is why so many people suffer a sudden heart attack or stroke right after eating.

 

Omega-3 oils also thin the blood, improve the strength of the heart muscle, improve blood flow through arteries, reduce

inflammation and improve immunity. One especially important effect is preventing arrhythmias, or irregular heart beats. This is a leading cause of death among heart attack victims. Magnesium, when combined with omega-3 oils, adds tremendous protection as well.

 

One study shows that eating fish just once a week can reduce the incidence of sudden cardiac death by 52 %, perhaps due to Omega-3 oils' anticoagulant properties and ability to prevent arrhythmias. Another way to get your Omega-3 oils is by eating eggs from chickens fed a diet high in these oils. Two eggs a day will supply the full complement of Omega-3 oils for adults. In addition, eggs contain phospholipids that are essential for the brain.


Bass Pro Shops coming to Northwest Indiana

To open their second Indiana store near shores of Lake Michigan

Portage, IN-- Bass Pro Shops announced they have agreed to build a store AmeriPlex at the Port, a new 80-acre retail development by Holladay Properties in Portage, Indiana at the intersection of I-94 and State Route 249 adjacent to the Little Calumet River and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore located off the southern shore of Lake Michigan.

 

The mega size Bass Pro Shops outdoor retail store will also include a restaurant and an expansive boat showroom featuring a complete selection of Tracker, Nitro and Tahoe boats built by Tracker Marine Group-  the world’s largest manufacturer of fishing boats.

 

Bass Pro Shops will also open in Clarksville, Indiana in mid-November. Their unique, award-winning, mega size outdoor stores are known for combining retail with entertainment, conservation and outdoor education. Their destination retail stores across America attract over 75 million people annually.

 

Outdoor education is a key component to Bass Pro Shops

strong commitment to our natural resources and the sportsmen and sportswomen who enjoy them. Weekly free outdoor skills workshops are offered at all stores for kids, women, novice adults and families. It is also not unusual to see Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, school and church groups, and others on field trips to Bass Pro Shops stores to learn about the great outdoors in the comfort of the great indoors of Bass Pro Shops.

 

More than just a fishing and hunting store, Bass Pro Shops will also offer equipment and clothing for hiking, backpacking, wildlife viewing, camping, outdoor cooking and more. A gift and nature center will also serve up a wide variety of outdoor-related items from lamps and dishes to bird feeders and furniture.

 

Known for their great customer service, Bass Pro Shops is expected to hire approximately 300 passionate outdoor enthusiasts from the area. Employment information is available in the career opportunity’s section of www.basspro.com .

 


Winter thaws produce chilling results

Many places throughout the Midwest have already experienced record snowfalls this winter, with more snow in the forecasts. Heavy snowfalls are often followed by moderate temperatures that start a thawing process on rooftops of houses and businesses. This process often leads to damage caused by "ice dams." Suddenly, those pretty icicles hanging from the rooftop aren't so pretty anymore.

 

Ice dams are caused by non-uniform roof surface temperatures when heat comes through the ceiling and insulation. Dams are created when snow on the roof melts and runs down toward the gutter or eve. The melted snow then re-freezes when it gets near the edge of the roof where the surface temperature is less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When snow on the warmer, higher roof surface keeps melting and running down the slope it becomes trapped by a dam of ice. The water slowly builds behind the ice dam until it pushes beneath the roofing shingles and begins to drip into the warmer structure below.

 

When water leaks into the interior of the building, ceilings and walls become stained and damaged. Window treatments and flooring may be ruined. These damages can be costly. Long-

term effects Moisture entering the home or business from ice dams can also lead to the growth of mold and mildew, causing serious respiratory problems if left untreated. Action needs to be taken to clean the home or work environment to maintain its air quality.

 

To prevent these damages, remove snow from the roof. This eliminates one of the ingredients necessary for the formation of an ice dam. A "roof rake" or push broom can be used to remove snow, being careful not to damage roofing materials.

 

In an emergency situation where water is flowing into the structure, make channels through the ice dam to allow water behind the dam to drain from the roof. It is also important to dry out portions of the structure that are wet or damp to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. 

Increase the ceiling or roof insulation to cut down on heat loss. Make the ceiling air tight so no air can flow from the structure into the attic space. Keep in mind that whenever a home or business is tightened up the ventilation, combustion, and exhaust systems must have enough air to operate safely and effectively.

 

Obviously, care is advised.


 

Indiana

2006 DNR sport licenses are now available

2005 hunting and fishing license expiration dates and stamp privileges extended to March 31, 2006

The 2006 annual hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses are now available at most sporting goods stores and bait and tackle shops. Licenses can also be purchased at www.indianaoutdoor.in.gov.

 

Other licenses available include the hunting/fishing combination license, youth combination hunting and fishing license, resident 1-day fishing license, spring turkey hunting license and gamebird habitat stamp, waterfowl stamp, and trout-salmon stamp privileges.

Fall turkey and deer licenses will be available later in 2006.

 

2006 annual hunting, fishing and trapping licenses will have a starting date of April 1, 2006 and expiration date of March 31, 2007.

 

In order to ease the transition to a uniform Indiana annual sport license start date of April 1, the 2005 annual hunting and fishing license expiration dates and stamp privileges have been extended to March 31, 2006.

 

The Natural Resources Commission approved increases for the following hunting, fishing and trapping license fees that

will be effective for 2006 licenses purchased with a starting date on or after April 1, 2006:

 

2005 and 2006 sport license prices

--------------

Resident Hunting Current - $14.25                       New - $17

Resident Fishing Current - $14.25                        New - $17

Resident One-Day Fishing Current - $7                New - $9

Resident Hunting & Fishing Current - $20.75        New - $25

Resident Annual Trapping Current - $14               New - $17

 

Res Spring and Fall Turkey Hunt Current - $23     New - $25

Resident Youth Hunt/Fish           Current - $7       New - $7

Non-Resident Hunting Current - $60.75                New - $80

Non-Resident Fishing Current - $24.75                 New - $35

Non-Resident 7-Day Fishing Current - $12.75       New - $20

 

Non-Res. 5-Day Hunting Current - $25.75 New - $31

Non-Res Annual Trapping Current - $117.75         New - $140

Non-Res Sp/ Fall Turkey Hunt Current- $114.75 New - $120

Res/Non-Res Trout/Salmon Stamp - $9.25           New - $11

----------------------

Buy a license at: http://www.in.gov/dnr/indianaoutdoor/

Season dates and other sport regulations:  http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/.


DNR seeks nominations for trails board

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is seeking nominations for candidates to fill five positions on a new Trails Advisory Board (TAB).  The TAB is composed of 16 volunteers who are active trail users. Each must be involved with trail-oriented organizations representing a particular interest group, so a diverse set of interests will be represented on the board. Members are expected to serve a three-year term.

 

The DNR is seeking nominations of representatives for each of the following trail users groups:

 

-Bicyclists

-Off-road motorcyclists

-Park and recreation agencies

-Soil and Water Conservation Districts

-Water trail users

 

Nominations and applicable letters of support should be sent to the DNR Division of Outdoor Recreation by January 13,

2006.

 

For a nomination form and more information about the board, visit www.in.gov/dnr/tab/ . Nominations forms and additional information can also be obtained by contacting Dale Brier by phone at 317-232-4070, via email at dbrier@dnr.in.gov, or by writing or stopping by in person at IDNR Outdoor Recreation, 402 West Washington Street, Room W271, Indianapolis, IN 46204-2782.

 

The Indiana TAB advises DNR Director Kyle Hupfer on trail-related issues. The board meets an eligibility requirement for the State of Indiana to receive funding from the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration. The fund source is a yearly portion of federal taxes on gasoline purchased by off-highway vehicles and snowmobiles. RTP is used to acquire and develop multi-use trails for both motorized and non-motorized use.


Michigan

Volunteer Stewardship Workdays Scheduled in SE Michigan

A series of volunteer steward workdays will be held throughout January in southeast Michigan state parks and recreation areas.

 

Volunteers are needed to remove invasive species and to restore native ecosystems protected in these locations. All volunteers are required to complete a registration form. Park officials remind volunteers to remember to bring appropriate clothing for outdoor work including long pants, boots, gloves, eye protection and drinking water. Appropriate footwear is 

required, as some sites may be wet throughout the winter.

 

For information about the specific tasks at each location and to obtain directions, go to www.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers  and click on "Be a Part of a Core Volunteer Steward Team."

 

Times, dates and locations of the workdays are as follows:

Bald Mountain Recreation Area: 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Jan. 14

Waterloo Recreation Area: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday Jan. 21

Pinckney Recreation Area: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 22

Brighton Recreation Area: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 28


Porcupine Mountains Hosts TeleFest Ski Festival Jan 12-16

Telemark skiers are welcome at the 16th Annual TeleFest being held at the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park Ski Hill on Jan. 12-16.

 

Organized by Downwind Sports of Marquette, the four-day event includes downhill and trail competitions, ski clinics, backcountry camping and tours and a chili cook off. A complete schedule of events and information for registration is available at www.downwindsports.com or at the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr . Click on "Inside the DNR" and open the Calendar of Events. A portion of the registration fee will be donated to the Friends of the Porkies, a non-profit organization that provides important support to help maintain Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. Backcountry camping is available with a permit obtained at the park

headquarters for $14 a night.

 

Telemark skiing is a hybrid of downhill and cross-country skiing, particularly good for backcountry, deep powder hills and trails. The skis are wider with metal edges and the boot heel remains free.

 

The park boasts 15 downhill ski trails with a vertical drop of 641 feet and two modern chairlifts. Few downhill resorts have the Porkies' powder, park officials said. Warm air passing over frigid Lake Superior picks up moisture and then deposits it as powder snow, up to 20 feet in a season, when it hits the park's sudden change in elevation.

 

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is located on the south shore of Lake Superior, about three miles west of Silver City in Ontonagon County.


Minnesota

Walleye angling to reopen on Red Lake

For the first time since 1999, anglers in 2006 will catch and keep walleyes on Upper Red Lake as a result of what DNR Commissioner Gene Merriam said is "a remarkable example of sport fish restoration success."

 

In the announcement, he said, "walleye are once again abundant in Upper Red Lake, and for now we will manage this fragile fishery conservatively to protect against over harvest."  When the fishing season opens May 13 on Upper Red Lake, anglers will be allowed to keep two walleye, but must release all walleye from 17 - 26", with one trophy larger than 26 inches allowed.

 

From the fishing opener through Nov. 30, the total walleye harvest will be limited to 108,000 lbs. This estimate will be based on DNR creel surveys. If the harvest cap is reached, walleye angling will be prohibited until Dec. 1, when a winter harvest level will be set. Walleye fishing has been banned on Upper Red Lake since 1999 when it was closed due to low walleye populations.

 

"So far, this recovery is nothing short of phenomenal," said Henry Drewes DNR regional fisheries manager in Bemidji.  "We are well on the way, but full recovery won't occur until the lakes contain many different year classes of mature fish."

Shotley Brook from Highway 72 west to Upper Red Lake and Tamarack River from the Beltrami County Line west to Red Lake will be included in the regulations.

 

Over harvest caused the Red Lake walleye population to collapse in the 1990s.  In 1999, the DNR, the Red Lake Band and the Bureau of Indian Affairs agreed to a short-term stocking effort coupled with a harvest closure and aggressive enforcement.

 

"Now that we have re-established an abundant walleye population, our focus has shifted to working on a sustainable, collaborative management approach that protects this walleye population from being over harvested once again," said Drewes.

 

DNR and the Red Lake Tribe have developed a management plan to prevent future over harvest.   Walleye regulations were developed in cooperation with a Citizen's Advisory Committee comprised of local, regional and statewide angling and business interests.  In addition, regulations aimed at maintaining a quality northern pike fishery on Upper Red Lake will also take effect this year. Anglers will be allowed to keep three northern pike, but must release all northern pike from 26 though 40 inches, with one trophy larger than 40 inches.


Another group of Indiana anglers find trouble in Minnesota

For the third time this year, a group of Indiana anglers have been caught in Minnesota with too many fish.

 

State Conservation Officer Brent Speldrich of McGregor received a recent Turn In Poacher (TIP) call indicating three anglers had taken an over-limit of fish from Lake Minnewawa and Rat Lake, each located about 60 miles west of Duluth. Speldrich interviewed the men at the residence they were renting.

 

A search of the garage and a freezer inside the residence found the group in possession of 91 crappie and 10 northern pike. That is 61 crappie over the limit and one northern over the limit. Minnesota's daily/possession limit is 10 crappie. The northern pike daily/possession limit is three, with no more than one over 30 inches taken each day.

 

Dan W. Londeree, 57, Brent A. Londeree, 35, and Robert D. Manley, 40, all of Columbus, Ind., face possible fines and restitution totaling about $6,300.

A TIP call in April led to fine and restitution amounts totaling nearly $8,000 for five men from Fort Wayne, Ind. who were 299 fish over the limit of sunfish after fishing Straight Lake near Osage in northwestern Minnesota. Also seized in that investigation were angling licenses, fishing rods and an auger.

 

In a June incident, six men from Indiana were fined nearly $5,200 after fishing Lake Winnibigoshish in northeastern Minnesota. The group had 128 walleyes, or 92 over the legal limit for six anglers. The walleye daily and possession limit is six walleye per angler. The group was also in possession of an illegal snapping turtle and illegally stored frozen northern pike and crappie fillets.

 

Established in 1981, the TIP program allows Minnesotans to call a toll-free number from anywhere in the state to report natural resource violations. Calls regarding violations can be placed anonymously at 1-800-652-9093. Cash rewards are given for tips.

 


Pennsylvania

Smallmouth Bass Symposium to be Held Jan. 21    

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is inviting anglers and others with an interest in the management of smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River to a free public meeting beginning at 1 p.m. January 21 at agency headquarters, 1601 Elmerton Avenue in Harrisburg.

           

The symposium will touch upon subjects such as fish disease, fish population monitoring results, trends in consumptive water use and water quality trends.  In addition to presentations from PFBC fisheries biologists, speakers will include representatives from the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS).  A question and answer session will follow the formal presentations.

           

Smallmouth bass have long been the most prized gamefish in the Susquehanna River and the waterway is widely regarded as one of the top – if not the best – riverine smallmouth fisheries in the nation.  Public interest in issues related to smallmouth bass management in the river was heightened in the summer of 2005 when biologists and anglers noted unusual numbers of distressed or dead juvenile smallmouth

in various locations throughout the Susquehanna watershed.

 

The PFBC concluded the affected fish were suffering from Columnaris disease, an infection related to a common soil and water bacteria Flavobacterium columnare (columnaris).  Columnaris disease is considered a secondary infection brought on by environmental or nutritional factors that stress fish, weakening their ability to cope with the bacterial agent. 

           

Since the announcement that it had pinpointed the type of fish disease affecting young smallmouth, the PFBC has been working with partner agencies like DEP, USGS and SRBC to look at factors such as river flow, weather trends and general water quality issues that, combined, may have contributed to the higher-than-usual occurrence of Columnaris in juvenile smallmouth.  The Commission also has compiled additional data related to young-of-the-year smallmouth abundance and long-term trends for adult populations.  These subjects will be the focal points of the public meeting.

           

Because of an expected high interest, those who desire to attend the event are being asked to pre-register on the PFBC’s web site at www.fish.state.pa.us  or by calling 717-705-7810.


Applications Being Accepted for Youth Camp

Pennsylvania TU Award-Winning Youth Fishing Camp

BOILING SPRINGS -- Applications are now being accepted for the 12th annual Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp being held June 18 –23, 2006 at the Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs, Cumberland County, according to Camp Chairman Rod Cross.  The purpose of the camp is to educate students in the importance of coldwater conservation. 

             

According to Cross, the selection of 32 students is a rigorous process, which requires students to include an essay on why he or she wishes to attend.

      

 “By selecting leaders in high school today, it is believed that they will be the leaders of communities for years to come,” Board Member Rob Murdoch said.  “It is important for them to recognize the value of clean water and how it relates to every day life.  The curriculum has been structured to provide the necessary foundation for that education.”

       

The college-level classes include:  principles of ecology, hydrogeology, aquatic vertebrate and invertebrate sampling, hydrology, trout behavior, trout stream entomology, the biology of pollution, acid deposition, and the politics of conservation and the effects of humans on the Chesapeake Bay.

In addition, the camp provides hands-on classes such as fly tying, fly casting, streamside ethics, angling literature, the evolution of an angler, wader safety and survival, and streamside botany.  The students will also participate in a watershed project to repair habitat in a stream.

 

According to Cross, the camp faculty includes people from various environmental fields and from state agencies such as the PA Fish & Boat Commission, the Dept of Environmental Protection and the Dept of Conservation and Natural Resources. “One faculty member, in particular is Dr. Robert Behnke of Colorado State University who is considered the foremost trout biologist in the world,” Cross said.

       

The camp is limited to 32 selected, qualified students, aged 14 to 17.  The student must have been born between June 23, 1988 and June 18, 1992 to qualify.  The camp selection committee will choose students based upon each candidate’s qualifications and their desire to attend as stated in the required essay.  For the first time this year campers who are working toward achieving either a fishing merit badge or a fly fishing merit badge  with the Boy Scouts may complete the requirements for those badges at the camp.

 


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