Week of February 14, 2011

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes
Misc New Fishing-Boating Products
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues


Lake Erie

Other Breaking News Items


       Weekly News Archives


       New Product  Archives

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing Classic
When: U.S. Locations Feb. 25-March 13 Canada Locations March 11-27
Where: 52 Bass Pro Shops store locations across United States and Canada
How much: Free

Some 5 million people attended the Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing Classics last year—lending credibility to the statistic that more people go fishing than go to Disney World—the world’s number one resort –30 million anglers vs 16 million Disney visitors ( www.sportsmenslink.org). Bass Pro Shops offers customers the ability to enjoy their outdoor adventures, hobbies, vacations, etc through their FREE events.  Plus they provide seminars, workshops and professional field experts to help customers maximize their outdoor experience, along with free kids’ activities. Also, there will be interview and photo opps potential with anglers, customers and area visitors.


Special events:

BASSMaster University Weekend with National Pros and
seminars –

U.S. Locations Feb 25-27  Canada locations Toronto March 18-20 Calgary March 12-13

Reel Trade-In – U.S. Locations Feb 25-Mar 2; Canada stores—March 11-16
Bonus Bucks—March 3-9 (U.S. only)
Daily Door Busters—U.S. Locations March 10-13  Canada—March 24-27

Bass Pro Shops Next Generation™ Weekend—U.S. locations March 12-13 Canada locations March 26-27 Noon to 5pm Plus, customers may register to win the “Florida Fishing Vacation” Sweepstakes.  Fishing trip for winner and one guest to the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area with the opportunity for the winner and winner’s guest to appear in an episode of “Bass 2 Billfish” with show host Peter Miller (one winner drawn nationally).  And, one customer at each store will receive an exciting spring fishing product package.


10 Tons of Illegal Striped Bass Seizure Spurs Shut Down of Season

DNR, stakeholders offer reward for information leading to rockfish poachers' arrest

Annapolis, Md. (February 4, 2011) — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has shut down the February striped bass gill net season after Natural Resources Police (NRP) confiscated more than 10 tons of illegally caught striped bass in two days. NRP seized the 20,016 pounds of rockfish from four illegally anchored gill nets found near Bloody Point Light, south of Kent Island in the Chesapeake Bay.

“Wanton illegal behavior cannot, and will not be tolerated,” said Secretary John Griffin. “The people of Maryland have invested far too much time, effort and money into restoring striped bass, our State fish. These poachers are stealing from every Maryland citizen... including from our honest, hardworking watermen who follow the law. I particularly want to commend our dedicated Natural Resources Police officers, many of whom staked out the sites overnight, during terrible weather conditions."
Maryland’s commercial striped bass fishery is managed on a quota system, in cooperation with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission; the commercial gill net quota for February is 354,318 pounds.  When the illegally harvested striped bass confiscated by the NRP were deducted from the quota, DNR was forced to immediately shut down the fishery. The fishery will remain closed until DNR can determine the extent of illegal nets out on the Bay and the amount of striped bass caught in those nets.
“Watermen are allowed to catch about 300 pounds of rockfish per day. We seized 20,000 pounds. That means these poachers are stealing 66 days of work from honest watermen,” said DNR Fisheries Service Director Tom O’Connell.

The State, along with the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), The Maryland Watermen’s Association, the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen’s Association and the Maryland Charter Boat Association, is offering a reward of more than $7,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of a person or persons responsible for setting these anchored

gill nets in the vicinity of Bloody Point Light.  Funding for

the reward will come from dedicated funding as well as contributions from these stakeholder groups, who are publicly denouncing these crimes. 


“Today’s announcement demonstrates that illegal fishing that steals the resource from all Marylanders will not be tolerated,” said CCA Maryland Executive Director Tony Friedrich.  “We look forward to working with the Department and other stakeholders to insure that the penalties for these types of crimes are strengthened and those responsible are held fully accountable.”


“The Maryland Watermen’s Association is here to protect the honest fisherman,” said Association President Larry Simns.  “We’d like to do anything in our power to catch the person responsible for this and we’d hope they’d lose their license.”  

“The Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association is extremely disheartened and outraged over the events of the past several days,” said Executive Director Dave Smith.  “This type of flagrant disregard for the law and our vital resource must end.  The MSSA is working with the Department and other stakeholder groups to put in place deterrents and meaningful consequences for these types of crimes.”


The NRP found the first anchored gill net on Monday, January 31 at 2 p.m., the day before the February striped bass gill net season opened. Officers began a surveillance detail and after 17 hours without activity officers pulled up the net, which was full of rockfish. Officers continued pulling the net and offloading the fish until 9 p.m., when 6,121 pounds of fish were taken out of the 900 yards of illegal anchored gill net; 400 pounds were given to state biologists for use in an expanded gender sampling survey, and 5,721 pounds were sold.
Officers located another net at about 9 p.m. near the first net and began to pull it up immediately. NRP continued to load the net and fish into patrol boats throughout the night. While loading the second net, officers found two additional nets. The NRP worked until 5 p.m. Wednesday evening, landing an additional 13,895 pounds of illegally caught fish.
Officers also recovered 2,100 yards of anchored gill net from the Choptank River on Sunday, January 30, and 100 yards of anchored gill net from the mouth of the Chester River on Thursday. These nets had a few fish that were released alive.
Information on this crime may be called into the Natural Resources Police Catch-a-Poacher Hotline at 800-635-6124. Callers may remain anonymous.

Misc New Fishing-Boating Products

Pure Fishing acquires Sébile Lure business

Columbia, SC – February 8, 2011 – Pure Fishing, Inc., a leading global provider of fishing tackle and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Jarden Corporation, today announced that it has acquired substantially all of the assets of the Sébile fishing lure business from Sébile International SA and its subsidiaries, a global supplier of fresh and saltwater fishing lures marketed under the Sébile® brand name.  
“We are excited to add Sébile lures to our offering, as they provide a strong complement to our current product lines,” commented John Doerr, President and CEO of Pure Fishing.  “Sebile’s award winning products, paired with our global distribution network, creates a powerful combination.  We look forward to working with Patrick Sebile to ensure that Pure Fishing stays at the forefront of delivering innovation to anglers around the globe.”
Sebile® lures are well recognized by the fishing tackle industry and anglers world-wide.  The brand has distinguished itself in the industry as the only brand to ever win, in a single year, both the Best Hard Lure and Best Soft Lure awards at ICAST (USA - 2009), three awards at EFTTEX (Europe -2010), and four awards at AFTA (Australia - 2010).

“Our goal was not to start just another lure business but to provide anglers around the globe with a new and unique range of lures borne from innovative concepts and ideas,” stated Patrick Sebile.  “Joining the Pure Fishing team will dramatically expand our opportunities for global growth.  I am very excited to have Sebile become a part of Pure Fishing’s portfolio of industry leading brands.”


Mr. Sebile, the namesake of the Sebile® brand, started his lure business in 2006.  He has fished in sixty-three countries around the world, has caught over 600 species of fish, and has compiled 327 IGFA, EFSA and FFPM records.
Sebile is a global provider of soft and hard bodied fishing lures.  Products are designed for all predator species catering to both fresh and saltwater needs. The company prides itself on innovation and new product development.  The products are differentiable from the industry-standards due to their distinctive shapes, designed to "speak" to the fish more than to the angler.  Headquartered in Palmer Lake, Colorado, the company has product distribution in over forty countries.




Brunswick consolidates construction site for Lund and Crestliner

NEW YORK MILLS — Dirk Hyde, president of Lund Boat Co., announced the consolidation of the Crestliner plant in Little Falls with the New York Mills Lund facility.


The manufacturing facility in Little Falls will phase down production and close by the end of the year, according to a Brunswick Corporation news release. Crestliner and Triton boats currently built in Little Falls will now be built in New York Mills on new welding production lines.

With the state of the economy, and particularly a struggling boat industry, Hyde said many production facilities have excess capacities, and the NY Mills facility allows Lund leverage for such a consolidation.


The transition will take time and Hyde anticipates they’ll see the initial prototypes for the Crestliner boats around April. “This is going to be a well-managed process and we’ll make sure we do it right,” Hyde said. The merger is a good thing for New York Mills, which creates the possibility of adding local jobs after lay-offs over recent years.


Approximately 180 production positions will be affected at the Little Falls plant, according to Dan Kubera, director of media relations at Brunswick. He anticipates about 90 of

those positions will be transferred to NY Mills or a plant in Lebanon, Missouri.


The Little Falls facility will begin to ramp down production in May, and is expected to complete that process in the fall. During that time, as many as 50 percent of Little Falls’ current jobs could be transferred to the New York Mills or Lebanon facilities. The company said that it plans to work with local community leaders and government organizations to help with the transition of affected employees.


“This is a consolidation of manufacturing facilities and not a reflection on the Little Falls facility or workforce,” Kubera said. “We’re approaching this as a merger of facilities.”  The Crestliner and Triton brands will be unaffected by the merger and will still be sold.


Brunswick, the parent company of Lund Boats, said the reasons for the merger include the fact the company has excess capacity within the Brunswick manufacturing footprint.


Brunswick plans to invest capital in the remaining plants in the form of equipment, paint booths, and employee training to maintain and improve upon the current quality.

Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Stealth Hunting Systems

Make it easy to be connected

BRIGHTON, MI - Stealth Hunting Systems (SHS) has introduced its patent-pending revolutionary line of lightweight, composite products that allow the hunter/outdoors person the ability to design and build their own permanent hunting blinds as well as other camouflaged products. 

There's not another product on the market today that has the
 versatility, durability, portability and longevity that SHS delivers to the hunter. The Stealth Hunting Systems' material is completely waterproof, wind-resistant and UV resistant, putting it in a class all by itself. SHS is a fiberglass reinforced thermal plastic which is practically indestructible. 

SHS is so durable it won't rip or be torn by Mother Nature's wrath like other camouflage hunting fabrics do. It will never absorb water even if submerged for a season under water or start to smell like other fabrics will once wet.


SHS is very lightweight with a 4' wide x 25' long roll weighing in under 20 pounds and can be rolled up and placed in our custom back pack making it a very portable hunting blind. SHS is a versatile concealment product for hunting structures and is made to last. Available in Mossy Oak® Break-Up Infinity®, Obsession®, Duck Blind®, Treestand®, Winter Brush® and Winter Break-Up®.

 For more info:


FWS New Report On Hunting and Fishing Trends

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a new report, Trends in Fishing and Hunting 1991-2006: A focus on Fishing and Hunting by Species, that provides a detailed look at fishing and hunting by species and offers a wealth of information on national and state fishing and hunting expenditures, participation rates, and demographic trends.


The new report, an addendum to the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation, represents a comprehensive survey conducted by the Service’s Wildlife Sport Fish and Restoration Program (WSFR). Data used to support the study were obtained from eleven fishing and hunting surveys sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA).


 “This report provides invaluable information on the state of hunting and fishing participation in America that will help state and federal agencies maintain and increase opportunities for hunting, sport fishing and recreational boating,” said Hannibal Bolton, assistant director of the Service’s Wildlife Sport Fish and Restoration Program. “I am encouraged by findings indicating that hunting and fishing participation rates are in many ways stronger and more resilient than previously believed.”


The following details are among highlights contained in the report:

►The number of turkey hunters has increased at more than twice the rate of the growth of the U.S. population since 1991.


►The number of duck and deer hunters has been stable since 1991.

►Turkey hunters in 2006 went out twice as many days as they did in 1991. 

►The rates for duck and deer hunters going out more days have also increased - by 20 to 40 percent.

►While the overall # of hunters has declined, most of this drop is attributed to a large decrease in small game and dove hunting.

►Fishing participation has dropped for nearly all types of fishing (i.e., freshwater and saltwater) and species of fish.

►One species for which fishing hasn't significantly dropped is flatfish.

►The declining numbers of anglers have increased their average days of fishing so that overall fishing effort has remained stable.


“We want reviewers of this research to understand that while the generalization that hunting and fishing are declining in popularity is often heard, this report shows that the truth is more complicated,” said Richard Aiken, the Service’s lead economist for the study. “This report aids those who want to point to positive aspects of participation in fishing and hunting in the U.S., and how recruitment and retention efforts can be designed to appeal to the correct demographic groups.”


To download a complete copy of the report please visit wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/NationalSurvey/reports




New weapon found may fight zebra mussels

Bacteria called environmentally friendly

Scientists have identified a new weapon to ward off two troublesome Great Lakes invaders: A bacterium strain that destroys their guts.


It may prove to be an environmentally friendly and effective method of controlling quagga and zebra mussels. Introduced to the lakes in the 1980s, the mussels eat up things like phytoplankton — food that native fish and other life depend upon.  They also clog things like the water intake pipes of power plants. Nowadays they are removed by hand or with the treatment of chemicals that can be harmful to the environment.


A strain of the bacterium, P. fluorescens, destroys mussels digestive systems.


Daniel Molloy, a researcher at the New York State Museum, once helped develop an environmentally safe method using a bacterium to kill black flies and mosquitoes. He had a hunch that a strain might be found to kill invasive mussels, says Molloy's colleague Denise Mayer.    And they found it hiding in plain sight.


"(The bacterium) is ubiquitous, you know, commonly found all over the world. It's everywhere, it's on your fingers," said Mayer, a lead research scientist at the museum, which hosts scientists in a variety of areas.


Their research was backed by, among others, the Empire State Electric Energy Research Corp. and the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory.


"Our intent was really to provide a tool to the ... power industry and such, to clean their pipes ... to reduce the use of some of the chlorinated compounds," Mayer said.  The method isn't designed for open water use so it doesn't solve the problem of the mussels' impact on the ecosystem.  Chemicals such as chlorine can harm more than just the mussels, Mayer says.  And power industries are interested in getting rid of current methods, she says.


"Some of the biggest supporters, the Department of Energy, you know ... they want a different method to use," Mayer said. "So it's not like they're out there saying, we don't care we'll apply this to the environment. They really ... would like to have an alternative."


Typically the bacterium is associated with plant roots and helps the plant ward off fungi and disease.


But it also contains a chemical that is exclusively harmful to the two mussels and destroys their digestive systems. Other critters tested, such as fish and other mussels, are unaffected by it.


The bacterium is a dish best served dead. Live cells could

make fish sick, Mayer said.  "The cells are actually dead,

so it's acting like a pill ... it's giving the mussels something to grab onto," Mayer said.  The researchers screened more than 700 bacterial strains in search of the one that would do the trick.


"What they were able to do was pretty amazing. It's more than just a needle in haystack," said Sarahann Rackl, an invasive mussel project manager at Marrone Bio Innovations.


The museum then looked for a partner to commercialize the bacterium into a product.


Environmentally friendly


Marrone Bio Innovations answered the call. The California company focuses on environmentally friendly solutions to pest management. The company and the museum shared a $500,000 award from the National Science Foundation to aid in the bacterium's development and commercialization. This year the company received another $600,000 from the foundation.


It is expected to be available in March under the name Zequanox.  "We feel that this is another product in the toolbox for people to use," Rackl said.  "There's a lot of value and potential value in this product because it's environmentally selective and benign."   And the product won't expose people to harmful chemicals, she says.


And time is money. Chlorine treatments, if done properly, can take seven to 10 days or longer, she says. Zequanox takes six hours.


DTE Energy spends between $100,000 and $500,000 a year controlling mussels in its six Michigan power plants, said Gary Longton, a DTE senior environmental engineering technician. The mussels clog pipes that draw in water to cool equipment.


DTE employs divers to clean pumphouses with the same industrial commercial-grade scrubbers designed to scrape barnacles off of boat hulls. Or the company treats mussels with chlorine or sodium hypochlorite.  "Detroit Edison knows their business and they have chosen primarily mechanical because it's the cheapest form; they're no dumbbells," said Don Schloesser, a research biologist at the U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center.


Longton says that the company is always open to new and effective methods to rid itself of the nuisances. He says that salesmen tests different coatings in the pump houses. Once it was cayenne pepper.  "We're always open for the magic bullet," he said.


"If anyone came up with the magic bullet, they could be a very rich and famous person," he said, "and no one has come up with a magic bullet yet."


Great Lakes could face water shortage over time

Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey are sending a warning that the Great Lakes region could experience water shortages because of climate shifts and surging demand, despite being the world’s largest freshwater system.  The report, released February 7, says the Great Lakes have so much surface and groundwater that heavy use and development haven’t greatly affected the overall supply so far.


Yet groundwater levels have plummeted about 1,000 feet in the Chicago-Milwaukee region because of pumping for


municipal supplies and could drop an additional 100 feet over the next three decades if withdrawal rates jump as expected, according to the five-year study by the federal agency. The 2.1 billion gallons that Chicago diverts from Lake Michigan daily has lowered Lakes Michigan and Huron by about 2.5 inches, according to the report.


The total amount of water in the Great Lakes, six quadrillion gallons — enough to spread a foot-deep layer across North America, South America and Africa — and the volume of groundwater surpasses that of Lake Huron.

Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing Classic
When: U.S. Locations Feb. 25-March 13 Canada Locations March 11-27
Where: 52 Bass Pro Shops store locations across United States and Canada
How much: Free

Some 5 million people attended the Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing Classics last year—lending credibility to the statistic that more people go fishing than go to Disney World—the world’s number one resort –30 million anglers vs 16 million Disney visitors ( www.sportsmenslink.org). Bass Pro Shops offers customers the ability to enjoy their outdoor adventures, hobbies, vacations, etc through their FREE events.  Plus they provide seminars, workshops and professional field experts to help customers maximize their outdoor experience, along with free kids’ activities. Also, there will be interview and photo opps potential with anglers, customers and area visitors.


Special events:
BASSMaster University Weekend with National Pros and

seminars –
U.S. Locations Feb 25-27  Canada locations Toronto March 18-20 Calgary March 12-13

Reel Trade-In – U.S. Locations Feb 25-Mar 2; Canada stores—March 11-16
Bonus Bucks—March 3-9 (U.S. only)
Daily Door Busters—U.S. Locations March 10-13  Canada—March 24-27


Bass Pro Shops Next Generation™ Weekend—U.S. locations March 12-13 Canada locations March 26-27 Noon to 5pm

Plus, customers may register to win the “Florida Fishing Vacation” Sweepstakes.  Fishing trip for winner and one guest to the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area with the opportunity for the winner and winner’s guest to appear in an episode of “Bass 2 Billfish” with show host Peter Miller (one winner drawn nationally).  And, one customer at each store will receive an exciting spring fishing product package.


Placing and Baiting Hog Traps Increases Success Rates

Texas is home to over 2 million Feral Hogs and their populations in Texas, Alabama and across the United States are growing at alarming rates, with agricultural damage estimates nationwide reaching $1.5 billion annually. Feral hogs have adapted to every region of the country and can be found in forests, swamps, brushy lands and deserts.


Michigan, with a population of about 5,000 of these critters on February 4th, declared them an invasive species.


Proper trap placement increases the odds of capture success and is an important consideration in feral hog management. Traps should be placed on or along hog trails linking resources such as food, cover, and water.  Enticing hogs to enter a trap is relatively easy; however, one common mistake that first-time hog trappers make is buying or building a trap, throwing bait in it, and setting the trigger. This technique can catch a few hogs; however, trappers that pre-bait their trap and practice a little patience will be far more successful.


Fig. 1 – Damage caused to a field by feral hogs

Pre-baiting of hog traps is a simple task. Once the trap is erected, tie the doors open so the door will not close or fall. Bait the trap heavily; whole kernel or soured corn works well. After baiting the trap, leave the area and inspect the trap every two or three days. Add additional bait as needed when checking the traps and inspect the trap for hog tracks, droppings, and rooting. Leave the door on the trap tied open until evidence of multiple hogs entering the trap is observed. After determining that multiple hogs are entering the trap, untie the door of the trap and set the trigger. By pre-baiting the trap, the trap shyness of the hogs is decreased and the likelihood of catching multiple hogs the first night the trap is set is increased.


Fig. 2 – Game camera in place

Adult sows and boars are intelligent and cautious. They usually are the last hogs to enter a new trap for the first time. Hog trappers who fail to pre-bait their traps usually catch juvenile hogs and fail to catch the adults. Since the adult sows drop piglets twice a year, it is very important to catch these adults for trapping to have any chance of


reducing the population. A game camera is useful for monitoring the number of hogs, determining the size of trap necessary, and providing information on the best time to set the trap (Fig. 2).


Fig. 3 – Pre-baiting outside a trap

Pre-baiting is very important to train hogs to enter the enclosure. Start by placing bait outside of the trap and through the trap opening (Fig. 3). As hogs routinely enter the trap, continue pre-baiting inside the trap for a few more days to ensure the entire sounder (group) is comfortable entering the trap. When the trap is ready to be set, place bait all the way back to the trigger, but do not scatter bait directly along the trip wire, as this may cause the hogs to trigger the gate before all of the animals have entered the trap


Live-trapping feral hogs is the most cost effective control method for eliminating large numbers of feral hogs from a given property. By properly pre-baiting traps and utilizing a little patience, landowners and wildlife managers can increase their trapping success rates and effectively decrease the amount of damage and competition with native game animals from hogs on their properties. Pre-baiting traps and utilizing motion activated trail cameras to identify when to set the trigger on a trap are two techniques to help anyone become a more efficient and successful trapper.


Other baits that are effective include: Corn fermented in beer, Corn mixed with used fish grease or peanut oil, Bread fermented in water, Dry dog food, ripe fruit commercially available baits and scents and Flour.

Vote for Top PBR Bullfighters, Win RMEF Adventure
MISSOULA, Mont.—Each weekend, the bullfighters of the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) risk life and limb to protect the riders. Now PBR fans can vote online for the best bullfighter “Save of the Week,” and the top 2011 vote getter—plus one lucky PBR fan—will win a special outdoor adventure from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Fan voting for the RMEF “Go To Guy” begins every Monday at 2:00 p.m. when three new nominee videos are posted at www.pbrnow.com/gotoguy.

“More than 100 million PBR fans have a fun new way to engage in the Toughest Sport on Earth—and get better acquainted with our work to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat,” said Steve Decker, vice president of marketing for RMEF. Decker said RMEF’s three-year Cowboys for Conservation partnership with PBR, which is based on the concept of “different kinds of bulls, same

kinds of people,” continue to produce tremendous visibility for both organizations.

Who are these tough guys? Each year, the top 40 PBR riders select bullfighters for the coming season. For 2011, selectees include Shorty Gorham of Cotulla, Texas; Frank Newsom of Paul’s Valley, Okla.; Jesse Byrne of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada; and alternate Joe Baumgartner of Red Bluff, Calif.


One of these bullfighters, along with a voting fan selected by random drawing, will win an outdoor adventure from RMEF, such as a 6-day rifle or bow hunt for elk on a private ranch in New Mexico (license and lodging included).  PBR’s Built Ford Tough Series events are nationally televised on VERSUS. Go to www.pbr.com for event schedules, more PBR information and details about the RMEF “Go To Guy” promotion.


Lake Erie

Lake Erie Steelhead Trout Angling Seminar Feb. 23

Bay Village Lake Erie Nature & Science Center

 Want to find out HOW and WHERE you can catch Lake Erie’s giant rainbow trout (steelhead) during the WINTER AND SPRING in local tributary streams and rivers?   Interested in learning about steelhead biology?  Want to learn more about spinning and fly fishing techniques for steelhead?  Want to know if steelhead are safe to consume?


Learn all of this and more during Ohio Sea Grant’s Steelhead Trout Fishing Seminar to be held in Bay Village at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, 28728 Wolf Road.   Scheduled for Wednesday, February 23, 2011 from 7 P.M. – 9:30 P.M., the seminar is co- sponsored by the Ohio State University’s Sea Grant College Program and The Lake Erie Nature & Science Center. 


Pre-registration and payment of $5.00 per person  (to help support the Nature and Science Center) will be necessary to guarantee seating.

Seating will be limited, and registration at the door will be accepted only if seating is available.  Call the Nature and Science Center at 440/871-2900 for more information

and details regarding registration and pre-payment for this seminar.


The seminar will feature two locally renowned steelhead fishing experts; Craig Lewis, professional steelhead guide and owner of Erie Outfitters Tackle Shop in Sheffield Lake, and North Olmstead’s Jeff Liskay, professional steelhead guide and regionally known steelhead angling seminar speaker.


Craig Lewis, a local steelhead guide and owner of Erie Outfitters in Sheffield Lake, will discuss steelhead fishing tactics and techniques for both spinning and center pin anglers. 


Steelhead guide Jeff Liskay will reveal his secrets regarding where, when and how to catch steelhead in local Ohio Lake Erie tributary streams using fly fishing equipment.


Dave Kelch, Sea Grant Extension Specialist with the Ohio State University’s Ohio Sea Grant College Program, will cover basic steelhead biology and provide and update on the state’s successful steelhead stocking program.


No Asian Carp DNA Found in Michigan Waters

Tests conducted this fall have not shown the presence of environmental DNA (eDNA) for either bighead or silver carp in Michigan waters, according to results received by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment earlier this month.


From Sept. 15 to Oct. 5, 2010, researchers from the University of Notre Dame and The Nature Conservancy collected 74 water samples from the Galien River and 122 samples from the St. Joseph and Paw Paw rivers, all located in southwest Michigan. All samples were negative for bighead and silver carp DNA.


Environmental DNA is a genetics tool developed by Notre Dame and The Nature Conservancy to indicate the presence or absence of species-specific DNA in an aquatic environment. Fish can release cells containing DNA in their mucus, feces and urine.


“This is great news for Michigan, but by no means should we relax our stance on Asian carp and the threat they pose to the Great Lakes Basin,” said Office of the Great Lakes Director Patricia Birkholz. “An ecological separation of the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes remains imperative to our goal of keeping this invasive species out of Michigan waters.”


Notre Dame plans to collect approximately 400 samples from Michigan waters in 2011 from the Grand, Pere Marquette, Raisin, Belle and Black rivers, though the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the MDNRE will have input into the final sampling plan, said DNRE Fisheries Chief Kelley Smith. 


“It is encouraging that there are no signs of Asian carp in the eDNA results, but we must continue to be vigilant in our own monitoring efforts,” Smith said. “We are encouraging anglers to learn more about Asian carp, especially juvenile Asian carp, which can look a lot like many species of minnows commonly used as bait by Michigan anglers.”


The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, through a cooperative agreement with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, is funding Notre Dame’s surveillance effort for three years.  The eDNA approach will be used to screen rivers throughout the Great Lakes Basin for Asian carp and other invasive species, such as Black carp and northern snakehead.


For more info on Asian carp and Michigan’s efforts to stop their spread: www.michigan.gov/asiancarp.


State Waterways Commission to meet Feb. 18 in Lansing

The Michigan State Waterways Commission will hold its regular meeting on Friday, Feb. 18, at the Country Inn & Suites, located at 6511 Centurion Dr. in Lansing.  The public meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m.


The commission will take action on a request from the City of Ludington for a seasonal slip increase, review and make recommendations for capital outlay waterways projects for 2012 and 2013, and adopt 2011 meeting dates.


The commission will also receive updates and reports from Department of Natural Resources and Environment staff on various boating projects, operations and other related items that affect the boating program, including the 2011 community harbor rate update report.  They will also receive an update on the sale of Recreation Passports.


The public will also have an opportunity to address the


commission on boating issues during the public commentary portion of the agenda.


The Michigan State Waterways Commission is an advisory group, created under Public Act 451 of 1994, Part 781, to address issues concerning public boating opportunities in the State of Michigan, including the acquisition, construction and maintenance of recreational harbors, channels, docking and launching facilities, administration of commercial docks in the Straits of Mackinac, and to advise on regulations and grant funding for the Great Lakes Harbors of Refuge.


For more information, contact Diane Munson, DNRE Recreation Division, at 517-335-3035, or www.michigan.gov/dnr, under “Commissions, Boards and Committees.”  A copy of the agenda is also available on the website.


Black Lake Sturgeon season harvest Results

The 2011 Black Lake sturgeon harvest season ended on the opening day, Feb. 5, with the quota of seven fish being attained, along with an additional harvest of four fish, said DNR officials. The fishing season, which includes spearing or hook and line fishing, was scheduled to run from Feb. 5-9, or until the harvest total of seven fish had been reached.


“Water clarity was excellent opening day, weather was beautiful, and fish were moving,” said Tim Cwalinski, DNRE fisheries biologist. “In addition, we had 330 registered anglers on the ice, an increase from 255 the year before.”


The first fish was registered very soon after 8a.m. on opening day, while the seventh fish was harvested exactly at noon. The quota hotline was updated within five minutes of seeing the seventh fish, and DNRE conservation officers were on patrol on the lake immediately notifying all anglers within the next 45 minutes.


“Our response was very quick, but some additional fish


were taken beyond the quota right around the noon hour,” said Cwalinski.


Harvested sturgeon ranged in length from 29 to 68 inches long, with weight going from five to 73 pounds. Some young fish were captured that may have been raised at the streamside hatchery operation on the Black River.


“The presence of young fish in the harvest is a positive sign that our rehabilitation efforts are working,” said DNR Fisheries Unit Supervisor Dave Borgeson. “Harvest of immature fish may take the burden off the larger reproducing females in the population.”

According to Borgeson, the DNRE along with Sturgeon for Tomorrow have set a conservative harvest rate for the Black Lake fishing season. “It is unfortunate that the quota was breached, but our very low harvest quota acts as a buffer to such events. This overharvest may occur in some years but other years no fish were harvested or the quota was not fully reached,” said Borgeson.

DNR Reports 14 Hunting Accidents in 2010, Three Fatalities

The 2010 hunting season in Michigan turned out to be the safest on record with only 14 casualty incidents reported, including three fatalities.


“Fourteen incidents is an all-time low for Michigan and hunting continues to be one of the safest outdoor

recreation activities to participate in, with a continued drop in incident rates since implementation of mandatory hunter education and mandatory hunter orange,” said Sgt. Jon Wood, DNR Hunter Education Program supervisor.


Summaries of hunting incidents dating back to 2007: www.michigan.gov/conservationofficers.


Some Ohio Boat Registrations expire March 1

COLUMBUS, OH– Valid registrations for approximately one-third of Ohio’s 424,700 registered recreational watercraft will expire March 1 and must be renewed before those boats are returned to the water, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Watercraft. Registration fees remain unchanged from last year.


The Division of Watercraft encourages boat owners to first check that their pleasure crafts have valid registrations for the upcoming boating season before returning those boats to the water. Recreational boating on state waterways, including the Ohio River and Lake Erie, remains highly popular as Ohio continues to rank among the top 10 states nationally in the number of registered boats. In Ohio last year, Franklin County remained in the top spot with the highest number of registered boats (26,850), followed next


by Cuyahoga, Summit, Hamilton and Montgomery counties.


More than $5.5 million is paid annually by Ohio boaters in watercraft registration and titling fees. Boaters also paid $15.1 million in marine fuel taxes in 2010. Recreational boating generates an economic impact for Ohio’s economy previously estimated at $3.5 billion yearly, according to a Great Lakes Commission study.


Boat owners may conveniently renew their watercraft registration online at www.ohiodnr.com/watercraft any time of day. For additional information about registration renewals, alternative registration renewals and general watercraft registration requirements, visit the Division of Watercraft's Web site or call toll-free (within Ohio only) 1-877-4BOATER.

Boating Education Required For More Ohioans

COLUMBUS, OH– A virtual flotilla of Ohio boaters, measuring in the thousands, is coming of age this boating season and must be certified to operate any powerboat greater than 10 horsepower on state waterways, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Watercraft.


Ohioans turning 29 years old this year and those who are younger are required to comply with a mandatory boater education law that has been in effect since January 1, 2000. The law requires all boaters born on or after January 1, 1982 to show proof they have successfully completed an approved boating safety education course if they operate any powered watercraft greater than 10 horsepower on a state waterway.


The law includes those who operate personal watercraft,

rental powercraft and persons 18 years of age and older

who supervise youth powerboat operators.


Last year, the Division of Watercraft issued a record 14,279 boating safety education cards certifying the successful completion of a classroom, online or home study course of instruction approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. Among this record total were 10,864 Ohioans, or 76 percent, who were required by the mandatory boater education law to attain their boating safety education cards. 


As a result of Ohio’s boater education law, along with improved boating equipment designs, marine law enforcement, education and public awareness programs, the number of boating-related deaths in Ohio has declined 26 percent during the period of 2001-2010 compared to the previous decade of 1991-2000.

Contributions to State’s Income Tax Check-Off Programs
Help Protect Ohio’s Natural Areas and Wildlife

COLUMBUS, OH– The best of Ohio’s unique ecosystems and their wild inhabitants are better protected thanks to donations to the state’s income tax check-off programs benefiting wildlife and natural areas.


Now that Ohioans are in the midst of tax preparation season, the Ohio DNR is urging taxpayers to remember these programs when filing their state income tax returns. Donations help ODNR protect natural areas and manage endangered wildlife.


“Some of the finest natural areas in the state benefit from funds collected through the check-off,” said Josh Knights, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Ohio, a private conservation organization.  “The state’s check-off program is an easy way for Ohioans to make an investment in conservation,” Knights said. “Contributions of only a few dollars go a long way in protecting our native species and healthy habitats.”


Check-off monies also help purchase critical habitat and fund wildlife research programs. A recent check-off program success story is the proposal to remove the Lake

Erie watersnake, only found on the islands of Lake Erie,

from the federal listing of endangered and threatened wildlife. Donations have helped protect the snake’s habitat, which is one of the smallest geographic ranges of any vertebrate in the world. 


Last year, Ohioans also helped ODNR preserve unique landscapes. ODNR’s Division of Natural Areas and Preserves acquired Ohio’s 135th state nature preserve—Daughmer Savannah in Crawford County—using donations from the Natural Areas check-off fund. The 35-acre site is the largest surviving portion of the Sandusky Plains, which once covered nearly 200,000 acres in north-central Ohio. This burr oak savannah is perhaps the best remaining example of this plant community type in Ohio.


Ohioans can donate all or part of their state income tax refund by checking the appropriate boxes on the state tax return form (line 25B or 25C on the IT-1040 form and line 18B or 18C on the IT-1040 EZ form) for the amount they wish to donate to either or both programs.  Taxpayers not eligible to receive a refund may send a check to either the ODNR Division of Natural Areas & Preserves' Natural Areas Fund or the ODNR Division of Wildlife's Wildlife Diversity Fund at 2045 Morse Road, Columbus, Ohio 43224.

Ohio’s Turn-in-a-Poacher Program Provides Rewards
Hotline number now available 24 hours a day, seven days a week

 COLUMBUS, OH- Eight Ohioans recently received a combined $2,420 in rewards for reporting wildlife violations to the Turn-In-a-Poacher (TIP) hotline, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. As a result of these calls, 31 people were convicted of poaching wildlife, including white-tailed deer and wild turkeys, and fined a total of $20,621 by Ohio courts.


The TIP program encourages individuals to anonymously report wildlife violations by calling 1-800-POACHER (800-762-2437). This number is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Tips can also be sent via the Internet at ohiotip.com.


Since the program began in 1982, more than $128,993 has been awarded to callers who provided vital information about state wildlife violations. Those calls helped lead to the arrest and conviction of 1,560 poachers and the collection of $623,381 in fines and an additional $169,654


in restitution.


The average TIP call results in the conviction of two wildlife violators and a fine of $674 for those convicted, according to Division of Wildlife records. For each dollar paid in rewards, $6.20 has been returned to the Division of Wildlife for management and enforcement.


Turn In a Poacher Inc. is a private, non-profit corporation that oversees the payment of rewards from calls generated from the public to 1-800 POACHER, which is administered through the Division of Wildlife. Program volunteers, representing the state’s five wildlife districts, meet on a regular basis to review tips received and determine award amounts based on the corporation's bylaws.


Ohio’s TIP program continues to help curtail wildlife violations across the state. Citizens can help, not only by providing tips, but also by making a donation to the reward fund. Donations can be addressed to: TIP Headquarters, ODNR Division of Wildlife, 2045 Morse Road, Columbus, Ohio 43229-6693.

DNR verifies more than 100 Bobcat Sightings

ATHENS, OH– Increased evidence of bobcats living in Ohio’s southeastern counties continues with the confirmation of 106 sightings by state wildlife officials during 2010, according to the Ohio DNR. The reports show an increase from the 92 verified sightings in 2009.

The bobcat is listed as an endangered species in Ohio and protected by state law.


Verification of the elusive bobcat includes photographs of the animal and its tracks; encounters through incidental trapping, from which animals are later released; recovery of road kill and sightings by Wildlife personnel. The majority  

of the 2010 verified reports occurred in Noble County and the immediate surrounding counties.


In an effort to further clarify estimated populations, ongoing research is currently utilizing scent stations and remote cameras for observation in several locations throughout southeast Ohio. These efforts have been supported by the Wildlife Diversity and Endangered Species Fund, which receives donations from Ohioans through the state income tax check-off program and by the purchase of cardinal license plates. Individuals wanting to donate can also make an online contribution at wildohio.com.


Coregonus replaces oldest Great Lakes research vessel

Construction on the Coregonus, the Wisconsin DNR's new Lake Michigan research vessel, finished in late January.  A replacement for the Barney Devine, the Great Lakes’ oldest active research vessel, is coming just in time.  “That very old boat was just on its last leg,” said Michael Staggs, director of Wisconsin’s fisheries management bureau.


The Burger Boat Co. completed the replacement boat, the Coregonus, in late January. It will serve as the department’s Lake Michigan research vessel with a home port at Sturgeon Bay, Wis. The nearly $2 million bill for the Coregonus was paid by fishing license fees and $500,000 in salmon stamp revenues, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.


"New features help the Coregonus move faster and researchers study harder. The aluminum hull will handle ice cover between four and six inches thick, said Fisheries Team Supervisor Paul Peeters.  That’s typical of a research season with the department.  Some research stations are 40 miles out in Lake Michigan, Peeters said.

The Coregonus can travel at up to 20 knots (about 23 miles per hour) compared with the Barney Devine’s 10-knot cruising speed. That lets crews get out of bad weather more quickly and reach destinations fast. The crew can process fish while en route to other research stations with an on-board laboratory and motion-compensating scales. Barney Devine crews had to reach port before conducting research.


Other features include a combination of gillnetting and trawling equipment, a mechanical dive platform, a deck crane to load the boat, a heated working deck to prevent ice, upgraded safety features and a tube for deploying hydroacoustic equipment. It’s just an open tube from the lab space down into the water through which they can pass acoustical sensing devices. The technique is possibly more efficient than netting or trawling to estimate fish numbers, Staggs said.


The 74-year-old Barney Devine served Wisconsin DNR research missions until last December. The boat sprung a leak while navigating through ice cover on its final mission to assess yellow perch populations. Dedication of the Coregonus is expected in late April, Peeter said.


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

New York allows Seaway vessels more time to comply with environmental rules
The New York state government has given commercial vessels using the St. Lawrence Seaway more time to comply with strict new environmental regulations that threatened to shut down commercial shipping on the Great Lakes at the end of the year.


Ludington Pumped Storage Plant to receive $800 million upgrade

LUDINGTON — Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison will invest $800 million over six years to upgrade and lengthen the life of the Ludington Pumped Storage Facility.


Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding in jeopardy

In a column in Sunday’s New York Times, Obama’s director of the Office of Management and Budge, Jacob Lew, specifically named the Great Lakes Restoration as one of three programs the president will cut in 2012.



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