Week of March 22 , 2004

Club News




2nd Amendment issues



New York




       Weekly News Archives


       New Product  Archives

Club News

Want to promote fishing and boating?  We need your info

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


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


 Sample functions/projects we are looking for include:


Kids' activities


Fund Raisers




Community activities


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


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

For more info:  [email protected]  630-941-1351

OH -  Invitation to join the Ohio Smallmouth Alliance group

TOSA has a powerful communication tool that is keeping anglers and conservation minded citizens in-touch and in-action around the state. The TOSA e-group is a collection of folks who use technology to forge friendships, share ideas, speak out on issues and generally keep in touch with like-minded smallmouth bass fanatics.


Get involved. Get the lowdown from anglers just like you who are making a difference every day. Whether your sport is practiced with a spinning rod, bait caster or fly rod, the Ohio Smallmouth Alliance has a program, event, or outing guaranteed to improve your on-stream skills and help you make Ohio a better place to fish.

As TOSA grows, the importance of technology to communicate with members and friends will become central to success. The e-group doesn't fill your email account with endless spam, its doesn't cost anything to participate, and it is open to all members of The Ohio Smallmouth Alliance or interested parties who want to know what we are up to.


Don't miss another day. If you are not a member of the TOSA e-group, you are missing half the benefits of being a member of TOSA. If your not a member of TOSA, come join us and see what an important difference your contribution can make.


Contact: [email protected]


IL -  Kid's + Fishing = Education March 25-28

Gurnee, Illinois--Members of Walleyes Unlimited, a multi-species fishing club in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, are dedicated to promoting the sport of fishing and providing kids the opportunity to achieve a higher education. That's why they will be manning a Kid's Fishing Pond at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Gurnee Mills Mall in Gurnee, Illinois later this month.


It's just one of the many exciting events occurring during the Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing Classic Thursday through Sunday, March 25th - 28th. Kids are welcome to come in and test their skills casting for trout in the fishing pond, and while doing so, help raise money for future education. The nominal fee charged by Walleyes Unlimited at the Kid's Fishing Pond goes to help fund two college scholarships given out by Walleyes Unlimited. Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World will provide all equipment and bait.


The Spring Fishing Classic event features free seminars by

top fishing pros such as Gary Parsons, Jimmy Houston, Keith Kavajecz, Pete Maina, Ted Takasaki and many more where visitors can learn valuable tips and information on improving technique. Witness how lures make big fish strike during aquarium lure presentations and have all your product questions answered by the experts.


Customers can wander through exciting exhibits from XPS, Shimano, Daiwa, Zebco, Quantum, Berkley and more. Leading fishing and marine manufacturers' representatives will also be available to demonstrate and discuss new gear, techniques and strategies.


Don't miss the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Spring Fishing Classic March 25 - 28 and stop in to see how members of Walleyes Unlimited make Kids + Fishing = Education.


For more details:  Mike Ryglewicz at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World  847-856-1229 or visit web site www.basspro.com


House to hold hearings on invasive species and ballast water management
Two subcommittees of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on Thursday, March 25, will hold a joint hearing on invasive species and ballast water management.  Invasive species cause enormous economic  

and ecosystem damage.


Among the witnesses will be Allegra Cangelosi with the Northeast-Midwest Institute and David Ullrich with the Great Lakes Cities Initiative.  The March 25 hearing begins at 10:00 am in 2167 Rayburn House Office Building.


Killer shrimp heading for Great Lakes

A killer shrimp from Caspian Sea area is heading this way - in ballast water.


A small crustacean that's spreading in Europe and killing off other aquatic species could hitch a ride in ballast water to the Great Lakes and mess with the food chain here.   Called Dikero-gammarus villosus,  scientists have named it the killer shrimp


The shrimp, about ½" up to 1" in size, comes from the area around the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea and has spread west in Europe through canals and the discharge of ballast water from ships. Voracious eaters and slightly larger than other shrimp, they are believed to have caused the decline of some of their native counterparts in Europe.


They can multiply quickly and adapt well to changes in water

temperature, oxygen levels and salinity.   This shrimp could alter the food source for fish in the Great Lakes. If the killer shrimp replaced the invertebrates that fish eat, the fish could have a feast or suffer if they didn't like or couldn't catch the invading crustaceans.


The killer shrimp may have evolved with zebra mussels, which have already invaded the Great Lakes. The shrimp have stripes like zebra mussels and could hide among the mussels.  Scientists are not sure if the shrimp would also eat fish eggs.


Regulations that require the dumping of ballast water from ships before they enter the Lakes is all that's keeping the killer shrimp from making the jump here,  but it's not foolproof.

Courtesy: Windsor Star


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for March 19, 2004

Current Lake Levels: 

Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are 7, 17, 5 and 4 inches, respectively, below their long-term average.  Lake Ontario is 2 inches above its long-term average.  All of the Great Lakes are currently above last year’s levels. Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are 2, 7, 6, 7 and 17 inches above last year’s levels, respectively.

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions: 

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


Temperature/Precipitation Outlook: 

A storm system will bring rain and snow showers into the

Great Lakes basin this weekend.  Temperatures will drop sharply once the system passes through and remain below average through next week.  A new storm system is forecasted to bring more rain to the region by the middle of next week.


Forecasted Water Levels: 

All of the Great Lakes are into their normal seasonal rise.  Levels are expected to increase 2 inches on Lakes Superior and St. Clair and 4-5 inches on Lakes Michigan-Huron, Erie, and Ontario over the next month.  Short term fluctuations on Lake St. Clair could persist while ice remains in the system.



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.


Berkley® Fishing Lines Break 78 New World Records in 2003

SPIRIT LAKE, IOWA - Anglers around the globe used Berkley fishing line to set 78 new fishing World Records in 2003. Following the stringent guidelines and rules of the International Game Fish Association, these anglers recorded the biggest catches for both freshwater and saltwater species giving Berkley a 151 place finish among other fishing lines in the world in the freshwater category.


The World Record fish and waters where taken were from all areas of the globe. Included in the 78 new species World Records set with Berkley fishing lines are everything from a 4.8 lb black crappie caught in Nebraska to a 839.15 lb tiger shark caught near Australia on 16 lb test line... a true test of angling skill and fishing line performance.


Clay Norris, Berkley Fishing Line Category Manager stated, "We are very excited about placing 151 amongst other fishing line manufactures in the IGFA freshwater division. Our entire Berkley team is passionate about fishing and fishing

products." Noms went on to state, "The time-tested reliability of Trilene is a result of technology and commitment to delivering the highest performing fishing line in the industry. At Berkley, good is never good enough. Continual improvement, leading edge technology and innovation in fishing line, gives anglers the trust that Trilene delivers unmatched performance."


The IGFA maintains extensive angling records and each species can have several records based on the pound test of the line used. Currently y Berkley line products hold the record in 757 categories in both freshwater and saltwater. The oldest Berkley record on file in the freshwater division is from 1970 when a 42.2 lb rainbow trout was taken using Berkley Trilene in Alaska. The oldest Berkley record in the saltwater division is from 1967 on a 108 lb amberjack caught on Trilene.


For more information about Berkley and its fishing tackle products, call Berkley Angler Services at I-800-BERKLEY or visit the web site at www.berkleyfishing.com

Bass Pro commits to Branson waterfront development
Bass Pro Shops has signed an agreement to open a new retail outlet in Branson, Mo., as part of a new waterfront development project on the shores of Lake Taneycomo.

The new store will range between 40,000 and 60,000 sq ft, compared to the 300,000-sq-ft headquarters store in Springfield, Mo. Patterned after the Bass Pro Shops Worldwide Sportsman store in Islamorada, Fla., the Branson store will feature an operating marina, guide service, boat rental and boat service center.

“It is our feeling that this unique specialty store will complement our store in Springfield, which is Missouri’s No. 1 tourist attraction,” Jim Hagale, president of Bass Pro Shops,

said in a statement. “It is our hope that the Branson store will introduce more people to fishing and the water resources that make this part of the country so special.”

The Branson store will highlight the fishing heritage of the White River area and display historical photos, artifacts, record mounts, and a tribute to Jim Owns and other fishing legends. The location will allow customers to test drive a range of Tracker, Nitro and Sun Tracker boats.

The store will be one of the major retail anchors for the Branson Landing waterfront development, slated to open in March 2006. The total project will cover 95 acres and include several marinas, retail shops, restaurants, entertainment, condominiums, a hotel and public plaza.

Bass Pro to Anchor Silverton Casino Expansion Project in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS - Silverton Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, has secured America's most popular outdoor retailer, Bass Pro Shops, as a key anchor tenant for the property's planned multiphase expansion.


The 143,000 sq ft Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World mega store will be an anchor of the Silverton's 100-acre master plan, which will include I million sq ft of retail, hotel and entertainment at the property's 1-15 and Blue Diamond location. The $100 million first phase of the casino expansion and Bass Pro Shops store development is scheduled for opening in the fall of 2004. In addition to the Bass Pro Shops store, Silverton will add an additional 25,000 sq ft of gaming, entertainment and gigantic aquarium features inside the new casino space, and redesign of the mining town themed property to complement the mountain lodge architecture of Bass Pro Shops.


Silverton will extend the outdoor/sportsman theme throughout the casino's three-year multiphase expansion into additional retail stores, restaurants, hotels and possibly timeshares. Additional strategic partners and details will be announced in the near future.

With an award-winning design, interactive atmosphere featuring waterfalls, intricately detailed ironwork, aquariums stocked with native fish, massive log and rock work reminiscent of old Adirondack lodges, antiques and nostalgic photos of sportsmen in their element, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World is truly a celebration of outdoor life.


'We are looking forward to the opportunity to head west with this flagship store and delighted to be a part of this exciting master plan that will be a tribute to Nevadans, as well as our nation's sportsmen and women," said Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris.


Visitors will be able to browse the largest selection of saltwater/freshwater fishing, hunting and camping equipment, sportswear and gift merchandise selection in the United States. In addition, guests can check out the vast array of boats featuring Tracker, Sun tracker, Nitro, Tahoe and Kenner. Customers can sharpen their shooting eye at the laser arcade or indoor archery range.


Silverton Hotel & Casino, which opened in 1994, is a 300-room. 40,000 Sq ft casino with more than 1,100 slots, 18 table games, a 1,000 seat showroom and a 460-space KOA luxury RV Park.

Why non-profit status ??

One good reason the opportunity to secure grant money from philanthropic organizations that give away billions of dollars yearly. 


Another reason, and easier to secure are the multitudes of software available to non-profits. TechSoup Stock is one such re-seller offering a host of brands for your office use.  To illustrate TechSoup Stock is authorized to offer 35 Microsoft

 titles, including popular office suites and server products, and administrative fees that compare to about 4% of the retail value of the products.  Check them out at www.techsoup.org/stock.cfm?id=1255


To view their catalog of currently available offerings:  www.techsoup.org/stock.cfm?id=1253   Some hardware is also available.

Quote of the year

JUSTICE MINISTER ALLAN ROCK said, "... protection of life is NOT a legitimate use for a firearm in this country sir! Not!  That is expressly ruled out!".  Source: Justice Minister Allan 

Rock "Canadian justice issues, a town hall meeting" - Producer - Joanne Levy, Shaw cable, Calgary (403) 250-2885 - Taped at the Triwood community centre in Calgary Dec. 1994

2nd Amendment issues

NJ Lawsuit Dismissed With Prejudice against Sturm Ruger

Newark won't be allowed to file the lawsuit again.

A trial court has dismissed a case brought by the city of Newark, NJ, against firearms maker Sturm, Ruger & Co. The case was dismissed with prejudice, which means Newark won't be allowed to file the lawsuit again.


Sturm, Ruger said the court dismissed the case because the city failed to meet the requirements of a prior court order. The

City of Newark needed to fulfill those requirements in order to apply for a reinstatement of the complaint prior to the March 1 deadline.  Because the case was dismissed with prejudice, Newark won't be allowed to file the lawsuit again.


Following the ruling, Sturm, Ruger called for a federal law to prevent other lawsuits targeting gun makers for the use of their guns in crimes.  Similar lawsuits filed by state and local governments, such as New York and Jersey City, N.J., were dismissed last year.


Trout Season open at DuPage  County Forest Preserves

Trout season opens at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County on Saturday, April 3 one hour after sunrise. The District will stock three forest preserve lakes with rainbow trout in advance of the opening to create better fishing opportunities and maintain a healthy population of this well-liked species.

The three lakes that will be stocked are Silver Lake at Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville (about 4,400 fish), Deep Quarry Lake at West Branch Forest Preserve in Bartlett (about 1,800 fish) and Grove Lake at Wood Dale Grove Forest Preserve in Addison (about 300 fish). The three lakes will be closed to all fishing between Monday, March 15 and Friday, April 2.

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 daily creel limit is five trout per day.

The District, in partnership with the Illinois DNR, 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, rules and regulations. To obtain a copy, call the District's visitor services office weekdays at (630) 933-7248.


City Council erases Aquarium debt

The Duluth City Council on March 16 erased debt for the Great Lakes Aquarium. Councilors voted to erase about $4.4 million in Duluth Economic Development Authority bond debt that had blocked a long-term management contract with Ripley Entertainment Inc., which has been operating the attraction on a month-to-month contract since May.


The move removes DEDA from any future claim on aquarium

profits or involvement in the attraction. Aquarium and Ripley officials hope to have a five-year management contract signed in coming weeks. "This is essential for us to do if we are going to turn this place around," councilor Neill Atkins said before the vote.


Ripley officials are eager to add exhibits and improve the visitor experience at the aquarium. Ripley has successful aquariums in Gatlinburg, Tenn., and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Fly-fishing clinics for women offered

Spring is almost here and what better way to enjoy its arrival than by exploring the wonders of fly-fishing? Instructors from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program and Wading Women of Minnesota are offering a course on fly-fishing basics at Ceinanko Lake in Coon Rapids Dam Park on Sunday, April 24.


The class is open to all women who would like to try a new activity, learn another side of fishing or improve their current fly-fishing abilities. Instructors will discuss and demonstrate proper fly-fishing techniques such as casting, rigging a rod and matching the hatch with the correct kind of fly. Participants will also be encouraged to put their newly found skills to the test.


The program will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $10

per person. Fly-fishing equipment will be furnished. Space is limited and filling up quickly. To register, log onto the DNR's Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us  or call the DNR Information Center at 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367) or (651) 296-6157.


For women who already enjoy fly-fishing and would like to spend a weekend wading the streams of southeastern Minnesota, the BOW program will hold a fly-fishing event on May 2. Women will spend the day with instructors and explore the streams and rivers around Lanesboro. The program, which will run from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., includes instruction, equipment, lunch and snacks for only $50. To register, call the Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center at (507) 467-2437.


To learn more about the program, log onto the DNR 's Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us/rducation/bow/index.html .


Study suggests multiple deterrents to limit invading carp

Slowing the advance of Asian carp into the Upper Mississippi River Basin will require multiple deterrents that could include an acoustic barrier, expanded public outreach and more regulation, according to a new study commissioned by the Minnesota and Wisconsin departments of natural resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


The study was commissioned last fall, about the time a bighead carp was netted by a commercial angler in Lake Pepin. The bighead is one of four ecosystem-disrupting Asian carp species introduced into the United States about 30 years ago by fish farmers in southern states to control vegetation and algae blooms.


"The study supports our concerns and identifies options for slowing the upstream movement of these detrimental fish," said Lee Pfannmuller, director of the Minnesota DNR Ecological Services division. "The next step is to evaluate options identified in the report and propose a set of recommended actions."


This will occur over the next several weeks in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other state resource agencies in the Upper Mississippi River Basin.


FishPro, a national engineering firm with experience in designing fish barriers, drafted the study.


Two other Asian carp species, silver carp (which leap at the sound of boat motors) and black carp have not been found in the Upper Mississippi River. Free-roaming grass carp have  been reported throughout the Mississippi River Basin and are

known to spawn downstream of the Iowa-Missouri border.


Although electrical barriers have proven effective in stopping migrating fish, the report recommended against the option citing high initial construction cost, monthly operating costs and safety concerns. The acoustic barrier, which is recommended in the study, projects sound through a curtain of bubbles that would be located downstream from a lock and dam. This might be one component of an integrated barrier system located downstream from a lock and dam that would cost several million dollars. The system, along with construction of habitat and staging areas to hold fish downstream of the barrier, would cost between $8 and $12 million.


Based on the movement of Asian carp in the Mississippi River, the barrier would have to be in place within the next two years, according to the study.



"The Minnesota DNR has adopted a strong commitment to protect the state's natural resources," Pfannmuller said.  "We hope to find a way to keep this detrimental invasive species out of the Upper Mississippi River Basin." Bighead carp can weigh up to 100 pounds and silver carp are slightly smaller. Both fish have large heads with eyes set close to the mouth, giving them the appearance of swimming upside down. Both grass and black carp have elongated bodies with dark scales and can weigh up to 50 pounds.


Anglers who catch a bighead, silver, grass or black carp are asked to take it to their local DNR fisheries office. Sightings of Asian carp also should be reported.


Spring fishing regulations on the Rainy River

The Rainy River on the Minnesota-Ontario border offers one of the earliest opportunities of the year for open-water game fishing action, according to Kevin Peterson, fisheries manager at International Falls. "Walleye fishing on the Rainy River has become increasingly popular in recent years because of high catch rates and large fish," Peterson said.

Additionally, as lake sturgeon continue to make a successful recovery in the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods, fishing for this trophy can provide an experience unlike any other in the state, noted Mike Larson fisheries manager at Baudette. "Management of these unique fisheries requires special fishing regulations," Larson said.


The following regulations are in effect for Minnesota's portion of the Rainy River from the dam in International Falls to Wheeler's Point in Lake of the Woods. For a complete listing of the Rainy River regs, see the 2004 Minnesota Fishing Regulations and the DNR Web site www.dnr.state.mn.us .


Lake sturgeon

New regulations for lake sturgeon took effect March 1. Sturgeon harvest seasons run April 24 to May 7 and July 1 to Sept. 30. Catch-and-release fishing will be allowed May 8 to May 16 and Oct. 1 to April 23. The season is closed May 17 to June 30 to protect spawning fish. 

Anglers may harvest one lake sturgeon per license year. Only fish between 45 and 50 inches or over 75 inches may be harvested. All lake sturgeon shorter than 45 inches and between 50 and 75 inches must be immediately returned to the water. Also new for this year, anglers will be required to sign and date their fishing license when they harvest a sturgeon.



Because anglers are now releasing a large number of the sturgeon they catch, gaffs will no longer be allowed on the

Rainy River. A gaff is a pole with a hook used to land large fish. Specifically, the new rule states "A person cannot possess or use a gaff while fishing on the Rainy River." 



The season runs from the statewide walleye opener, May 15 through April 14, with a walleye/sauger possession aggregate limit of six, except for the period of March 1 through April 14, when the aggregate possession limit is two. One walleye exceeding 19.5 inches may be possessed from the opener through Feb. 29. No walleye over 19.5 inches may be possessed from March 1 through April 14.


Northern pike 

There is no closed season for northern pike on the Rainy River. An experimental regulation for Lake of the Woods, Rainy River, Warroad River, Winter Road River and the Baudette River is in effect. The possession limit for northern pike is three. Anglers may possess only one northern pike over 40 inches. All northern pike from 30 through 40 inches must be immediately released.


Smallmouth bass

The season for smallmouth and largemouth bass is open continuously. The possession limit is six and there are no size restrictions.


Tagged fish

Some northern pike and lake sturgeon from the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods have been tagged as part of a long-term monitoring program. Anglers who catch a tagged fish, should record the tag number, location and date. Do not remove the tag from any fish released.  Submit this information to DNR Fisheries in Baudette by calling (218) 634-2522 or by e-mail to [email protected]


New York

State Youth Hunt for Wild Turkey - April 24 - 25, 2004

The Department of Environmental Conservation is establishing a new youth hunt for wild turkey.


The first youth hunt weekend will be held April 24 - 25, 2004. Eligible hunters are youth 12, 13, 14, or 15 years of age, holding a junior hunting license and a turkey permit. All youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult, as required by law for a junior hunting license.  Youth 12 or 13 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or relative over 21 years of age, with written permission from their parent or legal guardian. Youth 14 or 15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or an adult over 18 years of age, with written permission from their parent or legal guardian.


The accompanying adult must have a current hunting license and turkey permit. He/She may assist the youth hunter

(including calling), but may not carry a firearm or longbow, or kill or attempt to kill a wild turkey during the youth hunt. The youth hunt is for spring turkey hunting only and is a two day weekend hunt. The youth hunt will always precede the start of the regular season by at least 3 days and is available wherever the spring turkey season is open.


The bag limit for the youth hunt is one bearded bird. This bird becomes part of the youth’s regular season bag limit of two bearded birds. A second bird may be taken beginning May 1st.  All other wild turkey hunting regulations remain in effect. See: www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/wildlife/guide/

huntseas.html  or this year’s Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide for details.


Future youth hunt weekends are April 23 - 24, 2005 and April 22 - 23, 2006


Spend a Day at a Hatchery - April 3

Open House at Linesville Fish Culture Station

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) will host an open house -- “A Day at A Hatchery" -- Saturday, April 3, 2004, at the agency’s Linesville Fish Culture Station.  The hatchery is located on the shores of Pymatuning Lake, Crawford County. The event is open for public visitation from 12-4 p.m. Visitors are invited to come see methods used in taking and fertilizing musky and walleye eggs, sorting fish from trap nets, determining the age of fish, and much more. 


Attendees can watch demonstrations on filleting fish, electro-

shocking, casting and angling techniques. Boating and water safety information will also be presented. The visitor center will be full of various exhibits and displays to help visitors learn the varied duties and aspects of the Fish and Boat Commission.


The 10,000-gallon viewing aquarium will have many favorite fish species to observe up close and personal. Participants can make their own “fish prints” on paper or on a t-shirt (bring your own). There’s something for everyone, so follow the crowd and join the PFBC for the afternoon.


Spring wildlife and fish rules hearings April 12

MADISON – Changes to hunting and trapping seasons, clarification of hunting seasons in selected state parks, and a proposal by the Natural Resources Board to extend the gun deer hunting season highlight the 2004 Department of Natural Resources Spring Wildlife and Fish Rules Hearings.


The hearings are held annually in every county of the state on the second Monday of April, which this year is April 12, to gauge public opinion on proposed changes to rules pertaining to fish and wildlife in Wisconsin. The hearings all begin at 7 p.m.


In addition to voting on proposed rules or changes to rules, delegates to the Wisconsin Conservation Congress are elected. The Conservation Congress was established by the Wisconsin Legislature in 1934 as a citizen body to advise the Natural Resources Board (NRB) on fish and wildlife management issues and policy.


To better accommodate citizen participation, business of the greatest importance to the most participants will be addressed early in the meeting agendas, according to Al Phelan, DNR Conservation Congress liaison who coordinates the hearings. The first item of business will be the election of county delegates to the Wisconsin Conservation Congress. Election of delegates will be done on ballots provided to residents of the county in which the hearing is being held. To vote for Congress delegates, people must be 18 years old and provide identification along with proof of residency in the county.


The second part of the hearing will be the DNR’s proposed fish and wildlife rule changes affecting the management of fish and wildlife in Wisconsin. There is no age or residency requirement to vote on any of the questions in the spring hearing questionnaire.

Questions will be grouped into two categories: those of statewide significance and those with mainly local impact. Only those rule proposals identified as statewide in nature will be voted on in all counties. Local rule changes will be presented only in affected counties unless someone in the audience in an unaffected county requests a vote on a local rule change. This system moves the hearings along more quickly while still allowing a resident of one area to vote on an issue affecting a favorite lake or wildlife area in another part of the state.
DNR Fisheries proposals

Four statewide rule changes are proposed and there are 24 local questions for anglers to weigh in on, including nine proposed fish refuges. “Some of the refuges are fairly large, and people need to be aware of where the refuges are proposed for and the ramifications,” says Mike Staggs, DNR Fish Chief.


The refuges – proposed for specific waters in Dane, Lincoln, Marathon and Waupaca counties – respond to concerns from DNR conservation wardens about areas where wardens have documented past problems with illegal harvests of fish, particularly during spawning seasons. The wardens are concerned that the vacancies in the warden force mean fewer wardens are available in the field to protect fish during these particularly vulnerable times.


Statewide questions include reducing the daily bag limit from 25 to 10 for catfish taken from the Lower Wisconsin River to bring it in line with DNR’s general statewide bag limit. There are also two questions that would increase minimum length limits for muskellunge on a segment of the Menominee River and on the Wisconsin River, including flowages, from the Castle Rock Dam in Adams and Juneau counties upstream through Wood County to the Dubay Dam in Portage County.

2003 the safest year for hunting since 1944

MADISON -- Wisconsin hunters in 2003 recorded the safest year for hunting since 1944, with a total of 33 injuries and two fatalities across all seasons, according to state hunter safety officials.


“Hunting is not only safe, but it has been getting safer since Wisconsin started training our hunters to be safe in 1967,” says Tim Lawhern, Wisconsin hunter education administrator for the Department of Natural Resources. “This past year continued that tradition with a total of 35 accidents.


“You have to go back 60 years for a year with fewer recorded incidents, and we have many more hunters today than we did back then. That’s a tremendous achievement that hunters and their volunteer safety instructors can be proud of.”

In 2003, more than 650,000 hunters bought hunting licenses and participated in more than 25 seasons; records from 1944 indicate that there were considerably fewer hunters (292,348) than normal for those times because many men were abroad fighting World War II.


In 2003, as in past years, about half of the hunting incidents occurred during the nine-day gun deer season, with the remaining incidents spread across the other seasons. In 2003, 15 of the 35 incidents occurred during the gun-deer season, including two fatalities.


“The seasons are safer across the board, but certain trends hold true,” Lawhern says. “About 30 to 50 percent of the injuries are self-inflicted. The remaining injuries overwhelmingly involve a member of the hunter’s own hunting party,” he says. “You should choose your hunting partners as if

your life depended on it -- because it just might.”


“The safest age group is that between 12 and 16 when an adult accompanies them. Having said that, it is also true that the most unsafe age group is 12 to 16 when they are hunting with others of the same age.” “Hunters of in this situation have a higher relative number of incidents than any other age group.”


Lawhern thinks Wisconsin can continue to bring down the annual number of hunting incidents, particularly if older hunters take advantage of changes in hunter safety training and how it’s offered.


Rather than the seven-hour, lecture-based courses that were offered back in 1967, “now a student is more likely to walk into a course and have a firearm in their hands the first class session,” Lawhern says. “Most of the instructors are now more like coaches and are using a hands-on approach to learning to be safe and responsible while hunting.”


Hunters can complete most of the coursework on a CD-ROM or the Internet, and then get training and evaluation on firearm handling techniques and other topics during a field day.


“What we can do to become even safer is hunt with our kids until they are over 16 and then encourage all of our hunters between the ages of 35 and older to take a hunter education course,” he says. “With the additional ways of obtaining certification like CD-ROM and the Internet, there aren’t many good reasons not to be certified.”



New Moose Hunting Regs in Eastern Ontario

TORONTO —Ontario has implemented new moose hunting regulations in the Pembroke and Bancroft areas to help ensure the sustainability of local moose populations, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced.


The new regulations establish a moose calf tag system, create a new six-day archery season, and require hunters to report their results. The regulations are now in place in Wildlife Management Units 48, 55A, 55B and 57 in eastern Ontario. Details on the regulations, based on recommendations from a public consultation process, will be in the 2004 Hunting Regulations Summary when it is available next month.


High calf harvests in recent years, as well as a number of other natural factors, have contributed to declining moose

populations in the four wildlife management units. The new calf tag system will reduce those high harvests. To partially compensate for the reductions in hunting opportunities, the ministry is establishing a new archery season.


The mandatory hunter reporting measures will provide important harvest data to help the Ministry of Natural Resources make effective moose management decisions. Successful hunters will be required to register their harvested moose at a provincial check station and report on their hunting activity.


A decision notice on the regulation changes has been posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) Registry at


Enter Registry Number RB03E6012.

MNR Schedules Public Meetings for Lake Erie Walleye

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has scheduled six public meetings about the new regulations to fishing walleye and perch in Lake Erie. See map of specific regs by state agency:


Meeting schedule:

●  SIMCOE  - April 17 – 1 PM     Travelodge, Hwy #3 (part of Long Point  Bay Anglers Association annual meeting)

● PORT COLBORNE April 27 – 7 PM. St.Patrick’s Hall, 123 King St.

● LONDON           April 28 – 7 PM.  Canadian Auto Workers Hall, Hwy 401 and 4

● CALEDONIA    April 29 – 7 PM.  Legion Hall, Caithness St. E (Hwy 54), just east of  Argyle St. N.

● WALLACEBURG     May 4 – 7 PM   Oaks Inn, 80 McNaughton Ave.

● WINDSOR    May 6 – 7 PM   Windsor Sportman’s Club, 2401 Dougall

Agenda includes:

·       Ask staff from MNRs' Lake Erie Management Unit about fishing and the fish stocks in Lake Erie, Upper Niagara River, Detroit River, Lake St. Clair and St. Clair River

·       ●Status of Lake Erie fish stocks, especially walleye and yellow perch

·       ●Tracking radio-tagged walleye in the southern Grand River

·       New projects underway in St. Clair River, Thames River, Detroit River

·       ●Enforcement Update

·       ●Volunteer Angler Diary program

·       ●Refreshments provided


For more information, contact:

John Cooper, MNR - Lake Erie Management Unit

(519) 873-4613      [email protected]     



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