Week of March 7, 2011

Beyond the Great Lakes
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues


New York
Ontario Canada
Other Breaking News Items


       Weekly News Archives


       New Product  Archives


From some far away battlefield …


Beyond the Great Lakes

Why Ottawa bombs its frozen rivers

BBC News

At the end of each winter, explosives experts lay dynamite in the icy river that runs through the heart of Ottawa, Canada. Why? And what does this do to the fish?  During the weekend of February 25-27, Ottawa's residents had to stay a safe distance from the river - it's the annual ice-blasting to prevent melt-water flooding the city.


Since mid-February, specialist workers have been using buzz saws and amphibious ice breakers to cut channels and long grooves in the ice.

The next step is to drill holes, pack these holes with sticks of dynamite, and blow apart the sheets of ice. These mini-icebergs can then float safely down river, avoiding an icy bottleneck around a low bridge.  Ice cutting and blasting will continue each weekend into March, while water levels are at their peak.


The risk of flooding in this 9km-stretch of river is high without this dramatic intervention, as water could back up behind trapped ice and overspill the river banks. While the river does not freeze solid, the work takes place at the base of a waterfall where the ice is about 3m thick (almost 10 feet).


Clearance work to eliminate ice jams has been carried out since the 1880s, says City of Ottawa spokeswoman Jocelyne Turner. "Historical records indicate that numerous floods have occurred because of, or were aggravated by, ice jams."  In the early years, ice jams were only cleared when they occurred, says Bruce Reid, of the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority,

which works with the local authority on ice clearance.  "By the 1960s and 70s, it evolved to be a flood prevention measure. It's unique to Ottawa in terms of the actual methods used."


Similar work - minus the explosives - is carried out on Manitoba's Red River, which is also historically prone to ice jamming.  "Ice management work is also done to protect other Canadian communities, but tends to be done only in reaction to ice jams when they occur, and where rivers discharge into Great Lakes," says Reid.


Ice-blasting does have its disadvantages. Explosives experts and amphibious craft do not come cheap, and the blasting must be done with care to avoid scarring the riverbed and killing wildlife.  In 1992, the local authority began using an eco-friendly ice-breaking craft to help reduce the reliance on explosives.


Today's methods now involve much more ice cutting and much less dynamite. Before 1992, up to 8,000kg (17,636lb) of explosives would be used in a season. Today, it is between 700 and 1,500kg (1,543 to 3,000 lb). This benefits wildlife habitats and also reduces the seismic impact on nearby bridges and other structures.


It costs the city $460,000 a year to clear the river ice, with 18 staff involved. But it is money well spent, says Turner. Without this work, some 900 buildings and other structures would be at risk of flood damage - and the clean-up costs would be far higher.

Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Birchwood Casey EZE Scorer Shadow Targets

The new EZE-SCORER Shadow Targets from Birchwood Casey work great for handgun training.  The new 12" x 18" size is perfect for shooting at practical training distances. Variations based on B27 and TQ-19 styles are available.

EZE-SCORER Shadow Targets feature high contrast black print on bright white paper and work equally well shooting

 indoors or at outdoor ranges. They are available in packs of 10 or 100

About $3.90 and $30.00




[email protected]    www.birchwoodcasey.com


Rossi Introduces Popular Wizard Rifle in New Nickel Finish

With a stylish nickel finish, this Wizard matches a sharp new look with the ability to shoot with up to 23 different caliber options. The Wizard’s ingenious break-open barrel system easily transforms to any other barrel in seconds. Just start with .243 Win. and add additional barrels to the system as desired. The Wizard, with single-shot simplicity, is the perfect choice for year-round hunting and shooting.


Rifle barrel options include .17 HMR, .22LR, .22 Mag., .22-250 Rem, .270 Win., .223, .30-06 SPRG, .308 Win., .35 Whelen, .38-357 Mag., .44 Mag., ..454 Casull, 45-70 Gov. and 7.62x39. Muzzleloader barrel options include .45 and .50. Shotgun barrel options include .410 bore, 28 gauge, 20 gauge, 20 gauge slug, 12 gauge and 12 gauge slug. The Wizard’s barrel

measures 23 inches with an overall length of 36.5 inches and

weighs seven pounds.


Additional features include cushioned recoil pad with spacer for reduced recoil, uniquely contoured Monte Carlo stock with curved cheek rest, scope mount base, hammer extension, fiber optic front sight for fast, easy target acquisition and the onboard Taurus Security System®.


About $352.00



Birchwood Casey Presto Mag Gun Blue

Get A Professional Looking Finish

Presto Mag Gun Blue from Birchwood Casey is a special cold blue formulation that works well on all types of steel (Except Stainless) to provide a deep blue luster to metal finishes.  The new solution is easy to apply and comes with complete instructions for the do-it-yourself gunsmith to get professional results.

Presto Mag Gun Blue comes in a 3-oz. bottle


About $9.70




[email protected]     www.birchwoodcasey.com



$50,000 Fine for Importing Live Asian Carp into Canada

Southern U.S. interests selling live carp in violation of Lacy Act

A Markham, ON man has been fined $50,000 for possessing and transporting live invasive fish – the largest fine for an Asian carp conviction in Ontario.


Feng Yang, the owner of a fish importing company, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing live invasive fish. He was fined $50,000, forfeited over 4,000 lbs of seized bighead and grass carp and received a three-year probation order that prohibits him from possessing any invasive species.  This is Yang’s second conviction.   In 2006, he was fined $40,000 for possessing the same invasive species.


The court heard that, on November 4, 2010, a joint forces operation between the Ministry of Natural Resources and Canada Border Services Agency resulted in the seizure after officers from both agencies inspected incoming shipments of live and fresh fish. An inspection of Yang’s vehicle found live bighead and grass carp in the tanks on the truck.


The fish had been transported from the southern U.S., allegedly on their way to the Asian community in the Greater Toronto area. There is a long tradition of carp in Chinese culture and culinary tastes, and a booming demand in Toronto. Asians like to buy their fish alive. Their culture places some value on buying two fish - eating one and releasing the other alive to bring good luck.  


"We have a very weak system in the U.S. when it comes to importation and movement of species that could be harmful to ecosystems and the economy," said Marc Gaden, spokesman for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. The debate over how to protect the Great Lakes has focused on Chicago-area

waterways infested with bighead and silver carp that have migrated up the Mississippi River and its tributaries since escaping from Deep South fish farms in the early 1970s.


Also, anglers who dump unused bait fish into waterways might release Asian carp minnows mistaken for other species. Authorities are educating bait shop operators and their customers about the danger.  The Illinois DNR last month announced that a survey of Chicago-area bait stores turned up none of the unwanted carp.


Conservation groups have urged the Feds to strengthen the Lacey Act, a 111-year-old law that prohibits importing potentially dangerous non-native species.  Congress added the bighead carp in December. The silver carp was added in 2007. The grass carp is not listed, but it's among prohibited species in Ontario. The law needs an overhaul because listing species takes too long, Gaden said. The bighead carp was proposed in 2003 but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delayed action because of resistance from Southern aquaculture interests, he said.


It has been illegal to possess live invasive fish including, bighead, grass, black and silver carp in Ontario since 2005 because of the significant threat they pose to the province’s lake systems. As part of the ongoing efforts to protect Ontario’s environment from importing invasive species, the Ministry of Natural Resources will continue to work with the Canada Border Service Agency to monitor compliance with the legislation.


To report a natural resource violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time or contact your ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)

Commission Urges Immediate Passage of Bill to Stop Asian Carp and Other Invasives

Bill would accelerate separation of Mississippi and Great Lakes basins

ANN ARBOR, MI—The Great Lakes Fishery Commission applauded the introduction of the Stop Asian Carp Act of 2011, a bill designed to stop the spread of Asian carp and other invasive species via the Chicago Area Waterway System.


The legislation, introduced today by Senators Debbie Stabenow (MI) and Dick Durbin (IL) and Representative Dave Camp (MI), would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, within a year and a half, to prepare an action plan that outlines the feasibility and the best means of achieving ecological separation of the once-naturally-separated Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds. Such separation is essential if the movement of Asian carp and other invasive species between the two basins is to be stopped.


The Chicago Area Waterway System, a series of canals and rivers in and near Chicago, is a manmade connection of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins. The waterway is a vibrant transportation corridor, a route for pleasure boats, and a water management system; any study, as is the case with this bill, must take transportation, economic, and water management factors into account. The Great Lakes Fishery Commission (and many others) has repeatedly identified separation as the only viable way to permanently address the


invasive species problem caused by that direct link between

the two basins. In March, 2010, citizen advisors to the commission—from both Canada and the United States—passed a joint resolution making the same recommendation. The legislation complements efforts underway by the Great Lakes Commission and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative to investigate ways to achieve separation.


“This important legislation directs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to apply their considerable engineering expertise to answer a complex question: how do you achieve ecological separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi basins in the Chicago Area?” said Commissioner Michael Hansen, a professor at the U. of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. “This legislation, if enacted, would significantly expedite the process to identify the ways to achieve separation.”


Hansen added: “We must support every effort to keep Asian carp and other invasive species out of the Great Lakes. Invasive species harm the ecosystem and the economy. They threaten the $7 billion fishery and they undermine tourism, jobs, and prosperity. This bill acknowledges the importance of invasive species prevention and sets us on a course to achieve ecological separation with all haste.”


To read Commissioner Hanson’s full letter: www.glfc.org/fishmgmt/Hansentestimonyaisancarp.pdf.

Sample letter to send to Congress to protect Lamprey control

Contact your legislator to prevent funding cuts in Lamprey treatment

Representative/Senator NAME





Attention:  Great Lakes Legislative Aide


Dear Representative/Senator NAME:


I am writing to urgently request your support to protect the Great Lakes. I live in CITY, STATE and I am a (recreational fisherman, commercial fisherman, charter boat operator, etc.). I am also a member of XXXX which represents XXXXXXX.  ).


It is my understanding that congressional funding for the sea lamprey control program administered through the Great Lakes Fishery Commission may be significantly cut in the current and upcoming fiscal year.  The sea lamprey is perhaps the most destructive invasive species in the region; its relentless pursuit of key species of fish in the Great Lakes threatens to destroy the multi-billion dollar Great Lakes fishery that is a lifeline for so many in this region. Your action is needed to ensure the Great Lakes Fishery Commission is fully funded so that sea lampreys can be stopped.


Funding for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, which operates under a treaty with Canada, is provided through the State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill, under the heading “International Fisheries Commissions.”


Major funding reductions to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission’s program would eliminate crucial components of the sea lamprey control program, resulting in an immediate, significant economic and ecological hardship on the Great

Lakes region. Without sea lamprey control, the Great Lakes fishery would not exist.  It’s a simple as that.  Beginning in the early 1930s, sea lampreys decimated the Great Lakes fishery by killing large numbers of trout, whitefish, and other important species.


The implementation of the sea lamprey control program through the Great Lakes Fishery Commission in the mid-1950s rescued the fishery and, as a result, resurrected local economies and communities. The region now sustains a $7 billion fishery annually and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs related to the fishery, tourism, navigation, and other economic drivers. If sea lamprey populations are not continually monitored and controlled, history will be repeated and the sea lampreys will again destroy the fishery taking jobs and economic well-being with it. The Great Lakes region simply cannot afford to put its most valuable resource as risk.


While sea lamprey populations can be controlled, they are resilient creatures and need only a small window of opportunity to overtake an ecosystem. Implementing the proposed budget cuts to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission will provide such a window for the sea lamprey to once again decimate the fishery. If control is reduced, even for a short time, sea lamprey response will be immediate, devastating, and difficult if not impossible to reverse.


Please do not allow the Great Lakes fishery to be destroyed.  We are fortunate that the worst of the lakes’ invasive species can be controlled. Our communities and our livelihoods rely on this magnificent resource. Please support full funding for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and its sea lamprey control program.





Marine Industry to see Modest Growth In 2011

GE Capital Survey Reveals Manufacturers and dealers focus on inventory mix

HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – February 24 – After navigating through rough waters for several years, the marine industry is beginning to push forward on the throttle, according to survey results released today by GE Capital, Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) from the Miami International Boat Show. More than one-third of respondents (38%) expect sales to increase up to five percent in 2011, and 54% said that the best time for dealers to increase inventory levels is now.


“The marine industry is starting to see signs of recovery as we move past the recession,” said Jeff Malehorn, president and CEO of CDF. “Through our 40 years in the marine industry, we’ve seen many cycles and we’re optimistic about the years ahead.”


Not surprisingly, sales of lower-ticket items are rebounding faster than those of bigger-ticket items. Forty percent of survey respondents expect growth to be led by sales of aluminum boats, followed by recreation boats (17%). In contrast, boats of 30’ or more were the strongest-selling segment during the market’s peak in 2007.

“Dealers are beginning to order new inventory, but they continue to be cautious,” noted Bruce Van Wagoner, president of the CDF Marine Group. “At the same time, manufacturers want to be sure their dealers have the right product mix so everyone is focused on smart growth. They’re all paying close attention to remaining aged product, dealer credit availability and inventory turns, among other metrics.”

Nearly 70% of the responding marine dealers and manufacturers believe that the biggest hurdle facing the boating industry this year is consumer demand, and 40% said a reduced level of showroom and field inventory is the trend that will have the largest impact on the industry this year.

The Marine Industry Survey of 53 marine dealers and manufacturers was conducted on Feb. 16, 2011, at the Access GE Industry Roundtable event at the Miami International Boat Show. Respondents included marine dealers and manufacturers.


About GE Capital, Commercial Distribution Finance

GE Capital, Commercial Distribution Finance provided more than $30 billion in financing to 30,000 manufacturers and their distributors across the Americas in 2010.



U.S. Army Corps of Engineers holding public meetings in Ypsilanti March 8

Comment Period Open for Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS)

On Tuesday, March 8, 2011, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is holding two public scoping meetings in Ypsilanti from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest, located at 1275 S. Huron St., to gather input on the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS).


The public is invited to attend these scoping meetings and to provide comments on GLMRIS. Identical presentations about the study will be given at 2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., each followed by the comment period. The purpose of GLMRIS is to evaluate a range of options and technologies to prevent the transfer of aquatic nuisance species (ANS), such as Asian carp, between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River through aquatic pathways.


Using input obtained during the scoping period, the Corps will refine the scope of GLMRIS to focus on significant issues, as well as eliminate issues that are not significant from further detailed study. Issues associated with GLMRIS are likely to include, but will not be limited to: significant natural resources, such as ecosystems and threatened and endangered species; commercial and recreational fisheries; recreational uses of the lakes and waterways; effects of potential ANS controls on waterways uses such as: flood risk management, commercial and recreational navigation; and statutory and legal responsibilities relative to the effected waterways.


The Ann Arbor meeting is the last one before the public scoping comment period ends on March 31, 2011. If you plan to make an oral comment, please register on the GLMRIS Web site. Comments can also be submitted electronically

through the Web site. Each scoping meeting will consist of two separate three-hour sessions to allow as many attendees as possible.


An ANS is a nonindigenous species that threatens the diversity or abundance of native species; the ecological stability of infested waters; or the commercial, agricultural, aquacultural or recreational activities dependent on such water. As a result of international commerce, travel and local practices, ANS have been introduced and spread throughout the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins. Connected primarily by man-made channels, ANS transfer was impeded historically by the poor water quality of those waterways. Recent water quality improvements have lessened that impediment making it more likely for ANS transfer between the two basins to occur.


For more info on GLMRIS, the meeting agenda and scoping requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act: www.glmris.anl.gov or call Dave Wethington, GLMRIS project manager, at 312-846-5522 or e-mail at [email protected].  


Sarah D. Gross

Public Affairs Specialist

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District

111 N. Canal St., Chicago IL, 60606

[email protected]

Office: 312-846-5334

Mobile: 312-659-4354




Public Comment Period Open for the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS):


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for March 4, 2011 


Temperatures were generally near or slightly below average across the Great Lakes basin last weekend, the exception was the northwestern section of the basin where temperatures fell 10-25 degrees below average in Green Bay, WI, and Duluth, MN.  Temperatures rose on Sunday and have been generally around average throughout this workweek. Much of the basin experienced notable snowfall on either Saturday or Sunday, and rainfall on Monday.  This weekend, the basin is predicted to see a significant temperature spike on Friday and accompanying precipitation.   Temperatures will drop on Saturday and Sunday.


 Currently, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 8 and 12 inches, respectively, below last year's levels.  Lake St. Clair's level is being impacted by an ice jam in the St. Clair River, and is 15 inches below what it was a year ago.  Lake Erie is near its level of a year ago, while Lake Ontario is 4 inches below last year's level.  Over the next month, Lake Superior's level is predicted to remain steady, while Lake Michigan-Huron will rise 2 inches.  Lake St. Clair is projected to rise 15 inches as ice conditions clear, while Lakes Erie and Ontario are expected to rise 4 to 5 inches over the month.  See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.


The outflow from Lake Superior into the St. Mary's River is expected to be below average for the month of March.  The outflows from Lake Huron into the St. Clair River, from Lake St. Clair into the Detroit River, and from Lake Erie into the Niagara River are all expected to be near average throughout the


month of March.  The outflow from Lake Ontario into the St.

Lawrence River is predicted to be below average.  Ice build-up in the connecting channels can greatly affect flows and may cause significant fluctuations in water levels.


The water levels of Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are below chart datum, and are forecasted to remain below chart datum over the next several months.  Lake St. Clair is currently below chart datum due to ice conditions, and is expected to remain below chart datum until ice conditions clear.  Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels.  Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.  Ice information can be found at the National Ice Center's website.





St. Clair



Level for Mar 4






Datum, in ft






Diff in inches






Diff last month






Diff from last yr







BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship Registration Open

Collegiate anglers throughout the country may begin registering online for the 2010 BoatUS National Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship. Registration closes on Saturday, May 1 and the final field will be announced on Monday, May 3.


The event will be held on May 24 -29 and will once again be hosted by the City of Lewisville Texas. All activities will take place at Sneaky Pete's which is located on the shores of Lake Lewisville. City of Lewisville Mayor, Dean Ueckert commented, "Competitive angling is the fastest growing collegiate sport in the country, and we are very excited to be home to the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship event. The teams coming here are among the best anglers anywhere and I'm sure some of them will become big names on the professional circuits one day.


Participating teams will receive a travel allowance and will also enjoy a shopping spree, complements of Cabela's at the company's Fort Worth retail store. Numerous prizes and awards will be made to the top finishers and sponsors of the event will be on hand to provide product information and samples to all contestants.


Due to the incredible growth in the number of contestants

since 2006, the 2010 championship field will be capped at 150 two-person teams. Complete details regarding registration can be found at www.CollegiateBassChampionship.com.


Extensive coverage of the championship event will be nationally televised on the Versus network from August - October 2010. The television series will also feature coverage of the Stephen F. Austin Bucketmouth Bass Tournament, Arkansas Tech University Invitational, Southern Collegiate Bass Fishing Series Championship and the Collegiate Open Team Bass Championship.


"We're very excited that BoatU.S. is returning as the title sponsor and that the City of Lewisville is serving as host of this event for the fifth consecutive year. We're looking forward to crowning the national champions and providing increased television coverage again this year. Since our humble beginning in 2006, this event has grown to be regarded as the largest, most prestigious event in collegiate bass fishing in the eyes of collegiate anglers and sponsors of collegiate fishing," said Wade Middleton, Tournament Director.

For more info go to: www.CollegiateBassChampionship.com  Click here to Register Now!



Beware of E15 Fuels in Boats

WASHINGTON – Boaters who fuel their boats from the same pumps as their vehicle may be at risk of unknowingly or mistakenly putting 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline  into an engine for which E15 has not been approved.


Only one small label is required on the pump to warn boaters of the 50% increase in ethanol.  The Coast Guard Auxiliary recommends fueling your boat from tanks at marinas.


On January 21, 2011 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted a waiver that allows the percentage of ethanol in the nation's gasoline supply to jump from 10% (E10) to 15% (E15) to be sold only for cars, SUVs and light-duty trucks made in 2001 through 2006. This decision comes on the heels of an


October 13th decision to waive the limitations for so-called E15 for model-year 2007 and newer cars and light-duty trucks. This EPA waiver does not permit use of the higher alcohol content fuel in lawnmowers, chainsaws, snowmobiles, motorcycles or boats.


NEWS from BoatUS, February 7, 2011 issue states that many components on a boat come in contact with ethanol-laden gasoline, including fuel lines, fuel tanks, fuel pumps, fuel injectors, carburetors, pressure regulators, valves, o-rings, and gaskets. The compatibility of these components with any blend greater than E10 is currently unknown. The failure of only one of these components in your engine could lead to failure or, worse, a fire or explosion.

Miami leads the boating industry out of the gloom

It goes down in the books as the 70th Miami International Boat Show and Strictly Sail, but it will be fondly remembered as the catalyst that has led the boating industry back into the sunshine. The five-day exhibition, staged at the Miami Beach Convention Centre, the Sea Isle Marina and Miamarina at Bayside, both in Miami, attracted 104,165 visitors, a massive 14% increase over the 2010 edition.


Perhaps the most noticeable aspect around the show was the all-pervading feeling of confidence in boating’s future, a far cry from the ‘down at heels’ attitude that was so easily found last year. While the attendance may have fallen well short of the Miami show record (153,400) established in 2003, the 2011 show has clearly demonstrated that the ‘good old days’ may well be on the way back.


Ben Wold, Executive Vice President of the show owner/organizer the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) was hopeful of a positive show prior to

the event and told me he was ‘sincerely hoping’ for a 100,000-plus attendance. His hopes were materialized.


Throughout the event there was a total change in attitude when compared with 2010; boat builders, marine dealers, sales staff across the board, all reported a positive response from visitors.


In addition to the ‘main event’, Miami Beach also played host to the massive Yacht and Brokerage Show, staged on a nearby tributary of the Intracoastal Waterway on Collins Street, the city’s major thoroughfare. It all added to the carnival atmosphere which invades Miami and Miami Beach every February.


There was no question that boats were sold across all venues, many boats together with an astonishing array of marine engines, electronics and general boating accessories and equipment.

Automation improves fisheries conservation

Automated fish tagging offers big databank to DNRs

About 35 million fish are stocked in the Great Lakes each year by tribal fisheries programs, state game and fish agencies, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, and Canada’s Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. These large waters and massive fisheries, coupled with the large quantities of fishes put into the lakes, necessitate a common cooperative tool over multiple jurisdictions.


AutoFish is that tool. It is an automated 44-foot-long trailer-based fish-tagging system that can process captive fish—and large numbers in a short time. Developed by Northwest Marine Technologies, the system runs trout and salmon three to five inches long through an apparatus that clips the fleshy adipose fin on the fish’s back, and inserts a uniquely coded

wire tag. Up to 60,000 fish can be run through the system in 8 hours.


The automated system is much more efficient and costs less than passing each fish through multiple hands to get the same job done. And it may be less stressful for the fish as they are never completely out of the water. Three mass-marking projects started in 2010: tagging five million lake trout from National Fish Hatcheries, plus salmon in Wisconsin, Michigan, and New York. Mass-marking is done under the auspices of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. Tags are read when fish are caught later. Data lets biologists learn about survival, fish movement, and the extent of wild populations.

Courtesy USFWS, Charles Bronte, Ph.D.


Trout to be stocked at Fort Harrison State Park

Rainbow trout will be stocked at Fort Harrison State Park’s Delaware Lake in Indianapolis in late March. The goal is to offer more urban residents an opportunity to fish, part of an effort by the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife.


The 700 rainbow trout measuring 8 to 10" will be added to the 7-acre lake, which offers good shoreline fishing access and ADA fishing facilities. Gate admission to the park is $5 daily per in-state vehicle or $7 per out-of-state vehicle.  The DNR program will also increase trout fishing opportunities in Terre Haute next year, when a new park pond that opens for fishing this year at 500 Maple Avenue, will be stocked with trout.


With the new urban trout stocking initiative, some past trout stockings at Jackson Creek in Yellowwood State Forest (Brown County) and Little George Pit on Chinook State Fishing

Area will be phased out after this year; however, both sites will be stocked with trout this year.


For more information regarding the changes to the trout stocking program, contact Brian Schoenung, DNR southern region fisheries supervisor, at [email protected] or (812) 279-1215.


In addition to a fishing license, anglers fishing for trout are required to have an $11 trout/salmon stamp. The stamp can be purchased at IndianaOutdoor.IN.gov or anywhere licenses are sold. The inland trout program is funded through this stamp.  Anglers also have the option to purchase a one-day fishing license for $9, which includes trout/salmon fishing privileges without the need to purchase the separate stamp. Fishing licenses can be purchased at the Fort Harrison State Park office, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Michigan AG fights to Protect Great Lakes from Ballast Water Transfer

Files amicus brief in support of New York to enforce state regulations on ballast water discharges

LANSING –Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, on March 3, 2011 announced that Michigan has joined New York before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in filing an amicus brief this week to defend state regulations intended to protect the Great Lakes from invasive species transported in the ballast water of oceangoing vessels. 


“We must aggressively defend the Great Lakes against invasive species to protect our treasured waters and Michigan jobs,” said Schuette.  “From Asian carp in Chicago to zebra mussels in ballast water, these invasive species pose an imminent threat to our ecology and economy.  They must be stopped.”


Schuette’s brief was filed in the case, Lake Carriers’ Association, et al. v Environmental Protection Agency, et al.  The case involves three shipping industry associations, Lake Carriers Association, the Canadian Shipowners Association and the American Waterways Operators, challenging the Vessel General Permit (VGP) issued by the EPA in December 2008, which regulates ballast water discharges from vessels into U.S. waters under the Clean Water Act.  The permit went into effect after Michigan and other Great Lakes states sued the EPA, demanding rigorous standards requiring treatment of ballast water discharges to protect the Great Lakes.   The Great Lakes states prevailed in Fednav v Chester, resulting in the EPA instituting new ballast water regulations in 2008.


The new Vessel General Permit authorized Michigan and

other Great Lakes states to include supplemental requirements that further prevent the introduction of invasives into the Great Lakes.  The trade associations are challenging the states’ right to require specific ballast water treatment methods above and beyond the federally-mandated salt-water flushing at least 200 miles from shore.  Michigan and other Great Lakes states contend salt-water flushing is ineffective and did little to prevent the spread of invasive species like zebra mussels and sea lampreys to Great Lakes waterways. Schuette noted Michigan law requires oceangoing vessels to treat ballast water in order to kill invasive species before being dumped in state waters.    


The biological pollution of invasive species is self-replicating, Schuette added, so the problem worsens over time, eventually pushing native species to extinction and damaging commercial and recreational fisheries.  Contaminated vessel ballast water is the principal way aquatic invasives are introduced to the Great Lakes, which now contain more than 180 non-native species that have radically altered the native ecosystem.  Invasive species threaten Great Lakes fisheries, which are estimated to be worth $7 billion. 


The case is scheduled for oral argument on May 9, 2011 before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.  The brief filed by the State of Michigan is the second major effort undertaken by Schuette’s office this year to protect the Great Lakes from invasive species.  Just a week after taking office, Schuette renewed efforts to protect Michigan’s environment and economy by continuing Michigan’s lawsuit aimed at stopping the invasion of Asian carp into the Great Lakes.  He met with leaders of Michigan’s environmental and sportsmen’s communities to form a united front in the fight to stop Asian carp from corrupting our waters.

DNR reminds Anglers of Mandatory Ice Shanty Removal Dates

The Michigan DNR is reminding anglers the dates for mandatory ice shanty removal are approaching. Anglers are required to remove shanties as soon as the ice is unsafe to hold them, regardless of the date.


In the northern Lower Peninsula, ice shanties need to be removed by midnight on March 15. Counties included in the northern Lower Peninsula are: Alcona, Alpena, Antrim, Arenac, Bay, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Clare, Crawford, Emmet, Gladwin, Grand Traverse, Iosco, Isabella, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Midland, Missaukee, Montmorency, Newaygo, Oceana, Ogemaw, Osceola, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon and Wexford.

In remaining counties of the southern Lower Peninsula, shanties were to be removed by midnight March 1. In the Upper Peninsula, shanties must be removed by midnight March 31.


After mandatory removal dates, shanties may be placed on the ice on a daily basis, but must be removed daily. Shanty owners who allow the structures to fall through the ice are subject of penalties of up to 30 days in jail, fines of not less than $100 or more than $500 or both. If a shanty is removed by a government agency, the court can require the owner to reimburse the government for an amount of up to three times the cost of removals.


Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Program Pheasant Hunt March 19

Registration Deadline is March 11, cost is $150.00

The Michigan DNR  Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program (BOW), will be hosting a Pheasant Hunt at Hunters Creek Club in Metamora, March 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


The Pheasant Hunt is designed for women ages 18 and up. Beginners -- particularly those who have never bird hunted before -- are especially welcome and will receive extra attention and instruction. The event begins with safety instruction and target practice, followed by lunch in the dining room. After lunch, participants will go to the field for a guided three-bird limit walk-up hunt. There will be three hunters and two guides per field.


Participants will need a small game license or an apprentice license; for more information on licenses, visit www.michigan.gov/dnre. Participants will also need to bring or

borrow the following items to get started: hunter orange as the outermost layer of clothing, a shotgun, and ear and eye

protection. These items can be borrowed from the BOW program host at the event. Participants will need to bring or purchase two boxes of shotgun shells. Ammunition is available for purchase at the Hunter’s Creek Pro Shop.


The registration deadline for this event is March 11 and cost is $150 per person. This includes all instruction, 25 sporting clay targets, lunch and guides during the hunt. Ammunition, hunting license, bird cleaning and gratuities are not included in the registration fee. There is a $3.95 charge per bird for cleaning. As required by law, birds must be cleaned by Hunters Creek staff.


Hunters Creek Club is located at 675 E. Sutton Rd. in Metamora. For more info and a registration form: www.michigan.gov/bow  Questions?  [email protected]  or 517-241-2225.

DNR Survey indicates 433 Moose in Western UP

Results from the Michigan DNR biennial aerial moose survey indicate little growth in the western Upper Peninsula’s moose population over the past two years, the DNRE announced today.


The January 2011 survey data indicates approximately 433 moose in Marquette, Baraga and northern Iron counties. The results show a slight increase from the 2009 estimate of 420 moose. Informal estimates for the eastern UP moose population suggest fewer than 100 animals, putting the entire mainland UP moose population at approximately 500 animals.


“The results suggest that moose population growth during the past two years may have slowed down, compared to the growth rates we saw over the previous decade,” said DNRE wildlife research biologist Dean Beyer. “However, surveys in coming years will help us determine if slowed population growth is going to be the trend, or if it’s just a short-term deviation.”


Legislation passed in late 2010 authorized the Michigan Natural Resources Commission to establish a moose hunting season, should the commission members choose to 

do so. The legislation also created the Moose Hunting Advisory Council, and directed the council to issue a report on the biological and economic impacts of a moose hunt to the NRC by Dec. 22, 2011.


The 2011 moose survey results, along with a new DNRE Wildlife Division report detailing the current status of the moose population and related management issues, will be available for review by the NRC and Moose Hunting Advisory Council as the two groups consider the possibility of a future moose hunting season.


In 1985 and 1987, 59 moose were trans-located by the DNRE from Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada, to northwest Marquette County, with the long-term goal of a self-sustaining population of free ranging moose. To gauge the project’s success, the health and population growth of the western Upper Peninsula moose have been closely monitored since that time. Part of that monitoring includes the biennial aerial moose survey, conducted every other year during the winter, when it is easiest to spot moose on the snow-covered landscape.


For more info on moose: www.michigan.gov/wildlife and click on “Research Projects.”

Michigan to open discussion on Lower Peninsula Deer Baiting

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission (NRC) will begin a series of public discussions of the deer baiting and feeding ban in the state’s Lower Peninsula at its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, March 10. The meeting will take place in Rooms 124 and 124A at the Lansing Community College M-Tech West Campus, located at 5708 Cornerstone Dr. in Lansing.


The public discussion session will take place from 10 a.m. to noon as a part of the NRC’s regular monthly meeting.  The NRC made an informal commitment to review the baiting and feeding ban after allowing the Department of Natural Resources three years to test and monitor for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) following the detection of a CWD-positive deer in a privately-owned cervid facility in Kent County in 2008.


Once the DNR had the diagnosis confirmed by the National Veterinarian Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, it implemented the protocols of the state’s Emergency Response Plan for Chronic Wasting Disease. Among the protocols was an immediate ban on deer baiting and feeding in the affected peninsula.


“In 2008 when the NRC voted to make the baiting ban permanent in the Lower Peninsula, they said they would revisit the issue in three years allowing the Department to test several thousands of deer for CWD,” said NRC Chair Tim Nichols of Fowlerville. “The result of these public discussions

will be an NRC decision on whether to continue, lift or modify

the deer baiting and feeding ban.”


The public discussion sessions will be held at a series of NRC meetings, with a decision by the NRC prior to the publication of the 2011 DNR Hunting Guide.


NRC Commissioner John Madigan of Munising, who chairs the NRC’s Policy Committee on Fish and Wildlife, will lead the discussion. A presentation will be made regarding deer baiting and feeding regulations in other states. At future meetings, the commission will review both scientific and social data regarding baiting and feeding of deer.


Persons attending the public discussion meeting will have an opportunity to provide public comment and can register at the meeting location to do so. Comments will be subject to time limits to be determined at the meeting based on the number of people who sign up for the opportunity to give public comment. Persons giving public comment are encouraged to provide written copies of their comments to DNR staff at the meeting location.


Persons unable to attend the upcoming NRC meetings may submit written comments to the DNR on the deer baiting and feeding ban by sending an email to [email protected].


For more information about the NRC, including meeting agenda, informational memos and past meeting meetings, go to www.michigan.gov/nrc.

New York

Dec Announces Plans to Modify Baitfish Transport Regs

Revised Rules Will Address Overland Transport Restrictions

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Acting Commissioner Joe Martens today announced that DEC will propose revisions to the current rule restricting overland transport of uncertified baitfish.


“I appreciate the helpful criticism of the Department’s existing baitfish regulations and we are revising the rule accordingly,” said Acting Commissioner Joe Martens. “Fishing is an important part of our outdoor sports economy, and we expect anglers will welcome this change and support our common goal of protecting New York’s world class fisheries.”


DEC is currently developing a proposed revision to the regulations that would allow baitfish to be transported overland within defined “transportation corridors” for use within the same waterbody from which they are collected.  DEC anticipates issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in March to be followed by a 45-day public comment period.


The current baitfish regulations contain prohibitions on the

overland motorized transport of baitfish, including personally

collected baitfish and baitfish collected for commercial sale. The rule was established in 2007 after an outbreak of viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS), a disease that can cause internal bleeding and death in certain fish, in the Great Lakes system and several other waters in 2005 and 2006.  While VHS was the primary concern, other serious fish pathogens were also addressed when the rule was established.


Since the regulation was established, anglers have voiced concern that the overland transport restriction impedes their ability to use personally collected baitfish on the same body of water from which the baitfish are collected. In response to these concerns, DEC solicited public input on several alternatives for revisions to the rule at a number of public meetings and through the submission of written comments during the summer of 2010. These comments will be taken into consideration in the upcoming proposal.


Additional background information: www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/47282.html.


AG Schneiderman sues to protect Public Right to Travel on Adirondack Waterway

State Seeks to Stop Property Owners from Using Intimidation Tactics Preventing People from Navigating Waterway

 ALBANY - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that the state has filed papers in Hamilton County Supreme Court to join in a lawsuit in order to defend the public's right to travel on navigable waters in the Adirondack Park. 


Schneiderman is seeking an order requiring the Hamilton County property owners, known as the "Friends of Thayer Lake, LLC" and the "Brandreth Park Association" to remove the intimidating signs, cameras and steel cables that they have placed across the Adirondack waterways that flow between Lilypad Pond and Shingle Shanty Brook in an effort to prevent kayakers, canoeists, and other boaters from traveling through their property.


"The public has a right to travel and enjoy this beautiful waterway without being stopped or harassed," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "I will not hesitate to defend the public's right to travel on these or other navigable waters.  My office will work closely with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to ensure that the public can once again enjoy this waterway - which connects two state-owned wilderness areas in the Adirondack Park."


In his filing with the court, the Attorney General states that DEC has concluded that the waterway is navigable-in-fact and that the attempts by the Friends of Thayer Lake to deny public travel along this state waterway are illegal and constitute a public nuisance.  Under the law, a navigable waterway may be used as a public highway for travel, regardless of whether it flows over publicly or privately owned land.    


"For too long, paddlers have been hindered by unlawful navigation rules along Shingle Shanty Brook, compromising both the enjoyment and safety of one of the Adirondack’s most appealing wilderness destinations," said Charles C. Morrison, Project Director for the Adirondack Committee of the Sierra

Club Atlantic Chapter. “We applaud Attorney General Schneiderman’s commitment to defending the public right of navigation by removing these unlawful travel blockades to New York’s waterways.”


"New York's lakes, rivers and streams are integral parts of our natural heritage. To the greatest extent possible, they should be open and accessible to everyone," said Marcia Bystryn, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters. "We applaud Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for intervening in this important case, and we look forward to having legal clarification that affirms the public's right to travel - without blockage or harassment - on navigable waters that are held in the public trust throughout the state."


The lawsuit in which Schneiderman has moved to intervene, Friends of Thayer Lake, LLC. v. Brown, was brought in Hamilton County Supreme Court after Phil Brown paddled the route between Little Tupper Lake  and Lake Lila, both located in the state-owned "William C. Whitney Wilderness Area," in May 2009. 


Brown traveled along lakes, streams and ponds on State land as well as across a corner of the property owned by the Friends of Thayer Lake and in which Brandreth Park Association has an interest.  In November 2010, the Friends of Thayer Lake filed a complaint against Brown for trespassing in state Supreme Court (Hamilton County). In February 2011, the Friends of Thayer Lake amended their complaint by requesting that the court make a determination on their assertion that they own the sole recreational rights to the waters that traverse their property. 


The case was referred to the Attorney General by the New York State DEC, and staff from both offices worked cooperatively to file the motion to intervene and counterclaim on behalf of the people of the State. The case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Kevin P. Donovan of the Environmental Protection Bureau under the supervision of Lisa M. Burianek, Deputy Bureau Chief of the Environmental Protection Bureau. Also assisting in the case was Kenneth Hamm, Associate Attorney, DEC Office of General Counsel.


Spring Trout Releases provide Fishing opportunities around State
Releases start March 11 and continue through mid-May

COLUMBUS, OH - Public fishing opportunities will be enhanced this spring when more than 80,700 rainbow trout, each measuring 10 to 13 inches long, are released into 48 Ohio lakes and ponds, according to the Ohio DNR. The releases will take place between mid-March and mid-May; anglers are reminded that the daily catch limit for inland lakes is five trout.


Some locations will feature special, youth-only angler events on the day of the scheduled releases. Anglers age 16 and older must have an Ohio fishing license to fish the state's public waters. Once the youth-only events have concluded, all other anglers may fish.


The 2011-2012 fishing license can be purchased now and is


required on March 1. An annual resident fishing license costs $19 and is valid through February 29, 2012. A one-day fishing license is available and may be purchased for $11 by residents or non-residents. The one-day license may also be redeemed for credit towards purchase of an annual fishing license.


Ohio residents born on or before December 31, 1937 may obtain a free fishing license where licenses are sold. Persons age 66 and older who were born on or after January 1, 1938, and have resided in Ohio for the past six months, are eligible to purchase the reduced cost resident senior license for $10.


Additional information about spring trout releases is available by calling toll-free 1-800-WILDLIFE. Information is also available from Division of Wildlife district offices in Akron, Athens, Columbus, Findlay, and Xenia.

Ohio Making Repairs at 14 Boat Ramp Sites

COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio DNR, Division of Watercraft will provide $168,157 for urgent boat launch facility repairs and maintenance at 14 sites statewide this spring.  Funding is provided through the Waterways Safety Fund, which consists of monies paid by boaters for watercraft registration and titling fees, federal grants and a small share of the state motor fuel tax (0.875 %).

A total of 14 repair projects, each ranging in cost from $4,136 to $20,000 will be completed by June 1, including 11 facilities located in Ohio's state parks. A list of the approved projects is available online at http://ohiodnr.com/watercraft/grants/tabid/2721/default.aspx

For more info: www.ohiodnr.com/watercraft


Man Pleads Guilty to Poaching $24,000 Trophy Buck
Largest restitution for a poached deer ever imposed in Ohio
BELLEFONTAINE, OH – A Logan County man pled guilty to three wildlife violations stemming from the illegal taking of a trophy white-tailed deer in the Bellefontaine Municipal Court on Monday, January 3.  As a result, he will be required to pay $23,816.59 in restitution, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. 
James C. Alspaugh, 39, of West Mansfield pled guilty to three charges including hunting by the aid of a motor vehicle, shooting from a roadway, and hunting without permission.  The Honorable Judge John Ross presided over the case and ordered Alspaugh to pay $400 in fines, an additional $151.50 in court costs, and to forfeit the deer.  Alspaugh was ordered to spend 48 hours in the Logan County Jail. 


In addition, Alspaugh will lose his hunting privileges for two years.  He will be entered into the Wildlife Violator’s Compact

and most likely will lose hunting rights in 36 other states. The Division of Wildlife is also imposing restitution for the deer in the amount of $23,816.95.  This is in accordance with Ohio's revised restitution law for illegal taking of white-tailed deer.  The law went into effect March 2008 and allows the DNR to seek an increased recovery value on all illegally harvested wildlife.  The non-typical trophy deer, scored according to Boone & Crockett (B&C) guidelines, netted an impressive 218 7/8.  


A concerned citizen contacted Ohio wildlife officers Adam Smith and Jeff Tipton about the questionable shooting of the trophy deer in December 2010.  Officers were able to recover the deer and determine that it was unlawfully taken.  


The Division of Wildlife is encouraging citizens to report any illegal activity they observe by contacting the TIP line.  Tips may be phoned anonymously to 1-800-POACHER.


Ohio’s New Fishing, Hunting and Trapping License on sale now
Buy your licenses and permits early to avoid lines

COLUMBUS, OH– Ohio’s 2011-12 fishing, hunting and trapping licenses and permits are on sale now, according to the Ohio DNR.


For all regional fishing and/or hunting licenses and regulations, go to: www.great-lakes.org/licenses.html


“Some agents have decided not to continue to sell licenses and others have decided to join as authorized license sales agents. Don’t assume the place where you bought your license last year is still selling them.” said Vicki Mountz, acting chief of the Division of Wildlife. “Visit wildohio.com to check the list of current license agents or purchase your license online.”


Licenses purchased online or at retail outlets will be printed on 8-1/2 x 11 paper that can be folded down to credit card size. Licenses and permits will appear on the left hand side of the document and the remaining column space will be printed with information relevant to the license or permit purchased. License paper will not be waterproof and must be protected.


Each license buyer must have a Social Security Number (SSN) recorded in the system. Sportsmen and women who have purchased licenses in the past and who provided an

Ohio driver’s license will most likely be unaffected. Youth hunters and those hunters that have never had a driver’s license swiped during the license buying process must provide their SSN the first time they purchase a license in the new licensing system.


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


The new Web-based license and game check system incorporates better management and integration of license sales information, hunter education, controlled hunt allocations, arrest report tracking, and automated game check processes—all in real time.


Licenses and permits can be purchase online at wildohio.com and at hundreds of agent outlets throughout the state. The license will be valid March 1, 2011through February 29, 2012. The 2010-11 licenses expired February 28, 2011. A complete list of participating license sales agents can be found at wildohio.com


Public hearings for commercial trap net changes March 14 & 16

MADISON - Proposed changes to rules governing when and where commercial fishers can set trap nets in southern Lake Michigan, and how such nets should be marked in that water as well as in Lake Superior, are the topic of public hearings in mid-March in Sheboygan and Bayfield.


The proposed changes respond to two related citizen petitions filed last summer after the fishing gear of a recreational fishing boat became entangled in a commercial trap net marker buoy line in Lake Michigan near Sheboygan, says Mike Staggs, fisheries director for the Department of Natural Resources.


The boat capsized and one of the fishermen subsequently died of a heart attack. This incident raised awareness of a long-standing controversy regarding where and when commercial trap nets should be allowed in southern Lake Michigan.

Currently commercial trap nets are prohibited from June 29 through Labor Day, except in two designated areas.


To address the petitions, the rules would:

  • Add the month of June to the summer period when no more than three trap nets may be used south of 44º52’30” by each licensed commercial fisher in Lake Michigan.

  • Change the times and locations when and where commercial trap nets may be used during the summer. Commercial trap nets would be allowed in

areas within 5 nautical miles north and south of harbors at Two Rivers, Manitowoc, or Sheboygan only from Labor Day to May 31.

  • Revise net-marking requirements for Lake Michigan by requiring that staffs be marked with reflective tape and that the staff marking the inside or shallow lead end of the net be marked with a flashing light and a 48-inch diameter float.

  • The proposal would also affect commercial fishers on Lake Superior. It would establish net-marking requirements for Lake Superior that are identical to the net-marking requirements used on Lake Michigan: an amber light and a 48-inch diameter float.


The proposed rules and fiscal estimates may be reviewed and comments electronically submitted through the Wisconsin Administrative Rules website or may be obtained from Bill Horns, DNR Fisheries Management, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921or email: [[email protected]].


Written comments on the proposed rule may be submitted via email or U.S. mail to William Horns at the above address. For more information contact Bill Horns at (608) 266-8782.

The hearings will be held:

  • March 14, Sheboygan - 5 p.m., University Theatre, University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan, 1 University Dr.

  • March 16, Bayfield – 5 p.m., Bayfield Lakeside Pavilion, 2 East Front St.


Dozens of trout meetings set for late March, April

Sessions seek feedback from trout anglers

MADISON -- Trout anglers can attend one of more than 30 meetings across the state in late March and early April to give feedback on inland trout fishing now and express their hopes for the future.


The public meetings, part of Wisconsin's review of inland trout fishing, come as recent studies are showing increased brook and brown trout populations, more trout streams, and changes in angler attitudes and habits.


“As secretary I hope all people will take full advantage of this opportunity to help the department better manage this critical resource,” says Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp. “I am very interested in seeking your ideas on DNR program improvements that matter to the citizens of Wisconsin. We can't do this without your help.”


Twenty years ago when the Department of Natural Resources switched to its current category system of regulation, fisheries officials said the department would review the trout regulations every 5 to 10 years. Those were internal reviews, and they led to some changes, like eliminating one of the original five categories of regulation established in 1990.


"Trout fishing in Wisconsin has changed a lot in recent times and we want to hear from anglers if they've changed their trout fishing habits, preferences and hopes for the future," says Scot Stewart, the southern Wisconsin fisheries supervisor who is helping lead the effort.

"This time around, our trout team was putting together some ideas for possible changes for our 2010 review when we decided we needed to take a step back," says Marty Engel, a veteran fisheries biologist for Dunn, Pepin, Pierce and St. Croix counties.


"We realize that the trout world has changed significantly since

we moved to the category system and last asked anglers what they wanted from their trout fishery," he says. "We think it's crucial to understand more about those changes before we go any further with our review."


Participants at the meetings will have a chance to tell DNR fish biologists what they like about trout fishing now, and what they think could be improved. Participants will also be asked to fill out a survey to give more specific feedback on everything from where and how often they fish, how often they harvest fish, what size, and what streams they consider good.


DNR biologists also will present information about a recent statewide analysis of trout populations, and other important trends.

Feedback and survey answers will be used to help fine tune a statewide mail survey of randomly selected trout anglers scheduled for fall.

"Our trout team also will be reviewing the feedback, along with the mail survey results, as part of Wisconsin’s trout review. We’ll bring the results back out to you next year at this time, and then ask you to help us set management goals."


The survey given at the meeting also will be available for anglers to take online. The interactive survey will start early this month and run through the end of the early trout season.


The good news, Engel says, is Wisconsin is starting from a very strong foundation. DNR staff past and present, conservation club members, and individual anglers have worked hard to improve fishing in Wisconsin. "We want your help to make it even better."


A full listing of meetings and other information are found on the DNR's Trout Fishing Review web pages. Anglers can sign up to receive e-mail notices or mobile alerts when new information is added to this page.

2011 Winnebago sturgeon spearing season

OSHKOSH -- A record number of fish weighing more than 100 pounds, a full 16-day season, and difficult travel conditions were the stories during the 2011 Winnebago System sturgeon spearing season that wrapped up Feb. 27. Spearers harvested 1,426 fish, close to the average of 1,405 since the harvest cap started in 1999, but the fish were bigger than they've been since the 1950s.


"This year, 6.6 percent of the fish harvested were over 100 pounds, compared to less than 1 percent 20 years ago," says Ron Bruch, the DNR fisheries supervisor in Oshkosh. Bruch says the big fish -- 94 in all -- are reflective of a shift in the population to include more, older and larger fish. "It appears that the strategies we began putting in place in the early 1990s to increase the number of older females in the population are working -- and the male sturgeon are benefitting from this as well," he says.


DNR and the Lake Winnebago Citizen Sturgeon Advisory Committee recommended a series of changes in the 1990s -- 22 in all -- to ease harvest pressure on vulnerable adult female fish and stabilize the fishery. Female lake sturgeon, which can live more than 100 years, don't start spawning until they are 20 to 34 years old, and then spawn only once every three to five years.


Those measures appear to have done their job well. Their implementation began to have an impact on the sturgeon harvest just as the size and age structure of the Winnebago sturgeon population was coming back from excessive legal and illegal overharvest during the 1930s to 1950s, Bruch says.


A third factor was at work as well: a big forage base. "Sturgeon weight can go up and down like a yo-yo," Bruch says. "In the mid-2000s, poor food resources kept weight down. Now food

resources are abundant, and the fish ballooned up. Abundant gizzard shad populations are floating this whole thing."

Full 16-day season the fourth to run that long

While the Upriver Lakes season closed Feb. 24, the Lake Winnebago season ran the full 16 days allowed by law, the fourth time since the harvest cap system was put in place.


The length of the season helped push up the harvest after an opening weekend when spearers were slowed by travel problems. Heavy snow and drifting before opening day made moving around on the lake difficult for the record 12,423 people who had purchased spearing licenses. Warm weather, snow melt, and deteriorating travel conditions on the ice the first week of season forced a majority of spearers to pull their shacks off the lakes, dropping the shanty count by the second Saturday of the season 59 percent on Lake Winnebago and 81 percent on the Upriver Lakes.


"A lot of spearers got off the lake and never got back, so for some of them, it may have been a disappointing season," Bruch says. "But for the diehards and the people who were able to get back out there -- these people are saying it was a fantastic season." The overall success rate was 9 percent for Lake Winnebago, below the average of 13 percent for that waterbody. Success rate on the Upriver Lakes was better, as it usually is, at 66 percent.


"With the travel problems, the success rate wasn't what it's been in past years, but even so I think there are a lot of happy people, and the source of that happiness is not only knowing they can go sturgeon spearing and have the fun they do with their families and spearing buddies, but because the program we have here was built with the public," Bruch says. "They own this. This is something they take great pride in."

Ontario Canada

$50,000 Fine for Importing Live Asian Carp into Canada

Southern U.S. interests selling live carp in violation of Lacy Act

A Markham, ON man has been fined $50,000 for possessing and transporting live invasive fish – the largest fine for an Asian carp conviction in Ontario.


Feng Yang, the owner of a fish importing company, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing live invasive fish. He was fined $50,000, forfeited over 4,000 lbs of seized bighead and grass carp and received a three-year probation order that prohibits him from possessing any invasive species.  This is Yang’s second conviction.   In 2006, he was fined $40,000 for possessing the same invasive species.


The court heard that, on November 4, 2010, a joint forces operation between the Ministry of Natural Resources and Canada Border Services Agency resulted in the seizure after officers from both agencies inspected incoming shipments of live and fresh fish. An inspection of Yang’s vehicle found live bighead and grass carp in the tanks on the truck.


The fish had been transported from the southern U.S., allegedly on their way to the Asian community in the Greater Toronto area. There is a long tradition of carp in Chinese culture and culinary tastes, and a booming demand in Toronto. Asians like to buy their fish alive. Their culture places some value on buying two fish - eating one and releasing the other alive to bring good luck.  


"We have a very weak system in the U.S. when it comes to importation and movement of species that could be harmful to ecosystems and the economy," said Marc Gaden, spokesman for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. The debate over how to protect the Great Lakes has focused on Chicago-area

waterways infested with bighead and silver carp that have migrated up the Mississippi River and its tributaries since escaping from Deep South fish farms in the early 1970s.


Also, anglers who dump unused bait fish into waterways might release Asian carp minnows mistaken for other species. Authorities are educating bait shop operators and their customers about the danger.  The Illinois DNR last month announced that a survey of Chicago-area bait stores turned up none of the unwanted carp.


Conservation groups have urged the Feds to strengthen the Lacey Act, a 111-year-old law that prohibits importing potentially dangerous non-native species.  Congress added the bighead carp in December. The silver carp was added in 2007. The grass carp is not listed, but it's among prohibited species in Ontario. The law needs an overhaul because listing species takes too long, Gaden said. The bighead carp was proposed in 2003 but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delayed action because of resistance from Southern aquaculture interests, he said.


It has been illegal to possess live invasive fish including, bighead, grass, black and silver carp in Ontario since 2005 because of the significant threat they pose to the province’s lake systems. As part of the ongoing efforts to protect Ontario’s environment from importing invasive species, the Ministry of Natural Resources will continue to work with the Canada Border Service Agency to monitor compliance with the legislation.


To report a natural resource violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time or contact your ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)

Other Breaking News Items  (Click on title or URL to read full article)

Conservation groups to file suit against Chicago water district

A coalition of conservation groups announced this week they intend to take the Chicago water reclamation district to court to force it to begin treating the Chicago River system more like a river and less like a sewer.


Survey shows once-plentiful fish almost gone from Eastern Ontario

Scientists knew there are fewer eels in Eastern Ontario Rivers now than in the legendary times when a fisherman could haul in 1,000 in a night.  But to find none -not a single eel in six weeks of looking in the Rideau River and part of the Ottawa -was a shock.  These are big, tough fish. They live up to 40 years and can grow more than a metre long. They migrate all the way to the mid-Atlantic, to Bermuda and beyond, to spawn.

Asian carp fight gets boost in Washington
wo Michigan members of Congress say legislation that would force the Army Corps of Engineers to come up with a plan to keep invasive Asian carp out of Lake Michigan in the next year-and-a-half has a good chance of passage, with Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin on board.


Durbin: House Republican cuts to Great Lakes funding would hurt Asian carp prevention efforts
In a meeting with the President's Special Assistant for the Great Lakes, Cam Davis, and Chairman of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee, John Goss, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today vowed to work to protect funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The Continuing Resolution (H.R.1) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, passed by the House of Representatives cuts funding for the Initiative by $250 million – from $475 million to $225 million – which, according to Goss, would delay Asian Carp research efforts and Carp management activities including electrofishing and netting.


Lake trout recovery efforts bolstered
Efforts to reestablish lake trout in Lake Michigan are getting a boost. Agencies that manage the fishery have agreed to increase the number of fish planted in the lake by about 25 percent to 3.5 million fish.


Army Corps to release carp barrier study soon
But no early word on whether electric field keeps smaller fish from migrating into Lake Michigan


Shock waves still felt from fishing boat bombings

Late-night bombs explode charter fishing boats, setting a marina aglow in the light of giant fireballs - a scene straight out of Florida-based crime shows like "Burn Notice" and "CSI: Miami."  Rival boat owner charged in 2009 fire at Kewaunee marina


USEPA awards $6.5 million to NY SUNY to monitor Great Lakes Fish 

The USEPA has awarded Clarkson U $6.5 million to conduct the Great Lakes Fish Monitoring and Surveillance Program (GLFMSP). The EPA awarded this same partnership team $1.75 million in 2006 to provide chemical analysis of Great Lakes fish tissue. The funding is part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.



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