Week of February 7, 2011

Misc New Fishing-Boating Products
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
New York
Other Breaking News Items


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Ocean's Dead Zones Expanding

With the New Year comes new challenges to fish in our world's oceans. One of the major concerns is the expansion of hypoxic zones -that's the scientific name recreational anglers are more familiar with as "dead zones."

They are areas in the oceans with low or non-existent oxygen levels which, according to a recently released research study by scientists and fish management experts, are increasing in size while decreasing the habitats of billfish and tuna. In scientific circles this phenomena is called "habitat compression."

Ellen Peel, President of The Billfish Foundation (TBF) said scientists outfitted 79 sailfish and blue marlin in two strategic areas of the Atlantic with pop-off archival satellite tags which monitored their horizontal and vertical movement patterns.

"Billfish favor abundant habitats of oxygen rich waters closer to the surface while avoiding waters low in oxygen," Peel said. The study, composed of scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, and TBF, found a massive expanding low oxygen zone in the Atlantic Ocean is encroaching upon the fish forcing them into shallower waters where they are more likely to be caught. The research waters included areas off south Florida and the Caribbean (western North Atlantic); and off the coast of West Africa (the eastern tropical Atlantic).

Hypoxic zones occur naturally in areas of the world's tropical and equatorial seas because of ongoing weather patterns, oceanographic and biological processes. In the current cycle of climate change and accelerated global warming, hypoxic areas are expanding and shoaling closer to the sea surface, and may continue to expand as sea temperatures rise.

"The zone off West Africa," said Dr. Eric D. Prince, NOAA Fisheries Service research biologist, "encompasses virtually all the equatorial waters in the Atlantic Ocean, is roughly the size of the continental United States and is growing. With the current cycle of climate change and accelerated global warming we expect the size of this zone to increase, further reducing the available habitat for these fishes."


Dr. Phillip Goodyear of TBF explained that fishery managers should start incorporating oxygen depleted zones into assessing population abundance and making management decisions. "As water temperatures increase, the amount of oxygen dissolved in water decreases, squeezing billfish into less available habitat and exposing them to even higher levels of overfishing."

Peel added, "While most recreational anglers are practicing catch and release, sailfish and marlin will become more vulnerable to commercial netters, purse seiners, and longliners that fish the oxygen rich zones. Reduced habitats can lead to higher catch rates of fish not because there are more fish in an area, which is the usual indication, but because the billfish are more densely concentrated near the surface where fishing gear is more likely to catch them.

"These higher catch rates from compacted habitat can skew estimates of population abundance, producing a false signal of stock size. This important issue is whether the change in habitat will cause a change in CPUE (catch per unit of effort) with no corresponding change in species abundance. This issue will be important for future stock assessments."

The findings were published in the November edition of Fisheries Oceanography, where a full discussion of this challenging phenomenon in both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans is reviewed.


Misc New Fishing-Boating Products

Abu Garcia Launches New Website

Abu Garcia has launched an updated www.abugarcia.com.   The revamped site contains extensive information for any level angler, which will enhance their online and angling experience. The site features an improved Flash home page that reinforce Abu Garcia precision engineering and cutting edge design.
“The launch of the Abu Garcia site is a big step to improve the online experience for all levels of angling experience,” said David Lund, Abu Garcia Vice President of Marketing – The Americas. “Abu Garcia strives to improve the angler’s online experience, and with that increase their success on the water.”
In addition to a new look, visitors to www.abugarcia.com will   

be able to interact with each other with an integrated link to our facebook and twitter pages. They will also have access to AbuGarciaTV – our YouTube channel, which features tips from
our pro staff and product information. “This is a great way to interact with other anglers,” said Lund. “A big part of angling is the interaction and shared ideas between anglers, and abugarcia.com is the perfect way to join others with a common interest. Plus, it is a great way to find out about all the products that Abu Garcia offers.”


Additionally, the Abu Garcia site highlights the many technological advantages that make their products stand out on tournament waters around the country as well as the small ponds.   Go to www.abugarcia.com  for the complete online experience.

Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Registration Open for 2011 Elk Camp
MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is bringing its annual convention, affectionately known as “Elk Camp,” back to the Reno/Sparks Convention Center, March 3-6, 2011.

This year marks the 27th annual RMEF Elk Camp & Hunting, Fishing and Outdoor Expo—the organization’s largest annual fundraiser for its conservation programs.  “We count on our annual convention to rally and energize our members and supporters, and to charge our battery for another year of wildlife habitat conservation projects across elk country,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO.

In 2010, RMEF passed the 5.9 million acre mark for habitat conserved and enhanced nationwide, and helped launched elk restoration initiatives in Missouri and Virginia.  As always, Elk Camp 2011 will feature the RMEF/Leupold World Elk Calling Championships. Preliminary rounds begin March 4 at 9:00 a.m. Championship rounds begin March 5 at 9:00 a.m.

Elk Camp also includes Cabela’s-sponsored seminars led by authorities on bowhunting and other hunting skills, horse packing, marksmanship, wild game cooking, game calling strategies and more. Also included are displays of record elk, attractions and activities for the whole family, plus a 450-booth expo hall filled with outfitted hunting and fishing opportunities, art, gear, firearms and everything elk. For agendas and details, visit www.rmef.org.

For day traffic to the expo and events above, daily admission is $12 per person or $25 per family, and free for kids 5 and under.
Show hours: Thurs., March 3, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Fri., March 4, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Sat., March 5, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; and Sun., March 6, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Registered attendees can also enjoy banquets, auctions, entertainment, awards and more. Full registration is $335 for individuals or $650 for couples. Specific meals and auctions may be added. For more attendee registration info, visit www.rmef.org.


Enjoy Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend Feb. 19-20       

The Michigan DNR is reminding everyone that Winter Free Fishing Weekend is scheduled for Saturday, Feb 19, and Sunday, Feb. 20. On that weekend, everyone - residents and non-residents alike - can fish without a license, though all other fishing regulations apply.


Michigan has been celebrating Winter Free Fishing Weekend annually since 2000 as a way to promote awareness of the state’s aquatic resources. With more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, 36,000 miles of rivers and 11,000 inland lakes, Michigan and fishing are a natural match.


A number of activities at state parks have been scheduled to coincide with the weekend, while clubs, local communities and conservation organizations are also staging events. Many provide bait and free use of equipment. The events often include experienced anglers willing to introduce novices into the joy of fishing.


For a list of Free Fishing Events scheduled across the state, visit www.michigan.gov/freefishing.



Third Annual ‘GO-Get Outdoors’ Ice Fishing Derby on Feb. 19 at Seven Lakes State Park

Seven Lakes State Park, in partnership with The Izaak Walton League of America, is hosting the Third Annual Ice Fishing Derby on Saturday, Feb. 19, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Michigan’s Free Fishing weekend is Feb. 19 -20.  No fishing licenses are required to fish that weekend, but all other fishing regulations apply.


Prizes will be awarded for the biggest fish, most fish, smallest fish and even the ugliest fish. Participation in the ice fishing derby is free. For persons without fishing gear, there will be 75 fishing poles the park has available for use on a first come, first served basis.


Refreshments including coffee, hot chocolate, hotdogs and chips will be available at the concession table under the park shelter.


Plan to dress warm and bring the whole family for a day filled with fun.  This is a great way to “GO-Get Outdoors”, try your fishing skills, meet new friends and have a great winter fun day.


Seven Lakes State Park is located at 14390 Fish Lake Rd., in Holly. For more information on this event please e-mail The Izaak Walton League at [email protected] or contact Jim Case at 248-634-7271.


This event is made possible with donations from the following sponsors: D&B Fishing Custom Lures, Tri-City Trading Post, Skipper Bud’s Four Winns, Triple J Ductwork Heating and Cooling, Fish Bones Custom Lures, Lance Valentine’s Walleye101.com, Fishing Tackle Grab Bag, Innovative Tackle Solutions and Jim and Penny Schaale of the The Izaak Walton League of America.

MI DNR seeks public comment for Muskie and Northern Pike Plans

 The Michigan DNR has released draft plans for managing muskellunge and northern pike statewide. The DNR is accepting public comment on the draft plans through March 3, 2011.  The purpose of these plans is to provide a strategy for managing populations of muskellunge and northern pike throughout Michigan.


These plans build on a foundation of previous public review and incorporate the latest in research and management experience. The second drafts of the plans were developed with input from DNRE staff and angling interests, including three workshops, review by citizen committees and previous public comment through the DNRE’s website.


The desire by anglers to harvest medium and large northern pike often conflicts with improving the opportunities to catch

large northern pike. Similarly, the desire by anglers to expand the number of waters managed for muskellunge conflicts with

those who may oppose expansion. These plans include detailed information on the biology and management of these species, as well as specific goals, objectives, strategies and actions for managing muskellunge populations and their habitat, improving opportunities for large northern pike on select waters, and improving northern pike fishing statewide, while also maintaining opportunities for harvest and spearing of northern pike.


The DNRE is seeking public input regarding these plans, which are available on the DNRE website at www.michigan.gov/fishpublicinput. Comments may be sent to the department via the following e-mail address: [email protected] or by contacting Kregg Smith 269-685-6851 ext. 115.


DNR offers Shooting Classes for Women Feb. 20 and March 8

The Michigan DNR is offering an Introduction to Handgun Shooting class and an Introduction to Rifle Shooting class through the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program. Each three-hour class is designed especially for women to learn basic shooting skills from certified instructors in a safe and comfortable environment. Both classes take place at the Detroit Sportsmen’s Congress located at 49800 Dequindre Rd. in Utica


The rifle class will take place on Feb. 20 from 6 to 9 p.m. Instructors will discuss firearm safety, ammunition basics, shooting positions and firearms for recreational and sporting uses. Participants will handle unloaded firearms and become familiar with them. Participants can then practice live fire at the indoor range using a .22 rim-fire firearm under the supervision of certified instructors


Participants ages 10 and older are welcome to attend the rifle class; however, minors must be accompanied by an adult at all times.


The handgun class will take place March 8 from 7 to10 p.m. Instructors will teach firearm safety, fundamentals of pistol shooting, ammunition basics and tips on purchasing a handgun. Several different firearms will be set up for handling under certified instructor supervision. This is a basic introductory to handgun shooting class and beginners are welcome. It is not the course required by law to obtain a concealed pistol license (CPL), but is a great class for those who are new to handgun shooting and may be interested in obtaining a CPL in the future. Participants will visit the on-site shooting range to practice shooting .22 caliber handguns.


Participants must be at least 18 years of age to attend the handgun class.


The registration deadlines are Feb. 17 and March 3 respectively. Register early; class sizes are limited to 24 participants. A $30 fee is due at the time of registration. Eye and ear protection will be provided. For registration forms and information on this and other BOW events, visit www.michigan.gov/bow, email [email protected] or call 517-241-2225.

Sleepy Hollow Guided Snowshoe Hike Planned for Feb. 20

The DNR and others are partnering for an opportunity to “GO-Get Outdoors” and enjoy a guided snowshoe hike at Sleepy Hollow State Park on Sunday, Feb. 20. The hike will start at 10 a.m. and end at 1 p.m.


The one mile hike will begin at the East Picnic Pavilion with an introduction to Sleepy Hollow and a short talk on winter survival and equipment before heading through the new growth forest of pine and oak. Visitors will stop at deer beds and look for signs of deer and other animals as they travel quietly along the trails, beside the lake and across the meadows with many rest stops along the way.


After the invigorating hike, participants can warm up by the fireplace at the pavilion with the interpreters who will have a box of “natural treasures” from the area to share. A grill will be


available for those who would like to cook lunch. It is advisable to dress warmly in layers and bring your own hot drinks and trail snacks.

A limited number of snowshoes are available for rent for this event with the following sizes: Young Youth (under 80 pounds), Standard Youth (up to 125 pounds), Small Adult (up to 175 pounds), Medium Adult (up to 220 pounds), and Large Adult (over 220 pounds). There is a charge of $5 per person for the snowshoe hike and. snowshoe rental is available for an additional $5 per person.


Advance registration is required. Call Kathy Donahue at the Clinton County Department of Waste Management at 989-224-5177 or email:  mailto:[email protected] for more information and to register. Sleepy Hollow State park is located at 7835 East Price Rd. near Laingsburg.  For more information about the park, call 517-651-6217. 



Dave Schad named DNR deputy commissioner

A veteran natural resource professional has been promoted to deputy commissioner of the Minnesota DNR by new DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr.


Dave Schad, 53, has served in the DNR since his student worker days in 1981, most recently as director of the agency’s Fish and Wildlife Division. Previously he was the agency’s Wildlife Section chief; he has also served as wildlife operations manager, regional wildlife manager, area wildlife supervisor, and statewide wetland wildlife coordinator and statewide forest wildlife program coordinator.

Dave Schad

Schad replaces Laurie Martinson, who was named deputy commissioner by former Commissioner Mark Holsten in 2007. Martinson’s role and responsibilities, as well as those of other commissioner’s office staff, will remain largely unchanged during an upcoming transition period, said Schad.  Schad and his wife, Carol, live in White Bear Lake. Schad is an avid hunter, angler, camper and bicyclist.


There is no word yet on Schad’s replacement; however Deputy Fish and Wildlife Division Director Ed Boggess will serve as acting director during the interim.


New York

DEC Warns Of Avalanche Danger in the Adirondacks

Back Country Visitors Cautioned about Snow Conditions

The New York Staten DEC warned Adirondack back country visitors to be aware of the danger of avalanches and take necessary precautions. Snows have accumulated to sufficient depths on Adirondack Mountain slopes to create conditions conducive to avalanches.


While avalanche danger increases during and immediately after major snowfalls, as well as during thaws, avalanches can occur in any situation where snow, slope and weather conditions combine to create the proper conditions.  The majority of avalanches in the United States occur in the

western mountains. However, avalanches do occur in New

York and can have dire consequences.


DEC reminds back country winter recreationists to take the following precautions when traveling in avalanche prone terrain:

►know avalanche rescue techniques;

►practice safe route finding;

►carry safety equipment (transceiver, probe, shovel);

►never travel alone;

►know the terrain, weather and snow conditions; and

►inform someone where you plan to go and when you expect to return


ODNR offers deep discounts at Grand Lake St. Marys during 2011

COLUMBUS, OH—Camping, getaways, shelter house rentals and state dock fees will be discounted at 50 percent during the 2011 season at Grand Lake St. Marys State Park, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).


“ODNR will continue its unprecedented move to offer its visitors deep discounts for overnight and facility fees at Grand Lake St. Marys State Park this season,” said Ohio State Parks Chief David Payne. “State park visitors bring critical tourism dollars to local businesses and communities across Ohio; it is vital that we remain innovative in our ways to attract more visitors to Grand Lake St. Marys.”


The discounts, which begin immediately include:

50 percent off camping;

50 percent off shelter house rentals;

50 percent off Getaway rentals (rent-a-camp, cabins, etc.); and

50 percent off seasonal state dock fees.


Camping, shelter house and Getaway rental fee discounts apply from February 1 to September 1, 2011; existing reservations will have the discount applied at check-in. The camping and Getaway rental discounts do not apply on Memorial Day (May 27-29) or July 4th (July 1-4) holiday weekends.


Reservations may be made by calling toll-free (866) OHIOPARKS (644-6727) or on-line at www.ohiostateparks.org. When making a reservation, please select the “Grand Lake Special” from the drop-down menu for discounts. No other discounts will apply to this special discount, which is being offered exclusively at Grand Lake St. Marys State Park.


Grand Lake St. Marys State Park offers a variety of overnight and day-use activities including: 176 electric campsites and 28 non-electric sites; full service camp store; bike rentals; miniature golf; basketball and volleyball courts; playground equipment; dog park; and free WiFi.


Ice Covered Trees Pose Safety Risks

Caution urged in dealing with unsafe conditions
COLUMBUS, OH– Ice and wind are not only hazardous for walking and driving, but the recent build up of ice on trees is adding to the challenging weather conditions. These winter storm conditions can impact Ohio’s tremendous tree resources, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Forestry.


“Ice can increase the weight of branches by 10 to 100 times, and coupled with windy conditions, can present added dangers,” cautioned Robert Boyles, Division of Forestry’s acting state forester and chief. “Homeowners and woodland owners should be very careful around their properties, not only during the current winter storm, but when later dealing with damaged trees.”


ODNR’s Division of Forestry suggests waiting until ice has melted off trees, whenever possible, before addressing tree damage. The stress of leaning trees and bent or broken

branches can present unsafe conditions. Trees overhanging

homes or around utility lines may cause problems as well.


“In addition to weathering storms better, well-maintained residential, city or woodland tree resources provide Ohioans with numerous environmental, social and economic benefits,” said Boyles.   Trees with pre-existing conditions, such as weak branches and shallow roots, are the most prone to ice failure. A certified arborist can provide guidelines for dealing with damaged residential trees, and insured and bonded tree care companies have experience and proper equipment for cutting and disposing of hazard trees and branches.


Woodland owners can check with a certified forester or their Division of Forestry service forester for advice on dealing with heavily impacted areas. The Ohio Forestry Association maintains a list of Ohio Master Logging companies who may be able to assist woodland owners with damaged woodlands. Visit the association’s Web site at www.ohioforest.org or call the office at (614) 497-9580.

Other Breaking News Items

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Michigan plan to revive muskie stocking in Great Lakes returns

LANSING -- A plan to revive Great Lakes muskie populations throughout the state will begin this year following a series of delays because of fish health issues at state hatcheries.  DNR officials plan to collect native Great Lakes muskie eggs from Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River in coming months


Clemson Prof named U.S. co-chair of Science Advisory Board

William Bowerman, professor of environmental toxicology and wildlife ecology at Clemson University, has been appointed United States co-chairman of the Great Lakes Science Advisory Board for the United States-Canada International Joint Commission.


Niagara County (NY) lawmakers oppose Power Authority windmill project
The Niagara County Legislature voted, 14-4, Tuesday to oppose the New York Power Authority’s Great Lakes wind power project.


Wind power not worth the cost to Algoma?
NDP Western Arctic MP Dennis Bevington thought long and hard about what would change if proposed industrial wind projects go ahead in the Algoma, Ont. area.


Who owns the beach? Court to decide
Years of legal battles over property rights along the Lake Erie shore may finally come to an end when the Ohio Supreme Court rules on the matter in the next few months.



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