Week of February 26, 2007




New York

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U.S. Passport rules eased for children

Birth certificates enough at land, sea entry points

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. children will not need passports to come into the country by land or sea, the Homeland Security Department announced February 22, a move the Bush administration said is aimed at helping families and school groups.


Under anti-terrorism passport rules that could take effect as early as January 2008, all adults -- including U.S. citizens -- will still be required to show passports to cross the nation's borders. But the government reversed a widely criticized decision to require children to have passports as well.


Children age 15 or younger who are U.S. or Canadian citizens,

with parental consent will be able to enter the United States with a certified copy of their birth certificate. Children ages 16 to 18 also will be allowed to cross with birth certificates if they are part of an adult-supervised school, religious or athletic group.


There will be no change to the new rules for those who fly. Everyone coming into the U.S. by plane, no matter the person's age, must show a passport under existing rules.    When the new requirements for travelers crossing land and sea borders take effect, they will bring residents of Western Hemisphere nations under the same rules as travelers from the rest of the world.


Zumbo Bashes Gun industry, owners

Claims “Assault” weapons are ‘Terrorist’ rifles”

After 42 years as one of the premier writers on hunting and hunting rifles, Jim Zumbo seemed to have joined the infamous Brady bunch of  Washington DC oriented gun-control nuts when, on February 16 he posted some personal thoughts on his online blog bashing some long guns and long gun owners.


Zumbo wrote on his Internet blog, referring  to some semi-auto rifles as “terrorist” and “assault” rifles, weapons that had no place “among the hunting fraternity”  and that “hunters don’t use assault rifles,”  and that “an assault rifle is a terrifying thing.”


He also alluded to those who used these weapons as “people who terrorize the world with them”, even though they are the weapons of choice that are  actually United States’ government sanctioned guns generally issued to our troops for use in Iraq, Afghanistan and other areas around the world.  Zumbo went so far as to recommend that “game departments should ban them from the praries (sic) and woods.”


Zumbo’s full written statement, as well as those of some of the corporate community, the NRA and others, who have long been corporate sponsors of Zumbo’s TV, written and Internet activities, are captured and reproduced below.  Most of the comments have since been removed from many of the Internet blogs, but we were able to capture them before they were removed.



Assault Rifles For Hunters?

By Jim Zumbo

"As I write this, I'm hunting coyotes in southeastern Wyoming with Eddie Stevenson, PR Manager for Remington Arms, Greg Dennison, who is senior research engineer for Remington, and several writers. We're testing Remington's brand new .17 cal Spitfire bullet on coyotes.


I must be living in a vacuum. The guides on our hunt tell me that the use of AR and AK rifles have a rapidly growing following among hunters, especially prairie dog hunters. I had no clue. Only once in my life have I ever seen anyone using one of these firearms. 


I call them "assault" rifles, which may upset some people. Excuse me, maybe I'm a traditionalist, but I see no place for these weapons among our hunting fraternity. I'll go so far as to call them "terrorist" rifles. They tell me that some companies are producing assault rifles that are "tackdrivers."


Sorry, folks, in my humble opinion, these things have no place in hunting. We don't need to be lumped into the group of people who terrorize the world with them, which is an obvious concern. I've always been comfortable with the statement that hunters don't use assault rifles. We've always been proud of our "sporting firearms."


This really has me concerned. As hunters, we don't need the image of walking around the woods carrying one of these weapons. To most of the public, an assault rifle is a terrifying thing. Let's divorce ourselves from them. I say game departments should ban them from the praries and woods."



Jim Zumbo


Zumbo’s hand-wringing retraction:

"Someone once said that to err is human. I just erred, and made without question, the biggest blunder in my 42 years of writing hunting articles.  My blog inflamed legions of people I love most..... hunters and shooters. Obviously, when I wrote that blog, I activated my mouth before engaging my brain..."




A blogger’s response to Zumbo’s apology:


Unfortunately, the apology rang hollow on several notes:

1) The initial premise, which was that he'd had himself a rough day hunting, and therefore inexplicably and off the cuff called weapons used by millions of American gun owners, peace officers, and servicemen "terrorist rifles" because he was cold and tired. Sorry, Zumbo, but in whino veritas. You meant what you said when you typed it. If it hadn't already existed in your mind, it never would have come out your fingertips.  (Emphasis ours.  Ed.)


2) The lack of comprehension regarding the 2nd Amendment is still there. In effect, Zumbo says "Oh, hunters use these things? Maybe they're okay then." Jim, it wouldn't matter whether or not any hunter had ever hunted anything with an AR-15, because the Second Amendment has damn-all to do with hunting. It does not say "A nicely mounted buck trophy being necessary to the security of a free state..." you tool.


3) His attempts to buy his way out with name dropping and past associations are illuminating in ways he probably didn't intend for them to be. When he mentioned how much he loves the NRA, my first thought was "...and it's people like you who keep the NRA from being the uncompromising 800-lb gorilla the lefty media portrays it to be."







Remington Severs Sponsorship Ties with Jim Zumbo

Madison, North Carolina (Press Release) – As a result of comments made by Mr. Jim Zumbo in recent postings on his blog site, Remington Arms Company, Inc., has severed all sponsorship ties with Mr. Zumbo effective immediately. While Mr. Zumbo is entitled to his opinions and has the constitutional right to freely express those opinions, these comments are solely his, and do not reflect the views of Remington.


“Remington has spent tens of millions of dollars defending our Second Amendment rights to privately own and possess firearms and we will continue to vigorously fight to protect these rights,” commented Tommy Millner, Remington’s CEO and President. “As hunters and shooters of all interest levels, we should strive to utilize this unfortunate occurrence to unite as a whole in support of our Second Amendment rights.”


We regret having to terminate our long-standing relationship with Mr. Zumbo, who is a well-respected writer and life-long hunter.

A personal note from the Remington CEO:

Tommy Millner, CEO of Remington, reacted like a man who'd just discovered a cobra in his sleeping bag. Distancing his company from Zumbo so far and so fast, Millner sent this email to the site administrator of GlockTalk while he was still in Europe on a business trip:


"You may feel free to advise your people of the following.


Remington is shocked and dissappointed by the comments of Jim zumbo which have been widely circulated on the web. These comments do not reflect either my own feelings or those of my company!


Accordingly we are severing all business ties with Mr zumbo and any of his companies effective immediately and will make a formal release tomorrow to this effect.


We appreciate the passionate support of our right to bear arm arms by all in the shooting sports.




Tommy millner



And from Gerber Blades:

Following Jim Zumbo's recent comments, those of us at Gerber would like to clarify that we respect the opinion of our sponsored hunters and users however, we do not necessarily agree with all their opinions, nor do we endorse their public statements. Our presence and development in the tactical and hunting markets is proof-positive we are committed to supporting these industries and all those involved.


Thanks for supporting our rights and for supporting Gerber Legendary Blades.


Jason Kintzler


Senior Communications Manager


And From Cabalas:

While Cabela’s believes everyone has the right to express their own opinions, we strongly disagree with Jim Zumbo’s February 16 posting on his Hunting with Jim Zumbo blog on Outdoor Life’s Web site.


Throughout our 46-year history, Cabela’s has firmly supported all aspects of shooting sports. We strongly support the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and the right of every U.S. citizen to purchase, own and enjoy any legal firearm of their choosing.


While we fully support Mr. Zumbo’s First Amendment right of free speech, we believe his opinions on this matter are counter to those shared by Cabela’s and many of our customers. Cabela’s Legal Department is currently reviewing contractual obligations and commitments regarding our sponsorship of the Jim Zumbo Outdoors television show.


Have a great day.








And from Outdoor Life:

Outdoor Life has posted this on their site:



Due to the controversy surrounding Jim Zumbo’s recent postings, Outdoor Life has decided to discontinue the “Hunting With Zumbo” blog for the time being. Outdoor Life has always been, and will always be, a steadfast supporter of our Second Amendment rights, which do not make distinctions based on the looks of the firearms we choose to own, shoot and take hunting. Please direct any comments you have to [email protected] .


In light of comments made by Jim Zumbo in his February 16, 2007 blog posting on the magazine’s website, Mr. Zumbo has offered to terminate his association with Outdoor Life, and the magazine has accepted his offer. Accordingly, he will no longer be contributing to the magazine in print or online. His final column with Outdoor Life will appear in the April 2007 issue, which has already gone to press






And from the NRA:

NRA Publications Suspends Ties to Jim Zumbo

FAIRFAX, VA – The following statement was issued by the National Rifle Association of America.

Comments expressed by outdoor writer Jim Zumbo reflect neither the opinions of the National Rifle Association and America’s gun owners, nor are they an accurate portrayal of facts in regard to semi-automatic firearms lawfully owned by millions of citizens.  Therefore, NRA Publications has suspended its professional ties with Mr. Zumbo.


The ensuing wave of grassroots response in support of the Second Amendment is a clear indication that America’s gun owners will act swiftly and decisively to counter falsehoods or misrepresentations perpetuated by any member of the media – whether it is one of the major networks or a fellow gun owner.


That depth of feeling and the unanimity of the response from the nation’s firearms owners sends a message to the new Congress.  It says that millions of people understand the issue of semi-autos and will resist with an immense singular political will any attempts to create a new ban on semi-automatic firearms.


At the root of this grassroots response is the basic truth that ‘gun control merely makes the innocent pay the price for the guilty’ and our folks fully understand that their rights are at stake.  It says that for the enemies of the Second Amendment there is no chance that the kind of divide and conquer propaganda strategy which preceded the 1994 ban on semi-auto firearms will ever succeed again.


It is our hope that Mr. Zumbo will use his energy and talent to help preserve our Second Amendment, America’s First Freedom, by ensuring that no one else falls prey to the tragic demonization of gun owners.


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Feb 23, 2007

Weather Conditions:

After a few weeks of frigid conditions, above average temperatures arrived in the Great Lakes basin this week.  Some locations saw the mercury top out in the upper 40s to near 50 degrees, with little precipitation recorded.  A storm system is forecasted to bring various precipitation types to the region this weekend.  Snow, sleet, and rain are all possible, depending on location.


Lake Level Conditions:

Currently, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 15 inches and 1 inch, respectively, lower than it was a year ago. Lakes St. Clair, Erie , and Ontario are 3,4, and 2 inches higher than it was at this time last year.  Presently, all of the lakes are in their period of seasonal decline.  Over the next month the water level on Lake Superior is expected to drop an inch. Lake Michigan-Huron is projected to rise by 2 inches.  Lake St. Clair is predicted to remain at the same level, while the level of Erie is expected to increase 1 inch.  Lake Ontario is expected to drop an inch over the next thirty days.  During the next few months, Lake Superior is predicted to remain well below last year’s water levels, while Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are forecasted to remain at or above the levels of a year ago. See our Daily Levels web page | for more water level information.


Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

Flow in the St. Marys and St. Clair rivers was below average in  

January and is predicted to be below average for February. Outflow from the Detroit River is predicted to be near average for this month.  Flow in the Niagara River, as well as the St. Lawrence River, is expected to be above average.



Due to abnormally dry conditions on the Lake Superior basin over the last six months, Lake Superior ’s water level is currently below chart datum and is expected to remain below datum through July.  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 web page.





St. Clair



Level for Feb 26






Datum, in ft






Diff in Inches






Last mth






Last Year







Outboards the story at Miami show 

New outboards were a big story at the Miami International Boat Show, with several companies showcasing new and improved engines.  Yamaha unveiled its 350 hp V-8 and Mercury Marine introduced a 300-hp version of its 6-cylinder Verado supercharged 4-stroke. Suzuki, which last year broke the 300-hp, 4-stroke barrier, showcased two smaller models

in Miami.


Other new or improved outboards include: Honda Marine Group’s redesigned 75- and 90-hp 4-strokes; Tohatsu Outboards and Nissan Marine’s new 25- and 30-hp 4-strokes with batteryless electronic fuel injection and BRP’s new direct fuel injection work engines in 65- and 90-hp model.

2007 Orlando SHOT Show biggest ever

Another Record-Setter for Shooting Industry's Largest Trade Show

The 2007 SHOT Show, held Jan. 11-14 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, was the largest in the colossal trade show's 29-year history.


"SHOT Show is the Super Bowl of trade shows for our industry," said Doug Painter, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, owner and sponsor of the show. "Orlando proved to be a winning venue for us. The show was well attended and vibrant, featuring thousands of innovative

and quality products that consumers can expect to see on retailers' shelves later this year."


This year's SHOT Show encompassed 656,100 net square feet of exhibit space, a gain of 40,000 over last year, with 1,870 exhibiting companies, up from last year's 1,846.  The show attracted 20,390 buyers, 1,342 members of the press, 19,990 exhibiting personnel and 494 guests for a record total attendance of 42,216.  Next year's show in Las Vegas will be even larger, Painter said. Exhibitors have already booked 654,000 net square feet of space for the 2008 show, he said.

CBAA Sanctions National Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship

The Collegiate Bass Anglers Association (CBAA), the governing body for collegiate bass fishing, has announced its first sanctioned tournament program and has formally recognized the official national championship event.


Getting the non-profit organization's nod of approval is the Fox College Sports National Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship (NCBFC).


"We have reviewed the NCBFC program and are satisfied it meets our standards for a quality collegiate bass fishing program," said Troy Heckaman, CBAA commissioner. "We are also naming its championship tournament as the nation's premiere event for determining the top college fishing team in the country each year." 


The announcement is good news for the NCBFC program because the tournament's organizers have already committed to a second championship date and location, a number of

regional tournaments leading up to it, and an extended television broadcast schedule for college bass fishing in 2007 with the Fox College Sports network.


The current 2007 television series features the 24 schools and 41 teams that competed in last year's national championship event held on Lake Lewisville near Ft. Worth, Texas. The 2007 championship returns to the same lake, Sept. 27 - 29, with Sneaky Pete's Marina serving as the launch and weigh-in site.   The 2007 championship field is expected to number 100 two person teams from 40 schools nationwide.


The NCBFC television series can be seen on Fox College Sports network each Wednesday at 8 p.m. and on Sundays at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern times. Shows that have already aired can be viewed any time at www.OutdoorAction.com .  The Fox College Sports NCBFC series is made possible by a number of national sponsors, including: BoatUS, Ranger Boats, Garmin, Evinrude, Cabela's, Minn Kota, Costa Del Mar, Anglers' Legacy, American Rodsmiths, Keelshield, Nemire Lures, Sebile, and Yozuri.



DNR Reminds Deer Hunters to Participate in Online Survey

The Michigan DNR is reminding deer hunters that they can report their deer harvest success online. Accurate and complete information on hunting activity is vital for sound deer management.  To improve the amount and accuracy of information on hunting activities, the DNR is offering an option for deer hunters to report their hunting activity over the Internet.  


All deer hunters are invited to complete an online survey until April 1, 2007. After April 1, survey analysis will occur.  The survey is available on the DNR Web site at

www.michigan.gov/dnr  under the Hunting and the Deer sections. The DNR is requesting information from all deer hunting license buyers, even if they did not hunt or harvest a deer this year.  Once hunters submit their answers, changes or additions will not be allowed.


Traditionally, the DNR has estimated deer hunter effort and success using surveys that were mailed to a sample of randomly selected hunters in scientifically designed manner. These traditional mail surveys have been sent to randomly selected hunters and they will continue; however, the new online reporting option allows all deer hunters with Internet access to participate.

Stupak re-introduces cormorant control bill

Congressman Bart Stupak, D-Menominee, has re-introduced legislation aimed at better controlling double-crested cormorants.  The “Great Lakes Migratory Bird Research and Management Act,” which Stupak first proposed in 2002, would enable the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to investigate the effects of migratory birds, such as cormorants, on fish stocks in the Great Lakes


Stupak said his legislation is aimed at moving cormorant 

control programs beyond a piecemeal approach to a more integrated and comprehensive solution. The legislation wouldauthorize the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to develop a coordinated approach between Canada and affected Great Lakes states.  Under the bill, the Commission would develop a common “memorandum of understanding” outlining appropriate cormorant control measures.


This is the sixth year Stupak has worked diligently with conservation groups to control this pesky black marauder.

Michigan’s First Ballast Water Permits Issued

The Department of Environmental Quality announced last week the first ten Ballast Water Control General Permits have been issued to an international shipping company in accordance with Michigan’s new ballast water control law.  The law, which went into effect January 1, is designed to prevent the introduction of invasive species into the Great Lakes. 


NaviBulgar-Smolyan, a Bulgarian shipping company, has received DEQ authorization to engage in port operations in Michigan when the St. Lawrence Seaway opens next month. 


“This marks a milestone in our efforts to protect the health of the Great Lakes and demonstrates the ability for all shipping companies using Michigan’s ports to obtain these important environmental permits in a timely manner,” said DEQ Director Steven E. Chester.  “Any user of the Great Lakes must share in the responsibility to ensure our waters are clear of invasive species and safe for future generations to enjoy.”

Under the new law, oceangoing ships must obtain a permit from the DEQ in order to use Michigan ports.  Permits are issued only if the applicant demonstrates that they will either not discharge ballast water or will use one of four approved environmentally sound technologies and methods to prevent the discharge of aquatic invasive species. 


NaviBulgar applied for permit coverage for its vessels to conduct port operations without discharging ballast water; however, the company is evaluating several ballast water treatment methods for future implementation.


“Invasive species cost literally billions of dollars to control once they are introduced to the Great Lakes ecosystem, and too often, trying to control them is a losing battle,” said Michigan Office of the Great Lakes Director Ken DeBeaussaert.  “We encourage our fellow Great Lakes states to follow Michigan’s example and put to end the introduction of invasive species from ballast water.”

New York

NY Senate Considering Anti-Gun/Anti-Hunting Legislator for Conservation Commissioner

Contact Your State Senator Today!

Members of the New York State Senate could soon consider the nomination of Alexander “Pete” Grannis for Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation. Well known for his anti-gun, anti-hunting and anti-sportsmen positions and votes, Grannis should not be given stewardship of New York State's rich outdoor heritage!


Grannis not only lacks the background to be DEC Commissioner, but he has shown outright contempt for all outdoor recreational activities! During his tenure in the Assembly, Grannis sponsored and signed on to numerous

anti-gun and anti-hunting bills, as well as legislation to outlaw trapping.  As DEC Commissioner, Grannis would have the authority to make policy through regulatory means, bypassing consideration by your elected officials. These decisions could permanently impact hunters and sportsmen in the Empire State.



Please call your State Senator TODAY at (518) 455-2800 and urge him or her to oppose Pete Grannis’ nomination as DEC Commissioner. Be sure to politely remind him that a vote to approve Grannis is a vote against the Second Amendment and our hunting heritage!

Junior Hunter Bills 

The New York State Conservation Council is looking for support to get legislation passed that will allow our junior hunters to hunt big game. We need sportsmen AND YOUTH to meet with their Assemblyman and Senator and voice their support for the following Assembly and Senate bills.

               A04623-Junior Archery (allow 12 & 13 year olds to hunt big game with a bow)

               S00113-Junior Archery (allow 12 & 13 year olds to hunt big game with a bow)

               A03878-Junior Big Game (allow 14 & 15 year olds to hunt big game with a gun)

               S00857 Junior Big Game (allow 14 & 15 year olds to hunt big game with a gun)


It would be nice if these meetings happened in Albany on March 13th during our March on Albany.  But if you cannot make it on that day, please meet with your Assemblyman and Senator in their home office, ASAP.  Hand them a letter written by the youth and co-signed by the parent or parents, supporting this legislation and asking for the legislator's support. Take some photos of the meeting that can be shared with the Council, to use to further our education of our



It would be helpful to have the youth be a junior hunter who wants to hunt big game in New York State. Even better would be a youth who is not allowed to hunt big game here but who actually went to another state and hunted big game.  Do you have photos of junior hunters hunting big game in other states that could be shared with the Council?  If so, please contact me.


We need sportsmen from every part of the State to do this, if we are going to show that sportsmen really want our junior hunters to be able to hunt big game. Don't wait for someone else to do it!  Contact your Assemblyman and Senator right away.


Please pass this message along to all youth interested in hunting, so they can become active in this.


Harold L. Palmer


New York State Conservation Council, Inc.


Time to purchase hunting and fishing licenses

Licenses available statewide at more than 1,300 outlets

COLUMBUS, OH - Anglers and hunters are reminded that it’s time to purchase their 2007-2008 fishing and hunting licenses, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). The 2006-07 licenses expire February 28. Licenses can be purchased at vendor outlets across the state and at ohiodnr.com/wildlife on the Internet.


New licenses are valid March 1, 2007 through February 29, 2008. Hunters, especially those gearing up for the popular spring wild turkey season, are reminded that licenses

purchased now are also valid during the 2007 fall hunting  



Resident hunting and fishing licenses cost $19 each; deer and turkey permits are an additional $24 each. Hunters age 17 and under and some Ohio senior citizens are eligible for discounted licenses. A one-day Ohio fishing license costs $11, an amount that can later be applied to the purchase of an annual license. For a complete listing of license prices, please obtain a current copy of the Ohio Hunting Regulations, the Ohio Fishing Regulations or visit ohiodnr.com/wildlife.

Go to:  www.great-lakes.org/licenses.html

Ohio Division of Wildlife Considering Concealed Carry

Agency to hold Open House meetings at all District offices March 4

The Ohio Division of Wildlife will soon be holding annual open house meetings for each of its districts. The meetings will be held on Sunday, March 4 at District Offices in Districts 1-4 and at the Greene County Fish and Game Clubhouse for District 5.  


The wildlife regulations, including those which prohibit concealed carry, are reviewed only once per year.  Your help is needed now!  The Ohio Division of Wildlife has been slow to 

follow state law, and allow sportsmen and women, with a CHLto carry a concealed handgun while deer hunting in Ohio.  This is an ideal opportunity to have the voices of Ohio’s sportsmen heard to allow carrying concealed afield.


Take the time to attend these open houses.  If you are unable to attend, please contact your District Office and/or the Chief of the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Comments may be sent via email at: [email protected]


The following link provides information including maps to the open house locations:


DEC Extends Emergency Regulation to Help Prevent Spread of VHS

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that the emergency regulations to help prevent the spread of VHS to additional waters in the state have been extended. The 21-day extension took place on February 16, 2007, and will continue the existing provisions which were enacted on November 21, 2006, that limit the release, possession, and taking of certain bait and other live fish species.


The extension of the current VHS emergency regulations is necessary to prevent a gap in protecting the state*s fisheries resources while the DEC addresses the public comments submitted on the proposed permanent rulemaking that was also announced on November 21, 2006. This extension of the emergency regulation will be effective through Friday, March 9, 2007.

DEC expects to issue new, revised emergency regulations soon, which would take effect immediately. DEC will also soon propose revised permanent regulations that reflect the public comments received during the initial comment period that ended on January 22, 2007. The revised regulations are in the process of being developed and it is anticipated that they will incorporate many of the public comments received to date. In order to provide the public an opportunity to comment on the proposed revisions, DEC will commence another public comment period, with details available when the revisions are announced.


Text of the emergency regs: www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/propregs/#10e  on the DEC website. More info on NY and VHS:  www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/fish/vhsv.html



Big trout and lots of them on tap for early trout season -opens March 3

MADISON – Fisheries biologists from across the state are predicting an excellent early trout season if Mother Nature is kind to anglers.  The catch-and-release only season opens at 5 a.m., Saturday, March 3, with only artificial lures with barbless hooks allowed.


There are good numbers and sizes of trout in area streams, but anglers’ success ultimately hinges on the weather. With recent snowfall, snowmelt and rainfall may result in murky water. While that may benefit the angler by making it more difficult for easily spooked trout to see anglers’ shadows or movement, on balance, murky water will make fishing more difficult, according to Scot Stewart, Department of Natural Resources fisheries supervisor for south central Wisconsin.


The murky water makes it harder for the trout to see the lures, and runoff may carry soil and worms into the stream, making a meal that the trout prefer over artificial lures. If such conditions occur, anglers are advised to wait until flow returns to more normal conditions. Or, if they can’t wait, to fish “slow and deep” and use fly patterns and spin fishing lures that provide high contrast in the murky water, Stewart says.


Wisconsin has 10,265 miles of classified trout waters, (PDF, 1,035KB),)including 4,037 miles of Class 1 trout streams, and most of the trout waters are open for the early trout season. Fisheries biologists and supervisors turned in encouraging reports on the prospects for the coming season.


Stewart says Black Earth Creek is one of many terrific trout streams in Wisconsin, supporting a density of up to 3,000 fish per mile. DNR has purchased land and easements along the stream so that anglers have excellent access to this stream. Habitat improvement work DNR has done in cooperation with Dane County, Trout Unlimited and other groups, has resulted in trout densities increasing 200 to 500 percent over their previous numbers.


Surveys in 2006 revealed that the West Branch of the Sugar River, Elvers, Token, Mount Vernon, German Valley and Vermont do not have trout densities as high as Black Earth Creek, but offer an excellent opportunity to catch wild trout in a pleasing countryside.


Dave Vetrano, DNR La Crosse area fisheries supervisor, notes that his area has 900 miles of classified trout water, and that recent stream surveys in the area found good trout numbers and a large size structure in most streams.


Anglers should have plenty of opportunities to catch browns in the 15- to 19" range. Scattered in the streams are also some browns 20 inches or greater. Best bet for large browns are the 

larger river systems, Vetrano says, and notes that anglers who want to target trophy-sized trout should try fishing sections of streams immediately downstream of classified trout waters.


In Richland and Iowa counties, water levels may be down in smaller tributaries but the blue ribbon trout streams in the area are in good condition and experienced anglers should have no problem finding fish, according to Gene Van Dyck, fisheries biologist for those counties.


Early season trout anglers should note that trout tend to move downstream into deeper, slower water than where they are typically found during the summer months. Fishing in deep pool areas will generally be more productive than fishing faster flowing riffles and the undercut banks of outside stream bends.


In northwestern Wisconsin, DNR fisheries biologist Marty Engel notes that trout reproduction was down in his management area in 2005, which includes Dunn, Pierce and St. Croix counties, but there was an excellent trout hatch in 2006. What this means for area anglers is that with fewer numbers of 2005 fish, more food is available and growth rates will be exceptional. The strong 2006 year class will result in high numbers of 8- to 9-inch fish by the fall of 2007. Anglers this year can expect quality-sized brown trout (9-14 inches) and brook trout (8-10 inches) to be very abundant on most streams throughout the area.


Justine Hasz, fisheries biologist in Peshtigo, reports that recent surveys in the northeast show high numbers of brook trout in the Pike River and its tributaries, and that the South Branch of the Oconto River with recent dam removals and in-stream habitat restoration will continue to provide excellent fishing.


Catching the fish is only half the battle; releasing them safely is as important. Handle fish gently with wet hands and return the fish to the water as soon as possible. By holding a fish belly-up they’ll typically stop struggling. Dry hands can remove the protective mucus that covers a fish’s body, and cold air temperatures can easily damage exposed gills. Better yet, purchase a 7 inch-long pair of hemostats, which often allows one to unhook a fish by clamping onto the lure sometimes without removing the fish from the water. The fish greatly benefit, and the angler is at less risk of being accidentally impaled by an errant hook.


More information on waters open for the early season, regulations, and outdoor reports are available on the DNR’s Fishing Wisconsin Web site. The Web site also has maps showing stream access areas on state lands and where DNR has purchased stream easements or land leases to improve angler access.

Hunting and fishing licenses on sale March 9

Licenses will be available March 9 at Milwaukee Sports Show

MADISON – 2007-08 Wisconsin hunting, fishing, trapping and other licenses and harvest permits for fish and wildlife activities in Wisconsin go on sale March 9. Licenses are valid April 2007 through March 2008. DNR license customer service agents will be selling 2007 hunting, fishing and trapping licenses beginning March 9 as a convenience to hunters and

anglers visiting the Milwaukee Sports Show.


Hunting and fishing licenses can be purchased over the Internet through the Online Licensing Center; at any DNR Service Center; at 1,450 automated license issuance system sales locations; or by calling toll-free 1-877-WI LICENSE (1-877-945-4236).

Go to:  www.great-lakes.org/licenses.html

Deadlines approach for ice fishing shelter removal

MADISON – Deadlines are approaching within the next 30 days for ice anglers to remove ice fishing shelters from inland and boundary waters. Dates are determined by anticipated ice melting. If not removed, shanties can sink or be carried away, creating a threat to boaters.


All ice fishing shelters must be completely removed by:

Feb. 20 – Wisconsin-Iowa boundary waters.

March 1 – Wisconsin-Minnesota boundary waters.

March 5 – Inland waters south of State Highway 64.

March 15 – Inland waters north of State Highway 64, Lake

Michigan, Green Bay, Lake Superior and Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters.

Failure to remove a shanty by either of those deadlines could result in a forfeiture of $208.40. Additional costs may be incurred if the shanty breaks through the ice and must be recovered.


After the date for removing permanent shelters from a frozen lake, an angler may continue to use a portable shelter but must remove it when it is not occupied.

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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