Week of February 21, 2011

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


New York
Other Breaking News Items


       Weekly News Archives


       New Product  Archives

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

N. Carolina anglers seeks end to trawling

PINE KNOLLS SHORES, NC - In response to a rash of massive striped bass kills along the coast, CCA North Carolina (Coastal Conservation Association) will request the NC Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) to eliminate trawling of any kind as a permissible fishing gear for striped bass. The incidents, photographed and videotaped by recreational anglers in the area, were the result of commercial trawling operations in state waters and have prompted outrage up and down the East Coast. CCA North Carolina will request decisive action at the MFC meeting in Pine Knolls, Feb. 10-11.


"The MFC has an obligation to responsibly manage these resources," said Jay Dail, Chairman of the CCA NC. "Allowing a fishery to dump thousands of dead stripers over the side as a regular course of doing business is not responsible management. At the very least, the Commission should immediately outlaw the use of indiscriminate, highly destructive trawls in state waters in favor of more selective gear."


In response to the first of the striped bass kills on Jan. 21, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries implemented regulatory changes to address discards of striped bass in the commercial trawl fishery. The Division replaced the previous 50-fish-per-day commercial trip limit with a 2,000-pound-per-day trip limit. The action was intended to allow the commercial industry to keep fishing while avoiding regulatory discards. The plan failed as another fish kill event, complete with trails of dead, floating bass, were


again witnessed and recorded.


CCA North Carolina will request the MFC to establish a commercial hook-and-line only fishery for striped bass, a far more selective gear that will prevent the tragic waste of striped bass common to trawls.


Sadly, the NC Fisheries Association's response to the recent fish kills wasn't about the unwanted loss of striped bass, but one of location, "The federal government obstinately refuses to allow an increase on commercial quota or any percentage rollover, and the EEZ is still closed. These boats wouldn't be anywhere near these recreational boats who were taking all the videos if they didn't have to stay within three miles." stated its director.


"This isn't a question of 'getting away with it.' It's about a flagrant waste of a public resource. On top of that, the economic hit of denying those fish to recreational anglers should be a significant concern to the state," said Jim Hardin, President of CCA NC.   In 2000, a study by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science indicated Virginia stood to generate about $181 million if the state allocated 100 percent of the striped bass to the recreational sector. Allocating 100 percent of that state's stripers to the commercial industry would generate about $24 million. "Allowing this kind of destructive fishing practice to continue off our coast does not make sense at any level. It has to stop and we expect the MFC to take appropriate, effective action."

Maryland DNR Police Locate Additional Illegal Nets

Annapolis, Maryland - The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) located additional illegal anchored gill nets on Friday evening, February 11. Two 900 yard strings of illegal anchored gill nets were located in Eastern Bay. One net was found about a mile south of Bloody Point Light and the second net was found about 2 ½ miles NE of Bloody Point Light in Eastern Bay.

A total of 3,879 pounds of rockfish were removed from the anchored gill nets. Those fish will be sold and the money will be used for natural resources law enforcement . NRP patrol boat GPS track lines indicated that the area where the nets were found had been previously searched the week before. At that time, there were no indications of nets in the area.

Discovery of the illegal gill nets comes less than two weeks after NRP confiscated more than 10 tons of illegally caught striped bass from four illegally anchored gill nets near Bloody Point Light, south of Kent Island in the Chesapeake Bay. After the initial find, DNR was forced to shut down the striped bass gill net season.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is now offering a $22,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of poachers involved in illegally catching the first 10 tons of rockfish DNR, its partners and private citizens are putting forward $10,000 and the Chesapeake Bay Savers is matching that money with another $10,000. The Maryland Saltwater Sport Fisherman's Association has also donated $2,500.

"I want to thank the Chesapeake Bay Savers and all of our partners who have donated money," said Governor Martin O'Malley. "This money is not only a reward, but represents

the commitment of all Marylanders to invest in restoring the native populations in the Bay and protecting that investment."

"Poachers are criminals who destroy the Chesapeake Bay for their personal profit and take the food off the table of honest, hard-working watermen who take pride in working Maryland's waters," said Evan Thalenberg, Chesapeake Bay Savers founder.


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. Before reopening the season, DNR will make sure the current system for accounting for harvest is sufficient and that reopening does not increase the risk for further poaching.

DNR stakeholders immediately stepped up to donate money for a reward. A private citizen also pledged $500 toward catching the poacher or poachers responsible. The Chesapeake Bay Savers then pledged to match the total reward.

The Chesapeake Bay Savers was founded in 2009 and represent thousands of Maryland taxpayers who are vocal about the need to improve the water quality of the Bay and replenish its natural resources such as oysters and crabs. Their mission is to participate in grassroots projects such as aquaculture and advocate for laws that protect the Chesapeake Bay.

Misc New Fishing-Boating Products

Streamlight New All Led Twin-Task Led Models

Enhanced Twin Task Line Provides C4 LED Technology, Multiple Lighting Modes

Streamlight has introduced all-LED versions of its popular Twin-Task line of work lights.  Each of the new models features all-LED light sources that provide multiple lighting modes, including a smooth, penetrating beam for distance as well as up to two additional settings for wide area lighting tasks and long run times.


Each of the new flashlights, all seven models, feature a center C4® LED with a textured reflector to provide an even beam along with a piercing hotspot for distance use.  Each light also features up to two additional settings, powered by either three or six ultra-bright white LEDs, designed for area lighting use and extended run time.  The UV models also feature up to six ultraviolet LEDs to assist with leak detection and other industrial uses, while the Twin Task 3AAA Laser includes a convenient laser pointer to help

professionals more accurately delineate problems.


A push-button head switch toggles between light options on all models. 


The C4 LED, Streamlight’s most advanced LED technology, is impervious to shock with a 50,000 hour lifetime.  The ultra-bright white LEDs each have a 100,000 hour lifetime.  Each of the new Twin-Task lights is IPX4 rated for water resistant operation.  All models are corrosion and water resistant, are O-ring sealed, and are impact resistance tested to one meter.  


All models include Streamlight's Limited Lifetime warranty.


About $50.00 - $80.00


(800) 523-7488



Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Hoppe’s Donates Cleaning Kits to U.S. Marines

Overland Park, Kan.  - Hoppe's, The Gun Care People, has partnered with America 4R Marinesto supply more than 5,000 BoreSnake gun cleaning kits to U.S. Marines currently serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Founded in 2006, America 4R Marines is a nonprofit organization that supplies much needed items for battalions or units in the most remote and hostile areas of operation.


The mission of America 4R Marines is to not only support the troops with basic human needs and comfort items, but to also provide tactical products that can help military personnel better maintain their equipment and remain safe in combat zones.


The Hoppe's BoreSnake Soft-Sided Gun Cleaning Kit allows soldiers to quickly clean the bore of their weapon and get it back in to service. The BoreSnake's

one-pass design loosens large particles, scrubs out the remaining residue with a bronze brush and then swabs it spotless with a cleaning area that is 160 times larger than a standard patch. The patented product is also small and lightweight for easy transportation in the field.


"We're honored to partner with America 4R Marines and provide much needed supplies to the troops serving our country," said Phil Gyori, vice president of marketing for Bushnell Outdoor Products, the parent company of Hoppe's. "It's a privilege to have an opportunity to support the units and battalions who protect our freedom each and every day," added Gyori.




Browning brings back Hydro-Fleece Waterproof Apparel

For 2011 Browning anounced the return of Hydro-Fleece - the original waterproof fleece pioneered by Browning in 1993 to give hunters ultra-quiet, waterproof clothing to keep them warm and dry.  New innovations and state-of-the-art fabrics make the re-introduction of Browning Hydro-Fleece better than ever. 


The new softer, quieter Hydro-Fleece fabric has an improved water shedding treatment on the fabric surface and also features Browning's new HMX bi-component waterproof and breathable outer shell fabric with OdorSmart anti-microbial lining that helps control the bacteria that causes human odor.  New insulated models feature ultra-warm, quiet and lightweight PrimaLoft Sport

insulation that provides the highest warmth-to-weight ration of any synthetic insulation.


New updated Hydro-Fleece models will include a PrimaLoft Parka, Jacket, Bib and Pant as well as a Hydro-Fleece Soft Shell Jacket and Pant.  3-layer Hydro-Fleece Soft Shell models add a new dimension with a form-fitting design to minimize weight and bulk.  The 3-layer fabric features new Hydro-Fleece fabric on the outside with smooth, fully-taped knit lining on the inside for ease of movement.  All will be offered in the Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity camo pattern.


Hydro Fleece PrimaLoft Parka, Suggested Retail, $300.00, PrimaLoft Jacket, Suggested Retail, $268.00 and PrimaLoft Bib Suggested Retail, $210.00.  Hydro-Fleece Soft Shell Jacket Suggested Retail, $232.00, Soft Shell Pant, Suggested Retail, $198.00.






Should rescue beacons be mandatory?

Obama approved law requiring EPIRBs on pleasure boats

The Coast Guard is authorized to require them from three miles out, but BoatUS has 'Big Brother' concerns.  Buried deep within the Coast Guard 2011 authorization bill is a short paragraph enabling the agency to require emergency locator beacons on pleasure boats when they go offshore - a measure advocates say could save lives while also saving millions each year in search costs.


"Searching is very expensive, not to mention that it puts people's lives at risk," says Richard Hiscock, a champion of vessel safety for more than three decades. The 65-year-old Hiscock - a former fisherman, harbormaster, congressional staff member and marine safety consultant, instructor and investigator - is semiretired in Vergennes, Vt., but remains passionate about safety.


He helped author the Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Safety Act of 1988 and introduced Section 618 (the emergency beacon provision) into the 2011 authorization bill, H.R. 3619. Among hundreds of provisions, the bill - signed by President Obama in October - authorizes the Coast Guard to require the beacons on pleasure boats when they venture three nautical miles or more from the U.S. coastline or from the shores of the Great Lakes.


Hiscock stresses that Section 618 does not enact anything or require the Coast Guard to do anything. It authorizes the agency to require the beacons if it believes they are warranted and to decide how to do it. He says he would prefer requiring the locator beacons beyond 20 miles because up to that distance skippers under most conditions can use a VHF radio to call for help. He agrees with the provision that would give boaters the choice of carrying an EPIRB or a personal locator beacon, which at $250 to $500 is cheaper than an EPIRB, which can cost around $500 to $1,000.


The concept is not new. On Jan. 1, 2004, Hawaii began requiring all vessels except canoes, personal watercraft, surfboards and paddleboards to carry a VHF radio, PLB or EPIRB when they go more than a mile offshore. Kayaks and small sail-training boats also are exempted when another boat carrying one of the devices is with them.


The following year, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators authored a model act virtually identical to Hawaii's that other states could adopt. None has, but the U.S. Global Maritime Distress Safety System Task Force, which works on international maritime safety protocols, has asked 29 maritime organizations around the world to promote a voluntary program urging all vessels to carry an EPIRB, PLB or VHF radio when they go more than a mile offshore.


'Big Brother' objections

Whether boaters should have to carry an EPIRB, PLB or VHF radio offshore or whether they should be urged to do so and allowed to decide for themselves is at issue, says BoatU.S vice president of government affairs Margaret Podlich. "BoatU.S. believes in EPIRBs," says Podlich.

Indeed, the organization rents them to mariners for offshore voyages. However, she says a lot of its half-million or so members don't see a need for more government regulation. "We have some members who wouldn't be bothered by a federal mandate," Podlich says. "We have a lot more members who would object strongly to this Big Brother type of mandate."


She questions whether it is warranted. "The Coast Guard could mandate that recreational boats that go more than three miles offshore carry a PLB, but I think that would be overkill," she says. The ocean can be fierce, but most recreational boating deaths occur close to shore and inland, not offshore, she says, and many of those who do go offshore already carry the devices.

The Coast Guard's Recreational Boating Statistics for 2009 show 70 boating fatalities in the ocean or in a gulf connected to the ocean. Although that number is less than 10 percent of the 736 deaths on U.S. waters that year, the cost of offshore searches is huge.


Search-and-rescue costs

The Coast Guard has resisted the idea of charging for rescues, saying it would discourage people from calling for help. But the costs associated with extended offshore searches were in the spotlight in February 2009 during a massive three-day search of the Gulf of Mexico for National Football League players Corey Smith and Marquis Cooper, and friends William Bleakley and Nick Schuyler, both former players at the University of South Florida. Only Schuyler was found alive, clinging to the boat's hull.


The Coast Guard says that if the boat had been carrying an EPIRB, searchers might have found it faster and saved three more lives. Others say it also would have saved the Coast Guard a big chunk of the $1.6 million search tab and spared rescuers the risks involved in a long search.


The Coast Guard, in an April 2008 memo on the costs of operating its boats, cutters and aircraft, says the direct cost of putting a 41-foot utility boat into a search for an hour is $873; a 110-foot cutter, $1,147; a 210-foot cutter, $1,914; an HU-25 jet, $5,731; a Jayhawk helicopter, $6,530; and a C-130 aircraft, $7,648.


In the search for the football players, two C-130s; two Jayhawks; 179-, 110- and 87-foot cutters; a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat; and other rescue craft from the Air Force, Pinellas County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were used.  "There are a lot of people who are sailing way offshore and a lot of people who are sportfishing way offshore in some fairly small boats for the places they are going," Hiscock says. He thinks the Coast Guard should consider requiring beacons on them.


Podlich isn't convinced. "If you can still see shore, I just don't think these day fishermen in a 21-foot Mako necessarily need an EPIRB," she says.  The Coast Guard would have to perform a cost-benefit analysis and hold public hearings before adopting a mandatory beacon rule. Hiscock says it might be tough to justify the regulation on saved lives alone, but the combination of saved lives and saved money could be compelling. "It's pretty easy to demonstrate that these things are real cost-savers for the government," he says.


The Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971 gave the Coast Guard authority to require pleasure boats to carry whatever "associated equipment" it deems necessary for safety - life jackets, fire extinguishers, visual distress signals, navigation lights - but the act excluded "radio equipment." Hiscock says he has asked the Coast Guard why it has not contemplated requiring EPIRBs or PLBs on pleasure boats. He was told the agency can't require the devices because they are radio equipment.


Section 618 excludes "emergency locator beacons for recreational vessels operating beyond three nautical miles" from the definition of radio equipment, which now allows the Coast Guard to consider requiring them, Hiscock says.  "From a search-and-rescue perspective, it is always good to have an EPIRB with you," says Jack Frost, who works in search planning for the Coast Guard Office of Search and Rescue. "It makes it a heck of a lot easier to find you."


Whether the Coast Guard will require one on your boat remains to be seen. "Everything that's in there, we'll be taking a look at," Coast Guard spokesman Senior Chief Petty Officer Michael O'Berry says.


Resolution to continue to allow hunting in Huron-Manistee National Forest Passes Committee
House Concurrent Resolution No. 2 was unanimously approved by the House Natural Resources, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation Committee on Tuesday, February 8.  This resolution expresses opposition to the imposition of a ban on firearm hunting in certain areas of the Huron-Manistee National Forest. 


Currently, the U.S. Forest Service allows firearm hunting in

all of the Huron-Manistee National Forest.  HCR 2 would

prevent the Forest Service from banning usage, which could set a precedent for limiting people's right to hunt and enjoy access to other public land.  For more information on this issue, please click here.


Please contact your state Representative and respectfully urge him or her to support House Concurrent Resolution No. 2.  Contact information can be found here.


New Report Explodes Myths on Mexico's Gun Supply

A new report calls "The 90 Percent Myth," which refers to the number of illegal guns in Mexico coming from the United States, "more political rhetoric than empirical fact."


In a report issued last week (link below) , the independent research group STRATFOR has corroborated what NSSF has been saying for some time about firearms recovered from drug cartels in Mexico: that it is erroneous and grossly misleading to say that 90 percent (a rounded up number) of the firearms recovered in Mexico came from the United States.


The truth is that less than 12 percent of the guns Mexico seized in 2008 have been verified as coming from the United States. The proof can be found in the U.S. government statistics

(http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09709.pdf) that the STRATFOR report explains below and that the pie chart clearly illustrates:


According to a June 2009 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, "some 30,000 firearms were seized from criminals by Mexican authorities in 2008. Of these 30,000 firearms, information pertaining to 7,200 of them (24 percent) was submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for tracing. Of these 7,200 guns, only about 4,000 could be traced by the ATF, and of these 4,000, some 3,480 (87 percent) were shown to have come from the United States.

"This means that the 87 percent figure relates to the number of weapons submitted by the Mexican government to the ATF that could be successfully traced and not from the total number of weapons seized by Mexican authorities or even from the total number of weapons submitted to the ATF for tracing. In fact, the 3,480 guns positively traced to the United States equals less than 12 percent of the total arms seized in Mexico in 2008 . . . ."

HSUS Scam job

Courtesy Rep. Jim Sacia, ILL State Representative

If you sent them money once, shame on them. If you’ve sent them money more than once, shame on you. You should have checked them out.


I’m referring to HSUS, the Humane Society of the United States. I’ve written of them before and the appeal they have for your money. Over the Christmas Holidays their ads were everywhere. Beaten down dogs, one eyed cats (and of course it was a big sad eye), and a lame, old, starved, and debilitated horse. And you, the concerned citizen, could fix all of this for a mere $19.00 per month sent to them to help care for these beaten, downtrodden animals.


Had you taken the time to do the research, you would have learned that the $19.00 per month translates to $228.00 per year and of that $228.00 total sum, $1.03 would have reached an actual hands-on animal shelter. By comparison, HSUS had 555 employees and paid them $37.8 million in 2008. This includes over $2.5 million contributed to employee pension plans. HSUS’ chief executive, Wayne Pacelle, made just over $251,000 in salary and benefits.


This agency just must receive closer scrutiny. Using Ohio 


as an example, “HSUS made zero donations to Ohio pet

shelters in 2007 and 2008 and gave just $5,200 in 2006. This year, however, the organization is gearing up to spend millions of dollars in Ohio on the anti livestock farming ballot initiative.” (The Center for Consumer Freedom, not your local Humane Society, go to humane watch.org.)


My blood boils when I see you, the consumer, bilked out of your hard earned money by appealing to your sense of compassion and kindness. No one wants to see an animal starved and we all get a good feeling sending that money to such a noble cause. What a travesty!


The good news is the IRS has been investigating HSUS for over two years. Compounding the problem of completing their investigation, the IRS has never had to deal with allegations of tax fraud by a “public charity” as large and as complex as the HSUS.  You can help. Contact the United States Treasury Inspector General at 800-366-4484 (press 5) and respectfully request that case number 55-1005-0025-C be brought to conclusion.


Most importantly, give your money to shelters in your area and don’t ever be sucked in by these predators.



Chinook mass marking comes to Illinois & Indiana

A program aimed at improving the restoration and management of Great Lakes fish communities is coming to Illinois and Indiana this spring.


The Great Lakes Mass Marking Program will kick into full swing in mid-March when the two DNR mark over 525,000 small Chinook salmon scheduled for spring stocking in Lake Michigan. The 2011 marking effort is focusing on Chinook salmon to assess natural reproduction levels and provide fishery managers detailed data on survival parameters of each agency’s stockings.


Coded wire tag-mass marking technology has been used effectively in the Pacific Northwest and parts of the Great Lakes for many years, but federal funding has allowed for a basin-wide effort with all federal, state and tribal fish hatcheries participating.


 “The mass marking program is very important, and Indiana is committed to use this technology to learn more about where Indiana’s fish are caught and to compare survival from our three stocking sites,” said Brian Breidert, an Indiana DNR fisheries research biologist. “In addition to a

fin clip, each fish will receive a micro-tag specifically coded

to a stocking location. “Current estimates indicate over 50 % of the chinook salmon in Lake Michigan are wild fish, and use of mass marking will refine that estimate and lead to a better understanding of chinook population trends.”


The hatchery-raised chinook will be about 3" long when tagged and close to 4 inches long when they are released in March.


Biologists will use specially designed trailers from Northwest Marine Technology (www.nmt-inc.com), purchased by the USFWS, to count, measure, remove the adipose fin, and inject each fish’s snout with a small coded wire. These tags cannot be seen with the naked eye but the clipped adipose fin will tell biologists and anglers that a tag is present, indicating a hatchery stocked fish.  This equipment can mark about 7,000 fish per hour.


Beginning in 2012, biologists will collect information and Chinook salmon heads during creel surveys and fishing tournaments. They will focus on fish with the missing adipose fin. Trout and other salmon species will be tagged in future years so biologists will have the ability to answer questions regarding those species as well. 


Lake Michigan yielded five "Fish of the Year" in 2010

If you wanted to catch an Indiana Fish of the Year winner in 2010, Lake Michigan was the place to cast. It also helped if your name was Kotfer. Hoosiers pulled five winners out the Indiana portion of the Great Lake during the year-long contest, which recognizes the person who catches the longest fish of each species tracked.


Ron Kotfer caught a 24.0-inch lake trout in the Porter County waters of the lake using a jig and grub. He also caught a 33.0-inch steelhead trout in the Porter County portion of the lake using a J-plug. His 13-year-old son Michael caught a 31.0-inch chinook salmon in the Porter County waters of the lake using a J-plug. Michael also caught a 7.0-inch green sunfish from a private lake in Fountain County using a jig and plug to earn Fish of the Year for that species.


Steve Fiorio of Dyer and David Kniola of Michigan City landed the other Lake Michigan fish. Fiorio caught a 16.6-inch yellow perch while fishing Lake Michigan in Lake County using a minnow. Kniola caught a 31.5-inch brown trout in the LaPorte County waters of the lake but didn’t report a bait or lure used.


As successful as Ron and Michael Kotfer were, 16-year-old Danny owned bragging rights for the most Fish of the Year with three. Danny Kotfer’s biggest Fish of the Year was a 29.0-inch coho salmon he took from Porter County’s portion of the Little Calumet River using a Blue Fox spinner. He also caught a 12.0-inch rock bass from the same waters using the same type of lure, and a 13.0-inch bullhead from a private lake in Fountain County using a jig and grub.


The longest Fish of the Year was a 48.0-inch blue catfish caught by David Ben Mullen, a Central resident, in the Ohio River, using a skipjack herring as bait.

Other notable fish were caught in smaller waters. Fiorio caught a 47.0-inch muskie from Tippecanoe Lake in Kosciusko County using a Toppy Crappie. Kelly Williams, an Indianapolis man, caught a 42.0-inch striped bass in Cecil M. Harden Lake in Parke County, also known as Raccoon Lake, using a bluegill as bait. Patrick Ross of Mishawaka caught a 32.0-inch walleye in the St. Joseph River in Elkhart County using a bass minnow as bait. Mark Nance of Greenfield caught a 26.0-inch saugeye out of Huntingburg Lake in Dubois County, using a jig. 


There were 56 entries for Fish of the Year; 30 were recognized as winners. River and stream fishing accounted for 12 of the 30 entries. Eight came from inland lakes, and five came from private ponds. To view other Fish of the Year honorees and their information, see



Two Hoosier anglers caught fish of state-record weight in 2010.


Jonathan VanHook of Rockville caught a 39.08-pound striped bass in Cecil M. Harden Lake in Parke County, using a live bluegill as bait. His striper surpassed the previous state record, caught in the Ohio River in 1993, by almost 4 pounds.


Lindsey Fleshood of Wabash established the first state record for a shortnose gar in 2010.  Her fish weighed 1.58 pounds and measured 24.25 inches. She caught the fish in the Wabash River in Wabash County using a live creek chub as bait. She also caught the white bass and grass carp Fish of the Year.


For information about the State Record Fish or Fish of the Year programs, go to www.fishing.IN.gov/3577.htm.




Pure Michigan Hunt Winners to Embark on ‘Hunt of a Lifetime’

John Martin of Linden, Randy Willis of Augusta and Bruno Brun of Ann Arbor were selected to participate in the 2011 Pure Michigan Hunt, the DNR announced.  The three were chosen by random drawing from 8,719 hunters who applied a total of 23,417 times for the opportunity to participate in every limited-access hunt in Michigan.


The Pure Michigan Hunt began in 2010. It allows hunters to participate in any season and hunt unit for elk, bear,

spring turkey, fall turkey, antlerless deer and opening day

of duck season on a managed waterfowl area.


The Pure Michigan Hunt was developed by DNRE Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason as a memorable opportunity for hunters that could also help raise money for the state’s Game and Fish Fund. This year’s lottery raised $94,000 for the fund.  “This is the best call I make all year – when I call the winners of the Pure Michigan Hunt,” Mason said. “Their excitement about hunting and their enthusiasm about Michigan hunting, especially, is always a proud moment for me and all my colleagues at the DNRE.”


Applications for the 2012 Pure Michigan Hunt go on sale beginning March 1.

Lake Dubonnet State Campground Fishing Pier Removed

The Michigan DNR announced the popular fishing pier at Lake Dubonnet State Forest Campground, located four miles northwest of Interlochen via US-31 and Gonder Road, has been removed. DNRE engineers determined that the structure was damaged beyond repair and posed a public safety concern.  A replacement structure will depend on

successfully securing recreation grant funding.


For more information regarding the pier removal, contact DNRE Recreation Specialist Todd Neiss at 231-775-9061, extension 6045.  Information regarding other fishing and camping opportunities may be found on the DNRE website at www.michigan.gov/dnr.


DNR Seeking Lighthouse Keepers at Tawas Point Lighthouse

The Michigan DNR is seeking volunteers during the 2011 season to spend a week or two at the Tawas Point Lighthouse as lighthouse keepers.


This opportunity could lead to a unique vacation for those longing to turn back time to experience the quiet, slow-paced lifestyle of a Victorian-era lighthouse keeper.  The chance to enjoy spectacular views and the unique lodging has enticed vacationers to seek out this experience during the first two years of the Lightkeeper program.  During 2010, the entire summer season was booked by lighthouse keeper volunteers.


“The lighthouse has been in operation since 1876, it is one of only nine lighthouses on the Great Lakes with a working fresnel lens, and is still an active aid to navigation,” said Chuck Allen, Tawas Point State Park supervisor.


As a lighthouse keeper, volunteers would primarily be responsible for greeting guests, leading visitor tours, providing guests with historical information about the museum and the area, working in the museum’s gift shop and performing light maintenance of the buildings and

grounds.  Volunteers will also be required to learn basic

historical information about the lighthouse.


The Tawas Point Lighthouse is located on the grounds of Tawas Point State Park, 686 Tawas Beach Rd., along the shores of Lake Huron in East Tawas.  The Lightkeeper program is open to singles and couples 18 years and older, between March 4 and Dec. 23.  Allen suggests that volunteers should be physically able to lead tours through the lighthouse and tower, perform housekeeping duties and light maintenance or lawn care.


Volunteers can stay in the newly-renovated lighthouse keeper’s quarters for $250 per person, per week in exchange for their volunteer contribution. The living quarters include two bedrooms and a modern kitchen and bath. Dates and prices are effective through 2011.


For more information about the Tawas Point Lighthouse, the Lightkeeper program, to read up on the lighthouse’s rich maritime history, or to download an application, visit www.michigan.gov/tawaslighthouse, or call 989-362-5658 (TTY/TDD711 Michigan Relay Center for the hearing impaired).  For more information about the park, accessibility or events, contact the park at 989-362-5041 or visit www.michigan.gov/tawaspoint.


DNR begins Overhaul of License-Buying Experience

Those who buy hunting, fishing and ORV licenses and snowmobile trail permits online will soon see improvements to the E-License system (www.mdnr-elicense.com), as the Department of Natural Resources and Environment begins revamping the license-buying experience with upgrades to E-License.


The DNR – in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget and in partnership with HP Enterprise Services – is upgrading E-License's hardware and software to modernize the 16-year-old license-buying system. Starting with the new license year on March 1, improvements to the system's look and feel will include easy-to-read onscreen displays, item selection layout grouped by species with expandable categories, larger font and compatibility with currently available readers for the visually impaired. 


"These enhancements are part of our renewed focus on


improving customer service, and will make it easier for the online user to quickly find a license or application. The

behind-the-scenes upgrades will enable us to deliver licenses reliably to Michigan citizens well into the future," said Department of Natural Resources Director-Designate Rodney Stokes. "We had the first automated license-buying system in the U.S. when we launched the current system in 1995, and now it's time to renovate it with new technology."


Online buying on E-License will be unavailable on the morning of Feb. 24 and will resume at noon that day.  Customers will be able to buy licenses at any retail agent without interruption. 


"This is an important first step in making it easier for our customers to get out and enjoy Michigan's natural resources, and we have many more improvements planned over the next five years," said Stokes. "Next up are improvements to license-buying hardware and software in our retail locations."

New York

NYDEC Announces State of Lake Ontario Meetings

The New York State DEC announces three upcoming public meetings during the month of March to discuss Lake Ontario fisheries. The annual "State of Lake Ontario" public meetings will be held in Niagara, Monroe and Oswego counties.

"DEC is committed to sound management of Lake Ontario fisheries to maintain high-quality angling opportunities and associated economic benefits," Chief of DEC's Bureau of Fisheries Phil Hulbert said. "The State of Lake Ontario meetings provide an excellent opportunity for individuals interested in the lake to interact with the scientists who study its fisheries."

Lake Ontario and its embayments and tributaries support thriving populations of fish, including a variety of trout and salmon, bass, walleye, yellow perch and panfish. New York's waters of Lake Ontario comprise over 2.7 million acres, and a 2007 statewide angler survey estimated over 2.6 million angler days expended on Lake Ontario and major tributaries. The estimated value of these fisheries exceeded $112 million to the local New York economy.

Meeting dates:
Wednesday, March 2, 2011: 7 - 10 PM, Oswego County

BOCES, 179 County Route 64, Mexico, 13114 (Oswego County). The meeting is co-hosted by the Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Association.

Thursday, March 3, 2011: 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport, 14094 (Niagara County). The meeting is co-hosted by Niagara County Cooperative Extension and the Niagara County Sportfishery Development Board.

Monday, March 14, 2011: 7 - 10 p.m. at the Imaging Sciences Auditorium, in Chester Carlson Building (76) on the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus, Rochester, 14623 (Monroe County). The meeting is co-hosted by RIT and the Monroe County Fishery Advisory Board.

DEC, United States Geological Survey, and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources biologists will make a number of presentations, including updates on the status of trout and salmon fisheries, forage fish, lake trout, warmwater fish, and sea lamprey control. There will also be an update on the status of Lake Ontario Sportfishing Restoration Program projects. There will be ample time at the end of the scheduled program for the audience to interact with the presenters.



Ohio Wildlife Council Hears Proposed Ohio River Regulations 

COLUMBUS, OH- The Ohio Wildlife Council is considering a proposal to move towards unification of fishing regulations along the entire Ohio River, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.


The Ohio River Fisheries Management Team, which consists of the fishery resource managers from Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois, is working towards greater uniformity in regulations between the eastern and western units of the Ohio River, and throughout the river among all border states. This will mean that Ohio River anglers will encounter the same fishing regulations at any place on the Ohio River.

Regulations being considered in the Eastern Unit include implementing a 12-inch minimum length limit for black bass (largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass); changing striped, hybrid striped and white bass from “no daily limit” (with no more than four over 15 inches) to a daily limit of “30” (with no more than four over 15 inches); and removing yellow bass from this regulation. It is also being proposed to implement a black and white crappie daily limit of 30 fish, and remove the northern pike daily limit and minimum length limit.


In the Western Unit, regulations being considered include changing the 12-inch minimum length limit for largemouth and smallmouth bass to include all black bass

(largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass); also, removing yellow bass from the striped, hybrid striped and white bass combination for regulations.


A 9-inch minimum size limit on crappie with a 30-fish daily bag limit is being proposed for Metzger Reservoir in Allen County and the Mahoning River between Berlin Lake and Lake Milton in Mahoning and Portage counties and the Mahoning River from the dam at Lake Milton to West Mahoning/Trumbull County Line Rd.


This proposed regulation will add these two areas to the already 44 existing waterways with the same regulations.  The final proposal is for a 10-horse power limit on Wayne R. Carr Lake in Paulding County.


Open houses will be held on Saturday, March 5 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.


A statewide hearing on all the proposed rules will be held at 9 a.m. on Thursday, March 10 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 6 meeting.


Other Breaking News Items

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US House defeats proposal to close Chicago shipping locks to protect Lake Michigan from carp
The U.S. House rejected a proposal Thursday to force the closure of Chicago-area shipping locks that could provide an opening to the Great Lakes for voracious Asian carp, a potential threat to native fish species and the region's economy.


No rush on Carp study

Army Corps says electric fish barrier is doing excellent job, but the Federal government won't share the report.  Define Federal USACE corruption.


Ontario’s wind power ‘flip-flop’ draws ire
Ontario’s decision to put the brakes on all offshore wind power is drawing criticism from businesses behind several major wind projects in the province.


First U.S. offshore wind turbine factory opens in Virginia, but has no customers yet
Wind energy giant Gamesa unveiled America's first offshore turbine factory this month. But for a nation that still doesn't have a single turbine in its waters, the news invites another question: Who will be Gamesa's first customer?


Wind turbine foes hope moratorium spreads to shore
Opponents of wind turbines in Prince Edward County aren't holding their breath waiting for the provincial moratorium on offshore wind turbines imposed last week to include land-based projects as well.


Army corps budget: $55M for Great Lakes projects
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the Obama administration's proposed budget for fiscal 2012 includes $55 million for water projects in and near the Great Lakes.


Additional public meeetings for the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study

Another meeting of GLMRIS will be scheduled in the Great Lakes area on3. Tuesday, March 8, 2011, in Ann Arbor at the  Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest Hotel, 1275 S. Huron St., Ypsilanti, MI.


2With E15 additive, Boaters will need extra vigilance when gassing up

With the EPA's recent decision to allow the use of ga with up to 15% ethanol (E15) in 2001 and newer model cars and trucks, (BoatUS) says that trailerboaters will need to remain extra vigilant when filling up their truck and trailered boat at the local gas station. That's because while E15 could be fine for the tow vehicle, it's not good - nor authorized by the EPA - for use with boats. A strong solvent, ethanol has been known to degrade marine fuel systems, damage engines, add safety concerns, and lead to expensive repair bills.

Great Lakes funding continues to shrink

Obama’s Great Lakes restoration plan continues to shrink in the face of federal budget woes. It was conceived as a 10-year, $5 billion program to do things like clean up toxic messes, restore wetlands, stem the influx of invasive species and promote native fisheries. But the funding has shrunk from $475 million in 2010 to $225 million this year if the House Appropriations Committee has its way.


Wind power for the Great Lakes? Canada says ‘Nay’
The Ontario government put all plans for offshore wind power on hold last Friday. Canada’s Wind Energy Association, not surprisingly, isn’t pleased


Offshore windmills a potential risk to Erie waterfowl
Windmills remain controversial as wildlife, including waterfowl game species, fall victim to the spinning blades.


Ontario freezes offshore wind turbine development
The McGuinty government announced Friday that it is suspending offshore wind turbine development until a thorough scientific review is conducted



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