Week of March 28, 2005




Lake Michigan

Lake Erie



New York





       Weekly News Archives


       New Product  Archives


Carp Fund Barometer

Donation          Ranking

$    1 – 10   Alewife


$  11 – 20  Yellow Perch


$  21 – 50   Black Bass

     Berg, Jeffrey W.

     Cozzie, Ken

     Fuka, John J.

     Gold Coast Charter Service

     Reider, Robert


$  51 – 100   Coho Salmon

     Couston, Tom

     Yahara Fishing Club

$  101 – 200   Walleye

     Chagrin River Salmon Association


$  201 – 500   Brown Trout

     Northeast Wis. GL Sport Fishermen

     Detroit Area Steelheaders 

     Klavon, Patrick  


$  501 – 1000   Steelhead


$  1001 – 5000   Chinook Salmon


$  5001 – UP   Lake Trout


Current Total= $1,315.00

Matt Hogan named Acting Director of USFWS

WASHINGTON (03/21/05) -- Interior Secretary Gale Norton has named Matthew J. Hogan to be acting director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service until a new director is nominated by President Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. 


Hogan has served as the Service's deputy director for the past three years. He will assume the duties of FWS Director Steve Williams, who recently announced his resignation to become president of the Wildlife Management Institute.

Before joining the Service in 2002, Hogan, 37, spent four years as conservation policy director of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, serving as a liaison between the hunting, fishing and conservation communities and the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus. Prior to that, he was government affairs manager for Safari Club International and legislative director for Congressman Pete Geren of Texas.  He graduated from LeMoyne College in Syracuse, NY in 1990.


Discover Boating & Take Me Fishing Tour set to hit the road in May

Seven-month mobile marketing tour to kick off in New York

CHICAGO, March 23, 2005 - - The first event for the 2005 Discover Boating & Take Me Fishing Tour, organized and managed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), has been scheduled.  This year’s Tour kicks off May 13 to 22 at the Lilac Festival in Rochester, NY, and will visit events across the country through November.


The 2005 Tour incorporates a brand new mobile design and event strategy to bring boating and fishing to more consumers than ever before.


The layout of the mobile marketing display has been expanded to 6,000 square feet from last year’s 4,000 square feet design.  Returning from last year’s Tour is the popular Fishing Simulator, where attendees can try to catch “virtual” white marlin, large mouth bass and other fresh and saltwater fish. 


Also returning is the Underwater World, which simulates the feel of being under water; Splash Theater, a motion theater where attendees are treated to a video presentation that is geared to promoting the excitement of boating, and the Next Steps tent, where attendees learn what they need to do next to buy a boat, or start fishing locally.

The Tour includes an expanded Boat Walk, now known as the Mini Boat Show, in which visitors will see specific types of boats with accompanying promotional materials, outlining the activities that can be enjoyed on a specific type of boat.  Last year, up to four boats were displayed in this section, and this year, up to 10 boats will be shown at each stop.


“Consumers at a number of tour stops last year demonstrated that they are more responsive when boats are included in the exhibit,” says Discover boating director Steve Tadd.  “An expanded presence for boats will also allow the Tour to accommodate demand from more manufacturers and local dealers who are asking to participate in 2005.”


In terms of event strategy, the exhibit will stay at events for longer periods of time, to ensure the best location within the event.  Though the mobile marketing display will be at fewer events, compared to the 2004 Tour, it will reach even more people by removing some of the days that it would otherwise be in transit.


For more info, including a schedule of events, visit www.DiscoverBoating.com  or www.TakeMeFishing.org , or contact Discover Boating project manager Maryanne Bradford at (312) 946-6227; [email protected] .


Paralyzed Veterans of America Awareness Week April 10 - 16, 2005

Paralyzed Veterans of America will soon proudly launch this year’s PVA Awareness Week from April 10 to 16, 2005.


PVA Awareness Week was created in 1984 to better spread the word about their mission and how they serve the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much in the defense of our American freedom. This year, our nearly 100 chapters,

subchapters, and service offices across America will hold more than 250 Awareness Week events in their communities. With your help, we will pull our country together to dramatically raise awareness of the challenges facing paralyzed veterans and all Americans with disabilities.


For more information about PVA Awareness Week, visit web site at: http://www.supportveterans.org/index.htm  or call us toll-free at 800-555-9140.

Border Patrol Boat on Lake Ontario

The waters of Lake Ontario are now more secure

Last week, a patrol boat was put into the water as part of a beefed up effort to make our border entries more secure by patrol agents.  The $200,000 dollar boat makes daily rounds

along 75-miles of Lake Ontario shoreline and the water's

international border with Canada. Also, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol opened new offices in Irondequoit.  The increased presence is in response to the terrorist attacks from September 11th.


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for March 25, 2005

Current Lake Levels:

All of the Great Lakes are 4 to 13 inches above last year’s levels.   Lake Superior is 2 inches below its long-term average, while Lake Michigan-Huron is 10 inches below its long-term average. Lake St. Clair is 5 inches above its long-term average, while Lakes Erie and Ontario are 10 and 6 inches above their long-term averages, respectively.


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.  Flows in the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers are all expected to be above average in February.


Temperature/Precipitation Outlook:

Scattered rain and snow showers are forecasted for the Great

Lakes basin on Friday.  Skies should clear for the weekend, allowing for near average temperatures.  Next week looks quiet with a continuation of near normal temperatures.


Forecasted Water Levels:

Lake Superior is nearing the end of its seasonal decline and should rise an inch during the next month.  Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are beginning their seasonal rises and should increase 3-4 inches during the next month.  Note that ice conditions on Lake St. Clair may create rapid fluctuations in the levels over short periods.



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.

Diet Analysis Completed on Lake Superior Eurasian Ruffe

Captured From Lake Trout Spawning Reefs

USFWS research scientist Gary Czypinski, of the Ashland Fishery Resources Office identified the stomach contents of 12 Eurasian Ruffe captured from lake trout spawning reefs in western Lake Superior. One Lake Whitefish egg was found in a 152 mm, age 3+ female, and five lake herring eggs were found in a 142 mm, age 3+ female. Both Ruffe were captured in a 38 mm stretch mesh gill net off Mawikwe Point during early November, 2004.


The gill net was set by the Red Cliff Tribal Fisheries Dept. at a depth of 3 fathoms (18 ft.). No eggs were found in the other 10 captured Ruffe. Out of 4 lake trout spawning reefs sampled,

ten Ruffe were captured from Mawikwe Point, and two Ruffe were captured from Mawikwe Bay. The most abundant food items consisted of scuds (amphipods), midge fly larvae (chironomids), and caddis fly larvae (trichoptera).


Diet analysis was performed on 12 Ruffe captured from lake trout spawning reefs in western Lake Superior. One lake whitefish egg and 5 lake herring eggs were detected in the stomach contents. Most abundant food items consisted of scuds (amphipods), midge fly larvae (chironomids), and caddis fly larvae (trichoptera).


The level of Ruffe predation on lake trout and lake whitefish eggs will assist in determining the impact of Ruffe on lake trout and Lake Whitefish recruitment in Lake Superior.



Great Lakes Commission Announces Staff Leadership Change

Dr. Michael J. Donahue, long-standing president/CEO of the Great Lakes Commission, is stepping down from that post to accept a senior executive position in the private sector. Donahue, the longest-serving staff director in Commission history, has moved on to become vice president of URS

Corporation, a global consulting firm.


Tom Crane, manager of the Commission's Resource Management Program, has been appointed interim director by the Commission's Board of Directors.  Interim Director Tom Crane is a 19-year veteran of the Commission.

Firearms Industry Allocates another $500,000 in Grants for Hunter Recruitment

NEWTOWN, Conn.—In an ongoing drive to keep America’s hunting traditions alive and well, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has again allocated a half-million dollars to assist state conservation agencies in their efforts to recruit and retain hunters.


This is the third consecutive year for the special granting program dubbed “Hunting Heritage Partnership,” administered jointly with the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF). To date, nearly $1 million has been used by 25 states to develop and enhance hunting opportunities and participation.


“Knowing each state faces its own unique challenges, the Hunting Heritage Partnership has helped agencies to focus directly on issues relating to their states,” said Jodi Valenta, NSSF’s director of recruitment and retention. “From

establishing youth hunting programs to confronting access issues, these grants are helping states increase hunting opportunities across the country.”


Past grants have also been used to develop print and radio campaigns, hands-on educational workshops, hunting opportunities for disabled residents and Web-based mapping systems. A new, growing section of www.nssf.org includes information on all state programs supported by the Hunting Heritage Partnership. Just click on the photo of Theodore Roosevelt. The section also highlights Roosevelt’s historic role in conservation and the importance of hunters in the conservation movement, both now and in the future.


The 2005 grants will be awarded to state agencies following a formal review process conducted by NSSF. The deadline for grant proposals is April 27. For more info, contact Valenta (203) 426-1320 or [email protected] .


Lake Michigan

2004 Chinook salmon season on Lake Michigan one for books

By Kevin Naze

Great Lakes anglers packed Lake Michigan port communities last summer for what many said was some of the best fishing in years.  As it turns out, it may have been the best fishing ever — at least for numbers of Chinook salmon.


According to Wisconsin DNR creel survey statistics and information obtained from charter fishermen, the 2004 season produced nearly a half-million salmon and trout.  The total was second to a record estimate of 762,115 in 1987, but last year’s fish came a lot faster. In 1987, anglers fished more than 4.7 million hours to catch their prizes. The 2004 estimate of angler hours was 2.6 million.


Fishermen reeled in an estimated 360,991 Chinooks, about 35,000 fewer than the 1987 record, and 76,944 cohos. They added more than 25,000 rainbow trout, nearly 21,000 brown trout and 14,000-plus lake trout.


Last year’s chinook harvest continued a third consecutive year of record-breaking chinook catch rates. The 950,000-plus salmon combined the past three summers bested the previous three-year streak of 939,000 from 1986 to 1988, considered by many as the heyday of salmon fishing.


“Not only are anglers hauling in more fish, they’re catching them faster than ever,” said DNR fisheries supervisor Brad Eggold. “We are seeing some of the highest harvest rates in the country for salmon.”  Kewaunee County anglers led the state in the chinook, rainbow and laker harvests.


In addition to great fishing, charter captain and fishing tackle retailer Jerry Haegele of Algoma’s Hardware and Sporting Goods, said the area gets a lot of attention from in-state and visiting fishermen.  “For one thing, we probably have the shortest running time (from the harbor to the lake) of most ports,” Haegele said. “And most fishermen are friendly and try to help each other out. You can always talk to someone (at the public marina) and learn where to go and what to use.”


Steve Seilo of Green Bay said he began fishing Kewaunee more than a decade ago. He likes the straight shot over from Green Bay, and the large parking area at the city launch.


“Other than during the salmon derby, parking is usually not an issue if you get there early,” said Seilo, who noted he and friends reeled in hundreds of salmon in the more than 70 trips on the lake last year.  Seilo said they didn’t catch as many 20-

pound-plus salmon as usual, but landed more 12- to 18-pound range fish than ever before.


Algoma charter captain Troy Mattson said advancement in fishing lines and the use of big planer boards with leadcore line, copper wire and weights has put a lot of fish in his coolers in recent years.  “We also have great communication between Algoma and Kewaunee charter captains, which is truly advantageous as we have very similar fishing,” Mattson said.


More than 108,000 Chinooks were reeled in by lake and river fishermen at Algoma and Kewaunee. Eastern Door County was second at 59,618; Milwaukee and Manitowoc counties both tallied more than 39,000.


Ironically, the great fishing in recent years came from the smallest state salmon stockings since 1988. Wisconsin has been releasing 1.4 million to 1.5 million Chinooks a year since 1999, a drop from the 1.5 million to 1.7 million fish between 1991 and 1998 and far fewer than the 2 million plus in the 1980s.


The four states surrounding Lake Michigan reduced chinook stocking from 6 million to 4.4 million in 1999 to allow slumping alewives — the salmon’s favorite baitfish — to rebound. DNR Great Lakes fishery specialist Bill Horns said there hasn’t been a good year class of alewives since 1998.


Paul Peeters of Sturgeon Bay, a DNR fisheries biologist and avid sport angler, said he believes Chinook salmon may be exceeding the forage base for a variety of reasons.


Great Lakes fish are surviving longer and in greater numbers because of changes in stocking practices and improvements at hatcheries that have reduced disease, Peeters said. In addition, natural reproduction from fish that spawn in Michigan’s cooler streams is increasing, as is the number of chinook straying into Lake Michigan from Lake Huron.


Meanwhile, the 2004 catch estimates for trout were at historic lows. Much of that can be attributed to fishermen targeting salmon, Eggold said, but some fishermen think there may be other factors involved.


Predation by cormorants at stocking time and sea lampreys when the fish are adults, are two theories. Other guesses include changes at the bottom of the food chain and diseases.


Lake Erie

Lake Erie Update and Walleye Angling Seminar - April 19

At the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center – Bay Village

Summer is almost here and its time to put the boats back in the water or book your charters for walleye fishing! Want to find out how, when and where to catch Lake Erie walleye, including the central basin and island regions? How can I release sub-legal walleye safely?


Learn all of this and more during Ohio Sea Grants Lake Erie Update and Walleye Angling Seminar to be held at the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center, 28728 Wolf Road, Bay Village, Ohio. Scheduled for Tuesday, April 19, 2005 from 7:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M., the seminar is co-sponsored by the Ohio Sea Grant College Program and the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center.


Seating is limited, with pre-registration and payment of $5 per person (to help support the nature center) necessary to guarantee seating. Registration at the door will be accepted only if seating is available. Call the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center at (440) 871-2900 for more information and to register for this seminar.


The seminar will feature Steve FreebyrdCarlson, noted Lake Erie tournament fisherman, Fred Snyder and Dave Kelch, Ohio State University Extension Specialists with the Ohio Sea Grant College Program, and Kelly Riesen, Ohio Sea Grant Extension Fishery Coordinator.

Tournament Angler Steve Carlson will discuss Central Basin trolling techniques with the goal of helping weekend anglers put more fish in the boat this summer. Carlson has applied his knowledge of trolling successfully with his FreeByrd Fishing Team  taking 11 Top Ten finishes in Lake Erie walleye tournaments since 2002.


Fred Snyder, District Specialist with Ohio Sea Grant, will reveal his secrets for drifting and casting for Lake Erie walleye. Snyder, a Lake Erie fisheries specialist, has been fishing the lake for over 30 years.


Dave Kelch will teach participants about Lake Eries walleye fishery, including catch rates, population size and spawning success and the angling forecast for 2005. He will also provide information about contaminants in popular Lake Erie game fish, and proper techniques for releasing sub-legal length walleye.


Kelly Riesen, Fisheries Extension Program Coordinator with Ohio Sea Grant, will teach participants how to use information on walleye movements to develop better fishing strategies.


Anglers can experience some excellent walleye fishing RIGHT NOW if they know where to go and how to fish for them! This seminar can provide the answers to your questions and help anglers fill the coolers before summer arrives.



Boat Rental areas to open at DuPage Forest Preserve District

Visitors to the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County's Silver Lake at Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville and Herrick Lake at Herrick Lake Forest Preserve in Wheaton will soon be able to enjoy the lakes from the best possible location - on the water.


Weekend-only boat-rental operations will open at Blackwell in April and May and at Herrick Lake during May. Weekend hours of operation at both lakes are 8 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. From Memorial Day, May 30, through Labor Day, Sept. 5, boat rental at both lakes will be open from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays and from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekends. After Labor Day, operations will return to weekends only through September from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

A variety of boats can be rented for a fee by the hour or by the day. Canoes, kayaks and rowboats are $5 per hour or $25 per day. Rowboats with trolling motors are available only at Blackwell, and rental costs are $10 per hour or $50 per day. Night crawlers and wax worms will also be available for purchase by eager anglers.


Personal flotation devices, oars and paddles are provided with rental boats, canoes and kayaks. All boat rentals end one hour before the facility closes.


With over 25,000 acres, 140 miles of trail and 60 preserves all right at your feet, there's a perfect way to enjoy DuPage County's forest preserves that's just waiting for you. For more info call (630) 933-7200 or visit www.dupageforest.com .


Major Cormorant culling planned on Leech Lake, MN

Walleye reductions attributed growing bird populations

The federal government has proposed killing thousands of cormorants on Leech Lake, where they are being blamed for reducing the walleye population.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week released its environmental assessment of the plan to address the situation on Leech Lake, where some people say double-crested cormorants are out of control. The public is being asked to comment on a range of alternatives — including doing nothing and using non-lethal tactics to reduce numbers of the fish-eating birds.


But the favored plan would reduce cormorant numbers there by 80%, from more than 2,500 nesting pairs to about 500, by shooting birds and by oiling the eggs sterile so they don't hatch.   The birds, usually protected under federal law, also may be harassed, their nests destroyed and live birds captured and euthanized. The public has 30 days to comment.


"The preferred alternative's goal is to have fewer than 500 nesting pairs on Leech Lake," said Rachel Levin, spokeswoman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Twin Cities.


The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe will lead the effort with cooperation from the Minnesota DNR and the USDA's animal damage control unit, which do the work.


Lee Pfannmuller, director of ecological services for the DNR, said control efforts probably would start early this summer. Crews will shoot birds and oil the eggs. Adults would continue to sit on the eggs and won't try to re-nest, but the eggs would

never hatch, so the colony won't expand.


On Leech Lake, cormorant numbers have exploded from just a few in the 1980s to 73 nesting pairs in 1998 to 2,524 nesting pairs in 2004. Including juveniles and non-nesting adults, there were nearly 10,000 cormorants on Leech Lake last year, nearly all of which nest on barren Little Pelican Island, located on Leech Lake band property. While cormorants always have used Leech Lake, it appears their numbers may be at an all time high.


Because each adult cormorant eats over a pound of fish daily, the birds are blamed for helping deplete the lake's once famous walleye population to a point where some angling recreation and the tourist industry are being effected.   The DNR and tribal fisheries experts say there aren't any smaller walleyes out there, and the big drop in walleye at the same time the cormorants are increasing can't be just a coincidence.


In an effort to rebuild the walleye populations, the DNR will begin stocking the lake, and angler walleye creel limits are being reduced. Starting in May, Leech Lake's daily walleye limit will be reduced from six fish to four, with a slot of 18 - 26" must be thrown back. One trophy over 26 is allowed.


Cormorants are also under scrutiny on Knife Island on Lake Superior and are expanding in number on Lake of the Woods as well. About 25 were killed on Knife Island last year, under the DNR's approval, where concerns were raised about the birds eating stocked steelhead trout. Officials also have called for killing the birds on Lake of the Woods, where 4,200 pairs nest in various spots.

Bill would increase boat fees 50-100%

Dedicates revenues to public access acquisition

Rep Hackbarth introduced the boat license bill last week. It's HF 1904 increases the fees by 50% on boats 17 feet and over and 100% on boats 16 feet and under. The bill dedicates all revenues from this increase to public access for acquisition, development, maintenance and rehabilitation. Projected

revenues are about $2,500,000 the first year and about $2,900,000 each year thereafter.


Anglers are ready to give it a little boost when needed.  The public accesses are in such terrible shape in much of Minnesota that a bill like this is very important.

New York

DEC establishes Web Site for Hunter Input on Waterfowl seasons

Website Provides Easy Link to Waterfowl Season Task Forces

 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Acting Commissioner Denise M. Sheehan today announced that DEC had created a special web page for waterfowl hunters to submit recommendations for the dates of the Fall 2005 waterfowl hunting seasons.


A new page on the DEC website – www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/wildlife/guide/miggbinput.html  – offers another easy way for waterfowl hunters to provide input on the hunting seasons, in addition to information about the season-setting process. Names and contact information for appointed members of the 2005 Waterfowl Season Task Forces were announced on March 8, 2005, and DEC invited hunters to provide input to those people via e-mail, phone or regular mail. That contact information is also available on the

DEC website.


“DEC’s Waterfowl Hunter Task Forces will be meeting very soon in April, so we want to give hunters as much opportunity as possible to suggest season dates for the coming year,” Acting Commissioner Sheehan said.  “We hope that all interested hunters will provide comments using one of these options.”


Suggestions for duck seasons should be submitted by March 31, 2005, to be fully considered by the Task Forces for this year's seasons. Input may be submitted after that date for future consideration. Input on hunting seasons for other migratory game birds, including Canada geese, snow geese, brant, woodcock, snipe, rails and crows should be submitted by April 30. The task forces will meet in April 2005 and DEC plans to announce tentative duck hunting season dates in June so hunters can make vacation or travel plans.


15 People convicted for commercial sale of sportfish

Fremont restaurant also fined as a result of "Operation RIP-RAP"

FINDLAY, OH -- An undercover investigation, "Operation RIP-RAP," conducted by officers of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife has resulted in 16 convictions for the commercial sale of walleye and white bass.


Fourteen Ohio residents, one Kentucky resident and an Ohio restaurant owner were convicted in Sandusky County of a total of 33 violations involving the commercial sale of sport-caught fish. The Fremont Municipal Court and the Sandusky County Common Pleas Court levied a total of $11,800 in fines, $4,470.00 in restitution, 35 years of fishing license

suspensions and 72 days in jail on those convicted.


"Municipal Court Judge Michael Burkett and Prosecutor Bob Hart should be commended for setting an example that the illegal  use of Ohio's natural resources will not be tolerated," said Terry Sunderhaus, law enforcement supervisor for the Division of Wildlife in northwest Ohio.


Information received through the Division of Wildlife's Turn- In-a-Poacher (TIP) Program initiated the investigation, which involved the illegal sale of fish caught by anglers on a portion of the Sandusky River that passes through Fremont. The case earned its name for the large rocks, called rip-rap, that line the banks of  the river to prevent erosion.


Commission releases '04-'05 deer harvest estimates

This year's deer harvest estimate is the sixth highest since 1986

HARRISBURG - The Commonwealth's deer harvest estimates declined about 12% over the past year, down from an estimated 464,890 in 2003-04 to an estimated 409,320 in 2004-05, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission figures released last week.  Historically, this year's deer harvest estimate is the sixth highest since 1986, when the agency began calculating deer harvest results.


The 2004-05 antlered deer harvest was 124,410 and the antlerless deer harvest was 284,910, compared to 142,270 for antlered deer and 322,620 for antlerless deer the previous year.

Bowhunters took 62,460 deer (28,070 antlered deer and 34,390 antlerless deer), compared to 65,100 deer (30,960 antlered deer and 34,440 antlerless deer) in 2003-04.  Muzzleloader hunters harvested 31,270 deer (1,090 antlered deer and 30,180 antlerless deer) last year, compared to 35,860 deer (1,240 antlered deer and 34,420 antlerless deer) in 2003-04.


Overall, compared to the 2003-04 harvest results, the 2004-05 statewide antlered deer harvest was down 13%, ranging from a decline of 35% in Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 2G to an increase of 13% in WMU 4B; and the statewide antlerless deer harvest declined 12%, ranging from a drop of 48% in WMU 2G to an increase of 51% in WMU 2B.


Hunters registered 518,630 deer in 2004 - second highest harvest in state history

Antlered harvest down 13.5%, antlerless harvest increased 19%.

MADISON – Hunters registered a total of 518,630 deer in 2004-2005 Wisconsin deer hunting seasons, the second highest total harvest in state history and the fourth largest deer season harvest in national history.


Records were set in several segments of the deer hunt, according to data collected and analyzed by DNR wildlife officials. A record harvest of 72,336 deer was set in the Oct. 27-30 Zone-T season. Archers set a new record of 93,426 during the Sept. 17 – Nov. 17 early archery season and a total archery season record of 103,571. Muzzleloader hunters also set a new mark of 7,074.


Overall, the number of antlered deer harvested in EAB (Earn-A-Buck) units decreased by 30.6%, while the number of antlerless deer harvested increased 52.0% and the total EAB unit harvest increased by 19.9% over 2003 according to wildlife officials. Overall, for the entire state, the antlered harvest was down 13.5% and antlerless harvest increased 19%. On average, the harvest ratio increased from 1.5 antlerless deer to 1 antlered deer when the units were designated as Zone T units up to 3.4 antlerless to 1 antlered when they were designated Earn-A-Buck (EAB) units. EAB units are those in which hunters were required to register an antlerless deer before being able to shoot an antlered buck. Zone T units are those units that wildlife biologists have determined are at least 20 percent over their population goals and for which hunters receive an additional free permit they may use to shoot an antlerless deer.


Deer are considered antlerless if they have either no antlers or antlers less than 3-inches in length. Aging data from 2004 indicate that 22% of the antlerless deer harvested were buck fawns (antlers less than 3-inches in length), 20% were doe fawns, and 58% were adult does.


The near record harvest still leaves many of Wisconsin’s 132 deer management units above population goals but has brought many units closer to their established levels.  Biologists are proposing for 2005 that there be about 50 Zone

T units and 10 EAB units outside of chronic wasting disease management zones. The exact numbers won’t be set until the state Natural Resources Board meeting of March 23.


Hunting seasons are based on the estimated deer population, the desired post hunt population and harvest history. In 1962, the post hunt population goal was 441,900 deer. Since 1962, deer range has expanded, hunting interest has increased and the goal has grown until today it stands at nearly 709,000 -- an increase of more than 60 percent.


Since 1960, biologists have used hunter harvest and population modeling techniques to estimate herd size. The population model depends on information gathered primarily from hunters. Such information includes the number of deer harvested annually, along with the deer’s sex and age. When applied to a specific geographical unit, it is possible for biologists to estimate the number of deer living in that unit. They can then estimate the numbers that may be harvested to keep populations at healthy levels and that are socially acceptable to both hunters and non-hunters alike.


Between 1962 and 1984, the over winter population estimates averaged 1% over the desired post hunt goal. Between 1985 and 1994, over winter estimates averaged 16% above goal, and between 1995 and 2004, the average was 42% over goal. Over winter population estimates have been at or within 5% of the goal only twice in the last 20 years.


Projected pre-hunt populations are a reflection of the previous year’s harvest in conjunction with a long-term estimate of the rate of herd growth. This projection gives biologists a reference point from which to discuss quotas for the season ahead. The projected pre-hunt population for the 2004 season was 1.7 million total deer and 1.5 million excluding CWD areas.


Using the registered deer from the 2004 season to reconstruct the pre-hunt population, the estimated pre-hunt population is 1,443,646 deer without the CWD units being accounted for. The difference between the reconstructed pre-hunt estimate of 1.4 million deer (compiled from the harvest data) and the projected population (1.5 million deer) is 7 %.


Toronto Fish Company Owner Fined $60,000

SARNIA — A Toronto fish company owner has been fined $60,000 for buying and selling fish illegally caught in Lake St. Clair.

Heng Miou was found guilty of two counts of buying and two of selling fish that had been caught without a commercial fishing license between December 2002 and July 2003.  He was fined $15,000 on each count.


Miou’s company, Hengken Seafood Corporation, of Highfield Road, Toronto, was found guilty of the same charges and given suspended sentences.  The company and Miou were put on probation for two years.

Court heard that the firm sold the fish to nine Toronto area stores, seven of which have been convicted of selling the fish, receiving fines totaling $39,900.  Charges against the two remaining stores are due to be heard later this year.


The sentences against Miou and the company were handed down by Justice of the Peace

S. Stewart in the Ontario Court of Justice, Sarnia, on March 14.


The public is asked to protect its natural resources by reporting violations to the local Ministry of Natural Resources office or calling Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

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