Week of April 3, 2006

Club News

World

National

Canada

Regional

General

Veterans Issuses

Illinois

Indiana

Michigan

Ohio

Wisconsin

       Weekly News Archives

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       New Product  Archives

Club News

Michiana Steelheaders Buffalo Bill Memorial Lake Tournament

Saturday April 22, 2006 - Blow date April 23, 2006

Registration Fee $75.00 before April 15th, after April 15th $100.00

 

Late Registration April 22nd, 6:00 am to 6:30 am cash

 

Captains must be members of the Michiana Steelheaders - $15.00 membership dues

All fishing times are Central Standard Time (Michigan City Time)

Fishing period starts at 7:30 am (no lines in the water prior to 7:30 am)

 

ALL DNR RULES APPLY

Payout: top six places and big fish.

Cash prizes based on 50 boats - All boats go out of Michigan City Port

FREE SLIP

For more information call Parker’s Bait Shop - 574-255-7703

 

For more info go to:  www.michianasteelheaders.com/   info@michianasteelheaders.com


 

World

Lack of Oxygen in Water Can Mean Way Too Many Male Fish

WASHINGTON (AP) - Dead zones -- oxygen-starved patches of ocean -- may be turning normal breeding grounds into the equivalent of male-dominated locker rooms for fish.   In lab experiments, newly born male zebrafish outnumber females 3-to-1 when oxygen is reduced. And the precious few females have testosterone levels about twice as high as normal, according to a scientific study released Wednesday.

 

Scientists are concerned that might reflect life in the dead zones, too.

 

Earlier studies also have found reproductive problems for males in other species in oxygen-starved waters. And though all the research is done in controlled laboratories, scientists say the gender bending is something that could explain what they are seeing in the nearly 150 dead zones worldwide.

 

This could be a serious problem because with the expansion of dead zones -- such as the massive Gulf of Mexico area now the size of New Jersey -- fish die, and those that don't die may not be able to keep the species alive, scientists say.

 

Having too many males "is not a good strategy for survival," said Alan Lewitus, who manages the dead zone program for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

 

The world's dead zones add up to about 100,000 square miles and most of those zones are man-made because of fertilizer and other farm run-off, said Robert Diaz, a professor of marine sciences at the College of William and Mary. More than 30 dead zones are in U.S. waters and are part of key

fisheries.

 

The stress of hypoxia -- the lack of oxygen in water -- tinkers with the genes that help make male and female sex hormones, said study lead author Rudolf Wu, director of the Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation at the City University of Hong Kong. Wu's peer-reviewed study will appear in the May issue of the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

 

Wu restricted the oxygen of zebrafish, which are freshwater aquarium fish, but said similar changes are possible in other species of fresh and saltwater fish. Fish often change genders during their lives, but this is different, he said.

 

"Since development of sex organs is modulated by sex hormones, hypoxia may therefore affect sex determination and development," Wu wrote in an e-mail interview. "Hypoxia covers a very large area worldwide, many areas and species may be affected in a similar way."

 

Wu and others said oxygen starvation may be a more powerful sex hormone-altering problem than the chemical pollution that has gotten widespread attention.

 

In the Gulf of Mexico, sexual development problems have been found with shrimp and croakers, said Nancy Rabalais, executive director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium.   The trend is worrisome, said Peter Thomas, professor of marine sciences at the University of Texas.   "Hypoxia is emerging as a really important stressor, possibly of even greater significance than chemicals," Thomas said. "When it does act, it shuts things down completely."


National

House committee votes to ban Asian carp

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House Judiciary Committee on March 29 voted to ban imports of Asian carp, a fish that officials from Great Lakes states fear will wreak havoc on the lakes' ecosystems.

 

"This invader is a threat to the Great Lakes' multibillion-dollar fishing industry, and Wisconsin's fishing tradition," said Rep. Mark Green, R-WI., the bill's sponsor. "We have an obligation to stop it while we can."

 

The bill would ban the importation and interstate transfer of Asian carp, which southern fish farmers depend on to control

parasites.

 

Some carp have escaped the farms and made their way north along the Mississippi River and its tributaries and could soon push into the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes region, the world's largest surface freshwater system, already is battling other exotic species, such as zebra mussels.

 

The voracious carp, which often leap out of the water, can grow to more than 100 pounds. The bill passed the committee without dissent Wednesday. Southern lawmakers are likely to oppose the legislation on the House floor.


U.S. puts machine-guns on Great Lakes coast guard vessels

CBC News  - For the first time since 1817, U.S. Coast Guard vessels on the Great Lakes are being outfitted with weapons – machine-guns capable of firing 600 bullets a minute. Until now, coast guard officers have been armed with handguns and rifles, but the vessels themselves haven't been equipped with weapons.

 

The War of 1812 saw violent battles on Lake Erie and Lake Huron between U.S. troops and British forces, which were largely composed of militias from Britain's colonies in what is now Canada. After the war, the United States and Britain – and later Canada – agreed to demilitarize the Great Lakes waters.  

 

The Rush-Bagot Treaty of 1817 allowed each country to station four vessels, each equipped with an 18-pound cannon, to safeguard the Great Lakes.  The antiquated treaty has recently been reinterpreted because of U.S. concerns about customs violations, human smuggling and international terrorism.

 

Each vessel is now equipped with a 7.62-mm machine-gun, a light military gun with the same caliber as a deer rifle but capable of shooting 600 bullets per minute.  The guns are typically mounted, but the U.S. Coast Guard said they will be stored below decks on the coast guard's 11 Great Lakes cutters and will be mounted only when needed.

Warning shots will be fired when vessels refuse to stop.  Staff members have conducted live-fire drills in the past few months in American waters off the coast of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

 

A Canadian Foreign Affairs official said Ottawa has agreed to read the treaty in such a way that coast guard vessels may be mounted with guns by considering them weapons of law enforcement rather than war.   Canada reserves the right to arm its own vessels as well, the official told CBC News.  Under the reinterpretation, which both sides say honors the spirit of the original treaty, vessels may be outfitted with machine-guns of sizes up to .50-caliber. That would be big enough to bring down a helicopter and shoot through a light-armored vehicle.

 

US Coast Guard officials said the United States has no intention of equipping the vessels with .50-caliber machine-guns at this point. Frederick Stonehouse, a Michigan-based historian who has written 26 books on the Great Lakes, said the Rush-Bagot treaty's references to wooden ships and cannons have long been obsolete.  However, Stonehouse said the spirit of the treaty remains both clear and respected by both sides.

 

"Certainly the Great Lakes [have] not had any military vessels stationed on [them] since – gosh, really since the advent of that treaty."


West Coast Waters Closed to Bottom Trawling

SEATTLE, Washington (ENS) - The destructive fishing practice of bottom trawling has been banned in federal waters off the U.S. west coast from Canada to Mexico.

 

On March 8, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) approved the plan developed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council to establish and protect more than 150,000 square miles of marine waters off the West Coast as Essential Fish Habitat. The plan, which covers waters to a depth of 3,500 meters, is aimed at replenishing depleted fish populations.

 

Bottom trawling is the fishing practice of dragging large nets weighted with chains or other heavy gear across the seafloor to catch groundfish species such as rockfish, cod, and sole. Bottom trawls have been used throughout the North Pacific region, and are still permitted in the central and western Gulf of Alaska, Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea.

 

NOAA said that its own economic analysis of the closures, based on historic data on landings, shows that less than 10 percent of revenue from commercial fishing comes from areas that will be closed. That loss is expected to be made up as fishermen move their operations to areas that remain

open, NOAA said.  Although the NOAA Fisheries Service does not have regulatory authority over non-fishing activities that may damage habitat, the plan includes designating various habitats such as kelp, sea grass and estuaries as "habitat areas of particular concern."

 

The Council’s action was the culmination of three years of collaborative work coordinated and led by Oceana, and including the environmental organizations Natural Resources Defense Council, The Ocean Conservancy, and Environment California; recreational fishing groups United Anglers and Coastside Fishing Club, and the commercial fishing group Pacific Marine Conservation Council.

 

West Coast groundfish fisheries are in "serious trouble," says the Pacific Marine Conservation Council. The federal groundfish disaster declared in January 2000 continues, and many fishing families are scrambling to keep their fishing operations afloat.

 

Nine of the 83 managed West Coast groundfish species are listed "overfished" by the National Marine Fisheries Service. In response, the commercial fishing group supports buybacks to remove vessels from the fishing fleet.


Professor rejects worry over salmon PCB levels

Says meat and dairy products pose greater threat

People may worry about PCBs in salmon, but most Americans actually get their yearly PCB load through beef, chicken, pork and milk, says a University of Idaho professor in a recently published article.

           

In an article in the March/April issue of Aquiculture Magazine, Ronald W. Hardy, director of Hagerman Fish Culture Experiment Station, University of Idaho, says concerns about contaminants in salmon have been overstated, particularly within the context of the American diet.  Americans eat vastly more meat and dairy than they do salmon, he says, and both meat and dairy contain PCB levels as high, or higher, than salmon. Salmon also has health benefits that most meats lack.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average American ate 62 lbs of beef, 57.5 lbs of chicken, 48.5 lbs of pork and 15.9 lbs of fish and shellfish in 2003. Salmon intake was 2.2 lbs that same year, hardy says. The PCB content of most wild and farmed salmon is about the same, in the range of 15 to 20 parts per billion (ppb). In contrast, butter contains 70 ppb, a chicken breast 32 ppb and a beef steak 22 ppb, Hardy says.

           

What this means is that animal per capita PCB intake from beef is about 640 ppb, about 700 ppb for milk and about 836 ppb from chicken. The average American is getting about 20 ppb from salmon each year, he says.  “Levels in most salmon are equivalent to the levels in English muffins,” Hardy says. “Go figure.”


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for March 31, 2006

Lake Level Conditions:  

All of the Great Lakes 1 to 6 inches below the levels of a year ago.    Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are below chart datum and are expected to rise 1 and 4 inches respectively in the next month.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are expected to rise 3 to 4 inches over the next month.  All of the Great Lakes have begun their seasonal rises, but levels over the next few months on all the Great Lakes are expected to remain lower than 2005.

 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

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

 

Alerts:

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

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

 

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels Data Summary

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Levels for  3/31  

600.8

577.3

573.7

571.4

245.4

Chart datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3 

569.2

243.3

Diff from chart datum, in inches

-4

-3

+16

+26

+26

Diff from last month, in inches

-2

+2

+2

+3

-2

Diff from last  yr

4

6

6

6

1


Canada

Majority favors scrapping gun registry

Poll shows Canada gun law waste of tax payer dollars

There is broad public support for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to dismantle the former Liberal government's controversial national gun registry, shows a poll by SES Research/ Osprey Media. More than half of Ontario voters - 55 % - either strongly or somewhat support Harper's campaign promise to end the program intended in part to curb gun-related crime.

 

"It's pretty clear the public preference is to scrap the gun registry and for Stephen Harper to deliver on that promise," said Nik Nanos, president of SES Research.   

 

Canadians have been debating the merits of the registry since the Liberals introduced the idea a decade ago.  Gun registry opponents have argued since the beginning that forcing legal, licensed gun owners would do little, if nothing, to deter gun

crime because the guns used in crimes are almost exclusively illegal guns imported from the U.S. by criminals and organized crime groups.

 

The national registry was originally supposed to cost $2 million but has ballooned to a scandal-inducing $2 billion -- plus $90 million a year in ongoing maintenance costs.   And most recently, an Orillia-area computer consultant who worked as a webmaster for the Canadian Firearms Centre warned the registry database has a security vulnerable not only to hackers but anyone with a home computer.

 

Men, at 61 %, were more likely than women at 49 % to support Harper's promise to scrap the registry.  Just 28 % of men would like to see the registry maintained compared to 35 % of women. "I don't think it means people don't like gun control," Nanos said. "They don't like this program and the waste associated with it."


General

Waders and Wading Boots shown to spread Whirling Disease

Preliminary results from an Oregon State University study have documented what many have long suspected, that waders and wading boots can transport both the triactinomyxon (TAM) and myxospore life stages of Myxobolus cerebralis. The study, conducted by Paul Reno and David Latremouille, further demonstrated that the transport of TAMs and spores can cause infection in both rainbow trout and Tubifex tubifex worms.

 

Movement of infected fish is thought to be the primary mechanism for the spread of whirling disease. Transport by wildlife and human activities has long been suspected as another important vector. Research has been ongoing to

document and quantify the spread of M. cerebralis through these mechanisms, however conclusive evidence has been hard to find.

 

Funding for several of these projects has been provided through the Whirling Disease Initiative, including the study referenced above, “The potential of vehicles and fomites to transfer the agent of whirling disease.”

 

The study, slated for completion in June 2006, has so far demonstrated the transport and infectivity of M. cerebralis on waders and wading boots. The researchers are also investigating the viability of M. cerebralis after ingestion by several bird species. Stay tuned for their final results.


Stocking of infected trout leads to criminal charges and fines   

landowners considering stocking private waters must be cautious to avoid whirling disease

In October 2005, a plea agreement in federal court led to criminal convictions and fines for one private hatchery owner. Dwight Babcock, owner of Cannibal Canyon Ranches in Marvel, Colorado pled guilty to seven criminal counts of knowingly selling, transporting and stocking wildlife illegally in New Mexico and Utah.

 

According to court documents, Babcock’s facility first tested positive for whirling disease in 1997. It tested positive again in 1998, 1999, and 2002. Babcock acknowledged that fish from his facility were unlawfully stocked into waters in Colorado on at least 25 occasions. Infected fish from Babcock’s hatchery were also stocked in New Mexico and Utah. According to Mike Japhet, biologist for the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW), these introductions could have serious negative effects on wild trout waters and important cutthroat conservation waters in southwest Colorado.

 

“Responsible trout growers won’t mind showing a document that proves their hatcheries are free of whirling disease.”  A 

two-year investigation and prosecution led to Babcock’s criminal convictions and fines and restitution of $30,000. The fines include $4,800 to the federal government, and restitution of $15,000 to the state of New Mexico, and $10,000 to the Colorado State University Research Foundation to be used for whirling disease research.

 

The Colorado DOW certified the Cannibal Canyon Ranches facility as free of whirling disease in 2005. Despite his record, Babcock is currently allowed to release fish and sell fish for food in Colorado. However, he will not be allowed to release or export fish to New Mexico.

 

Illegal stocking of whirling disease-positive fish poses a significant threat to coldwater fisheries. Rigorous inspection and certification programs administered by state agencies can help reduce the risk of whirling disease introduction. All landowners considering stocking private waters must be cautious to avoid whirling disease and other potentially serious fish diseases. Landowners should ask hatchery operators for a copy of the hatchery’s certification of whirling disease status. As Japhet notes, “Responsible trout growers won’t mind showing a document that proves their hatcheries are free of whirling disease.”


Missouri boaters could pay hefty registration fees 

A bill raising boat registration fees — in some cases quadrupling them — has received initial approval from the Missouri Senate.  Fees would increase from $10 to $25 for vessels smaller than 16 feet, and for boats between 16 and 26 feet the fee would increase from $20 to $55.

 

Fees would go from $30 to $100 for vessels between 26 and

40 feet, and fees for any boats longer than 40 feet would increase from $40 to $150.  Boat registrations are good for three years.  The first $2 million collected from the fees would go into the state’s general fund, and additional money would go toward the state Water Patrol Fund.  The bill has one more vote in the Senate before heading to the state House of Representatives.


America's Waterway Watch

A Marine program akin to neighborhood watch programs

With reports of increased threats of a terrorist attack on our shores, the United States Coast Guard is requesting the assistance of America’s 70 million boaters and others, who work, play, or live around our waterfronts, rivers, lakes, and coastal areas to become part of our nation’s first line of defense, called America’s Waterway Watch (AWW). America’s Waterway Watch is an outreach program akin to neighborhood watch programs in many local communities but is focused strictly on marine-related areas.

 

With over 95,000 miles of shoreline, 300,000 square miles of waterways, 6,000 bridges, 360 ports of call, and thousands of marinas, the United States Coast Guard simply cannot be everywhere at once. We need all the eyes and ears of those who frequent our waterways to be on the lookout for suspicious activities that might threaten our homeland security.

 

The Coast Guard Auxiliary, the volunteer civilian component of Team Coast Guard, currently with around 28,000 members, is helping the active duty Coast Guard get that message out to the boating public. "We are appealing to all those people who live, work or boat on our waterways, says Mike Renuart, the Auxiliary National Liaison for AWW. "They are the very people who know the absolute difference between what is normal or routine and what is out of place, peculiar, unusual, or a

possible threat."

 

The AWW program has a central phone number, 1-877-24-WATCH (1-877-249-2824), where the public can report suspicious activities. This information goes to the National Response Center located at U. S. Coast Guard headquarters, which is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If what’s seen poses an immediate threat, boaters should call local authorities by dialing 911, or the U.S. Coast Guard on Channel 16 of their VHF-FM marine radio. If someone sees something that looks suspicious, boaters should call the AWW toll-free number.

 

The AWW program is already working. For instance, Sayed Abdul Malike, a suspected terrorist with known connections to Al Qaeda, was apprehended back in 2003, based upon a tip from a local charter boat captain.

 

Your local Coast Guard Auxiliary unit has several promotional tools to help spread the word including an AWW decal for the helm of your boat, a wallet card, poster, brochure and a video that marina owners, operators, or other presenters can use to educate their residents, tenants, or customers.

 

For more info on America’s Volunteer Lifesavers: www.cgaux.org/  For more information about America’s Waterway Watch, visit www.americaswaterwaywatch.org


Sierra Club’s anti-hunting face

Joins with HSUS to oppose wildlife management

The Sierra Club has once more revealed its anti-hunting face. The powerful environmental group has joined forces with the nation's leading anti-hunting group, the Humane society of the United States (HSUS), to derail a plan to control Oregon's swelling cougar population.

 

The United Sportsmen’s Alliance reports the two groups sent a joint letter to the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) urging them to postpone a decision on the 2006 Cougar Management Plan. The plan allows ODFW personnel to take cougars in areas prone to complaints prior to their becoming a nuisance or posing a danger to pets, livestock or people. Both groups want the ODFW to include inefficient, non-lethal methods including the administration of contraceptives in the management plan.

 

This is not the first time the Sierra Club has allied with the HSUS. It is, however, another instance in which the Sierra Club cements its status as no friend to sportsmen. For example:

 

► In 2002, again in Oregon, the Sierra Club filed suit in district court and stopped an elk study in the state that addressed the

need for cougar population reductions, i.e. hunting.

 

► The Sierra Club opposed the bear hunts in New Jersey in 2003 and 2004, as well as opposed a bill to allow Sunday hunting in that state.

 

► In 1995, the Sierra Club sued in district court and halted black bear hunting in Washington's Cascade Mountain range.

 

► In 2005, the Sierra Club joined anti-hunting groups in threatening to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service if the Florida black bear is not listed as an endangered species.

 

► In 2002, a Florida Sierra Club chapter endorsed People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' mantra and advocated a vegetarian lifestyle.

 

► As far back as 1976, Sierra Club lawyers joined in a New Jersey lawsuit to force inclusion of anti-hunters on the Fish and Game Council. The suit failed.

 

The Sierra Club wants sportsmen to believe that it is on their side. However, one just has to look at its record to realize that its agenda does not advocate the sporting lifestyle or traditional wildlife management practices.


 

Veterans Issues

Veterans Lose GI Bill after 10 Yrs 

Many veterans are unaware that their GI Bill benefits will expire after ten years and just over 50% of eligible veterans use their GI Bill at all. You only have ten years to use your GI Bill from your date of discharge. Remind your loved one or friend of this important but limited benefit.

Since the GI Bill currently pays out over $1000 a month, or $37,000 over 36 months, you could be missing out on a huge benefit. To learn more about your GI Bill benefits, visit the www.Military.com  Education Center. To learn more about GI Bill benefits and military-friendly schools, go to:  http://edu.military.com/education/gi_bill/index.jsp


DD 214 Now Online for Veterans 

The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) has provided the following website for veterans to gain access their DD-214 online: www.vetrecs.archives.gov .

 

This may be particularly helpful when a veteran needs a copy of his DD-214 for employment purposes. NPRC is working to make it easier for veterans with computers and Internet access to obtain copies of documents from their military files. Military veterans and the next of kin of deceased former military members may now use a new online military personnel records system to request documents.

Other individuals with a need for documents must still complete the Standard Form 180, which can be downloaded from the online web site. Because the requester will be asked to supply all information essential for NPRC to process the request, delays that normally occur when NPRC has to ask veterans for additional information will be minimized. The new web-based application was designed to provide better service on these requests by eliminating the records center's mailroom processing time.

Go to: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/evetrecs/index.html

 


 

Illinois

Outdoor World Women’s Day May 13

Sponsored by Bass Pro Shops

Gurnee, Ill. – Ladies, have you heard about the great outdoors, but not sure where to find it? Look no further, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Gurnee, Illinois is proud to present their First Outdoor World Women’s Day to be held on Saturday May 13, 2006.   Join Bass Pro Shops as they take the opportunity to celebrate the role women play in the great outdoors and answer questions from ladies who are new to the outdoors or who have never experienced the outdoors but would like to try.

 

Brenda Valentine, “The First Lady of Hunting” and Bass Pro Shops/RedHead pro staff member, will be conducting seminars on Women in the Outdoors and how things may have changed over the years. She will also conduct a question and answer session on any and all questions that women have about situations in the outdoors, but have been afraid to ask.

 

Patricia Strutz, owner of “A Blond and Her Boat” guide service, will be discussing how to get more women involved in fishing, including how to choose female friendly gear. She will also be conducting hands on seminars using various fishing

equipment, including the feared baitcaster.

 

Many events are scheduled for women to try including fishing, archery and simulated shotgun shooting. There will be many clubs and organizations that serve the Outdoor Woman on hand to talk about the opportunities for women and outdoor sports.

 

Bass Pro Shops is having a boot party! Women will have the opportunity to find the right pair of boots for all occasions. Lots of different sizes and styles will be available to try.

 

Dan Basore will bring in some of his antique fishing lures which showcase the history and contributions of women in the fishing industry.

 

Bass Pro’s own Chef Cory will be preparing some of their Uncle Buck’s food products for sampling. This will be a great day to celebrate Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Women! Come in and join the fun!!! For more information, please contact Bass Pro Shops Promotions Manager Tisma Juett at 847-856-1229  TEJuett@basspro.com .


Indiana

DNR to eradicate harmful, exotic weed in Griffy Lake

Agency issues rule regulating plant in all of Indiana

Indiana Department of Natural Resources personnel will perform an eradication of an infestation of Brazilian Elodea in Griffy Lake in Bloomington beginning next month.

 

Brazilian Elodea, known scientifically as Egeria densa, is a non-native and harmful species of plant that, if left unchecked, will spread throughout a body of water, crowd out native aquatic plants, disrupt the fish population balance, and reduce recreational opportunities. If left untreated in Griffy Lake, there is a high probability it could be spread to other lakes and rivers in Indiana.

 

Beginning in April, depending on lake conditions and weather, the DNR's division of fish and wildlife will oversee the treatment of the lake. The treatments will consist of the use of Sonar, an herbicide that will be applied lake-wide, and Reward, for small spot-treatment as necessary.

 

Both Sonar and Reward are herbicides approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for use in eliminating invasive plant life in bodies of water. The products are not harmful to fish and other creatures living in the lake.  Other methods to eliminate the exotic plant are not as certain of total eradication. Some methods would be highly destructive to the

fish, amphibians, and other aquatic life.

 

The initial lake-wide treatment and subsequent spot treatments will occur in 2006.  Monitoring for the plant will take place in subsequent years and controls implemented as necessary.  Since Brazilian Elodea does not propagate by seeds, it will not re-establish following total elimination of the plant from the lake.

 

The DNR also announced the adoption of a rule that will require the eradication of any infestation of Brazilian elodea in any public or private waters in Indiana. The rule also forbids the sale or distribution in any fashion of Brazilian elodea from any body of water or the offering for sale or distribution for use in any body of water. Unless otherwise specifically permitted by the state entomologist, Brazilian elodea may be used only in indoor aquariums in Indiana.

 

Until Brazilian elodea is controlled, measures will be taken to reduce the risk of spreading the plant. In 2006 all watercraft, except for the parks department rental boats, will be prohibited from use on Griffy Lake. Motors will not be allowed on the rental craft. The DNR expects the lake to be closed to most watercraft throughout 2006.  Boat and motor use will be re-evaluated following the 2006 treatment.


General trout and salmon fishing regulations

Indiana residents age 17 - 64 are required to possess a fishing license and a trout-salmon stamp while fishing public waters for trout or salmon. All nonresidents 17 and older are required to have a fishing license and a trout-salmon stamp when trout or salmon fishing in Indiana's public waters.   One-day fishing licenses for both residents and non-residents, which include trout and salmon fishing privileges, are $9.

Annual Trout-Salmon stamp privileges are $11. Fishing licenses and stamp privileges are available at DNR property offices, bait shops, sporting goods stores, and at the DNR Agency Service Center, located in room W160 of the State Government Center South in Indianapolis.  Fishing licenses or trout-salmon stamp privileges can also be purchased online at:

http://www.in.gov/ai/appfiles/dnr-license/index.html


Michigan

Fly Tying Workshop at Hartwick Pines State Park April 8

The Michigan Forest Visitor Center at Hartwick Pines State Park in Grayling will host a fly tying workshop on Saturday, April 8. The workshop will be held from 1 to 4 p.m.

 

Participants will learn to tie five popular patterns, including the Wooly Bugger, Hare's Ear and Elk Hair Caddis. The cost is $40, which is includes tools and materials to tie 15 flies. Fly tying vices will be available for use. There is a limit of 10 people for this workshop.

Interested participants should contact instructor Chris Kline at 231-330-9662 to reserve a spot at the workshop.

 

Participants will be required to display a Motor Vehicle Permit to enter Hartwick Pines State Park. Permits are available at the entrance and cost $6 for a daily permit and $24 for an annual permit valid at any state park in 2006. Hartwick Pines State Park is located just northeast of Grayling, three miles east on Michigan Highway 93 off of Interstate I-75 Exit 259.

 


EPA Releases $7.5 Million to Clean Rouge River

LANSING (ENS) - The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has received a grant from the USEPA to develop a plan to address E. coli contamination in the Rouge River. The plan, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), will analyze data from the river to define sources and target areas for reductions with the goal of meeting state water quality standards.

 

The Rouge River has historically had levels of E. coli resulting from combined sewer overflows and nonpoint source pollution that make the water unsafe for body contact. The TMDL will focus on E. coli sources from the Rouge River Main, Upper, Middle, Lower, Bell, and Franklin Branches, and Evans Ditch.

 

The grant money is part of $7.5 million that was released by the EPA for projects to improve the river's water quality, Congressman John Dingell, a Michigan Democrat, announced.

 

The money was left over from a $14 million federal grant that was supposed to have been allocated between 1999 and 2004. When the EPA tried to recall all unused grant funds, Dingell and other legislators persuaded the EPA to exempt the Rouge cleanup funding.  It will go to the Rouge River Wet Weather Demonstration Project, a coalition of local, state and federal groups trying to prevent pollution in the Rouge, particularly pollution that runs off rooftops, streets and parking lots during storms.

 

The TMDL process, led through a partnership between the Department of Environmental Quality and Camp Dresser & McKee, a consulting, engineering, construction, and operations firm. The process will involve stakeholder input,

public meetings, and a public comment period. The DEQ plans to have a draft document available for public comment in February 2007.

 

The Rouge River suffers from urban watershed stressors including combined sewage overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, nonpoint source pollution and point source discharges, contaminated sediments, and high flow variability, the report states. These stressors have resulted in poor biotic communities, impoundment eutrophication, channel morphology perturbation, and public health advisories for fish consumption.

 

The Rouge River has four main branches totaling 125 miles of waterways primarily flowing through Wayne and Oakland counties, with some headwaters in Washtenaw County. The oldest and most heavily populated and industrialized area in southeast Michigan is located within the Rouge River Watershed. The confluence of three branches is in the greater Detroit area, at Dearborn. The lower four miles of the river are maintained as a shipping channel that connects with the Detroit River.

 

The Rouge drains a 438 sq mile area that includes more than 400 lakes and ponds, and more than 50 miles of parkland along its banks. The river winds its way through 48 communities and provides recreational opportunities for more than 1.5 million people.

 

The DEQ says degradation of the Rouge River is representative of that found in many urbanized and industrialized areas within the Great Lakes Basin. Over 50 % of the land use is residential, commercial, or industrial, with increasing development pressures in the headwaters.


Cormorant controls scheduled for Alpena area

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is again working with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, this time to control an explosion of cormorants nesting on islands in and around Lake Huron's Thunder Bay. The explosion of nesting pairs of cormorants is not something the locals or the DNR want to have hanging around their resurging populations of yellow perch and walleyes. Due in large part to the collapse of alewives, Michigan biologists at the annual lake committee meetings of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission stated Thunder Bay has recently seen an upsurge in predation on yellow perch and young walleye.

 

Up in the Les Cheneaux Islands, about 16,000 cormorants preyed on alewives and perch.  DNR officials want to act quickly before their rebounding Thunder Bay perch and walleye populations meet the same fate.

 

Citing public concerns for declining sports fish populations, lower tourism and environmentally decimated shorelines received at a series of statewide hearings, House members

submitted a letter to DNR Director Rebecca Humphries seeking details on cormorant management programs during the past few years.

 

“It was very apparent at the hearings that cormorants are having an extremely negative impact on Michigan,” said state Rep. Howard Walker, R-Traverse City. “These ongoing problems need to be addressed to protect the environment and communities that rely on the same resources as the bird, yet there appears to be little being done.”

 

The letter also asked the DNR to implement more controls on the birds or provide reasons why more controls cannot be imposed.

 

“Although we've seen some successes in the Alpena and Les Cheneaux Island areas working with the USDA Wildlife Services, more needs to be done,” Gillard aid. “I am hopeful we can continue and expand these efforts to reduce the cormorant population to truly have an impact on the problem.”


Lake Gogebic Fisheries Assessment in Final Phase

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will conclude its assessment of fish populations in Lake Gogebic this spring. George Madison, Western Upper Peninsula fisheries supervisor, said that creel census data collected over the past year will be compiled with the results to be released later this summer.

 

"The assessment of Lake Gogebic could not have been done without the terrific support of the anglers who fish that lake," Madison said. "Our creek census clerk has collected a large volume of data from those who came forward with information, and we are anxious to compile everything for presentation to the public."

 

Fisheries personnel began netting fish and recording data in the spring of 2005. The netting effort sampled the entire fish community, including walleye, northern pike, yellow perch and smallmouth bass. The majority of the netting occurred during the spring spawning season, when fish were clipped and tagged with jaw bands. The tagging effort allowed the creel census clerk, who worked on the lake during the summer boating and winter ice fishing seasons, to collect data from anglers on how many tagged versus untagged fish were being caught. A June 2005 netting effort was also conducted to collect early summer biological factors for the lake,

including water chemistry, aquatic vegetation and additional fish community assessment.

 

The creel census program will conclude on March 31, 2006, although anglers who catch jaw-tagged fish are asked to report these fish to the DNR through the website www.michigan.gov/dnr  or to area businesses.

 

Beginning in late April, the DNR will conduct an additional netting survey for a period of five days which will be for the purpose of collecting biological data on the walleye population during this spring's spawning period. The 2006 netting effort will help to refine data numbers with respect to the walleye population size and spawning areas.

 

A comprehensive summary of this large lake survey will occur in the coming months.  Following the completion of the survey report, DNR Fisheries Division will host public meetings to present the findings and allow for citizen discussion and input.

 

In 2006, the DNR will conduct another large lake survey effort on Lake Michigamme in western Marquette County. The Lake Michigamme survey will include the same types of survey parameters that took place at Lake Gogebic, and will also conclude jaw-tagged fish and a summer and winter creel census program.


DNR temporarily Closes Bald Mountain Recreation Area Shooting Range

Rifle/Pistol Range Will Reopen May 1

The Department of Natural Resources announced that it has temporarily closed the Bald Mountain State Recreation Area shooting range in Lake Orion for renovations. The rifle/pistol range will reopen on May 1, but other parts of the facility will remain closed during renovations.

 

Plans call for the DNR to eventually renovate the sporting clay course and the trap and skeet facilities at the range, said DNR Shooting Range Coordinator Lt. Sherry Chandler. Chandler added that the DNR is looking at possibly adding an archery

area to the facility in the future.

 

The DNR owns seven shooting ranges in Michigan that are open to the public. In addition to Bald Mountain, they include: the DNR Wildlife Division Shooting Range located in Dansville in Ingham County, Rose Lake Shooting Range located in Bath in Clinton County, Island Lake State Recreation Area in Brighton in Livingston County, Ortonville State Recreation Area located in Ortonville in Lapeer County, Pontiac Lake Shooting Range located in Waterford in Oakland County and the Sharonville Shooting Range located at Grass Lake in Jackson County.


Ohio

State Kicks off Boating Safety Program

Begins "Operation Overboard" Campaign

COLUMBUS, OH - In an effort to reduce early season boating accidents resulting from improperly loaded watercraft, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) this week begins its "Operation Overboard" campaign.

       

The campaign, which continues through May, emphasizes the dangers associated with overloaded and improperly loaded boats that can become swamped and capsize in frigid waters. It also reminds boaters to always properly wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when on the water.

             

In 2005, three boating-related fatalities occurred as a result of overloading or swamping. There was one such boating-related fatality in 2004, two in 2003 and six in 2002.

       

Properly loading your boat and wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-

approved life jacket are especially important in the early spring when waters are very cold and fast moving. Early season boaters and anglers tend to dress according to air temperatures, but often forget that water temperatures in Ohio's lakes and streams remain in the 30s and 40s. It therefore is recommended that boaters wear protective layers of clothing to help prevent the onset of hypothermia should they fall into the water.

       

State watercraft officers and local marine patrols will be conducting boat safety inspections at launch ramps around Ohio this spring with special attention to loading conditions. Last year, state watercraft officers provided more than 42,000 watercraft safety inspections statewide. Information regarding boating safety and tips for avoiding hypothermia are available at www.ohiodnr.com

 


Wisconsin

Mishap sends 800,000 gallons of sewage into lake

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A mishap sent an estimated 800,000 gallons of partially treated sewage into Lake Michigan at the Jones Island Waster Treatment Plant on Wednesday, March 29.  The mistake occurred as the facility tested a new computer operating system, said Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District spokesman Bill Graffin.

 

He said workers were testing gates for an underground channel at the plant when the gates opened on Wednesday morning. The gates were closed in about 30 minutes, he said.

 

Dumping partially treated sewage is banned but allowed during heavy rains or other periods of wetness.  Considering recent weather has been dry, the discharge could be in violation of the district's state operating permit, said Jane

LeCapitaine, a spokeswoman for the private firm that runs the sewer system for the district.

 

The effluent was disinfected and solids had been filtered from it, she said. But the sewage bypassed one of three treatment stages at the plant. It may take several days to determine if the concentration of the discharge also violated state pollution standards, she said.  State pollution standards had never been violated when sewage was dumped in the past after heavy rain swamped the system, Graffin said.

 

Environmental and conservation groups have been concerned over Milwaukee's history of past "accidental" discharges and overflow incidents in times of heavy rainfall, and last year filed a federal lawsuit over the tehe dumping incidents.  Many consider this latest incident but one of a continuing pattern.


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