Week of February 23, 2009

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes
World News
Beyond the Great Lakes


Lake Erie



       Weekly News Archives


       New Product  Archives

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

North Pacific Fishery Management Council Votes to Close Arctic

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has just voted to prohibit any commercial fishing activity within all of the U.S. waters north of the Bering Straits and east to the Canadian border. The entire region closed is approximately 150,000 square nautical miles.


The North Pacific Fishery Management Council, using the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Act, has already closed over 527,113 square nautical miles off Alaska. In total, the area closed to protect habitat covers an area more than five times larger than the entire National Park System for the U.S.


The Marine Conservation Alliance (MCA), an association of fishermen, processors and communities involved in the groundfish and crab fisheries off Alaska, said it fully supports action today by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) to close all commercial fishing in waters north of the Bering Strait until a management plan is fully developed.


The NPFMC action today concluded a nearly two-year process to take action while a management plan is developed for the waters north of Bering Strait.  The precautionary approach closes roughly 150,000 square nautical miles to commercial fishing, and is intended to provide an opportunity to assess the impacts of climate change on Arctic ecosystems before any commercial fishing is allowed. 


A Senate resolution passed last year (S. J. Res. 17) supported a halt to commercial fishing in the Arctic until agreement is reached on managing migratory, transboundary and straddling stocks among all nations bordering the Arctic including the United States, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Russia, and the European Union.


In addition to supporting the precautionary closure of the Arctic, the MCA has taken other actions to support healthy

oceans and sustainable fisheries:


►Successfully pushed to extend science-based fishery management across the nation during reauthorization of the Magnuson Stevens Act (MSA).

 ►Supported NPFMC action to protect Essential Fish Habitat in the Gulf of Alaska, Aleutian Islands and Northern Bering Sea; habitat area closed to bottom trawling now totals over 530,000 square miles, almost as large as the land mass of Alaska itself.

►Promotes the use of ecosystem-based fishery management practices by building on existing management actions and science programs, and through applied scientific research to find practical solutions to conservation issues.

►Published wheelhouse guides to help fishermen and other mariners avoid conflicts with northern Right whales, Short Tailed Albatrosses, and other seabirds.

►Coordinates cooperative research efforts between fishermen and scientists such as the effort that developed a successful prototype halibut excluder that reduced halibut bycatch by cod trawlers by over 50 %

► Coordinates marine debris cleanup efforts throughout Alaska, including the Southeast panhandle, Prince William Sound, Kodiak, the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands, and Norton Sound that has removed over one million pounds of mostly plastic debris from Alaska’s shoreline and earned NOAA’s Sustainable Fisheries Leadership Award for coastal habitat restoration in 2008.


The Juneau-based Marine Conservation Alliance is a coalition of seafood processors, harvesters, support industries and coastal communities that are active in Alaska fisheries.  The MCA represents approximately 75 percent of the participants in Alaska shellfish and groundfish fisheries and promotes science based conservation measures to ensure sustainable fisheries in Alaska.  For more information, click on www.marineconservationalliance.org/

World news

World Running Out of Weapons to Fight Superbugs

HOUSTON, February 3, 2009 (ENS) - People are dying from "superbugs" because our antibiotic arsenal has run dry, leaving the world without sufficient weapons to fight the ever-changing bacteria, warn infectious disease researchers at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston.


In an article in the current issue of "The New England Journal of Medicine," medical doctors Barbara Murray. And Cesar Arias evaluate the past, present and future response to preventing and treating "superbugs," organisms that are resistant to antibiotics.


Superbugs can evade antibiotics by producing an enzyme that destroys the drug or creating a barrier to the drug, the doctors say. Or superbugs can pump out any antibiotic that reaches the bacterial cell or modify the target of the antibiotic so the drug cannot bind to it.


Most of the public has heard of MRSA [methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus] because it produces the most cases each year," said Murray, co-author and director of Division of Infectious Diseases at the UT Medical School. "However, they have not heard of other superbugs that can be far worse."


"The Gram-negative bacteria are the most antibiotic-resistant with fewer treatment options in life-threatening diseases, such as certain forms of pneumonia, bloodstream infections, gastroenteritis and even meningitis," said Murray. Gram-negative bacteria can release toxins created by their cell walls into the bloodstream, where it is harder to treat them, she said.


MRSA appears to be claiming more lives in the United States than HIV/AIDS.  According to an October 2007 report in the "Journal of the American Medical Association," 94,360 U.S. patients developed an invasive infection from MRSA in 2005 and nearly one of every five, or 18,650 of them, died. In the same year, 17,011 people died from HIV/AIDS.


Genomics is the study of an organism's genomes to chart its DNA sequencing. It was once viewed as a possible avenue to better weapons against superbugs, but Murray and Arias say that has not happened. "We have run out of options. The promise of genomics has not panned out. Gene sequencing has not helped us find a better way to fight these bugs," said Murray.


 According to a 2004 report, "Bad Bugs, No Drugs," by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, none of the 89 new drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration were antibiotics. The report found that research on new antibiotics is drying up, due in part to the expense of bringing a new drug to market.


"Academics can't do it all. Pharmaceutical companies can't do it all. Everyone needs to work together to address this potential worldwide public health crisis," said Arias, co-author of the article and assistant professor in infectious diseases at the medical school.  Murray and Arias say people taking antibiotics without prescriptions or not following their prescriptions as directed allow the antibiotics to be exposed to a wide-range of bacteria in the body, both good and bad, giving the bugs an opportunity to find ways to beat the antibiotic weapons.

"This overuse threatens the effectiveness of these precious drugs," says Dr. Cindy Friedman, medical director of the Centers for Disease Control's program called Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work. "Doctors and patients are both part of the problem. Studies show that if a doctor believes a patient wants an antibiotic, he or she is much more likely to prescribe one, even if the patient doesn't really need one."


Most illnesses are caused by two kinds of germs - bacteria and viruses. Antibiotics work against infections caused by bacteria, like a strep throat. Antibiotics do not work against viruses like the common cold, the flu and the majority of sore throats and runny noses.


Delay in diagnosis is also an issue. Murray said even with advancements, it takes about 48 hours or more from the time a culture is taken to determine what a person may have contracted and to determine what antibiotics are likely to be effective.


"It may not sound like a lot of time, but with some of these bugs you have to move quickly to save a patient. You don't want the bacteria to spread," Murray said. "Research needs to include finding new testing methods."


"MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant bugs are one of the greatest threats facing health care today," said Stephen Prescott, M.D. president of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, where researchers in November published the first visual evidence of a key piece in the puzzle of how superbugs spread antibiotic resistance in hospitals and throughout the general population.


"These infections are easily transmitted - they make their way into the body through breaks in the skin, even microscopic ones, and through nasal passages. They resist treatment with standard antibiotics, which makes them dangerous," said Prescott. "And they are particularly threatening in hospitals, because they attack patients whose immune systems may already be compromised."


The Division of Infectious Diseases at the UT Medical School is working toward solutions. It has now established the Laboratory for Antimicrobial Research, headed by Arias, within the Center for the Study of Emerging and Re-Emerging Pathogens, headed by Murray.


Supported with funding from the National Institutes of Health, the lab aims to investigate the clinical and molecular aspects of antibiotic resistance, attempting to understand the complex mechanisms by which bugs become resistant to antibiotics and then designing new strategies to combat them.


"We are struggling, really struggling, to treat patients around the world. If something isn't done soon, more and more bugs are going to gain the upper-hand. There are simply not enough new drugs to keep pace with antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections," Murray said. "We are sounding the alarm, and hopefully the world will hear it."


Click here for basic information on MRSA from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



Beyond the Great Lakes

The Thrill of the Chill:  Snowmobile Trails

The smell of exhaust fills the air as snowmobile enthusiast start their sleds in preparation of another day on the South Dakota trails.  The powdery expanses of the prairie or the pristine trails through the ponderosa pine covered Black Hills await. 


It started as a November blizzard, and has turned into one of the snowiest winters in South Dakota’s recent history.  Old man winter has dropped more than 11 feet of snow in the Black Hills and continues to bombard parts of the northeast.  It goes without saying that the trails are in great shape and snowmobiling is as good as it has been in years in South Dakota. 


There is only one problem…groomers are having trouble   

keeping up with all the new snow.  Not necessarily a problem when thousands of snowmobilers travel to your state each winter in search of this “white gold”.  And they’re not the only ones.  Downhill and cross country skiers and snowshoers are also seeing the benefits as they hit the trails this winter.


So where would I be if I were a snowmobile enthusiast?  South Dakota offers the unique opportunity to experience speed on the open prairie and the serenity of the Black Hills.  Thirteen trail systems, encompassing over 1,200 miles, await in eastern South Dakota and more than 350 miles of established trails await in the west.  With more than 1,500 miles of groomed trails, it’s easy to find something for everyone in South Dakota.



Get Your 2009 License

Fishing, hunting, and sportsmen combination licenses for 2009 Great Lakes States are now available from most DNR

Direct license and permit vendors, online through direct links at the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council web site www.great-lakes.org/licenses.html

Great Lakes Water Levels for February 20, 2009

Weather Conditions: 

Temperatures with the Great Lakes region returned to normal levels this past week, although a spike in temperature occurred on Tuesday.  In addition, most of the region saw precipitation last Saturday and this past Wednesday.  Temperatures will be below average throughout the entire region this weekend and into Monday. Snow showers are expected in the eastern portion of the basin on Friday, and the vast majority of the basin will see snow showers on Saturday. 

 Lake Level Conditions:

Currently, Lake Superior is 3 inches higher than it was at this time last year.   Lakes Michigan-Huron and St. Clair are 10 and 7 inches, respectively, above their levels of a year ago. Lake Erie is an inch below last year's level, while Lake Ontario is 3 inches above last year's level. Over the next 30 days, Lake Superior is predicted to fall 1 inch, while Lake Michigan-Huron is forecasted to rise an inch.  Lake St. Clair is projected to drop 3 inches over the next month, while Lake Erie is predicted to rise 2 inches. Lake Ontario is forecasted to remain steady over the same time period.   Over the next several months, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are predicted to remain at or above their levels of a year ago.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario, however, are projected to be at or below last year's levels for the next few months. 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

In January, the outflows through the St. Mary's and St. Clair Rivers were lower than average.  The outflow from the Detroit

and Niagara Rivers were above average.  The outflow through the St. Lawrence River was near but still lower than average.


Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are at or below their chart datum elevations and are expected to be below datum over the next several months. Also, water levels on Lake St. Clair can fluctuate greatly due to ice in the connecting channels.  Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels.  Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.  Ice information can be found at the National Ice Center's webpage.





St. Clair



Level for Feb 20







Datum, in ft






Diff in inches






Diff last month






Diff from last yr







Brag on your fish and you might win!

Bolingbrook, IL---February 12, 2009---Starting February 7th bring in a photo of your best catch to the Bass Pro Shops fishing department at 709 Janes Avenue along with information such as the lake where it was caught, date, length and weight, and the bait it was caught on and you might just win fishing equipment from Bass Pro Shops.


All photos will be placed on the stores Braggin’ Board and customers can then vote on their favorite photo.


On March 14th they will announce the photo that gets the most

votes and the winner will receive a Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier rod & reel combo, Bass Pro Shops Stalker tackle bag, and a 414 piece Bass Pro Shops bass assortment worth over $300.


The winning photo will then be placed on the company’s website at basspro.com/brag from March 17th to April 5th where everyone can vote online for their favorite photo. The winner will be announced April 6th and will receive a $500 Bass Pro Shops gift card.

Contest is open to adults 18 and older.

Boat sales dismal in 08

Miami, Florida – U.S. boat sales, trending down since 2004, dropped 28 percent in 2008 compared to 2007.  Outboard

sportfishing boat sales were down 40 percent, according to the Bellweather Report from Info-Link Technologies.

Amazing Story Behind the Global Warming Scam

By John Coleman

The key players are now all in place in Washington and in state governments across America to officially label carbon dioxide as a pollutant and enact laws that tax we citizens for our carbon footprints.  Only two details stand in the way, the faltering economic times and a dramatic turn toward a colder climate.  The last two bitter winters have led to a rise in public awareness that there is no runaway global warming.  The public is now becoming skeptical of the claim that our carbon footprints from the use of fossil fuels is going to lead to climatic calamities.


How did we ever get to this point where bad science is driving big government to punish the citizens for living the good life that fossil fuels provide for us?  


The story begins with an Oceanographer named Roger Revelle.  He served with the Navy in World War II.  After the war he became the Director of the Scripps Oceanographic Institute in La Jolla in San Diego, California. Revelle saw the opportunity to obtain major funding from the Navy for doing measurements and research on the ocean around the Pacific Atolls where the US military was conducting atomic bomb tests.  He greatly expanded the Institute's areas of interest and among others hired Hans Suess, a noted Chemist from the University of Chicago, who was very interested in the traces of carbon in the environment from the burning of fossil fuels.  Revelle tagged on to Suess studies and co-authored a paper with him in 1957.  The paper raises the possibility that the carbon dioxide might be creating a greenhouse effect and causing atmospheric warming.  It seems to be a plea for funding for more studies.  Funding, frankly, is where Revelle's mind was most of the time.


Next Revelle hired a Geochemist named David Keeling to devise a way to measure the atmospheric content of Carbon dioxide.  In 1960 Keeling published his first paper showing the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and linking the increase to the burning of fossil fuels. 

These two research papers became the bedrock of the science of global warming, even though they offered no proof that carbon dioxide was in fact a greenhouse gas. In addition they failed to explain how this trace gas, only a tiny fraction of the atmosphere, could have any significant impact on temperatures.


Now let me take you back to the 1950s when this was going on.  Our cities were entrapped in a pall of pollution from the crude internal combustion engines that powered cars and trucks back then and from the uncontrolled emissions from power plants and factories.  Cars and factories and power plants were filling the air with all sorts of pollutants. There was a valid and serious concern about the health consequences of this pollution and a strong environmental movement was developing to demand action.  Government accepted this challenge and new environmental standards were set.  Scientists and engineers came to the rescue.  New reformulated fuels were developed for cars, as were new high tech, computer controlled engines and catalytic converters. By the mid seventies cars were no longer big time polluters, emitting only some carbon dioxide and water vapor from their tail pipes.  Likewise, new fuel processing and smoke stack scrubbers were added to industrial and power plants and their emissions were greatly reduced, as well.


But an environmental movement had been established and its funding and very existence depended on having a continuing crisis issue.  So the research papers from Scripps came at just the right moment.  And, with them came the birth of an issue; man-made global warming from the carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels.


Revelle and Keeling used this new alarmism to keep their funding growing. Other researchers with environmental motivations and a hunger for funding saw this developing and climbed aboard as well. The research grants began to flow and alarming hypothesis began to show up everywhere.


The Keeling curve showed a steady rise in CO2 in atmosphere during the period since oil and coal were discovered and used by man. As of today, carbon dioxide has increased from 215 to 385 parts per million. But, despite the increases, it is still only a trace gas in the atmosphere.  While the increase is real, the percentage of the atmosphere that is CO2 remains tiny, about 41 hundredths of one percent. 


Several hypotheses emerged in the 70s and 80s about how this tiny atmospheric component of CO2 might cause a significant warming.  But they remained unproven.  Years have passed and the scientists kept reaching out for evidence of the warming and proof of their theories.  And, the money and environmental claims kept on building up. 


Back in the 1960s, this global warming research came to the attention of a Canadian born United Nation's bureaucrat named Maurice Strong.  He was looking for issues he could use to fulfill his dream of one-world government. Strong organized a World Earth Day event in Stockholm, Sweden in 1970.  From this he developed a committee of scientists, environmentalists and political operatives from the UN to continue a series of meeting. 


Strong developed the concept that the UN could demand payments from the advanced nations for the climatic damage from their burning of fossil fuels to benefit the underdeveloped nations, a sort of CO2 tax that would be the funding for his one-world government.  But, he needed more scientific evidence to support his primary thesis.  So Strong championed the establishment of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  This was not a pure climate study scientific organization, as we have been led to believe.  It was an organization of one-world government UN bureaucrats, environmental activists and environmentalist scientists who craved the UN funding so they could produce the science they needed to stop the burning of fossil fuels.  Over the last 25 years they have been very effective.  Hundreds of scientific papers, four major international meetings and reams of news stories about climatic Armageddon later, the UN IPCC has made its points to the satisfaction of most and even shared a Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore. 


At the same time, that Maurice Strong was busy at the UN,

things were getting a bit out of hand for the man who is now called the grandfather of global warming, Roger Revelle.  He had been very politically active in the late 1950's as he worked to have the University of California locate a San Diego campus adjacent to Scripps Institute in La Jolla.  He won that major war, but lost an all important battle afterward when he was passed over in the selection of the first Chancellor of the new campus. 


He left Scripps finally in 1963 and moved to Harvard University to establish a Center for Population Studies.  It was there that Revelle inspired one of his students to become a major global warming activist.  This student would say later, "It felt like such a privilege to be able to hear about the readouts from some of those measurements in a group of no more than a dozen undergraduates.  Here was this teacher presenting something not years old but fresh out of the lab, with profound implications for our future!"  The student described him as "a wonderful, visionary professor" who was "one of the first people in the academic community to sound the alarm on global warming," That student was Al Gore.  He thought of Dr. Revelle as his mentor and referred to him frequently, relaying his experiences as a student in his book Earth in the Balance, published in 1992.


So there it is, Roger Revelle was indeed the grandfather of global warming.  His work had laid the foundation for the UN IPCC, provided the anti-fossil fuel ammunition to the environmental movement and sent Al Gore on his road to his books, his move, his Nobel Peace Prize and a hundred million dollars from the carbon credits business.

What happened next is amazing.


The global warming frenzy was becoming the cause celeb of the media. After all the media is mostly liberal, loves Al Gore, loves to warn us of impending disasters and tell us "the sky is falling, the sky is falling". The politicians and the environmentalist loved it, too.


But the tide was turning with Roger Revelle. He was forced out at Harvard at 65 and returned to California and a semi retirement position at UCSD. There he had time to rethink Carbon Dioxide and the greenhouse effect. The man who had inspired Al Gore and given the UN the basic research it needed to launch its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was having second thoughts. In 1988 he wrote two cautionary letters to members of Congress. He wrote, "My own personal belief is that we should wait another 10 or 20 years to really be convinced that the greenhouse effect is going to be important for human beings, in both positive and negative ways." He added, "…we should be careful not to arouse too much alarm until the rate and amount of warming becomes clearer."


And in 1991 Revelle teamed up with Chauncey Starr, founding director of the Electric Power Research Institute and Fred Singer, the first director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service, to write an article for Cosmos magazine. They urged more research and begged scientists and governments not to move too fast to curb greenhouse CO2 emissions because the true impact of carbon dioxide was not at all certain and curbing the use of fossil fuels could have a huge negative impact on the economy and jobs and our standard of living. I have discussed this collaboration with Dr. Singer. He assures me that Revelle was considerably more certain than he was at the time that carbon dioxide was not a problem.


Did Roger Revelle attend the Summer enclave at the Bohemian Grove in Northern California in the Summer of 1990 while working on that article? Did he deliver a lakeside speech there to the assembled movers and shakers from Washington and Wall Street in which he apologized for sending the UN IPCC and Al Gore onto this wild goose chase about global warming? Did he say that the key scientific conjecture of his lifetime had turned out wrong? The answer to those questions is, "I think so, but I do not know it for certain". I have not managed to get it confirmed as of this moment. It’s a little like Las Vegas; what is said at the Bohemian Grove stays at the Bohemian Grove. There are no transcripts or recordings and people who attend are encouraged not to talk. Yet, the topic is so important, that some people have shared with me on an informal basis.


Roger Revelle died of a heart attack three months after the Cosmos story was printed. Oh, how I wish he were still alive today. He might be able to stop this scientific silliness and end the global warming scam.


Al Gore has dismissed Roger Revelle’s Mea culpa as the actions of senile old man. And, the next year, while running for Vice President, he said the science behind global warming is settled and there will be no more debate, From 1992 until today, he and his cohorts have refused to debate global warming and when ask about we skeptics they simply insult us and call us names.


So today we have the acceptance of carbon dioxide as the culprit of global warming. It is concluded that when we burn fossil fuels we are leaving a dastardly carbon footprint which we must pay Al Gore or the environmentalists to offset. Our governments on all levels are considering taxing the use of fossil fuels. The Federal Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of naming CO2 as a pollutant and strictly regulating its use to protect our climate. The new President and the US congress are on board. Many state governments are moving on the same course.


We are already suffering from this CO2 silliness in many ways. Our energy policy has been strictly hobbled by no drilling and no new refineries for decades. We pay for the shortage this has created every time we buy gas. On top of that the whole thing about corn based ethanol costs us millions of tax dollars in subsidies. That also has driven up food prices. And, all of this is a long way from over.


And, I am totally convinced there is no scientific basis for any of it. Global Warming; It is the hoax; It is bad science; It is a highjacking of public policy. It is no joke. It is the greatest scam in history.


To email John Coleman, click here, for more info on the global warming scam, check out Coleman's Corner.

The new look of Outdoor life magazine

Unveils new PRINT AND ONLINE Design

 New York, NY—Outdoor Life, The Source for Hunting and Fishing Adventure, debuted a bold new design, both online and in print this month. Outdoor Life’s new print look will hit newsstands this week with the February issue. This print design follows closely on the heels of the announcement earlier this week of the launch of the brand’s redesigned website, www.OutdoorLife.com.


“Outdoor Life has thrived for more than a century because we’ve remained dedicated to delivering the best content in the most innovative and entertaining format,” says Todd Smith, Editor-in-Chief of Outdoor Life.  “Our readers invest their time and trust in us, and we wanted to repay that by investing in and improving the products they love.”


The new print design, spearheaded by Smith and his staff, took more than a year to implement from inception to completion. The process involved a complete reimagining of magazine’s layout that resulted in the introduction of four new front-of-the-book sections: Hunting, Fishing, Shooting and Gear. The new look offers a cleaner, sharper design as well as a new graphics package that showcases more of the  eye-catching outdoor images the magazine is famous for.


According to Smith, the new sections will give the magazine greater flexibility in the types of stories they run. “Readers will still find all the gear, survival, and hunting and fishing adventure stories they love in Outdoor Life,” says Smith, “but now we’ll be covering even more of the great outdoor world they love. In the February issue we cover hunting dogs, wild-game recipes, the best Hollywood shootouts, interviews with outdoor heroes and more. And with each issue and according to the season, the topics we include in these four sections will change.”


Titled “The Predator Issue” the February issue of Outdoor Life includes three feature stories highlighting coyotes, cougars and Alaskan grizzlies, continuing the magazine’s tradition of 

delivering original photography coupled with in-depth and entertaining coverage. “Cat Men” profiles a tight-knit group of young mountain-lion hunters who embody the spirit of the 21st-century mountain man; “Grizzly Country” chronicles the adventures of a Virginia country-boy who travels to Alaska in search of the world’s greatest game; and “The Howling” offers a glimpse into the world of coyotes.


Earlier this week Outdoor Life announced the official relaunch of its online home, www.OutdoorLife.com. The newly designed website offers online users a daily updated dose of outdoor entertainment, news, advice and tips. In addition to new hunting and fishing video galleries, the site also offers users the ability to create unique online profiles and participate in and lead outdoor discussions.


“We’ve had great feedback from our online community,’ says Smith. “In fact the only complaint we’ve gotten is that the site is too good.  Apparently it’s a bit harder for some people to tear themselves away now.”


Outdoor Life (www.OutdoorLife.com) is the source for hunting and fishing adventure. Outdoor Life provides technical information and insight to the more experienced outdoorsman, including field reports and gear guides to supply hands-on hunters and anglers with the most current knowledge about their passion, supplemented with the latest techniques, tactics and tips. Outdoor Life achieves this by featuring how-to articles written by the experts in the field, the best and most captivating adventure stories from the woods or on the water, comprehensive regional coverage of the best hunting and fishing opportunities in specific areas and annual gear tests conducted by the Outdoor Life editors.  Outdoor Life is published 10 times a year by the Bonnier Corporation.


The Bonnier Corporation www.bonniercorp.com is one of the largest consumer-publishing groups in America and the leading media company serving passionate, highly engaged audiences through more than 40 special-interest magazines and related multimedia projects and events.

Lake Erie

Fisherman Dies, Dozens Rescued off Lake Erie Ice Floe

OAK HARBOR, Ohio, (AP) Feb. 8 -- A miles-wide ice floe broke away from Lake Erie's shoreline on Saturday, trapping more than 130 fishermen, some for four hours. One person fell into the water and later died of an apparent heart attack.


Coast Guard spokesman, Chief Petty Officer Robert Lanier, said 134 people had been plucked from the ice by late afternoon. Some climbed into baskets lowered from rescue helicopters, while others boarded airboats that glided across the ice. "We were in no danger," said Norb Pilaczynski of Swanton, Ohio, who was rescued from the lake along with several friends. "We knew there was enough ice out there."


However, officials apparently had good reason for being frustrated with the people they later rescued. Anglers  apparently laid down plywood planks in order to get onto the lake. The ice under those planks then melted, sinking their wooden path.  Warming temperatures and growing winds then widened the gap, stranding them on the ice floe.


"We get people out here who don't know how to read the ice," Ottawa County Sheriff Bob Bratton said. "What happened here today was just idiotic. I don't know how else to put it." Leslie Love, 65, of New Albany, Ohio, died of an apparent heart attack after his snowmobile broke through the ice while he was searching for a safe place to cross back to shore, according to the Ottawa County sheriff's office. Love collapsed after he was helped back onto solid ice, the sheriff's office said. A relative performed CPR until a helicopter transported Love to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.


Mike Sanger of Milwaukee said the crack had been tighter earlier in the morning. "I was told the lake was froze all the way across," said Sanger, 51. "I didn't think the lake could go anywhere."


Ice on western sections of Lake Erie was as much as two feet thick Saturday, National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Randel said. The ice cracked as temperatures rose into the 40s and winds of up to 35 mph pushed on the ice. When fishermen realized late Saturday morning that the ice had 

broken away, they began to debate the best way off, Sanger said, adding that no one appeared to be too scared. Some chose to sit and wait for authorities, while others headed east in search of an ice bridge.


Sanger said he was rescued after about an hour by one of several private charter airboats that pulled up.


Ohio Division of Wildlife spokeswoman Jamey Graham said the state warns fishermen every year that there's no such thing as "safe ice." And authorities along the lake are trained for these types of rescues.


Ottawa County, Ohio sheriff Bob Bratton didn't mince words when asked about ice fishermen who apparently ignored signs that the ice was unstable on Lake Erie: "If there was a section in the code about common sense, we would have made about 150 arrests out there today."


"Out there" was referring to an ice flow approximately eight miles long that broke off from land near Locust Point, Ohio. Despite a massive rescue effort involving U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard, Ohio State U and Monroe County, Ohio helicopters along with state hovercraft and airboats, one person died after slipping into the frigid waters.


Although not widely publicized, there are incidents each year involving ice fishermen who have misjudged conditions and found themselves in danger and needing rescue. Saturday's stranding of approximately 135 anglers, however, was unprecedented. It was infuriating to officials like Bratton as it seemed they ignored warnings from everyone from fellow anglers to the National Weather Service that conditions were right to cause ice to break free, especially on the western part of the lake where Saturday's tragedy happened.


After the rescues, Ohio Division of Wildlife spokeswoman Jamey Graham repeated the state's annual warning to fishermen that "there's no such ting as safe ice."


Many of the 134 fishermen rescued returned to the miles-long floe Sunday using rented air boats to retrieve left-behind snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles and other equipment.


New DNR director named

Quinn signs bill restoring money to department

 SPRINGFIELD, Il (AP) - February 5, 2009 - New Illinois Governor Pat Quinn began addressing the damage done to the state's natural resources under the Blagojevich administration.  The Governor signed Senate Bill 1132, which returned $9.25 million to six dedicated sportsmen accounts.  At the same event, Governor Quinn named Marc Miller as the new director of the Illinois DNR.


Miller, 39, is a Springfield resident who has served as senior policy adviser to Quinn since 2004. He replaces former state representative Kurt Granberg, who was fired Wednesday. Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed Granberg Jan. 16.  Quinn introduced Miller as someone with varied interests in the outdoors. “He’s a fisherman. He’s a hunter. He’s a birdwatcher. He canoes. ... He’s a stargazer,” Quinn said, ticking off a long list of outdoor activities. “I saw first-hand in the last five years how dedicated Marc is.”


Quinn said this was a day to focus on conservation, the state’s land and water and the importance of connecting Illinois citizens with nature. Part of that mission, Quinn said, is reopening state parks closed late last year. Although no timetable was given, Quinn was adamant the seven parks would eventually reopen.  “We’re not going to let parks be shut down.”

But the state’s economic climate may make the rebuilding job tougher. With the state facing a deficit potentially reaching $9 billion, extra money for conservation programs probably will be scarce.


Last autumn, then-Governor Blagojevich swept $221 million from the state's budget, including $9.25 million in restricted funds.  Those restricted funds were also connected to $16 million in federal dollars, which would have been lost had Governor Quinn not signed SB 1132.  The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service had given the state a February 1st deadline to return the swept funds.  Under the Blagojevich administration, the DNR's budget had been cleaved from $130 million to $60 in just six years.


In addition to the restored funding, Miller's appointment to the director's post signals Governor Quinn's dedication to supporting conservation in Illinois.  Miller looks to be a strong choice for outdoors enthusiasts across the state and should provide leadership the DNR has lacked for a considerable amount of time. 


“I think it will take a good deal of work to rebuild the agency,” Miller said. Miller also said he wants to take politics out of conservation and return to “science-based” decision-making.


State Record Fish

The Illinois DNR is saluting 18 year old Jon A. Zettler of Chatham for catching a new state-record yellow  bass/white bass hybrid.  The fish was caught on Nov. 3, 2008 at Rend Lake in Franklin Co. 


IDNR District Fisheries Biologist Dan Stephenson reports genetics tests conducted by the Illinois Natural History Survey confirmed recently that the fish was a yellow bass/white bass hybrid.   The fish weighed in at 2.06 pounds and was 15 inches in length.  The hybrid is the first of its size reported in Illinois and this fish has prompted the IDNR to add the category of the yellow bass/white bass hybrid to the list of state fishing records. 

Zettler caught the fish on a Grizzly jig (tube) with a Sam Heaton Super Sensitive rod and Pflueger reel. When told his catch was a new state-record fish, Jon Zettler said, "I was blown away and sure glad I went with my dad and his friend (Nick Shafer) that morning. We don't spend as much time together as we used to and catching this fish sure made the day that more special." Jon’s father, Bob Zettler said, "Just to spend time with my son and see him enjoy the outdoors makes me happy, but when you throw in this particular fish he caught, words cannot do it justice of how proud and happy I am for him.”



Illinois Rep introduces Right-to-Carry bill

Legislation supported by the Illinois Sheriffs’ Assn

Pro-gun State Representative Brandon Phelps (D-118) has introduced House Bill 462, a Right-to-Carry bill.  This legislation would establish a Right-to-Carry permit system in Illinois, with county sheriffs as the issuing authority.


Support for allowing concealed carry of firearms in Illinois — one of just two states that still outlaw it — is coming from what seems like an unlikely direction: the Illinois Sheriffs' Association.  The group, for the first time in its history, is taking a qualified stand in favor of the controversial practice.  Applicants undergo a background check to ensure they do not have a criminal or mental health record that would prohibit them from qualifying for the permit, and must meet certain training requirements.  And while the sheriff will have a slight amount of discretion when approving or denying the permit,

any denial that is not based on specified criteria spelled out in the issuing standards can be appealed. 


Wisconsin is the state besides Illinois that forbids it. "I've got mixed emotions about it," said Robert Hertz, the Madison County sheriff. "Some time ago I was dead against these laws, but I've moderated my view."  Hertz said he supported the association's position. A resolution of the organization, which represents the state's 102 sheriffs, says 90 % support concealed carry if adequate training and safeguards are included.


"Good people should have more of an opportunity to defend themselves," Hertz said. "I support this only with restrictions."  If passed, HB 462 would represent a tremendous advancement for the right of self defense in Illinois.

Free Fishing Days

Mark your calendars for Illinois Free Fishing Days, scheduled this year for June 5-8.  Free Fishing Days allows anyone to fish without the need for a fishing license, inland trout stamp,

or salmon stamp during the four-day event each June.  For information on Free Fishing Days info, contact Terry Beard at 217/785-5822 or e-mail [email protected].

Anglers, Hunters Provide Huge Financial Boost to Local Economy

BOLINGBROOK, Il – According to a report by the Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation if the $76 billion sportsmen spend nationally on hunting and fishing were the gross domestic product of a country, sportsmen as a nation would rank 57 out of 181 countries. Clearly, the economic impact of sportsmen is a force to be reckoned with.

In fact, in many states, sportsmen spend more money, support more jobs and pay more taxes than most industries and attractions in the state.  For example, in Illinois annual spending by 1.1 million hunters and anglers ($1.2 billion) is more than one and half times the combined revenues of the Chicago Bears, Bulls, Cubs, and White Sox ($728 million).  Also, sportsmen support more jobs in Illinois than one of the state’s largest employers, Abbot Laboratories, (22,000 vs. 18,000).
That spending results in some $709 million paid in salaries and wages, $170 million in Federal taxes, and $138 million in

state and local taxes.  The ripple effect is calculated at $2.1 billion.  (Statistics are from the Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation report “Hunting and Fishing: Bright Stars of the American Economy ~ A force as big as all outdoors.” It can be accessed online at www.sportsmenslink.org)


These are big numbers.   Some 150,000 people are expected to attend the 17 day event.  Some of these same people will spend money at other Bolingbrook merchants for hotels, gas, restaurants and other retailers—all part of the ripple effect sportsmen help bring to an area.

Visitors to the store located at 709 Janes Avenue will find new fishing products to browse through, live demonstrations to see, new tips and techniques to learn, music and entertainment, boat shows, kids events, and, it’s all FREE!  They can also register to win the Outdoor Legends Sweepstakes where you get to spend fishing time with Jimmy Houston, Bill Dance and Roland Martin, or a $500-value fishing package being given away that includes a Johnny Morris Signature Series Baitcasting Combo


Workshop on frogs/toads at Salamonie, Feb. 28

DNR needs volunteer help monitoring amphibian populations

Speculation about a nationwide decline in frogs and toads has prompted the Indiana DNR to offer three one-time workshops on Indiana's 17 frog and toad species. The first will be held at the Salamonie Lake Nature Center on Feb. 28, from 2 to 4 p.m. The purpose is to train volunteers to help gauge the state's populations of these amphibians.


Attendees will learn how to identify Indiana toads and frogs by their calls and how to conduct the surveys. Those who take a class may volunteer to assist the DNR with Indiana Amphibian Monitoring Program (INAMP). One does not have to volunteer for the program to be eligible to attend the training session, and you do not have to attend the training session to volunteer. Past program participants are not required to attend to volunteer again.


Workshop participants should tell the gate or building staff at the workshop location that they are attending the Amphibian Monitoring Workshop so they are not charged gate entrance fees. Workshop details follow.

Feb. 28

Salamonie Lake (Nature Center)

9214 West Lost Bridge West

Andrews, IN 46702

(260) 468-2125


Those who volunteer will listen for frogs and toads from late February through July, which is the amphibians' breeding season. Surveys are conducted at night, usually after rainy days, or on misty nights, when frogs and toads give their breeding calls. Information collected helps DNR biologists better understand the distribution and abundance of amphibians in Indiana.


Anyone is welcome to attend, but you must be 18 or older to participate in the monitoring program. Registration is not required. Internet access is required to participate in the program. Attendees should bring pen and paper.


Another opportunity to receive the same training at a different date and location is listed below.

March 1

Spring Mill State Park (Lakeview Room)

3333 Hwy 60 E

Mitchell, IN 47446

(812) 849-4129


DNR 2008 Black Lake Sturgeon Season Harvest Results

Department of Natural Resources fisheries officials today announced the 2008 Black Lake sturgeon harvest season ended early on Feb. 10 with the quota of five fish having been harvested from the lake located in Cheboygan County.


The fishing season, which includes spearing or hook and line fishing, was scheduled to run from Feb. 7-15, or until the total allowable catch of five fish had been reached.


Two-hundred twenty-five anglers were scheduled to participate in the fishing event this year, said Tim Cwalinski, DNR fisheries biologist. But fewer anglers actually participated as a result of the quota being reached earlier in the week.  "These numbers also do not include the many friends and family members who made the trip to Black Lake to join in the experience" he said.


Harvested lake sturgeon this year ranged from 53 to 71 inches in length, with weights between 35 and 89 pounds.  "Water

clarity was excellent this year compared to last year, when poor visibility in the water resulted in no fish being harvested," Cwalinski said.


According to Cwalinski, sturgeon were moving more during this year's season which eventually led to the quicker harvest. Other fish caught or harvested during the period included walleye, muskellunge, yellow perch and northern pike.


The Black Lake sturgeon population appears to be slowly rebuilding. The DNR, Michigan State University and the advocacy group Sturgeon for Tomorrow have worked diligently over the past 10 years to improve the lake's sturgeon numbers and know it will be decades more before the population is rebuilt to what it once was.


Fisheries management and research, that includes stocking fish, reducing legal harvest limits and eliminating poaching, as well as studying factors related to the life history of the sturgeon, are helping to achieve that goal.

MI DNR search for MSU range manager

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is leading a job search for a shooting range manager. The manager will oversee the Demmer Shooting Sports, Education and Training Center, now under construction on the Michigan State University campus. The job posting’s closing date is Feb. 15.


Salary is negotiable. The manager will oversee financial, technical, personnel and operational functions. The manger will also develop and implement operational policies and procedures, create a marketing plan for the center and manage other staff, including a Firearms Director and Archery Director. For a detailed list of requirements and qualifications, download the position information or click here to apply.


The $3.5 million Demmer Shooting Sports, Education and Training Center is under construction on the Michigan State University campus. The $3.5 million facility will include a 30-meter, 12-lane indoor archery range and a 15-meter, 16-lane indoor firearms range, which can also be used for archery. The project also includes the first outdoor archery

park in Michigan.


The Michigan DNR partnered with MSU in 2006 to develop the center, with a large contribution provided by the Demmer family. Archery became a viable part of the facility through contributions from the ATA and Easton Sports Development Foundation. In 2008, the ATA provided its first $100,000 installment toward its $500,000 pledge to support the center and its outdoor Humphries Archery Park. The ATA recently contributed another $100,000 installment for 2009.


Michigan currently has 315 schools participating in the National Archery in the Schools (NASP) program, reaching an estimated 60,000 students. At least 20 schools have joined NASP in the Lansing area, and at least four communities near the facility offered archery recreation programs last summer. ATA provided $50,000 to infuse archery into schools and recreation programs in the area. As a strong supporter of the state’s archery programs, the ATA also provided $80,000 the past three years to the Michigan DNR to help fund archery or shooting sports coordinators. Their task is to create archery programs and opportunities across the state.

Michigan DNR Hosts Third Annual State Virtual Archery Tournament

The Department of Natural Resources currently is accepting registration forms for Michigan's third annual State Virtual Archery Tournament. The tournament, for students enrolled at schools participating in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP), will take place Feb. 16 through March 20, 2009. Final scores must be submitted to the DNR by March 23, 2009.


Teams will be separated by grade level division (4-6, 7-8 and 9-12) and must be comprised of 16 to 24 students with at least five team members of the opposite gender. Schools unable to field a team will be permitted to register students to compete individually. 

Team and individual tournament champions will be awarded trophies, medals and other prizes thanks to the generous donations of several archery manufacturers and the National Wild Turkey Federation.


First place and qualifying teams per age division and the highest scoring male and female archer will be invited to participate in the NASP National Tournament, which will be held May 8-9 in Louisville, Ky.  Teams and individuals from 49 participating NASP states will be competing for college scholarships and other prizes.


For more information, contact Mary Emmons at (517) 241-9477; e-mail [email protected],  or visit the DNR the Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnrarchery.


Minn. Holds 19th Annual Roundtable

About 350 of Minnesota's conservation leaders – about 100 more than last year – gathered Jan. 9 and 10, in Brooklyn Center for the Department of Natural Resources' 19th annual Roundtable, an invitation-only event focused on fisheries, wildlife and ecological issues.


The gathering provided anglers, hunters and conservation leaders the opportunity to share insights with DNR staff and hear updates on the latest trends and research, with thought-provoking speeches on the future of conservation.


One speech features DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten. He said this generation must rise to the challenge of proving that

constitutionally dedicated funding for clean water, forests, prairies, and fish and wildlife habitat was revolutionary, visionary and a worthy thing to support. This will take courage, he said, because status quo will need to change.


Jim Martin, director of conservation for the Berkley Conservation Institute, delivered a powerful message on the realities of climate change, population growth, development, and conservation strategies that deal address what’s truly important rather than merely urgent.


Both speeches and more information including photos from the DNR Roundtable are available here www.dnr.state.mn.us/fish_wildlife/roundtable/index.html 

Lake Mille Lacs safe harvest levels set

Safe fish harvest levels have been set at Lake Mille Lacs, Minnesota for the 2009 fishing season.  The safe harvest of walleye has been set at 541,000 pounds, up from 430,000 pounds last fishing season. The state’s allocation is 414,500 pounds, up from 307,500 pounds last year.


Indian bands that signed the 1837 Treaty will be allocated 126,500 lbs of walleye this fishing season, up from 122,500 lbs last year.  The state’s 2009 walleye harvest may include an overage allowance of up to 5 %.  The yellow perch and northern pike safe harvest levels are the same as last year. The yellow perch level is 270,000 lbs; the northern pike level is 25,000 lbs. The state’s allocation is 135,000 lbs of yellow perch and 12,500 lbs of northern pike.


Due to low abundance and low incidental harvest in both the tribal and angling fisheries, quotas will not be set for tullibee and burbot. Instead, these species will be monitored, and

safe harvest levels will be discussed in the future if

abundance, harvest, and fishing interest increase.


Every year fisheries experts from the Minnesota DNR and the eight Chippewa bands meet in January to share information and determine safe harvest levels.  “Now that we know what the State’s walleye quota is for 2009, we can evaluate where the winter fishery stands and can evaluate if our current regulation will keep us within our allocation,” said Ron Payer, DNR fish chief. “And once we have done that, we will meet with the Mille Lacs Fisheries Input Group.”


The current Mille Lacs regulation allows anglers to keep four walleye up to 18", which may include one trophy over 28".  Anglers are required to release all walleye 18 to 28".


Total walleye angling harvest was 76,000 lbs in 2008. The safe harvest level was increased from last year due to low total harvest in 2008.


Fish Ohio Program Inducted Into Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame

COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife's Fish Ohio program was inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame for 2009. The Fish Ohio program is the only honoree for 2009 and joins a prestigious group of 36 past award winners in the Organizational/Corporate or Government Entity category.


The Fish Ohio program was designed to honor anglers for noteworthy catches of Ohio's fish. Since its inception in 1976, more than 400,000 anglers have been recognized for catches of fish of qualifying length in one of 19 species categories.


Each angler with a qualifying catch receives a certificate and lapel pin. Each year's pin depicts a different species along with the year. There is also a Master Angler category for anglers who catch four Fish Ohio qualifying fish in a single year. The Master Angler pin is the same as the Fish Ohio pin,

except it is gold in color.


The first pins were issued in 1979 and displayed largemouth bass. ODNR Division of Wildlife began to administer the program in 1980 and developed the first Master Angler pins in 1982. These pins featured the black crappie.


Anyone interested in participating in the Fish Ohio program can fill out the online application after catching a qualifying fish. The application is available at www.fishohio.org.


The Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, www.freshwater-fishing.org, is an international, non-profit museum and educational organization located in Hayward, Wisconsin. It conducts and maintains a program for the recognition of persons, organizations and institutions that have made significant and lasting contributions to the sport and heritage of freshwater fishing.

Dock Lotteries Scheduled for Middle Bass Island State Park

One for Year-Round Island Residents, Another for General Public

MIDDLE BASS ISLAND, OH - Lotteries for docks at Middle Bass Island State Park have been scheduled and those interested can apply until February 25.  Two lottery drawings will be conducted: one for year-round island residents and one for general public permits.


A complete listing of procedures and rules as well as

applications for the dock lotteries is available at www.ohiostateparks.org, click on Middle Bass Island. Applications for both lotteries are also available at the Catawba Island State Park office located at 4049 Moores Dock Road, Monday through Friday.


Applicants may apply by mail or at the Catawba Island State Park office. Applications will be taken until 5 p.m. February 25 at the office or by certified mail. The drawings for the two lotteries will be conducted at 6 p.m. March 5; applicants need not be present and winners will be contacted by phone.


Game Commission Awards NWTF with First-Ever Elk Tag for Auction

HARRISBURG – Under a new law, Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe announced that he has selected the National Wild Turkey Federation to auction off a special antlered elk license at its upcoming national convention Feb. 19-22 in Nashville, Tennessee. 


On Feb. 20, as part of is live auction, National Wild Turkey Federation will put up for bid the antlered elk license, which would be good for use in any management zone  open for Pennsylvania’s upcoming elk hunt, Nov. 2-7. The winning bidder will be awarded the license once he or she purchases the required resident or nonresident general hunting license.  The winning bidder also will be provided all of the information normally given to those who receive an elk license through the agency’s annual public drawing, including a listing of permitted guides available should they choose to use a guide. 


In September, the agency will conduct its annual public

drawing to award 59 elk licenses to those who submit an application, along with a $10 nonrefundable fee.  The exact breakdown of antlered and antlerless elk licenses, as well as the elk management zones each license will be assigned to, will be announced later.  The application period will open in May.


In 2001, a recommendation to provide one special elk license for wildlife conservation organizations to auction was originally included in the Game Commission Elk Hunt Advisory Committee Report as one of the concepts for promoting elk hunting.  However, the recommendation was set aside at that time because it was determined that legislative authority was necessary to do so. 


The new law sunsets on July 1, 2013, and would require the General Assembly to re-authorize the authority to allow for the auction of one antlered elk license per license year.



Natural Resources Board Officers Re-elected

MADISON – The seven-member State Natural Resources Board reelected its officers at its January 28 meeting in Madison. Dr. Christine L. Thomas was reelected chair. Thomas is the Dean and a professor of resource management at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point College of Natural Resources. She was appointed to the Board by Gov. Jim Doyle in March, 2004. Her term expires May 1, 2009.


Madison conservationist Jonathan P. Ela was reelected vice-chair. Ela is retired from the Sierra Club. He was first appointed to the Board by Doyle on Jan. 22, 2003, and was reappointed by Doyle on Jan. 8, 2007. His term expires May 1, 2011.

Attorney John W. Welter, Eau Claire, was reappointed secretary. He was first appointed to the Board by Doyle on May 5, 2004, and was reappointed by Doyle on May 1, 2005. His term expires May 1, 2011.


The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board sets policy for the Department of Natural Resources and exercises authority and responsibility in accordance with governing statutory provisions. Chapter 15 of the Wisconsin Statutes delineates the formal duties of the seven-member board. Board members are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the state senate. Three members each must be selected from the northern and southern portions of the state and one member serves at large. Terms expire on May 1.

Video show ice anglers how to preserve bait

MADISON – Ice fishermen and women, particularly those who target pike, will want to watch a new video online to learn how to properly preserve dead bait to meet state rules to prevent the spread of VHS fish disease.


"Preserving Your Bait "   [VIDEO opens in a new window;Length 2:43]


"Preserving Your Bait" shows Ted Treska, a Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist and VHS rules specialist, demonstrating two different bait preservation techniques.


VHS, or viral hemorrhagic septicemia, was detected in fish

from the Lake Winnebago and Lake Michigan systems in 2007, and in Lake Michigan in 2008, but DNR monitoring has not found it elsewhere. While state fisheries officials are encouraged by those results, they say that VHS remains a serious health threat for Wisconsin fish that can be spread at any time of the year and is most active when water temperatures are below 60 degrees.


VHS, or viral hemorrhagic septicemia, does not affect humans but it can infect dozens of species of game fish, panfish and bait fish, instead of a single species or related species, which is more typical of most fish diseases. VHS can spread rapidly, fish-to-fish and through the water, and it caused large fish kills in 2005 and 2006 in the lower Great Lakes.

Winnebago sturgeon spearers harvest 368 on February 15; 2-day total 874

OSHKOSH, WI – Perfect weather and a near record breaking fish were the stories on day two of the 2009 lake sturgeon spearing season on Lake Winnebago and its Upriver Lakes. Sub-freezing temperatures with lots of sunshine is what Amy Van Beek of Menasha saw when she caught an 80.8", 168.8 lb female sturgeon out of her shack on Lake Poygan. Ms. Van Beek’s fish was the 4th heaviest and the 6th longest fish ever recorded in the history of the Winnebago spear fishery.


Sturgeon anglers speared 506 on opening day. Ron Bruch, Wisconsin DNR sturgeon biologist, said 43 sturgeon heavier than 100 lbs had been taken in the sturgeon spearing season that ended Tuesday after only four days.


The largest this season to date is the 172 lb sturgeon speared by Ed Blatz of Fond du Lac, WI. It was the third-largest ever, topped only by the sturgeon of 188 lb (David Piechowski, Redgranite, Wis., 2004) and of 180 lbs (Elroy Schroeder, Appleton, Wis., 1953).


The heaviest fish is the current record of 188 lbs, speared by Dave Piechowski of Redgranite, WI in 2004. That fish was 79.5" long.  The longest fish was a 90" monster harvested in 1951 which weighed only 118 lbs. Fish biologists say it was likely a female that had spawned the previous spring.


DNR Sturgeon biologist Ron Bruch reported 290 fish were

speared Sunday on Lake Winnebago including 178 female sturgeon (56 juvenile females and 122 adult females) and 112 males.  On the Upriver Lakes, Sunday’s take was 78 including 40 females (26 juvenile and 14 adult females) and 38 males. And one of those females was the 80.8" 168.8 pounder speared by Van Beek.


Bruch said the seasons on Lake Winnebago and Upriver Lakes would remain open for spearing on Monday, February 16. He says that at the current harvest rate, the season on Winnebago could remain open well into the coming week; while the season on the Upriver Lakes could last one or two more days. Bruch noted that typically harvest numbers drop off significantly after opening day due to a drop in effort by spearers.


The 2009 season is set to run from February 14 through March 1 unless spearers reach the pre-set harvest caps. Currently, spearing on Lake Winnebago is at 41.8% of the cap for juvenile females, 56.3% for adult females and 30.4% for males. On the Upriver Lakes juvenile females are at 72.9% of the cap, 66.7% of adult females and 51% of males.


This is the third year of the lottery fishery on the Upriver Lakes, which is a season format proposed by the spearers themselves in an effort to help control spearing effort on the small upper lakes.


Early catch-and-release trout season opens March 7

MADISON, WI – The March 7 opening day of the early catch and release trout season is the latest date it can be by law -- and that may well benefit Wisconsin anglers.


The early February warm-up erased what had been record snow accumulations in some parts of the state. “That means less snow so it will be easier to access the streams – at least until it snows again,” says Larry Claggett, the Department of Natural Resources coldwater ecologist.


“The cold, snowy winter we’ve had so far should leave trout streams in good shape. The groundwater recharge means they have a good amount of water and it’s cold and clean and the trout are happy,” he says.


The season opens at 5 a.m. on March 7 and runs until midnight April 26, when there is a week “rest” before the regular season. The season is catch-and-release, and only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used while fishing for any species of fish on trout streams. Most trout streams are open to early fishing with the exception of most Lake Superior tributaries and most streams in northeast Wisconsin; check the 2008-2009 Trout Fishing Regulations

pamphlet for specific waters.


Some of the best fishing conditions -- no bugs, weeds, or summer distractions -- are found in the early season, according to Claggett. “What a great way to get your mind off the economy, or other problems.”


Any damage from last year’s flooding should be healed, Claggett says, but major changes may still be evident in some streams. Scouring should have cleaned out some holes and improved things for fishing deep holes in the early season.


Tips for fishing techniques during the early season and information on the fish populations in some popular early season waters are available on the early trout season page of the Wisconsin Fishing pages of the DNR Web site.


An estimated 230,000 anglers fish for trout, based on sales of inland license stamps, with a smaller proportion fishing the early season, Claggett says. Across both the early season and the regular inland season, trout anglers caught an estimated 1.6 million trout in 2006-07, according to results from a mail survey of anglers during that calendar year.

The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the GLSFC, its officers or staff. 

Reproduction of any material by paid-up members of the GLSFC is encouraged but appropriate credit must be given. 

Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.

arrowUSFWS Press Releases  arrowSea Grant News

State Fish Pages

Illinois - Indiana - Michigan - Minnesota - Ohio - Pennsylvania - New York - Wisconsin - Ontario


Home | Great Lakes States | Membership | Exotics Update | Great Links

Pending Issues | Regional News | Great Lakes Basin Report | Weekly News / Archives 

All contents Copyright © 1995 - 2009, GLSFC All Rights Reserved.

Site maintained by JJ Consulting