Week of March 3, 2014
|Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues|
|Other Breaking News Items|
Rod & Reel Raffle
We are raffling off 5 rod n’ reel sets to raise funds for a local VFW Post that does a whole lot of good for returning veterans.
Your participation and purchase of a ticket – or tickets - will help us raise the necessary funds to meet our goal and help these guys; thanks.
Rod & Reel Raffle
Tickets $20.00 each Only 500 tickets to be sold
Proceeds to aid Veterans
5 winners (100 to 1 odds)
Brands to be raffled include:
Abu Garcia Okuma Pflueger
Pinnacle Quantum All Star
High-end pro edition units in sets or combination
Spinning and Baitcast sets IM 8 rods in 6', 7 and 8' lengths
For detailed rod & reel info: click here
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
ANOKA, MN. - Federal Premium introduces its online Ballistics Calculator on
FederalPremium.com. The tool allows users to quickly determine trajectories
for any Federal Premium rifle or handgun load by simply entering the
applicable data. Reloaders can also use it for handloads.
information. The tool is perfect for long-range elk, deer, predator and varmint hunters, as well as benchrest and shooting competitors.
The Ballistics Calculator lets shooters manipulate multiple variables such as temperature, elevation, wind speed, sight height and zero range. It displays results in inches, centimeters, MOA or Mils. Wind drift, vertical drop, velocity and energy can be calculated out to 2,000 yards. The calculator features the most up-to-date info and can be accessed from Macs, PCs and mobile devices. www.federalpremium.com.
EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, FL. -- The estimated tens of thousands of Burmese pythons now populating the Everglades present a low risk to people in the park, according to a new assessment by U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service scientists.
The human risk assessment looked at five incidents that involved humans and Burmese pythons over a 10-year period in Everglades National Park. All five incidents involved pythons striking at biologists who were conducting research in flooded wetlands.
"Visitor and staff safety is always our highest priority at Everglades National Park," said Superintendent Dan Kimball. "Everglades, as many other national parks, draws many thousands of visitors for the opportunity to view the wildlife that live here in a natural setting. Our guidance to visitors with respect to Burmese pythons is the same as for our native wildlife -- please maintain a safe distance and don't harass the wildlife. With respect to controlling Burmese pythons, we are working diligently with our state, federal, tribal, and local partners to manage this invasive species and educate the public on the importance of not letting invasive species loose in the wild."
Although there have been numerous bites to people provoking Burmese pythons by attempting to capture or kill the snakes, this study examined only unprovoked strikes directed at people.
"The strikes did not appear to be defensive, but were more likely were associated with aborted feeding behavior," said USGS wildlife biologist and herpetologist Bob Reed, the lead author of the study. "Pythons usually direct defensive strikes at the front of a person, not from the side or rear, as all of these strikes were. Additionally, Burmese pythons rely on being secretive and evading detection as their primary means of avoiding interactions with people, and typically don’t strike until provoked."
The biologists did not detect any of the snakes before the strikes occurred, making it even more likely that the attacks were related to feeding and not defense, Reed noted. Two of the attacks resulted in very minor injuries from the pythons’ teeth and none involved constriction.
Reed and his co-author, retired Everglades National Park scientist Skip Snow, consider the attacks as cases of mistaken identity. In four of five cases the python was small compared to the size of the person, which resulted in the snake likely aborting the attack upon realizing the large size of its prey. Aborting strikes before actual bites with the possible prey
indicates that pythons may be able to assess the size of the prey mid-strike and adjust accordingly, the study said.
Although the pythons’ threat to people is low, previous studies have shown that this invasive snake species is having a negative effect on many of the native mammals in the South Florida Everglades. One study suggests the population of raccoons, opossums, and bobcats have declined significantly in the regions of Everglades National Park where pythons have been established the longest.
More than one million people visit Everglades National Park every year, often traveling along hiking and canoeing trails where Burmese pythons have been spotted or captured. Despite this close interaction, the study noted that none of the reported incidents involved a park visitor. All of the incidents were directed at biologists moving through remote and flooded areas of the park.
"As people wade through shallow water, they produce ripples that move ahead of them, and these pressure waves may be detectable to a motionless snake in ambush posture," said Reed. "We speculate that detecting these changes in water pressure may alert a python that an animal is approaching, perhaps priming it to strike immediately when a potential prey item is detected."
Burmese pythons became established in Florida several decades ago as a result of the international pet trade. The largest snakes removed from the Everglades have exceeded 18 feet and 150 pounds. Snakes of this size are capable of ingesting large prey like deer and alligators.
This human risk assessment concluded that although the risk of an unprovoked attack by a Burmese python in Everglades National Park is low, it is not non-existent. Available evidence from captive snakes suggests that even those strikes that result from cases of mistaken identity or defensive behavior may still result in constriction, which can prove fatal to people when a large python or a small human is involved.
The study focused only on the risk associated with Burmese pythons, but did not address other invasive constrictor species, such as the Northern African python, which is also known as the African Rock python, which are also known to be established and breeding in South Florida outside of Everglades National Park. USGS scientists continue to work with partners to better understand the impacts on invasive reptiles in the Everglades, help reduce their spread into new areas and help prevent new species from becoming established.
Four new locations added this year
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The 2014 Spring Trout Fishing Season in Illinois will begin at 5 a.m. on Saturday, April 5, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Director Marc Miller announced today. In addition to the 43 bodies of water that have been stocked in the past for spring trout fishing, the IDNR is announcing the opening of four new areas to rainbow trout fishing for the spring of 2014:
“The Spring Trout Season is always a great time for families to go fishing and catch some tasty trout, and we’re delighted to be able to add several new locations for trout fishing,” said Director Miller.
The IDNR stocks more than 60,000 rainbow trout each spring in bodies of water where trout fishing is permitted during the spring season. The Illinois catchable trout program is made possible through the sale of inland trout stamps to those anglers who participate.
Illinois fishing licenses and inland trout stamps are available at DNR Direct license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets. For a location near you, check the
IDNR website at this link: http://dnr.illinois.gov/DNRDirectMonitor/VendorListing.aspx
Fishing licenses and trout stamps can also be purchased by using a credit card through DNR Direct online via the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov, or by calling DNR Direct toll-free at 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648).
To legally participate in the trout fishing program, anglers must have a valid Illinois fishing license and an inland trout stamp. The annual fishing licenses for the 2014 season are valid through March 31, 2015. A license is required for fishing in Illinois unless the angler is otherwise exempt (under age 16, blind or disabled, or is an Illinois resident on active military service who is home on leave).
Anglers may not take trout from any of the stocked sites from March 15 to the opening of the season on April 5 at 5 a.m. Anyone attempting to take trout before the legal opening will be issued citations. During the spring trout season the daily possession limit for trout is five fish.
While the statewide spring trout season opens at 5 a.m. on April 5, anglers are reminded to check in advance for any site-specific regulations and the opening time of their favorite trout fishing location.
For more information about the trout stocking program, contact the IDNR Division of Fisheries at 217/782-6424 or check the web site at www.ifishillinois.org.
Calling all Young Artists
This year marks the 21st Federal Junior Duck Stamp Program and art contest. Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge announced they are accepting entries for the Illinois contest through March 15, 2014. The awards ceremony for Illinois will be held April 12, 2014 at the University Museum at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
Students, kindergarten through 12th grade, are encouraged to participate in this unique program. The Junior Duck Stamp Program teaches students about waterfowl habitat conservation and allows them to express what they have learned artistically. Students are encouraged to observe these amazing animals in their natural habitat in order to create their original duck stamp contest entry.
Winners will be chosen in four age categories with 100 prizes being awarded. The winning Illinois artwork will be exhibited in the University
Museum gallery. The student who receives “Best of Show” for Illinois will have their piece submitted into the National contest. The National winning piece becomes the image for the next collectable Federal Junior Duck Stamp.
The Junior Duck Stamp is available for $5 from the U.S. Postal Service and from many National Wildlife Refuges. All proceeds from the sale of the stamps support conservation education and provide awards and scholarships for participating students, teachers and schools.
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge is the state-receiving site for the Illinois Junior Duck Stamp Program. All entries must be submitted to the Refuge postmarked no later than March 15, 2014. We are looking forward to seeing all the beautiful entries this year. For more information about the contest or program, please contact the refuge visitor center at 618-997-3344, ext. 1 or visit www.fws.gov/juniorduck.
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Heather Triezenberg has accepted the position of program coordinator for Michigan Sea Grant Extension. She takes over the position following the retirement of Chuck Pistis and will assume her role in mid-March.
"I am pleased that we have been able to convince Heather to become our new Extension program coordinator,” said Jim Diana, director of the Michigan Sea Grant College Program. “She steps into big shoes to fill by replacing Chuck Pistis, but with her strong academic training in human dimension research, along with her experience at the national Sea Grant office and at Michigan State University, she has the perfect combination of skills to succeed at this position. I am looking forward to her leading our program into an even stronger focus on human dimensions in the future."
As Extension specialist and program coordinator, Triezenberg will coordinate the statewide Sea Grant Extension Program in collaboration with the Michigan State University Extension Greening Michigan Institute. Michigan Sea Grant Extension educators work with stakeholders on critical Great Lakes issues such as resilient communities and economies, healthy coastal ecosystems, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture and environmental literacy.
“I’m thrilled at the opportunity to join Michigan Sea Grant as Extension specialist and program coordinator,” Triezenberg said. “I look forward to working with Michigan Sea Grant’s staff members and stakeholders to address critical issues facing the Great Lakes and its coastal communities.”
With MSU Extension and the Michigan State UniversityDepartment of Fisheries and Wildlife, Triezenberg will also conduct applied human dimensions research in support of Great Lakes aquatic resource policy and management. Triezenberg is interested in resilient coastal community development and healthy coastal ecosystems. To that end, her research will explore how stakeholders perceive risks related to
critical issues within the Great Lakes to inform communication efforts, citizen involvement in research (e.g., Citizen Science) and program evaluation. She is also interested in the application of geographic information systems and other quantitative methods to understand and improve stakeholders’ perceptions and actions, and to incorporate human dimensions data into management modeling and decision making. Triezenberg’s current research focuses on:
• Improvement of risk communication within coastal and Great Lakes aquatic ecosystems.
• The trust-space continuum: a spatial analysis of stakeholders’ trust and confidence in a state wildlife agency.
• Stakeholders’ perceptions and actions related to zoonotic diseases within natural resources contexts (e.g., deer.fw.msu.edu/outreachsummary).
Triezenberg has studied and worked in community-based natural resources management since 2002. She examined social conflicts among stakeholders using coastal and waterfront areas in New York state for her dissertation research. For her master’s research, she developed and evaluated the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program, an adult conservation education program. Triezenberg was the education director for the Clinton River Watershed Council in a four-county area in and around Metro Detroit. Her responsibilities included developing, planning and implementing youth and adult education programs (for example, developing an Adopt-A-Stream program concept for adults to help communities meet their Phase II non-point source stormwater permit requirements for education and public participation). In partnership with the Marine Environmental Education Foundation, she co-coordinated the Dock Walkers education program for peer-to-peer learning among boat club members. She also worked in partnership with local conservation districts and regional planning units for planning and management of the Grand River watershed.
Triezenberg served as a social scientist for the NOAA National Sea Grant Office in 2010-2011 and as an assistant professor in the MSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and the Department of Geography from 2012 to 2014. She has received numerous honors and awards, including the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals Gold Award for peer-reviewed journal article.
caution on St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair
lakes with strong currents or chain-of-lakes systems also is more unpredictable, Malloch added.
The DNR offers the following tips if you are fishing or snowmobiling on the ice:
Cheboygan, MI – Evidence is mounting for the existence of a population of sea lampreys in Michigan’s recreational gem, The Inland Waterway (Cheboygan River watershed), according to Dr. Nick Johnson of the U.S. Geological Survey, Hammond Bay Biological Station who recently completed a Great Lakes Fishery Commission funded study. The implications of this landlocked population could be challenging and costly. Sea lamprey, parasitic fish that suck blood from other fish (e.g., steelhead) invaded the Great Lakes through shipping canals and devastated Great Lakes fisheries in the mid-1900s. Lampricides are the most effective form of control, but physical barriers in Great Lakes tributaries also play a role by preventing upstream spawning. Traps associated with a lock-and-dam near the mouth of the Cheboygan River capture more adult sea lampreys than any other in the Great Lakes.
Despite this, the upper Cheboygan River (Pigeon, Sturgeon, and Maple rivers; high quality designated trout streams) remains infested and chemical treatments costing $500,000 each regularly occur under the auspices of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and GLFC.
Although some larval sea lampreys in the upper river may be offspring of adult sea lampreys that passed upstream through the lock in Cheboygan, there is now evidence of a self-sustaining population in two lakes above the dam (Burt and Mullet); however, the landlocked population may have existed for decades unreported. Dr. Johnson and partners from the Michigan DNR and USFWS found adult sea lampreys above the lock prior to its annual opening (spring 2013). The adults captured above the dam
were smaller than lower river adults and differed in cartilage elemental
signatures. These results, in conjunction with historical and photographical information, provide evidence for a landlocked sea lamprey population.
USGS in cooperation with MDNR and USFWS will continue to assess the abundance and origin of adult sea lamprey in the Pigeon, Sturgeon, and Maple rivers during 2014 and 2015. Up to six nets will be set to capture sea lampreys in each stream from April until July. Net openings will not exceed 1¼” to prevent larger fish from entering. USGS and USFWS will also continue to investigate ways to eliminate sea lamprey passage through the Cheboygan lock. Because the Cheboygan lock is aging, needed refurbishments offer an opportunity to redesign the boat passage system so that sea lamprey passage is eliminated along with the goal that passage of valued species at the dam is not further hindered. Once the land-locked population is closed off, efforts to eradicate sea lamprey from the upper river could proceed and if successful, would eliminate the need for future lampricide treatment.
Anglers can contribute to this exciting study as researchers collect data during 2014 and 2015! Researchers are asking anglers to report observations of sea lamprey wounds on species like steelhead, northern pike, and musky and to send us any sea lampreys which are captured while fishing in Burt and Mullett Lakes. These specimens would help confirm the existence of a landlocked population and contribute to calculations of their abundance. Look for fliers at local bait stores that describe how to collect this information.
Other Breaking News Items
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ODNR wants to boost Lake Erie sturgeon population
introduces Canada’s first invasive species law
Somehow, we’ve reached the point that students can’t safely display the American flag in an American school, because of a fear that other students will attack them for it — and the school feels unable to prevent such attacks (by punishing the threateners and the attackers, and by teaching students tolerance for other students’ speech). Something is badly wrong, whether such an incident happens on May 5 or any other day
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USFWS Press Releases Sea Grant News
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