Week of March 1 , 2004

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Want to promote your club?  We need your info

The GLSFC is posting club news online to give additional publicity to clubs and community oriented projects in the Great Lakes Region, to enhance club activities and the angling/boating community at large.


View a sample at:  www.great-lakes.org/wklyfish_nz.html


Sample functions/projects we are looking for include:

Kids' activities


Fund Raisers




Community activities


Use the 5 Ws:  Who, What, When, Where and Why, and give us a brief overview of the activity.  If there is a special speaker give us his name.  Again, send it all by e-mail.  We will post it on our weekly news segment so the world can see what we are all doing.


View a sample at:  www.great-lakes.org/wklyfish_nz.html

Michigan - Quality Deer Management Association National Convention June 24-26

Open to the public, the Quality Deer Management Association is holding their 4th-annual National Convention at the Amway Grand Plaza hotel and DeVos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids. On the banks of the Grand River, in Grand Rapids, MI,  June 24-26 the three day convention is open to the general public, and promises to be the best ever with some great events taking place.


The Convention will kick off with an individual and corporate sponsor reception at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 24. All individual and corporate sponsors are invited to attend.


On Friday, the Whitetail Expo and Convention opens and will include displays by more than 100 suppliers of  deer hunting and management products and services. A series of seminars and the famous Think Tank Session, featuring the nation’s leading deer experts, will start at 1:00 p.m.  The Welcome Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m.  and attendees will get the chance to meet the speakers, the QDMA Board of Directors, and members from all across the country. A silent auction with raffles will also be held, with prizes valued at more than $75,000.


On Saturday, the Whitetail Expo continues, including three concurrent seminar schedules, one catering exclusively to women and children. Also, competitors in the QDMA Grand Masters Taxidermy Competition will have their entries on display. The highlight of the weekend, the Grand Banquet & Auction, begins at 7:00 p.m. More than 50 guns, 25 hunts, wildlife art, bows, cameras and other prizes valued at over $125,000 will be available.

Full registration, which includes all events and a one-year membership to the QDMA, is available for $175 per individual or $300 per couple. Call the QDMA at (800) 209-3337 for separate event and sponsor rates. An early-bird discount of 10% is available for those who register before April 15, 2004. Hotel space is limited, so make your reservations soon. The Amway Grand Plaza, the host hotel, is offering rooms at $103 a night plus 13% sales tax for a single or double until May 15, 2004. To make reservations, call 800-253-3590.


About the QDMA-The Quality Deer Management Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit conservation organization and the leading advocate of the quality deer management movement. Founded in 1988, the QDMA works to educate and encourage hunters, managers and landowners to practice proper herd and habitat management techniques. With nearly 30,000 members in 48 states and several foreign countries, the QDMA helps to disseminate accurate, up-to-date information to wildlife professionals, hunters and wildlife enthusiasts. Among the QDMA’s members are hundreds of the nation’s leading deer management professionals who constantly provide the latest research and knowledge to ensure that QDMA members remain at the forefront of deer biology, research and management. Call (800) 209-DEER or visit www.QDMA.com  to learn more about the QDMA.


Make plans now to be a part of the largest annual gathering of  white-tailed deer managers, hunters and experts in the country— the  QDMA 2004 National Convention, to be held June 24-26 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.



Wisconsin-Sheboygan walleye club fund raiser/brat fry/raffle - March 6 – 7

The Sheboygan Walleye Club is holding a club fund raiser on March 6-7 2004  in conjunction with the  Gander Mountain Spring Fishing Expo. Fishing seminars and guest speakers during the weekend include Jim Saric, Mike Gofron, Dean Arnoldussen, Tom Keenan, Jason Przekurat to name a few.


Gander Mountain is helping host Two Days of Free Seminars, Product Demonstrations, activities and fun!   Many vendors will be on hand to demonstrate their latest products. Take

advantage of special sales during these two days!


Open to the Public, the store is located at 4308 County Road J, Sheboygan, WI 53083.  Store # 920-208-0800.   It's one mile north of Highway 23, just off highway 43, across from Menard’s.  Remember - it's all free, including the parking!  and remember the dates, March 6 – 7.

For more info contact:  Jeff Ewig,  262-284-2236   [email protected]


IJC Commends IMO for Global Ballast Water Convention

Highlights Significance to Protecting the Great Lakes

The International Joint Commission commended the U.S. and Canadian delegations to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for their successful work in negotiating a ballast water convention after nearly seven years of consultations. In particular, the IJC praised a provision that allows member nations to adopt stricter standards. The IMO is a United Nations agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.


"The IJC considers alien invasive species to one of the top threat to biodiversity in the Great Lakes ecosystem," said Dennis Schornack, Chair of the U.S. section of the IJC. "We urge the U.S. and Canada to take advantage of the provision allowing for stricter standards to review proposed domestic legislation for its adequacy to meet or exceed the IMO 

standard and to push for quick implementation of regulations and needed guidelines."


The new convention will require all ships to implement a ballast water and sediments management plan, carry a ballast water management record book and be required to carry out ballast water management procedures to a specific standard. Commenting on the convention, IMO Secretary-General Eftimios E. Mitropoulos said its provisions would "prevent, minimize and ultimately eliminate the transfer of harmful aquatic organism and pathogens across the seas and oceans of the world".


The IJC co-chairs noted that they are encouraged by the requirement that all ships must implement ballast water exchange by a certain date, and that no ships will be grandfathered. Moreover, the convention provides incentives for shippers to test and evaluate promising ballast water treatment technologies.




USFWS testing Hatchery-Raised Fish for Pollutants

SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts — The Northeast region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is testing its hatchery-raised salmon and other fish for dioxin and other pollutants because of fears they could be picking up contaminants from commonly used feeds.


Marvin Moriarty, Northeast regional director for the service, said that the tests were ordered following a study that found farm-raised salmon contains significantly more chemicals, including dioxins, than salmon caught in the wild.  The study, published last month in the journal Science, suggested the pollutants came from PCBs in the fish oil and meal fed to farm-raised salmon.


It recommended that farmers change fish feed and urged consumers to buy wild salmon.


"We are concerned and we have alerted all our regions," said Bob Backy, national director of the federal hatchery program. "We use many of the same sources as the commercial (fish) farmers for our feed." Backy said he did not yet know if other U.S. Fish and Wildlife regions around the country planned similar testing.


One of the most immediate concerns is with Atlantic salmon, which do not die after spawning, and, unlike their Pacific cousins, can be used for years as brood stock in the 

hatcheries. Other long-lived fish, such as lake trout, could also be affected, he said. When the fish become too old to be used for breeding, they are released into lakes and other waterways in the region for recreational fishing.


Because they would have been eating the feed longer, the older fish may have higher levels of contaminants, said Dan Kuzmeskus, who supervises the service's hatcheries in the 13-state Northeast region stretching from Maine to Virginia.


The service had planned to release about 14,000 brood stock fish this winter, Kuzmeskus said, including Atlantic salmon from its hatcheries in Vermont and New Hampshire, lake trout from the Allegheny National Fish Hatchery in Warren, Pennsylvania, and rainbow trout from its hatchery in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.


Most of those releases were stalled by the extreme cold that iced over lakes and ponds. Now, all releases will be delayed until a representative sample of the fish are killed and tested, Kuzmeskus said. The testing is expected to be completed by May.


The Northeast region includes Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia.

Ninth Circuit Court Sets Precedent for Science in Landmark ESA Case

Count of hatchery fish must be included with naturally spawned salmon

Washington, DC - A ruling last week by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed a lower court's decision that scientific contributions to species recovery must be incorporated in Endangered Species Act (ESA) decision making. At issue in this case was how the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) counted Oregon Coast coho salmon in determining the species' status.


The Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) filed suit in U.S. District Court charging that NMFS counted only naturally spawned salmon, disregarding hatchery spawned salmon, thereby keeping fish counts artificially low and invoking unnecessary protection under the ESA. District Court Judge Michael Hogan agreed, ruling that the agency acted illegally. As a result, NMFS instituted status reviews of salmon and steelhead listed under the ESA across Western States. Environmentalists then appealed the case to the Ninth Circuit, which also ruled in favor of PLF. In dismissing the appeal, the court ruled that environmentalists could participate in the public process on status reviews like other citizens and had no basis for suit.


"This could be the best precedent ever set in Endangered Species Act case law," Resources Committee Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-CA) said. "By arguing that some fish are somehow superior to other fish, environmentalists have once again revealed their radical beliefs that humans can do no good for species. Given modern science and common sense, this court just reaffirmed that such extreme positions are absurd and can be detrimental to species recovery. To be successful in our stewardship role we have to use all the tools at our disposal, especially advanced science."

"Hopefully, this case will serve as a catalyst for the use of 21st century science and American ingenuity in species recovery," Pombo continued. "That's exactly what we need to do to be successful, and Americans understand that. Endless, frivolous litigation does nothing to save species, but that is the unfortunate state of the ESA today."


"With the Ninth Circuit's dismissal of this appeal, the 'sky is falling' rhetoric of hard-core environmental activists has been debunked and their true agenda exposed," said PLF attorney, Russ Brooks. "This attempt to control private land use in the name of species protection has been successfully shut down. Families in the Pacific Northwest are sick of environmental hysterics that have resulted in rising home prices, choking traffic, higher taxes and a slowed economy," Brooks continued. "Chalk up a win for people with today's decision."


According to Brooks, the biggest impact of the decision is the fact that it reinstates the district court's order invalidating and setting aside the coho listing, which had been postponed during the appeal. Consequently, the Oregon Coast coho listing no longer exists and may not be enforced. This decision stands to have huge implications for land stewards and natural resource providers-such as farmers, ranchers, and timber harvesters -- as well as local governments and citizens struggling with infrastructure development of schools, hospitals, and highways.


Following news of the decision, PLF called on NMFS to promptly complete its review of the hatchery policy and salmon and steelhead listings, consistent with the district court and Ninth Circuit decisions. NMFS has missed several deadlines in releasing the new hatchery policy and the results of its status review.


U.N. plan not enough to stop Great Lakes invaders, critics say

LANSING – The International Maritime Organization, a United Nations agency has reached an agreement that may someday keep unwanted plants and animals from following the route that brought zebra mussels into the Great Lakes.


But conservationists say the Global Ballast Water Convention, signed Feb. 13 in London, is too little and too slow.

"The time frame is so far out there, if we were to think of when this will be imposed on every one of the 10,000 ships floating on the ocean, it's too late," said Dennis Schornack, U.S. section chair of the IJC.   "It's 10 to 15 years down the road."


Schornack and others said the London agreement may speed the drive for a federal law to protect the Great Lakes and other U.S. waters from invasive species carried in the ballast of ocean-going ships.  "What we did win (in London) is the right for each nation to have standards tougher than what are defined in the treaty," U.S. Rep. Vernon Ehlers, R-Grand Rapids, who is sponsoring legislation to expand the National Aquatic Invasive Species Act, said Monday.


The legislation would give the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Coast Guard four years to create a permanent standard for filtering out or killing plants and animals that could otherwise be carried from port to port in ballast water.

It also would restrict importation of aquatic plants and animals that could escape and cause problems in lakes or streams. The legislation is expected to come up for committee hearings in March. One section of Ehlers bill calls for research to develop cost-effective methods of treating ballast water.


"There's plenty still out there to protect ourselves from," said Allegra Cangelosi, senior policy analyst with the Northeast-Midwest Institute, which supports the Ehlers legislation. "There could be things that could change life on the Great Lakes. ... Something could get into those lakes that could make them so we couldn't swim in them any more."


The Global Ballast Water Convention was reached after seven years of negotiations among the members of the IMO.  It calls for a phased-in process to require that all ships treat their ballast water by about 2016. U.S. delegations during both the Clinton and Bush administrations sought a faster timetable and stricter rules, but were unable to win over European members. The deal must be ratified by at least 30 nations before taking effect.


"(The IMO action) is a step in the right direction, but ... as far as protecting the U.S. waters, it doesn't have enough in it," Cangelosi said.


Government Ends Release of Gun Records

WASHINGTON -- The government no longer is releasing records tracking the source of firearms used in crimes, legislation approved by Congress last month.


The change was enforced for the first time last week when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives turned down Freedom of Information Act requests made by The Associated Press and others for certain gun records. The change bars the release of any information that was gathered regarding gun dealers and forces the ATF to more quickly purge information obtained in background checks of buyers. Law enforcement agencies still would have access.


The measure was added at the request of Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., to the big spending bill for multiple government agencies that was approved by Congress. The administration and other supporters said it was needed to ensure police investigations were not compromised by the release of data and to protect gun dealers from those who would use the information to unfairly tar dealers.

Some law enforcement groups supported the changes, others opposed them.


Groups like the Americans for Gun Safety Foundation had used the data in skewed reports on gun dealers, including one released last month that garnered significant attention. They distorted a report that found about one-fifth of the 373,006 guns traced to crimes between 1996 and 2000 were sold by just 120 gun dealers.


For Chicago, the trace data are the heart of the city's liability lawsuit against "nuisance" gun dealers, said Benna Ruth Solomon, the head of the city's appeals division. The Supreme Court sent the city's lawsuit seeking the trace data back to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The new law also requires the ATF to purge its records of background checks within 24 hours, rather than keeping them for 90 days. Keeping the records for three months amounted to a gun registry.



Youth Hunting and Fishing Participation Report

Hunting and Fishing Participation Among the Nation's Youth

The future of hunting and fishing in the United States ultimately depends upon the commitment of future generations to these traditional fish and wildlife activities.  The key to active participation in and commitment to hunting and fishing by future generations is fostering this commitment and participation among today's youth.


Responsive Management recently completed a major study to better understand the factors related to hunting and fishing initiation, participation, retention, and desertion among today's youth 8-18 years old.  There were two major objectives of this study.  The first objective was to identify the factors involved in the recruitment and retention of the nation's youth in hunting and fishing. 


The second objective was to recommend to the fish and wildlife management community programs and strategies to increase participation in hunting and fishing among the nation's youth and improve the retention of these participants.  Although there has been a proliferation of studies on hunting and fishing participation and retention, almost all of this work has focused on adults.  This project focuses on where hunting and fishing recruitment and retention begin: with the nation's youth. 


There were five phases to this project.  Phase I consisted of a literature review of not only what is known about youth and hunting and fishing participation, but also what is known about youth participation in other activities, demographic trends affecting youth, and children's cognitive development and stages of learning.  Phase II consisted of a series of focus groups of youth of various ages.  Phase III consisted of a nationwide telephone survey of youth from all 50 states regarding their participation in and opinions on hunting and

fishing and other outdoor activities as well as their attitudes

 toward wildlife.  Phase IV of the project included extensive cross-tabulations of the telephone survey data.  Phase V of the project is the final report, which includes a synthesis of the findings from the literature review, focus groups, and telephone survey and analyses, as well as the implications of the findings.  It also includes recommendations and strategies to increase participation in hunting and fishing among the nation's youth and improve the retention of these participants.


All reports can be accessed at www.responsivemanagement.com .  Access the final report by scrolling down to:  "Factors Related to Hunting and Fishing Participation Among the Nation's Youth" then click on the "Click here" link.  All five phases of this study are also available for download from Responsive Management's website.  To access the additional phases of this project, click on the link in the left toolbar "Natural Resource and Outdoor Recreation Research"; twenty-three different topic areas will appear.  Click on either the hunting or fishing subpages and then on "Click for a list of reports."


This project was funded under a grant from the USFWS, Division of Federal Aid, Federal Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration.


Mark Damian Duda

Executive Director

Responsive Management

130 Franklin Street

Harrisonburg, VA  22801

Ph: 540-432-1888

Fx: 540-432-1892

[email protected]



U.S. Plants Emit Only 1% of Global Mercury
Washington, DC - Studies reveal that despite alarmist claims, reducing emissions from U.S. energy sources would have negligible, if any, effect on mercury levels in fish. In fact, mercury emissions from U.S. coal-fired power plants are dwarfed by global contributors.

Overall, estimates show only 1% of total world emissions comes from U.S. utilities. China, on the other hand, is responsible for more than half of the non-U.S. man-made sources of mercury. China's coal-fired power plants already emit more than 495 tons annually, with an expected increase of 40+ tons over the next 2 to 5 years (Atmospheric Environment, 2003).

Studies confirm that while mercury is widespread in the global environment, once again, American ingenuity is leading the way toward reducing overall mercury emissions. Since 1995,

U.S. emissions have dropped by a whopping 42%. A decade of drastic decline in mercury is the result of new air pollution control technologies.


Despite these advances, mercury levels in fish have not changed since 1977. Princeton University scientists compared methylmercury in today's tuna with similar tuna caught in 1977 and found no change. The study concluded that mercury taken up by fish does not come from land sources such as power plants (American Society for Limnology and Oceanography, January 2003).

Regardless of scare tactics and a politically driven attempt to draw a link between fish consumption and U.S. energy production, science tells the truth. This evidence reveals the holes in the faulty, twisted logic used in the name of "protecting" the American public.
Source: House Resources Committee

Revised USCG Boat registration Numbers Announced

California reign short lived - Michigan retains title as top state

CHICAGO, February 25, 2004 - - The latest United States Coast Guard (USCG) boat registration numbers indicate that Michigan has more registered boats than any other state in the country.  This news comes following an announcement by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) that California had unseated Michigan as the top state, based on earlier figures provided by the USCG.


“After we distributed a news release announcing 2002 boat registrations in mid-January, we were contacted by a representative from the state of California who told us that the numbers were incorrect due to an error in reporting the numbers to the USCG,” says NMMA director of Market Statistics Jim Petru.  “NMMA uses the USCG’s boat registration numbers to develop its annual Boating Facts and Figures statistical report [due for release this April], so we are glad the error was caught this early.”


There were 1,000,337 boats registered in Michigan in 2002 (the latest data available).  The revised numbers for California show there were 896,090 registered boats in 2002, actually dropping the Golden State into third place in the state rankings behind Florida, where 922,597 boats were registered.


Following NMMA’s January announcement, representatives of the state of Wisconsin also realized that their registration numbers were inflated.  It turns out that personal watercrafts were tabulated twice in their final numbers. The revised registration number is 619,124, compared to the 650,280 originally reported, dropping Wisconsin in the state rankings to number six, behind Texas.


These revised figures had an impact on the overall numbers.  The total number of registered boats dropped to 12.8 million, a decrease of 223,000 units compared to 2001 (0.2 percent). 


“As we reported in January, the number of boats in use in the

U.S. exceeds the 12.8 million reported by the USCG, since many small, non-powered crafts such as canoes and utility boats are not required to be registered in many states.  Accounting for those figures, we estimate there are roughly 17 million boats in use in the U.S. today,” says Petru.

State Rankings


Here’s a quick look at the revised rankings - top 10 and Great Lakes Region and the total number of boats registered in each:

1. Michigan       1,000,337

2. Florida              922,597

3. California          896,090

4. Minnesota        834,974

5. Texas               624,390

6. Wisconsin        619,124

7. New York         529,732

8. Ohio                 413,276

9. Illinois               398,431

11. Pennsylvania  357,729

22. Indiana           218,363


The new reporting numbers also impacted the Regional registration figures.  Instead of recording a 6.4 % increase in registrations, the Pacific region (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington) reported a 3.4 % decline.  The Eastern North Central region (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin) is still the number one region, but the total number of registered boats went down to 2.6 million, compared to 2.7 million, reflecting the change in Wisconsin's registration numbers.


Boat registration statistics are compiled by individual states.  The federal government uses these stats to allocate Aquatic Resource Trust Fund dollars among the states each year.  NMMA uses the registration data to develop its estimates on annual state dollar sales of new boats, motors, trailers and marine accessories.  This information will be available in April.

Becoming an Outdoors Woman program

The Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program, designed for women who are interested in learning or expanding their expertise in outdoor skills, is offering hundreds of different classes in 2004.   New programs include an expanded survival course, bowhunting education, additional kayaking classes and a wider range of options for those who want to participate  in actual hunting situations. 


These programs, available in 46 states and seven provinces can be viewed at: http://www.uwsp.edu/cnr/bow/sched04.htm  


"Many of the programs fill-up well before their scheduled date,"

said Jean Bergerson, MN Coordinator of the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program. "So if you want to be sure to get into the classes of your choice, my advice is register early." Several of the Beyond Becoming An Outdoors Woman specialty weekends only have space for 12 or less people. This insures the instructors have time to spend with each participant so they have a good experience and a chance for hands-on learning.


BOW classes are usually taught by women. Program fees include all or most all equipment, hands-on instruction, and information to assist participants who wish to continue in that sport.


Ban on lead sinkers aims to protect loons

Ottawa -- The federal government plans to ban lead fishing tackle, in a bid to improve habitat and prevent the deaths of waterfowl and other animals.  Environment Minister David Anderson said on February 17 that he will soon propose regulations to prohibit importing, manufacturing or selling lead

 fishing sinkers and jigs.  Lead fishing gear accounts for about

18% of all direct lead releases into the environment, the government says.


Ottawa says up to 30% of reported loon deaths during the breeding season in Eastern Canada are caused by lead poisoning.


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for February 27, 2004 

Current Lake Levels: 

Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are 9, 19, 5 and 4 inches, respectively, below their long-term average.  Lake Ontario is 4 inches above its long-term average.  Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are all above last year’s levels, while Lake Superior is at the same level as a year ago.  Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are 4, 10, 6, and 16 inches above last year’s levels, respectively.

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions: 

The Lake Superior outflow through the St. Marys River into Lake Huron is expected to be below average during the month of February.  Flows in the St. Clair, Detroit, Niagara, and St. Lawrence Rivers are expected to be near average in February.  


Temperature/Precipitation Outlook:  

Temperatures in the mid 50s are expected in the southern 

most stretches of the Great Lakes basin this weekend. Southerly flow around a ridge of high pressure will usher in this warmer air.  Temperatures will cool off again as a storm system heads in to start the workweek.


Forecasted Water Levels: 

Lake Superior is expected to continue its pattern of seasonal decline over the next four weeks.   Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair and Erie should start their normal seasonal rise over the next several weeks.  However, short-term fluctuations on Lake St. Clair could persist as long as the cold weather and ice conditions in the rivers continue.  Lake Ontario’s level is expected to rise over the next month. 



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.

USFWS Lamprey Control Summer Jobs

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sea Lamprey Management Program is hiring 30 (yes, thirty) GS3/GS4 Biological Science Aid/Technicians for the 2004 field season, 10 to work out of Ludington and 20 to work out of Marquette. These positions offer a great opportunity for fisheries field experience. The announcements are posted on the FWS web page and USA jobs. The best way to find the listing on USA jobs is to search on US -MI as the location.


(There are some odd location issues with this system). They can also be accessed on the FWS national home page by clicking on jobs then selecting CARES.   Please note that: 1.YOU MUST APPLY ON LINE (paper applications are not accepted) 2. The application must be received by March 5, 2004 and 3. If you want to be considered for positions in both Ludington and Marquette you must apply for both separately.

Below is a brief job description

Duties and Responsibilities:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as an agent of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, is responsible for control of sea lamprey in the U.S. waters of the Great Lakes. The incumbent of this position will support that effort by assisting professional Fishery Biologists and higher graded Technicians in work that may involve chemical treatment of streams to destroy sea lamprey larvae, control of sea lampreys through the use of barriers, trapping and release of pheromones and sterile males, monitoring of population levels of lampreys in their larval, parasitic and spawning phases to access the success of treatments and the need for future control strategies, and/or the documentation of biological changes in the life history of sea lamprey.



Rotary Gives $1 Million to Support Research on Invasive Species and Other Issues

February 19, 2004 -- A $1 million grant from a Rotary Clubs foundation will give a boost to a new freshwater studies program at Northwestern Michigan College's Great Lakes Water Studies Institute. The institute is overseeing the development of a curriculum about watershed topics that can be used locally in school science classes. It also will assist area groups working on problems such as zebra mussel infestation and soil erosion.


A water science course will be offered at the community college this fall, but the Water Studies Institute is not

envisioned as a new academic department, President Timothy Nelson said.  Instead, it will be more of a clearinghouse — helping nonprofit groups, government agencies, schools and others exchange information and develop research and conservation projects, Nelson said.


The institute is overseeing the development of a curriculum about watershed topics that can be used locally in school science classes. It also will assist area groups working on problems such as zebra mussel infestation and soil erosion.  It is sponsoring an internship program for students working with natural resource organizations, and will sponsor conferences and workshops on freshwater issues.

Spring turkey drawing results to be posted March 1

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced the results of the 2004 spring turkey license drawing will be posted on the DNR web site, beginning Mar. 1.  Drawing results and leftover license quantities will be available at www.michigan.gov/dnr . Applicants who did not apply online will receive a notification postcard.


Beginning Mar. 8, at 10 a.m. (EDT), unsuccessful spring turkey applicants may purchase one leftover license, in person, on a first-come, first-served basis from any authorized Michigan hunting license agent until the quota is met.


There are 42,021 leftover limited-quota licenses available, with more than 35,000 licenses available for Hunt Number 301, Unit ZZ. Rather than purchase one of these leftover

licenses, unsuccessful applicants may purchase a license for Hunt Number 234, May 3-31, which includes all areas open to spring turkey hunting except public land in southern Michigan Hunt Unit ZZ.


This year, over 140,000 hunters applied for the spring wild turkey hunting season that runs from Apr. 19 through May 31 with various hunting periods ranging in length from seven to 29 days. More than 44,500 square miles are open to hunting, and a total of 111,720 licenses were available through the lottery.


Those who are unable to determine their drawing information by Mar. 5 should call 517-373-3904 for assistance from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


DNR expands walleye slot limit for Lake Mille Lacs

Anglers who fish Lake Mille Lacs will be allowed to keep more walleye under a less restrictive slot limit announced today by the Minnesota

Department of Natural Resources.  The season will open May 15 with a regulation that will allow anglers to keep four walleye up to 20", which may include one trophy over 28". Anglers must release all walleye from 20 to 28".


The new slot limit will also allow more opportunities for angling harvest in mid-summer, when the bite on Mille Lacs traditionally slows.

Starting July 15, anglers will be allowed to keep walleye up to 22" with one trophy over 28" in the four fish limit. All walleye 22 to 28" must be released. The slot will revert to four walleye up to 20" with one over 28" in the four fish limit on Dec. 1.


"This regulation will allow anglers to harvest more fish this year," said John Guenther, DNR director of fish and wildlife. "We will get closer to the 380,000 lbs of walleye (including hooking mortality) allotted to the state." Eight bands of Minnesota and Wisconsin Ojibwae may take 100,000 lbs of walleye.


Although it will allow more harvest, the new slot limit will still 

protect future fishing opportunities. "The majority of our spawning stock biomass - large, mature fish - remains protected under this regulation," Ron Payer, DNR fish chief, said.


The large number of walleye hatched in 2002, which will reach 10 to 13 " this year, will not be harmed under the new regulations, he added. "If an angler deep hooks a 10 to 13" fish, this regulation allows anglers the flexibility to take that fish home and fry it up," Payer said.  "However, we are encouraging anglers to release these smaller fish that are likely to survive."


Last year, anglers harvested 67,000 lbs of walleye under a slot limit that required the release of walleye 17 to 28" with one allowed over 28". The state was allotted 400,000 lbs of walleye. This year's regulation is similar to special walleye regulations on other popular walleye lakes such as Rainy, Big Sand and Winnibigoshish.


"This new regulation protects the long-term health of the fishery, allows excellent opportunity for anglers and safeguards economic interests,"  Payer said. "The decision to expand the regulation was made based on the best biological data, with input from anglers and resort owners."

New fishing regulations set for upcoming 2004 season

The Minnesota DNR reminds anglers to take a moment to review the 2004 Fishing Regulations, now available at more than 1,800 businesses where electronic licenses are sold. Regulations new for this year will affect Lake Superior, Leech Lake Reservation, N & S Dakota border waters, MN-ON border water as well as 12 lakes throughout the state. New regs are listed on page five of the fishing regulations booklet.


Regulation changes detailed in the handbook include:

●  Ten lakes will be open for northern pike spearing in the winter:  Bad Axe (Hubbard Co.), Big Sand (Hubbard Co.), Cedar (Scott Co.), Dumbbell (Lake Co.), Harris (Lake Co.), Independence (Hennepin Co.), Little Moose (Itasca Co.), Little Sand (Hubbard Co.), Spider (Hubbard Co.), and Stocking (Hubbard Co.)


●  New length limits and season dates for sturgeon on the Minnesota-Ontario border  - Sturgeon may be harvested from April 24 - May 7 or July 1-Sept. 30.  Anglers may only harvest sturgeon from 45 to 50 inches or more than 75 inches. Only one fish may be harvested per license year.  Immediately upon reducing a fish to possession, the angler must sign and date their angling license.  From May 8 - May 16 and Oct. 1- April 23, only catch and release fishing for sturgeon is allowed.


●  New walleye and northern pike regulations for North Dakota border waters - There will no longer be a spring season with size limits and lower possession limits.  Instead, there will be continuous seasons for northern pike and walleye, each with a possession limit of three.

●  New possession limits on South Dakota border waters - 10 crappie, 10 sunfish, and four walleye with only one walleye over 20-inches


●  New restrictions on fishing from boats on Lake Superior from Oct. 1-Nov. 30 - Only angling from shore will be allowed from the mouth of Chester Creek to the outer most portion of the north/west arm of the Duluth ship channel during this time period.  This regulation corresponds with the existing closure for lake trout.  At times both charter captains and the general public target this area for salmon.  This new regulation will help reduce the incidental harvest of the lake trout that congregate in this area to spawn.


●  Minnow harvest has been closed in southwestern Minnesota streams within the Missouri River watershed. This closure was necessary to protect the federally endangered Topeka shine.


●  Anglers are also reminded that the special regulations for Mille Lacs Lake are not listed in the 2004 synopsis.  These regulations will be announced through the media, the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us  and posted at public access sites.  A brochure listing treaty lake regulations will be available in May from the DNR Info Center in St. Paul by calling 651-296-6157 or toll free 1-888-MINNDNR 646-6367. The brochures are also available from local fisheries offices in the treaty area.  New treaty regulations will go into effect May 15 with the fishing opener.



Public Comments Sought at Hunting, Trapping Season Meetings

The Minnesota DNR will conduct a series of meetings around Minnesota in early March to take public comments and recommendations about hunting and trapping season regulations, according to Ed Boggess, assistant chief of the DNR Section of Wildlife.


Public comments will be taken on small game, big game, waterfowl and wild turkey hunting seasons, and on trapping seasons. In addition, the following DNR proposals for discussion or possible season changes will be addressed:


● Tentative Season Opening Dates

● Deer

● Extend Pheasant Season

● Close Whitewater State Game Refuge Small Game Hunting in Nov & Dec

● Establish Closed Seasons on Raccoon & Red Fox

● Allow Land Snaring in Farmland Zone

● Cap Pelting Fees at $25

● Potential Legislative Change – Spinning Wing Decoys

● Potential Legislative Change –Leaving Decoys in Public Waters

All public input meetings will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The meeting in St. Paul will be "open house" style where participants can come at any time during the two hours to discuss issues and offer comments.


Dates and locations of meetings:

March 8 - Windom,  Windom Area DNR Office, 75 Cty Rd 26 (from stoplight at Hwy. 71 and Hwy. 62, go east on Cty Rd. 17 1/2 mile to Cty Rd. 26, then south 1/4 mile)

March 9 - Wadena Northwest Technical College

March 9 - Coquet High school cafeteria

March 9 - Farribault River Bend Nature Center, 1000 Rustad Rd. (3 miles east of I-35 on Hwy. 60 to Shumway Ave., then follow River Bend Nature Center signs south and east)

March 9 - St. Paul DNR/PCA cafeteria, 500 Lafayette Rd.

March 11 - St. Cloud Stockinger Rm., St. Cloud Civic Center, 10 Fourth Ave. S.


For those unable to attend a meeting, written comments may be submitted to: [email protected]  or mailed to: Season Comments, DNR Section of Wildlife, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4007


Water Conference to Address Future Water Supply March 23-24

Minnesota's population is projected to grow to over 6.2 million people by the year 2030, an increase of more than 20%.  That population will require a safe and adequate water supply, something that many Minnesotans currently take for granted, but which is becoming increasingly difficult to ensure. The U. of Minnesota will address this concern at the 9th biennial Minnesota Water Conference, Minnesota Water 2004: Policy and Planning to Ensure Minnesota's Water Supplies.


The conference will be held March 23-24 at the Radisson Metrodome in Minneapolis. Governor Tim Pawlenty has been invited to give a plenary address on his Clean Water Initiative

for Minnesota. Other speakers will address potential threats to Minnesota's water supplies and describe policy, regulatory solutions, and current research. Concurrent sessions will focus on urban stormwater, contaminants including mercury and endocrine disrupters, bacterial source tracking, ecological indicators, biodiversity, and emerging technologies.


The conference is sponsored by the University of Minnesota's Water Resources Center, and co-sponsored by Minnesota Sea Grant and the Natural Resources Research Institute.  Cost is $145 or $50 for students, $25 late fee after March 9.  For more info: www.wrc.coafes.umn.edu/Water2004/   Tracy Thomas, [email protected]  612-625-2282.

Becoming an Outdoors Woman program offers variety of opportunities

The Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program, designed for women who are interested in learning or expanding their expertise in outdoor skills, is offering 30 different classes in 2004.   New programs include an expanded survival course, bowhunting education, additional kayaking classes and a wider range of options for those who want to participate  in actual hunting situations. 


These 30 programs are scheduled for Minnesota, and can be viewed at: www.dnr.state.mn.us/education/bow/calendar.html   Scores of other programs are scheduled throughout the U.S. and seven provinces, and can be viewed at: www.uwsp.edu/cnr/bow/sched04.htm


"Many of the programs fill-up well before their scheduled date," said Jean Bergerson, MN Coordinator of the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program. "So if you want to be sure to get into the classes of your choice, my advice is register early."

Several of the Beyond Becoming An Outdoors Woman specialty weekends only have space for 12 or less people. This insures the instructors have time to spend with each participant so they have a good experience and a chance for hands-on learning.


BOW programs are scheduled through October. For class listings, visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/education/bow/

calendar.html  , or contact Jean Bergerson: [email protected]  218-27-4564, or call the DNR Information Center at 1-888-646-6367 to request  a copy of the schedule.


BOW classes are usually taught by women. Program fees include all equipment, hands-on instruction, and information to assist participants who wish to continue in that sport. The Minnesota BOW program has been offered for 10 years and similar programs are currently available in 46 states and seven Canadian provinces.

Fishing Report, February 25, 2004

For sunfish try Victoria and Lake Geneva in 13-15 feet of water. Eurolarvae has been working best. Lake Darling crappie action has been best during the evening hours. Lake Carlos crappies are biting in 1-25 ft of water, in the evening hours as well.

Cedar Lake and Sugar sunfish bite has been good. Cedar Lake has also has been producing some crappies, try 20-25 feet of water. Clearwater is another good option for some crappie action in around the same depths.

Heading into the final month for ice fishing walleye on Lake of the Woods, with the action still continuing throughout the day. Most often the bite is early using bright colored jigs and keeping a tight line. Last weekend anglers did well, now seeing the size starting to increase with the walleyes/saugers and even a few perch. Fishing on the flats in about 28 feet of water, remember to keep your line tight and always try a few different things. Try a tip of a minnow head and have a line or two suspended.

Bluegill fishing has been pretty good on Kitchi, Pimusche, and Grace Lake. Perch action has been decent on Winnie and Bemidji. Fish the drop-offs, around 25-32 feet. Red Lake has been hit and miss. A lot of anglers are out fishing in the area with the nice weather. The bite should only improve with warm, consistent temps.

Fishing has been slow. Your best option for some walleyes, would be the Bonanza area on Big Stone. Swedish pimples or jigging Raps have been working best in 9-10 ft of water. Waubay Lake in South Dakota has been producing some walleye and perch.

Red Lake has been hit and miss, but if you hit 'em, the action is excellent. Try 10-12 feet of water. Perch have been going on Blackduck, Island and most area lakes. Perch are shallow. For crappies, try Rabideau and Gilsted. Most crappies have been suspended in deeper water.

Brainerd Lakes Area -
The panfish action remained strong this week in the Brainerd Lakes area. Good sunfish action could be found on many surrounding lakes. The key was staying mobile. The best sunfish action has been occurring in, or near, green cabbage beds in 6-10 feet of water. Sunfish are difficult to read with electronics when they're using these locations, especially if they're tucked deep into the weeds. An underwater camera will help in these situations. Maggots or eurolarvae on small tear drop jigs have been effective baits for the bluegills once they have been located. The crappie action remained strong on Whipple, Nisswa, Gladstone and Upper Gull lakes this week. A Glow Demon tipped with a small minnow is still producing the majority of the fish, but it seems that 3 or 4 waxworms on the same jig is producing larger fish. Good locations have been just outside the weedlines in 14-30 ft of water.

North Lindstrom Lake is your best bet for some sunfish action in 7-10 feet of water during the evening hours. Crappies have been biting on Chisago's south end, try 10-14 feet of water. This is also an evening bite.

The crappie and sunfish bite has been a little slow due to the changing weather patterns. Hopefully, three or four days of consistent weather will straighten things out. Most fish are suspended in 16-24 feet of water. Try small glow jigs tipped with waxworms or eurolarvae. Trout Lake has anglers finding trout in 50-60 feet of water. Try shiner minnows on jigs or colored hooks. Work the submerged islands and points that fall off to deeper water.

The panfish bite remains steady here in the Detroit Lakes area. Mild temperatures have really helped. A little melting each day and that fresh water seeping into the lake has turned the fish on! Lindy Pounder or Frosty Jigs that glow are the way to go tipped with a waxworm. The crappie bite has been best early morning or late in the day, but when it's cloudy, they seem to go throughout most of the day. The bluegills and sunfish are going all day long. Lakes to get out on are Toad, Floyd, Little Pelican, Town, Leif, Star, Prairie, Cotton, Crystal, Bass, Olaf, Little Detroit and Stump. Four wheel drives or snowmobiles are still a must on most lakes.

The best crappie bite has been coming from Fish Lake. Try 15 ft of water during the evening hours.

Sunfish are biting on Cedar Island, Horseshoe and Long in 8-12 ft of water. Crappies are going on Eden, and Brown's in 20 feet of water. Waxworms, little eurolarvae and crappie minnows are working best.

The crappie and perch are still going on Bowstring. Try the north end in 17-20 feet in the evening using a glow jig and small minnow. Try waxworms if the fish are slow. There has been some action from the south end as well. Big and Little Splithand are producing also. The larger fish are out of Big Split and the numbers from Little Split. Pink glow frosties and a minnow will do the job here. You have to move around to find the right depth. A few perch are being caught off the Tioga Beach area on Pokegama, start at 18 feet with medium sized minnows and Gem-n-eyes, gold backed ones seem to work best. Trout reports are slim.

Ten Mile and Birch Lake have been good for crappie action in 22-25 ft of water. Woman Lake panfish bite improved this past week. Morning hours best.

The area still is heavily covered with snow, and this includes the lakes. The heavy snow/slush base made Kabetogama very tough to get around on and fish. The Ash River inlet area into Kab is quite accessible, but crappies and perch still not cooperating. Namakan has lots of snow cover and some slush, difficult to travel without a sled, trucks and cars getting stuck, not recommended. A few anglers catching northerns with tip-ups, very slow walleye/sauger action. Trout fishing is slow. If the lake beds thaw a little and refreeze travel may be easier on the lakes, accessing some good fishing spots for spring.

Above freezing temps have made for some sticky conditions on the ice, some of the plowed ice roads have been moved. The ice is about 4 feet at the Northwest Angle, 3 feet on the South Shore, and 18 inches in the midstream of the Rainy River. The resorts around the South Shore have been fishing about 8 miles north of Morris Point in 30 feet of water. Houses between the Sandy Shores and Graceton Beach are doing very well, bringing in mixed limits of sauger, walleye and

jumbo perch. Try glow-in-the-dark jigs tipped with a shiner. Airplane jigs of various glow-in-the-dark colors also producing. The dam at Rainy Lake has been closed and this has slowed down the current in the Rainy River. As spring approaches, the walleyes are organizing into their spring run pattern for the spawn. Fishing continues to be excellent right before dark with reports of 6-, 8-, and 10-pound walleyes landed. Houses around the Baudette International Airport and near Birchdale are having the best luck. Glow red jigs and spoons are enticing the walleyes to hit. The Rainy River is open around Pelland Junction, but there is still a lot of shore ice. Reminder: The walleye limit changes on the Rainy River from March 1-April 14. During this pre-spawn time the walleye/sauger aggregate limit is two, with none over 19.5 inches in length. The Northwest Angle and Islands report good results off the reefs 10 miles south of Oak Island. Several trophy sized northern pike have been caught around the Angle this week, and some jumbo perch as large as 13-inches have been brought in. Walleyes are ranging from 1-3 pounds. Gold jigs tipped with a minnow are the best combo right now.


Crappies have been suspended on most small area lakes in 30-40 ft of water. Also, some good bluegill reports have been coming from small area lakes in around 10-15 feet of water. For some perch action, try Trader's Bay.

Washington has been producing crappies and sunfish. Mud Bay has had the most action, try 25 ft of water. Good crappie bite reported on Madison Lake as well.

Bigger crappies are biting on Buffalo Lake in 20 ft of water. Area panfish bite is beginning to come up, they're biting in 12-17 ft of water. Try Ramsey or Maple Lake. On Maple, you'll find  mixture of crappies and sunnies.


An improvement in overall perch size this past week. Still tons of first and second year perch, but we're starting to see more of the 9- to 10-inchers and some bonus 12+inchers showing up. Use fatheads or crappie minnows on a glow teardrop for your set line, and waxies or eurolarvae on a spoon or your jig line. Red, orange and glow have been the top colors. Some good starting spots include Agate Reef, Spirit Island, Brown's Point and the Tundra. Most of the perch are coming from 28+ft of water over a softer bottom.

Fishing has been kind of slow. Some anglers are catching crappies and perch, but you really have to work for them. Best spots to try are Volden's and out by the Islands.

 Don't give up just yet. The best panfishing of the winter is still ahead. The action lately has been nothing short of fantastic. Not everyone is catching limits, but everyone is catching fish. The day bite has produced both crappies and bluegills. The top producers continue to be the same. Nisswa, North Long and Margaret are good bets. For bluegills, anglers are using ants tipped with waxworms. The crappies are biting on glow jigs or plain hooks and small crappie minnows.

Sunfish and crappies are biting on Lida and Prairie in 19-20 ft of water. Crappie minnows and waxworms working best.


As temperatures begin to climb, anglers seeking big northern pike are getting out the tip-ups. Northern pike will soon be staging near shallow bays, making March one of the best months to enjoy some exciting tip-up fishing action. When fishing for big pike, Barry "Woody" Woods recommends a 2-ounce  Bucktail. Bill Genell, from Rainy Lake Ice Houses, reports the northern pike action has picked up at Sand Bay since temperatures have risen. Even a few eelpout have been caught! Most successful anglers are relying on big bait for pike, including suckers, ciscoes, big shiners or a bucktail with a tip-up. For walleye and sauger, use small minnows (or even a minnow head) with a plain hook or small jig. Small jigging Rapalas also working. Head toward the Sand Bay area or near reefs on the east end of Rainy Lake.

For sunfish, Becker Lake is your best bet during the morning hours in 15 ft of water. Pearl Lake has also provided some sunfish action in around the same depths. Catfish have been biting on Horseshoe.

Bayport area crappies are biting below average. Crappies are coming from 36-40 ft of water, and hitting primarily on crappie minnows. Recent warm weather signals the start to closely watch the ice in regards to safety. Soon vehicles will stop driving on the ice and angling activity will be light, most years this walk on fishing results in good crappie action.

 The Glenwood end of Lake Minnewaska is producing sunfish and crappies. Evenings have been best in around 14-15 ft of water. Eurolarvae is your best bet for some action.

Another solid week of fishing. Everyone is concentrating on the crappies. The key is to move from place to place and look for the fish. Many limits are still being caught and many more are catching 5 to 6 fish a piece. The fishing should only get better and with the warmer weather predicted it should be a good time to hit the lake.


Die-hard crappie anglers are finding a few crappies. Anglers are finding themselves working hard for their supper. The snow and slush are the major factors. Fishermen who have turned their attention to smaller lakes are finding it easier to move around and are catching fish, they are just smaller in size. Some are reporting crappies in shallower water, around 12-14 ft off drops. Lake trout angler are having similar problems with deep snow and slush and most have been forced to fish off plowed roads. Those that are willing to work have had good to fair results, and as no big fish were reported this past week, a few lake trout in the 4- to 6-pound class were reported.

 Waconia Bay and Pillsbury Reef have been producing sunfish and crappies. Sunfish are in 12-15 ft of water, crappies a little deeper.

Panfish action has been spotty. Anglers that change up their baits, depths, and move around have been catching a few fish. Must be versatile to locate them. Glow jigs and waxies working best.

Diamond Lake crappie bite has been good in 25-30 ft. Also try Games Lake for some crappie action. Long Lake is your best bet for sunfish in 12-15 ft of water.

New York

Federal Agents to Patrol Lake Ontario

While customs agents check every car that crosses the US-Canadian border, there hasn't been any real security in place to check boaters who crossing the border over the lake. However, all that will be changing soon.   Now federal border patrol officers will use helicopters, boats, and small planes to patrol the 4000 mile stretch of Lake Ontario. Patrols will cover land, sea and air.


At this time, boaters traveling between the countries are on the honor system. When they cross the border they're supposed to call into customs and declare any items they're bringing with them.  Deputy Bill Reithel of the Monroe County Sheriff's marine unit said, "Obviously this is a wide open lake…and if you wanted to get something across you could…and that's going to change."


Federal officials say having the officers patrolling will close a

major hole in the security on the lake. Currently, the Coast  Guard and Monroe County Sheriffs Office handle both search and rescue and law enforcement on the lake--but the agencies say, it's a big lake and they welcome the addition of a dozen federal agents.


The US Coast Guard said drug running is a big problem. Drug runners on Lake Ontario mostly bring in hydroponic marijuana--a more potent and more expensive form of pot grown in Canada--and the club drug ecstasy.


The border patrol officers will start before summer purposely set for arrival of the fast ferry. However, officials say they have been trying to get this extra coverage since the terrorists' attack on September 11. The federal officers will be based in Charlotte but will share information with Canadian officials.



Online Boat Registration Renewals now Available

Beginning February 28, boat owners will be able to renew their Pennsylvania boat registrations on-line, thanks to an expanded customer service feature on the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s (PFBC) web site.


Boaters wishing to renew their existing boat registrations can log onto the PFBC site at www.fish.state.pa.us , select the “Outdoor Shop”, and fill out the required information fields.  A temporary interest registration that will be valid for 30 days can then be printed out; the traditional registration materials will be mailed to the registrant’s home. A $2 issuing agent fee will be levied for the service.


“Improving our already-popular web site to allow boat registration renewals is yet another way the Commission provides great customer service,” said PFBC Executive Director Dr. Douglas Austen.  “Online sales of fishing licenses  have risen steadily since we began offering that

option in 2001 and I expect that registration renewals will provide an equally efficient and popular alternative for our constituents.”


A total of 355,265 boats were registered in Pennsylvania in 2003.  Allegheny County led the state with the highest number of registered watercraft: 27,932. Coming in second to Allegheny was Bucks County with 16,332 registrations. York County captured third place with 13,526.


Overall, total registrations fell slightly, down 2,464 boats as compared to 2002.  However, a number of individual counties did see registration increases, including Crawford County where total registrations rose by 107 watercraft to 6,756 boats.  Berks County’s boat registration total grew by 94 to 9,007.  The biggest registration declines came in Allegheny County (-544) and Philadelphia County, where registrations fell to 5,213, down 243 boats from the previous year.

Boaters Reminded to Register Radios for Id #

Late-model marine radio users should register       

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is reminding boaters with newer-model marine radios to register for a Mobile Maritime Service Identity (MMSI) number.


The Federal Communications Commission requires that all VHF-FM marine radios manufactured after June 17, 1999 be digital selective calling capable. The primary advantage of these radios is that when interfaced with a Global Positioning System a mayday can be transmitted with the push of a button.  All information concerning the call, including the vessel’s position and the nature of the distress is then automatically transmitted.  However, for the information to be accessed by the U.S. Coast Guard, users must first register for a MMSI.


Boat U.S. and Sea Tow have been certified by both the FCC and the Coast Guard to assign MMSI numbers.  Boaters can register their digital selective calling capable marine radios with either organization online at www.boatus.com/MMSI/  or 



The move to digital selective calling capability is part of the Coast Guard’s “Rescue 21” communications system upgrade.  Rescue 21 will allow Coast Guard personnel to respond faster to emergency calls, fill in existing communication coverage gaps and provide enhanced interoperability with other federal, state and local communications systems.  Although already functional in some parts of the country, the complete Rescue 21 system is not scheduled to be fully operational on the Great Lakes until 2006.


Under Pennsylvania regulations, recreational boaters are not required to carry VHF radios, but they are highly recommended for vessels on larger waters such as Lake Erie.  Recreational vessels less than 20 meters in length are not required to have a station license to operate a VHF radio unless they travel to foreign ports or transmit to foreign stations.  Use of a VHF marine radio is enforced by the Coast Guard.

Frankford Arsenal Access Reopens

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) announced it reopened its Frankford Arsenal Access Area in Philadelphia County for the season earlier than anticipated. The site opened for public access on Saturday, February 28. The Access Area will be open 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week unless otherwise posted at the site.

This past fall, the Commission announced it was making adjustments to its traditional winter closing schedule, allowing for a more flexible approach to the dates of operation.  In recent years, the Commission would close the property December 1 and reopen it March 31.  As part of the new approach, the Commission said it would keep the site open until conditions dictate a winter closure and allow for a spring reopening. The site closed for the winter December 29, 2003.  

At the time, the PFBC anticipated a spring opening in early March.


“Our goal was to establish a more flexible approach that allowed expanded public access to the popular Arsenal Access,” said Dennis T. Guise, PFBC Deputy Executive Director.  “By delaying the winter closure and now accelerating the spring opening, we’ll be able to offer nearly two additional months of public recreation in comparison to the previous operating schedule.”


The Commission opted for the schedule change in response to requests from anglers and boaters who frequent the site. The Frankford Arsenal Access is one of the most popular public recreational fishing and boating sites on the lower Delaware River.

Youth Conservation School Accepting Applications
BASS, PFBC & DCNR hosting school for teen-agers

The Youth Bass Anglers Conservation School, a unique learning experience for young Pennsylvanians with a passion for fishing and a thirst for warm water fishery knowledge, is seeking applicants to its four-day program in July.


The school, the first of its kind in the state, is a cooperative effort by the Pennsylvania Chapter, Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (BASS), Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Pennsylvania State University.


“Students will be exposed to experts and professionals from across Pennsylvania and the nation. They will be immersed in traditions of bass fishing while simultaneously learning how to protect the resource for the future,” said PFBC Deputy Executive Director Dennis T. Guise.  “Invigorating the next generation of leaders is all part of the Commission’s efforts to keep Pennsylvania fishing.”


 “We are proud to join in this cooperative educational effort to provide angling youth with a solid foundation in warm water aquatic ecosystems and how their management affects bass and bass angling,” said DCNR’s Bureau of State Parks Director Roger Fickes. “Participants will improve their stewardship skills and leave the school better equipped to serve as leaders in conservation. They also will have a heck of a lot of fun learning.”

The program will be held Sunday evening, July 18, through Thursday afternoon, July 21, on Lake Perez at the Pennsylvania State University’s Stone Valley Recreation Area in Centre County. Instruction will be geared toward youth who already possess some basic outdoor skills and fishing experience but want to further develop those skills and learn more about bass angling.


Application and enrollment will begin Monday, March 1, for students ages 14 to 17. Study topics will include fish biology, fisheries management, habitat improvement, boating safety, fishing skills and techniques, fish and boating law enforcement, fisheries and conservation careers, and tournament angling.  Other conservation-related and hands-on activities also are planned.


Student applicants must submit a written essay on the topics, “What fishing means to me,” and the importance of conservation, as well as a letter of recommendation from a teacher or close associate.  A total of 26 students will be selected.  As a $100 enrollment fee will be charged upon acceptance, students are encouraged to seek organizational sponsorship through sporting, community or civic groups.


Enrollment applications and more details can be obtained from Dave Houser of the PFBC at 814-359-5219, or by e-mail at [email protected]



No special advisories for state-stocked trout

State officials responsible for monitoring Pennsylvania waterways and protecting public health on February 24 announced that the annual screening of adult trout stocked for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission indicates no special consumption advisories are warranted. The fish are safe to catch, handle and eat consistent with a general statewide advisory.


All recreationally caught sport fish in Pennsylvania are subject to a one-meal-per-week consumption advisory. This blanket advisory is designed to protect pregnant women, women of childbearing years and young children. The advisories do not apply to fish raised for commercial purposes or bought in stores or restaurants. One meal is considered to be 1/2 lb of fish for a 150 lb person. Pennsylvania is the only state to annually test its state hatchery trout and provide consumption advice using the Great Lakes Consumption Advisory Protocols.


 For 2004, mercury consumption advisories have been lifted for smallmouth bass in the lower Delaware River and Estuary in Bucks, Philadelphia and Delaware counties, and in the Clarion River near Cooksburg in Forest, Jefferson and Clarion counties. Also lifted is the largemouth bass mercury advisory in Parker Dam State Park Lake in Clearfield County.


However, officials issued a one-meal-per-month PCB advisory for brook trout from the West Branch of the Schuylkill River in Schuylkill County, expanding from just the lower half of the basin that was under this advisory last year. Officials also issued one-meal-per-month PCB advisories for channel catfish in the West Branch Susquehanna River at

Williamsport, Lycoming County, and for carp in Pool 6 on the Allegheny River in Armstrong County. A two-meals-per-month mercury advisory was issued for brown trout in West Branch Caldwell Creek in Warren County.


Health Secretary Dr. Calvin B. Johnson noted that people who regularly eat sport fish, women of childbearing age and children themselves are most susceptible to contaminants that can build up in fish over time and should space out fish meals.


“When properly prepared, fish provide a diet high in protein and low in saturated fats. People can get the health benefits of eating fish and reduce exposure to organic contaminants by properly cleaning, skinning, trimming and cooking the fish they eat,” said Dr. Johnson, who suggests trimming fat away and broiling or grilling the fish to allow remaining fat to drip away. Juices and fats that cook out of the fish should not be eaten or reused for cooking other foods.


In addition to the general statewide advisory, Pennsylvania has four other categories of consumption advisories that can be issued if test results suggest it: two meals per month; one meal per month; one meal every two months; or do not eat.


Current and updated advisories for 2004 are published in the Summary of Fishing Regulations and Laws provided to each purchaser of Pennsylvania fishing licenses.


More information on fish consumption advisories is available at the PFBC’s Web site at www.fish.state.pa.us  or at DEP's site at www.dep.state.pa.us  Keyword “Fish Advisories.”

CWD not found in Elk or Deer Samples

HARRISBURG -- Samples taken from hunter-killed elk and white-tailed deer during the state's 2003 hunting seasons have all tested negative for chronic wasting disease (CWD), according to Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Vern Ross.


"Currently, there are no confirmed or suspected cases of CWD-infected deer or elk in Pennsylvania, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that it stays that way," Ross said.  "By conducting these random tests on hunter-killed deer and elk, we will help to assure ourselves and the general public that it is unlikely that CWD is present in wild deer and elk in the state."

CWD tests were conducted by the Department of Agriculture's State Veterinary Laboratory in Harrisburg and by the New Bolton Center, which is the University of Pennsylvania's veterinary diagnostics laboratory.  Under a contract with Penn State University, the elk samples also were tested for brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis and found to be free from these diseases.


Samples were tested from more than 2,000 randomly selected hunter-killed deer from the two-week rifle deer season, and 55 hunter-killed elk in 2003.   This marked the third year for testing hunter-killed elk and the second year for testing hunter-killed deer.

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