Week of February 6, 2006




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Japan Grapples with Invasion of Giant Jellyfish

TOKYO (Reuters) — A slimy jellyfish weighing as much as a sumo wrestler has Japan's fishing industry in the grip of its poisonous tentacles.


Vast numbers of Echizen kurage, or Nomura's jellyfish, have appeared around Japan's coast since July, clogging and ripping fishing nets and forcing fishermen to spend hours hacking them apart before bringing home their reduced catches. Representatives of fishing communities around the country gathered in Tokyo, hoping to thrash out solutions to a pest that has spread from the Japan Sea to the Pacific coast.


There are no official figures on the size of the problem, but fishing federation officials say the financial losses are obvious. "If your nets are full of jellyfish, of course there is no space for fish," they said. Cutting up and disposing of the giants can turn a three-hour fishing trip into a 10-hour marathon, while valuable fish are poisoned or crushed under the weight of the unwanted catch.


Despite their size, the invertebrates aren't toxic enough to cause serious harm to humans, but fishermen often wear goggles and protective clothing to avoid stings when dealing with them.  Much about the jellyfish, the largest variety found in the Sea of Japan, remains a mystery, according to Hitoshi Iizumi of the Seikai National Fisheries Research Institute in Niigata.

Researchers have suggested they drift to Japan on currents after reproducing in South Korean or Chinese waters, a theory that Japan wants to investigate with the other two nations. But with relations between Japan and its nearest neighbors at a low ebb, Tokyo is anxious to avoid apportioning blame.


Some fishermen have had some success in combating the intruders by introducing guide nets with larger than usual holes. Jellyfish are simply swept through the holes by water currents, while other fish tend to notice the nets and swim alongside them, eventually being trapped in the fishing nets.


Officials at last week's conference are also set to propose a forecasting system that would allow fishermen to prepare for the next onslaught of the jumbo jellyfish. South Korean fishermen have been suffering similar woes but China, where giant jellyfish are a delicacy often served dried and dressed with sesame oil, does not seem to have registered the outbreak as a major problem, Japanese officials said.


Seaside communities in Japan have tried to capitalize on the menace by developing novel jellyfish dishes from tofu to ice cream, but for some reason the recipes have failed to take off.


Participants at the conference said they had experimented with feeding the jellyfish to farmed crabs and using them as fertilizer.

UN Won't Relent in Pursuit of Internet

Although the international assembly was unsuccessful in wresting control from the U.S.-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) -- a quasi-governmental non-profit organization -- Tunis was just the opening gambit in the UN’s drive for control.


The opposition of the Bush administration to turning the Net over to the UN and such bastions of liberty as Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia was enough to block the mischief in Tunis. But UN bureaucrats and their allies in Europe and the developing world have not folded their tents. Instead, the summit in Tunis produced a permanent standing body, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) to keep the pressure on, to keep working to undermine the American position and wrest control of the Net. The IGF is set to hold its inaugural organizational meeting in Geneva February 16-17. It’s expected to start holding regular conferences starting this summer in Greece. The UN, therefore, is planning on a prolonged campaign to achieve its objective.


It's hardly a mystery why the UN, the EU and their global allies want to seize control of the Internet. As we are witnessing in China today with massive government censorship of Google, Yahoo, Cisco and other Internet companies, repressive governments view the Net with fear and loathing. The Internet

is a revolutionary medium for the free, unfettered flow of information, a hugely liberating engine of free speech and commerce. Dictators, autocrats, Islamofacists, Maoist and Marxist regimes -- all want to control and censor the Net in their countries, restrict information and access, suppress dissent and squelch speech.


Others look at the booming commerce on the Internet and salivate for a piece of the action, longing to tax web-based commercial activity as the next golden goose to be led to slaughter. The UN in particular wants to tax the Internet to create the independent stream of revenue world bureaucrats long have lusted after to free the UN from having to solicit voluntary contributions from member states.


Whatever different motives animate these various interests in their drive to seize control of the Internet, they all have one thing in common: all resent what they perceive as U.S. "control" of the worldwide web.


the Internet is doing just fine, thank you, without the ministrations of the UN. The U.S. invented the Internet and generously made the technology available to the world. Today, more than 1 billion routinely use the Internet and the worldwide web promises to be as revolutionary as the printing press.


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Feb. 3, 2006

Lake Level Conditions: All of the Great Lakes are 2 to 8 inches below the levels of a year ago.  Lake Superior is expected to fall 2 inches over the next month.  Lake Michigan-Huron is below chart datum and should be near the same level in 30 days .  Lake St. Clair is expected to rise 2 inches over the next month.  Lake Erie should remain steady over the next 30 days.  Lake Ontario is expected to fall 2 inches over the next month.  Due to the warmer than average winter, some of the Great Lakes may begin their seasonal rise earlier than normal, but levels over the next few months on all the Great Lakes are expected to remain lower than 2005. 


Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

The Lake Superior outflow through the St. Marys River into Lake Huron is projected to be near average during the month of February.  Flows in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are anticipated to be below average during February.  Niagara River flows are expected to be above average in February.  St. Lawrence River flows are projected to be near average in February



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.  Ice information can be found at the National Ice Center web page.


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels Data Summary





St. Clair



Expected water level for Feb 3 in ft






Chart datum, in ft






Diff from chart datum, in inches






Diff from last month, in inches






Diff from last year in inches







Over $2 Million offered by Evinrude

Saltwater contingency rivals competitive offers

(Sturtevant, WI) – Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP) has put over $2 million up for grabs in a landmark Evinrude saltwater contingency payout for 2006. Professional and regional kingfish and redfish anglers have a combined product and cash payout potential that rivals contingencies offered by any outboard manufacturer.


First place finishers powered by a qualifying Evinrude outboard could win the following generous payouts;


• $37,500 in the FLW Kingfish and SKA Pro Kingfish championships

• $30,000 in the FLW Pro and SKA Pro Kingfish tournaments

• $25,000 in the FLW Redfish and ESPN Redfish Cup championships

• $12,500 in the FLW Pro Redfish and ESPN Pro Redfish Cup tournaments

• 250-hp Evinrude E-TEC engine in the FLW Kingfish regional tournaments and 12 select SKA Regional Kingfish events.

"With our new contingency program, we have increased the opportunity for qualifying anglers to bring home big bonus money. We want them to succeed and we want them to succeed with Evinrude. These are the best outboard engines available and the sport of competitive fishing needs to experience the exceptional fuel economy, low maintenance and great performance our engines offer", said Roch Lambert, vice president, general manager, Outboard Marine Engines.


The lucrative award system was developed by BRP to support anglers running Evinrude engines on their boats and to help grow the sport of saltwater fishing. Anglers powered by Evinrude E-TEC® or Evinrude DI outboard engines, model year 2004 or newer, and place in the top-ten positions of all FLW Pro Kingfish and regional, all Pro Southern Kingfish and regional*, FLW Redfish, and ESPN Redfish Cup tour events could net themselves big bonus money under the following contingency programs.



Venison may carry mad cow-like agent, study finds

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The muscles of deer affected by a mad cow-like disease carry the infectious prions that spread the illness, meaning that venison could potentially spread the agent to humans, researchers reported on January 26.


They said leg muscle tissue taken from mule deer with chronic wasting disease (CWD) infected specially bred mice when they were injected with the tissue. While stressing that was a long way from showing venison was infectious, researcher Glenn Telling of the University of Kentucky said the study showed it could be.  "If I were to eat venison I wouldn't feel comfortable eating venison from areas where chronic wasting disease is endemic," Telling said in a telephone interview.


Chronic wasting disease is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), one of a family of diseases that includes scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in people.  It has been found in deer and elk across the U.S. West and Midwest and in parts of Canada. No one quite understands how it spreads.


Like scrapie, BSE and the other diseases, it gradually destroys the brain and it is always fatal. It is caused by misshapen nervous system proteins called prions.

There is no evidence people can catch CWD. But after BSE swept British cattle herds in the 1980s, people began coming down with an odd version of CJD called vCJD, and it has been linked to eating infected beef. In Britain, 153 people have died from probably or confirmed vCJD and six suspected vCJD patients are still alive.


Telling and colleagues used a well-established method to test the infectivity of venison, by breeding special mice that are susceptible to CWD, then injecting them with brains and muscle tissue from infected deer.  The mice became ill and the higher the dose, the worse their disease, they report in Friday's issue of the journal Science.


"We don't know if people will develop a human prion disease as a result of exposure to CWD but we know people developed prion disease as result of exposure to BSE," Telling said. "Obviously the most likely route of exposure would be via meat and that is why we addressed this."


Experts already advise people to take care when handling deer or elk that may have been infected with CWD. The muscle meat of cattle generally has not been found to carry prions but their brains and certain organs do.  "It is difficult to predict how prions will behave when they cross species barriers," Telling said.


Lake Erie

'06 Lake Erie fishing outlook is promising

Large 2003 walleye and yellow perch hatches should be plus for anglers

COLUMBUS, OH - Lake Erie anglers should experience excellent fishing opportunities in 2006, say fisheries biologists with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.


"We are excited about the outstanding fishing opportunities on Lake Erie for a variety of species in 2006,” said Roger Knight, Lake Erie fisheries program manager at ODNR. "The large 2003 hatch should provide large numbers of good-sized walleye and yellow perch, while quality smallmouth bass and steelhead trout fishing also will available to Lake Erie anglers."


Knight noted that access to good fishing in the Western and Central basins can be found through the large number of charter boats in Ohio and at numerous public boat ramps, private marinas, and shoreline areas.



Anglers can expect this year’s Lake Erie walleye fishery to be dominated by hatches from 1999, 2001 and 2003. Fish from the 1999-year class will range from 21 to 25 inches; fish from 2001 will range from 19 to 21 inches; and those from 2003 will be 17 to 20 inches over the course of the fishing season.  Some large walleye from the strong hatches of the 1980s and mid 1990s still persist in the population, providing “Fish Ohio” trophy (more than 28 inches) opportunities.  “Weather conditions played a major role in the lake’s distribution of walleye in 2005.  With extremely warm water temperatures, walleye moved further east and they remained there longer,” said Knight.  “If water temperatures remain cool in 2006, we should have a phenomenal walleye fishery in the West and Central basins of Lake Erie.”


The daily bag limit increases to four fish during March and April for the 2006 fishing season and will remain at six fish May through February. The 15-inch minimum size limit is in effect during the entire season.  Most of the fish from the exceptionally abundant 2003 hatch will be of legal size during the 2006 fishing season. 


Yellow Perch

Perch anglers fishing the Ohio waters of Lake Erie should also be pleased with this year’s catches. Fish from a good 2001 hatch will range from 9-12 inches, with Central Basin fish running larger than those in the Western Basin. Anglers should expect to catch large numbers of perch from an exceptionally strong hatch in 2003.  “The average size of yellow perch available to anglers in 2006 should improve, as the large 2003 year-class likely will be in the 8- to 10-inch range,” said Knight.  Peak fishing will occur from August through October, but early summer fishing should also be rewarding, especially in the Central Basin.  Some “Fish Ohio” perch (more than 13 inches) will be available.  Schools of these “jumbos” are not abundant, but often can be in found in relatively shallow rocky areas feeding on gobies and other prey fish. Ohio's daily bag limit for yellow perch increases to 40 fish per angler for the 2006 season.


Smallmouth Bass

Lake Erie anglers should anticipate good smallmouth bass fishing this year. Traditional "hot spots" such as the Lake Erie islands, the Western Basin reef complex, Sandusky Bay, Ruggles Reef, and harbor breakwalls from Lorain to Conneaut, all traditionally produce good numbers of smallmouth bass and the potential to catch a trophy (more than 5 pounds).  Fishing pressure tends to be highest around the islands and nearshore areas of the western half of Ohio

waters.  Smallmouth bass anglers can expect to land "smallies" from 1993, 1994, 1998, 1999, and 2001-year classes, now ranging in size from 14 to 19 inches and weighing 1.5 to 4 pounds.


A closed season remains in effect from May 1 through June 23, during which all black bass (smallmouth and largemouth) must be immediately released.  The daily bag limit after June 23 will remain at five fish with a 14-inch minimum length limit.


Steelhead Trout

Peak steelhead action on Lake Erie can be found offshore from Vermilion to Conneaut, from June through August, with catches measuring 17 to 29 inches.  Most anglers trolling for steelhead in deep waters use spoons with dipsy divers or downriggers. Many charter guides now offer steelhead charters as an alternative to traditional walleye charters.  Lake Erie steelhead move into Central Basin streams during fall through winter and provide excellent fishing opportunities for wading anglers throughout the fall, winter and spring months.


The ODNR Division of Wildlife maintains this popular fishery by releasing approximately 400,000 steelhead trout each spring in the Vermilion, Rocky, Chagrin and Grand rivers, as well as Conneaut Creek.


Because of the changing conditions of Lake Erie, such as increases in water clarity and aquatic vegetation, there are additional options for anglers fishing in nearshore areas.  Many bays and harbors 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 these vegetated harbors. 


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


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


For additional information on lodging, charter boat services and local launch ramps, contact one of the following lakeshore visitor’s bureaus:


Ashtabula County Convention & Visitors Bureau 800-337-6746
Lake County Visitors Bureau 800-368-5253
Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland 800-321-1001
Lorain County Visitors Bureau 800-334-1673
Sandusky/Erie County Visitors Bureau 800-255-8070
Ottawa County Visitors Bureau 800-441-1271
Greater Toledo Convention & Visitors Bureau 800-243-4667
Ohio Division of Travel & Tourism 800-BUCKEYE


The ODNR Division of Wildlife maintains a series of web pages describing its Lake Erie research and management programs, fisheries resources, open lake and steelhead fishing reports, as well as maps and links to other Lake Erie web resources.  Access this info at: www.ohiodnr.com/wildlife/fishing/fairport/index.htm


Wetlands research results show new invasion

Research suggests that an invasive species of cattail has spread and created a hybrid that dominates the habitat in many Great Lakes regions.


Joy Marburger, research coordinator at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and her colleagues have just completed preliminary research at Cowles Bog, one of the more well-known wetlands in Porter County.


She said that the hybrid is a combination of the invasive

narrowleaf cattail, which likely came via ship from Europe in the 1800s and spread slowly to the Midwest, and the native broadleaf cattail. The hybrid was first discovered in the 1960s, but its prominence has not been studied until recently.


"The message from this research is that hybridization may provide an important piece of the puzzle in the cause of the invasive spread of cattails across the Great Lakes national parks," Marburger said. "Nutrient runoff from urban and agricultural lands, as well as flood control, may also be contributing factors in the spread of hybrid cattails."


Free Fishing Weekend Feb 18-19

Offers Great Opportunity for Families to GO-Get Outdoors  

Michigan's annual Winter Free Fishing Weekend, Feb. 18-19, is a great time for families to bundle up, get outdoors and go fishing. For these two days, residents and nonresidents can fish without purchasing a fishing license, though all other fishing regulations still apply. Anglers 17 or older who plan to fish on the President's Day holiday, Monday, Feb. 20, must possess a valid fishing license.


Winter Free Fishing Weekend is designed to invite people out to discover that Michigan provides great fishing fun even in winter. Although recent mild temperatures have made it unsafe for ice fishing in many parts of the state, there still is plenty of angling opportunity from piers; from shore along rivers, streams and canals and from boats where there is plenty of open water.


Where conditions allow fishing through the ice, the Department of Natural Resources reminds all anglers to dress warm, use the buddy system, always wear a life jacket and use caution when traveling across any ice.

For a list of fishing clinics and activities, visit the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr . Click on "Fishing" and then go to "Free Fishing Weekend."


This year's Free Fishing Weekend coincides with the DNR's Project GO-Get Outdoors, which encourages visitors to explore winter recreation in state parks and recreation areas. The Winter GO, Feb. 18-19, allows all vehicles free entry to Michigan's 97 state parks and recreation areas. In addition to fishing, visitors can participate in competitive trail runs, guided snowshoe hikes and nature walks, cross-country skiing and more. The DNR Web site has the list of events. Click on "Camping & Recreation" and then on "GO-Get Outdoors."


Project GO-Get Outdoors celebrates Michigan's outdoor recreational opportunities and the role they play in improving the quality of life for residents and visitors. Ice fishing can be a great way to help pass some of the long days of winter while spending time with family and friends, or introducing someone new to the sport. Winter is great time to GO-Get Outdoors for some fun and the opportunity to learn something new about nature.

DNR Receives Compensation for Resource Damages

as part of Hydroelectric Dam Settlement

Michigan Department of Natural Resources fisheries officials announced the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has reached a settlement with American Energy Company related to safety violations dating back to 2001 at five hydroelectric dams the company owns and operates on the Grand and Thornapple rivers in southern Michigan.


The five facilities are the Mix and Smithville dams on the Grand River near Eaton Rapids, and the Irving, Middleville and LaBarge dams on the Thornapple River between Hastings and Grand Rapids. In addition to the safety violations, American Energy also was cited for two dewatering incidents at the Smithville reservoir in 2005 and at the LaBarge Dam where a dewatering of the reservoir occurred last February.


American Energy will pay $300,000 to resolve these issues. 

 As compensation for resource damages, the DNR will receive $50,000 to be spent specifically on fish passage and habitat improvement projects around the hydroelectric facilities on the Grand and Thornapple rivers.


"This settlement not only provides money to improve fish habitat that we believe was impacted by the past operation of these projects, but it also establishes a compliance schedule that American Energy has agreed to follow," said Chris Freiburger, supervisor of the DNR's FERC program.


"The public was instrumental in alerting us to the concerns they had about the operation of these projects, which ultimately assisted in the settlement that was reached," Freiburger said. "Any help we get from the public to protect and maintain our public trust resource is invaluable."



MN proposes commercial lake trout take

Lake trout rebound prompts proposal

Responding to a strong comeback in the lake trout population, the Minnesota DNR soon may permit limited commercial fishing for the species in Minnesota waters of Lake Superior.


The Duluth News Tribune reports commercial fishermen would be allowed to take a small number of fish while providing research data on their catch to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The proposed change would mark the first significant step toward a commercial lake trout fishery in Minnesota since netting was banned in 1962.


In December, the Minnesota DNR proposed allowing commercial harvest of 3,000 lake trout in a zone near the Canadian border.


"If anything, it's a reflection that the lake is in pretty decent shape," said Don Schreiner, Lake Superior area fisheries supervisor with the Minnesota DNR. "If we're considering a commercial fishery along with a sport fishery in certain parts of the lake, we've come a long way from where we were."


The lake trout population has rebounded steadily since the late 1980s. Natural reproduction has increased over the past 15 years, and the proportion of wild lake trout in spring surveys has increased from 45 to 75 % in the past 10 years, according to the DNR.


Currently, Minnesota allows a handful of commercial fishermen to take a few hundred lake trout annually as part of DNR research. Members of the Grand Portage Band of Chippewa also are allowed to take a limited number of lake

trout based on 1854 treaty rights. In Wisconsin, 10 state-licensed commercial fishermen are allotted 10,750 lake trout annually. Anglers take about 19,000 lake trout per year in Minnesota waters, according to the DNR.


The program would be conducted on an experimental basis, and fishermen would be issued permits allowing them to use specific gear and to harvest a specified number of fish, Schreiner said.  The allotment of 3,000 fish has been proposed for zone MN-3 reaching from the Cascade River to the Canadian border. Other zones are MN-1, from Duluth to near Two Harbors, and MN-2, from near Two Harbors to the Cascade River.


Currently, two commercial fishermen in MN-3 are permitted a total of 600 lake trout in the spring and 600 in the fall while providing data about the fish to DNR officials. The spring assessment quota of 600 fish would continue, but the fall assessment quota would be rolled into the 3,000 harvest total, Schreiner said.


As bright as the lake trout picture is in Lake Superior, there's a dark side, too. Despite concerted efforts to control lampreys, the ocean invaders still kill about half of all lake trout in Lake Superior, Schreiner said. The federal government leads efforts to control lamprey, primarily by treating their spawning tributaries with chemicals.


Lamprey numbers exploded -- nearly doubling in western Lake Superior -- during the past year. Crews trapped 9,478 lamprey in the Brule River trap in 2005, three times last year's catch and the most ever in the barrier's 20-year history, according to the Wisconsin DNR.


Fly Tying for Steelhead 101 workshop February 16

Lake Erie Nature and Science Center   6:30 - 9:00 PM.

Ohio’s winter is well underway and steelheaders everywhere are waiting in anticipation for spring. Don’t be bored! Be prepared for spring steelhead fishing at the Fly Tying for Steelhead 101 workshop. If you’ve never tied your own flies and are interested in learning how, this is the workshop for you. Participants will learn to tie three easy and popular fly patterns for catching steelhead. All materials and equipment will be provided. Participants will take home what they make!

This seminar is co-sponsored by Ohio Sea Grant and the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center. There is a fee of $10.00 per person to cover the cost of materials and facilities. Pre-registration is required and space is limited to 20 participants!


For more information or to register for this workshop, call or email Kelly Riesen (440) 808-5627, [email protected]




Hunters post incredible bear harvest record

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania's hunters crushed the Commonwealth's all-time black bear harvest when they took 4,164 bruins in the regular and extended 2005 bear seasons in November and December, according to the official final tally released today by the Game Commission. Hunters set the previous record of 3,075 bears in 2000.


"Any time Pennsylvania hunters exceed the state record bear harvest by 25 percent, you have to figure they had some things working in their favor," noted Mark Ternent, Pennsylvania Game Commission black bear biologist. "Five factors that helped were that hunters had more opportunity to take bears in the extended season; bear populations continue to remain high; we had a record number of bear hunters; a tremendous mast crop kept bears on the move and out of dens; and weather cooperated.


"For the first time in the Game Commission's history, 100 black bears or more were taken in 18 counties; four counties - Clinton, Lycoming, Potter and Tioga - posted harvests in excess of 200; and Lycoming County became the first county to record a bear harvest exceeding 300 with a kill of 313. To place things in perspective, the statewide bear harvest in 1969 was 295."


Since 1999, more than 20,000 black bears have been harvested in Pennsylvania, making it one of the top bear hunting destinations in the eastern United States. Further sweetening the state's attraction to hunters is that 800-pound-plus black bears have been taken by hunters in recent years.


Hunters took 3,354 bears during the three-day season held

the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving, 

and 810 during the extended season held in five Wildlife Management Units (3B, 3C, 3D, 4C and 4E) during the first week of the firearms deer season, which began the Monday after Thanksgiving.


"We had a record three-day kill," Ternent pointed out.  "But, the three-day total exceeded the previous record by only 278 bears, which would be expected given the favorable hunting conditions this year. Consequently, we are comfortable with the three-day season harvest, despite it being above-average in some areas. Hunters subsequently went on to report 810 bears in the extended season, which ultimately led to high harvests in some WMUs."


The Board of Game Commissioners will consider these recommendations and others to seasons and bag limits at its meeting set for April 17-18.


Bears were taken in 52 counties. The largest bear taken was a 733-pound (actual live weight) male taken in Dunbar Township, Fayette County, by Andrew Seman Jr. of Dunbar on Nov. 22. Other large bears included a 694-pound male taken in Gregg Township, Centre County, by Charles W. Homan Jr. of Spring Mills on Nov. 21.  In all, 17 bears taken by hunters weighed 600 pounds or more. In addition, female hunters took 47 bears during the seasons.


Hunters who harvested a bear reported that 4,107 used a rifle; 15 used a shotgun; 15 used a muzzleloader; 12 used a handgun; and nine used a bow.  There were six that did not report the type of sporting arm used.


Concealed carry veto carries

Madison - The state Assembly came up two votes short in its attempt to override Gov. Jim Doyle’s veto of a measure that would have allowed residents to carry concealed weapons.  The 64-to-34 vote was another disappointment to proponents of the legislatures efforts to pass a meaningful conceal carry

bill. a Doyle won a second time.  All Republicans voted for the override, but Democratic Reps. Terry Van Akkeren of Sheboygan and John Steinbrink of Pleasant Prairie were the deciding votes. Both earlier had voted for the bill, but switched and backed Doyle.  Last week, the Senate voted 23-10 to override.

Deer Donation 2005 closes with more than 324,000 lbs of venison donated

MADISON – Wisconsin hunters donated nearly 7,207 white-tailed deer to the Wisconsin Deer Donation 2005 program, which ended Jan. 3, providing more than 324,000 pounds of ground venison for needy families across the state.


“Wisconsin hunters have again been generous to needy people through their hunting efforts,” said Bryan Woodbury, Wildlife Damage Program Coordinator with the Department of Natural Resources. “We are grateful for their generosity and to the system of processors and volunteers that prepared the meat and distributed it to food pantries.”

The Wisconsin Deer Donation Program has been in existence for 6 years. In that time, hunters have donated more than 1.9 million pounds of venison to food pantries across the state


One hundred thirty Wisconsin meat processors in 58 counties participated in the deer donation program this year, boning, grinding and packaging venison for distribution to pantries. A large network of volunteers including sports groups, church groups, civic organizations, and food pantry staff worked together to distribute the meat from the processor to the food pantries.


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