Week of January 17, 2011

Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues


Lake Huron
Lake Michigan

Other Breaking News Items


       Weekly News Archives


       New Product  Archives

Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

LaserMax Compact Rechargeable Green Laser

Introduces World's First

ROCHESTER -- LaserMax announced the debut of GENESIS, a compact, durable green laser with a rechargeable battery. The highly visible, pulsating green laser from LaserMax comes equipped with an easy-access universal micro USB port which makes charging fast and effortless.


Weighing in at a mere 1.4 oz, GENESIS fits on virtually any firearm with an accessory rail. Dual tap-on activation accommodates both left and right-handed shooters. Additionally, the GENESIS has an automatic 10 minute shut off that ensures every charge lasts. GENESIS also has an optional momentary activation switch, ideal for long guns. Like other high quality rail mounted lasers from LaserMax, GENESIS is user adjustable for windage and



About LaserMax: LaserMax is a leading innovator and manufacturer of high quality laser sight systems. For more than 20 years, the company has provided laser products for military, law enforcement agencies and commercial markets worldwide. LaserMax additionally delivers the most advanced laser products and optical systems for semiconductor, aerospace, biomedical applications, and telecommunications. LaserMax is a WBENC-certified and ISO 9001:2008 small business. All products are designed and manufactured in a state-of-the-art facility in Rochester, NY.


About $ 259.00







Federal Judge Delays Scheduling in Asian Carp Trial
A judge may take several more weeks to schedule proceedings in the trial of a lawsuit seeking closure of Chicago-area shipping locks to prevent Asian carp from reaching Lake Michigan.  Attorneys met Friday in Chicago with U.S. District Judge Robert Dow, who last month rejected a motion by Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania to close the locks temporarily while their suit against the federal government moves forward.


Federal officials want to delay action on the suit while the states appeal Dow's ruling. The judge told federal attorneys they could put the request in writing and he would decide later whether to freeze action or begin setting deadlines.   The lawsuit calls for cutting biological links between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds to prevent species from moving between them.


Sportsmen's Caucus Leaders for 112th Congress

Bi-partisan leaders of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus in the 112th Congress include co-chairs Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) and Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.).


Leadership vice-chairs include Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Sen.


Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) and Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.). The Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus works to protect the interests of America's hunters, anglers and trappers in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.


Scents latest weapons in fight against sea lamprey

HURON BEACH, MI (AP) – In the never-ending battle to prevent blood-sucking sea lamprey from wiping out some of the most popular fish species in the Great Lakes, biologists are developing new weapons that exploit three certainties in the eel-like parasites' lives: birth, sex and death.


Researchers are beginning the third and final year of testing lab-refined mating pheromones — scents emitted by male lampreys to attract females. They're also working on a mixture with the stench of rotting lamprey flesh, which live ones detest, and another that smells of baby lampreys, which adults love. If proven effective, the chemicals will be deployed across the region to steer the aquatic vermin to where they can be trapped or killed.


Early results appear promising. Yet no one expects the lures and repellents to finally rid the lakes of the despised invader and enable fisheries managers in the U.S. and Canada to end a battle that has cost more than $400 million over five decades;  especially when a single spawning female lays up to 60,000 eggs.


"When you have a large, open ecosystem like the Great Lakes and highly distributed, abundant organisms like sea lamprey, eradication is usually not an option," said Michael Wagner, a Michigan State University behavioral ecologist and member of the research team. "There's no technique that we could think of achieving that right now."


Instead, the goal is to keep their numbers low enough to prevent significant harm to the $7 billion Great Lakes fishing industry. The lamprey population has dropped by about 90 percent since researchers perfected a biocide in the late 1950s that kills lamprey but not other species. Yet they remain a constant threat and have rebounded whenever control measures have been relaxed. "You've always got to be on guard," said Nick Johnson, a U.S. Geological Survey ecologist at the Hammond Bay Biological Station on the northwestern shore of Lake Huron.


Adult sea lampreys, which reach lengths of 2 to 3 feet, resemble eels but behave more like leeches. With round, disk-like mouths and sharp teeth, they latch onto fish and suck out their blood and other bodily fluids, killing or severely weakening the hosts.  Although native to the Atlantic, they can live in fresh water and migrated to the Great Lakes through shipping canals. By the late 1940s, the prolific invaders had decimated trout, whitefish and other sport and commercial species across the lakes.


The development of a poison called TFM eventually brought lamprey numbers sharply lower. TFM is applied in rivers, 


where lampreys spawn. Crews treat about 175 streams across the region on a rotating basis, said Mike Fodale, a supervisor with the USFWS station in Marquette. Other control methods include placing barriers in streams to keep the lampreys from spawning areas and sterilizing up to 30,000 males a year before releasing them back into the wild, where they mate but produce no offspring.


The efforts make a big difference. But the price tag is steep about $21 million a year — and lampreys continue taking their toll. About 15 percent of lake trout sampled at a Lake Huron research lab in Alpena have lamprey wounds, said biologist Jim Johnson of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.


Lamprey predation has risen in Lake Michigan, Fodale said. That's where the pheromone applications come in. If biologists could guide spawning lampreys into streams baited with traps or treated with TFM, control programs would be more effective — and less of the expensive biocide might be needed.


To make the potions, scientists capture lampreys and keep them in tanks of water, where filters extract pheromones they have secreted. Other processes reduce the chemicals to potent concentrates. Of those under development by the Hammond Bay Station team, the refined sex pheromone is furthest along. In tests, traps baited with the scents nabbed about 30 percent more lampreys than those without, said Johnson, the USGS ecologist. If the data is solid enough after more trials, scientists will ask the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to certify the pheromone as the first ever to control populations of animals other than insects.


Work continues on other scents. Among them: a lure with the odor of larval lampreys, which could have the same effect as the sex pheromone, and the "necromone" that smells of death and could chase adults from untreated streams. The foul repellent could be particularly valuable because lampreys spawn in more than 430 Great Lakes streams and there isn't enough money or manpower to spread TFM in all of them.


Even if pheromones help reduce the lamprey population, the cost and the fact that no end is in sight — should convey an urgent message as government agencies debate how to keep destructive Asian carp and other potential invaders out of the lakes, said Marc Gaden, spokesman for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.  "We need to move heaven and earth to prevent new species from reaching us in the first place," Gaden said. "Yet we're barely more protected than when the lamprey came in. You could argue that with increased globalization, the Great Lakes have never been more vulnerable."

Help Grand Marais

Help Grand Marais, MI, save a crucial Lake Superior Harbor of Refuge

Without this Harbor, there will be a stretch of Shipwreck Coast from Munising to Whitefish Point that will be left without a Harbor (that is about 90-100 miles without a Harbor of Refuge).  All that is needed is high numbers of people to Cheer for Grand Marais, MI, 10 times a day, every day through February 7, 2011, at www.rd.com.  We need a minimum of 500 more people Cheering daily.  The grant contest has already started; we need immediate help. 
Here's the important information:
Lake Superior is losing this crucial Harbor of Refuge.  Requests for government help have been refused for over 40 years! People (including 3 fishermen) have died because there was too much sand in the boat launch to launch the rescue boat.  Houses have washed into Lake Superior.  Burt Township (Jack Hubbard is Township Supervisor) is concentrating on private grant foundation funding now.  Reader's Digest is putting on a grant contest to help a small town.  All everyone needs to do is register at the Reader's Digest website and Cheer 10 times a day for Grand Marais, MI, every day through February 7, 2011. 

Grand Marais Harbor

Grand Marais, MI has been in the lead, but Albion, MI, is adding over 12,000 Cheers a day and will soon pass Grand Marais if they don't get more help.  We need as many people as possible to Cheer for Grand Marais, MI.  Let's keep this win in Michigan's Great Upper Peninsula!
Attached is a copy of the brochure with more info.  We want to save the Grand Marais, MI, Harbor of Refuge for all who use 

Lake Superior.  Reader's Digest will put a story about the problem in their May issue if we win.  We badly need that publicity.  Thank you and your friends for Cheering!  Its easy....Here's how:


Go to www.rd.com
Click on "We Hear You America"
Type in Grand Marais, MI or the Grand Marais zip: 49839
Register (Name, address, email....) the first time. 
Click on the Cheer button 10 times.
Next day just do same thing but just log in with email address instead of registering.

Boat Launch filled with Sand

Grand Marais “Harbor of Refuge”


Cheer 10 times a day through February 7.  Send it to 6 friends for 6 more Cheers per person.  An IPhone or other Internet capable phone may be used for Cheering. 
We need everyone to Cheer daily for Grand Marais, MI, now and every day through Februrary 7, 2011, and pass this to as many people as possible.  We have BIG TROUBLE from Albion, MI.  They are getting over 12,000 Cheers a day!  We NEED YOUR 10 CHEERS A DAY, EVERY DAY, to stay ahead of Albion.  Please Cheer for us daily and Save this crucial Lake Superior Harbor of Refuge!  Please pass this on to as many friends as possible.  Post it to as many bulletin boards and websites as possible (if this applies to you).  Remind your friends and association members. 

If anyone wants a daily reminder sent to their email, please send a request to Janie Dowe at [email protected].  Janie will gladly add them to the reminder list.  Also, if this part is sent in a mass emailing, clicking on the Cheer button will take alumni right to the Cheering site.





Groups study Great Lakes, Mississippi separation

CHICAGO--Groups representing Great Lakes states and cities have kicked off a study on how best to sever ties between the lakes and the Mississippi River to prevent invasive species such as Asian carp from migrating between them.


The $2 million project will focus on rivers and canals in the Chicago area that connect the two giant watersheds by linking Lake Michigan and tributaries of the Mississippi. Huge, greedy Asian carp have infested the Chicago waterway network. Authorities are trying desperately to block their path to the Great Lakes, where scientists fear they could wreak havoc on the food web and the fishing and tourism industries.


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is developing a strategy for shutting down or reducing the number of aquatic pathways across the two basins. It's scheduled for completion in summer of 2015, which many advocates say is too long, given the urgency of the carp threat and the extensive damage that invasive species such as the quagga mussel and round goby already have done.


The study by the Great Lakes Commission and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is meant to provide information that could help the federal government move more

quickly.  "I think their timetable is too slow," said Tim Eder,

executive director of the Great Lakes Commission, which represents the region's eight states. "We're not trying to relieve the Army Corps of its responsibility, but we want to augment and support and accelerate their work."


The commission and the cities group, whose members include more than 70 mayors and other local officials, plan to finish their study by the end of this year and present options for separating the two watersheds by January 2012.  They have raised $2 million from six private foundations and hired a team of experts in hydrology, engineering, fish biology, transportation and other relevant fields, Eder said.


Besides recommending separation methods, the study will look at ways to make the Chicago waterways more helpful to commercial shipping, recreational boating, flood and storm water management and water cleanliness.  "This project is comprehensive because it addresses all the vital functions of the Chicago waterway system," said David Ullrich, executive director of the cities group.


The study is being FUNDED by the Frey Foundation, Great Lakes Fishery Trust, Great Lakes Protection Fund, Joyce Foundation, C.S. Mott Foundation and the Wege Foundation.


NMMA Sues EPA Over Ethanol

The association for boat and motor firms filed a federal suit challenging a decision by EPA to increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline from 10 to 15 % Thom Dammrich,

president of the Chicago-based National Marine Manufacturers Association, said EPA was not introducing E15 in a safe manner as required by law and that the suit is necessary to protect engine manufacturers and consumers.


Lake Huron

2010 Lake Huron Targeted salmonid catch rates

The following information was presented to the Lake Huron Advisory Committee by Michigan Fisheries Supervisor Jim Johnson on January 12, 2011. The recreational catch rates were based upon all anglers interviewed and all hours fished.


Anglers fishing for walleyes were combined with those fishing for trout and salmon Targeted means the catch rates for trout and salmon would be based ONLY upon those anglers who told the creel survey attendant that they were fishing for trout and salmon. The walleye,

perch and bass anglers have been weeded out.


Notice that rather than recovering to pre-alewife collapse days targeted steelhead catch rates in 2010 were actually much higher than the pre-alewife years. They were in fact 93% higher than the highest catch rate seen from 2000-2009. But to put things in perspective, Chinook used to produce an average catch rate of 12 fish per 100 hours, and the 2010 steelhead catch rate, though on the rise, was still less than 2 fish per 100 hours lakewide.


Rather than declining slightly in recent years, lake trout catch rates remained quite high through 2010. Lake trout fishing is improving steadily in the north and declining at the central

ports.  This analysis improves Chinook catch rates, but unfortunately they do not improve enough to be noticeable in these graphics. South of Alpena there was an average of 142 hours of targeted trout/salmon fishing per salmon landed in 2010 - and over 80% of those salmon were wild.


The rise in steelhead harvest rates could be a flash in the pan, so to speak. D not put a great deal of faith in a one-year phenomenon. The magnitude of the rise, and the fact that it was measured at both the northern ports and southern ports of Lake Huron, is encouraging. If the rise is sustained in 2011, we can start to take this very seriously. The CWT-marked fish being released in 2011 should be useful in helping us to understand why this rise – if it’s for real – is occurring. Scale analysis of the fish sampled by creel staff in 2010 will also potentially

identify whether natural reproduction contributed to the rise.

Lake Michigan

Sediment Plume Transforms Lake Michigan's Southern End

In mid-December 2010, suspended sediments transformed the southern end of Lake Michigan, according to a NASA statement. Ranging in color from brown to green, the sediment filled the surface waters along the southern coastline and formed a long, curving tendril extending toward the middle of the lake.


The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite captured these natural-color images on Dec. 17, 2010 (top), and Dec. 10, 2010 (bottom).



Such sediment clouds are not uncommon in Lake Michigan, where winds influence lake circulation patterns. A scientific paper published in 2007 described a model of the circulation, noting that while

the suspended particles mostly arise from lake-bottom

sediments along the western shoreline, they tend to accumulate on the eastern side.


When northerly winds blow, two circulation gyres, rotating in opposite directions, transport sediment along the southern shoreline. As the northerly winds die down, the counterclockwise gyre predominates, and the smaller, clockwise gyre dissipates. Clear water — an apparent remnant of the small clockwise gyre — continues to interrupt the sediment plume.


George Leshkevich, a researcher with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, explains that the wind-driven gyres erode lacustrine clay (very fine lakebed sediment) on the western shore before transporting it, along with re-suspended lake sediments, to the eastern shore. On the eastern side, the gyre encounters a shoreline bulge that pushes it toward the lake’s central southern basin, where it deposits the sediments.


The sediment plume on Dec. 17 followed a windy weather front in the region on December 16



Winter Hike at Chain O’Lakes SP, Jan. 29

Chain O’Lakes State Park is having a winter hike on Jan. 29. The hike starts at 10 a.m., leaves from the beach parking lot, and will be led by park naturalist Howard Luehrs.   “Hopefully there will be fresh snow and we can observe animal tracks,”

Luehrs said.  The hike should last about an hour. Participants should wear appropriate shoes and dress in layers to stay warm. For more information, contact the park at (260) 636-2654 or [email protected]


Ludington State Park Offers Guided Snowshoe Hikes

on Saturdays in Jan. and Feb.

Ludington State Park is offering free guided snowshoe walks on Saturdays, weather permitting, now through Feb. 19. These 90-minute guided snowshoe nature and history programs will take participants out through Ludington State Park’s snow-covered sand dunes. There are two walks given each Saturday; an afternoon hike starting at 3 p.m. and an evening “Moonlight Walk” at 7 p.m. 


Guides will be available to help participants put on and use snowshoes. The park has over 40 pairs of loaner snowshoes available on a first come, first served basis. Participants are also welcome to bring their own. Snowshoeing is a great way for almost anyone ages 8 and up to get great exercise and


burn off extra calories. One hour of moderate walking in snowshoes burns off 750 calories and is one of the safest winter activities.


All walks begin and end at the Warming Shelter, located next to the parking lot at the end of Michigan Highway M-116.  Dress warm, wear good fitting winter walking shoes or boots, and bring a flashlight if you’re going to attend the “Moonlight Walk.”   Guided snowshoe hikes are free; however a Recreation Passport or motor vehicle permit is required for entry to the park.


Ludington State Park is located at 8800 W. M-116 in Ludington.

Handgun Shooting Class Offered For Women Jan. 31

The Michigan DNR is offering an Introduction to Handgun Shooting class through the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program. The three-hour class will take place at the Detroit Sportsmen’s Congress in Utica on Monday, Jan. 31 from 7 to 10 p.m.


The class is designed especially for women ages 18 and over to learn basic handgun shooting skills from certified instructors in a safe and comfortable environment.  Participants will learn firearm safety, fundamentals of pistol shooting, ammunition basics and tips on purchasing a handgun. Several different firearms will be set up for handling under certified instructor supervision. This is a basic introductory to handgun shooting class and beginners are welcome. It is not the course required by law to obtain a

concealed pistol license (CPL), but is a great class for those who are new to handgun shooting and may be interested in obtaining a CPL in the future.


Participants will visit the on-site shooting range to practice shooting .22 caliber handguns. Eye and ear protection will also be provided.


The registration deadline is Jan. 24. Register early; class size is limited to 24 participants. A $30 fee is due at the time of registration. For registration forms and information on this and other BOW events, visit www.michigan.gov/bow, email [email protected] or call 517-241-2225.  Detroit Sportsmen’s Congress is located at 49800 Dequindre Rd. in Utica.

Maybury State Park Hosts a ‘GO-Get Outdoors’ Winter Fun Demo Day Feb. 5

Maybury State Park, Michigan is hosting a cross country ski and snowshoe demo day on Saturday, Feb. 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., given area residents a chance to try out winter outdoor recreation gear.


Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) will provide demonstrations showing off the latest in snowshoe, ski, and outdoor winter equipment. Additionally, REI will provide free equipment for participants to use during the event.


Participants planning to attend should call REI at 248-347-2100 to reserve/register for their gear in advance. The park will have a warming fire and refreshments available for visitors. 


Maybury State Park is located at 20145 Beck Rd., Northville. 


Please use the Eight Mile Road entrance and meet at the concession building.  For additional information, call the park supervisor at 248-349-8390.


The Recreation Passport has replaced motor vehicle permits for entry into Michigan state parks, recreation areas and state-administered boating access fee sites. This new way to fund Michigan's outdoor recreation opportunities also helps to preserve state forest campgrounds, trails, and historic and cultural sites in state parks, and provides park development grants to local communities.  Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking "Yes" on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area.  To learn more about the Recreation Passport, visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport or call 517-241-7275.

DNR hosts meeting on Lake Gogebic Perch Regs Feb. 16

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment will host an informational meeting regarding fishing regulations on Lake Gogebic for yellow perch on Wednesday, Feb. 16, from 7-8 p.m. Central Time, at the Marenisco Township Hall, located at 314 Hall St., Marenisco.


Current regulations for harvest of yellow perch allow for a daily bag limit of 50 fish.  This is also the total possession limit until April 1 when the possession limit will expand to three daily bag limits, provided two of those daily limits are processed, cured or canned. Due to the popularity of fishing for perch on Lake Gogebic, especially during the late-winter ice fishing season that runs longer than on most area lakes, anglers and local residents have requested the DNRE review the bag limit for perch and consider applying a reduced daily bag limit of 25 yellow perch on Lake Gogebic.


"Fisheries Division survey data indicate the annual perch harvest on Lake Gogebic amounts to about 17 percent of the total population, which is average compared to other large Midwestern lakes, and represents about one-half of the allowable harvest for a healthy, self-sustaining yellow perch population,” said DNRE Western Upper Peninsula Fisheries Supervisor George Madison. “However, local residents,

anglers and business owners have approached us with concerns regarding the possession limit expansion in April, and how increased harvest may affect perch numbers.”


Fisheries Division staff will share information at the meeting about the local proposal to reduce the daily bag limit for yellow perch, and will also provide survey data regarding the lake’s perch population, angler harvest data, and examples of how other Midwestern states have managed fishing regulations for perch.


Analyses of survey data collected by DNRE between 1998 and 2010, including population estimates for perch and information about angler harvest, show that Lake Gogebic has a robust population of approximately 60,000 yellow perch, many of which are large-sized jumbo perch averaging over 10 inches in length. Additionally, census data collected by DNRE creel clerks indicate that a reduced bag limit of 25 yellow perch would not affect the majority of anglers who fish Lake Gogebic, as most anglers are already taking fewer than 25 perch per day, Madison said.


For more information about the Feb. 16 informational meeting, contact Madison at 906-353-6651. To learn more about yellow perch in Michigan, go online to www.michigan.gov/fishid.


David Mustine new director of Ohio DNR

Ohio Gov John Kasich has named David Mustine as new director of the ODNR, with former ODNR executive Scott Zody as assistant director.


Mustine is a former Senior Vice President at Columbus-based American Electric Power (AEP) in its regulated business unit. At AEP, his responsibilities included regulatory and issues management, support services, business planning, financial management, business development and community services. He also worked for AEP in London. Since 2008, he

has served as a director of Terraseis, an oil and gas services business based in Dubai.


Zody’s 20-year career in public service has been spent primarily at ODNR, where he served for nearly five years as the Department’s Legislative Liaison and eight years as the Deputy Director for Recreation and Resource Management. Zody left his most recent position of Fairfield County Clerk/Manager to return to the Ohio DNR.  Zody is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting and fishing, camping and hiking, and all those outdoor recreational activities.

Ohio DNR Announces Appointments

COLUMBUS, OH - Ohio DNR Director David Mustine, on January 10 announced the appointments of two new chiefs and the department's legislative liaison, as well as five acting division chiefs.

David Payne will oversee the Division of Parks & Recreation. Mustine noted Payne's solid experience in state government, which includes working in the offices of the Governor, Auditor of State, and Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Payne has a diverse management background and excels at marketing and strategic development. Payne said he prides himself on bringing people together and working productively with a broad base of constituents. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. Payne is committed to the governor's plan for getting Ohio back on track, which includes strengthening the Division of Parks & Recreation. He has a passion for Ohio's award-winning state parks system and enjoys camping, hiking, and ice fishing. Payne lives in Franklin County with his wife and two daughters.

Laura Jones was appointed Chief of the Office of Communications. She brings to the position more than 25 years of experience in the media and public relations industry, said Mustine. Most recently, Jones was audio-visual production manager and Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp program administrator for the ODNR Division of Wildlife. Previously, she served seven years in ODNR Director Sam Speck's

communications office, two years with Governor Bob Taft, and nearly 14 years with the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Statehouse bureau. A resident of Franklin County, Jones is an avid outdoors woman who likes to fish, hunt, hike, and camp.

Ben Pendery joins the ODNR administrative staff as its legislative liaison. Pendery most recently served with the Ohio Legislative Service Commission. Pendery lives in Franklin County and personal interests include fishing, boating and hunting.


Other appointments include:
► Bob Boyles as acting chief for the Division of Forestry. Boyles has been with the department for 28 years. For the past 11 years he has served as Southern District Forest Manager out of Chillicothe
► Ted Lozier as acting chief for the Division of Soil & Water Resources. Lozier has been with the department for more than 24 years, and has served on several core management teams for division
► Vicki Mountz as acting chief for the Division of Wildlife, who began her career at ODNR 25 years ago as the department's first commissioned female watercraft officer

► Carla Camp as acting chief for the Office of Budget & Finance; Camp spent her first 21 years of state service in the fiscal section of the Department of Youth services, and has been the assistant chief for ODNR
► Assistant Director Scott Zody will temporarily oversee the Office of Human Resources


10 fishing developments tee up great 2011 fishing

Taking stock in 2011

MADISON - Wisconsin anglers can look forward to more great fishing opportunities in 2011 as anglers turn the page on a record-setting 2010, state fisheries officials say. "We realize how critically important fishing is in Wisconsin both as a cultural activity and as a part of our economy," says Mike Staggs, Department of Natural Resources fisheries director. "We've worked hard to improve fishing in Wisconsin. Anglers enjoyed the results of that work in 2010, and should continue to see more of the same in 2011 and beyond."


10 Signs of Good Fishing in 2011

Nearly half of Wisconsin adults say they fish, and they catch 88 million fish annually, based on DNR's 2006-7 statewide mail survey of anglers. Fishing generates $2.75 billion in economic impact in the state, supports more than 30,000 jobs, and provides $195 million in tax revenue for state and local governments. DNR's fisheries program receives no state tax dollars but is wholly supported by fishing license sales and federal grants.


The top 10 events/developments of 2010 that foreshadow even better fishing opportunities in 2011 and beyond

1. State record lake sturgeon speared. Ron Grishaber of Appleton landed a 212.2 pound, 84.2-inch behemoth out of Lake Winnebago on opening day of the 2010 Lake Winnebago seasons. That new record is possible as a result of DNR's century-long efforts to work with citizens to manage sturgeon. Those efforts have nurtured the Lake Winnebago lake sturgeon population into the world's largest. Its estimated 2010 population of 15,800 females and 31,700 males in the adult spawning stock are able to support a unique spearing season even as the federal government has proposed listing five Atlantic sturgeon populations in other states as endangered. A record 12,423 people have bought spearing licenses for the 2011 spearing seasons on the Lake Winnebago system.

2. World record brown trout pulled from Lake Michigan near Racine. The 41-pound, 8-ounce brown trout Roger Hellen of Franksville caught in Lake Michigan on July 16, 2010, set new state and world records (according to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article; exit DNR). The fish, which genetic testing suggests is likely a seeforellen strain trout raised at a DNR hatchery, testifies to the importance of the state's stocking program to provide a fishery for trout and salmon in Lake Michigan, and to the cleaner water resulting from more protective state and federal standards for wastewater discharges and for runoff from farms, urban areas, construction sites and roads.

3. Trout fishing opportunities grow with addition of 58 new trout waters. Anglers have more trout water than ever to fish as Wisconsin revised its official list of trout streams in 2010 based on monitoring results. Since 2002, the total number of trout streams has increased by 58 and the total number of trout miles has grown by 260 to 10,531 miles. The increased fishing opportunities arise from synergistic factors including DNR's trout habitat improvement work with partners; its program to stock trout from wild fish, increasing survival and natural reproduction in recovering streams; land use changes and farmers' improved conservation practices that have decreased erosion and runoff into streams; increased precipitation resulting in better base flow in some parts of the state; and more protective regulations and a strong catch and release ethic among trout anglers.

4. Wild Rose Fish Hatchery is renovated, producing more and healthier fish. A workhorse hatchery of Wisconsin's stocking program has been fully renovated, with DNR staff raising their first northern pike and lake sturgeon for stocking in summer 2010 from the new cool-water facilities. New cold water facilities opened in 2008. Wild Rose produces the vast majority of trout and salmon for Lake Michigan; it produces lake sturgeon, northern pike and other cool-water species to help restore populations statewide, and the renovated hatchery has won a trio of national design awards, including for its visitor and education center.

5. Recovery of lake trout in Lake Superior. Lake trout, one of the four signal species in Lake Superior, are showing strong signs of recovery in this largest and deepest of the Great Lakes, with Wisconsin waters boasting some of the strongest populations. That's good news for the overall health of the Lake Superior ecosystem and for anglers and commercial fishers. The recovery plan has been carried out in Wisconsin

by the DNR, the Red Cliff tribe and the Bad River tribe, which collectively manage fisheries in state waters of Lake Superior, and by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which carries out lamprey control in U.S. waters as the agent for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Protecting remnant populations of lake trout, stocking wild trout, preventing overfishing through protective regulations and controlling populations of the predatory sea lampreys are all keys to the recovery.

6. Large-scale Mississippi River habitat projects improve fishing. Anglers can attest to the success of a federal/state effort to restore declining habitat along the Upper Mississippi River. The Environmental Management Program marks its 25th anniversary this year, with more than 50 large-scale habitat projects undertaken along the 1,200 mile long stretch of the river. Twenty-eight projects -- including five within the past decade and four specifically to benefit fisheries -- have restored more than 30,000 acres along Wisconsin's border. In 2010, work continued on the construction of island habitats in Pool 8, part of a five-phase Upper Mississippi River Environmental Management Program project (exit DNR) that was named one of the Seven Wonders of Engineering for 2002 by the Society of Professional Engineers. Planning started for sloughs on the Wisconsin side in Pool 9.

7. Trophy musky haul among the top three. Anglers have been landing a growing number of big musky. In 2010, Muskies, Inc. members reported catching and releasing 72 muskies that were 48 inches or larger from Wisconsin waters. That ranks 2010 third for the number of 48-inch plus fish registered from Wisconsin waters. Top counties were Vilas, Oneida, Dane, Chippewa, Waukesha, Brown and Sawyer. The Muskies, Inc. registry is just one indicator -- there are many musky anglers that are not members and members who may not register their fish because they do not want people to see what they are catching and where -- but it's been a good index of the changes in the number of big fish caught over time statewide, says Tim Simonson, co-leader of DNR's musky committee. The Green Bay musky fishery, re-established through a generation of stocking on the bay, and more protective regulations, a growing catch and release ethic, and habitat protection, statewide, have also played into the growing numbers in recent years, as has increased angler interest in the fishery.

8. Wisconsin maintains a solid walleye fishery that accommodates sport and tribal harvest. More than a quarter century after a U.S. federal court reaffirmed the Ojibwe's rights to spearfish off-reservation in northern Wisconsin, fish populations are intensively monitored, stable and able to accommodate a sport harvest and tribal harvest. Within the Ceded Territory, anglers have caught about 750,000 walleye and harvested 250,000 of them annually over the last five years, according to creel surveys.

9. Successful containment of VHS fish virus so far and implementation of rules that will help protect against the next big (or microscopic) invader. Testing of fish in 2010 for VHS fish virus, which can be deadly to more than two dozen fish species, again found that the virus has not spread to new waters. VHS was first detected in the Great Lakes in 2005 and in Wisconsin's Lake Michigan and Lake Winnebago system waters in 2007. Wisconsin passed protective rules aimed at preventing the spread of VHS in 2007 and the virus has not spread beyond those waters where it was first detected or assumed to be present. The rules, which restrict the movement of water and live fish from one waterbody to another, also prevent the spread of other fish diseases and invasive species such as zebra mussels and spiny water fleas.

10. Chinook harvests hit record levels. Chinook fishing in Wisconsin waters of Lake Michigan was phenomenal starting in 2003 and peaking in 2007 when anglers reeled in the highest recorded harvest of chinook. That year, anglers caught an estimated total of 431,143 chinook, the most since angler, or “creel,” surveys started in 1969. The phenomenal fishing reflects a confluence of factors including the success of DNR's stocking program for Lake Michigan, efforts by DNR fish management specialists to address fish health problems in earlier years, and clean up efforts that have improved water quality in the lake. The fishing has cooled off some since the heyday as Wisconsin and other states around the lake have reduced stocking to bring fish populations more in line with the forage base. Angler harvest levels are therefore likely to be somewhat lower than those earlier in the past decade but average fish size should be better.

Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

Less traffic recorded on Saginaw River
Following a five-year trend, the number of vessel passages during the 2010 commercial shipping season on the Saginaw River continued to decline.


Milwaukee plan for lakefront wind turbine stirs debate
The city's Office of Environmental Sustainability is proposing the project to make a statement in support of renewable energy and to tap greener sources of electricity for the Port of Milwaukee's administration building


Asian carp crisis lands at shores of Lake Erie, but only in a study plan (for now)
The Asian carp crisis lands in downtown Cleveland. Not the voracious fish itself -- not yet.

Army Corps explains Asian carp study
U.S. and Canadian environmental and conservation groups are calling on the federal government to speed up a study on the possibility of Asian Carp entering the Great Lakes.           


EDITORIAL: Evidence and potential costs keep growing on Asian carp
It was reassuring to learn last week that the science behind detecting Asian carp movement has stood up under peer review. That undercuts one more argument being used by those who argue against taking the urgent step of closing locks around Chicago to keep the fish out of the Great Lakes.


Thousands of fish dead along Chicago lakefront
Thousands of gizzard shad are going belly up along Chicago's lakefront in a large die-off that's left many of the fish frozen in the ice along the city's harbors


Graham out as chief of Ohio wildlife agency

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- David Graham has been removed as chief of the Ohio Division of Wildlife as a new Ohio Department of Natural Resources administration revamps the beleaguered state wildlife agency hit by a hunting license scandal in the past year.


Carp gain access lane to Lake Erie
Those notorious leaping Asian carp now appear to have inland-waterway access to Western New York waters.


City considering lakefront wind turbines

Milwaukee officials are considering another high-profile project on the lakefront - one to three wind turbines near the Lake Express car ferry terminal.


Study: Michigan charter boats bring in big bucks
A study of Michigan charter fishing shows the industry has contributed nearly $400 million to coastal communities along the state’s four Great Lakes over the past two decades, with the vast majority spent at Lake Michigan ports.


Big angling year on the big lake
By all accounts, the summer of 2010 was spectacular for Lake Superior anglers. Fishing was excellent for lake trout, Chinook salmon and Coho salmon.



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