Week of January 29, 2007

 

National

Regional

General

Lake Huron

Lake Erie

2nd Amendment issue

Illinois

Michigan

Ohio

 

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National

Coast Guard seeks comments on Loran system 

May discontinue system beyond December 2007

www.navcen.uscg.gov/eLORAN/E6-22421.pdf

On January 8 the US Coast Guard and Dept of Transportation, in conjunction with the Homeland Security Department, asked for public input in the Federal Register on whether to shut down the 24-station Loran system operated by the Coast Guard, or to develop a fully deployed enhanced Loran (eLoran) system that could serve as a GPS backup. Comments are due Feb. 7.

 

The Department of Homeland Security had zeroed out funding for the continuation of the Loran in its 2007 fiscal year budget, but Congress voted to put the money back in for one year. Congress has provided the Coast Guard with $160 million in funding to modernize the 1997 Loran system, and upgraded eLoran stations can provide location accuracies as good as GPS, according to a recent United Kingdom study.

 

Anglers, boaters, pilots, etc have an opportunity to sound off about the possible deactivation of the Loran system. The Coast Guard is requesting public comments on the issue until Feb. 7. The agency will then evaluate the future use of the system.

 

China’s test last week of an anti-satellite missile reinforced the need to continue operation of the ground-based long-range Loran  system as backup to the space-based Global Positioning System (GPS).

 

According to the Federal Register, “Future investment decisions might include: Decommissioning the LORAN–C system, maintaining the LORAN–C system as currently

configured, or developing a fully deployed Enhanced LORAN (eLORAN) system.”

 

Comments may be submitted by  using the Coast Guard docket number USCG  24685 to the Docket Management Facility at the U.S. Department of Transportation by one of the following methods:

 

(1) Web Site: http://dms.dot.gov  - 24685    http://dms.dot.gov/search/searchResultsSimple.cfm

 

(2) Mail:

Docket Management Facility,

U.S. Department of Transportation,

400 Seventh Street, SW

Washington, DC  20590–0001

 

(3) Fax: 202–493–2251

 

If you submit a comment, include your name and address, identify the docket number for this notice (USCG–2006–24685) and

give the reason for each comment.  You may obtain a copy of this notice by calling the U.S. Coast Guard Infoline at 800–368–5647 or read it on the Internet on the Coast Guard Navigation Center Web site at www.navcen.uscg.gov  or at http://dms.dot.gov .

 

It’s also available right here:   www.navcen.uscg.gov/eLORAN/E6-22421.pdf

 

Remember, your comments are due by February 8


New passport requirements January 23, 2007

Rules may impact fishing Canadian or offshore waters

The rules that were supposed to go into effect January 23, have been postponed to allow those who ignored the law re-entry into their home country without the document – but not without a royal chewing out and threat of denying them entry next time, if they don’t have the necessary document(s).

 

Customs says they will deny entry to those who do NOT have a valid passport, but that is not true. What Customs folks really mean is they can and will delay your re-entry and make life so miserable and tough on those who ignored the law, that you miscreants will have to jump thru so many hoops to get the necessary documents while stranded in a foreign country. It may take literally days or weeks to get back in, and they will be sorry they chose to ignore the new requirements.

 

Basically, you will have to prove to embassy or consulate

officials that you are in fact a U.S. citizen and deserve the “right” to re-entry. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to calculate the time and effort it will take to prove your citizenship status

and acquire these documents while you are spending money for lodging and meals – in a foreign country, to wait while the documents are retrieved. So what if you have a driver’s license – so do millions of undocumented illegals; so what if you have a voter’s registration card; again, so do millions of undocumented illegals.

 

And if you move back and forth thru the international border in the Lake of the Woods, or Lake Erie, or Lake Ontario, etc, etc, without proper documentation you could and probably will be fined big time for flaunting and ignoring federal/international laws. 

 

Bottom line, get a valid passport and carry it; to ignore this law you do so at your own peril.


Coast Guard rescues three from Ice Floe

Warns need for extreme caution on ice

SAGINAW BAY, MI. - The U.S. Coast Guard on January 20 rescued three people that were stranded on an ice flow in Saginaw Bay . 

A Coast Guard Air Station Detroit HH65 rescue helicopter and a Coast Guard Station Saginaw Bay 20-foot airboat were dispatched to respond to the adrift people.  The Coast Guard was notified via a cell phone the people were carrying. 

 

Once on scene, the Coast Guard was able to safely pull the

two adults and one child into the 20' airboat.  All three were transferred to local Emergency Medical Services and were reported in good condition. 

 

The Coast Guard would like to remind those that venture out on the ice to fish or for other recreation to use extreme caution as conditions can change rapidly.  Those on the ice should carry items like a cell phone (as in this case), a VHF radio, flares or other signaling devices in case an emergency should arise.  Ice is a clear, solid risk.


Regional

Marine Community Day 2007

Marine Community Day will take place at the Crowne Plaza in Cleveland, Ohio on February 27-28.  A block of rooms are reserved until February 9 under the name Marine Community Day.   For more information contact Great Lakes Seaway Review, 800-491-1760.

To access the registration form for Marine Community Day 2007 go to: http://www.greatlakes-seawayreview.com/, click on

“Marine Community Day (PDF)” and go to page 2. There is a registration fee. Fill out the form and return it with the appropriate payment by February 20, 2007.


Bills introduced to fund/complete electronic barrier

House/Senate bills should be enacted swiftly, to protect the Great Lakes from invasive Asian carp

The "Great Lakes Asian Carp Barrier Act" HR 553, introduced in the US House by Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill. 13th), and U.S. Senate by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.),  directs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete, at federal expense, an electronic barrier (Barrier II) in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal designed to prevent Asian carp from migrating upstream into Lake Michigan and the rest of the Great Lakes.

The proposed legislation (S. 336 and H.R. 553) also directs that Barrier I be upgraded to provide an additional measure of protection and provides for the entire system’s ongoing operation and maintenance.

 

Both Bills need our support for co-sponsors and to move them quickly thru the political process.    Contact your legislators and encourage them to sponsor and expedite these bills.    Asian Carp Barrier Act.pdf


General

Shakespeare acquires Penn Fishing Tackle

Columbia, SC – Shakespeare Fishing Tackle, a leading manufacturer of fishing rods, reels, fishing line and accessories has acquired Penn Fishing Tackle Mfg. Co. Founded in 1932, Penn is the market leader in saltwater trolling and spinning reels and saltwater rods.

 

These products include the famous Penn International, Senators, GT, and GTO trolling reels, as well as Slammer and Spinfisher SSM and SSG spinning reels.

 

“For 75 years, Penn products have been the gold standard for offshore, inshore and surf fishing,” according to Scott Hogsett, President of Shakespeare. “Shakespeare is excited to be able to add Penn’s broad assortment of saltwater products to 

complement the current Shakespeare, Pflueger and All Star freshwater, inshore and saltwater offerings.”

 

“We look forward to bringing to Penn the vast new product introductions and innovation that our customers have come to expect from Shakespeare and Pflueger each year. The Penn name is one of the greatest brands in fishing, but has lacked the resources to grow and develop markets. Our volume and economies of scale will allow us to reinvest in the brand and grow market share.”

 

Shakespeare is a K2 Inc. company, with a portfolio of leading outdoor brands. For more information, contact Mark Davis, Director of Advertising and Public Relations for Shakespeare Fishing Tackle, at (803) 754-7000 x. 3105.


 

2nd Amendment issues

Facts to ponder about Gun Control

Since 1991, 23 additional states loosened restrictions on the concealed carrying of guns by law-abiding citizens, bringing the total 'shall-issue' states to 40. These states have all experienced a drop in violent crime, while over the same time period states like Maryland with oppressive gun control laws, violent crime increased.

 

Historian Benedict LaRosa noted the same effect in Washington, D.C.: "In 1976, Washington, D.C., instituted one of the strictest gun-control laws in the country. The murder rate since that time has risen 134 % (77.8 per 100,000 population) while the overall rate for the country has declined 2 %."

 

The Centers for Disease Control, an anti-gun federal agency, has examined several studies that focused on guns and crime. Their conclusion? They found that there is no impact from gun control laws, including the Brady Law, on crime.

More dramatic evidence comes from the "laboratory" of England. This island nation has banned handguns. They don’t need a background check because there are no legitimate sales. Following the confiscation of over 1.5 million guns, including all legally owned handguns in 1997, violent crime has skyrocketed. Illegal handguns are estimated by police to number over 3,000,000. According to a UN study in 2000, England is the most violent of all the world’s industrial countries.

 

In the last 35 years, the number of firearms in America has more than doubled, while the number of fatal gun accidents involving children has plunged. One reason is the NRA's Eddie Eagle program, which teaches children to stay away from guns, except under adult supervision.

 

 


 

Lake Huron

Lake Huron Fishery Workshops April 14 & 21

Port Sanilac and Alpena, MI

Michigan Sea Grant in partnership with the DNR is again hosting the annual two full days Regional Fishery Workshop April 14 and April 25, at Port Sanilac and Alpena, MI.

 

Specifics Include:

Port Sanilac

Sat, April 14, 9:00 – 4:00 PM

Huron Shores Golf Club

1441 N. Lakeshore Rd

Registration deadline: Friday, April 6, 2007

 

Alpena

Sat, April 21, 9:00 – 4:00 PM

Location: Alpena, MI

FOE Meeting Hall

(Fraternal Order of the Eagles)

1960 M-32 West

Registration deadline: Friday, April 13, 2007

 

Registration Fee: $15.00 in advance, $20.00 at the door (Includes Lunch).

 

Doors open at 8:30 AM with coffee and rolls.  For more info go to:  www.miseagrant.umich.edu/fisheries/, Cindy Anderson, 989-984-1060, ande1172@msu.edu or Brandon Schroeder, 989-984-1056 schroe45@msu.edu


Lake Erie

2007 Lake Erie fishing outlook is great

COLUMBUS, OH - Strong contributions from the 2003 hatches of walleye and yellow perch should provide excellent fishing opportunities.  Lake Erie anglers should enjoy another year of exceptional fishing during 2007, according to biologists with the Ohio DNR Division of Wildlife.

    

“Lake Erie remains one of the greatest natural resources in our country,” said Roger Knight, Lake Erie fisheries program manager at ODNR. “Where else but Lake Erie can an angler find such a diversity of fish species and sizes?  We anticipate excellent fishing opportunities once again this year for walleye and yellow perch, as well as strong fisheries for other species like smallmouth bass, white bass and steelhead.”  

     

Knight noted that anglers should have access to good fishing in the Western and Central basins due to the numerous public boat ramps, private marinas and shoreline areas. The large number of charter boats on the Ohio shore is also a fishing asset.

 

Walleye  

Ohio walleye anglers can expect to catch fish mostly from the 2003 hatch, with continued contributions from 1999 and 2001 hatches. Walleye from the 2003 hatch will be 19 to 22 inches long, while fish from the earlier hatches will range from 21- 27" over the course of the fishing season. Large walleye from strong hatches in the 1980s and mid- 1990s still persist in the population, providing “Fish Ohio” trophy (more than 28") opportunities.

     

“The walleye fishery in 2006 was the best we have had in many years, with superb fishing across all of Ohio’s Lake Erie waters,” said Knight.  “Weather permitting, we expect to have another year of excellent walleye fishing, dominated by that strong 2003 hatch.”

      

The daily bag limit remains four fish per person during March and April, and six fish from May through February 2008. The 15" minimum size limit is in effect during the entire season. 

 

Yellow Perch     

Perch anglers should encounter very good numbers of 8 to 11" fish from the 2003 hatch this year.  A strong 2001 hatch will continue to provide some 10 -13" jumbo perch, with Central Basin fish running larger than those in the Western Basin.

     

“We expect to see better perch fishing than a year ago, with catches dominated by the 2003 hatch,” said Knight.  The daily bag limit remains at 40 fish per angler during the 2007 season, with no minimum size limit.

Smallmouth Bass

    

Smallmouth bass fishing is expected to be good in 2007, with contributions from hatches in the 1990s, 2001 and 2003.  Fish should range in size from 14 - 21" and weighing 1.5 to 5

pounds.  Bass fishing is best around areas with bottom structure, which is available across much of the entire Ohio near-shore area.  ODNR biologists have seen several good hatches in recent years, which should contribute to good smallmouth bass fishing in the future.

 

A closed season remains in effect from May 1 through June 29, during which all black bass (smallmouth and largemouth) must be immediately released.  Beginning June 30, the daily bag limit will remain at five fish, with a 14-inch minimum length limit.

 

Steelhead    

Steelhead anglers should enjoy another year of great fishing in Ohio’s Lake Erie tributaries throughout the fall, winter and spring months. Good fishing opportunities will also exist on the open lake, when schools of fish can be located.   Peak steelhead action on Lake Erie can be found offshore from June through August between Vermilion and Conneaut, with catches measuring 17 - 29".  

    

Most Lake Erie anglers trolling for steelhead in deep waters use spoons with dipsy divers or downriggers.  The daily bag limit remains at five fish per person from May 16 to August 31 and two fish between September 1 and May 15, with a 12" minimum size limit throughout the year.  

 

White Bass 

White bass will continue to offer seasonal fishing opportunities in both tributaries and the open lake. The catch will include many 10 to 15" fish from the 2005 and 2003 hatches. Anglers should focus on major Western Basin tributaries during May and June and near-shore areas of the open lake during summer months. There is no daily bag or size limit on white bass.

    

Anglers are also advised of numerous fishing opportunities in the bays and harbors on the Ohio shoreline.  These inlets offer excellent fishing for panfish, including crappie and bluegill, as well as largemouth bass.  In early spring, anglers may also catch an occasional northern pike or muskellunge in vegetated areas. 

    

 Anglers are reminded that fishing conditions on Lake Erie can change hourly and adjustments are often necessary to improve success.  Anglers should take into account such factors as water temperature, cloud cover, water clarity, boat traffic, wave action, structure and the amount of baitfish in the area.  Anglers are also reminded to carefully monitor Lake Erie weather and to seek safe harbor before storms approach.

    

During the season, ODNR provides an updated Lake Erie fishing report online at www.ohiodnr.com/wildlife  and by calling 1-888-HOOKFISH. Wildlife staff members are available 8-5 p.m. weekdays at Fairport Harbor (440-352-4199) for Central Basin information and at Sandusky (419-625-8062) for Western Basin information. 


 

Illinois

Spring Bass Pro Shops Fishing Classic

GURNEE, IL –  Legendary freshwater hall of fame member Pete Mania, along with a host of other professional anglers and speakers, will conduct seminars and offer angling tips and techniques and answer any questions the audience may have.  It’s all part of the annual Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing Classic going on March 3- 11. Mania will be in Gurnee March 10 and 11.

 

A much anticipated event, the Spring Fishing Classic features exciting, educational fun for the whole family.  And it’s FREE! Learn how to become a better angler by attending seminars hosted by experts like Bill Schultz, Judy Nugent, Jim Crowley, Gary Parsons, Chase Parsons, Greg Bohn, Spence Petros and John Gillespie, just to name a few.

Once again, Bass Pro Shops will be taking in donated reels during our Pass It On Reel Trade-in event, March 3-11, 2007. Anyone who brings in a used fishing reel in working condition will be given a coupon for a discount on a new reel. All of the reels received will be donated to non-profit groups that teach young people to fish.

 

There will be fun for the entire family as Walleyes Unlimited will be conducting a kids’ fishing pond on Friday March 9 through Sunday March 11 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day.

 

For more information on the Spring Fishing Classic and Bass Pro Shops, products or events please call Tisma Juett at 847-856-1229 or visit www.basspro.com .


Michigan

DNR confirms Spread of VHS in Great Lakes

Recent analyses of fish sampled from northern Lake Huron have confirmed the existence of viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) in Lake Whitefish, walleyes and Chinook salmon, Department of Natural Resources fisheries officials announced today. VHS is a virus that causes disease in fish but does not pose any threat to public health.

 

The analyses that were completed earlier this week establish that VHS has now been confirmed in lake whitefish samples from the Cheboygan area, in lake whitefish and walleye samples from the Thunder Bay area, and in Chinook salmon samples from the Swan River egg-take station near Rogers City.

 

VHS was detected in lake whitefish from the Cheboygan area after re-analyzing samples collected in 2005 during a survey for bacterial kidney disease (BKD).

 

“It is not unusual for us to collect fish that have unknown viruses, which typically require a significant effort to properly identify,” said Gary Whelan, fish production manager for the DNR. “Once we had indications of VHS in other samples of fish from Lake Huron, this sample was retrieved from storage and fully analyzed by Dr. Mohamed Faisal at Michigan State University.”

 

Samples from the Thunder Bay area were collected last fall during a mortality event that included lake whitefish and walleyes.

 

A number of Chinook salmon observed at the Swan River egg-take station last fall also showed signs of VHS infection, Whelan said. A standard fish health inspection that is annually conducted by the DNR Fisheries Division on this key broodstock did document VHS in both female and male fish, including one fish exhibiting clinical signs of VHS. Standard methods for disinfecting the eggs were applied last fall at the egg-take station prior to transfer of the eggs to the state’s hatchery facilities. To date, all lots of Chinook salmon hatched from these eggs and being reared in DNR hatchery facilities have been tested and all are negative for VHS, which is attributable to the disinfection methods that have been employed at all the DNR’s egg-take stations for many years.

 

“This shows that our standard disinfection procedures, similar to those used on the West Coast where VHS has been found for a long time, were effective in protecting our hatcheries and the fish reared in those hatcheries,” Whelan said.

 

DNR officials have been in contact with personnel in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services, alerting them to the new confirmations of VHS in Lake Huron fish, and outlining the steps being taken by the DNR in response to this new information.

 

“In the continued battle to slow the spread of VHS throughout the Great Lakes, we must remain vigilant, take every precaution, and implement all options available to us,” Fish Chief Kelley Smith said.

 

Those actions include:

 

*           Reclassification of Michigan’s waters of Lake Huron, including Saginaw Bay, as a VHS Positive Management Area. In addition to Lake Huron, the management area

encompasses the state’s waters of the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River and Lake Erie.

 

*           Reclassification of Michigan’s waters of the St. Marys River from the Soo Locks to Lake Huron and all of Lake Michigan as a VHS Surveillance Management Area.

 

*           Sampling efforts for several fish species, including walleyes, emerald shiners and lake whitefish will be significantly increased in the new VHS Surveillance Management Area.

 

*           Additional testing of all lots of Chinook salmon in the state’s hatchery facilities that originated from eggs collected at the Swan River weir will be conducted prior to stocking those fish in the state’s waters.

 

*           A prohibition on the trap and transfer of live fish that are collected from the state’s waters of the Great Lakes for management purposes unless the fish have tested negative for VHS.

 

*           Increased efforts to inform anglers and others about the dangers of VHS, especially to inland waters of the state. Anglers are asked not to move live fish between the Great Lakes and inland waters, particularly minnow species, and to use standard disinfection techniques for boats, live wells and other equipment. See www.michigan.gov/dnrfishing for more information on helping prevent the spread of disease and invasive species on the Great Lakes.

 

Citizens are encouraged to report sick fish or fish kills to their local DNR office or use the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr .  Anglers should contact the DNR if they observe fish that exhibit any of the following signs: hemorrhaging in the skin, including large red patches particularly on the sides and anterior portion of the head; multiple hemorrhages on the liver, spleen, or intestines; or hemorrhages on the swim bladder that give the otherwise transparent organ a mottled appearance.  This information will help DNR fisheries staff to track VHS and take appropriate management actions to help slow the spread of this virus.

 

 

Anglers and boaters can also help prevent the spread of VHS and other viruses or bacteria that cause disease in fish by not transferring fish between water bodies, and by thoroughly cleaning boats, trailers, nets, and other equipment when traveling between different lakes and streams.  The use of a light disinfectant such as a solution of one part chlorine bleach to 10 parts water (i.e., one gallon of bleach to 10 gallons of water) to clean vessels and live wells is very effective against VHS and other viruses and bacteria that cause disease in fish.  Soaking exposed items such as live wells, nets, anchors, and bait buckets in a light disinfectant for 30 minutes is also an effective method to prevent the spread of a wide range of aquatic nuisance species.

 

In 2005, VHS was detected for the first time in Great Lakes fish species in the US and Canada, including muskellunge in Michigan’s waters of Lake St. Clair and freshwater drum in Lake Ontario.  It is not known how VHS was transferred to the Great Lakes region or how long it has been in the waterways of the Great Lakes.


Ohio

State tournament showcases student archery program

Nearly 450 Ohio student archers will compete

COLUMBUS, OH - Nearly 450 students from all over Ohio will compete in the state’s first National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) State Tournament, scheduled for Friday, March 2 at Veterans Memorial, 300 W. Broad St., Columbus, according to the Ohio DNR.

 

The tournament will be held in conjunction with the annual Arnold Sports Festival, spearheaded by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. 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.

 

The NASP program is rapidly growing and gaining popularity

among both students and educators. It was introduced into 17 Ohio schools in 2004.  One hundred and thirty-six 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. 

 

For more info: www.ohionasp.com .

 


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