Week of March 28, 2011
|Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues|
|Other Breaking News Items|
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
The Bushnell Elite series handgun scope offers pistol and revolver shooters a tough, high quality scope designed to handle the heavy recoil of hunting loads. The scope is forged from tough T5056 aluminum and built to withstand heavy use. The multi-coated lenses feature Ultra Wide Band (UWB) Coating, providing optimum brightness, true color across the light spectrum and constant light transmission of 90 percent.
Purged using Argon gas, the Elite series scopes are 100 percent waterproof and fog proof. Benefits of Argon-purging include a lesser likelihood of dissipation from the scope body, due to the large atom size, and the gas doesn't
create chemical reactions that can result in the corrosion or degradation of seals. The handgun scope also features the patented RainGuard® HD lens coating, a permanent, water-repellant coating that causes moisture to bead up and scatter less light, allowing the scope to perform in inclement weather.
The Elite handgun scope is available in a 2-6x 32mm configuration with 20 inches of constant eye relief, making it ideal for handguns with heavy recoil.
Now Bushnell has added a 12x 50mm model for extended-range glassing. The Fusion features BAK-4 roof prisms, a built-in battery life indicator, twist-up eyecups, and fully multi-coated optics. Its fully waterproof design meets IPX7 waterproof specifications, and the patented RainGuard HD coating beads up moisture and prevents fogging, guaranteeing a clear view on unclear days.
The built in laser rangefinder measures distances from 10-1,600 yards, with +/- one-yard accuracy. It features ARC (Angle Range Compensating) technology, which calculates the angle to the target - from -90 to +90 degrees - and provides the "hold over" range for rifle shooters and the true horizontal distance for bow hunters. The Fusion offers five different modes of operation, including the Brush, BullsEye and Scan viewing modes and Bow and Rifle shooting modes.
An additional key feature is the Variable Sight-In Distance
capability, also known as VSI™. In rifle mode, 100, 150,
200 and 300 yard sight-in distances are available to accommodate different shooting styles and preferences. Users can also choose between inches and MOA for holdover on longer shots.
The display incorporates state-of-the-art Vivid Display Technology for improved light transmission and resolution. With four adjustable intensity settings and high contrast, the Fusion provides legible distance readings in every light condition. Includes a battery, neck-strap and carrying case
Federal Budget cuts
put Recreational Fishing Programs at risk
Please send a
letter to your Members of Congress today to ensure that fisheries management
and conservation continues its success in the future. It is important that
industry members send comments!
Sample Message For Your Letter
You can also tailor this for your personal letter
Bighead Carp Added to Federal List of Injurious Wildlife
Congress, on December 14, 2010 acted to make it a crime to possess or transport Asian Bighead carp and The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a final rule in the Federal Register on March 22, officially adding the bighead carp to the federal injurious wildlife list. The final rule codifies the Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act (S. 1421), signed into law by President Obama on December 14, 2010. The injurious wildlife listing means that under the Lacey Act it is illegal to import or to transport live bighead carp, including viable eggs or hybrids of the species, across state lines, except by permit for zoological, education, medical, or scientific purposes.
Under the Lacey Act, an injurious wildlife listing means the species has been demonstrated to be harmful to either the health and welfare of humans, interests of forestry, agriculture, or horticulture, or the welfare and survival of wildlife or the resources that wildlife depend upon. The penalty for violating the Lacey Act is up to six months in prison and a $5,000 fine for an individual or a $10,000 fine for an organization.
Curbing interstate transport of live bighead carp promotes the federal government’s goal of preventing the carp’s spread into new lakes and rivers in the United States,
where it can have devastating effects on native species. The Service listed other Asian carps (the black carp, silver carp, and largescale silver carp) as injurious wildlife in 2007.
Bighead carp were imported from eastern China to Arkansas in the 1970s to improve water quality in aquaculture ponds and sewage treatment lagoons. The fish, which can grow to 60 or more pounds, have since spread through the Mississippi River basin and have been collected as far north as Lake Pepin in Minnesota. Because of their large size and abundance, bighead carp routinely out-compete native fish for food. If bighead carp enter the Great Lakes and become established, they potentially threaten the 1.5 million jobs and $62 billion in wages connected to the Great Lakes.
The bighead carp injurious wildlife listing is just one of many steps the federal government is taking to protect the country’s aquatic ecosystems from Asian carp. On December 16, 2010, the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) released an updated version of the Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework. The ACRCC represents a state and federal partnership dedicated to stopping the spread of all types of injurious Asian carp, including bighead, into the Great Lakes.
For more info how the Service is working with partners to control Asian carp: www.fws.gov/midwest/Fisheries/asian-carp.html.
Report done every five years
The USFWS will again be conducting the 12th National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. Hunters, anglers and other wildlife enthusiasts across the nation will be asked to participate in interviewing set to begin April 1. The quinquenial survey, which has been conducted every five years since 1955, will involve 53,000 households.
The survey is funded by the Multistate Conservation Grant Program authorized by the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs Improvement Act of 2000. The survey provides the only comprehensive statistical database available on participation and expenditures for hunting, fishing and wildlife-watching in all 50 states. The information is collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, primarily through telephone interviews to be conducted April to June and September to October in 2011, and January to March in 2012. Those contacted will be asked about their participation and expenditures in several categories of wildlife-associated recreation. The results will be available in a national report and in 50 individual state reports.
"The last survey published in 2006 revealed 87.5 million Americans enjoyed some form of wildlife-related recreation and spent more than $122.3 billion pursuing their activities," said Hannibal Bolton, assistant director for the Service's Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program. "The survey is a critical information resource for federal and state wildlife agencies, outdoor and tourist industries, local governments, planners, conservation groups, journalists and others interested in wildlife and outdoor recreation."
Participation is voluntary and all responses are strictly confidential. Data collected is used for statistical purposes only and no participant can be identified from information contained in the database and follow-up reports. Representative samples will be based on the initial contacts and include 19,000 anglers and hunters and 10,000 wildlife watchers (wildlife photographers, feeders, and observers).
Preliminary survey findings will be available in the spring of 2012. Final reports will be issued beginning in the fall of 2012. The completed reports, when completed, will be posted at http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov .
WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reached an agreement with the majority of plaintiffs, including Defenders of Wildlife, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, and eight other conservation organizations, to settle ongoing litigation over a Federal District Court’s 2010 decision to reinstate Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains.
If approved by the court, the settlement offers a path for the Service to return management of the recovered wolf populations in Idaho and Montana to the States while the Service considers options for delisting gray wolves across the Rocky Mountain region, where population levels have returned to biologically recovered levels.
Under the terms of the settlement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has agreed to address the delisting of wolves in the region in the future as a distinct population segment, rather than on a state-by-state basis. The parties are requesting that the court allow the 2009 delisting to be reinstated in Montana and Idaho on an interim basis, in accordance with approved state management plans, until a full delisting can be completed for the northern Rocky Mountain wolf population. The parties are agreeing that they allow these steps to move forward, up to and including a potential delisting of Rocky Mountain wolves, without resorting to further litigation.
Separate negotiations are ongoing between the Service and the State of Wyoming in an effort to reach agreement
on a management plan for wolves in that state. If a mutually acceptable management plan for wolves in Wyoming can be developed, then the Service will be able to proceed with delisting proceedings addressing wolves throughout the northern Rocky Mountains.
The delisting provided for under this agreement does not extend to the small wolf populations in eastern Oregon and Washington, or to Utah, where there are not believed to be any resident wolves. FWS intends to address the longer term status of wolves in Oregon, Washington, and Utah when it issues a new rule addressing status of wolves across the Northern Rocky Mountain region. FWS will work with state officials in Oregon, Washington and Utah in the meantime to address any wolf management issues and retains the option to consider reclassifying wolves from "endangered" to "threatened" in those states in order to provide more management flexibility.
The Service and the plaintiffs have agreed to take other actions that will clarify implementation of the ESA and ensure that a recovered wolf population continues to be sustainably managed under approved state management plans. Additional terms of the proposed agreement are available here: www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&PageID=238574
The ESA provides a critical safety net for America’s native fish, wildlife and plants. This landmark conservation law has prevented the extinction of hundreds of imperiled species across the nation and promoted the recovery of many others.
In Historic Legal Challenge, AG leads Coalition against Five Largest Producers of Greenhouse Gases
A.G. Argues Electric Utility Companies are Causing a “Public Nuisance” and Can be Forced to Curb Emissions
WASHINGTON – In a landmark legal challenge, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman filed a brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the right of states to sue five polluting power companies to force them to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the primary cause of global warming.
Leading a coalition on behalf of New York, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the City of New York, Attorney General Schneiderman argued that the power companies are causing a “public nuisance” by releasing greenhouse gases into the air, and can therefore be held accountable in court. The case is American Electric Power Co., Inc. v. Connecticut.
“Climate change threatens our economy, our health and our natural resources. This lawsuit protects New Yorkers and our environment from the serious harms caused by unrestrained greenhouse gas pollution,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “As some of the biggest global warming polluters in the country, these five companies produce 10 percent of the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions. To protect our future, we must have the right to hold these polluters accountable in a court of law.”
In 2004, New York—along with several other states, New York City, and environmental groups—sued five large electric power companies in federal court in New York to force them to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from their fossil fuel burning power plants. These corporations – American Electric Power Co., Cinergy Corp., Southern Co., the Tennessee Valley Authority and Xcel Energy Inc. – are the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the country, accounting for approximately 10 percent of all domestic human-generated carbon dioxide. Together, they own or operate 174 fossil fuel burning power plants in 20 states that emit about 650 million tons of carbon dioxide each year – almost a quarter of the U.S. utility industry’s annual carbon dioxide emissions.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency does not currently regulate these emissions, and the power companies have, by and large, failed to voluntarily take practical, cost-effective steps that would allow them to generate electricity with lower emissions.
In 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
upheld the states’ right to bring this lawsuit. The power companies appealed the case to the Supreme Court, which will hear arguments on April 19, and is expected to decide the case by July. Attorney General Schneiderman is vigorously defending the appeals court’s ruling to protect New Yorkers from the harms caused by climate change. These harms include causing asthma and other respiratory diseases, eroding beaches and inundating properties on Long Island, increasing heat-related deaths in New York City, lowering water levels in the Great Lakes that harm the shipping industry, and killing off hardwood forests in the Adirondacks.
This is the first case where state and local governments have sued private companies to require reductions in the heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions that scientists say pose serious threats to our health, economy and environment. It was filed under the federal common law of public nuisance, which provides a right of action to curb air and water pollution emanating from sources in other states. Public nuisance is a well-established legal doctrine that is commonly invoked in environmental cases and forms the basis for much of today’s modern environmental law. The defendant companies’ emissions contribute to a harm borne by all members of the public, and the states and City of New York have the right to protect their residents and properties from such widespread harm.
The brief, filed on March 11, is the most recent action Attorney General Schneiderman has taken to protect New Yorkers’ health, safety and economic security from environmental pollution. In January, Attorney General Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against a Pennsylvania-based power plant for violating the Clean Air Act and threatening New York’s air quality. Schneiderman also led a coalition of state attorneys general in calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to keep in place critical environmental regulations protecting New Yorkers from mercury and other toxic substances hazardous to human health and the environment.
A separate brief was filed by three land trusts: Open Space Institute, Inc., Open Space Conservancy, Inc., and Audubon Society of New Hampshire.
The case is being handled in the Supreme Court by Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, Deputy Solicitor General Benjamin Gutman, Assistant Solicitor General Monica Wagner, and Assistant Attorneys General Michael Myers, Morgan Costello, and Robert Rosenthal.
A copy of the Attorney General’s brief is available at: www.ag.ny.gov/media_center/2011/mar/10-17_%20bs.pdf .
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Voltage coursing through electrical barriers designed to keep invasive Asian carp out of the Great Lakes may need to be raised to keep out juvenile fish, U.S. officials said on March 25.
The Army Corps of Engineers has mounted a multimillion-dollar effort to keep voracious Bighead and Silver Carp that now infest the Mississippi River Basin out of the Great Lakes, where scientists predict they could decimate the lakes' $7 billion fishery. "The current barrier operating parameters are effective for fish as small as 5.4" in length," the Corps said in a news release. "The research published in this report suggests that slightly higher operating parameters than those currently in use may be necessary to immobilize all very small Asian carp, as small as 1.7 to 3.2" in length."
Juvenile carp can swim 37 miles by the time they reach 6 inches in length. Environmentalists and several state governments have fought to create a permanent ecological separation between the Mississippi River basin and the Great Lakes. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, other
federal agencies and Chicago-area governments have
joined commercial shippers, sightseeing operators and recreational boaters in an bid to keep the waterways open.
For now, officials say smaller, juvenile carp are well downstream from the three electrical barriers on the canal that links the river system to the Great Lakes, so the two-volt current laid down by the barriers will be maintained.
The best estimate of a potentially reproducible population of Bighead carp is 25 miles downstream from the barriers, Charles Wooley of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said. Lock and dam structures have impeded the carp's progress, Wooley said, and agency crews will be vigilant during the summer spawning season to kill carp in the pools between dams.
A U.S. study to be completed this spring will determine the impact on barges and barge operators if the voltage in the barriers is raised to 2.3 volts, which laboratory tests show is sufficient to repel the juvenile carp. Army Corps Major General John Peabody stressed that the voltage impact on the juvenile carp was measured in a laboratory, and "needs to be validated" in the field.
After basking in unusually warm weather last week, the Great Lakes region saw temperatures drop to near average levels last weekend. Average temperatures persisted until Wednesday, when temperatures fell again. Significant precipitation took place in different parts of the Great Lakes basin this week, with one notable example being the six inches of snow that fell in Buffalo and Rochester, NY on Wednesday. Lower than average temperatures will continue through this weekend and into Monday. Most of the basin is expected to experience temperatures more than 10 degrees below average. Minimal precipitation is forecasted for this weekend.
LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS
Currently, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 8 and 10 inches, respectively, below their levels of a year ago. Lake St. Clair is 16 inches above last year's level, while Lakes Erie and Ontario are 5 and 4 inches, respectively, higher than what they were a year ago. Over the next month, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are expected to rise 2 and 4 inches, respectively. Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are projected to climb 2, 2, and 6 inches, respectively, over the next 30 days. See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.
FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS
The outflow from Lake Superior into the St. Mary's River is expected to be below average for the month of March. The outflows from Lake Huron into the St. Clair River, from Lake St. Clair into the Detroit River, and from Lake Erie into the Niagara River are all expected to be near average
throughout the month of March. The outflow from Lake
Ontario into the St. Lawrence River is predicted to be below average. Ice build-up in the connecting channels can greatly affect flows and may cause significant fluctuations in water levels.
The water levels of Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are below chart datum, and are forecasted to remain below chart datum over the next several months. Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels. Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings. Ice information can be found at the National Ice Center's website.
2011 yellow perch and walleye levels similar to last year
YPSILANTI, MI – The Lake Erie Committee (LEC), a binational board of fishery managers from MI, NY, OH, ON, and PA, recommended a 2011 total allowable catch (TAC) of 12.651 million lbs of yellow perch and 2.919 million walleye. Yellow perch and walleye TACs are similar to last year’s levels. These recommendations are based on extensive biological assessments and analyses by Canadian and American fishery agencies. For both yellow perch and walleye, the committee is moving forward on a revision of fisheries policies and guidelines for the future.
Overall, yellow perch stocks in Lake Erie are on the decline, though the stocks are stronger in the lake’s eastern basin. For 2011, the Yellow Perch LEC estimates 130 million yellow perch in Lake Erie, a 28% reduction from 2010 and a reduction from more than 400 million fish in the mid-2000s. The decline is due to a weak year class in 2009. The fishery is currently sustained by older fish from some good recruitment during the past decade.
Given the state of the Lake Erie yellow perch fishery, the committee recommended a 2011 TAC of 12.651 million lbs, a small decrease from last year’s allocation of 13.137 million lbs. LEC members say weak year classes may lead to lower allocations in some management units in the future.
The five jurisdictions on the lake divide the lakewide allocation of yellow perch based on allocation formulas by management unit. For 2011, Ontario’s allocation is 6.182 million lbs, Ohio 4.991 million lbs, and Michigan 0.188
million lbs. NY and PA will receive 0.246 million lbs and 1.044 million lbs, respectively. In 2010, actual lakewide yellow perch harvest was 9.69 million lbs or 74% of the TAC.
The LEC recommended a binational TAC for walleye in 2011 of 2.919 million fish, compared to the TAC of 2.200 million fish in 2010. Actual walleye harvest in 2010 was approximately 2.0 million fish, or 91% of the TAC. Committee fishery experts reported that walleye recruitment in recent years has been moderate, particularly the 2007 year class. Fish from the 2007 year class and the exceptional 2003 hatch remain the major contributors to the fishery. The increased TAC recommendation for 2011 reflects the LEC consensus that walleye status in Lake Erie appears better than previously forecasted.
The TAC is recommended by the Lake Erie Committee and is allocated to OH, MI and ON by an area-based sharing formula of walleye habitat within each jurisdiction in the western and central basins of the lake. Under a 2011 TAC of 2.919 million fish, OH will be entitled to 1.492 million fish, ON 1.257 million fish, and MI 0.170 million fish. The walleye fisheries of eastern Lake Erie remain outside the quota management area and harvest limits in that area are established by ON, PA, and NY.
The Lake Erie Committee is aware that the 2011 TAC recommendation, while an increase from last year, is still lower than TACs of five to ten years ago and substantially lower from TACs of the 1980s and 1990s. Abundance of walleye in Lake Erie today is estimated to be 21.2 million fish, compared to highs of between 70 and 80 million fish in the past.
Offer current research/info on status of the Lake Huron fishery
Michigan Sea Grant and Michigan State University Extension, in partnership with the Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division, USGS Great Lakes Science Center, and local fishery organizations will be hosting four evening regional workshops across Lake Huron’s coastline.
Workshops are open to the public, and will provide valuable information for anglers, charter captains, resource professionals, and others interested in attending, including updates related to salmon management in Lake Huron, walleyes in Saginaw Bay, forage fish surveys and results from the recent Lake Huron predator diet study, among other Lake Huron related topics.
You are invited to participate!
Four evening Lake Huron Regional Fishery Workshops (approx. 3 hours each) are open to the public at no cost. Workshop opportunities include:
Date: Wednesday, April 13
Time: 6:00 — 9:00 p.m.
Location: Charles A. Hammond American Legion Hall
1026 6th Street, Port Huron, MI 48060
Date: Tuesday, April 19
Time: 6:00 — 9:00 p.m.
Location: Les Cheneaux Sportsman’s Club
M-134, Cedarville, MI 49719
(2-3 miles east of blinking light in Cedarville)
Date: Wednesday, April 20
Time: 6:00 — 9:00 p.m.
Location: Wiltse’s Family Restaurant
5606 F-41, Oscoda, MI 48750
Date: Thursday, April 21
Time: 6:00 — 9:00 p.m.
Location: Ubly Fox Hunter’s Club
8780 S. Ubly Rd, Ubly, MI 48475
Workshops are no cost to participants, how-ever pre-registration is requested.
To register, contact:
Michigan Sea Grant - Iosco County Office
Program information or questions, contact:
Michigan Sea Grant
Workshop details available online: www.miseagrant.umich.edu/fisheries
2011 Workshop Registration Are Now Available - Click Here!
This year's workshop will be held April 29th through May 1st at Ross Camp in West Lafayette, Indiana. Registrations will be opened to the public on March 1st.
Whether you've never stepped foot in the woods or you're a seasoned outdoor enthusiast, you'll have a wild time at Indiana's Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshop, The program is designed for women 18-80+ to learn outdoor skills in a relaxed, low-pressure environment. Shoot clay targets, paddle a canoe, catch a trophy bass, become a
campfire gourmet cook, make a fur hat, spot rare wild birds, or learn to track deer...it's up to you. Design your own outdoor experience to match your interests.
The BOW workshop is for you if…
· You have never tried these activities, but have hoped for an opportunity to learn.
· You are a beginner who hopes to improve your skills.
· You know how to do some of these activities, but would like to try your hand at some new ones.
You enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded individuals and you seek time away to reconnect with nature
The Michigan DNR is reminding fishing guides who utilize state-owned lands to access Michigan’s inland lakes or streams as part of their commercial operation that they are required to have written permission from the DNR prior to using state- owned lands.
Since 2006, inland fishing guides in Michigan have been required to obtain written permission, in the form of a lease to use state-owned public water access sites. Guides pay an annual Use of Land fee, must also provide proof of general liability insurance, and must have a state-issued
inland pilot’s license or a U.S. Coast Guard captain’s
license. Use of Land fees provide funding for maintenance of state forest lands, including public-water access sites.
For more info: Brenda Mikula, DNR Parks and Recreation Division, at 231-597-0472 or visit www.michigan.gov/dnrfishing and click on Angler Information, Inland Fishing Guides, to find a link for the fishing guide lease application form.
For info on how to obtain an inland pilot license: Sylvia Roossien, DNR Law Enforcement Division, at 517-241-3793.
Unlike last year when
opening day trout anglers were greeted with relatively tranquil
conditions, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
(DEC) informs this winter's heavy snows and resultant high, cold stream
conditions will not be friendly to early season trout anglers.
Fisheries webpages are some of the most popular on the DEC website and contain a wealth of information that anglers will find helpful. Anglers are also encouraged to contact the DEC Regional Office in the region they plan on fishing for additional information.
In an effort to further
refine its stream trout management program, the 2011 angling season will
kick off a new study being conducted jointly by DEC and Cornell
University to examine the fate of trout stocked in our waters. Creel
surveys and trout population assessments are planned for seven stocked
trout streams across the state as part of a three-year research project
to check the performance of the Catch Rate Oriented Trout Stocking (CROTS)
model used by the DEC to set stocking rates. Waters included in the
study are the Carmans River, Esopus Creek, West Branch Delaware River,
Oriskany Creek, Otselic Creek, Meads Creek, and East Koy Creek. Anglers
fishing these waters can help by answering a few questions on their
fishing trip if approached by a DEC creel clerk and by allowing the
clerk to examine and measure any harvested fish.
Anglers 16 years of age
and older must have a New York State fishing license available on line
www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6101.html or by calling 1-86-NY-DECALS.
Fishing licenses can also be purchased from the 1,500 license issuing
agents located throughout the state (town and county clerks, some major
discount stores and many tackle and sporting goods stores). An
interactive map providing the locations of these agents is now available
on line. By law, every dollar spent on a fishing license helps fund the
DEC fish stocking program and other programs conducted by the Division
of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources. Please be sure to also purchase
a Habitat/Access Stamp to help fund important access and habitat
projects. For more information on the Habitat/Access Stamp Program, go
Task Forces to Help Set Season Dates for Waterfowl Hunting in New York
The New York State DEC inviting hunters to submit recommendations to regional Waterfowl Hunter Task Forces for the dates of the fall 2011 duck hunting seasons. DEC will evaluate the task force recommendations in setting waterfowl seasons, which must comply with federal rules.
New York is divided into five waterfowl hunting zones: Western, Southeastern, Northeastern, Lake Champlain, and Long Island. DEC recently appointed task forces for each zone (except Lake Champlain, see link below) to solicit recommendations for the fall 2011 hunting seasons, including opening and closing dates, split seasons and a special hunting weekend for youths. Each task force includes representatives from the New York State Conservation Council, established waterfowl hunting organizations and individual waterfowl hunters who were chosen to provide input from diverse points of view.
The recommended dates must be within federal guidelines established by the USFWS. For fall 2011, DEC expects the USFWS to allow a 60-day duck season, split into no more than two segments per zone, opening no earlier than Sept. 24, 2011, and closing no later than Jan. 29, 2012.
Waterfowl hunters can participate by providing duck season suggestions to any task force member on or before April 15, 2011. Names and contact information for all task
force members are listed on the DEC website at: www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/42364.html.
Comments can be provided by mail, telephone or e-mail. The comment due date is important because the task forces will provide their recommendations in late April and DEC plans to announce tentative duck hunting season dates in June.
Input on hunting seasons for other migratory game birds, including Canada geese, snow geese, brant and woodcock, may be submitted also to any member of DEC's season-setting team. However, due to greater uncertainty about federal regulations for those species, decisions and tentative dates will probably not be known until later in the summer.
Waterfowl seasons in the Lake Champlain Zone will continue to be set by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Management Board, with input from DEC and waterfowl hunters in New York and Vermont. Although there is no formal task force for this zone, hunters can send their suggestions to any DEC season-setting team member.
Descriptions of New York State's waterfowl hunting zones can be found on the DEC website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28497.html and are listed in DEC's Waterfowl Hunting Seasons and Regulations brochure. The tentative waterfowl hunting season dates will be posted on the DEC website and announced by news release in June.
Conditions Will Be Tough For Early Season Anglers in Most Areas of the State
Unlike last year when opening day trout anglers were greeted with relatively tranquil conditions, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) informs this winter’s heavy snows and resultant high, cold stream conditions will not be friendly to early season trout anglers.
“After a long, cold and snowy winter, we know that anglers are anxious to hit the water,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “Unfortunately, a good portion of the state remains covered with snow, which may restrict access to streams and cause very high stream flows making early season angling difficult.”
Trout, lake trout and landlocked Atlantic salmon seasons all begin on April 1. Best fishing on opening day can be found on Long Island and the lower Hudson Valley where even in the toughest of springs, fishable water can be found.
DEC plans to stock over 2.3 million catchable-size brook, brown and rainbow trout in more than 300 lakes and ponds and roughly 3,000 miles of streams across the state. Spring stockings include 1.77 million brown trout, 390,000 rainbow trout and 147,000 brook trout. Approximately 97,000 two-year-old brown trout 12-13 inches in length will also be stocked across into lakes and streams across the state. Stocking of catchable-size trout generally commences in late March and early April in the lower Hudson Valley, Long Island, and western New York and then proceeds to the Catskills and Adirondacks as stream conditions permit.
More than 2.25 million yearling lake trout, steelhead, landlocked salmon, splake and coho salmon will be also be stocked by DEC this spring to provide exciting angling opportunities over the next several years. For those who prefer a quieter, more remote setting, 350,000 brook trout fingerlings will be stocked in 342 lakes and ponds this spring and fall, providing unique angling opportunities for future years. For a complete list of waters planned to be stocked with trout this spring, go to www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30465.html .
Early season trout fishing recommendations by DEC staff in each region, including suggestions on where to find good opportunities to fish for wild trout can be found in the 2011 Coldwater Fishing Forecast at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7749.html. Anglers searching for publicly accessible streams can find maps of DEC public fishing rights holdings on the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9924.html. The Bureau of
Fisheries webpages are some of the most popular on the
DEC website and contain a wealth of information that anglers will find helpful. Anglers are also encouraged to contact the DEC Regional Office in the region they plan on fishing for additional information.
In an effort to further refine its stream trout management program, the 2011 angling season will kick off a new study being conducted jointly by DEC and Cornell University to examine the fate of trout stocked in our waters. Creel surveys and trout population assessments are planned for seven stocked trout streams across the state as part of a three-year research project to check the performance of the Catch Rate Oriented Trout Stocking (CROTS) model used by the DEC to set stocking rates. Waters included in the study are the Carmans River, Esopus Creek, West Branch Delaware River, Oriskany Creek, Otselic Creek, Meads Creek, and East Koy Creek. Anglers fishing these waters can help by answering a few questions on their fishing trip if approached by a DEC creel clerk and by allowing the clerk to examine and measure any harvested fish.
Anglers 16 years of age and older must have a New York State fishing license available on line at www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6101.html or by calling 1-86-NY-DECALS. Fishing licenses can also be purchased from the 1,500 license issuing agents located throughout the state (town and county clerks, some major discount stores and many tackle and sporting goods stores). An interactive map providing the locations of these agents is now available on line. By law, every dollar spent on a fishing license helps fund the DEC fish stocking program and other programs conducted by the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources. Please be sure to also purchase a Habitat/Access Stamp to help fund important access and habitat projects. For more information on the Habitat/Access Stamp Program, go to www.dec.ny.gov/permits/329.html.
Anglers are reminded to be sure to disinfect their fishing equipment, including waders and boots before entering a new body of water. Since 2007, Didymo, an invasive algae species, has been discovered in the Battenkill and Kayderosseras Creek in DEC Region 5, Esopus Creek and Rondout Creek in Region 3 and the Little Delaware River, West Branch Delaware River and East Branch Delaware River in Region 4. Didymo can attach to waders, particularly felt soles, and this is believed to be the primary mechanism for its spread from its initial discovery location. Wading anglers are encouraged to use readily available alternatives to felt-soled waders and wading boots. All gear should be dried and/or disinfected before it is used in a new body of water. Methods to clean and disinfect fishing gear can be found on DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/50121.html.
MADISON – The Department of Natural Resources and Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) today announced a number of updates to the court-approved rules that govern Chippewa Indian hunting, fishing and trapping off-reservation rights in Wisconsin's Ceded Territory.
The 1991 court judgment in Lac Courte Oreilles Indians v. State of Wis., most commonly known as the Voigt decision, required the six Wisconsin Chippewa bands to establish a conservation code by which their off reservation treaty rights would be exercised. They did so by creating the Off Reservation Model Code.
“Changes in hunting, fishing and trapping opportunities since the original agreement support these modifications both to maintain the original intent of the agreement and to streamline implementation,” said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp “These changes will not endanger our wildlife, fish and forest resources but will make things simpler and more efficient.”
GLIFWC and DNR representatives worked closely over the past year and a half to address the areas where changes were needed to the Off Reservation Model Code and succeeded in producing modifications without the need for litigation. Both the tribes and the state view the result as a step forward in the way these issues are handled for all parties. “It is really significant that we were able to institutionalize the communication and dialogue between the parties,” said James Zorn, GLIFWC Executive Administrator.
Many of the modifications mirror changes in state hunting, fishing and trapping codes, and other changes represent an increase in the level of shared knowledge and cooperation between the department and GLIFWC staff.
Updates include changes in walleye spearing harvest monitoring for small-quota lakes, streamlining of tribal wildlife quota declarations for antlerless deer, bear, fisher, otter and bobcat and a pilot project that allows tribal offices to issue gathering permits for certain forest products.
The changes in walleye harvest reporting procedures apply only to lakes with a harvestable walleye quota of 75 or fewer fish. All fish speared in these lakes must still be reported. In the past, walleye harvest could only be reported at the landing of the lake just speared. Fish speared in these small-quota lakes can now be reported at a location other than the landing of the speared lake. Quotas are not increased, only the reporting procedure has been modified.
DNR can now also move ahead with season structure setting ahead of receiving tribal harvest declarations for antlerless deer, bear, fisher, otter and bobcat if tribal harvests remain below 15% of the tribal share of these species, thereby simplifying the season setting process.
The changes were filed with the court as an amendment to the final judgment entered in 1991.
A summary of the changes:
Meetings of the Agency Leadership
Allows for a regularized process to coordinate communication by agency leaders in DNR and GLIFWC, and agrees that both parties will make good faith efforts to coordinate regarding their respective management and regulatory authorities.
Biennial Stipulation Review
Allows both parties to coordinate discussion of proposed management and regulatory issues and to provide a regular schedule for stipulation review and possible amendment in that the parties agree to make good faith efforts to undertake a review of, and propose changes to, the stipulations no less than biennially
Technical Updates and Amendments
Establishes a mechanism that allows for automatic implementation of provisions of a GLIFWC “Commission Order,” after consultation with the state and agreement of the parties, for issues that substantially mirror existing and future state law changes to the management of resources within the ceded territory; a Tribe may choose to adopt more restrictive measures thereby reserving each Tribe’s authority. This amendment makes the implementation of a Commission Order less cumbersome by eliminating the need for continuous ratification of the tribal codes that previously had to be amended after the issuance of each Commission Order.
Adjacent Spawning Stream Segments
Establishes designated adjacent spawning stream segments as one “unit” for spearing purposes where the walleye declaration for a particular lake applies to both to the lake and designated river segment.
Designated River and Stream Segment Regulation – Long Term Six Year Joint Study
Establishes a six year joint study of existing stream segments which may be amended upon agreement of the parties, that allows for the harvest of 60 walleye per segment per day without restrictions on the number of boats or spearers, and without the five fish daily bag limit, while maintaining the 120 fish total annual harvest per segment with a maximum of two days allowed for harvest.
Additional Designated River and Stream Segments – Long Term Six Year Joint Study
Establishes a long term six year joint study for spearing in eight designated stream segments that the tribes have had annual recurring access for ongoing study.
Calculation of Safety Factors
Establishes defined timeline for the parties to review data, methodology and calculations for the appropriate “safety factors” used in setting walleye and muskellunge safe harvest levels every 10 years, unless both parties agree to meet earlier, or if such review is unnecessary.
Gillnet Mesh Size – Six Year Joint Study
Establishes a six year joint study that makes permanent existing ongoing annual studies which may be amended upon agreement of the parties, that continues to allow for the use of additional gillnet mesh sizes on lakes 1,000 acres or larger.
Alternative Monitoring of Tribal Walleye Harvest on Certain Lakes
Creates an administrative mechanism that sets forth the list of certain low quota harvest lakes (maximum quota of 75 walleye) where on-site monitoring is not required, upon agreement of the parties. Registration of the harvest is still required.
Wildlife Quotas/Bag Limits – Thresholds
Establishes a stipulation change identical to what is currently in place for turkey to implement the threshold harvest system in Wisconsin for the following species; antlerless deer, black bears, fishers, otters and bobcats. The shift from a declared quota prior to harvest to a system limiting harvest in the following year is designed to mirror the state’s management system for the species listed, and is based on the fact that the tribes rarely approach the 50% harvest limitation for those species. Tribal members would be regulated by a daily bag limit, registration would still be required (within 3 working days of harvest), and carcass tags are still required.
Tribal Gathering on State Lands – Two Year Joint Assessment
Establishes management and regulatory principles pertaining to tribal gathering on select DNR properties for a two year trial study period; it will provide a means for tribal self regulation while establishing the necessary assurance that the tribes will ensure that their members’ gathering activities are consistent with the state’s management objectives.
Tribal Mentored Hunting Regulations
Codifies the regulatory change established via state law for mentored state youth less than 12 years in age and GLIFWC Commission Order #2009-01, that established culturally appropriate regulations to provide tribal members more treaty harvest opportunities in line with state harvesters by expanding hunting opportunities for tribal hunters less than twelve years of age and for tribal hunters that have not been issued a certificate of accomplishment from a tribal hunter education and firearm safety course.
Deer Unit Goal Review
Allows the Department the flexibility to re-evaluate the three (3) year time frame for deer unit goal review by establishing a deer unit goal review every five (5) years
Updates the list and mechanism for on going updates to the current DNR committees that routinely address treaty reserved resources covered by the Voigt decision while continuing to deepen and further the ongoing GLIFWC‑DNR relationships established to date, and providing for a framework for continued dialogue
Tribal State Park Hunting Document Established
Establishes an administrative mechanism that sets forth the regulations and state parks available to tribal harvest entitled
CITES Export Program
Establishes a stipulation change pertaining to GLIFWC’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Export Program. CITES tags issued under this program would be provided to GLIFWC, which would be responsible for distributing them to the tribes, and which would report to the U.S. Management Authority as required by the program delegation.
MADISON - Adults who love to fish or care about Wisconsin lakes and streams can help pass on a favorite Wisconsin tradition to a new generation by attending angler education training workshops set for the Madison area, Dodgeville, the Wisconsin Dells, and Waukesha in April and May.
The Department of Natural Resources Angler Education Program introduces children to basic fishing skills and connects them to Wisconsin's lakes and streams. Adults who attend the workshop receive free materials that they can use to teach their own angler education courses and help guide adventures in local water resource investigations.
Fishing equipment and other materials are available for loan to instructors for their programs, according to Theresa Stabo, DNR aquatic resources education director. More workshops are listed as they are scheduled, so check back frequently to the angler education workshop schedule web page or sign up for Angler Education updates to receive e-mail alerts when new sessions have been added.
Unless otherwise noted, all workshops are free of charge and include lunch or dinner, however, there is a $15
workshop commitment fee to ensure good attendance by registrants. Pre-registration is required and forms can be downloaded from the angler education workshop schedule page of the DNR website and returned to the address on the registration form.
Instructor certification requires a background check; forms will be available at all workshops and certification confirmed within a few weeks of the workshop, Stabo says.
Additional multi-day, for-credit workshops are also found on the web site as are notices of workshops at statewide teacher Conferences.
For More Information About Specific Clinics Contact: Kim Anderson, (608) 261-6431
Other Breaking News Items
(Click on title or URL to read full article)
DNA tests show Wisconsin's Great Lakes waters remain Asian-carp free. Samples taken by Notre Dame U. researchers from the Milwaukee, Kinnickinnic and Menomonee rivers, as well as some smaller waterways, show no signs of bighead or silver carp. Similar tests taken across the Great Lakes - outside of the Chicago area - also show no sign of the carp, according to Peter Annin, managing director of Notre Dame's Environmental Change Initiative.
The Lake Ontario fishery continues to be great for a Great Lake, and it’s only going to get greater, provided a few tweaks planned by state and federal fishery biologists take hold. Jana Lantry, a fisheries biologist with the DEC, said creel surveys during 2010 reflected another great year for chinook salmon fishing, continuing an 8-year string.
The Army Corps of Engineers said it needs to raise the voltage on the Asian carp barrier near Chicago to deter small carp, but that won't happen until more safety tests are completed. The voltage on the barrier is now 2 volts per inch and should be increased to deter fish smaller than 5 inches, but…
Lamprey numbers shot up again last year in
AgriMarine Holdings (TSX-V:FSH) has joined forces with the Serpent River First Nation (SRFN) in an attempt to introduce its proprietary closed-containment fish-farming technology to Ontario.
The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the GLSFC, its officers or staff.
Reproduction of any material by paid-up members of the GLSFC is encouraged but appropriate credit must be given.
Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.
USFWS Press Releases Sea Grant News
Home | Great Lakes States | Membership | Exotics Update | Great Links
Pending Issues | Regional News | Great Lakes Basin Report | Weekly News / Archives