Week of March 1, 2010
|Fishing beyond the Great Lakes|
|Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues|
|Words to ponder|
|Other Breaking News Items|
Galileo Galilei, the father of experimental science, was convicted of a crime in 1633 for stating "that the Earth is not at the center of the universe, and it moves." This contradicted the then-prevailing belief, supported by most highly credentialed astronomers of the day. His sentence was house arrest until his death in 1642.
Galileo was treated more leniently than earlier pioneer Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake in 1600 for similar crimes.
Then, it was fear of the unknown that threatened intellectual freedom. Today, it is governments and international bodies. While they do not execute or imprison heretics, they still wield enormous power.
"Global-warming alarmists intimidate dissenting scientists into silence" was the headline on a column in the Wall Street Journal by Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mr. Lindzen writes, "Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis.
It is easy to create the illusion of consensus when those who disagree are silenced.
It is not known what the majority of scientists think about global warming, not that it matters all that much. Science is not about counting votes. However, I can offer an anecdotal observation.
I am a scientist, while my wife is a professor of art history. Her colleagues generally think all scientists support Mr. Gore - after all, they have been so informed by such authoritative sources as the New York Times. My fellow doctorate-holding science colleagues generally share my conclusion: The claim that human activity has appreciably warmed our planet is the greatest political hoax ever.
Many specific actions supported by global-warming alarmists are admirable. We ought to pollute less and transfer less wealth to Middle Eastern oil-producing tyrannies. These issues should be addressed on their merits. They have little to do with global temperature.
To do sensible things for irrational reasons just validates irrationality. And who can tell what future horrors will be justified by irrationality? When the global-warming hoax eventually collapses, the victim will be science. When science suffers, we all suffer.
Fishing beyond the Great Lakes
SALEM, Oregon, February 18, 2010 (ENS) - Removal of four dams on the Klamath River and the largest river restoration project in U.S. history moved closer to accomplishment today with the signing of two agreements between federal, state, utility and tribal officials.
The four dams owned by the electric utility PacifiCorp - three in California and one in Oregon - produce enough power for 70,000 people, but they have blocked 350-mile-long salmon runs, preventing the fish from swimming upstream to spawn. The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement outlines activities that would restore and sustain wild salmon populations to support in-river and ocean fishing industries and provide water supply certainty to communities and water users in the Basin.
The Klamath Basin Hydroelectric Agreement sets forth the process for studies and an environmental review to inform a decision by the Secretary of the Interior on whether or not the removal of the four dams is necessary for restoration of fish in the Klamath Basin and is in the public interest.
The two agreements provide a framework for removal of the four dams beginning in 2020, provided that Congress approves. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar joined Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, PacifiCorp Chairman and CEO Greg Abel and the chairmen of the Klamath, Yurok and Karuk Tribes in signing the two agreements in the Capitol Rotunda in Salem.
Implementation of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement will cost about $1 billion over 10 years and will be financed by the federal government. More than 90 percent of the total costs will be targeted for fisheries restoration and reintroduction, and enhancing the quality and quantity of water for fish.
The Hydroelectric Agreement calls for the accumulation of a $450 million fund, $200 million of which was authorized by the Oregon State Legislature through the passage of Senate Bill 76 during the 2009 regular legislative session. The legislation directs PacifiCorp and the Oregon Public Utility commission to work together to establish a trust that will hold funds from customers to cover the costs for dam removal. The bill also requires the Oregon Public Utilities Commission to hold a hearing to determine whether rates are fair, just, and reasonable. California's contribution to fund dam removal, the other $250 million, would come from a combination of surcharge on California ratepayers and general obligation bonds.
The Klamath River arises in southeastern Oregon and flows about 263 miles southwest through California, through the southern Cascade Mountains to empty into the Pacific Ocean.
Historically, the Klamath Basin was the third most productive salmon river system on the west coast, producing up to 1.1 million adult fish annually. But in 1907 the newly formed Bureau of Reclamation began to dike and drain wetlands and dam rivers to develop an upper basin lake water storage system for commercial agriculture. The Bureau offered settlers free homesteads and promises of unlimited federally subsidized water.
Hydroelectric development was next. In 1917, the first dam
was completed, blocking salmon passage to hundreds of
miles of spawning habitat in the upper basin. By 1962 the final dam of the Klamath Hydroelectric Project, the 173-foot Iron Gate Dam, was completed with no fish passage. All runs of salmon and steelhead are now extinct above Iron Gate Dam near the Oregon-California border, now owned by PacifiCorp.
In 2001, a record drought brought the simmering fish-versus-farms water conflict to a crisis point. When coho salmon were declared threatened in the Klamath River, flowing out of Upper Klamath Lake, a lawsuit brought by Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations under the Endangered Species Act forced water to be shut off to hundreds of farms and ranches. Desperate farmers surreptitiously opened water gates to irrigate their parched fields.
Iron Gate Dam on the Klamath River
In 2002, the Bush administration restored water to the farms, but the river level was too low and the water too warm to support salmon and year after year thousands of fish died of disease. Toxic green algae proliferated in the Iron Gate Reservoir and in Upper Klamath Lake. When PacifiCorp applied for a new 50-year federal operating license in 2004 and made no accommodation for fish passage, public demands for dam removal accelerated.
The governors of California and Oregon have lobbied for dam removal nearly every year since 2006, when the collapse of West Coast commercial salmon fisheries triggered the first of three disaster declarations. Congress appropriated $170 million in 2008 and $60 million in 2006 in aid for destitute salmon fishermen.
Today, 30 representatives from all sides of the Klamath water wars gathered in the Oregon capital to sign the agreements that could restore a healthy river, return salmon to more than 350 miles of their spawning habitat, restore thousands of acres of wetlands, improve river flows and water quality, provide greater water security to the farming community, assure water supplies for the National Wildlife Refuges in the Basin, save PacifiCorp customers money, and restore part of the Klamath Tribes' homeland.
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
Brownells has partnered with multi-time shooting champion Jerry Miculek to produce Jerry Miculek, Practical Rifle, a three DVD set (#100-004-974) on shooting the AR-15.
"When you watch Jerry shoot, he's so darn smooth, there's no wasted motion and how he does that has been a mystery," said Brownells President, Pete Brownell, "in the DVDs he teaches you all of his time-saving techniques. It's great to see how he does what he does and I'm really happy he chose us to produce this DVD set."
Produced entirely at Brownells studios and Big Springs Range, in cooperation with Bang Inc., the set is 2 hours and 17 minutes long, broken down into short easy segments, and features innovative camera angles, slow motion footage, and animated illustrations so the viewer can fully comprehend and study the subjects being taught. Jerry Miculek Practical Rifle covers everything about shooting the AR-15 from how he sets up his rifle to the basics of stance, grip, trigger control, and all the way through practice drills to advanced shooting techniques A bonus section goes beyond the mechanics of expert shooting and lets you get into Jerry's head.
The knowledge imparted by this series isn't limited to the competition shooter. It's excellent training for the hunter, law enforcement officer or anyone who wants to learn more or has an appreciation for expert rifle shooting techniques.
The DVDs provide insight into Jerry's extensive shooting knowledge and experience that has never been captured before. It's like receiving personal instruction from Jerry. This is not "tactical" instruction, but rather a practical, step-by-step approach that will help the beginning or advanced shooter learn to shoot smarter, faster and better.
"I've been competing for 25 years and I wasted the first 10 years doing it wrong. I put these videos together so other shooters don't have to waste that time," said Miculek.
Brownells is the world's largest supplier of firearm parts, gunsmithing tools, equipment and accessories. Stocking more than 30,000 items, the company supplies armorers, gunsmiths, and shooters worldwide. All of their products are 100% satisfaction guaranteed, forever. To order, or for more information, call 800-741-0015 or www.visitbrownells.com and mention code PFP.
Remington Arms congratulates Tyler Rico on his recent victory at the Nevada Regional High-Power Rifle Championship. Rico scored 791-26X to be awarded the overall "Open Winner" match rifle champion while also securing High Master Class and NRA Junior Class titles at the recent Boulder City event.
This NRA-sanctioned match, held at the Boulder Rifle and Pistol Club, is one of many competitive events conducted throughout the year with individual winners qualifying for the
National Championships held at Camp Perry in Port Clinton,
Ohio. Rico secured his win by completing the four-stage course of fire that included 20 shots standing at 200 yards; 20 shots sitting at 200 yards; 20 shots from the prone position at 300 yards; and 20 shots from the prone position at 600 yards.
Rico, age 15, is a former Junior National High-Power Rifle Champion. He and his father, Cecil Rico, joined the Remington High-Power Rifle Team in October 2009, and reside in Tucson, Arizona.
Available for Cell phones also
You do not have to register your cell phone to prevent the bulk of unwanted telemarketing calls. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules prohibit, see attached, telemarketers from using automatic dialers to call cell phone numbers so most calls would be blocked without registering.
However, the FTC does allow registration of cell phones if you
want to prevent calls made without automatic dialers and there is no deadline to register. In addition, it appears that there is no national cell phone directory currently available.
For more information see Federal Trade Commission document below and its many valuable links www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/donotcall/index.html
The director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service passed away Saturday, February 20. Sam Hamilton died suddenly while skiing in Colorado after a regional leadership meeting, which ended Friday.
Hamilton, 54, was a career FWS employee. He was sworn in as the 15th director of the service on Sept. 1, last year. He began his career at age 15 when he worked on refuges as a Youth Conservation Corps volunteer repairing fences in
Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge in Mississippi.. Throughout
his career Hamilton held many positions within the FWS including Director of the FWS Southeast Region, where he had authority over 128 wildlife refuges throughout the southeastern United States, and had been instrumental in restoring vital habitat in the Everglades. He also served as the agency's state administrator in Texas, where he oversaw implementation of the Endangered Species Act. He was a Mississippi native and graduate of Mississippi State University.
CHICAGO (AP) -- The Obama administration has developed a five-year blueprint for rescuing the Great Lakes, a sprawling ecosystem plagued by toxic contamination, shrinking wildlife habitat and invasive species.
The plan envisions spending more than $2.2 billion for long-awaited repairs after a century of damage to the lakes, which hold 20 percent of the world's fresh water. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the document, which Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, was releasing at a news conference Sunday in Washington. "We're committed to creating a new standard of care that will leave the Great Lakes better for the next generation," Jackson said in a statement.
Among the goals is a "zero tolerance policy" toward future invasions by foreign species, including the Asian carp. Others include cleanup of the region's most heavily polluted sites, restoring wetlands and other crucial habitat, and improving water quality in shallow areas, where runoff from cities and farms has led to unsightly algae blooms and beach closings. Also promised is a strategy for monitoring the ecosystem's health and holding federal agencies accountable for carrying out the plan.
During his 2008 campaign, Barack Obama pledged $5 billion over a decade toward fulfilling a Great Lakes cleanup wish list developed by a coalition of agencies, scientists and activists. Congress last year approved his request for a first installment of $475 million. The newly released plan assumes yearly appropriations of the same amount through 2014, except for the $300 million President Obama requested this month in his 2011 budget.
The 41-page plan sets out ecological targets and specific actions to be taken by 16 federal agencies working with state, local and tribal governments and private groups.
Among the goals it seeks by 2014: finishing work at five toxic hot spots that have languished on cleanup lists for two decades; a 40 percent reduction in the rate at which invasive species are discovered in the lakes; measurable decreases in phosphorus runoff; and protection of nearly 100,000 wetland acres.
It also will help save species such as the lake sturgeon, a prehistoric fish that can reach 8 feet long and 200 pounds but is endangered because of overharvesting and habitat degradation. The plan promises to provide 25,000 young sturgeon for stocking programs.
Combined with enforcement of environmental rules and new ones where needed, officials said the plan would help make Great Lakes fish safe to eat, their waters suitable for drinking and swimming, and their native plants and animals thriving.
The lakes provide drinking water to more than 30 million people and are the backbone of a regional economy dependent on tourism, outdoor recreation, and shipping and manufacturing.
Cameron Davis, EPA's senior adviser on the Great Lakes, said about $58 million in restoration funds would go to the carp battle this year. But invasive species programs are getting less restoration money than other needs such as toxic cleanups and habitat improvements, he said.
One of the nation’s largest anti-hunting groups, Defenders of Wildlife, have taken aim at Cabela’s Inc. with a misguided and misleading public relations campaign designed to raise money to fund its efforts against outdoor sports.
According to an action alert posted by Defenders, the group accused Cabela’s of sponsoring three so-called “wolf-killing competitions” in Idaho. The group also attacked Cabela’s for the decision by the local paper in Sidney, Nebraska to not run an inflammatory ad against Cabela’s that Defenders had produced. It then went on to solicit funds to run the ad in other papers throughout the state.
The charges by Defenders are grossly misleading. Cabela’s did not sponsor any “wolf-killing” events. Rather, it provided $150 worth of products as a donation to the Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife-Idaho organization. That group organized and conducted three local predator hunts in 2009. The hunts complied with all state and federal laws. Additionally, all
available information indicates that no wolves were killed during the hunts.
Cabela’s has been a long-time supporter of legal hunting and fishing and has worked closely with state and federal wildlife agencies to conserve wildlife populations. They are renowned in the business world as a leader in conservation programs and ethic. By contrast, Defenders has been one of the leaders in an effort to keep the Northern Rocky Mountain wolf population on the Endangered Species List despite the recovery of their population and reasonable management plans designed by state officials.
“Defenders of Wildlife is attempting to tarnish the reputation of one of the most wildlife conscious companies in the world,” said Bud Pidgeon, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance president and CEO. “Sportsmen should show their support by visiting a local Cabela’s and let them know that you appreciate their efforts and are not fooled by the antis’ propaganda.”
With Asian carp poised to invade Lake Michigan, wildlife managers are urgently trying to figure out how many of the voracious 1.5- meter-long fish have already slipped past electric fish barriers in a waterway near Chicago— and they are scrambling to shore up defenses.
A new plan, released by federal agencies and other groups last week, aims to improve coordination among agencies dealing with the immediate threat and divvies up $78.5 million for control and research. Meanwhile, scientists and advocacy groups are pushing with renewed effort for what they say is the only long-term solution: severing the connection between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Basin, a proposal that doesn’t sit well with the barge industry.
The two invasive species—bighead carp and silver carp, are native to China and were introduced for aquaculture in the southern United States in the 1970s. After escaping, the fast-growing, fecund fish moved up the Mississippi River and its tributaries. In some places, the carp have caused a 90% decline in crustacean zooplankton and are apparently outcompeting two native fish species, the gizzard shad and bigmouth buffalo. In addition, silver carp jump high out of the water when startled and have caused broken bones and concussions in boaters. Although eaten around the world, Asian carp have too many bones for the taste of most U.S. anglers.
Worried about the threat to the $7 billion recreational fishing industry in the Great Lakes from this and other invasive fish, Congress authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1996 to build a prototype electric fish barrier within a key choke point—the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (Science, 11 July 2003, p. 157). After testing started in 2002, a second, full-scale barrier was added to help repel any fish that try to swim upstream through it. From monitoring the canal and the Illinois rivers, wildlife managers believed that the invasion front was still 25 to 30 kilometers south of the barriers.
But last year, they got a rude shock. David Lodge, an invasive species biologist at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, began
testing water samples for Asian carp DNA. Working with The Nature Conservancy, the team discovered DNA from silver and bighead carp several places above the barriers. Fish biologist Phil Moy of Wisconsin Sea Grant in Manitowoc believes the carp may have passed through the barriers a few years ago either during a power outage or when they were down for maintenance.
Most alarming, in December, Lodge’s team found bighead and silver carp DNA in the mouth of the Calumet River—suggesting
that some fish could already be in Lake Michigan. “That’s what really lit a fire under everybody’s seat,” says Marc Gaden, legislative liaison of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission in
Ann Arbor, Michigan. Soon, wildlife biologists netted a bighead and a silver carp where they found DNA.
The most immediate eradication measures are admittedly a stopgap. Over the next few weeks, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and partners in Illinois will put more than 20 staff in up to nine boats for electrofishing and netting the carp, to the tune of $2.6 million. It won’t be easy. “They are very difficult fish to catch at low density,” cautions biologist Duane Chapman of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Columbia, Missouri. “The chances of getting all of them are close to nil.” Still, he says, the more fish kept out of the Great Lakes, the better the chance of preventing an established population.
The strategic plan also includes $13 million for the corps to speed completion of a third electrical barrier, now expected by October. Another $13.2 million would accelerate construction of physical barriers on the Des Plaines River and a canal to prevent fish from moving through with floodwaters. Additional funds would go toward developing selective “bubble” barriers to keep fish from spawning areas in the Chicago-area waterways or, if necessary, in the Great Lakes. There’s also $1.5 million for USGS to work on formulating fish poison that targets only Asian carp and $1 million to study pheromones that might help trap or deter carp.
The surest way to prevent carp from getting established, scientists say, is to achieve “ecological separation” by permanently closing the locks in Chicago and creating physical barriers to water flow in the other entry points to Lake Michigan. That might pose problems for the 50,000 or so recreational and commercial boats that pass through the Chicago River Lock each year. One option, say advocates, is to lift the boats over, but the American Waterways Operators opposes any substantial changes. In
December, Michigan’s attorney general sued the state of Illinois, demanding that the canal locks be closed, but the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
Lodge and others says that an investment in separating the waterways would pay off by also preventing other invasive species, such as the northern snakehead fish, from reaching the Great Lakes—and reducing the odds that any of the more than 180 invaders in the lakes will travel inland via rivers. “It’s far more expensive to always be reacting” to invasions, he says.
As part of the new plan, the Army Corps has moved up the deadline for its comprehensive study of how to prevent the movement of invasive species between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Basin to 2012. That’s not fast enough for Gaden and others. “We don’t have the time,” he says. There will be quicker action, according the strategic plan: By 30 April, the corps could begin modifying Chicago River Lock operations—opening it for only a few days a week, for example—to reduce the chance of carp getting through. 19 February 2010 Vol 327 SCIENCE www.sciencemag.org
MADISON – The questionnaire package for the 2010 Department of Natural Resources Spring Wildlife and Fisheries Proposed Rules Hearing and Annual Conservation Congress County Meeting and the list of meeting locations is now available for review on the Department of Natural Resources Web site.
On Monday, April 12, there will be 72 public hearings, one in each county starting at 7 p.m. where individuals interested in natural resources management have an opportunity to provide their input by non-binding vote and testimony to the Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resources Board and the Conservation Congress on proposed hunting and fishing rule changes and advisory questions.
The hearings, held annually are combined with the county meetings during which residents can introduce their solutions to natural resources related issues, as well as elect fellow county residents as delegates to represent them on the Conservation Congress.
Printed copies of the questionnaire will be available after March 1. This year, in addition to DNR service centers, a limited number of copies is being distributed to DNR license vendors. Copies will also be available at the spring hearing locations the night of the hearing.
The spring hearings cover three major areas: elections for county Conservation Congress delegates; proposed wildlife
and fisheries rule changes that have been developed through previous Conservation Congress meetings; and Conservation Congress proposals for future rule development.
Among the wildlife rule proposal being considered are: establishing a definition and allow the use of atlatls for small game hunting; establish and clarify definitions of a normal “agricultural or gardening practice” and “manipulation” for the purposes of enforcing existing prohibitions of baiting and feeding wild animals; and allowing participation in the youth turkey hunting season by 16 and 17 year olds.
Among the fisheries rule change proposals are: permitting motor trolling in Ashland, Iron, Price and Sawyer counties; and changing the open season for anglers targeting game fish on the Chippewa Flowage to one consistent with statewide regulations.
In addition to voicing their opinion on these proposed rule changes, county residents have the option to run for a seat on the Conservation Congress and to elect delegates from their county to represent their views regarding natural resources issues on the Conservation Congress, the citizen advisory body to the Natural Resources Board and the Department of Natural Resources. Also, individuals have the opportunity to bring forth new conservation issues of a statewide nature to the attention of the Conservation Congress through the citizen resolution process. Information about the process is also available on the Conservation Congress pages of the DNR Web site.
OSHKOSH – Spearers took 1,820 fish during the 2010 sturgeon spearing season on the combined lakes of the Winnebago pool which includes Lake Winnebago and the Upriver Lakes -- Poygan, Winneconne, and Butte des Morts – before the season closed on Thursday after six days.
Sturgeon history was made on the first day of this season when the all-time record sturgeon, a 212.2 lb, 84.2" female, was speared on Saturday by Ron Grishaber of Appleton. It was a record weight not only for Lake Winnebago, but also set new sturgeon spearing record for Wisconsin. On the same day a second record was broken when the largest male sturgeon ever registered in the spearing season, 116.8 lbs, 71", was brought into the Calumet Harbor station on the east shore of Lake Winnebago by spearer Matt Judkins of Mt. Calvary.
The record still stands for the longest fish harvested in 1951; a 90" that weighed only 118 lbs. A sturgeon spearing season has been held annually on Lake Winnebago since 1932.
Ron Grishaber of Wisconsin poses with his state
record-setting sturgeon that weighted 212.2 lbs.
Photo: Rjoss Bielema
“The number of these trophy-size fish has been increasing significantly over the last decade. The increase is due to the
impact of harvest regulations implemented over the last 18 years which were designed to increase survival of these large fish. The 2010 harvest consisted of 270 juvenile females, 801 adult females and 749 males. Eighty-two fish were taken that were 100 lbs or more. A 100 lb sturgeon can be anywhere from 65 to 80 years old. Larger sturgeon are proportionally older.
This was the 78th consecutive sturgeon season on the big lake. On the Upriver lakes there have been sturgeon spearing seasons held intermittently since 1952, and annually since 2007 with the new lottery system.
There were 10,366 spearing licenses purchased for Lake Winnebago and 494 out of 500 authorized for the Upriver Lakes 2010 sturgeon fishery, up 6.1% from the 2009 season when 9,750 licenses were sold for Lake Winnebago and 490 for the Upriver Lakes. Spearers included 179 non-residents (170 for Lake Winnebago and nine for the Upriver Lakes).
Upriver Lakes participation in this season was determined by a lottery for the required sturgeon tag with 500 people selected from 4,228 who submitted an application by August 1, 2009. Sturgeon spearing licenses for the Lake Winnebago season were not limited and were available to those spearers who purchased them by October 31, 2009. The department reported there were 4,527 shacks on the ice on opening day.
The average success rate on the Upriver Lakes is 61.4%. The success rate on Lake Winnebago averages 13.4%. On average a spearer on Lake Winnebago harvests a fish every 7 to 8 years, although some have gone 20-30 before taking their first fish. A person applying for the Upriver lakes lottery fishery, will get a tag about every 8 years.
Words to ponder
"Let me be perfectly clear: I have taught the Constitution, I understand the Constitution, and I will obey the Constitution
when I am president of the United States."
President Obama (February 2008)
Other Breaking News Items
(Click on title or URL to read full article)
Berrien Commissioners call for contingency
plan on Asian carp
Carp hearing makes progress in blocking fish
from Great Lakes
Waukegan mayor hammers home harbor cleanup
Healing the Great Lakes
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