Week of January 26, 2004







2nd Amendment issues






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IGFA Rejects Record Largemouth

A 22 ½  lb largemouth bass caught this past August has been rejected by the IGFA as a new world record, ending the challenge to a record still held for 71 years by George Perry.


The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) has been the keeper of records for the world’s game fish since 1939. The non-profit association, based in Dania Beach, Florida, takes this responsibility very seriously. When it received a record application for a 22-1/2 lb largemouth bass, the IGFA Record Confirmation Committee examined every aspect of the catch in detail.


Mrs. Leaha Trew was fishing in Spring Lake in California with her son last August 24th when she caught the huge bass. It

stood to beat the existing all-tackle record largemouth of 22-1/4 lb caught by George Perry in Georgia 71 years ago. Perry’s bass record may be the single most recognized record in freshwater gamefishing.


Unfortunately, Trew's catch was not documented to IGFA's satisfaction, and therefore could not be accepted as a record. Rob Kramer, president of IGFA said, "We don’t enjoy having to reject world record claims, but in this case there were too many unverifiable factors, so we had no other choice."


IGFA requires considerable and accurate documentation for all record submissions, which is just one example of the extreme care with which IGFA maintains world records.


New hunting, fishing position created
First H/F coordinator position for National Wildlife Refuge System.
Tom Reed has been appointed as the first hunting and fishing coordinator for the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Steve Williams, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said he created the position because the hunting and fishing communities are important partners in wildlife conservation. "Having someone like Tom focused exclusively on this relationship will help us provide more resources and opportunities for fishing and hunting on refuges and strengthen our relationships," Williams said.


Reed's job will be to develop and analyze hunting and fishing policies on refuges. He will identify needs for visitor services

including boat docks and launches, educational kiosks and interpretive signs.  He also will be involved in creating a training course for visitor service staff titled, "The Role of Hunting in Wildlife Conservation and Management."


Reed's roots are in the National Wildlife Refuge System. He served as the refuge manager/refuge officer for three San Diego refuges (Tijuana Slough, South San Diego Bay and Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuges). Before that, Reed was assistant manager at Red Rocks Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in Montana for four years, and worked in the Division of Ecological Services including as a private lands coordinator.

He has a Master of Science degree in Wildlife Management from the U of Wisconsin and his bachelor’s of science in Wildlife Management from Humboldt State U.

Park Service wants Apostle Islands designated as Wilderness

Change would severely restrict boat, fishing and camping traffic

Recently the National Park Service has proposed designating the majority of the Apostle Islands in the Wisconsin waters of Lake Superior as wilderness.  While promising minimal impact on current motorized and non-motorized boat traffic, the change to wilderness designation, while seemingly a benefit to the overall protection of the islands, could prove to be just the opposite.


At issue is the authority the designation would give the Park Service to control access to the Islands as well as restricting boat traffic at a later date without needing to solicit further public input to do so. Currently the majority of the Apostle Island’s are managed as a National Park and the National Park Service has been doing extensive lobbying in both Government circles and with the public to develop support for inclusion of them in the Wilderness Act.


As an organization whose members love and respect the Apostle Islands as well as the pristine waters surrounding them, The Apostle Island's Sport Fisherman’s Association (AISA), since 1980 has worked to help protect and improve the Lake Superior fishery in the Apostle Island’s waters. The AISA's membership is comprised of sportsmen from Wisconsin and Minnesota that utilize and enjoy the Apostle Islands.   The Apostle Island Sport Fishermen’s Association recently unanimously voted to oppose this designation.


The following points are further reasons for our opposition:

► Since even before European Settlement, the Apostle Islands have never been wilderness

Even before European settlement, both Oral and Archeological histories document a very concentrated population of Native Americans peoples and culture within the Apostle Island area.  Since European settlement, logging, quarrying, commercial fishing, and tourism have provided livelihood for the people who chose to live here. As the nature of economics and the American culture has changed so has the utilization of the islands to an area that is enjoyed primarily as a destination for recreational purposes, with a history of tourism in the islands that extends back over a century.


► It is not needed

Anyone who has spent any time in the Apostle Islands knows that the Weather, Nature, and the Lake itself protect the Islands from over-exploitation better then any unnecessary legislation that the Park Service desires.  Indeed potential restrictions on the islands utilization under the Wilderness Act might very well serve to act to discriminate against certain groups in American society- such as the elderly and the handicapped, and their ability to access and utilize the Apostle Islands for recreation. Current utilization census methods to measure visitor counts overstate the use of the islands by counting people both coming and going and serve mainly as a tool to develop statistics to support the Park Service’s agenda.


► The Wilderness Designation would give the Park Service authority over, and the authority to prohibit in the future, traditional wildlife and fishery management practices and

traditional recreational uses of the Apostle Islands as they so desire, with no checks and balances on Park Service Authority.


Issues in this regard have already happened.  A case in point is the prohibition by the Park Service on the planting of brown Trout from Park Service property on Little Sand Bay by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, on the basis that Brown Trout are considered an ”Exotic Species” by the Park Service.  Brown Trout were originally planted in Lake Superior in the late 1800’s at about the same time that Rainbow Trout were introduced in Lake Superior. To take the uninformed action of classifying them as an “Exotic Species” in the same league as Sea Lampreys and Zebra Mussels is an example of the potential abuse in the exercise of authority that could become commonplace under the Wilderness Act designation. 


In addition, although they currently claim it will not be used, the Wilderness Act gives the Park Service the power to restrict the use of motors out to ¼ mile from any of the Islands under the Wilderness Designation with no further approval from other governmental bodies necessary.


 If that happens, will the Apostle Islands become a haven for the elite few that can journey to the islands by kayak or Park Service approved boat ferries?  Again, in the name of protection, the potential to discriminate against many citizens exists, and it would be dependent on the whim of the current or future Park Service administrations.


What we have now works quite well

The Park Service claims the Wilderness Designation will make it easier to “protect” the Apostle Islands in the future.  From what - the Park Service?


In our Association’s collective 200+ years of experience in the Islands, we have not seen significant changes occur in the environmental health of the Islands.  Indeed the worst offender in that regard is often the Park Service and their efforts to “improve” on nature by soil stabilization, or dock building in areas known for high storm sedimentation, leading to even more sedimentation.


 Instead of spending so much time lobbying for increased protection, perhaps the Park Service would be better served by listening to the people who both use the Islands, and who’s economic livelihood depends on the Islands, as well as improving and refining their current management techniques.


The membership of the Apostle Islands Sport Fishermen's Association has requested of the appropriate elected officials that they oppose any legislation to designate the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore as wilderness. We ask that concerned members of the public add your voices to ours.




Alfred House, President, AISA,

On behalf of the collective membership,

Apostle Island Sport Fishermen's Association

P.O. Box 794, Ashland, WI  54806

[email protected]  

Park Service Police Chief Chambers reports Superior for Harassment

Her Complaint Filed Three Hours Before Gag Order Issued

Our government at work

Washington, DC — U.S. Park Police Chief Teresa Chambers filed a written complaint with National Park Service Director Fran Mainella asking for disciplinary action against Mainella's deputy, Don Murphy, only hours before Murphy took action against Chief Chambers, according to a memo released by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).


In her December 2, 2003, complaint, Chief Chambers described, "an increasingly hostile work environment he [Murphy] created…" In the letter to Mainella, Chambers also cited Murphy —


  Verbally attacking Chambers during a nationwide conference call of Park Service leadership;

  Authorizing the release of confidential personnel records concerning Chambers; and

  Repeatedly using "emotionally charged" and "unprofessional" language disparaging the Chief.


Chambers asked Director Mainella to discipline Murphy and requested a public apology from Murphy for his remarks. Instead, three hours later Murphy ordered Chambers to stop engaging in interviews of any kind. Three days later, Murphy directed Chambers to surrender her badge, gun, and law enforcement identification, placing her on administrative leave – a step normally reserved only for those law enforcement personnel accused of criminal acts.


Yet, in this case, neither Murphy nor an attorney from the

Solicitor’s Office could tell Chambers whether she had violated any rules or regulations saying, instead, that they were still "researching" that aspect. A little more than two weeks later, without conducting an investigation or interviewing Chambers, Murphy proposed to terminate her on the basis of unrelated allegations having to do with an interview she did with The Washington Post and discussions she had with a Congressional staff member on a routine matter.


Murphy’s actions took place with a backdrop of a campaign of harassment directed against Chambers and her top deputies, including the scattering of nails under the tires of their assigned vehicles, placement of used condoms on and around assigned vehicles, computer break-ins, pepper-spraying office doors, and other hostile incidents.


"Don Murphy has been doing everything possible to make it hard for Chief Chambers to do her job," stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch. "Any close examination of Deputy Director Murphy's conduct strongly suggests that he should not occupy a position supervising professionals."


The Department of Interior, parent agency for the Park Service, is now evaluating the voluminous response filed earlier this week by Chief Chambers to allegations made by Murphy. A decision is expected later this month.


Read the December 2, 2003 Grievance of Chief Teresa Chambers


View Chef Chambers’ response to Don Murphy’s charges.



Chicago Waterway barrier update

Highlights of January 7,2004 meeting

The Corps has received appropriation of $700,000 for Barrier I this year. This includes $500,000 for operation and maintenance of Barrier I and $200,000 for design of upgrades to make Barrier I permanent. The great flaw in this authorization is it allows for design of improvement ONLY, it does not authorize the Corps to construct any permanent additions or improvements to Barrier.


Further, the Corps is authorized to maintain the barrier only through September 2004. They will need authorization to operate the barrier after that date. The Corps will know in February about funding for FY '05. If there is money in the President’s budget for FY '05 the Corps will maintain Barrier I. O&M currently costs about $25,000 per quarter.


NAISA may not pass until after Barrier II in complete. We're told the Corps cannot use funds dedicated for Barrier II to improve Barrier I.


Barrier I has already lost one electrode, the second in from the downstream side. This has not affected the operation of the barrier since there was an extra electrode included in the design. If another goes out we will have a weakened field especially at the surface. The power could be increased to compensate for the electrode loss, but the field strength at the surface would be diminished. An increase in amperage decreases the electrode life.


Also, conductivity has increased in the canal from when Barrier I was originally designed. Initially conductivity was at about 400-500 micromhos, now it is at 1000 micromhos. The Barrier I pulsers are near their peak output now. The low flow in the canal has resulted in the higher conductivity.


Barrier II

The design of Barrier II will include the ability to replace electrodes without shutting down the entire array. Barrier II will consist of two independent arrays. This will not significantly affect the construction cost. We will have two generators, more transformers and a heavier electrical system. This will reduce the cost of the system per building.


Field Studies

Since the tagged common carp passed through the barrier array last April, there has been interest in assessing the effect of barges on the electric field. That study was completed in December, 2003. Smith-Root built a special 3-dimensional probe to measure the electric field in the canal. Twp barges were then fitted with 18 probes and pushed through the barrier array in various configurations. The tests produced massive amounts of data which is still being analyzed.


The results indicated the field is weakened near the barge, particularly in the 2-3" adjacent to the barge hull. Barrier II design will increase the power output as barges pass through the array. During the meeting Jeff  Smith of Smith-Root expressed concern about the effect of the bow wave as being able to push fish through the barrier.


Sensors on the canal banks will detect the presence of the barge and increase the field strength. The increased field strength will not be of lethal strength for humans, if a person fell overboard in the array they would not be electrocuted. They do need to be careful and wear a PFD. Those sensors will detect the presence of the barge and increase the field strength. The increased field strength will not be of lethal strength for humans, if a person fell overboard in the array they would not be electrocuted.


Diet Study – Havana Research station

Station supervisor Mark Pegg reported on a diet study

comparing native fish and Asian carp. They have found that bighead carp overlap most closely with gizzard shad. Other native species and silver carp have shown less diet overlap. Based on the composition of the diet, paddlefish have little overlap with the Asian carp. Asian carp primarily select forage < 200 microns. This is similar to gizzard shad selectivity. Gizzard shad are the primary forage species in the river.


Pegg  hasn't noticed any decline in the shad population so far, but it may take some time to observe a change. Also large bigmouth buffalo may be affected too. An IL DNR biologist has suggested he's seen a decline in gizzard shad abundance.  The phytoplankton work is not yet complete. There is also some speculation that the Asian carp may be feeding on microbes rather than zooplankton.


MWRD has phytoplankton data, but we need zooplankton data from the canal. Could Asian carp be forage limited in the canal? Duane Chapman has observed that bighead carp in the Missouri River consume fine particulate organic matter and may be able to survive on that diet.


Rapid Response Plan and Outreach

Committee Chairman Phil Moy discussed the status of the rapid response plan and associated outreach effort.  The objective of the plan is to eliminate Asian carp from the lower Lockport Pool (between the barrier and Lockport Lock) if they appear before Barrier II is complete.


This will likely be a one time effort, occurring in late summer 2004. Once Barrier II is complete the control effort would be restricted to the reach between the barriers.  The response plan currently consists of three components: monitoring, outreach and the treatment plan.


Asian carp monitoring is performed monthly by MWRD, IL DNR, Corps of Engineers Chicago and USFWS. There are three sample sites in the Brandon Road Pool and one in the Lockport Pool. Sampling methods include electrofishing, trammel nets and mini Fyke nets. To date no bighead or silver carp have been captured or observed.


It is anticipated that movement of Asian carp will be documented in Brandon Road Pool first. Once fish are found in Lockport Pool intensive monitoring will be used to verify their presence. Once the presence of Asian carp in the Lockport Pool is verified the response action will be engaged.


Under an IL DNR lead, 5.5 miles of the canal from the barrier to Lockport Lock will be treated with rotenone. Rotenone has been shown in toxicity tests supported by the International Joint Commission for this project, to be the chemical of choice to control bighead and silver carp. The rotenone will be detoxified at Lockport Lock and generating station.


The canal and lock will be closed for about 18 hours during the treatment. Barges in the treatment reach can be loaded or unloaded but not moved. The treatment team is working to identify the best flow rate for the treatment to maximize effectiveness and efficiency.


The Treatment Plan Team has identified two options for treatment. One would treat the canal as a stream, the other would treat the 5.5 mile canal section as a reservoir. The stream option requires less chemical (3900 gallons) but is more labor intensive and would involve closure of operations on the canal for a longer period. The reservoir option would require very low flow (0.2 ft/sec) and would require more chemical (6200 gallons). The upside is that operations within the treatment reach could resume almost immediately and there would be less labor involved in the application. Caged Asian carp will be used to verify the effectiveness of the response.

Great Lakes Water Levels for January 23, 2004 

Current Lake Levels: 

Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are 9, 19, 10 and 1 inches, respectively, below their long-term average.  Lake Ontario is 11 inches above its long-term average.  All of the Great Lakes are above last year’s levels except for Lake Superior, which is at the same level as a year ago.  Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are 1 to 6 inches above last year’s level, while Lake Ontario is 20 inches above its level of a year ago.

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:  

The Lake Superior outflow through the St. Marys River into Lake Huron is expected to be below average during the month of January.  Flows in the St. Clair, Detroit, and Niagara Rivers are also expected to be below average, while flow in the St. Lawrence River is expected to be near average in January.   


Temperature/Precipitation Outlook:  

Cold arctic air will remain throughout the Great Lakes basin this week.  Several inches of lake effect snow are expected on the eastern and southern shores of the Great Lakes.  However, look for diminishing accumulations of lake effect snow from Lake Erie because the lake is about three-quarters ice covered.  Ice should


continue to form on all the lakes, as temperatures are not

expected to be above freezing across the basin the entire week.


Forecasted Water Levels: 

Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron and Ontario are expected to continue their pattern of seasonal decline over the next four weeks.   Due to ice conditions in the Detroit and St. Clair River system in the past several weeks, Lake St. Clair has been experiencing short-term water level fluctuations.  The level of Lake St. Clair was high last week due to ice conditions on the Detroit River, then dropped 11 inches in the past week due to ice conditions in the St. Clair River.  The levels are expected to rebound over the next few days and then continue a normal seasonal decline over the next several weeks.  However, short-term fluctuations could persist as long as the cold weather and ice conditions in the rivers continues.  The level of Lake Erie is expected to remain fairly stable over the next month.



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.


Wooley appointed deputy Regional Director for FWS

Covers 8 state Great Lakes-Big Rivers Region

Charles M. Wooley, a Columbus, Ohio, native and a 26-year employee of the USFWS, has been selected as Deputy Regional Director for the Service’s eight-state Great Lakes-Big Rivers Region, headquartered in Fort Snelling, Minn.


Regional Director Robyn Thorson announced Wooley's appointment, which will take effect January 26. Since 1998, Wooley has been the Assistant Regional Director for Ecological Services in the Great Lakes-Big Rivers Region, responsible for the Service’s endangered species, contaminants and wetland protection programs, and various Great Lakes, Mississippi and Missouri River activities.


In his new position, Wooley will work closely with Fish and Wildlife Service program managers and staff to oversee Service activities in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. The Great Lakes-Big Rivers Region manages 1.2 million acres of lands and waters on 55 national wildlife refuges and 12 wetland management districts, including more than 240,000 acres in waterfowl production areas. The region also manages 6 national fish hatcheries, 9 fisheries stations, 10 ecological services field offices and 18 law enforcement field offices.


He will also focus on advancing partnerships between the Service and state agencies, Native American tribes and private

conservation organizations. Wooley replaces Marvin Moriarty,

who served as  the Deputy Regional Director for 15 years before being named Regional Director for the Service’s Northeast Region last year.

Wooley has been with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1978. He worked as a fishery biologist in Alaska, Florida and Maryland, and served as a program analyst in Washington, D.C., where he worked with the President’s Domestic Policy Council’s Interagency Task Force on Wetlands and the House of Representatives’ Merchant Marine Fisheries Committee, and participated in the Department of the Interior's Manager Development Program.


Wooley was the field supervisor at the Service’s East Lansing, Michigan, Field Office for eight years. He has served as the Department of the Interior’s Trustee to the Great Lakes Fishery Trust since 1997.


An American Fisheries Society-certified fisheries scientist, Wooley is the author of 15 technical papers on the biology and life history of the striped bass, sturgeon and ecosystem restoration. He has given numerous professional presentations on endangered species and fishery management issues. He was named by the Director of the USFWS as one of ten Unusually Outstanding Employees in the Service in 1989 and 1992, and was honored by Interior Secretary Gale Norton in July 2001 with the Department’s Meritorious Service Award. He is a graduate of the U of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.  Wooley is married with two daughters, and lives in Lakeville, Minn.




Boat Sales & Show attendance up

Strong sales and solid attendance is a common theme for the year so far, and if the figures reported by the NMMA hold true, boating is sharing in the economic growth of our country. 


According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, North   

American boat show attendance this winter is up to the tune of healthy double digits. The NMMA also says that 2003 wholesaledollar sales of all boats were up 6.9 % through October, compared to prior year numbers.  In Canada, through October 2003, wholesale dollar sales of all boats were up 30.2 % and unit shipments of all boats were up 11.3 %.

Boat registrations up; California No. 1

Michigan’s long-standing position as the nation’s top boating state has been wrested away by California.

Coast Guard boat registration statistics distributed this week  by the National Marine Manufacturers Association show boat ownership on the rise nationally, with 13 million boats registered in 2002 — an increase of 154,000, or 1.2%, from the previous year.

In actuality, ownership well exceeds the 13 million figure, according to Jim Petru, NMMA's director of market statistics. "Many small, nonpowered craft such as canoes and utility boats are not required to be registered by many states, or are simply not registered by owners," Petru said.

Michigan was bumped to the number two ranking by a slim margin — 1,051,606 boats for California; 1,000,337 for Michigan. In other changes, Wisconsin claims the number five position from Texas, which drops to sixth; Louisiana jumps two places to number 13, bumping Missouri and Georgia to

14th and 15th, respectively; and Tennessee and Virginia move up to 19 and 20, respectively.


Here’s the top 20:

1. California           1,051,606    11. Pennsylvania        357,729
2. Michigan            1,000,337    12. North Carolina      353,625
3. Florida                   922,597    13. Louisiana              327,272
4. Minnesota             834,974    14. Missouri                325,717
5. Wisconsin             650,280    15. Georgia                 325,135
6. Texas                    624,390     16. Washington          266,717
7.  New York            529,732      17. Alabama               264,191
8. Ohio                      413,276      18. Tennessee          259,235
9. Illinois                   398,431      19. Virginia                 243,590
10. South Carolina      83,971    20. Mississippi         199,037

The largest increase in percentage terms was Wisconsin, which jumped 12.9 percent over its 2001 figures. The top 20 states account for 9.7 million boats — nearly 75 % of the national total, NMMA says. The top 10 states had 52 % of the total, or 6.8 million boats.  

Johnson 4-Stroke Offerings

Johnson Outboards is now offering new four- strokes of choice for all kinds of on-the-water activities: fishing, cruising and exploring.


This year's new 200 and 225 V-6 engines are an environmentally responsible choice of power for boating

enthusiasts. New product information is available online at: www.johnson.com/docs/200007/0_US.htm  Log on and you'll find engine specs, performance reports and photography.  The new 200 and 225 are smooth and quiet but provide the out of the hole acceleration and top speed that competitive four strokes can't deliver.

Johnson is a brand of Bombardier  http://www.brp.com/

Bombardier announces new corporate structure

Highlights of the organizational changes are the creation of two Executive Vice President positions, and the appointment of a Chief Financial Officer for all Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP).


Roch Lambert will hold the position of Executive Vice President, Product Development, Sales and Marketing and be responsible for all BRP recreational products for the North America market. Lambert will be in charge of sales, marketing, after sales and customer support, as well as

design and innovation and engineering for all finished products. Those products include Ski-Doo® snowmobiles, Sea-Doo® watercraft and sport boats, Bombardier all-terrain vehicles (ATV/Quad), Johnson® and Evinrude® outboard engines, as well as parts, clothing and accessories.  


Alain Villemure is appointed Executive Vice President, Manufacturing Operations for North America and China. Louis Morin will hold the position of Chief Financial Officer.


Greenpeace co-founder denounces colleagues

Says movement he helped lead inflicts 'pain and suffering' on poor
A co-founder of the environmental group Greenpeace recently joined a civil rights group in condemnation of "the global green movement's oppression of poor people in the Third World."


"The environmental movement I helped found has lost its objectivity, morality and humanity," said Patrick Moore in a statement issued by the group. "The pain and suffering it inflicts on families in developing countries can no longer be tolerated."


Moore is one of eight experts from around the world who  

contends, citing personal experience, "environmental extremists deny destitute nations electricity and deepen the poverty, malaria, malnutrition, tuberculosis and dysentery that kill their people." The group asserts the restriction of DDT promoted by the World Health Organization and radical environmental groups has played a significant part in the deaths of 2 million people each year from malaria.


The group contends ideological opposition to economic and energy development in the Third World has fostered a situation in which 2 billion people lack electricity, running water and other basic necessities and conveniences.


2nd Amendment issues

2nd Amendment - Where are all the guns?
Those of us who remember life in America after World War II, and before the 60's cultural revolution, fondly reminisce over how different life was then. Doors were often left unlocked; women and children were generally safe on the streets day or night; you knew your neighbors' names for blocks around; public language and customs were much kinder; and the prevalence of violence we know today was completely unthinkable.


To be sure, there were some significant cultural negatives such as blatant racism, etc., but the world here in America generally wore a much, much kinder face. And, of course, virtually all young boys played "guns" and "army" with cap pistols, BB guns, or any handy stick that even remotely resembled a gun, sword, or spear.


The movies and television never showed blood, intestines, severed heads, or the host of splayed body parts now ubiquitously available in the general media. War movies were invariably about character development in the midst of cause and crisis.  TV Westerns were a mainstay for Middle America, but public violence remained nominal. Schools were safe for learning. And, of course, the vast majority of little boys played with guns. Those guns were available at any toy store in town.

Slaughters like Columbine High never happened, and gangs used clubs and knives to fight with, not guns, although they were commonly available. And, of course, the boys played "fort," war, and even had BB gun fights when their male testosterone levels reached critical levels.


So where are the guns today? Both of our hearty, young, male grandchildren wanted toy guns for Christmas. Are you ready for this? No store here in the greater Santa Rosa area, with a population of over 200,000, sells toy guns. We called, inquired, and sought in vain. The people at Toys-R-Us all but lectured us for even asking about them. Political correctness strikes again!


Okay, you testosterone-hating forces, can't you see what's wrong with this picture? I don't even belong to the National Rifle Association, but I know who is behind this. Slaughter on with the carnage your values have created. Why don't you shut down the TV and movies and the violent music if you are really serious about "peace"? But prohibit toy cap pistols! You are infinitely more to blame for the carnage than cap pistols will ever be.  

Courtesy World Net Daily    http://wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=36501

2nd Amendment - Stop Supporting the Big Anti-gun Internet Service Providers
The parent companies of AOL / Time Warner / Compuserve, Sprint / Mindspring / Earthlink, and Southwestern Bell / Prodigy -- just to name a few -- have all given money in the past to Sarah Brady.  As you know, the Brady group is an avowed gun control anti-2nd amendment crowd.


Now there is an ISP dedicated to gun rights and the sporting

life.  Plus a portion of your monthly fee will be donated to Gun  Owners of America (GOA).  By switching to Outdoors Unlimited, you move money away from the Brady Bunch and to the fight for the Second Amendment. 

Check out http://www.outdoorsunlimited.net and consider switching your Internet service.


Hunter taking on Lake Zurich law
 Never did hunter Robert Sprow imagine a wounded goose falling from the sky in a Lake Zurich, IL neighborhood could cause so much trouble. But the bird was a catalyst, sparking a smoldering dispute between residents of Lake Zurich and area hunters over the sound of gunshots.


In an escalating sequence of events, the Daily Herald reports Sprow now is fighting village hall in court so he can continue hunting on unincorporated land just outside of Lake Zurich. After the fall of the goose, the village enacted an ordinance restricting the use of guns within the village and a quarter-mile from its boundaries. It's not known who shot the goose.  Sprow, of nearby Island Lake, was cited for firing his gun a day after the ordinance went into effect on Dec. 12. The violation carries a fine of $750. The landowner also has been cited.


The case has aggravated hunting conservation groups throughout the state. The groups are concerned that Lake Zurich is seeking to limit the rights of hunters, even beyond its borders. Sprow is scheduled for an appearance Friday at Lake County's Mundelein courthouse.  "I'd be letting every hunter in the state down if I didn't stand my ground on the issue," said Sprow, who runs the Ultimate Waterfowlers hunting club based in Island Lake.


The issue has caught the attention of the National Rifle Association, Illinois Federation for Outdoor Resources and Illinois Department of Natural Resources.


Carol Knowles, Media relations director with the Illinois DNR said Lake Zurich's ordinance will not stand up in court because it tries to regulate activity on private property beyond the village's jurisdiction. She knows of no other town in the state that has successfully done that. Although Lake Zurich's ordinance only seeks to regulate nuisances caused by shooting guns, hunting advocates say it could set a precedent for towns looking to ban hunting altogether. "Certainly, the department overall is concerned about the (reduction) of hunting opportunities, and we want to maintain that tradition," said Knowles.


State law requires waterfowl hunters using shotguns to be 100 yards away from an occupied dwelling. Lake Zurich's ordinance does not set a minimum distance, while the maximum reach of the ordinance is a quarter-mile outside the village. Any shooting activity within that area can be deemed a nuisance if it "substantially annoys, injures or endangers the comfort, health, repose or safety of any person within the corporate limits of the village."


Village Attorney Mark Burkland says hunters are overlooking a key aspect of the ordinance, which does not wholly prohibit hunting. "It doesn't regulate hunting at all except if hunters create a serious threat to the health and safety of people who live close to where they're hunting," he said. "If hunters are conducting themselves properly and safely, this ordinance does not affect them at all."


Burkland says the DNR is wrong to call the village's ordinance

illegal. "There's a provision of the Illinois Municipal Code which allows the village the power to regulate or prohibit outside of its borders businesses or activity that create these consequences," he said. But Knowles says case law does not support that argument. She cited a 1989 4th District Appellate Court decision in the case of the village of Goodfield vs. Jamison. The court held "a municipality's authority to declare nuisance ends at the municipality's corporate limits."


That case was not hunting-related, but rather about a hog transfer station looking to locate near the edge of the central Illinois town. Village officials were trying to stop the hog station because of potential odors from pens and fears of lower property values. Today, the hog station is still in operation.


"It didn't cause the extent of nuisance that they thought it would," said then-village board member Roger Mullins, now Goodfield's public works administrator. "None of the things we suspected happened. We received no complaints from people. Ten years down the road, you wonder why did we spend $20,000 on that deal." Burkland contends Goodfield had a different case and an entirely different situation.


Sprow, who has a five-year lease on the unincorporated property near Lake Zurich, contends the new ordinance threatens his livelihood. "I have been here my entire life, and I've turned my love for the outdoors into how I make my living and support my family," he said. "The audacity of these people to try and regulate what happens on private property ... These people that move out here, what do they expect? Everything has to stop because they moved out here?"


Lake Zurich resident Jeffrey Mangano doubts the village will win its case. "I suspect that we are not going to have a ruling in our favor," he said. "I understand state law supersedes a city ordinance."


Meanwhile, hunters say they are losing more and more traditional hunting areas to urban sprawl in the collar counties.

Knowles said the DNR tries to buy land for hunting wherever available, but there is not much open land left around Chicago.


In Lake County, most hunting is done on private property, though public hunting grounds are available at Chain O' Lakes State Park, Deer Lake and Volo Bog. McHenry and Cook counties each have just one public hunting area at Moraine Hills State Park and William W. Powers Conservation Area, respectively. DuPage and Kane counties have no public hunting grounds.


Several hunting conservation groups have hired a lobbyist to represent them in Springfield to help preserve the hunting tradition. "Right now, the immediate concern is to protect our rights to recreate in Illinois and to basically have no net loss of our privileges because we feel they are being taken away piece by piece," Kishpaugh said. "Pretty soon there will be nothing left. The future of hunting depends on every one of us."


Gun owner Fires Back

Wilmette man explains his drastic actions and tells the town's Village Trustees …"Stick to Parade Schedules & Planting our Parks.Hale DeMar, in a letter sent to the Chicago Sun-Times and Tribune, is now speaking out

Three days after Christmas, someone broke into the DeMar family home in Wilmette through a dog door, stealing a television, an SUV and the keys to the home.  The next night, Hale DeMar was prepared for a return visit. With his children upstairs, DeMar, 54, shot burglar Morio Billings, 31, in the shoulder and calf, police said.


Billings was caught at a nearby hospital and charged with felony residential burglary and possession of a stolen car.  And, in a move that has drawn criticism, DeMar was cited with breaking Wilmette's ban on handguns and with failing to update his firearm owner's identification card.   The misdemeanors are unlikely to bring jail time. Wilmette Police Chief George Carpenter did not criticize DeMar for protecting his family but said homes are safer without handguns.


Many of us have experienced a sense of violation upon returning to our homes, only to find that someone else has been there. Someone else has trespassed in our bedrooms, looting and stealing that which is readily replaced. Many of us, still haunted by that violation, will never again have a sense of security in our own homes. Few, however, have awakened to realize that they had been violated as they slept in their beds, doors locked, as family dogs patrolled their homes. For me, the seconds until I found my children still safely tucked in their beds were horrifying. The thought that a young child may have been hurt or abducted was incomprehensible.


The police were called and in routine fashion they came, took the report and with little concern left, promising to increase surveillance. Little comfort, since the invader now had keys to our home and our automobiles. The police informed me that this was not an uncommon event in east Wilmette and offered their condolences.


What is one to do when criminal proceeds, undeterred by a 90-pound German shepherd, an alarm system and a property ... lit up like an outdoor stadium? And now, he had my house keys and an inventory of things he'd like to call his own. Would the police patrol my dead-end street as effectively the second time as they had the first? Would my small children be unharmed the next time? Would the career criminal be satisfied with another automobile, another television or would he feel the need, once again, to climb the staircase up to the bedrooms, perhaps for a watch or a ring or a wallet, again risking little?


Would my children wake to find a masked figure, clad in black, in their bedroom doorway, a vision that might haunt them for years? Would the police come again and fill out yet another

 report, and at what point should I feel comfortable that the 'bad guy' got everything he wanted and wouldn't return again, a third time?


I went to the safe where my licensed and registered gun was kept, loaded it for the very first time and tucked it under the mattress of my bed. I assured my frightened children ''that daddy would deal with the bad guy ... if he ever returned.'' Little did I imagine that this brazen animal was waiting in the backyard bushes as I tucked my children into bed.


Fifteen minutes after bedtime, the alarm went off. Three minutes after the alarm was triggered, the alarm company alerted the police to the situation and 10 minutes later the first police car pulled up to my home, but only after another call was made to 911, by a trembling, half-naked father. I suppose some would have grabbed their children and cowered in their bedroom for 13 minutes, praying that the police would get there in time to stop the criminal from climbing the stairs and confronting the family in their bedroom, dreading the sound of a bedroom door being kicked in. That's not the fear I wanted my children to experience, nor is it the cowardly act that I want my children to remember me by.


Until you are shocked by a piercing alarm in the middle of the night and met in your kitchen by a masked invader as your children shudder in their beds, until you confront that very real nightmare, please don't suggest that some village trustee knows better and he/she can effectively task the police to protect your family from the miscreants that this society has produced.


This career criminal had been arrested thirty times. He was wanted in Georgia and for parole violations in Minnesota. He was convicted of residential burglary in Minnesota. He served time last year after pleading guilty to felony motor vehicle theft in Minnesota.  He was convicted in 1997 of retail theft in Cook and DuPage Counties and in 1995 of drunk driving in Georgia.


How many family homes had he violated, how many innocent lives were affected, how many police reports went into some back office file cabinet, only to become some abstract statistic? How is it that rabid animals like this are free to roam the streets, violating our homes and threatening the safety of our children?


If my actions have spared only one family from the distress and trauma that this habitual criminal has caused hundreds of others, then I have served my civic duty and taken one evil creature off of our streets, something that our impotent criminal justice system had failed to do, despite some thirty odd arrests, plea bargains and suspended sentences."


Hale DeMar, Wilmette


IDNR and NWTF Team Up to Host Outdoors Events for Women

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the National Wild Turkey Federation are teaming up to promote more outdoor recreation opportunities and events for women in Illinois.

The agreement focuses on collaboration in providing instructors, equipment, facilities and promotion for hunting, fishing, recreational shooting and other hands-on outdoor activities to be conducted throughout the state as part of the IDNR’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program and the NWTF’s Women in the Outdoors program.


"This agreement is a natural for both the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the National Wild Turkey Federation,” said IDNR Director Joel Brunsvold. "We have worked for many years with the NWTF and its Illinois chapter officials and members on habitat enhancement, turkey releases and hunting programs. This is another chance to partner with a great sporting organization to generate interest in and expand hunting and outdoor recreation opportunities."


Brunsvold said encouraging more women to enjoy outdoor

activities is the goal.  Our Becoming an Outdoors-Woman programs are among the most popular events of their kind in the country," said Brunsvold.  "The NWTF has a network of volunteer instructors and technical support staff who will help make BOW sessions even better. And our staff, volunteers, equipment and facilities can help make the many Women in the Outdoors activities staged by the NWTF even better."


Becoming an Outdoors-Woman weekends hosted by the IDNR in 2004 are scheduled for June 11-13 at the Lorado Taft Campus in Oregon and September 17-19 at Pere Marquette State Park near Grafton. Activities during the sessions include expert instruction in fishing, bow and firearm shooting skills, bird calling, canoeing, camping and nature photography.


More information on the BOW program is available on the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/education/BOW/

NWTF Women in the Outdoors programs provide opportunities for women to participate in camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, mountain biking and other activities. The Illinois chapter and local chapters of the NWTF have scheduled a number of Women in the Outdoors events throughout the state in 2004. More information is available on the NWTF web site at www.nwtf.org


Search for Indiana's weird trees continues – deadline April 15

To celebrate Arbor Day 2000 DNR's division of forestry began a search for the weirdest trees in the state. And the search continues for Arbor Day 2004. 


Your candidate for weirdest can be any species or any size. It can be located in the city, in the forest, in your back yard - anywhere - as long as the tree is still standing. We encourage people of all ages to submit entries.


Here's all you need to do:

Take a couple of photographs of the tree. Be sure to capture its uniqueness. Send your printed, non-returnable photos to Sam Carman, Div. of Forestry, 402 W. Washington St., Room

W296 - Indianapolis, IN  46204.  Digital photos must be in jpeg format, no larger than six megs and should be emailed to [email protected] . Along with the photos, be sure to include your name, address, phone number, and specific location of the tree, including county.


DNR's district foresters will judge the photos to narrow down the field to the "weirdest" tree for each county. Each county choice will be included on the Divisions of Forestry's Web site publication "Invasion of the Weird Trees."  (To view the current "Invasion," go to www.in.gov/dnr/forestry/pdfs/invasion2002.pdf .


Entry deadline for this year is April 15. So put on your hiking boots, grab your camera, and WATCH FOR THE WEIRD!


DNR/Sea Grant to hold perch workshop - Feb 28

Michigan Sea Grant in collaboration the MI DNR, are planning to hold a yellow perch workshop Feb 28, in South Haven. Though the agenda is not finalized yet it will cover recent perch assessment work as well as presentations on current research. Sea Grant Agent Chuck Pistis says "We are also planning a session that will involve discussion on successful angling techniques."


The workshop will be held at Lake Michigan College, South Haven Campus.  "We feel it is important that stakeholders be updated on the status of the yellow perch fishery and current research underway to understand the factors impacting the fishery" says Pistis.   


Registration fee is $10.00 to cover lunch, refreshments and materials.

For a brochure and registration form call or e-mail Pistis at:  [email protected]

Ottawa County Extension Director/
Michigan State University Extension

333 Clinton Ave.

Grand Haven, MI 49417
Phone: 616-846-8250
Fax: 616-846-8250


Draft Agenda

   9:15- 9:30

Welcome and Introductory Remarks


Historical Overview of the Lake Michigan Perch Fishery


Current Assessment of the Lake Michigan Yellow Perch Population


Wind, Currents, Recruitment Success Of Yellow Perch In L. Michigan

12:00 - 1:00


  1:00 - 1:45

Recruitment of Yellow Perch Larvae in Lake Michigan

  1:45-  2:30

The Impact of Exotic Species on Yellow Perch Populations

  2:30 - 3:00

Adjusting to Changing Perch Populations, Behavior - Sport Fishing Techniques to Enhance Success





Key DNR official commits suicide

Co-workers, friends mourn Guy D. Gordon

LELAND - Friends and colleagues remembered Guy D. Gordon, second in command of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, as a knowledgeable leader with a sense of humor. "He was up to speed on DNR issues and he had a 

fairly long run here," said Bob Garner, a Natural Resources Commission member from Cadillac. "We're obviously feeling a pretty big sense of loss."  Gordon, 50, DNR chief of staff, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound January 25 at Van's Beach in Leland, Leelanau County Deputy Sheriff Scott  Wooters said.


Fishing Report January 21, 2004

Christopherson¹s Bait & Tackle, Dana Freese, 2 blocks east of  Big Ole (320-763-3255) Ida and Miltona are producing some walleyes, evening hours best. Good sunfish reports have been coming from Lake Mary.


Little Jim's Sports Shop, Hwy 55 (320-274-5297) Clearwater is producing crappies in 14-16 feet of water, evening hours best. A few walleyes reported during the evening hours also.  For sunfish, try Cedar in 7-10 feet of water. Excellent reports for northern pike are coming from Clearwater, Cedar and John in around 14 feet of water.

Brainerd Lakes Area - Brainerd Guide Service, John Blong,
www.brainerdguide.com  (218-825-8965) This week's colder temperatures kept many anglers off the lakes in the Brainerd area. The exception was the Jaycee's annual ice fishing contest. There were 11,000+ anglers who tried their luck on the Hole-in-the-Day Bay of Gull Lake. This year's turnout was exceptional. But the fishing was a bit slower. It only took a 4.67-pound walleye to earn first place. On most years, it usually takes a fish weighing 7 to 8 pounds to receive the first place honors. Thanks to all the volunteers that made this great tournament possible. While the walleye and northern fishing were slower this week, the one bright spot was the crappie fishing. A few nice sized crappies were being caught in 28-30 feet of water on the south end of Gull. The sunfish action remained slow this week.


Holiday of Cross Lake, Lee (218-692-2708) Walleye action continues to be good with most anglers catching a few fish in 18-28 feet of water on jigging spoons tipped with a rainbow or shiner minnow. Lake trout season opened on Saturday, and many anglers tried their luck. Reports coming in were good, with lots of smaller fish being taken in 30-40 feet of water on shiner minnows and jigs. Crappie action has been good on most area lakes.


Dick Beardsley's Guide Service, Dick Beardsley (218-846-9230) The very cold weather of this past weekend kind of put a little crimp on the ice fishing in the Detroit Lakes area. Before the cold snap the bite was going pretty good, and now that it's warmed back up just a tad, the bite is fairly good again. That has pretty much been the story all winter so far. Some of the lakes kicking out panfish in the area are Cotton, Wolf, Height of Land, Floyd, Big Toad, Little Detroit, Little Pelican, Prairie, Stump, Little Cormorant and Lizzie. Lindy Pounders or Copeds tipped with waxworms have been working the best. The deeper holes seem to be where most of the crappies are on these lakes with the bluegills being more towards the weedlines. The walleye bite has slowed a bit this past week with your best chance at some walleyes late in the day until about a half hour after dark. Lindy Rattl'r spoons tipped with a minnow head seems to be working the best. Make sure you are all set up by about 3:30 p.m. so you can be there for the short bite starting around 4 to 4:30 p.m. Even though it's a short time period, it's worth it as the bite can be pretty good for an hour or so. Big Detroit, Big Cormorant, Pelican, Lizzie, Strawberry, Crystal, Toad, Floyd, Cotton and Franklin are all worth a try.


Rapids Tackle, Don Wendt, 2 blocks west of Jerry's Liquor Warehouse (218-326-9838)  Cold weather hampered fishing this past week due to the sub zero windchill, however, those hardy souls that did get out fared pretty well. Trout fishermen did well on Tioga Pit where the DNR had stocked some brood stock. Several 20- to 22-inch rainbows were taken. The other pits and lakes did OK but nothing that large. The north end of Bowstring is still producing crappie and a few walleyes in about 18 feet using small minnows and glow jigs. Walleyes and perch are going pretty good on the south end of Winnie. Check the edges and the bars in 28 feet for starters. Some northerns are also being taken around Third River and on Bowen Flats using tip-ups and suckers. Splithand Lake is still giving up some nice crappies and walleyes. The walleyes have to be sorted out because some are small. Use fathead minnows in mornings and evenings. The ice is good on most lakes with little snow.


Gateway Store, Phil Hart, www.gatewaystorellc.com  (218-875-2121)  Lots of snow on the ice surface is impeding travel except for snowmobiles. Fishing activity has picked up with most anglers reporting some success for both walleye and sauger. Glow jigs with a minnow doing the most consistent job. Ash River area is the most accessible area, but don't limit fishing to that area only. Some anglers report success at the mouth of Lost Lake, as well as 30- to 40-foot range over by the Martin Islands.

Shallower, weedy bays producing northern pike. Tip-ups very popular with light northern minnows. Snowmobile trails on and off ice in great condition. Snow base varies between 18-30 inches. All cross country, snowshoe and snowmobile trails open, all surfaces groomed with the exception of some lake trails.


Area Tourism Bureau, Jane, near Junction of Hwy 11 and Hwy 172 in Baudette, www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com  (1-800-382-FISH) The South Shore of Lake of the Woods has seen incredible action, with many parties filling out limits of mixed walleyes and saugers. Some of those walleyes were whoppers in the 29- to 30-inch range. Anglers also bringing in some jumbo perch in the 1-1/2-pound range. Most resorts have their houses out about nine miles and are fishing off of the mudflats in approximately 30 feet of water. Light pink, chartreuse, or gold 1/4-ounce jigs are the colors favored by winter anglers. The Northwest Angle and Islands are also experiencing great fishing, with one party of anglers catching two 9-1/2-pound walleyes. The houses at the Angle are scattered in various locations and water depths, but most are fishing in about 25 feet of water.

Houses around Oak Island are about two to three miles out, in 25 feet of water. Guides are using 1/4-ounce gold jigs for their guests with wonderful results. Many parties are limiting out, and having lots of fresh fish dinners!  Fishing on the Rainy River continues to be good to excellent, in the morning or evening hours of dawn and dusk. Some of those houses on the river are reporting walleyes in the 27- to 29-inch length range. Houses are set out all the way from Birchdale to the mouth of the Rainy River.


Leech Lake Guide Coalition, Chip Leer (218-547-3212) The deep humps of Walker Bay are producing a few walleyes, best time has been late in the day. Fish the shallow points. Kabekona Bay is producing some nice perch in 10-12 feet of




The Bobber Shop, North Riverfront Drive (507-625-8228) Little Jefferson northern pike bite has been good. Reports of big fish being caught. Lura producing walleyes, shallow night bite being best. Anglers using glow jigs for best results. For some crappie action, try Madison, also at night.


Lundeen's Tackle Castle, Bill Lundeen, Onamia, www.lundeens.com   (320-532-3416) The ice is in good shape - stay away from the pressure ridges and breaks and you should be fine. The walleye bite is slower than average for this time of year - nearly all of the bite comes at first and last light. Use a small jigging spoon (Hawger spoon, Jig-n-Eye, Gem spoon) and a piece of a minnow on your jig rod and a glow Demon or a Frosty with a small shiner on your set line. For perch, use the same jigs but consider tipping them with either waxies or eurolarve. You will need to sort the perch - lots of little ones with a fair number of "cleaners" mixed in. Try moving deeper, some of the bigger perch are coming out of water as deep as 32 feet. The northern bite has been great, shiners or suckers in 10-12 feet are your best bet.


 Dave's Sportland Bait and Tackle, Jason, 2 miles south of Nisswa at the Intersection of Hwy 371 and Cty Rd 77, next to Schaefer's Foods (218-963-2401) What an exciting weekend. The fishing contest went fabulous despite the windy weather. Everyone had a great time. Now that we have hit mid-winter the walleye bite has slowed down. Most anglers are averaging 1-2 fish per evening. Shiners or rainbow chubs on set lines with a bobber seems to work best now. Gull would be the best lake to try. For best results avoid any crowds and stay quiet, as the walleyes are getting a little spooky. The best depths are 12-16 feet after dark or out on the drops at 35-40 feet. The pike action has stayed consistent. Many fish are being caught on the weedy flats in 12-16 feet of water. Try Edwards, Cullen, the Whitefish Chain or North Long for those toothy critters. Medium sucker minnows are the ticket. The crappie action has heated up. Many nice fish are being caught after dark on smaller lakes in the area. Cullen, Sylvan and Nisswa are good bets.  Eurolarve and Custom's Glow Demons have been the top producer. A Vexilar flasher is critical for catching crappies right now, so borrow one, buy one, or rent one. You will really enjoy the results.


Rainy Lake Tourism, www.rainylake.org  (1-800-FALLS-MN) Best reports from Rainy Lake are coming from the reefs in 35-50 feet of water. Blue and silver #5 jigging raps, tipped with a minnow head seem to be best. On a second line, try a plain hook with a very small shiner. Other jigs producing results are pink jigs, and gold Kastmasters. Some of the houses in the Sand Bay have been moved to Springer's Point, Rainy Lake City area. Anglers who have made the move have reported they are having a little better luck at their new location.


Corky's Gas & Bait , Main Street in Rockville (320-251-1567) Reports of panfish biting on Becker and Horseshoe. Crappies are in 12-14 feet of water, best times have been early and late in the day. Good northern pike reports are coming from Pleasant Lake in the same depths, this has been an evening bite.


Croixsippi Fishing Guide Service, Turk Gierke, St. Croix River Area, www.croixsippi.com (1-800-929-1801) The bite on the St. Croix River's Bayport area keeps improving for crappies. A fairly consistent bite is occurring in the morning hours and to some extent in the last two hours of the day as well. The best news is the size of the crappies, overall size has improved and notably a good amount of 14-inch plus slabs are being iced. Crappie locations remain over the deep basin in 36-38 feet and bobbers with crappie minnows is the best approach. Plain hooks or jigs are both working and some days the jig hooked minnow is a better presentation. Unfortunately, walleye and sauger have not been mixed in at the usual rate. Trucks are driving on the ice and crossing the Andersen Bridge.


Minnewaska Bait, Larry Jensen, Hwy 29 near the Starbuck Marina (320-239-2239) Perch action has been good on Lake Minnewaska in 10-20 feet of water. The sunfish bite has  been okay on the Glenwood end. The crappies are in around 16 feet of water on the Glenwood end.


West Wind, www.westwindwaskish.com (218-647-8998) Crappies are biting at night and also during the day too. Most anglers are catching them anywhere from 6 inches to 2 feet off the bottom. The northern fishing has been strong with reports of many 15+ pounders being caught.


Doug Ellis, Virginia Surplus, 105 N 3rd Ave W, www.virginiasurplus.com (218-741-0331) The fishing on Lake Vermilion is slow. Walleyes and crappies are nowhere to be found and many anglers are finding themselves going home with no fish to clean. Small area lakes are producing crappies but the size is small. Crappies between 8-10 inches are the norm. Northern action has slowed also and this cold snap hasn't helped the fishing action. Trout fishing opened outside the BWCA this past weekend and early reports are not that good. Few lakers in the 3- to 5-pound class were reported off of Burntside Lake and Snowbank Lake near Ely. Trout Lake off of Lake Vermilion produced bigger, but fewer fish in the 6- to 10-pound class. Small stream trout lakes and pits produced the best fishing and many anglers caught nice size rainbows in the 14- to 17-inch class using small spoons and jigs tipped with waxworms suspended down about 15-20 feet. A break in the weather will help anglers find better fish action.


Dave's Bait and Bullets, 107 Tembrook Ave, downtown Wabasha (651-565-2326) Give us a call for a report.

WACONIA - Mase's In Towne Marine, Cindy, corner of Lake and Elm (952-442-2096) Pillsbury Reef crappie and walleye bite has been good. Walleyes are in about 13 feet of water along the weed edges. Evening bite producing the most fish. Northern pike action is also good. For a few sunfish, try Waconia Bay.

WILLMAR - 71 Bait & Sports, Brad Foshaug (320-235-4097) Green, Eagle, and Long have had some good walleye reports. Panfish reports are just okay. Long is also producing some perch. Games and Norway are your best options to catch a few crappies, try 10-20 feet of water.

Courtesy - Minnesota Office of Tourism


Fishing and Boating Report - January 22, 2004
The briefs included in these reports are provided by the PFBC's field staff - Waterways Conservation Officers, Area Fisheries Managers and Aquatic Education Specialists - from across the Commonwealth.  During the winter months, reports will be issued every other week, with each compilation consisting of information from three of the Commission's six regions on a rotating basis.

Butler County
Lake Arthur: Northern pike in the 24-inch range are reportedly being caught in the Muddy Creek finger. Minnows and creek chubs are the baits of choice.  As of January 20, the ice is clear and 5 inches thick.  Wind-blown areas are extremely slippery.  Cleats are recommended.  Anglers are also catching some panfish in the McDaniels Access area.  Legal size largemouth bass are being caught in various areas. 

Mercer County
Shenango Lake: Try fishing the Golden Run Area.  Crappies, bluegill, and perch are being caught in that order according to numbers of catches being reported.  Minnows are the bait of choice.  Best fishing has been early morning or later in the evenings.

Venango County
Kahle and Justus Lakes are now being fished by a small group of hearty souls, but the panfish are not cooperating just yet. 

The best success seen through the ice were several limits of large brook trout taken at Justus Lake.  As the ice thickens and the winter grows longer, try concentrating on areas where you can locate structure or a drop-off under the ice, as fish tend to concentrate in these areas. 

The Allegheny River is getting more and more surface ice daily, and is unfishable as of this writing.   Remember it is never a good idea to go onto ice that has formed on moving water.

Warren County
Allegheny River: Some walleye are being caught in the tail waters using floating minnows and lures.  Some musky are also being caught on live bait or lures.

Kinzua Reservoir: There's been good fishing with a lot of walleye being caught in about 20 feet of water, but few have been of legal size.  Northern pike are also being caught close to shore on live baits like shiners on tip-ups.

Ice fishing at Chapman Lake has been very good with reports of catches of brook trout and small perch.  Small ice jigs tipped with maggots seem to be working well.

The Erie area has certainly been a part of the winter deep freeze with most all of the area tributaries frozen over.  Only a few areas of fast moving water remain open, with little open water available to area anglers.  Hard water fishing however, has moved into full swing.  The Walnut Creek Marina basin has yielded a fair number of steelhead for those with enough patience to endure the winter blast.  Live shiners have been the bait of choice.

The heaviest ice fishing activity has been on Misery Bay off of Presque Isle State Park.  A small city of ice shanties dotted the area this past weekend.  Catches were sporadic.  Bluegills, and other sunfish have been easily caught although nothing of any size was observed.  Anglers in search of perch on Presque Isle Bay have been coming up short.  Hopefully it will just be a matter of time before the perch start schooling under the ice.  Ice thickness reports have been varied, although actual measurements in a number of spots varied anywhere from 4 to 7 inches.  Continued cold weather predictions should help the freeze along.
Lebanon County
Trout are biting well through the ice at Stovers Dam in Lebanon.  Red worms and waxworms are producing the best catches at this 26-acre lake, which was stocked most recently in December with rainbows trout.  The ice is currently around 6 inches thick, although this can change daily, especially as weather warms. 

Nearby Memorial Lake in the state park of the same name has been producing perch and northern pike through the ice.  Anglers fishing tip-ups have reported catches of pike up to 25 inches recently.  Largemouth bass have also been taken on minnows suspended below tip-ups.

Perry County
Lake Holman in Little Buffalo State Park has over 6 inches of ice and is open for ice fishing.  Trout, panfish, and muskellunge anglers should have good luck on the lake, provided the weather remains cold and the ice continues to be safe for foot travel.  Check conditions every time before you venture onto the ice.  When fishing tip-ups on this lake, keep thin multi-stranded wire leader material available.  Add six to ten inches to increase your odds of landing the big one if members of the pike family are biting off too many minnow rigs.

York County
The warm water discharge into the Susquehanna River at the  PPL Brunner Island facility has been producing good catches

 of smallmouth bass recently.  Walleyes have also been reported, along with rock bass and channel catfish.  Anglers looking for success should bring minnows as bait for the smallmouth bass and walleyes.  Medium size fathead minnows and small shiners have been working best.  Catfish anglers report nightcrawlers and angleworms are working well. 


Carbon County
Despite extreme cold temperatures and strong winds, some ice anglers have attempted their skills on both Mauch Chunk Lake and Beltzville Lake.  Successful anglers were able to catch panfish at Mauch Chunk Lake.  Ice anglers fishing Beltzville Lake near Wild Creek Cove and Pohopoco Creek Cove near the Preachers Camp Access were able to catch perch in the 8-inch range.  Pickerel were reported being caught near the Wild Creek Cove.


Columbia County
Rainbow trout are being caught in Fishing Creek.  Minnows seem to be the ticket.  Fish them very slowly.

Lackawanna County
The recent cold snap has created ice throughout Lackawanna County.  Where safe ice exists, the fishing has been great.  There have been nice catches of large perch and largemouth bass.  Small treble hooks, tipped with live bait, have been working wonders.  Those anglers choosing to jig have been catching plenty of bluegill and black crappies.


Anglers have been on Lackawanna Lake at Lackawanna State Park along with most of the private lakes in the area.  Merli Sarnoski Lake is still not open to the public because of last year's flooding.

Luzerne County
It finally appears that most lakes have safe ice, but there is next to no fishing pressure.  Fishermen are staying inside because of the extreme cold, probably a wise decision under the current weather conditions.  Although the ice may appear safe, it is a good precaution if possible to call ahead and check ice conditions.  If this isn't possible, then drill test holes and check the thickness.  There was one report from Moon Lake of trout being caught.

Monroe, Pike & Wayne counties

According to the National Park Service, anglers were catching walleye on the Delaware River as far up as Narrowsburg, Wayne County until about two weeks ago.  There is not much activity right now because of ice formation, through these three counties.  If you can find open water, walleyes should continue to be a prime target. 

Monroe County
Ice fishing for perch and walleye has been sporadic on most of the public lakes, like Tobyhanna or Gouldsboro lakes.  Very few ice anglers have been out, probably due to the cold temperatures and wind chill.  On a good note, the ice is fairly thick at around 10 to 11 inches.

There are reports of bass, big pickerel and panfish being caught in good numbers on private lakes in this county.  Tip-ups with minnows and mealworms seem to be the ticket.  Hand jigging with small spinners with the little "panfish eyes" also seems to work well.

Most streams in this county are open, with some ice on the edges.  Use caution around that anchor ice along the edges. 

Pike County
Ice fishing has also been sporadic on favorites like Lake Wallenpaupack and Lower Promised Land Lake.  The cold temperatures and wind have kept the ice anglers inside.  But, the recent artic blast has also made the ice as thick as it has been all year in Northeast Pennsylvania. 

One place to try your luck for trout is Lily Pond near Milford, Pennsylvania.  Access is available off of Route 6 (just east of Route 84).  Setting up tip-ups with minnows a foot off of the bottom will be a good strategy.  Or try jigging with small, heavy spoons like a Kastmaster or Swedish Pimple sweetened with grubs.

Sullivan County
Ice on Hunters Lake is at about 6 to 8 inches.  There are reports of pickerel being caught on the north end of the lake on live shiners.

Susquehanna County
On various small private ponds in northern Susquehanna County there have been good catches of panfish - perch, bluegills and crappies).  Anglers are jigging small, bright teardrops tipped with waxworms or mealworms.  Ice is generally good although there is still some open water in spring areas.  Ice fishermen should be alert to thinner ice conditions.  Also, don't forget that the size limit for bass is now 15 inches.  Read the summary book that comes with each fishing license.  Conservation Officers have run into some out-of-compliance anglers out on the ice.

Wayne County
Ice fishing is now in full swing in northern Wayne County.  The ice is surprisingly only between 6 and 10 inches thick.  The fishing is slow right now throughout the county.  Some sporadic reports of decent fish have been received.

Late Winter Trout stocking to warm Anglers' Hearts

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will stock more than 60,000 trout as part of its Late Winter Adult Trout Stocking Program, delivering fish to 53 waters across 35 different counties.  The stockings will begin the week of January 26, 2003 and continue through the month of February. 


Anglers should take note of the newly revised schedule, available in the "Fishing" section of the Commission’s website at www.fish.state.pa.us .  The current schedule contains nearly two dozen date changes from the original schedule published in the spring of 2003.


All fish harvested from the affected waters are subject to

Extended Trout Season rules. Trout must be a minimum of 7" in length and no more than three per day may be taken. Anglers 16 years of age or older who wish to fish for trout must display on an outside garment both a valid fishing license and Trout/Salmon stamp attached to their license. The 2004 Pennsylvania Fishing Licenses and Trout/Salmon Stamps are now available at more than 1,600 issuing agents statewide and via the "Outdoor Shop" on the Commission’s web site.


Waters included in the program are also open for an additional month of trout fishing. Trout angling is permitted in March on these waters while most other trout-stocked waters close to fishing at the end of February in preparation for the traditional Opening Day of the season.

Ice Fishing Clinics offered

Take a crack at Ice fishing

Why would seemingly normal people be willing leave the comfort of their homes to congregate on the slippery surface of a frozen lake, braving arctic temperatures and biting winds to peer anxiously into a watery hole?  Maybe it’s because they’ve already figured out what some anglers haven’t yet – ice fishing is fun and effective. For those interested in learning more about this sometimes overlooked form of fishing, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is offering instruction.


The Commission has scheduled six upcoming ice fishing clinics.  Participants will learn basic ice safety, get an explanation of the different types of ice fishing gear and some practical lessons in various ice fishing techniques.  Don't have any ice fishing gear?  That's okay, just bring yourself.  Equipment will be provided by the PFBC thanks to donations from outdoor retailer Gander Mountain, and tackle

manufacturers Pure Fishing and Shakespeare.


For more info call the number after each listing.

Moon Lake, Luzerne County, Jan 31, 8 a.m.  570-735-6303

R.B. Winter State Park, Union County, Feb 1, noon – 4 p.m. 570-966-1455

Nescopeck State Park, Luzerne County, Feb 7, 10 - 4 p.m. at.  570-403-2006

Parker Dam State Park, Clearfield County, Feb 7 & 8, 9 AM  814-765-0630

Pymatuning State Park, Crawford County, Feb. 7, 9 - 6 p.m. & Feb. 8, 10 - 4 p.m. 724-927-6634

Hills Creek State Park, Tioga County, Feb 14, 10 - 3 p.m. 570-724-4246


So just how effective can ice fishing be?  Two recent state record fish – an 8 lb 14.8 oz chain pickerel and a 35 lb northern pike – were caught by ice anglers.  Now that’s fun!

Fish And Boat Commission Winter Meeting - Jan 26-27

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will hold its winter quarterly meeting January 26-27 at agency headquarters, 1601 Elmerton Avenue in Harrisburg.  Commission committees will meet on Monday, January 26 beginning at 11 a.m. and Tuesday, January 27, beginning at 8 a.m. The formal agenda session will begin at or about 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday.  It is possible that Commission action on some agenda items may be undertaken during other portions of the advertised public meeting.  All committee meetings and the review of the agenda are open to the public and attendance is encouraged.


Among the items to be considered at the meeting is the proposed designation of right watersheds into the recently created Wild Brook Trout Enhancement Program.   The concept is to eliminate the effect that harvest may have on wild brook trout populations and to increase the abundance of older and larger wild brook trout.  Under these regulations, catch-and-release angling applies to brook trout at all times while the harvest of all other trout species is governed by statewide season, size and creel limits.  To appeal to a broader base of anglers, these waters are open to angling on

a year-round basis, with no special tackle restrictions.  The regulations are applied on a watershed basin level (main stem and all tributaries) or to a portion of the basin in order to provide increased protection for wild brook trout over a larger area.


The Commission is considering adding Birch Run, Potter County; Jeans Run, Carbon County; Kistler Run, Monroe County; Lyman Run, Potter County; Minister Creek, Forest and Warren Counties; Shaeffer Run, Perry County; Camp Run, Westmoreland County and Wolf Swamp Run, Monroe County to program.


Among the other items the Commission will also consider are a proposal to allow the use all legal tackle types on Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only areas during the period of June 15 through Labor Day, a grant to the Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority to construct a public fishing pier and rulemaking clarifying the maximum number of devices that may be used while ice fishing.


The complete agenda for the meeting can be found on the Commission’s web site at www.fish.state.pa.us .

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