Week of March 13, 2006

National

Regional

General

Illinois

Indiana

Michigan

Minnesota

New York

Ohio

Pennsylvania

Wisconsin

       Weekly News Archives

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National

Institute critical of calls to ban foreign ships

Claims invasive species not shipping industry problem

Legislation proposed by several Great Lakes states including Wisconsin to fight the spread of invasive species is not realistic. That's the opinion of the new Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute at UW-Superior.

 

The Institute claims such laws won't allow ocean-going ships with ballast water that aren't free of invasive species to sail on the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute has almost $3-million in federal money, charging the Institute to come up with alternatives that will ease the invasion of foreign organisms plaguing the Great Lakes.

 

Co-Director Richard Stewart says the solution is not for states to ban international shipping. "Because interstate and international transportation is a regulation of the federal government, not state entities. But that will be decided in the

courts as it has been decided before." Universities of Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin have a hand in this Institute's research. Stewart says already they're looking at ships that do not hold ballast water. "Using a flow-through ballast system. The Europeans who are much more advanced in shipbuilding, especially in the area of green shipbuilding than we are as a nation, have devised a treatable ballast system, very green ships. These are already being built and used in the Baltic and other regions."

 

Stewart says preventing invasive species such as zebra mussels and sea lamprey is everybody's problem and not one left to the shipping industry. "The option of not having a transportation network because of invasive species is not a viable option. So we have to address it." This collaboration gives the Research Institute three years to come up with some alternatives to make shipping less invasive to the Great Lakes.


CG notice on recall of Strike First Fire Extinguishers

Recently the U.S. Coast Guard has become aware of a recall notice for some U.S. Coast Guard approved fire

extinguishers made by the Strike First Corporation of America.

 

Strike First has determined that the valve stem seats in a number of its 2.5 and 5 lb dry chemical fire extinguishers assembled between December 2002 and February 2004 may prevent the extinguisher from discharging properly when the lever is activated. As a result of this condition, Strike First has initiated a fire extinguisher retro-fit program for these units.

Retro-fit kits are available free of charge by contacting your Strike First distributor, or by contacting Strike First directly.

 

The Coast Guard recommends that vessel operators verify the manufacturer of their fire extinguishers, and if applicable, take the action recommended by the manufacturer. For details visit: www.strikefirstusa.com/serv_bull_002.htm  

Questions or comments regarding this safety alert may be addressed to Mr. Klaus Wahle of the U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters Life Saving and Fire Safety Standards Division at 202.267.0256 or kwahle@comdt.uscg.mil


Regional

Annual Lake Committee Meetings scheduled for March 20-24

All 5 lake meetings to be held in Windsor, ON

The annual Lake Committee Meetings of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission will be held in the same location for a change. The Eight Great Lakes State DNRs and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources have agreed to hold their annual lake committee meeting in Windsor, ONT on March 20-24 at the Cleary International Centre, 201 Riverside Dr West, Windsor, Ontario N9A 5K4.

 

Riverside Dr West is along the river, and the Centre is located between Church and Ferry Sts, about 2 blocks south of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.  http://www.thecleary.com/  

Meeting Schedule:


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for March 10, 2006

Lake Level Conditions: 

All of the Great Lakes are 3 to 8 inches below the levels of a year ago.  Lake Superior is below chart datum and is expected to be at the same level a month from now.  Lake Michigan-Huron is below chart datum and should rise 4 inches within the next 30 days .  Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie are expected to rise 4 inches over the next month and Lake Ontario is expected to rise two inches over the next month.  Due to a warmer than average January and February some of the Great Lakes seem to have begun their seasonal rise earlier than normal, but levels over the next few months on all the Great Lakes are expected to remain lower than 2005. 

 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

The Lake Superior outflow through the St. Marys River into Lake Huron is projected to be near average during the month of March.  Flows in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are anticipated to be below average and about average during March respectively.  The Niagara River and St. Lawrence River flows are expected to be above average in March.

 

Alerts:

Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by  changing water levels.  Mariners should utilize navigation

charts and refer to current water level readings.  Ice information can be found at the National Ice Center web page.

 

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels Data Summary

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Water levels for Mar 10 in ft

600.8

577.2

573.4

571.3

245.4

Chart datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff from chart datum, in inches

-4

-4

+14

+25

+25

Diff from last month, in inches

-2

0

-2

+1

-3

Diff from last year in inches

-4

-7

-8

-7

-3


Great Lakes Boating Fact Sheet

►  Approximately 49 % of all registered powerboats in the U.S. are in the eight Great Lakes states.

 

►  The Great Lakes (Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior) and their related bodies of water (i.e. Lake St. Clair) comprise the largest system of fresh water on earth.

 

►  The total surface area of the Great Lakes is 94,000 sq miles and their combined shorelines measure 10,900 linear miles.

 

►  Lake Superior is the largest of the five Great Lakes. Its 3,000 cubic miles of water could fill the other Great Lakes and three additional Lake Erie equivalents.

 

►  While Minnesota is known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” Michigan is the official “Great Lakes State” with its borders touching upon all the Great Lakes except Lake Ontario.

 

►  Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake to lie completely within the boundaries of the United States. The other four Great Lakes share an international border with Canada.

►  While the Western Basin of Lake Erie is noted for its Bass Islands and other islands, the Great Lakes actually are home to approximately 35,000 islands, the largest of which is Manitoulin Island, located adjacent to the North Channel of Lake Huron.

 

►  The Marblehead Lighthouse in Ottawa County (Ohio) is the oldest continually operating lighthouse on the Great Lakes.

 

►  Lake Erie is the eleventh largest freshwater lake in the world and fourth largest among the five Great Lakes. Its average depth is 62 feet and its greatest measured depth is 210 feet. The lake stretches for 241 miles between Detroit and Buffalo. Lake Erie is the warmest of the Great Lakes and supports one of the best freshwater sport fisheries in the world.

 

►  Lake Erie actually derives its name from the Erie Indians who inhabited the region centuries ago. To early French explorers, Lake Erie was known as “Lake of the Cat,”or Lac du Chat.

 


General

Auctions Highlight NRA Annual Meetings in Milwaukee May 19-21

(Fairfax, VA) -- Three major auctions offering an unprecedented mix of guided hunts, quality firearms, fishing trips and other items will be held at NRA's 135th Annual Meetings, May 19-21 in Milwaukee, Wis.

 

The NRA Foundation National Banquet and Auction will be held Thursday evening, May 18, at the Midwest Airlines Center. Tickets are $60 per person and tables of 10 are available for $600. A ticket to the event includes a four-star, three-course dinner, unlimited non-alcoholic drinks, over 100 silent auction items, over 40 live auction items, fun games, special drawings, and guest speakers including NRA leaders.

 

Some of the items available to attendees include:

Springfield 1911, PX9152 Black Stainless, .45 ACP, 5-inch barrel

Four-day whitetail deer hunt

Winchester Model 94 Trapper .30-30 Golden Stallion Ltd. Ed. 201/3000

Spiral Horn Hunt of the Eastern Cape and Free State Provinces of South Africa

Bushmaster Stainless Varmint Special

Vanguard Synthetic .300 WBY, 24-inch barrel

Seven-day hunt at Bergzicht Game Lodge (Namibia)

Custom Remington 700 Rifle

One thousand tickets are available, however last year tickets sold out. Interested attendees are encouraged to pre-purchase tickets.

 

Friday, May 19, visitors can attend the 2nd Annual Sportsmen's Luncheon and Auction. Sponsored by the Brunton Company of

Riverton, Wyo., the event begins at 11:00 a.m. at the Midwest Airlines Center with a social hour hosted by NRA's Free Hunters and Shooting Sports USA magazines. Tickets are $35 per person and include raffles, a three-course lunch, a silent auction and a live auction. A few examples of the enticing items up for bid:

 

B. Searcy & Company 470 N.E. Classic Rifle

Sabre Defense Xr15a3 Bench Rest Target Deluxe Rifle

High Standard Camp Perry Competition .45 ACP With Engraving

Two-Day Michigan Coyote Hunt for Two Hunters

One-Year, 40-Bird Corporate Membership, Wern Valley (Wis.) Sportsmen's Club

Century Arms Model GP 1975 Rifle

North Carolina Offshore Fishing Trip for Six

Three-Day Deer Hunt in Wyoming

 

To purchase tickets for any of the events, or for more information, call (800) 672-3888 x1369, or log onto www.nraam.org .

 

All proceeds from the auctions are to directly benefit the NRA Foundation in supporting its mission: "To promote firearms and hunting safety, to enhance marksmanship skills of those participating in the shooting sports, and to educate the general public about firearms in their historic, technological and artistic context. Funds granted by the NRA Foundation benefit a variety of constituencies throughout the United States including children, youth, women, individuals with physical disabilities, gun collectors, law enforcement officers and hunters." Visit www.nrafoundation.org to learn more.


Bowhunters oppose crossbow hunting

North American Bowhunting Coalition Formed t prevent legalizing crossbow hunting

Chatfield, MN - A meeting of the state and provincial-level bowhunting organizations was held at the Pope and Young Club's headquarters in Chatfield, Minnesota late last summer allegedly to further address important bowhunting issues that were identified at the National Bowhunting Summit held in Springfield, Missouri.

 

As the result of the National Bowhunting Summit meetings, its was clear the organized bowhunting community is strongly opposed to the growing trend by game agencies of permitting crossbows to be used in bow seasons.  A position statement on the crossbow issue was developed and was signed on to by 72 bowhunting organizations and bowhunting related businesses.  The position taken is that "crossbows are not bows and therefore should not be permitted in bow seasons or in archery-only hunting areas."

 

The attending organizational reps of the National Bowhunting Summit group established the North American Bowhunting Coalition (NABC).   Denny Ballard, of Missouri, chairman of the coalition's steering committee, and NABC's new chairman says "Our coalition organizations are the bulwark of bowhunting," Ballard said.  "They have opened the entry gate for thousands of new archers to enter our sport throughout decades of service to their local communities and have been

reliable partners of our state game agencies as well.  We know bowhunting and have earned our place at the table.  Crossbow hunting has not."

 

The crossbow has appeal to young and old hunters and women who don't have the strength to draw a compound bow.  It offers physically challenged sportsmen the same opportunity to hunt that is offered to the more physically enamored sportsmen who are capable of pulling a 150 lb. compound bow comprised of wheels and pulleys.

 

It should make all bowhunters proud of the fact that they are the only sportsman/conservation organization fighting other sportsmen/women.  All other groups are working to bring hunters together and promote and protect the future of the grand sport of hunting.  What group do they take on next ... gun hunters? 

 

NABC chairman Denny Ballard can be contacted at twangdrb@earthlink.net

 

Contact Info:

Pope and Young Club

273 Mill Creek Road

PO Box 548

Chatfield, MN 55923

(507) 867-4144

pyclub@isl.net


 

Illinois

Youth Turkey Drawing March 17

A drawing for site permits for the Youth Turkey Season at Sam Parr State Fish and Wildlife Area, Crawford County Conservation Area and Meeker State Habitat Area will be held on Mar. 17 at 2 p.m. at the Sam Parr site office, Newton. 

Interested youth hunters can apply by calling the Sam Parr office at 618/783-2661 or sending a post card with their name, address and phone number to Sam Parr SFWA, 13225 East State Highway 33, Newton, IL 62448.   The Youth Turkey Season in the south zone is Mar. 25-26.


DNR introduces new automated licensing system

State wide rollout of DNR Direct to be complete by April

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is simplifying the application process for state hunting and fishing licenses through DNR Direct; the Department's new automated license, permit and registration system.

 

DNR Direct is a state of the art, convenient and efficient way of providing required fishing and hunting licenses and other IDNR permits and registrations to those enjoying outdoor recreation opportunities in Illinois.

 

"This new system will greatly improve the speed at which we process hunting and fishing licenses, eliminating much of the waiting time people experienced in the past," said Acting IDNR Director Sam Flood.  "DNR Direct will also allow the Department to keep better track of who possesses those licenses here in Illinois." 

 

Illinois now joins 12 other states including Missouri, Iowa, and Wisconsin which have similar automated licensing systems created by Central Technology Services, based in Jefferson City, Missouri.  Development of DNR Direct has been on going for the last year with the system being tested by 20 pilot vendors over during the last two months.

 

"We are working everyday to get more vendors online to serve as many people as possible in their own communities," said Chris Hill, IDNR Systems and Licensing Manager.  "The pilot phase has gone very smoothly and the system itself has been well received across the state."  More than 200 vendors are currently on line using the DNR Direct system, which is being provided by the IDNR at no additional cost to consumers or vendors.  By April 2006, the DNR Direct system should be in place with all participating vendors statewide.

 

Those interested in purchasing fishing, hunting or sportsmen's licenses for the 2006 season, which begins April 1, have a number of purchase options:

 

►  Online through the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us .  Just click on the "DNR Direct Online License Sales" or "Online Licenses for Hunting and Fishing" links on the home page.  Licenses are available for purchase 24 hours a day using a credit card (American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa).  Anglers and hunters can print out their license and be ready to go.

 

►  From participating DNR Direct license and permit vendors, including hundreds of sporting goods stores, bait and tackle  

shops, convenience stores and other retail locations.

Licenses are printed out on point of sale terminals, replacing the hand-written licenses available previously.  (Many participating vendor locations should have licenses available within the next month).

 

►  By telephone through the DNR Direct toll free telephone system at 1-888-6-PERMIT (1-888-673-7648).  Licenses are available for purchase through the toll free phone system 24 hours a day using a credit card and will be mailed to purchasers. 

 

►  Through DNR Direct at the IDNR headquarters on the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield and at IDNR regional offices in Sterling, Alton, Benton and at Clinton Lake. 

 

License fees for 2006 are unchanged from 2005. As in the past, internet license sales are subject to an additional convenience fee.

 

Fishing License Fees:

Resident Annual - $13.00

Senior Resident Annual (65 years old and over) - $ 6.75

Resident Sportsmen's (combined hunting and fishing license) - $19.25

Senior Resident Sportsmen's (combined hunting and fishing license) - $ 10.00

Non-resident Annual - $24.50

Non-resident 10-Day - $13.00

Res. or Non-res. 24 Hour - $ 5.50 (includes trout and salmon fishing privileges)

Lake Michigan Salmon Stamp - $ 6.50 (licensed anglers only)

Inland Trout Stamp - $ 6.50 (all waters except Lake Michigan)

 

Hunting License Fees:

Resident Hunting License - $ 7.50

Resident Senior Hunting License (65 years and over) - $4.00

Resident Trapping License - $10.50

Resident Sportsmen's License (combined hunting and fishing license) - $19.25

Senior Resident Sportsmen's License (combined hunting and fishing) - $10.00

Resident Lifetime Hunting License - $210.00

Resident Lifetime Sportsmen's License (hunting and fishing) - $555.00

State Habitat Stamp - $5.50

State Waterfowl Stamp - $10.50

Non-Resident Hunting License - $50.75

Non-Resident 5-Day Hunting License - $28.75

Non-Resident Trapping License - $250.50


Sangchris Boat Access reopens

The East Harbor Boat Access at Sangchris Lake State Park in central Illinois has reopened for use by anglers and other Sangchris Lake boaters.  

 

The rehabilitation project at the East Harbor access included removal of approximately four feet of sediment and clay, installation of new boat ramps, and a new fish cleaning station.  Installation of new docks and construction of a new vault toilet facility, along with sidewalks, benches, security

lighting and a yard hydrant, should be completed this spring.  While the boat ramp reopened effective Mar. 3, site visitors should use caution at the boat access while remaining construction activity continues. 

 

The $300,000 project is funded through state and federal boat access programs supported by boat fuel and excise taxes and registration fees paid by boaters.  For more information, contact the Sangchris Lake site office at 217/498-9208.


Urban Fishing Program

Coordinators for the IDNR statewide Urban Fishing Program will visit schools and conduct programs aimed at getting kids interested in fishing and spending time outdoors, while promoting environmental stewardship.

 

One part of the program involves actually taking kids fishing during May and September, if a nearby lake is accessible. Teachers may continue the program on their own after the   

initial session, with the assistance of IDNR personnel.  The urban fishing program is appropriate for any grade level.

 

Contact numbers are:

Chicago - 847-294-4137

Chicago Suburbs - 847-294-4137

Northwest Illinois - 815-625-2968

Central Illinois - 217-782-6424

Southern Illinois - 618-462-1181


Forest Preserve Trout Stocking

Trout season will open at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County one hour after sunrise on Saturday, April 1. The District will stock three forest preserve lakes with rainbow trout to create better fishing opportunities and maintain a healthy population of this popular game fish.

 

Silver Lake at Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville will be stocked with about 4,200 fish, Deep Quarry Lake at West Branch Forest Preserve in Bartlett with about 2,000 fish and Grove Lake at Wood Dale Grove Forest Preserve in Wood Dale with about 300 fish. To allow the trout to acclimate to their new environments, the three lakes will be closed to all fishing from Wednesday, March 15 through Friday, March 31.

 

Anglers ages 16 and older are required to have a valid Illinois fishing license and inland trout stamp in their possession. While the Forest Preserve District encourages catch-and-

release fishing, the creel limit is five trout per day.

 

The District, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, stocks trout as part of its fisheries management program. The presence of this species in a freshwater lake provides more than just sporting opportunities. According to Don LaBrose, the Forest Preserve District’s fisheries biologist, “Trout are very sensitive to any pollutants in the water. When they are doing well, it is a good indication that the water quality is good, too.”

 

To enhance the DuPage angling experience, the District produces a free guide “Fishing in DuPage County.” This publication offers more information about fishing locations and regulations. To obtain a copy, call the District’s visitor services office weekdays at (630) 933-7248.

For more info call (630) 933-7200, www.dupageforest.com .


Indiana

DNR offering incentives to restore pheasant and quail habitat

In the early 1960s and '70s, pheasant and bobwhite quail were abundant in Indiana. With nearly 4 million acres of Hoosier farmland set-aside in U.S. Department of Agriculture land retirement programs, these idle fields provided undisturbed nesting and brood-rearing habitat for pheasant and quail alike.

 

Today, only slightly more than 250,000 acres of cropland are being idled in USDA programs across the state. As a result, Indiana has lost more than 93 percent of its idle nesting and brood-rearing cover.

 

The loss of idled farmland acres, changes in farming practices, and the wide spread use of tall fescue have led to significant declines in pheasant, bobwhite quail, and grassland songbird populations.

 

To help address population declines the DNR has developed habitat priority areas to focus efforts in developing, enhancing, and maintaining habitat for pheasants and quail. Landowners within selected habitat priority counties and townships will be eligible to apply for a one-time signing incentive for enrollment

in the USDA's CRP-CP33, Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds.

 

The signing incentive can be up to 120 percent of the average soil rental rate and is in addition to any signing incentive payments provided by USDA.

 

Interested landowners can take advantage of this limited time offer by calling the appropriate priority area biologist to discuss habitat management on their property. The biologist will prepare a management plan for each acceptable parcel and determine the total amount of incentive payments the landowner may be eligible to receive.

 

To be eligible for the incentive payments, a priority area biologist must approve the habitat practice or practice enrollment prior to implementation. Payments will be made after the work has been completed and inspected by the priority area biologist or their designated representative.

 

A detailed map of pheasant priority areas is available on the World Wide Web at: www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/hunt/phhabitat.pdf and a detailed map of quail priority areas can be found at: www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/hunt/quailhab.pdf


Michigan

Wolf Lake Hatchery Visitor Center Offers Workshop on Gardening for the Environment

A free workshop on gardening practices and how they can impact the environment will be hosted at the Department of Natural Resources' Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery Visitor Center on Wednesday, March 15. The visitor center is located at 34270 County Road 652 in Mattawan. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m.       

 

There will be two one-hour segments to the program. The first, "How Your Backyard Gardening Practices Affect the Environment," will discuss the different ways that people affect the environment and how to incorporate conservation and stewardship methods into your backyard gardening. Participants will learn about how the use of pesticides,

fertilizers and other practices that can impact water quality. Melanie Szewczyk, an AmeriCorps member with the Michigan Groundwater Stewardship Program, will lead the discussion.

 

The second segment, "Inviting Native Plants Into Your Landscape," will discuss how Michigan native plants are wildlife and water-friendly and how incorporating them into your landscape can save and protect water while providing low-maintenance beauty. Presenter Steve Allen, president of Geum Services, Inc., will discuss the native plants that call Southwest Michigan home and offer tips on how you can invite them into your landscape.

 

Pre-registration is not required and refreshments will be served.


Minnesota

Coast Guard to begin icebreaking

Caution urged for recreational ice users

DULUTH - Coast Guard Cutter ALDER will begin icebreaking operations in the Twin Ports of Duluth and Superior on 13 March 2006.  ALDER intends to break and reopen all main shipping channels lakeward of the U.S. 2 Highway Bridge including Duluth & Superior Harbor Basins/Entries, Superior Front Channel, East Gate Basin and St. Louis Bay. The Coast Guard reminds all recreational ice users to plan their activities carefully, use caution on the ice, and stay away from shipping channels.

 

Although primarily a buoy tender, the 225-foot ALDER was

designed as an ice-strengthened vessel, and performs domestic icebreaking support missions as part of its operations.

 

Built to American Bureau of Shipping standards for ice strengthened vessels, the ALDER has heavy reinforcement around the waterline called an icebelt.  The icebelt and its supporting structure are designed for ice loads that can occur in the Great Lakes during operations in up to 24 inches of hard level ice.  During past icebreaking seasons the ALDER has proved to be an effective icebreaker, with some limitations, while keeping Duluth and Superior harbors open to shipping traffic.


New York

Marine Fishing Regulation Changes

Changes Made Following Public Review of Draft Regulations

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Denise M. Sheehan announced revisions to DEC's commercial and recreational marine fishing regulations. The changes incorporate revisions that are needed to meet requirements of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Interstate Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) and to achieve consistency with federal regulations for cooperatively managed fisheries. Several changes to commercial fishing regulations address recommendations of the Marine Resources Advisory Council.

 

The changes include the following:

·       •  Atlantic Cod and Haddock Recreational Fishing Regulations - the minimum size limits for Atlantic cod and haddock are reduced to 22” and 19”, respectively, consistent with federal regulations and those of neighboring states;

·       •  Winter Flounder Recreational Fishing Regulations - the minimum length is increased to 12”, the possession limit decreased to 10 fish, and the open season reduced to April 1 through May 30 each year, all as required by Amendment 1 to the ASMFC Winter Flounder FMP. The season previously ran from the third Saturday in March to June 30 each year and September 15 to November 30 each year;

·       •  Black Sea Bass Recreational Fishing Regulations - the open season is increased to year-round, eliminating the current December 1 through December 31 closure;

·       •  Oyster Toadfish - new recreational and commercial regulations are imposed which include a minimum size limit of 10”, possession limits of 3 fish recreational or 25 fish commercial, and a closed season from May 15 through July 15;

·       • Commercial Trip Limit Definition- the existing trip limit definition was clarified and language added that allows the Department to establish weekly or biweekly trip limits for scup and weekly trip limits for fluke. The trip limit definition outlines how many fish a commercial fisherman is allowed per day. Under the new regulations, the definition is revised to offer an alternative to a daily trip limit (i.e. a weekly or bi-weekly limit instead);

·       •  Marine Party and Charter Boat Observers- all holders of NY Party and Charter Licenses are now required to carry an on-board observer and to report catch and effort information when requested to do so by the DEC or National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Upon notice by DEC, all licensed Party and Charter Boats will be required to submit Fishing Vessel Trip Reports for each for-hire trip. The regulations will allow DEC to maintain better data on the fish taken by party and charter boats;

·  

•      •  Commercial Foodfish License Decal - all holders of a NYCommercial Foodfish License must now display a DEC-issued decal while fishing commercially;

          Sharks - the regulations have been revised to include the Federal Register citation for shark regulations in order to incorporate by reference the National Marine Fisheries Service's latest shark regulations, and to maintain consistency with the federal shark fishing regulations. The federal shark regulations cover open and closed seasons, minimum size limits, catch limits and more for many different species of sharks. Those federal regulations were updated in 2003 and DEC's new regulations ensure that State regulations are consistent with the amended federal regulations;

·       •  Summer Flounder, Bluefish, Black Sea Bass and Spiny Dogfish Commercial Regulations - eliminates duplicate text in the existing summer flounder, bluefish, black sea bass and spiny dogfish commercial regulation, to reflect changes in quota periods, to correct internal text references and to allow flexibility for quota management;

·       •  Winter Flounder Fyke Net Fishery - the registry and independent reporting requirement have been eliminated;

·       •  Winter Flounder and Scup Trawl Mesh Size - the minimum mesh size requirements have been increased for winter flounder (6” diamond and 6.5” square) and scup (5” diamond for 75 meshes forward of the terminus of the cod end, or throughout the net if the net is less than 125 meshes in length) trawls, as required by the ASMFC's FMP's for these species; and

·       •  Striped Bass Otter Trawl By-catch - trip limit increased from 7 to 21.

 

The regulations become effective March 15, 2006. For more info call (631) 444-0436.

 

The proposed regulations were issued in November 2005. The public was encouraged to submit their comments on the regulations. DEC reviewed all comments received and considered them while finalizing the regulations.

The National Marine Fisheries Service's Marine Recreational Fishing Statistics Survey estimated that over a half-million anglers made more than 4.6 million fishing trips in New York's marine waters in 2004. The most popular species in New York marine anglers' catch are striped bass, bluefish, fluke and porgy, with estimated 2004 catches of 1.7 million, 3.2 million, 3.4 million, and 3.9 million fish caught, respectively. A 2001 study by the New York Sea Grant Institute estimated that New York's marine recreational fishing industry annually contributes a total of over $1.3 billion to the State's economy and supports 21,000 jobs.


Ohio

Salt Fork Lake boating/fishing opportunities resume

Lake to again resume normal levels at Ohio’s largest state park

COLUMBUS, OH - The multi-million dollar repair project at Salt Fork Lake dam is nearing completion, and water in the 3,000-acre lake in Guernsey County will be allowed to rise to its normal level in the coming weeks. Recreation at the popular boating and fishing destination will resume as usual now that the dam’s drainage system has been repaired, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

 

Efforts to lower the lake level were initiated in March 2005, and the level was maintained at about 5 feet below normal to facilitate repairs on the dam. The repairs were necessary to replace a malfunctioning drainage system discovered in early 2005 in the quarter-mile-long earthen dam. Construction has now reached a point where normal lake levels will not impact further progress or the safety of the dam.

Salt Fork is Ohio’s largest state park, and its lake is a vital recreational resource for Guernsey County and the entire region,” said ODNR Director Sam Speck. “We’re pleased that repairs to the dam are being completed on schedule, allowing the kind of outstanding recreation for which Salt Fork Lake is known, to resume.”

 

Total cost for the repair project, including construction, consultants, engineering and materials totals $3.2 million. The 17,229-acre Salt Fork State Park records about 1.8 million visitors annually. Salt Fork Lake is open to boats of unlimited horsepower and provides ample fishing opportunities for anglers pursuing largemouth bass, crappies, bluegill, walleye and muskie. Boaters this season can enjoy improvements at both of the park’s marinas, including several replaced docks at Salt Fork Marina and new flotation and decking on the docks at Sugartree Marina.


Pennsylvania

Trout Stocking 2006

The PA Fish & Boat Commission annually stocks streams and lakes in Pennsylvania with trout and warm/coolwater species throughout the year. Commission stocking schedules are made available on their website. Choose a county on the

map (or the links below the map) to view the latest schedules for that county.

 

To access the state map by county:  http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/Fish_Boat/stock.htm


Wisconsin

2006 sturgeon spearing ends after full 16-day season

OSHKOSH, Wis. -- The 2006 sturgeon season on Lake Winnebago closed Sunday, Feb. 26 after running for the full 16-day season, with just 225 sturgeon taken from the lake, well below the harvest caps put in place to protect the unique population.

 

Season totals were 45 juvenile females, 104 adult females, and 76 males. Harvest caps for 2006 were 500 juvenile females, 500 adult females and 2,000 males.

 

“All in all it was a nice season,” said Ron Bruch, DNR sturgeon biologist out of Oshkosh. “The spearers would have liked a little clearer water, but they had a lot of time to get out on the lake, and the season turned out safe in spite of earlier worries about ice conditions. Anglers I talked to agreed it doesn’t hurt for the sturgeon population to have a break now and then.”

 

Cloudy water limited visibility to around 6 feet this year which hampered the ability of sturgeon spearers to see the giant fish down their spearing holes. This cloudy water slowed the daily harvest rate, but providing for a long season.

Last year the sturgeon spearing season closed after 12 days, with, 1,238 were taken from Lake Winnebago and the Upriver lakes. The last time the season ran the full 16 days was in 2002, when water clarity of 7 to 8 feet resulted in a harvest of 847 fish.

 

“The harvest regulations we’ve implemented over the last 15 years seem to be working quite well. Our harvest rates are acceptable and we have been seeing more large, older female sturgeon in the spawning stock the last few years, which was one of our primary objectives,” Bruch said.

 

Extremely high harvests in the early to mid 1990s had a negative impact on the Winnebago sturgeon population. A series of new spearing regulations implemented since then have reduced the harvest providing an opportunity for the population to recover. Bruch plans to work with the Winnebago Citizens Sturgeon Advisory Committee over the next six months to review the results of this season and discuss appropriate harvest caps for 2007. Harvest caps for 2007 will not likely be set until late 2006 after biologists have been able to interpret results of a new study of the age structure of the system’s sturgeon population.


Anglers must ‘keep feet wet’ when fishing along private land

MADISON – Anglers are reminded that they must remain in the stream to remain legal when fishing along private land.

 

Under Wisconsin’s Constitution, streams and rivers belong to the public so anglers can fish on any stream or river running through public or private land. Because the river banks are privately owned, anglers must remain in the water while fishing along private land, according to Mike Lutz, a Department of Natural Resources attorney.

 

Recent headlines about a U.S. Supreme Court decision to refuse to consider a Michigan public access case have prompted some calls from anglers and others, but the court’s decision in the case doesn’t affect public access laws in Wisconsin, Lutz says.

While anglers have access to navigable waters through road “right of ways” and other public crossings, they must keep their feet wet, the DNR says. The only exception to the keep-your-feet-wet rule is that obstructions such as log jams or dams may be portaged over land by the shortest route.

 

An easier approach the DNR says, is to stop and talk to the landowner. “Most just want to know who’s on their land and will rarely deny access.”  It’s also a good opportunity to develop some new relationships.

 

Wisconsin’s laws concerning public access to lakes is the same as for streams: keep your feet wet. While the beds of natural lakes are owned by the state, adjacent landowners have exclusive use of areas left dry when the water is low.

 


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