Week of February 8, 2010
|2nd Amendment Issues|
|Other Breaking News Items|
Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute has received nearly $2 million to support research, education and outreach activities related to Lakes Superior and Michigan,
Illinois politicians have claimed that even a temporary closure of two Chicago navigation locks will lead to regional economic devastation, but a new transportation analysis released by Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox tells a different story
Asian carp public meeting in Chicago
EPA extends comment period for proposed open lake dumping
Court tosses industry's suit over N.Y. ballast rules
Perch return to local waters - in an old factory
Attempting to stop sea lamprey with an electric barrier has become a thing of the past on the Pere Marquette River, according to USFWS officials. The federal agency recently announced it no longer will operate its electric weir there and will resume treating the river only with…
February 3, 2010 - Alexandria, VA – In 2009 more anglers got out of the house and out on the water as fishing license sales rose by 4.7 % in states that participate in the fishing license sales index released by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and the American Sportfishing Association (ASA). Florida, Minnesota, North Carolina and Texas, four of the 12 participating states, are among the top ten states in terms of the impact anglers have on the nation’s economy.
The 12-state index represents recreational fishing in the United States. Eight of those states recorded higher license sales increases from January through December of 2009 over the previous year, according to Southwick Associates, a research firm that monitored the license sales information.
“Although the RBFF/ASA Fishing License Sales Index is a strong indicator of fishing license sales, it isn’t an exact measure of all fishing license sales nationally. However, should the 4.7 % rise hold true nationwide, it would represent one of the largest percentage increases in fishing license sales in over 30 years,” said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman.
According to Southwick Associates, fishing license sales increased at a faster rate in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the second quarter. Increases of 20 percent or more were common in the first quarter. However, a larger volume of sales occurred in the second quarter – the peak period for license sales nationally – and had the greatest effect on 2009 sales. In general, more fishing licenses are sold during the second quarter (April, May, June) than any other time of the year. Although the growth rate for license sales eased slightly in the latter half of the year, sales were still up for a majority of states in the index.
State natural resource agencies reporting license sales
numbers in 2009 include Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas and Utah. They were selected on their ability to provide consistent license sales data to illustrate both a national and regional perspective. As more states expand their data reporting capacity, the number of reporting states will increase. For participating coastal states, adjustments were made to account for new federal saltwater license requirements that went into effect in 2009.
“The typical angler spends $176 a year on just fishing tackle alone and contributes over $40 annually to conservation via license dollars and excise taxes. When the license sales index moves by just a tenth of a point, 40,000 anglers have entered or quit sportfishing. Even a small uptick in the index represents big changes in recreational fishing participation,” said Nussman.
“While more people fishing is good news, what’s key to growing the sport is keeping them coming back every year and introducing newcomers at the same time. RBFF’s Take Me Fishing Web site, our education outreach and other integrated marketing efforts will continue to work to accomplish this goal,” said Peterson.
Ultimately, anglers, and other sportsmen and women, are the most significant funding source for conservation in the United States. Through the purchase of fishing licenses and special excise taxes on gear and motorboat fuel, hundreds of millions of anglers’ dollars each year are collected or funneled to states for conservation and recreation. In 2008, $720 million of these excise taxes were distributed for fisheries management and recreational boating enhancement. In addition, fishing license sales generated $600 million in revenue for state fish and wildlife agencies.
CLEVELAND- The U.S. Coast Guard's Director of Prevention Policy recent announcement to terminate the North American Loran-C signal will mark the end of an era for Coast Guard Loran Stations Baudette, Minn. and Seneca, N.Y. on the Great Lakes.
Beginning Feb. 8, 2010, both stations will be decommissioned and cease broadcasting the Loran-C signal after 67 years of continuous broadcast to the Positioning,
Navigation and Timing communities. Termination of the program was supported through the enactment of the fiscal year 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations bill.
As a result of technological advancements during the last 20 years and the emergence of the U.S. Global Positioning System, Loran-C is no longer required by the armed forces, the transportation sector or the nation's security interests, and is used by only a small segment of the population.
NEWTOWN, Conn. -- In a year when one word, "fewer," described life in America -- fewer jobs, fewer home sales, fewer purchases -- hunters were responsible for generating a welcome "more" category, as hunting license sales rose by 3.5 percent in 2009 in states that make up NSSF's Hunting License Sales Index.
The 12-state index comprises several states from four main regions of the United States. Nine of those states recorded hunting license sales increases from January through December of 2009 over the previous year, according to Southwick Associates, a research firm that monitored the license sales information.
"Many factors such as weather and the economy affect hunting license sales in any given year, but in 2009 the economy likely had a more significant effect," said Jim Curcuruto, NSSF's director of industry research and analysis. "While the reasons for the 3.5 percent increase are speculative, past research shows that during slowdowns in the nation's economy it is possible that people have more time to hunt and that hunters take the opportunity to fill their freezers with nutritious, high-protein meat acquired at lower cost than if a similar amount was purchased at the supermarket."
States participating in the NSSF License Sales Index are New York and New Jersey in the Northeast; Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana and Tennessee in the Southeast; Minnesota, Indiana, Tennessee and Texas in the Midwest; and Oregon and Utah in the West. States were selected for their ability to provide license sales data on a regular basis. The geographical selections were made to offset potential variation in license sales by region. As more states are able to provide necessary data, the number of states will be increased, said Curcuruto.
According to the index, license sales got off to a good start in the first half of 2009. In the key turkey hunting month of April, license sales rose by approximately 17 percent over the same month the previous year. In June, which is the start of the fiscal year in many states and, hence, the month when many annual
licenses go on sale, sales increased by 16.2 percent. In the latter half of the year, which is when the bulk of hunting activity occurs and most licenses are sold, August and October sales were down, but September, November and December sales were up.
Curcuruto noted the findings were a bright spot when considering national hunting license sales totals from all 50 states showed little change from 2005 through 2007 (the most recent year that figures are available). During that period, license sales have held at approximately 14.5 million annually, according to that U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Typically, hunting license sales data does not become available until 18 to 24 months after sales end. "NSSF and Southwick Associates saw there was a need to work directly with states to receive data in a more timely matter," said Curcuruto.
The NSSF Hunting License Sales Index is designed to be an indicator of hunting license sales but not an exact measure of all hunting license sales nationally. Should the 3.5 percent rise hold true nationwide, it would represent one of the largest percentage increases in hunting license sales in over 20 years.
The index is a new project involving NSSF and Southwick Associates. The 2009 data was the first released in what both parties expect to be an ongoing effort. NSSF performs this type of research to better equip its member base with information that will help them make more informed business decisions.
Results from the index were first reported to NSSF members and media at the recently concluded 2010 SHOT Show. "Due to positive feedback from those sessions, NSSF plans to continue funding this project in 2010," said Curcuruto.
Results are based on a weighted average of trends among participating states, so that states with larger hunter populations have a greater impact on the results than smaller states. Due to confidentiality agreements, license sales data is not available on a per-state basis.
From USGS scientist Jeff Schaeffer; "You guys provided us with over 2100 stomachs during 2009. This was an amazing accomplishment. The data are processed, and results will be presented at the spring workshops hosted by Michigan Sea Grant. Last week we were informed that Michigan Sea Grant will provide funds that will allow us to continue the study during 2010.
There is much more to come...
Jeff and Ed
USGS Great Lakes Science Center
1451 Green Rd. Ann Arbor, MI 48105
CLEVELAND - U.S. Coast Guard Station Saginaw River rescued five people in Saginaw Bay, Mich., Sunday at approximately 7 p.m. Three females and two males were rescued after two all-terrain vehicles they had been riding fell through the ice. The victims were able to get out of the water, back onto the ice and call 911.
“We got out there and picked up all five people,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Greg Torrey, coxswain of Saginaw River’s airboat. “They all seemed okay, not hypothermic, just wet and really cold.” The airboat transported the five to Thomas Marina, where they were met by local EMS and checked for injuries.
“We dropped them off at the marina and they all got checked out by the ambulance,” added Torrey. “They didn’t need to go to the hospital.”
Because Great Lakes ice is dangerous and unpredictable, the
Coast Guard advises people to remember the following:
I - Intelligence - check the weather and ice conditions, know where you are going and know how to call for help/assistance.
C - Clothing - wear the proper anti-exposure clothes with multiple layers. If possible, wear a dry suit to prevent hypothermia, which can occur within minutes after falling through the ice.
E - Equipment - have the proper equipment such as a marine band radio, life jackets and screw drivers.
Recreational ice fisherman are encouraged to:
►Use the buddy system: NEVER go out on the ice alone.
►Dress in bright colors; and wear an anti-exposure suit that is waterproof, including a personal flotation device (PFD).
►Carry two ice picks or screwdrivers for self-rescue. They are much more effective than using your hands.
►Carry a whistle or noise-making device to alert people that you are in distress such as a cell phone or a VHF-FM radio.
►Stay away from cracks, seams, pressure ridges and slushy areas, which signify thinner ice.
VHS Virus Eliminated in Treated Eggs
A disinfection solution presently used for salmon eggs also prevents transmission of the virus that causes viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) -- one of the most dangerous viral diseases of fish -- in other hatchery-reared fish eggs, according to new U.S. Geological Survey-led research.
VHS has caused large fish kills in wild fish in the U.S., especially in the Great Lakes region, where thousands of fish have died from the virus over the last few years. The disease causes internal bleeding in fish, and although in the family of viruses that includes rabies, is not harmful to humans. Thus far, the virus has been found in more than 25 species of fish in Lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie, St. Clair, Superior and Ontario, as well as the Saint Lawrence River and inland lakes in New York, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Effective disinfection methods are critically important to natural resource agencies that collect eggs from wild fish stocks and private aquaculture because the spread of the virus to a fish hatchery could be devastating, said Mark Gaikowski, a USGS researcher who led the USGS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service research team.
“If VHS virus is introduced into the aquaculture industry, it could lead to trade restrictions, as well as direct economic
losses from the disease,” Gaikowski noted.
USGS and USFWS researchers tested the effectiveness of using iodophor disinfection in walleye and northern pike eggs and found that it eliminated active virus from fertilized eggs. Iodophor disinfectant solutions contain iodine formulated for use on fish eggs. The researchers also found that although some of the disinfection treatments reduced hatch, iodophor treatment at 90 minutes after fertilization occurred did not alter egg hatch or fry development.
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. 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.
For more information about this subject, as well as recommendations on the disinfection process, see the new USGS Fact Sheet online. Funding for this research was provided by the USGS and the North Central Regional Aquaculture Center from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperative State, Research, Education and Extension Service. The iodine used during egg disinfection was donated by Western Chemical Inc, Ferndale, Washington.
2nd Amendment Issues
According to the most recent Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax Collection Report, released by the Dept of the Treasury, firearm and ammunition manufacturers report excise tax obligations to be more than $115.8 million in the third calendar quarter of 2009, up 29% over the same time period reported in 2008.
The increase follows a 52 % increase in excise tax obligations from the previous quarter (2Q, 2009) and more than a year of record-high FBI background checks for firearm purchasers -- another strong indicator of firearm sales.
The report, which covers the time period of July 1 through Sept. 30, shows that $29.85 million was due in taxes for pistols and revolvers, $37.09 million for long guns and $48.89 million for ammunition. Compared to the same quarter in 2008, collections were up 50.2 % for handguns, 33.4 % for ammunition and 11.5 % for long guns. Encourage support for excise tax reform legislation: It is important that members of the firearms and ammunition industry urge their senators and
representatives to support S 632 and HR 510 -- pro-conservation, pro-business, bipartisan legislation to bring equity to the excise tax payment schedule.
For more info: NSSF's Government Relations Web page.
2009 Harvest summary by port, Lake Michigan (major species only), does not include Charter.
Five new state record fish - highlighted by a world record brown trout, were among 1,433 fish entered in the DNRE’s Master Angler Program in 2009. State records were also broken for pumpkinseed, redear sunfish (twice) and Great Lakes muskellunge.
A 41.45 lb brown trout, caught by Thomas Healy of Rockford on the Manistee River on Sept. 9, has been certified as a world record by the International Game Fish Association. Overall anglers entered 503 fish in the catch-and-keep category and 930 fish in the catch-and-release category, up from 430 and 871, respectively, in 2008.
The Master Angler Program recognizes anglers who catch fish
that weigh more (catch and keep) or measure longer (catch
and release) than established standards.
“Fishing was excellent in 2009 as evidenced by the large number of quality fish entered into our Master Angler Program,” said DNRE Fish Chief Kelley Smith. “This only reaffirms what we’ve long known - there’s world-class fishing in Michigan.”
For complete lists of Master Angler fish, go to: www.michigan.gov/dnrfishing, and click on Angler Information. Anglers who think they may have a record fish may contact Barbara Dilts in the DNRE Fisheries Division at 517-373-2966.
A 14 year old among the three winners
A Kalamazoo County seventh grader was among three winners of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment’s first Pure Michigan Hunt drawing.
Luke Haynes, a 14-year-old who attends Vicksburg Middle School, said he was “so excited I can’t even explain it,” when he heard he was chosen from among the 12,693 applicants. An already accomplished deer and turkey hunter, Haynes said he was especially looking forward to hunting for elk in Michigan this season.
So are the other two winners, 63-year-old Mario Chiesa, a lawyer from Dearborn and 59-year-old Joseph Serafinski of Macomb. Both men have hunted elk in the past in the West, they said, but both said they were excited to have the opportunity to hunt elk in Michigan.
The Pure Michigan Hunt winners were selected by random drawing for the opportunity to participate in every limited-access hunt available in the state - elk, bear, spring and fall wild turkey and antlerless deer. They will be allowed to hunt in any hunt area open in the 2010 season until their tags are filled. In addition, those chosen in the drawing will have the first pick of a hunting zone in a managed waterfowl area reserved hunt.
Applications for the Pure Michigan Hunt costs $4 and individuals can buy as many as they like. Serafinski bought 21. Chiesa bought five. And Haynes, he bought one. In all, there
were 33,758 Pure Michigan Hunt applications sold for the first drawing, raising more than $135,000 for the DNRE’s Game and Fish Protection Fund.
In addition to the right to buy licenses for all the state’s restricted hunts, the winners received “Nuge Java” brand coffee from The Evelyn Bay Coffee Company; archery hunting
equipment from Ten Point Crossbows, Horton Manufacturing and Darton Bows; and vests and callers from National Wildlife Turkey Federation.
“We are thrilled with the interest the hunting community has shown in this new opportunity,” said DNRE Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason. “We believe this is a hunt of lifetime and we still need to do more to get the word out to all Michigan hunters.”
Applications for the 2011 Pure Michigan Hunt go on sale beginning March 1.
Anyone who is 12 years old or older may participate, as long as their hunting privileges have not been suspended by the courts. Success in the Pure Michigan Hunt drawing does not affect any preference points for bear licenses or weighted chances at elk tags. In addition, hunters who are not eligible for an elk license because of past success are eligible for an elk tag in the Pure Michigan Hunt drawing. For more info: www.michigan.gov/puremichiganhunt .
The Michigan DNRE has added a two-day “GO-Get Outdoors” snowshoe making class at Proud Lake Recreation Area on Feb. 26-27, as part of its winter season schedule.
The class will be held at the Proud Lake Recreation area, in the River Hawk Conference Center, located at 3500 Wixom Rd. in Commerce Township. There will be a sign directing participants to the conference center. Participants will learn how to weave one of two traditional wooden snowshoe designs. Clyde Risdon, owner of Risdon Rigs www.risdonrigs.com, who designs and builds premier quality dogsled equipment and custom snowshoes, will be the instructor.
"This class will utilize creativity and hands-on learning, along with a great outdoor experience,” said Bobbi Audette, the park
event coordinator. The class fee is $181.60, which includes all necessary materials and equipment to make one pair of snowshoes, plus the cost of two Michigan resident daily entrance permits for the two-day course. If the vehicle has a 2010 annual permit, or the participant wishes to purchase an annual permit in-lieu of the daily $6 permits, the fee will be adjusted.
Class size is limited to six participants, and reservations are required. This class is recommended for participants ages 16 or older.
To make a reservation for this class, contact Bobbi Audette at 248-685-2433 or [email protected]. For more information about this event, the park, accessibility, or persons needing accommodations to attend this event, contact the park (TTY/TDD711 Michigan Relay Center for the hearing impaired) or visit www.michigan.gov/proudlake.
Open houses will be held on Saturday, March 6 in five districts
The Ohio Wildlife Council is considering a proposal for a 15" minimum size limit on walleye, sauger and saugeye on 16 inland waterways. The regulation is designed to improve the age and size structure of these fish populations on those lakes, creating better fishing for Ohio's anglers. This proposal would not go into effect until March 1, 2011.
The 16 lakes or reservoirs that are being proposed include Acton (Butler and Preble counties), Alum Creek (Delaware County), Atwood (Carroll and Tuscarawas counties), Buckeye (Fairfield, Licking and Perry counties), Caesar Creek (Clinton, Greene and Warren counties), Ferguson (Allen County), Findlay 1 & 2 (Hancock County), Indian (Logan County), Lake Snowden (Athens County), Metzger (Allen County), Piedmont (Belmont, Guernsey and Harrison counties), Pleasant Hill (Ashland and Richland counties), Rocky Fork (Highland County), Seneca (Guernsey and Noble counties), Tappan (Harrison County) and West Branch (Portage County).
A number of rules concerning the taking, possession and propagation of native Ohio amphibians and reptiles have been proposed. Two Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) sections that now deal with these species would be combined into one OAC section for ease of understanding.
In 2000, rules were implemented dealing with native Ohio amphibians and reptiles. Since that time, Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) Tag technology has changed and the laws need to be updated to reflect the new technology and record keeping.
Rules dealing with certain turtles and frogs were also
proposed. The daily bag limit for bullfrogs and green frogs would be raised to 15. There will be no possession limit on these frogs. Those pursuing frogs would still have to have a valid fishing license.
Snapping and softshell turtles would have a minimum shell size limit of 13" imposed for harvest. The closed season for these turtles would be extended from May 1- June 30. Currently, the closed season for these turtles is May 1 through the second Friday in June. The proposal allows continued turtle harvest for food while restricting the take of the most viable breeding-age female turtles.
All lands owned, controlled, administered or under agreement with the Division of Wildlife would be closed to collection of reptiles and amphibians, with the exception of bullfrogs, green frogs, snapping and softshell turtles. This rule would take a holistic approach to the management of amphibians and reptiles, ensuring sustainable populations continue to persist on state lands.
Open houses will be held on Saturday, March 6 in each of the state's five wildlife districts to provide the public an opportunity to view and discuss proposed hunting and trapping regulations with state wildlife officials. For directions to the open houses, please call 1-800-WILDLIFE or visit wildohio.com on the Internet.
A statewide hearing on all the proposed rules will be held at 9 a.m., Thursday, March 4 at the Division of Wildlife's District One Office, located at 1500 Dublin Road in Columbus. After considering public input, the Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on the proposed rules and season dates during its April 7 meeting.
HARRISBURG -- Sportsmen’s organizations with approved propagation facilities can augment local ring-necked pheasant stockings and increase localized recreational hunting opportunities by raising day‑old pheasant chicks supplied free-of-charge by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Applications to participate can be downloaded from the agency’s website www.pgc.state.pa.us, by clicking on “Self Help,” then “Forms & Programs” and then selecting “Pheasant Chick & Egg Program.” In order for Game Farm superintendents to plan and set hatches to accommodate requests, the Bureau of Wildlife Management must receive completed applications by March 31.
“To restore self-sustaining and huntable pheasant populations, the Game Commission is committed to creating Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas, as outlined in our pheasant management plan,” said Calvin W. DuBrock, Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director. “While we strive to create these areas, we continue to urge interested clubs to participate in our pheasant chick and egg programs, which provide wonderful opportunities to get young people involved in raising birds. In addition to learning about the food and habitat requirements of pheasants, they’ll have the chance to see the chicks mature into adult game birds, and to help increase hunting opportunities.”
In 1929, the Game Commission began the propagation of pheasants on an extensive scale with the establishment of two game farms. Over the next six decades, to off-set the increasing demand for pheasants from hunters, three other farms were placed into operation, and the day old pheasant chick program was implemented and made available to sportsmen’s organizations, 4H clubs, farmers, and other cooperators for rearing and releasing on areas open to public hunting.
In 1959, the number of pheasant chicks distributed to cooperators reached 229,685, an all-time high, in addition to the more than 88,500 pheasants raised and released by the agency at its four game farms. Unfortunately, cooperator participation has dwindled significantly over the last few
decades. In recent years, only a dozen or so clubs have participated; raising and releasing 3,000-4,000 birds.
Because of budgetary constraints, the Game Commission was forced, in 2005, to reduce its annual pheasant stocking allocation from 200,000 to 100,000. DuBrock said that the agency provides, free of charge, day-old pheasant chicks to clubs entering into an agreement with the Game Commission to raise birds and promote recreational hunting on lands open to public hunting. Gender is not determined as the chicks are boxed for distribution, but are generally at a one-to-one male/female ratio. The number of chicks received depends on the size of the club’s facility. The agency will provide enrolled clubs with plans for a brooder building, covered pen, and guidelines for rearing pheasants.
To be eligible to receive pheasant chicks, a sportsmen’s club is required to have a minimum of 25 square feet of covered pen space available per bird. In addition, 72 square inches of floor space per chick is recommended in the brooder building. All feed and expenses incurred in the work of constructing covered pens and raising pheasants will be the responsibility of the club. All pheasants propagated by organizations must be released on lands open to public hunting.
“Maximum recreational opportunities can be attained by releasing male pheasants as close to the opening of small game season as possible, and no later than the end of the second week of the season.” In addition to the cooperating sportsmen’s club program, the agency also sells surplus day-old hen pheasant chicks and eggs in lots of 100 chicks for $60, or 300 eggs for $180.
The pheasant is native to Asia. Recorded attempts to establish pheasants in North America date back to the mid 1700s. These early attempts were unsuccessful; it wasn’t until 1881, in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, that pheasants first became established. During the early 1890s, Pennsylvania citizens purchased pheasants from English gamekeepers and released them in Lehigh and Northampton counties. For several decades, many other small releases were made across the Commonwealth to establish pheasants for sport hunting.
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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