Week of January 28, 2008
Glenwood Springs, Colo. Tops List -
New York, NY- January 17, 2008-Field & Stream, the world’s leading outdoor publication, has released a list of America’s Top 20 Fishing Towns in their February 2008 issue. The magazine polled the nation’s top angling professionals to determine the list, comprised of towns with populations of 100,000 or less. The February issue of Field & Stream is on newsstands January 23 with expanded information available online at www.FieldandStream.com/fishingtowns.
“These are the best places to live if you live to fish,” said Anthony Licata, Editor of Field & Stream. “If you’re dreaming of life in an affordable, smaller town with an authentic fishing community and great quality of life, then pack your bags because these 20 are hands down the top options.”
Glenwood Springs, Colo., two-and-a-half hours west of Denver, took top honors on the list. Located in the center of the state’s best fishing, the Roaring Fork and Colorado Rivers merge in downtown Glenwood, offering blue-ribbon trout waters and world-class flyfishing options year-round. Glenwood boasts 300 days of sunshine a year, stunning scenery, and multiple hot springs, perfect for relaxing in after a hard day of fishing. Residents have access to a diversity of culturally-rich options in town and in nearby Aspen, which is located just far enough away to keep prices relatively affordable.
Mountain Home, Ark., at number two, heads a list of four Southeastern towns in the top 10, more then any other geographical region. The fishing diversity of Traverse City, Mich., on the Great Lakes with dozens of rivers and natural lakes, took third. Montana claimed two spots in the list, with Bozeman coming in at fourth and Missoula taking the 11th spot. Minocqua, Wis., located five hours from Milwaukee, is the most remote spot in the top 10, coming in at number five. Largely undiscovered by Florida’s many tourists, Apalachicola, at number six, is the highest ranking town on the Atlantic Coast. Seventh on the list, Nantucket, Mass., has a long seafaring tradition and is the only island in the top 20. Bend, Ore., eighth, Guntersville, Ala., ninth, and Morehead City, N.C.
tenth, round out the top 10.
“A year ago we profiled the best fishing cities,” said Licata. “Not everyone is looking for the urban life, and this list is a great counterpoint to that. In the end, we were happy to discover exactly what we thought all along, that America is really brimming with great fishing opportunities and a thriving angling culture.”
Towns were judged on the availability of year-round fishing opportunities, cost of living, fishing culture and outdoor related economy, quality of life and diversions other than fishing. The towns range in size from single-stoplight crossroads to boomtowns, all with populations under 100,000. Field & Stream consulted multiple outdoor writers and editors as well as professional anglers and fishing guides for the list.
For more info on Field & Stream’s Best Fishing Towns, please see the February issue or www.FieldandStream.com/fishingtowns
Field & Stream's best fishing towns:
Glenwood Springs, Colo.
Mountain Home, Ark.
Traverse City, Mich.
Morehead City, N.C.
11. Missoula, Mont.
12. Ely, Minn.
13. Page, Ariz.
14. Driggs, Idaho
15. Jasper, Texas
16. Tahlequah, Okla.
17. Beaufort, S.C.
18. Eufaula, Ala.
19. Redding, Calif.
Citizen Prosecution Brought for Mercury Contamination of St. Clair Watershed
SARNIA, ONTARIO - A Canadian Court has given the green light for the prosecution of a U.S. energy company. On Wednesday, the Superior Court of Justice in Sarnia, Ontario issued an order directing a lower court to summon DTE Energy to face charges for poisoning the St. Clair River with dangerous amounts of mercury. Michigan's DTE Energy Company is being charged for its role in polluting the St. Clair River with mercury. Scott Edwards, a Canadian citizen, filed charges last year alleging that DTE Energy's coal-fired energy complex on the banks of the St. Clair River has been violating Canada's Fisheries Act for two years.
Detroit Edison, a wholly owned subsidiary of DTE, operates the St. Clair/Belle River coal-fired power plant complex in eastern Michigan. Monitoring data show that these facilities emit significant amounts of mercury each year, with more than half landing locally in Canada and the St. Clair watershed. When the mercury enters the St. Clair River, it spreads throughout the food chain, harmfully altering fish habitat and rendering fish unsafe for human consumption, which is a violation of Canadian fisheries law. Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin; a single gram of mercury per year is enough to contaminate a 25-acre lake to the point that fish are unsafe to eat.
Currently, both the Canadian and U.S. sides of the St. Clair are subject to highly restrictive fish consumption advisories because of elevated levels of mercury. Native populations along the Canadian side of the river have had their
commercial fishing rights stripped away because of the
devastating neurological effects on developing fetuses and young children that can result from eating mercury-contaminated fish.
Edwards launched the private prosecution in March of 2007. "DTE has acted with a blatant disregard for the health and welfare of Canadian citizens and Canadian law," states Edwards. "My hope is that this prosecution will result in significant reductions in DTE Energy's mercury emissions and a cleaner and safer St. Clair River." Private prosecutions allow any Canadian citizen to independently prosecute offences in the criminal courts, and potential fines under the Fisheries Act can be up to $1-million a day.
"What makes this even more egregious," adds Edwards, "is that DTE could stop poisoning local residents with mercury tomorrow if it wanted to." A US Department of Energy-sponsored test of pollution control technology in 2004 reduced mercury emissions at the St. Clair plant by 94%. At the conclusion of the 30-day test, DTE Energy stopped using the mercury control technology and today continues its mercury emissions unabated.
Scott Edwards is the Legal Director for Waterkeeper Alliance, an international coalition of 172 grassroots environmental groups, and a leading authority on mercury pollution. He is being aided by three other affiliates of Waterkeeper Alliance, Mark Mattson, Doug Chapman and Doug Martz. Mark Mattson is lead investigator and the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, and Doug Martz is the St. Clair Channelkeeper. Doug Chapman, the Fraser Riverkeeper, and Craig Parry, a criminal lawyer based in Ontario, are co-counsel.
A devastating virus that has killed thousands of fish in the Great Lakes over the past few years is different from other strains of the same virus found in Europe and the West Coast of the US, according to new genetic research by the U.S. Geological Survey. The Great Lakes' strain of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) is the only strain outside of Europe that has been associated with significant die-offs of freshwater fish species.
VHSV is a rhabdovirus that is the causative agent of one of the most dangerous viral diseases of fish, said Dr. Jim Winton, a fisheries scientist at the USGS Western Fisheries Research Center (WFRC) in Seattle. The virus belongs to a family of viruses that includes rabies. The disease causes internal bleeding in fish, but is not harmful to people.
Winton and co-authors Gael Kurath and William Batts recently authored a new USGS fact sheet that describes important genetic information about isolates of VHSV from Great Lakes region (see Molecular Epidemiology of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus in the Great Lakes Region factsheet).Other strains of the VHS virus are found in continental Europe, North Pacific Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, Baltic Sea and North Sea.
"This Great Lakes strain appears to have an exceptionally broad host range," said Winton. "Significant die-offs have occurred in muskellunge, freshwater drum, yellow perch, round goby, emerald shiners and gizzard shad."
Genetic research at the WFRC and by colleagues from
Canada showed that this strain of the virus was probably introduced into the Great Lakes in the last 5 to 10 years, and that the fish die-offs occurring among different species and in different lakes should be considered as one large ongoing epidemic. The USGS genetic research also indicated that the Great Lakes' strain of the virus was not from Europe, where three other strains of the virus occur, but more likely had its origin among marine or estuarine fish of the Atlantic seaboard of North America. The strain is genetically most like samples of VHSV recovered during 2000-2004 from diseased fish in areas of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada.
The Great Lakes' strain has now been isolated from more than 25 species of fish in Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Saint Lawrence River and from inland lakes in New York, Michigan and Wisconsin. Experts fear the disease could potentially spread from the Great Lakes into new populations of native fish in the 31 states of the Mississippi River basin. Also, if VHS virus is introduced into the aquaculture industry, it could lead to trade restrictions as well as direct losses from the disease.
Regulatory agencies in the United States and Canada have already placed restrictions on the movement of fish or fish products that could pose a risk for the spread of VHS virus to regions outside of the known geographic range. These restrictions include requirements for viral examinations by standard methods.
For more info on how to detect and confirm VHS virus: Fisheries: Aquatic and Endangered Resources Program.
After an Absence of Almost a Century
USFWS Fisheries Biologists James Boase and Jim McFee, in conjunction with United States Geological Survey (USGS), completed a third year of pre-assessment lake whitefish survey work on the Detroit River. Sampling was conducted from mid-October through early December in both US and Canadian waters focusing particular attention on areas near Fighting Island and at the mouth of the Detroit River where it empties into Lake Erie. The location near Fighting Island will be the site of an artificial spawning reef to be constructed in 2008.
The first whitefish adults were captured in the river in the fall of 2005 but we were unable to capture adults in the river in 2006 despite an increase in sampling effort. During the same period Lake Whitefish eggs were collected throughout the river using a combination of egg-mats and by sucking the eggs off of the bottom using a diaphragm pump. In the spring of 2006 and 2007 larval whitefish were collected after they hatched from eggs and began drifting in the water column.
These findings helped identify locations in the river to focus effort to capture more adults in the fall of 2007 and as a result we were able to capture 13 spawning adult lake whitefish.
All eggs and larvae captured each year have been incubated and reared by researchers at the USGS Great Lakes Science Center. In the fall of 2006 and 2007 they were released back into the Detroit River in ceremonies commemorating the positive changes that have been taking place on the Detroit
River and have been attended by such dignitaries as Congressman John D. Dingell (MI 15), Congressman John Conyers (MI 14), Member of Canadian Parliament Jeff Watson, Canadian Consul General Robert Noble, along with number of local, state and municipal politicians.
Whitefish are currently the most sought after commercial species in the Great Lakes and at one time they were harvested in huge numbers in Lake Erie. Historically the Detroit River supported a very large spawning population of Lake Whitefish and it has been almost a century since Lake Whitefish spawning has been documented in the river. The fishery collapsed for a number of reasons but spawning habitat loss and pollution were identified as primary reasons for the decline. At the turn of the century the Detroit River supported huge numbers of spawning whitefish because at that time the river was composed of many braided, shallow channels. Those historical channels were composed primarily of limestone bedrock, rock and gravel, habitats that are needed for successful spawning by not only whitefish but also many other species of native fish like lake sturgeon and walleye.
Construction of the artificial reef at Fighting Island is one of the first international efforts directed at replacing some of that lost habitat in the river. The amount of pollution in the river has slowly declined since the U.S. Clean Water Act and U.S. – Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement were both signed in 1972. Ultimately the goal is to clean up the river and provide adequate habitat that will eventually lead to the re-establishment of species like whitefish and lake sturgeon.
Hall of Fame Outdoor Writer
Writer, editor, publisher, educator and long time personal friend and associate of the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council, Bob Schmidt passed away on January 12, 2008.
Bob’s greatest love was writing about the outdoors. Author of several books and publications on fishing and camping, he was recently inducted into the Fishing Water Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, WI as a communicator. As a Life Member of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers, he served as President and Editor of Horizons, the publication of AGLOW. His clients included the Illinois Department of Conservation, Fishing Tackle Trade News, American Fishing Tackle Manufacturers Assn. and Fishing Facts Magazine.
As the first editor of In-Fisherman Magazine, he launched one of the most successful fishing publications ever produced. He was also one of the founding board members of Salmon Unlimited and an active participant in the founding of the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council. Bob and his wife Ginger, authored several books on camping and travel around the Great Lakes and was a long time member of the editorial staff of Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council and Outdoor Notebook.
An angler, traveling companion and close personal friend of this editor, Bob is survived by his wife Ginger, and four children, Michael, Robert Jr., David and Kathleen.
Members of the Cook County Board of Commissioners have proposed ordinances banning the sale of firearms, certain accessories and ammunition. If enacted, these bans proposed by Commissioners Larry Suffredin and William M. Beavers would, in effect, threaten to put Cabela's and other retailers out of business. This ban would not only negatively affect businesses that sell firearms and related items in the Chicagoland area, but also, and more importantly, outdoor and gun enthusiasts who wish to purchase these types of products
The Hoffman Estates Cabela's alone employs more than 300
people, of which two-thirds are Cook County residents. The
future of these employees would be uncertain if the proposed ordinances pass. These employees command nearly $4 million in wages - and an additional $1 million in employee benefits - that the local economy would lose out on. Also at risk is the tax revenue generated annually by our Hoffman Estates store: $675,000 to Cook County; $1.8 million to Hoffman Estates; more than $3 million to the state of Illinois. Educationally, the community, including school groups, and other organizations, would lose out on the highly important natural history exhibits, tours and learning opportunities currently available at the Hoffman Estates Cabela's.
The Department of Natural Resources will host an informational meeting on Thursday, Jan. 31, to provide information and receive public comment on boundaries for proposed management areas in the Northern Lower Peninsula Eco-region. The meeting will be held at 1 p.m. at the DNR Gaylord Operations Services Center located at 1732 W. M-32 in Gaylord.
Management area planning will be incorporated into the Regional State Forest Management Plans and will help the DNR to provide landscape-level analyses and direction to guide operational decisions made at each Forest Management Unit through the existing compartment review process. In the compartment review process, small portions of state forestland are reviewed for treatment measures, such as thinning or clear-cutting. Management areas will group compartments of state forestland that have similar attributes, such as vegetation types, proximity to key user markets or
For area maps and other info: www.michigan.gov/dnr/ecosystems. A link is provided to the information on the DNR's front page.
Persons not able to attend the meeting or wishing to respond in writing may send correspondence by Feb. 15, by email to DNR-NLP-Eco-Team@michigan.gov, or by postal mail to: NLP Eco-team, DNR Gaylord OSC, 1732 W. M-32, Gaylord, MI 49735.
"These management areas will provide a framework upon which a Northern Lower Peninsula Regional State Forest Management Plan will be based for the next 10-year period," said David Graham, chairman of the DNR Northern Lower Peninsula Ecoteam. "Future public meetings will provide detailed information on the management direction for the management areas. Public input will be part of the planning process during the entire planning period.
Jim Ekdahl, Upper Peninsula field deputy for the Michigan DNR, retired last week after more than 33 years of state service. He worked his early career as a conservation officer, serving in field and supervisory positions in Norway, Sault Ste. Marie, Pontiac, Lansing and Baraga. In 1994, Ekdahl was named the DNR's first statewide coordinator for Native American issues, responsibilities he kept for the remainder of his career.
"Jim's dedication to the DNR has been exemplary," said DNR Director Rebecca Humphries. "His ability to work on highly
complex matters and gain consensus on major issues, especially in the realm of tribal rights, has been critical to helping the state successfully achieve a desirable outcome for both the citizens of Michigan and the tribes."
As Upper Peninsula Field Deputy, Ekdahl served as the DNR Director's chief representative in the U.P. and had administrative responsibility for DNR operations in the region. Upon retirement, Ekdahl and his wife, Peg, intend to settle in their Baraga County home and he is looking forward to more time with family, friends and his special interests in the outdoors.
The DEC just released the following egg take report for Lake Ontario, explaining the chinook egg take situation in 2007. “In 2007, the collection of Chinook and Coho salmon eggs at the New York DEC Salmon River Hatchery was adversely affected
by extreme environmental conditions. The lower egg take will
result in reduced stocking for Chinook salmon in 2008. This document characterizes conditions leading to the events of 2007 and the Department's response, and describes changes to stocking in 2008 and the expected effects on fishing quality on Lake Ontario.”
Nearly 700 Ohio student archers will compete on February 29
COLUMBUS, OH - Nearly 700 students from all over Ohio will compete in the state's second annual National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) State Tournament, scheduled for Friday, February 29, at Veterans Memorial, 300 W. Broad St., Columbus.
The tournament will once again be held in conjunction with the annual Arnold Sports Festival, spearheaded by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife, which oversees the statewide program. Participants will compete for individual and team awards in high school, middle school, and elementary school divisions. The top-finishing team in each division will represent Ohio in Louisville, Kentucky at the NASP National Competition in June.
"This is an excellent opportunity for students and teams that
participate in the program to showcase their hard work and dedication," stated Kevin Dixon, shooting sports coordinator
for the Division of Wildlife. "This tournament will not only give students the chance to experience competitive shooting, but will also introduce like-minded students from across the state who are interested in archery."
The NASP program is rapidly growing and gaining popularity among both students and educators. It was introduced into 17 Ohio schools in 2004. More than 200 Ohio schools now have teachers certified to instruct target archery. The first NASP program was launched in Kentucky in 2002. Since that date, more than 40 U.S. states and Australia have adopted it.
NASP teaches target archery to elementary, middle and high school students, right in the school gym. The curriculum covers archery, safety, equipment, technique, concentration skills and self-improvement. When students are introduced to the sport of archery, the in-school educational component is only the beginning. Many NASP-participating schools then start after-school programs and archery teams.
The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the GLSFC, its officers or staff.
Reproduction of any material by paid-up members of the GLSFC is encouraged but appropriate credit must be given.
Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.
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