January 27, 2003

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MN introduces Lead Ban Bill

   In late breaking news two MN Senators - Bakk and Prettner-Solon have introduced (SF#23) to ban the use of lead by anglers in Minnesota. The bill says: "An angler may not use a lead sinker to take fish on any waters lying wholly within the state or any portion of boundary waters

within the jurisdiction of the state.  A person may not sell

or offer to sell a lead sinker in the state.  For purposes of this section, "lead sinker" means a device that:  (1) contains lead; (2) weighs one ounce or less; (3) is designed to be attached to a fishing line; and (4) is intended to sink the fishing line.

Hearing to address organized activities on Lake Wawasee and Syracuse Lake

   Two Indiana public hearings on administrative rules governing organized activities and tournaments on public waters are scheduled for next week.


The meetings will take place:


January 27 - 6 p.m.

Oakwood Inn Conference Room

702 East Lake View Road

Syracuse, IN


January 29 - 9 a.m.

Indiana Government Center South

Conference Center, Training Room C2

Indianapolis, IN


   The package of proposed amendments addresses boating activities on Lake Wawasee and Syracuse Lake.  Some amendments have universal application to all Indiana public waters.


   This is the first effort to regulate boating activities on natural lakes. Previous regulations of this type were done exclusively on DNR-controlled reservoirs.  The rule change

was initiated by local residents concerned about increasing use of the natural lake by large groups and events.


   "We have been working closely with a variety of people and groups from lake residents to bass anglers to develop these changes," said Sam Purvis of DNR Law Enforcement. The public hearings are an opportunity to comment on the proposed regulations before they are considered for final adoption by the Natural Resources Commission.


The rule amendment can be downloaded at: http://www.in.gov/legislative/register/January-1-2003.html

(See #02-236)


   Public comments on the proposed amendments can be sent to:  DNR Division of Hearings, Indiana Gov't Center South, 402 West Washington, Rm. 272. Indianapolis, IN 46204


The deadline for public comment is Feb. 14, 2003.


   Individuals who need reasonable modifications to participate in the hearing should contact Sam Purvis at (317) 232-4010. A 72-hour advance notice is requested.

Indiana Fishing Report

Cold weather fuels ice fishing fever

   This week's super-frigid weather has kicked ice fishing season into overdrive for much of northern and central Indiana.  Perennial perch fishing favorite Summit Lake, near New Castle, reports 8 inches of ice has formed over deeper waters where cold perch like to hide. "Most perch are being caught in 25- to 30-foot-deep water using insect larvae like beemoths or spikes as bait," said assistant property manager Dan Robinson.


   Tri-County Fish and Wildlife Area in northeast Indiana reports herds of ice anglers on property ponds, while Atterbury FWA in central Indiana reports 4 to 5 inches of ice on property ponds.  "Anglers have been able to get out on the ponds for about a week," said property manager Cary Schuyler.


   Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge opened refuge lakes to ice fishing on Thursday. Minnehaha FWA reports frozen small ponds, but larger lakes are still dangerous. Anglers are ice fishing on Glendale FWA ponds and on Dogwood Lake bays, but the middle of Dogwood Lake remains unfrozen. Monroe

Lake reports bays are frozen, but most of the lake is still very hazardous.


   Except for small farm ponds, most of far southern Indiana's lakes remain un-icefishable. Deam Lake reports very thin ice and Hardy Lake still has lots of open water. Indiana Rivers remain dangerous ice fishing bets throughout the winter.


   DNR fisheries chief Bill James reminds anglers that playing or fishing on ice can be dangerous.  "Every year, several Hoosiers drown after falling through thin ice," cautioned James. "Just like driving on snow, every year Hoosiers need to take a few minutes to re-learn how to have safe fun on ice."


Ice fishing safety tips: http://www.IN.gov/dnr/fishwild/fish/fishing/ice.htm


Where to fish in Indiana: http://www.IN.gov/dnr/fishwild/fish/fishng/county3.html

Coast Guard gets early Christmas gift - Three new 25 ft boats arrive in Chicago      CHICAGOó Three of the Coast Guardís newest response boats have arrived in Chicago. The 25 ft Homeland Security Response Boat (RB-HS) is designed to support multiple missions such as homeland security, search and rescue, law enforcement and marine environmental protection.  Two of these new craft will be located at Coast Guard Station Calumet Harbor. The other one will be located at Coast Guard Station Wilmette Harbor.

   The multi-mission RB-HS is a 25-ft aluminum boat with bright orange flotation collars, machine-gun mounts, and is powered by twin outboard 250 HP Honda engines.  They are capable of carrying 10 persons onboard, and move at speeds up to 52 m.p.h.  Coast Guard crews began using the new boats immediately.


   By the end of next year, most of the 47 other regional Coast Guard stations will receive at least one boat.

Risley named Wildlife Administrator for ODOW

COLUMBUS, OH - Dave Risley, a 23-year veteran with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), has been named executive administrator for the departmentís wildlife management programs. He replaced Pat Ruble who retired Dec 31.

   Risley will coordinate all aspects of the ODNR Division of Wildlifeís wildlife managementís efforts, including management of 170,000 acres of state wildlife areas. In addition, he will supervise research, surveying and monitoring of Ohioís native wildlife species.  Risley is a longtime member and past president of the Ohio Chapter of the Wildlife Society.

Illinois names new Chief of DNR Law Enforcement

SPRINGFIELD. - Thomas J. Wakolbinger, a career law enforcement officer, is the new Chief of Law Enforcement for the Illinois DNR, DNR Director Brent Manning announced late last month.


   "Wakolbinger is a long-term professional within the agency who has demonstrated tremendous law enforcement, management and administrative abilities," Manning said. "He has the respect of our field officers and is simply one of our best."


   Wakolbinger, 49, of Springfield began his career in 1976 as a conservation police officer with the Department and has risen through the ranks, holding a variety of posts

since that time. Heís been a mounted patrol officer, an

information officer, a district sergeant supervising officers in six counties, investigative unit commander, assistant deputy chief of field operations, deputy chief of support services, deputy chief of field operations and chief of field operations.


   Wakolbinger is a 1999 graduate of the FBI National Academy. As chairman of a national committee, he oversaw the development and delivery of boat accident training for officers across the country and an information sharing program for accident information between the states and the U.S. Coast Guard. He also represented DNR in the past three union contract negotiations.


Granholm makes appointments to DEQ

LANSING -- Governor-elect Jennifer Granholm has appointed an environmental lawyer to head the state Department of Environmental Quality.  Steven Chester,

 who was the deputy director of criminal enforcement for the USEPA under Clinton, was nominated to head the department.

Madison lawyer - an avid hunter and fisher - to lead WI DNR

   A Madison lawyer who loves to fish for musky and hunt deer will be the next secretary of the WI DNR, Gov.-elect Jim Doyle announced December 23. Scott Hassett, 52, a partner and attorney for 22 years at Lawton & Cates in Madison, was described by Doyle as a "truly passionate champion of natural resources."  In his 22 years of legal practice in Madison, Hassett has handled civil, criminal and employment litigation. He has also taken on environmental cases, including suits involving pollution and toxic waste.

   Hassett is also a former chairman and current member of the board of directors of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. The foundation awards grants for environmental and educational projects and has been a major contributor to the effort to restore the endangered whooping crane to the state.


   Hassett is a member of several outdoor sporting organizations and served as the political adviser and lawyer for Muskies Inc.


New Ruffe Expansion

Keweenaw and Lake Michigan

   The Keweenaw Waterway and Lake Michigan have been invaded by the Eurasian ruffe. This exotic fish was initially found in the Duluth/Superior harbor in 1986, where the U.S.G.S Lake Superior Biological Station tracked its population explosion through the 1990s.


   This past September, during a routine surveillance survey in waters off Escanaba, Michigan, FWS biologists from the Ashland Fishery Resources office (FRO) captured one adult Eurasian ruffe.  This is the first confirmed finding of a ruffe in Lake Michigan.

   Just two weeks later, another survey made a significant ruffe discovery in Lake Superior.  In cooperation with the Michigan DNR, FWS captured two additional ruffe in Little Bay de Noc. One adult ruffe was captured in a bottom trawl from Escanaba harbor near the site of the original ruffe discovery. A juvenile ruffe was also captured in a bottom trawl north of Gladstone, Michigan, six miles north of the capture site in Escanaba harbor. The capture of both adult and juvenile ruffe suggests that ruffe reproduction may be occurring in Lake Michigan.  Also this fall, a male ruffe was captured in the River Sloughs, of the Keweenaw Waterway.  This discovery represents a range expansion of 63 miles from the Ontonagon River, MI.

Is the WI DNR really short of money?

They may have been able to contain the ruffe years ago

By Louie Kowieski

   The finding of one five inch female Eurasian ruffe in the pilings at Escanaba does not bode well for Green Bay, Lake Michigan and the waters of the entire state.


   Until now the cold water of Keweenaw Peninsula in Lake Superior has acted as a barrier to the expansion of this detrimental exotic species by moving through the shore system of the lake.  Without barriers itís only a matter of time until they travel and proliferate our lakes, streams, and rivers.


   If only Congressman Obey, Jim Addis and Bill Horns would have allowed for the experimental treatment of ruffe using a Baylucide-TFM mixture a few years back. Chances are we would have been able to create a dosage mixture that could have been used as a model for future applications. THE USFWS had set aside $60,000+ to fund

the project and the aforementioned people were

responsible for killing the entire project. There probably would have been residual kill of other species in the target water, but now we have no data and no money. I admit to using hindsight, however the people responsible used no foresight to the future of an uncontrolled ruffe expansion.


   I have said it before and I will say it again, 'When responsible government entities do not take reasonable measure to provide for the public good the result is malfeasance.'


   Wisconsin has the distinct record of having the first discovered population of Eurasian ruffe in the United States and having done no meaningful abatement measures other than bait-bucket expansion ban rules. Wisconsinís failure with ruffe is documented in the Ruffe Control Committee minutes since day one. Now itís truly too late and generations to come will look back with hindsight and mutter, "What the hell were they thinking?"


Deputy Director Marshall Jones selected by Bush for Presidential Rank award

   Marshall Jones, deputy director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been selected by President Bush as a recipient of a Presidential Rank Award, a prize awarded annually to a select number of career senior executives to recognize exceptional long-term accomplishments.


   When Administrations changed in January 2001, Jones led the 8,000 employee Fish and Wildlife Service for more than a year while Steve Williams of Kansas was awaiting confirmation as the agency's new director.


   As Acting Director, Jones moved quickly to promote a new relationship between the states and the Service, instituting biweekly meetings throughout the year with State leaders to discuss issues of mutual concern and challenging all the agency's senior executives to do likewise in their own regions and program areas.  The push to build bridges to the states was not new for Jones, he had done the same thing when he managed the Service's

International Affairs program.


   Jones also worked tirelessly to improve the Service's relationship with its employees. In one of his most ambitious efforts, he managed to meet personally with nearly 15 percent of the agency's total workforce to gather information and answer questions during the transition period.


   At the same time, Jones pushed to actively recruit and mentor minority employees and helped the Service become a leader within the Department of the Interior in that area, selecting the Service's first female African-American for a Senior Executive Service (SES) slot.  Jones has also pushed hard for management reform, implementing changes that link senior managers' performance evaluations to accomplishment of strategic goals.  He also moved vigorously to revitalize the agency's struggling fisheries program, asking the Sport Fishing and  Boating Partnership Council to help develop a new fisheries strategic vision.


   "Marshall Jones set the standard for civil servants who are thrust into the political arena as acting directors, knowing that the job is temporary and that they would return to their old jobs in a matter of time," said Service Director Williams.  "His diligence, foresight and extremely

conscientious management went a long way to making my transition relatively easy.  He is an enormous credit to this agency."


   In 1998, Jones initiated a long term, Service-wide effort to streamline wildlife permit programs.  He pioneered the use of risk assessments to adjust the information required from applicants, balancing the need for protection of endangered species with the benefits of commercial trade in species that are not at risk.


   As Assistant Director for International Affairs prior to moving to the director's immediate staff, Jones administered the Service's involvement in bilateral and multilateral conservation efforts, including the U.S. Management and Scientific Authorities for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Ramsar Wetlands Convention and the listing of foreign species and administration of international wildlife permits under U.S. conservation laws.  He also administered programs that assist conservation efforts for elephants, tigers, rhinos, migratory birds and other species around the world.


   Jones has also served in Washington as chief of the CITES Management Authority from 1999_1994; as Acting Chief of the division of Ecological Services in 1987; in the Service's Southeast Region as Chief of the Regional Endangered Species Division from 1984_1987 and before that, as a comprehensive planning specialist in the Regional Division of Federal Aid; and as Acting Chief of the Endangered Species Division in the Service's Regional Office in Denver in 1978.  He began his career as a biologist and technical writer in the Office of Endangered Species in Washington, D.C., in 1975.


   Jones' 29 years of federal service includes stints with the U.S. Army and with the Tennessee Valley Authority.


   Jones majored in zoology and English at the University of Michigan, received an MS degree in vertebrate ecology from Murray State University in Kentucky and did additional graduate work at Cornell University.  He served with the U.S. Army from 1969 to 1971.  He lives in Washington, Virginia, with his wife, Cornelia Clay Fulghum, a writer from Augusta, Georgia, and has a daughter, Erin Jones, of Nashville.

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