Week of February 25, 2013

World
Beyond the Great Lakes
Misc New Fishing-Boating Products
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
National

Regional

2nd Amendment Issues
General
Lake Erie

Illinois
Michigan
Minnesota
New York
Ohio
Wisconsin
Ontario
Other Breaking News Items

 

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World

Russians Take Gold in World Ice Fishing Championships

This year’s World Ice Fishing Championships drew in the best angling teams from around the world for a showdown in the Wisconsin heartland. Comprised of anglers from Finland, Sweden, Japan, and eight other countries–including traditional ice fishing hot spot Mongolia–competitors hunkered down last weekend for a fight. After the fish and the ice settled, the Russian national team walked away with first place.

Teams were judged on the order of finish in their designated fishing zones as well as the total weight of fish brought out of the ice.

 

According to WAOW, Team USA had a lackluster first day, but roared back into the game on Sunday by jumping up three rankings on the leaderboard. In the end the American team was just shy of medaling at fourth place.

“I am not as satisfied as I would be with first, second, or third but coming from seventh up, I’m feeling better,” team coach Jason Gruett said. “I can go home happy knowing that we gave everything that we had to.”  The US team’s surge back to fourth place was led by Michigan native Chad Shaub, who caught the highest weight total for Sunday at 676 grams of icy cold fish.

 

“It’s pretty exciting,” Schaub said. “I’m still a little nervous and shocked but I wish it was gold and I wish we had a team medal more.”

 

While Russia took the gold, Finland and Lithuania finished in second and third, respectively.

 

 


Study: Asian Carp eDNA may not come from live fish

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, USFWS and USGS released an interim report for their Asian Carp Environmental DNA Calibration Study (ECALS) on February 20.  The report can be found at this link, http://asiancarp.us/news/eDNAstudy.htm. 

 

Initial ECALS efforts within this report focus on identifying alternative sources of eDNA beyond a live Asian carp, whereas marker development to aid in detecting the specific species and calibration experiments that look at factors that may influence the detection, degradation or persistence of DNA will receive greater attention in 2013.

 

Among the preliminary findings:

►Storm sewers, fisheries sampling gear, fish-eating birds, dead fish carcasses, barges, and sediments may contribute to a positive eDNA detection without a live fish being present

►DNA can stay on these sources for a numbers of days

►Tagged-bird studies show large variations in bird movement and

consumption of Asian carp in the wild, which may lead to positive detection of Asian carp eDNA in bird feces

►Shedding rates of DNA from Asian carp were not affected by different temperatures or flow rates of water

►DNA from Asian carp sperm can be detected for over two weeks after release from an Asian carp

 

The agencies will host a stakeholder conference call Feb. 26 at 10 a.m. (Central) to answer questions regarding this report. Call-in information is USA Toll-Free: 877-336-1839, USA Caller Paid/International Toll: 636-651-0008, Access Code: 8506361, Security Code: 0000.

 

The ECALS team is funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the project is a part of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC)'s Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework.  For more info: www.asiancarp.us .


Beyond the Great Lakes

Big Game Species Are Focus of SCI Foundation Auction

Canadian Hunter Pays Record $275,000 for Bighorn Sheep Permit

Washington, DC – Safari Club International Foundation (SCI Foundation) reaffirmed its commitment to big game conservation through the auctioning of eight big game “Conservation Tags” during the 2013 SCI Annual Hunters’ Convention. Through the generosity of so many sportsmen and women, SCI Foundation was able to raise almost 500,000 dollars for big game conservation projects worldwide.

 

An anonymous hunter shelled out $275,000 (USD) for a special mountain sheep permit at auction during The Sheep Show in Reno, Nevada. The event is hosted annually by the Wild Sheep Foundation and is recognized as one of the largest expos for mountain hunting and conservation

 

“We’d like to thank those who bid during the auction and the generous donors that offered dream hunts to be auctioned off,” said SCI Foundation President Joe Hosmer. “The beauty of conservation tags is that nearly 90% of every dollar raised goes right back to the conservation of wildlife.”

 

“SCI Foundation wants to spend every dollar we can for on-the-ground conservation. I know that every hunter understands that without verifiable science for big game species seasons will become shorter and opportunities to take our families afield will diminish,” concluded SCI Foundation Executive Director Bob Benson.

 

 


2013 Python Challenge competitors turn in 68 Burmese pythons

Competitors in the 2013 Python Challenge trekked through more than a million acres of swamps and sawgrass in search of the well-camouflaged Burmese python. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announced the results: 68 Burmese pythons harvested during the Jan. 12-Feb. 10 competition.

 

The goal of the Python Challenge was to heighten public awareness about this invasive species, yet it also proved to be an unprecedented opportunity to gather important data about Burmese python populations and their impact on the Everglades ecosystem.  “Thanks to the determination of Python Challenge competitors, we are able to gather invaluable information that will help refine and focus combined efforts to control pythons in the Everglades,” FWC Executive Director Nick Wiley said. “The enthusiastic support from the public, elected officials, conservation organizations, government agencies and researchers gives hope that we can make progress on this difficult conservation challenge by working together.” 

 

At the Python Challenge Awareness and Awards Event at Zoo Miami on Feb. 16, FWC Commissioner Ron Bergeron and Wiley congratulated and presented trophies to the top competitors. Nearly 1,600 people from 38 states, the District of Columbia and Canada had registered for the competition.

 

Here are the official 2013 Python Challenge results:

►The $1,500 Grand Prize for harvesting the most Burmese pythons went to Brian Barrows, who harvested 6 pythons in the General Competition, and Ruben Ramirez, who harvested 18 pythons in the Python Permit Holders Competition.

►The Second Place Prize of $750 in the most-harvested category went to Bill Booth, who harvested 5 pythons in the General Competition, and Blake Russ, who harvested 5 pythons in the Python Permit Holders Competition.

►The $1,000 First Place Prize for harvesting the longest Burmese python went to Paul Shannon, who harvested a 14-foot, 3-inch-long python in the General Competition, and Blake Russ, who harvested an 11-foot, 1-inch-long python in the Python Permit Holders Competition. The ►Second Place Prize of $750 in the longest snake category went to Rigoberto Figueroa, for a 14-foot, 2.3-inch-long python in the General Competition, and Ruben Ramirez, who harvested a 10-foot, 6.8-inch-long python in the Python Permit Holders Competition.

 

Wiley thanked sponsors of the 2013 Python Challenge who provided prize money and other donations to the Wildlife Foundation of Florida in support of this event. Sponsors included Commissioner “Alligator Ron” Bergeron, Rachel Dodd, the Felburn Foundation, the Flowers Foundation, Golight Inc., Hoorag Bandanas, Incinc, K-Light Solar Lantern and Flashlight, Florida Wildlife Federation, Richmond Criminal Law and Mr. B.R. Slocum. Due to the generosity of sponsors, additional prizes were added.

 

Florida prohibits possession or sale of Burmese pythons for use as pets, and federal law bans the importation and interstate sale of this species. The public can help the fight to control invasive species such as Burmese pythons by:

§  Reporting sightings of exotic species to 888-IVE-GOT-1 or www.ivegot1.org. It’s helpful if you can submit a photo and location.

§  Not releasing an exotic pet into the wild, and reminding others of the dangers of releasing nonnative species.


Misc New Fishing-Boating Products

Rapala Scatter Rap

Rapala is introducing The 'Evasive' Scatter Rap. In true Rapala style, the patent pending Scatter Rap Series flaunts classic balsa body shapes and a new Scatter Lip, which creates the most evasive, erratic, aggressive sweeping action ever seen.

 

The Scatter Rap brings game-changing action to the water produced by an innovative and uniquely designed curved or 'Scatter Lip,' which creates an effortless and instant evasive swimming pattern," explains Mike Iaconelli, Rapala and VMC® pro angler. "By varying reel speed, crankbait addicts will see an immediate sweeping action that perfectly mimics a spooked baitfish fleeing attack, moving from one side to the next - triggering reactive bites."

Ideal for bass and other multispecies gamefish, the Scatter Rap Series is available in 14-16 classic and new color patterns that will have any game species chomping at the bit for a taste. Cast or trolled, the Scatter Lip

 

allows the baits to swim between the five-and nine-foot water column -
providing anglers with the ideal lure for multiple applications.
 

The Scatter Rap characteristics come in four favorite Rapala silhouettes all together, including the Scatter Rap Crank, Scatter Rap Minnow, Scatter Rap Shad and Scatter Rap CountDown.

This new family of lures hasn't just changed the angling game; it's created a whole new one.
 

Specifics Include:

Running Depth: 6-8'

Length: 2'

Weight: 5/16 oz

Hooks: 2 ea #5 Treble

$8.99

www.rapala.com


2013 Spring Fishing Classic

When: U.S. Locations Feb. 22-March 10 Canada Locations March 8-24
Where: 52 Bass Pro Shops store locations across United States and Canada
How much:
§ Free
 

One of the most popular and fun pastimes we remember as kids is going on family fishing trips. As parents ourselves now, we want to pass on this tradition to our kids. An ever-increasing number of families are discovering Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World stores and flocking to their award-winning venues to discover the great outdoors together. At Bass Pro Shops, families can take advantage of Outdoor Skills Workshops, attend educational seminars and listen to professional field experts—all for FREE--that will allow them to make great outdoor memories together to last a lifetime. Plus, there will be great interview and photo opportunities with anglers, customers and area visitors
 

Last year, more than 7 million people attended the Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing Classics—lending credibility to the U.S. statistic that more people go fishing than go to Disney’s Magic Kingdom®, Epcot® and Animal Kingdom® in Orlando, FL —the world’s number one resort –41.6 million anglers vs 37.5 million Disney visitors (http://www.sportsmenslink.org/). In Canada, more Canadians would rather fish than golf and play hockey combined --18% vs. 7% and 6%

(www.csia.ca).

 

Special events:

Fishing Seminars by Local Pros or Conservation Groups--U.S. Locations February 22-24, CAD Locations March 15-17

Reel Trade-In – U.S. Locations February 22-27, CAD stores March 8-13

Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster University Weekend—National Pros and seminars--U.S. March 1-3. CAD -Toronto and Calgary, March 9-10

Rod Trade-In – U.S. Locations March 1-5, CAD stores March 15-19

Bass Pro Shops Next Generation™ Weekend—U.S. locations March 9-10 CAD locations March 23-24. Noon to 4pm each day-- Saturday-Sunday

 

Customers may register to win a fishing trip with Tony Stewart, driver of the 2013 #14 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet-SS. One Grand Prize Winner will be selected nationally and will win an opportunity to fish with Tony Stewart for a day. The winner and one guest will receive complementary travel and 2 night’s lodging—a total sweepstakes package value of more than $5,000.00. In addition, each store will select a First Place Winner for an exciting First Place Prize Package with a retail value of $560 U.S. and $445 CAD.

 

Pros, events, seminars and times vary per store location and are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances.


Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Birchwood Casey Moly Lube Dry Film Lubricant

Now Available In A Professional Size Aerosol

Moly Lube Dry Film Lubricant from Birchwood Casey is designed to lubricate and penetrate, forming a smooth, extremely slippery surface on firearm metal.

 

Now available in a 9.5 oz. professional size aerosol, Moly Lube Dry Film Lubricant gives maximum lubricity and wear resistance, even under extreme temperatures and pressures. It also won’t attract dust, dirt or other contaminants, making it

 

ideal for lubrication of internal moving parts on all firearms. Moly Lube Dry Film Lubricant is also recommended for high performance precision airguns that discourage the use of petroleum based lubricants.

 

About $12.20

 

800-746-6862

 

www.birchwoodcasey.com


Browning Buck Mark .22 Pistol

Camper UFX and Camper Stainless UFX Models

New in Browning’s Buck Mark 22 pistol line for 2013 are the Buck Mark Camper UFX and Camper Stainless UFX models. Both new Buck Marks feature the new Overmolded Ultragrip FX ambidextrous grip design.

 

Available in black and gray, the Overmolded Ultragrip FX allows the new Buck Mark UFX pistols to be easily handled by both left and right-hand shooters. Both pistols feature Pro-Target adjustable sights and lightweight 

alloy receivers in a matte blued finish.

 

The Buck Mark Camper UFX features a 5 ¼” tapered bull barrel in matted blued finish.

The new Buck Mark Camper Stainless UFX features a stainless 5 ¼” tapered bull barrel.

 

Buck Mark Camper UFX $379.99

Buck Mark Camper Stainless UFX $419.99

 

www.browning.com


National

Push to stop E15 could head to Supreme Court
The National Marine Manufacturers Association is just one of the groups that say the Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its authority by granting a waiver allowing the sale of fuel with 15 percent ethanol.

 

“Based on the conversation so far, we are likely to be seeking a Supreme Court review,” NMMA chief counsel of public affairs and director of regulatory affairs Cindy Squires told Soundings Trade Only.

 

Each of the three groups that were involved in a recent court case that was thrown out by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals are considering “very seriously” whether to bring the case to the highest court, Squires said.  “We anticipate that at least one of those groups will most likely file,” Squires said. “If that were to occur we assume the other groups will follow suit. No final decisions have been made, but we’re all very seriously considering it.”

 

The groups have until April 15 to decide whether to seek a Supreme Court review, or 90 days after the D.C. Court of Appeals denied a rehearing on the EPA move that put E15 on the market.  The NMMA was among the groups petitioning the court to reconsider a dismissal of the appeal in October.

 

Dissenting Judge Brett Kavanaugh said the EPA waiver “plainly violates”

statutory text, according to court documents filed in January.

In August, a three-member panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit dismissed a challenge by several industry associations, including the NMMA, to allow E15 into the fuel supply.   The 2-1 decision was disappointing but procedural, Squires told Trade Only at the time.

 

The groups are considering the Supreme Court review as several take their case to Capitol Hill for amending the Renewable Fuel Standard or repealing it altogether. The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas has also been active on that front.

 

“When it comes to ethanol, the NMMA has done a number of government relations battles,” Squires said. “We always like to look at these types of battles as multi-pronged efforts. We’re very active about ethanol. We’re active in the courts, we’re looking at new legislative options and we’re also looking at state options, as well. There are many avenues, so we try not to leave any stone unturned.”

 

“We want to make sure we protect boaters from inadvertently putting E15 in the tank and destroying their engine,” Squires said.

 

 


Regional

Highlights from the Ludington Regional Fisheries Workshop

On January 12, fisheries scientists and managers met with Lake Michigan anglers at the Ludington Regional Fisheries Workshop. Jay Wesley of MDNR discussed the decision to reduce Chinook salmon stocking by 50 percent in Lake Michigan for 2013 and gave reasons for reductions at each stocking site in Michigan waters (see full article and video). Chuck Madenjian of USGS provided an overview of declines in baitfish abundance and lake productivity that set the stage for the stocking decision (see stocking page).
 

Randy Claramunt of MDNR presented the most recent findings on natural reproduction of Lake Michigan Chinook salmon. The proportion of wild vs. hatchery salmon increases with the age of fish.  This could be attributed to differences in mortality, maturation, or mixing of stocks or the movement of wild Lake Huron salmon into Lake Michigan.
 

The MDNR’s Statewide Angler Survey Program was explained by Tracy Kolb, who presented results of creel surveys at Ludington and on the Pere Marquette River. River surveys are not conducted on a regular basis, and this was the first study of angler effort and catch on the Pere Marquette since 1982.

 

The Pere Marquette has long been a favorite destination for anglers. Great fishing for resident brown trout and lake-run salmon and steelhead generated an estimated 284,236 hours of angler effort in 2011.

 

The river was once home to native grayling that fell victim to logging practices, which eroded stream banks and scoured spawning habitat. Other fish were introduced to replace them. In 1884, brown trout were stocked in a tributary of the Pere Marquette. This was the first planting of brown trout in the United States. Since then, habitat restoration projects have aided in the river’s recovery.

 

The Pere Marquette is the longest undammed stream in the Lower Peninsula. Salmon and steelhead from the big lake have established breeding populations in the river and its tributaries. In the late 1970s, the first large-scale study of salmon reproduction in the Lake Michigan basin found that the Pere Marquette was one of the top three producers of wild-spawned salmon due to the combination of cold water, lack of dams, abundant gravel, and high current velocity.

 

Abundant fish, a remote setting, and numerous national forest access points all contribute to the popularity of the Pere Marquette River. Anglers who prefer fly-fishing appreciate the flies-only regulations that apply to eight miles of river below Baldwin. Fishing is also excellent outside of the

flies-only reach for those who prefer bait or hardware. In 1982, a survey of angler use and harvest found that anglers spent 56,260 hours fishing in the flies-only water and 7,818 hours fishing in a four-mile reach of water downstream.

 

The survey found that anglers spent an estimated 284,263 hours fishing on the Pere Marquette River in 2011. About 23 percent of the fishing effort occurred in the flies-only reach. Regulations in the flies-only reach require anglers to release all of their fish, although this is not required in other reaches. Even so, the survey found that the majority of trout and salmon caught in the Pere Marquette are released.

 

Anglers caught approximately 6,613 steelhead and 10,358 brown trout from the Pere Marquette in 2011. The number of trout kept was much lower, with anglers taking home only 198 steelhead and 393 brown trout. A larger percentage of Chinook salmon was kept, with anglers harvesting an estimated 9,862 of the 39,871 Chinook salmon caught in 2011.

 

The survey found that anglers spent an estimated 284,263 hours fishing on the Pere Marquette River in 2011. About 23 percent of the fishing effort occurred in the flies-only reach. Regulations in the flies-only reach require anglers to release all of their fish, although this is not required in other reaches. Even so, the survey found that the majority of trout and salmon caught in the Pere Marquette are released.

 

Anglers caught approximately 6,613 steelhead and 10,358 brown trout from the Pere Marquette in 2011. The number of trout kept was much lower, with anglers taking home only 198 steelhead and 393 brown trout. A larger percentage of Chinook salmon was kept, with anglers harvesting an estimated 9,862 of the 39,871 Chinook salmon caught in 2011.
 

Brian Roth of MSU’s Quantitative Fisheries Center discussed his recent work modeling the effect of commercial fishing on Asian carp populations. His results suggested that commercial fishing will not be enough to control, much less eliminate, carp where they are established unless small and large bighead and silver carp are targeted. Current fishing effort focuses on large bighead carp for human consumption. 
 

The Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS) was introduced by GLOS Executive Director Jen Read, who gave audience members the opportunity to preview a Boater's Forecast tool for all Great Lakes waters. The tool integrates current, surface temperature, depth, wave, launch, and marina amenity data into Google maps in user-friendly format. Look for the tool on the GLOS website this spring.


General

Bill to Legalize Hunting with Suppressors Gaining Ground

Wyoming may soon become the 28th state to allow hunters to use suppressors. It is part of a growing national trend that advocates the use of suppressors for their part in reducing noise pollution and preventing hearing loss.

 

According to the American Silencer Association, 39 states allow ownership of suppressors, while 27 states allowing hunting use and nearly 27,000 are purchased every year in the United States.

 

The Wyoming legislature is only the latest state to make a decision on

the use of suppressors for hunting. According to the Associated Press, a

bill cleared the state House of Representatives that will allow silencer-equipped firearms for hunting game animals. The bill had already been approved by the Senate and now awaits the governor’s decision.

 

Many sportsmen laud the measure but it’s not without its detractors. With the current cornucopia of modern equipment, many hunters are weary of bringing additional gear into the woods. Others cite dangers in using suppressed firearms, such as not knowing if there were other hunters in the nearby area.


2nd Amendment Issues

S&W Creates Convenient Way To Express Support For Gun Rights
Gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson has joined Sturm, Ruger & Co. in making it easy for citizens to contact the political class and remind them to stand up for the 2nd Amendment.

S&W has set up a Web page so that anyone can choose to either click

 

on a link to send a prepared message to each of his representatives (the President, Vice President, U.S. Senators and Representative, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, State Senator and Representative) or select another link to find how to contact each one individually in order to send an original message. More »

 

 


SAF challenging New York's gun permitting statute

Twenty State Attorneys file briefs supporting SAF Appeal

BELLEVUE, WA – Twenty state attorneys general have filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Second Amendment Foundation’s petition for a Writ of Certiorari in a case challenging New York’s gun permitting statute, along with several other interested parties that have filed their own briefs.

 

The case is known as Kachalsky v. Cacace and was argued before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. SAF is represented by attorney Alan Gura, who won both the Heller and McDonald Second Amendment cases before the Supreme Court.

 

“We are delighted at the support being shown by attorneys general in Alaska, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, Nebraska, New Mexico and 13 other states, and particularly for the leadership of Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli in bringing them all together,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “This case is all about an individual’s right to carry a firearm outside the home for personal protection, and it is gratifying to see so much support.”

 

In addition to the brief filed by the attorneys general, supporting amicus briefs have also been filed by the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence

 

represented by former Attorney General Edwin Meese III, the National Rifle Association represented by former Solicitor General Paul D.

Clement, plus the American Civil Rights Union, Academics for the Second Amendment, Cato Institute, the Second Amendment Preservation Association, New Jersey Second Amendment Society and Commonwealth Second Amendment, Inc.

 

“This is an important case,” Gottlieb said, “and that’s why so many parties are interested and supportive of our issue.”

 

SAF and the five individual plaintiffs are challenging whether the state can arbitrarily restrict the Second Amendment right to bear arms outside the home by requiring people to prove a special need to the satisfaction of a government official.

 

“Our case is about equal protection and the arbitrary authority of government officials to essentially decide on a whim whether average citizens can have the means of self-defense outside the confines of their home,” Gottlieb said. “Most crimes happen away from the home, and it is in public places and on public streets where a citizen is most likely to encounter a life-threatening situation where he or she might have to defend themselves.”www.saf.org


Appeals court lets stand Illinois concealed carry ruling

Denies Att. Gen. Lisa Madigan's Appeal

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the IL Attorney General's appeal for an en banc hearing of the court's decision in the Moore/Shepard vs Madigan lawsuit.  By denying the appeal, the court's original ruling stands.  On Dec. 11, 2012, the court ruled the ban on carrying a firearm in public for self defense unconstitutional and gave the state 180 days to pass Right to Carry legislation.  In light of the ruling, the clock continues to count down to the deadline of June 9, 2013.

 

The ruling came in Moore v. Madigan, a case filed by SAF. The December opinion that now stands was written by Judge Richard Posner, who gave the Illinois legislature 180 days to “craft a new gun law that will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment…on the carrying of guns in public.”

 

That clock is ticking, noted SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb.  “Illinois lawmakers need to create some kind of licensing system or face the prospect of not having any regulations at all when Judge Posner’s deadline arrives,” Gottlieb said. “They need to act. They can no longer run

and hide from this mandate.”

 

In December, Judge Posner wrote, “The right to ‘bear’ as distinct from the right to ‘keep’ arms is unlikely to refer to the home. To speak of ‘bearing’ arms within one’s home would at all times have been an awkward usage. A right to bear arms thus implies a right to carry a loaded gun outside the home.”   He subsequently added, “To confine the right to be armed to the home is to divorce the Second Amendment from the right of self-defense described in Heller and McDonald.”

 

“It is now up to the legislature,” Gottlieb said, “to craft a statute that recognizes the right of ordinary citizens to carry outside the home, without a sea of red tape or a requirement to prove any kind of need beyond the cause of personal protection.”

 

The ruling also affects a similar case filed by the National Rifle Association known as Shepard v. Madigan.  AG Madigan’s next step - if she decides to take it - would be to appeal to the US Supreme Court.   To read the ruling, click here.


Lake Erie

Presque Isle Bay removed from Great Lakes “Area of Concern” List

Second Area in U.S. to be delisted

 The U.S. EPA last week announced that Presque Isle Bay, on the Pennsylvania shore of Lake Erie, has been removed from the list of heavily contaminated Great Lakes sites targeted for cleanup by the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Environmental conditions in Presque Isle Bay have significantly improved due to actions taken by federal, state and local government. Studies have shown that revitalized waterways, like Presque Isle Bay, can benefit the local economy and better protect people’s health. Presque Isle Bay is now the second site in the nation to be taken off the list of Great Lakes “Areas of Concern” (AOCs).

 

In October 2011, the federal Great Lakes Interagency Task Force committed to accelerate cleanups of contaminated rivers and harbors to “delist” AOCs. Presque Isle Bay’s delisting reduces the number of AOCs to 29 contaminated sites wholly in the U.S. or shared with Canada.

 

The historic discharge of industrial and domestic wastewater

contaminated Presque Isle Bay with excessive nutrients, organic compounds, toxic metals and other pollutants. Improvements at Erie’s wastewater treatment plant, along with the waterfront’s conversion from heavy industrial to commercial use, reduced pollution and helped restore the bay.

 

Since 2010, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding has been used to accelerate the final steps needed to delist Presque Isle Bay. President Obama launched the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at the start of his first term.  Environment Canada, the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and the U.S.-Canada International Joint Commission concurred with the decision to delist the Presque Isle Bay AOC.

 

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection will continue to monitor ecological conditions in Presque Isle Bay, with support from EPA. For more information on Presque Isle Bay, go to http://epa/gov/glnpo/aoc/presque/.    www.glri.us

 


Illinois

Appeals court lets stand Illinois concealed carry ruling

Denies Att. Gen. Lisa Madigan's Appeal

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the IL Attorney General's appeal for an en banc hearing of the court's decision in the Moore/Shepard vs Madigan lawsuit.  By denying the appeal, the court's original ruling stands.  On Dec. 11, 2012, the court ruled the ban on carrying a firearm in public for self defense unconstitutional and gave the state 180 days to pass Right to Carry legislation.  In light of the ruling, the clock continues to count down to the deadline of June 9, 2013.

 

The ruling came in Moore v. Madigan, a case filed by SAF. The December opinion that now stands was written by Judge Richard Posner, who gave the Illinois legislature 180 days to “craft a new gun law that will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment…on the carrying of guns in public.”

 

That clock is ticking, noted SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb.  “Illinois lawmakers need to create some kind of licensing system or face the prospect of not having any regulations at all when Judge Posner’s deadline arrives,” Gottlieb said. “They need to act. They can no longer run

and hide from this mandate.”

 

In December, Judge Posner wrote, “The right to ‘bear’ as distinct from the right to ‘keep’ arms is unlikely to refer to the home. To speak of ‘bearing’ arms within one’s home would at all times have been an awkward usage. A right to bear arms thus implies a right to carry a loaded gun outside the home.”   He subsequently added, “To confine the right to be armed to the home is to divorce the Second Amendment from the right of self-defense described in Heller and McDonald.”

 

“It is now up to the legislature,” Gottlieb said, “to craft a statute that recognizes the right of ordinary citizens to carry outside the home, without a sea of red tape or a requirement to prove any kind of need beyond the cause of personal protection.”

 

The ruling also affects a similar case filed by the National Rifle Association known as Shepard v. Madigan.  AG Madigan’s next step - if she decides to take it - would be to appeal to the US Supreme Court.   To read the ruling, click here.


Michigan

Michigan DNR Reminds Anglers of Natural Bait Restrictions

The Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers that the use of salmon eggs or minnows for bait is restricted in some waters, as part of a continuing strategy to slow the spread of VHS. Anglers may need to review the VHS statewide regulations prior to heading out for the 2013 Winter Free Fishing Weekend.

Anglers who purchase minnows for bait should make sure they are certified as VHS-free. Certified disease-free bait is widely available and may be used anywhere for 14 days after purchase. Anglers are reminded to keep their bait receipts with them while they are using purchased bait.

The use of uncertified bait is restricted on where it can be used and can only be used for three days after purchase or collection.

►Uncertified bait from the VHSv Free Management Areas can be used anywhere in the state.
►Uncertified bait from VHSv Surveillance Areas can be only used in VHSv Surveillance or Positive Areas.
►Uncertified bait from VHSv Positive Areas can only be used in VHSv

 

Positive Areas and are those waters where VHS has been detected and confirmed.

►All bait collected by anglers is considered uncertified bait.

 

Information on what waters are in which VHSv Management Areas is in the fishing guide and online at www.michigan.gov/vhs.

VHS is a viral disease that causes fish to die from internal bleeding and has caused mortalities among a number of species of fish in Michigan waters. The disease has been found in the Michigan waters of lakes Erie, Huron and Superior and has been detected in Lake Michigan, though not in Michigan waters. It has been found in at least two inland lakes - Budd Lake in Clare County and Baseline Lake in Washtenaw County.

"There is no known treatment for VHS," said DNR Fish Production Manager Gary Whelan, who monitors fish diseases for the department. "Our best defense against it is educating anglers to try and prevent its spread."

 


More Michigan deer hunters give crossbows a try

Although the overall number of hunters in Michigan has been on a slight decline, the Department of Natural Resources reports that a recent

deer hunter survey shows growth in one method of deer hunting – crossbows.

 

In the past, only hunters with disabilities had the option to hunt with a crossbow. Beginning in 2009, crossbows were allowed in most areas of Michigan during the archery deer season in an attempt to expand hunting opportunities, retain existing hunters and recruit new hunters. Crossbow hunters were required to obtain a free crossbow stamp to determine the number of hunters who took advantage of the new method.

 

In 2009, the opportunity to use a crossbow was extended only to hunters 50 years of age or older in the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula, while hunters of any age could use crossbows in the southern Lower Peninsula. In 2010 the age restriction was eliminated statewide.

 

The archery deer season runs statewide on public and private land and is divided into early and late season segments (Oct. 1 through Nov. 14 and Dec. 1 through Jan. 1). In the Upper Peninsula, crossbows are only allowed to be used in the early archery season.  “We have discovered that in 2011, 25 percent of the crossbow users had not hunted in the archery season in previous years,” said DNR Deer and Elk Program Leader Brent Rudolph. “These hunters were newly recruited or drawn back to the sport of archery hunting.”

 

The opinion survey also revealed that hunting with a crossbow met most or all of the archers’ expectations, and nearly all crossbow hunters planned to use crossbows again in the future. The number of hunters who obtained the free crossbow stamp by year is:  

·         2009 - 45,692

·         2010 - 64,340

·         2011 - 74,120

·         2012 - 88,565

 

Although the expanded opportunity increased the number of archery hunters, the amount of deer harvested overall during the archery season did not increase each year. Harvest of deer over all seasons combined declined or was similar to previous years.

 

“With close to 800,000 hunters in Michigan annually, we know deer hunting is a strong tradition held by many,” said DNR Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason. “The expanded crossbow regulations met all the expectations we hoped for. Our primary goal is to do a good job managing the deer herd, and if new hunting opportunities can also be made, that’s a good thing.” To view the entire Crossbow Deer Hunter Survey report, go to www.michigan.gov/hunting and click on Wildlife Surveys and Reports in the left-hand navigation bar.

Hunters are reminded to fill out their 2012 deer harvest survey by going online to https://secure1.state.mi.us/deersurvey/.

 


MI - State-record Great Lakes muskie now listed as world record
The state-record Great Lakes muskie caught by Joseph Seeberger of Portage, Mi., on Oct. 13, 2012, has now been listed as a world record by the International Committee of the Modern Day Muskie World Record Program (MDMWRP).

MDMWRP is a committee of muskellunge scientists, industry leaders, anglers and outdoor media personalities that formed in 2006. The program facilitates the recording and verification of muskellunge world records, covering a current void of record availability to North American muskellunge anglers for fish in the 58- to 68-pound range. This range has been chosen because it is considered the maximum ultimate range of growth for this species. Prior to Seeberger’s submission, there had not been a MDMWRP world-record entry verified.

Seeberger caught the fish on Lake Bellaire in Antrim County. The DNR verified the record and documented that the fish weighed 58 pounds. Although the DNR did not measure the length (state records are determined by weight only), the angler measured the fish at a length of 59 inches with a flexible tape. Later in the day, a taxidermist reported the length at 58 inches.

MDMWRP is listing Seeberger’s fish at 58 pounds, 58 "long, and a girth

of 29". It should be noted MDMWRP rules require a bump board-style length measurement, which explains the difference between their length and the length reported in the initial DNR press release (includes photo).

 

The MDMWRP is one of many organizations that recognize world-record catches. Many of these organizations differ on their required criteria.

 

Over the past year, the DNR has made changes to muskie fishing regulations in an effort to improve fishing opportunities and to further protect the species. Starting April 1, the possession limit will change to allow anglers to keep only one muskellunge per season, instead of one per day. Anglers must also obtain a free harvest tag that must be attached to the muskellunge they intend to keep. These tags are available wherever fishing licenses are sold and will be available March 1.

“Seeberger’s fish is another example of the capacity of Michigan waters to produce enormous, world-record fish,” said acting Central Lake Michigan Management Unit manager Scott Heintzelman. “Added protection from recent regulation changes will allow more of these magnificent fish to reach their maximum potential and provide anglers the chance to catch the fish of a lifetime.” 

For more information on Michigan’s state records, visit www.michigan.gov/masterangler.


Minnesota

Deadly winter on the ice

This winter season is on track to be the deadliest on the ice in more than five years, the Minnesota DNR said.  So far this winter, five people have died after going through the ice in Minnesota. A sixth person is missing and presumed drowned. In the 2006-2007 winter season, eight people died in ice-related incidents.

 

“There could be several reasons why so many people have died this year,” said Kara Owens, DNR boat and water safety specialist. “It could be there

are more people out on the ice because we have had a cooler winter and

more snow.”

 

All the fatalities this winter involved a snowmobile or vehicle either crashing into open water or breaking through the ice.  As the winter starts to wind down and Minnesotans enter the last weekend in February, Owens has an urgent message for winter enthusiasts: “The bottom line is it's crucial that people do not let their guard down and recognize ice is never 100 % safe.”


New York

Bass Pro Shops to Open New Store in Utica, NY

Bass Pro Shops has reached agreement to locate a new store in Utica, New York. The new 65,000 square-foot Bass Pro Shops Outpost will be located in Riverside Center at the intersection of I-90 and Route 5 in Utica and is scheduled to open in late 2013. 

Utica, situated within the Mohawk Valley region, is an area rich in history and outdoor traditions.  More than 1.9 million people hunt or fish in New York ranking the state 3rd in overall participation in the United States. In fact, more people hunt and fish in New York than attend New York Giants and Buffalo Bill football games.

Ohio

Public Invited to Comment on 2013-2014 hunting season proposals

COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio DNR is seeking public comments regarding the 2013-2014 hunting seasons. During these sessions, which will be held Saturday, March 2, 12-3 PM, input concerning proposed hunting season dates, bag limits and rule changes will be accepted. Comments dealing with white-tailed deer and wild turkey seasons will also be welcomed.

 

These events are open to the public. Anyone interested in providing input and participating in Ohio’s professional wildlife management process is welcome. ODNR Division of Wildlife biologists and law enforcement officers will be available to answer questions and receive comments.

People who are not able to attend an open house at one o fthe seven locations can provide input online. Comments are accepted through March 2 at wildohio.com. Click on Open House Comments to submit a response.

 

Public input gathered at these open houses and through the online form will be considered during the formulation of regulations. For more information or directions to the open houses, visit wildohio.com or call 800-WILDLIFE(945-3543).

Open house location information for March 2:

  • Central Ohio: Wildlife District One office, 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus 43215;  614-644-3925;

 
  • Northwest Ohio: Wildlife District Two office, 952 Lima Avenue, Findlay 45840; 419-424-5000;

  • Northeast Ohio: Wildlife District Three office, 912 Portage Lakes Drive, Akron 44319; 330-644-2293;

  • Southeast Ohio: Wildlife District Four office, 360 E. State Street, Athens 45701; 740-589-9930;

  • Southwest Ohio: Greene County Fish and Game, 1538 Union Road, Xenia 45385; 937-372-9261;

  • Lake Erie (east): Fairport Fisheries office, 1190 High Street, Fairport Harbor 44077; 440-352-4199; and

  • Lake Erie (west): Old Woman Creek office, 2514 Cleveland Road E., Huron 44839; 419-433-7599.

 

A statewide hearing on proposed rules will be held on Thursday, March 7, at 9 a.m. at the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s District One office. This hearing is open to the public, and comments on the proposed rules will be accepted. After considering public input, the Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on the proposed rules during its April 17 meeting. Council meetings are open to the public, but there is no opportunity on the agenda for public comment. Questions will be allowed and responded to once the meeting adjourns.

 

 


 

Ohio Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Licenses

On sale now

COLUMBUS, OH - Ohio’s 2013-2014 fishing, hunting and trapping licenses are now available for purchase, according to the Ohio DDNR.

The 2013-2014 licenses will be valid immediately upon purchase through Feb. 28, 2014. The 2012-2013 licenses are valid through Feb. 28. White-tailed deer and fall wild turkey hunting permits will go on sale June 1.

 

New this year, the 2013-2014 licenses include a transaction receipt and effective dates that match the fishing, hunting or trapping season.

Licenses and permits purchased online or at retail outlets are printed on plain white paper that is not waterproof. Licenses and permits will be printed along with additional information relevant to the license or permit purchased.

Licenses and permits can be purchased online at wildohio.com and at hundreds of agent outlets throughout the state. A complete list of participating license sales agents can be found at www.wildohio.com.   Each license buyer must have a Social Security Number (SSN) recorded in the system. However, people who purchased licenses last year can now use their customer ID number in place of a SSN.

 

SSNs are required to purchase a recreational license, regardless of age, for the purpose of child support collection enforcement under Federal Statute 42. As a recreational license provider, the ODNR Division of Wildlife is obligated to comply with this law and cannot issue a license or permit without the SSN of the purchaser. A proper security system is in place to protect SSNs and any databases that contain them.


Wisconsin

Wisconsin Commercials sited 44 times

The Wisconsin DNR on January 29, 2013, filed 44 Citations in Manitowoc Court.  These are only citations and the commercial fishermen in question have not been found guilty, but it appears that the Commercial Fishermen in Two Rivers, have little regards for the state’s Dept of Natural Resources, sport fishermen or this tremendous resource.  These citations are all related to and includes the illegal harvest of Lake Trout in the Smelt

 

Trawls.

 

It has now come to our attention that the $350,000 the DNR has been using for what the Sportsmen of the State of Wisconsin are contributing to subsidize the Annual Commercial Fishery Management Fees has gone up to approximately $776,400. 


Wisconsin early inland catch-and-release trout season opens March 2
EAU CLAIRE -- Getting psyched up for the early catch-and-release trout season in Wisconsin – which runs 5 a.m. March 2 to midnight April 27 this year – is a late winter survival tactic for some anglers.

 

At the Badger Fly Fishers Spring Opener held earlier this month in Madison, hundreds of fly casters gathered to stock up on materials and gear, spend outrageous sums of money on chicken feathers, learn from a room full of master fly tiers and trade in their most precious commodity – stories of battles won and lost on the fast-flowing, cold-water streams that hold trout, waters so beautiful they sooth the mind and nourish the spirit.

 

Of course not everyone is itching to be on the water before dawn on March 2, when temperatures could be below freezing.

“I don’t start in the early, early spring,” said Rich Mlodzik of Princeton, an otherwise hardcore fisherman who attended the event. “I get out around the first of April. I’m a 50 degrees kind of guy.”

 

The early season is for anglers who like to fool their prey with artifice rather than bait. It’s for people who think how they hook a trout is as just as important as actually catching it. These fall into two main groups – spinner fishers and fly fishers. Each style has its advantages. Spinner fishers, for instance, can reach into deeper pools on small, alder-choked streams that defeat fly casters.

 

While the best early-season fishing generally does occur in mid to late April, there are some golden opportunities in March. Some hardy fishermen will be out on opening day no matter the weather, anxious to hunt trout that haven’t seen an artificial lure for at least five months.

Others will watch for those mid-March days when the sun burns hot, the ice begins a rapid melt and black stone flies can be spotted on the snow bordering streams with rocky substrates. These insects flitter moth-like across the water and trout will actually leap out of the water to catch them. Even larger brown trout that normally don’t approach the surface midday will chase them with seeming abandon. A angler with the right fly can have a blast.

 

Until the snow melts, the best time to fish is from noon to 4 p.m. when

the water temperatures are higher. Then, as the early season progresses,

the fishing just gets better and better. Wooly buggers (generally a larger fly) and scuds (a small fly) are good choices for going below the surface when there isn’t activity on top.

 

"After the snow melts, trout activity increases,” said Heath Benike, a fisheries biologist with the state Department of Natural Resources at Eau Claire. “Some of the biggest trout of the season are caught in mid-April as the fish become more active and aggressive."

 

Most trout streams are open to early fishing with the exception of most Lake Superior tributaries and the majority streams in northeast Wisconsin. To find the open streams, check the printed current trout fishing regulations pamphlet for specific waters. Anglers are required to use artificial lures and flies; barbless hooks are not required. The daily bag limit and possession limit for trout during this time is zero – all trout caught must be immediately released.

 

An inland trout stamp is required in addition to a Wisconsin fishing license.  Biologists and others who study trout populations say that these are the good old days of trout fishing. Trout populations have generally increased statewide, and the number of fish in all sizes examined have increased, since 1950, according to a University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point analysis released in 2011 and discussed in "A Trout Treasury," an April 2011 Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine article.

 

Readers can also find an interesting discussion on spinner fishing [PDF] on the fishing Wisconsin pages of the DNR website.  The best fishermen, probably out of some sort of psychological necessity, are optimists. They remember their best days on the water and expect better days ahead. But they are also pragmatists and are careful to plan for all contingencies.

 

Online maps and interactive maps will make all of the trout waters easier to find and provide other information to increase anglers success. The maps, along with other information to help you find easy public access to trout waters and some new places to fish, are available by searching the on DNR website for inland trout fishing.


Ontario

Ice Fishing World Record Lake Trout

From Ontario’s White Otter Lake

An Ice fishiing world record lake trout was caught through the ice on January 18, 2013 by Bruce Sederberg. It was hooked and pulled through the ice after a 45 minute battle. The lake trout was in the process of regurgitating a 3 lb whitefish. It mesured 46" and was estimated to weigh about 44 lbs.   The largest caught on a rod and reel was 72 pounds (33 kg), caught in Great Bear Lake

 

It was a pretty long fight, took about 45 minutes or more,” Sederberg said. He fought to bring in the trout as his nephew looked on. When the trout was brought flapping onto the ice, both men realized they didn’t have anything to

measure it. The anglers then set the fish onto some soft snow and made marks near its tail and nose. After a few hurried pictures, Sederberg decided it was time for the fish to go home.

 

“Even knowing it might be a world record, I knew I had to release this fish.” So he and his nephew slowly lowered the trout back into the hole where it jumped back into the lake’s depths. The two borrowed a tape measure from a friend and measured the marks on the snow, where it came to an even 46". It is estimated to have been anywhere from 40 to 44 pounds, which would place it over the record ice fishing kept lake trout.

 

Sederberg submitted the measurements and photos to the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, Wisconsin. On Feb. 8, the organization confirmed Sederberg's trout as the largest ever caught in ice fishing catch-and-release. The previous record was 44 inches.


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

 

Upstream battle: fishes shun modern dam passages, contributing to population declines
A river study in the U.S. Northeast has found that many fish species are unable to use standard passageways to swim past dams on their spawning runs

 

Carp fighters hook invasion solutions in Minnesota
Minnesotans fighting Asian carp think they may have temporary and permanent ways to slow the advance of the voracious eater: by closing and reducing the use of certain locks on the Mississippi River.

 

Earthquake Catastrophes and Fatalities Projected to Rise in Populous 21st Century

USGS — Predicted population increases in this century can be expected to translate into more people dying from earthquakes. There will be more individual earthquakes with very large death tolls as well as more people dying during earthquakes than ever before, according to a newly published

 

Democrats want background checks …except when they don’t

Democrats and the Obama administration are attempting to eliminate background checks for prospective employees claiming it is a “civil rights” issue.  The specific case concerns a man of Mexican origin who was denied employment as a truck driver because he had a criminal record. The record was discovered via a routine background check. The DOJ claimed the trucking company had no right to deny employment to the criminal saying it violated his “civil rights.”

If background checks violate a person’s civil liberties in order to gain employment, then background checks also violate a person’s civil liberties in order to enjoy their Constitutional rights. After all, the right to a job is not in the Constitution, but the right to a firearm is

 

Sheriffs unite to defy Obama’s gun grabbing laws

Joining a growing number of the nation’s law enforcement officials refusing to partake in unconstitutional actions ordered by the federal government, the sheriff of Linn County, Ore., sent a letter to VP Biden stating he is prepared to refuse to enforce federal regulations “offending the constitutional rights of [Linn County] citizens.” According to his letter, Sheriff Tim Mueller will also prohibit his department’s “enforcement of any unconstitutional regulations or orders by federal officers” within his jurisdiction.  Several states have passed law preventing local law enforcement officers from enforcing unconstitutional laws such as federal gun-control laws including Utah, South Dakota, Tennessee, Idaho and others. Recently Kentucky and Wyoming introduced similar legislation.

 

What do non-military federal agencies need with 2 billion rounds of ammunition?  

“There are currently more than 70 different federal law enforcement agencies employing over 120,000 officers with arrest and firearms authority, according to Bureau of Justice Statistics data for 2008,” explained Jeff Knox, director of The Firearms Coalition in a recent WND column. “That’s an increase of nearly 30 % between 2004 and 2008. If the trends have continued upward at a relatively steady rate, that would put the total number of federal law enforcement officers at somewhere between 135,000 and 145,000. “That’s a pretty staggering number,” Knox continued, “especially when you consider that there are only an estimated 765,000 state and local law enforcement officers. That means about one in seven law enforcement officers in the country works directly for the federal government, not a local jurisdiction.”

 

 

 

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

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

Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.

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