Week of April 9, 2012

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes
Misc Products
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
National

Regional

2nd Amendment Issues
Lake Huron

Illinois
Indiana
Michigan
Minnesota
Ohio

Wisconsin
Other Breaking News Items

 

       Weekly News Archives

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       New Product  Archives

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

Anglers land record 638 Lb Swordfish in Florida
A would-be record swordfish was caught on April 3 by anglers about 30 miles south of Marathon in the Florida Keys. The fish was weighed on a scale and certified by the IGFA and the state of Florida, but the fish won’t qualify for either a state or IGFA record. The organizations do not recognize fish caught on an electric reel, as this swordfish was caught. A record 612.75 lb broadbill caught

off of Key Largo on May 7, 1978 continues to hold the official state record.

 

Still, this fish was the second swordfish that weighed more than 500 lbs to be caught off the Florida Keys in the last 10 days. This fish is believed to be the largest ever caught in Keys waters during daytime hours.

 

 

 


Misc Products

Consumers Digest Names Five Yamaha ATVs to Best Buy List 

Grizzly 300 receives a Utility ATV Best Buy; Four Raptors Earn a Sport Quad Nod

Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., is proud to announce that its Grizzly 300 utility ATV and Raptor 700R, Raptor 700R Special Edition, Raptor 250 and Raptor 250R sport ATVs have been named Consumers Digest Best Buys.  This is the second time the Raptor 250 has received the honor.

 

The all-new 2012 Grizzly 300 was selected by Consumers Digest for delivering “… the well-known quality of the Grizzly line at a bargain price.”  The Grizzly 300 boasts the longest suspension travel length providing the smoothest ride of models in its class.  Premium features such as hydraulic disc brakes on all four wheels helped the Grizzly 300 rise to the top of the Economy Utility ATV category.

 

Featuring the best power-to-weight ratio among sport ATVs, the 686cc fuel-injected engine and overall performance of the 2012 Yamaha Raptor 700R impressed the Consumers Digest team in a variety of terrain.  Also

noted was that the 700R can be customized with a choice

of 11 different graphic options at no additional charge, which is an industry first.  The 700R Special Edition was selected as a Best Buy for its addition of a wave-type rear disc and unique graphics to the 700R’s design.

 

Earning its second Best Buy award since 2008, the 2012 Yamaha Raptor 250 was commended for producing the kind of performance that riders might expect from a higher-end model.  Consumers Digest cited the Raptor 250’s light weight and low seat height as features that help make it “… a fun machine for riders, regardless of their size.”  The 2011 Raptor 250R also received a Best Buy for the addition of upgraded shocks, LED taillight and adjustable front-brake lever to the 250’s construction.

 

“Yamaha has injected real world value into the all-new Grizzly 300 and offers class-leading performance throughout our Raptor line of sport ATVs, and we couldn’t be more proud to have an impartial, third party like Consumers Digest recognize this with Best Buy awards,” said Steve Nessl, marketing manager for Yamaha’s ATV/SxS group.  “Receiving a Best Buy is exciting, but earning five Consumers Digest Best Buy nods this year in both utility and sport ATV categories is a unique and exclusive honor that symbolizes Yamaha’s dedication to excellence and leadership in the ATV industry.”


Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Browning Firearm Tax Rebate

Uncle Sam has picked your pocket all year long; now is the time to take advantage of Browning's tax relief offer. Purchase a new Browning firearm at retail from April 1, 2012 thru April 30, 2012 and Browning will reimburse you up to 8% in U.S. funds for the $ales tax. See your dealer before this offer, like your tax refund, is history. (Offer excludes Buck Mark and 1911-22 pistols. Offer only available in the U.S.)

 

For example, if you spend $1,000 and pay 8% sales tax, you can get $80 back from Browning - that's like getting an 8% discount.

It's easy -- here's how it works for you:

  • Make or get a copy of your receipt.

  • When you get home, fill out the Tax Relief program coupon and send it in to Browning.

It's that easy!

 

If you purchase your new Browning in a "no sales tax" state, send in your coupon for special consideration.

 

Offer valid only on the consumer retail purchase of a new Browning firearm (offer excludes Buck Mark and 1911-22 pistols) purchased between April 1, 2012 and April 30, 2012. To qualify for your sales tax reimbursement (up to a maximum refund of 8% of the purchase price as determined by the sales tax paid at the time your purchase was made as documented on your dated sales receipt) this coupon must be filled out completely and returned to Browning with the supporting documents as listed, postmarked no later than midnight May 15, 2012. Browning employees, Browning sales representatives, authorized Browning dealers and their sales staff, and members of their immediate families are not eligible for this promotion. Limited to one offer per person. Offer valid in the United States only. All purchasers must be citizens or legal residents of the United States.


National

U.S. Coast Guard Adopts Ballast Water Standards

Fight against Invasive Species continues but weakens

A final ruling by the U.S. Coast Guard has introduced new standards and requires ships to use technology to minimize the threat of invasive species in discharged ballast waters.

 

The new regulation requires that discharge from ballast tanks have no more than 10 living organisms per milliliter for organisms between 10 and 50 micrometers in size. Ten organisms greater than or equal to 50 micrometers in size are allowed per cubic meter (roughly 264 gallons).

 

Vessels will be required to install water treatment systems, such as UV radiation, electrolysis or centrifugation following their first dry dock after 2014.

 

These regulations are in line with discharge limits proposed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2004, but conservationists argue the regulations are not strict enough to stop the influx of non-native species into

waterways. A coast guard representative said the ballast water standards can be increased over time; the first year to bear stricter regulations may be as soon as 2016.

 

Currently, around $200 million is spent annually on managing and eradicating invasive species. Existing ballast water exchange and flushing practices will continue to be enforced by Transport Canada, the U. S. Coast Guard and Saint Lawrence Seaway. Commercial vessels must still flush empty tanks with salt water and exchange ballast water.

 

The final rule is effective 90 days after publication in the Federal Register, which is available through the new Federal Digital System at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/.

 

www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-03-23/pdf/2012-6579.pdf  

 

www.gpo.gov/fdsys/search/search.action?na=&se=&sm=&flr=&ercode=&dateBrowse=&govAuth

Browse=&collection=&historical=false&st=Ballast+water

+standards&=&psh=&sbh=&tfh=&originalSearch=

 


Uninspected 6 or 12 pack Vessels - Rules Apply Know Them!

The Coast Guard's Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety has become aware of instances where recreational type boats are being manufactured and sold but do not meet federal construction requirements.  In some cases persons holding Uninspected Passenger Vessel (UPV) Operator licenses are operating such vessels while carrying passengers for hire.  This alert reminds UPV operators both six-pack and twelve pack, to ensure that they are aware that all vessels operated as UPVs are in compliance with the appropriate U.S. laws and regulations.

 

The laws applicable to UPVs are found at 46 USC 4105(a); recreational vessels are addressed in 46 USC Chapter 43.  The regulations based on those laws are found in 33 CFR Parts 181 and 183 and are the minimum safety standards for recreational boat manufacturing and include the requirements for:

 

* Certification

* Identification of boats

* Display of capacity information

* Safe loading

* Safe powering

* Flotation requirements (for both inboard and outboard powered boats (including airboats))

* Electrical systems

* Fuel systems

* Ventilation requirements

* Start-in-gear protection

* Navigation lights

 

It is the responsibility of U.S. Coast Guard licensed Masters that operate UPVs in passenger-for-hire operations to ensure compliance with all federal requirements applicable to the vessel.

 

Questions regarding this information:  Mr. Michael Jendrossek, Marine Investigator, (202) 372-1052 or michael.a.jendrossek@uscg.mil.

 


Over 100 Members of Congress show support for State and Tribal Wildlife Grants

Funding helps kKeep Wildlife off Endangered Species List

Congressmen Don Young (AK), Todd Platts (PA), Mike Thompson (CA) and Ron Kind (WI) have been joined by 106 of their colleagues on a letter to the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives Interior Appropriations Subcommittee. The letter is in support of the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program,...which is aimed at preventing wildlife in the U.S. from declining to the point of being endangered.

 

In the letter, Members urge the Subcommittee to provide the most robust funding possible for the Program, while also recognizing the fiscal constraints that the nation is under. The letter is also backed by the Teaming With Wildlife coalition, the nation’s largest and most diverse coalition assembled of more than 6,300 organizations, businesses and agencies in support of wildlife conservation funding

 

The State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program is a principal source of federal funding for implementing congressionally required State Wildlife Action Plans in every state and territory. The Plans assess the health of each state’s wildlife and habitats, identify the problems they face and outline the actions needed to conserve them over the long term to prevent more species from being added to the federal endangered species list.

 

“In Alaska, hunting and fishing are not just hobbies – they are ways of life,” said Congressman Don Young (AK). “Having strong wildlife populations requires strong conservation programs not in just one state, but across the country. Fish and wildlife conservation is a shared responsibility between both the states and federal government. I support and will continue to support, the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program because conservation is too important to not only my home state of Alaska, but the entire nation.”

 

Despite historical successes in bringing many wildlife species back from the brink of extinction, more than 12,000 species are at risk and potentially heading towards a future listing.

 

“It is our responsibility to be good stewards of this earth and prevent the ultimate extinction of wildlife, plants and

fish,” said Congressman Mike Thompson (CA). “The sad

truth is that once we lose a species we also lose recreational and economic opportunities that are associated with them. This is one important reason we need to maintain funding to help keep species off the endangered list.”

 

States, tribes and their partners have used funding from the Program that is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to combat invasive species, protect natural areas, restore habitat, conduct research, implement monitoring programs and facilitate partnerships with landowners to protect declining species and habitats on public and private lands. Priority for use of grant funds is placed on those species and habitats with the greatest conservation need. The Program leverages tens of millions of dollars in state and private funds each year.

 

“State hunting and fishing license dollars, federal excise taxes on hunting and fishing gear and motorboat fuel taxes have provided the backbone for funding the state wildlife conservation programs since 1937. However, there has always been a gap in funding for the 90 percent of species that are neither hunted nor fished,” said Ron Regan, Executive Director of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, which represents the country’s state fish and wildlife agencies. “The State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program has provided state agencies with the resources they critically need to partially fill that gap.”

 

“These bold members of Congress are reaching across the aisle and working together to protect wildlife for current and future generations of Americans,” said Naomi Edelson, director of state and federal wildlife partnerships for the National Wildlife Federation. “Their work is supported by scores of hunters, anglers, hikers, bird watchers and outdoor enthusiasts and businesses who understand preserving nature also enhances our economy, our environment and our way of life.”

 

“The State Wildlife Grants program is vital to wildlife management and conservation,” said Paul Krausman, president of The Wildlife Society. “Funding from this unique program among other things has supported important research on White Nose Syndrome’s effects on bats, and conservation actions central to the recovery of the Lake Erie Water Snake, which was removed from listing under the Endangered Species Act last year.”

 


Regional

Warm spring? Don’t delay controlling garlic mustard

MADISON -- With the warm winter and the unseasonably warm spring, plants are emerging and growing several weeks earlier than usual, and this includes invasive plants that threaten to crowd out native species.

 

“Invasive plants don’t pay attention to calendars, so if you are used to pulling your garlic mustard in April and May, you may need to adjust your plans this year,” says Kelly Kearns, a native plant specialist with the Wisconsin DNR. “It is likely to be a banner year for weeds, so landowners and land managers need to get to work now to keep ahead of them.”

 

Garlic mustard -- a biennial plant that smells like garlic and has four small white petals that flower in spring -- is famous for taking over entire forest floors and displacing trilliums and other wildflowers.

 

“Diligent efforts to prevent the plants from producing seed can keep woodlands free of the weed and protect the habitat for an array of wildflowers and native trees,” Kearns says.

 

Small patches can be hand pulled starting as soon as the ground has thawed and the roots can easily be pulled out. But, Kearns adds, they must be pulled before seed pods mature, which is likely to be by mid-May this year. If the bright green rosettes are pulled before they start to flower, the pulled plants can be scattered about in the woods. However, garlic mustard is so persistent that if flowering has begun and the plants are left in the woods or even in piles on a driveway, the plants will continue to grow and 

develop mature seeds.

 

“Pulled plants that have begun flowering need to be removed from the forest and buried, burned or sent to a landfill,” Kearns says.

 

Although state law bans yard waste from landfills, any plants that are now regulated as “restricted invasive plants” can now be sent to landfills to keep their seeds and roots out of municipal and county compost facilities. The list of regulated invasive species and photos and fact sheets for most of the invasive plants can be found on the DNR’s website and type in keyword “invasives."

 

Homeowners, and especially landowners, should be vigilant in watching for any plants that seem to be spreading and “taking over.” Even some native species can become aggressive and more abundant than is desired. The key to keeping any invasive plants from completely overtaking an area is to keep them from reproducing.

 

Pulling, cutting, burning or using an herbicide before the plants flower to keep them from developing seeds is critical to keeping them under control. Some plants also spread by creeping stems or roots, so additional effort may be needed to stop their spread.

 

If herbicides are used, it must be done early and carefully to prevent killing wildflowers and other desirable plants. There is information about controlling these plants on the Web and in publications from the DNR and University of Wisconsin-Extension.

 

“Pay attention to what is growing on your land,” Kearns says. “If something is increasing too fast, figure out what it is and what needs to be done to stop its’ spread. We can all keep these invasive plants from spreading if we each take responsibility for our own little patch of the planet and don’t let invasive plants from our land spread around.”  Photos of garlic mustard can found on the DNR website.

 


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for

April 6, 2012 

WEATHER CONDITIONS

Showers fell across most areas of the Great Lakes basin on Tuesday while the rest of the week has been fairly dry.  Warm temperatures early in the week have slowly fallen to near seasonal averages across the region.  Heading into the weekend, temperatures will rise above average, and scattered showers will move through western parts of the basin on Saturday.  Cloudy skies and cooler temperatures are expected for the early part of next week.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

Currently, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 5 and 7 inches, respectively, higher than they were last year.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 7, 9, and 7 inches, respectively, higher than a year ago.  Over the next thirty days, Lakes Superior and Michigan Huron are each projected to rise 3 inches from their current levels.  The water level of Lake St. Clair is forecasted to increase 2 inches over the next month, while the water levels of Lakes Erie and Ontario are expected to rise 1 inch and 2 inches, respectively. 

FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior's outflow through the St. Marys River is projected to be below average for the month of April.  Lake Huron's outflow into the St. Clair River and the outflow from Lake St. Clair into the Detroit River are expected to be

below average throughout the month of April.  Lake Erie's

outflow through the Niagara River and the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River are both predicted to be above average in April.

ALERTS

The water level of Lake Superior is below chart datum and is forecasted to remain below chart datum until July.  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. 

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for April 4

600.36

577.53

574.21

572.05

245.9

Datum, in ft

601.10

577.50

572.30

569.20

243.30

Diff in inches

-9

0

+23

+34

+31

Diff last month

+4

+2

+2

0

0

Diff from last yr

+5

+7

+7

+9

+7


2nd Amendment Issues

IL - State gun bill threatens jobs

Henry County residents told state lawmakers on March 29 that pending gun legislation could affect hundreds of local jobs.

Representatives of the Henry County Economic Development Partnership, Henry County Board, the Bi-State Regional Commission and a number of Henry County communities traveled to Springfield last week  to meet with state Senators snd  Representatives from both parties.

 

Designed to address a variety of economic issues, the meetings featured extended discussion on House Bill 

1294, a bill that would make it unlawful to manufacture,deliver, sell, purchase or possess a semi-automatic assault weapon, an assault weapon attachment, any .50-caliber rifle or .50-caliber cartridges as well as large capacity ammunition feeding devices.

 

"I can't guarantee these bills won't come up," said Sen. Jacobs. "What I told them is they need to understand this is a big state. People are pro-gun; people are anti-gun. "I think I can assure them these bills won't pass," he added. "Even if they do in the House, the Senate would strike them down.

 


NRA appeals decision denying Right-to-Carry outside the Home
 A federal district court in Illinois wrongly ruled that the Second Amendment does not protect a right to carry firearms for self-protection outside the home. The NRA funded this challenge to Illinois' ban on citizens' ability to carry firearms legally outside their homes and businesses for self-defense, and will also be supporting an immediate appeal to the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals-and to the Supreme Court if necessary.


The decision in the case of Shepard v. Madigan misreads

 the Supreme Court's Second Amendment decisions and will continue to deprive law-abiding Illinoisans of the right to protect themselves effectively against crime on the streets. It also conflicts with a growing body of case law elsewhere in the country, where courts have increasingly recognized that the right to bear arms for self-defense doesn't end at Americans' front doors.

"The NRA's legal efforts will not end until the right to carry firearms for self-defense is fully recognized throughout our land," said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox.

 


IL - State high Court rules against Chicago on "Assault Weapons ban"

Illinois Ruling a 'Victory' for Second Amendment

The Illinois Supreme Court on April 5 reversed a trial court's dismissal of a lawsuit challenging Cook County's so-called "assault weapons" ordinance banning certain commonly owned and widely used semi-automatic firearms, including modern sporting rifles -- a decision called a victory for the Second Amendment.

 

The court actually reached two decisions in Wilson v. Cook County, sending part of the case challenging the ordinance on Second Amendment grounds back to the lower court, while at the same time upholding the lower court's dismissal of the plaintiffs' challenge that the county's ordinance was unconstitutionally vague.

 

Given recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings in the Heller and McDonald cases reaffirming the individual right to lawfully own firearms that are in common use, NSSF is confident of a favorable decision by the trial court following its reconsideration of the Second Amendment infringement challenge to the ordinance.

 

"A record can now be developed in the trial court demonstrating that these rifles are used for legitimate purposes, and the claim that they are 20 times more likely to be used in the commission of a crime is a canard. It's time to bring Cook County into the 21st Century," said

Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel.

 

NSSF filed an amicus brief in Wilson v. Cook County last August to help educate the court about modern sporting rifles and their owners and the lawful purposes for which these firearms are commonly and widely used, such as target shooting, hunting, collecting and self-defense. In its brief, NSSF said Cook County's ban on the ownership of modern sporting rifles and their magazines infringed on the core Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

 

In addition to NSSF filing an amicus brief, the Illinois Supreme Court allowed the Commonwealth Second Amendment, the Illinois Conservation Police Lodge, certain Illinois legislators, the Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association and the National Rifle Association to submit amicus briefs in support of plaintiffs.

 

In the Wilson case, various plaintiffs challenged the broad and sweeping assault-weapons ordinance banning the manufacture, sale and possession of several popular classes of semi-automatic firearms, including commonly owned and used modern sporting rifles, simply because of their cosmetic features.

 

The Illinois State Rifle Association funded the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

 


Lake Huron

Lake Huron Regional Fisheries Workshops, April 23, 24, may 9

Michigan Sea Grant, in partnership with the Michigan DNR, the USGS Great Lakes Science Center and local fishery organizations will host three regional workshops locally along Lake Huron’s coastline.  Topics will include updates on Lake Huron fish populations and angler catch data, resurgence of native species such as Lake Huron walleye, forage fish surveys and results from the ongoing Lake Huron predator diet study, updates of fisheries management activities, among other Lake Huron related topics of local interest. 

 

Three evening workshops, hosted across the state, are open to the public and will offer valuable information for anglers, charter captains, resource professionals and other community members interested in the Lake Huron fishery.  Workshops are open to the public at no cost; however, pre-registration is requested.  

 

Workshop dates and locations include:

Cedarville -April 23, 2012 (6–9 p.m.)

Les Cheneaux Sportsman’s Club
M-134, Cedarville, MI 49719

 

Alpena - April 24, 2012 (6–9 p.m.)
NOAA Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center
500 W. Fletcher St., Alpena, MI  49707

 

Port Huron - May 9, 2012 (6–9 p.m.)

Charles A. Hammond American Legion Hall
1026 Sixth Street, Port Huron, MI 48060

 

To register for any of these no-cost workshops, contact Cindy Anderson, Michigan Sea Grant: ande1172@msu.edu or (989) 984-1060. Workshop details are attached and also available online at www.miseagrant.umich.edu/fisheries.

 

Please forward and share with any and all who may be interested in participating; and we hope you will plan to join one of these educational opportunities yourself!


Illinois

State gun bill threatens jobs

Henry County residents told state lawmakers on March 29 that pending gun legislation could affect hundreds of local jobs.

Representatives of the Henry County Economic Development Partnership, Henry County Board, the Bi-State Regional Commission and a number of Henry County communities traveled to Springfield last week  to meet with state Senators snd  Representatives from both parties.

 

Designed to address a variety of economic issues, the meetings featured extended discussion on House Bill 

 

1294, a bill that would make it unlawful to manufacture,deliver, sell, purchase or possess a semi-automatic assault weapon, an assault weapon attachment, any .50-caliber rifle or .50-caliber cartridges as well as large capacity ammunition feeding devices.

 

"I can't guarantee these bills won't come up," said Sen. Jacobs. "What I told them is they need to understand this is a big state. People are pro-gun; people are anti-gun. "I think I can assure them these bills won't pass," he added. "Even if they do in the House, the Senate would strike them down.

 


NRA appeals decision denying Right-to-Carry outside the Home
 A federal district court in Illinois wrongly ruled that the Second Amendment does not protect a right to carry firearms for self-protection outside the home. The NRA funded this challenge to Illinois' ban on citizens' ability to carry firearms legally outside their homes and businesses for self-defense, and will also be supporting an immediate appeal to the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals-and to the Supreme Court if necessary.


The decision in the case of Shepard v. Madigan misreads
 

the Supreme Court's Second Amendment decisions and will continue to deprive law-abiding Illinoisans of the right to protect themselves effectively against crime on the streets. It also conflicts with a growing body of case law elsewhere in the country, where courts have increasingly recognized that the right to bear arms for self-defense doesn't end at Americans' front doors.

"The NRA's legal efforts will not end until the right to carry firearms for self-defense is fully recognized throughout our land," said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox.

 


State high Court rules against Chicago on "Assault Weapons ban"

Illinois Ruling a 'Victory' for Second Amendment

The Illinois Supreme Court on April 5 reversed a trial court's dismissal of a lawsuit challenging Cook County's so-called "assault weapons" ordinance banning certain commonly owned and widely used semi-automatic firearms, including modern sporting rifles -- a decision called a victory for the Second Amendment.

 

The court actually reached two decisions in Wilson v. Cook County, sending part of the case challenging the ordinance on Second Amendment grounds back to the lower court, while at the same time upholding the lower court's dismissal of the plaintiffs' challenge that the county's ordinance was unconstitutionally vague.

 

Given recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings in the Heller and McDonald cases reaffirming the individual right to lawfully own firearms that are in common use, NSSF is confident of a favorable decision by the trial court following its reconsideration of the Second Amendment infringement challenge to the ordinance.

 

"A record can now be developed in the trial court demonstrating that these rifles are used for legitimate purposes, and the claim that they are 20 times more likely to be used in the commission of a crime is a canard. It's time to bring Cook County into the 21st Century," said

 

Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel.

 

NSSF filed an amicus brief in Wilson v. Cook County last August to help educate the court about modern sporting rifles and their owners and the lawful purposes for which these firearms are commonly and widely used, such as target shooting, hunting, collecting and self-defense. In its brief, NSSF said Cook County's ban on the ownership of modern sporting rifles and their magazines infringed on the core Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

 

In addition to NSSF filing an amicus brief, the Illinois Supreme Court allowed the Commonwealth Second Amendment, the Illinois Conservation Police Lodge, certain Illinois legislators, the Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association and the National Rifle Association to submit amicus briefs in support of plaintiffs.

 

In the Wilson case, various plaintiffs challenged the broad and sweeping assault-weapons ordinance banning the manufacture, sale and possession of several popular classes of semi-automatic firearms, including commonly owned and used modern sporting rifles, simply because of their cosmetic features.

 

The Illinois State Rifle Association funded the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

 


Indiana

Youth trout fishing offered at Tri-County

A special opportunity for young anglers to fish for rainbow trout will be offered Saturday, April 21, at Tri-County Fish & Wildlife Area’s Wyland Lake.  The DNR will stock about 200 rainbow trout in the lake on  April 20, when the six-acre natural lake will be closed to fishing.

 

 On Saturday, April 21, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., only anglers under age 18 and any adults who accompany them will be allowed to fish at the lake.  Although anglers younger than 18 do not need a license to fish, adult anglers must possess a valid fishing license with an attached trout stamp.

 

Most trout fishing at Wyland Lake is done from boats. A small fishing pier is available but the success of fishing from shore is limited by shallow depth and aquatic plants.  A portable restroom facility will be available at the lake’s boat ramp.

Anglers do not need to register in advance but will be required to check in with DNR personnel at the lake when they arrive. Wyland Lake is located off of Kosciusko County Road 875 East, about one-quarter mile north of Epworth Forest Road.

 

“We want to encourage more young people and families with children to go fishing,” said Jed Pearson, district fisheries biologist with the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. “By creating this special opportunity to fish for trout, we want to expose new anglers to trout fishing and we hope several of our traditional trout anglers will take kids fishing,” Pearson said.

 

Rainbows to be stocked at Wyland Lake are being reared at the Curtis Creek Trout Station in LaGrange County. The trout will measure about 10" and should bite readily on worms and small spinner baits.  For more info: 260-244-6805 or the Tri-County FWA at (574) 834-4461.


Michigan

Popular Alabama rigs are legal for anglers’ use in Michigan

The Michigan DNR Alabama rigs (also known as “umbrella” rigs) are legal to use in Michigan. 

 

The Alabama rig is typically used for fishing bass, walleye and other popular species. It consists of a wire harness sporting five (5) arms to which lures or baits can be attached and a center line-tie. When in the water, the rig resembles a small school of fish on which these bigger species tend to prey.

 

According to the Natural Resources and Environment Act

451 of 1994, which summarizes fishing devices, lines, hooks and other fishing equipment, these rigs are legal as long as the number of hooks does not exceed six.  As stated, “A person shall not use more than three (3) single lines or three (3) single rods and lines, or a single line and a single rod and line, and shall not attach more than six (6) hooks on all lines.”

 

The five (5) arms of an Alabama rig would mean any angler using it can only use one (1) additional hook and line to remain within the legal limit.  For more information on fishing in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/fishing.

 


Lake Erie daily limit for walleye to remain at six through April 30, 2013

The daily possession limit for walleye in Michigan's waters of Lake Erie will remain at six through April 30, 2013, the DNR announced.

 

In 2011 Michigan adopted a process for setting regulations that allows the DNR to use real-time population data instead of using year-old survey results. This process parallels one adopted by Ohio in 2010.

 

"This regulation process is critical to helping us manage walleye in Lake Erie in a timely manner," said DNR Lake Erie Basin Coordinator Todd Kalish. "In order to do that, we have to set regulations in March instead of the previous autumn."

 

Michigan's daily possession limit for walleye on Lake Erie is based on its share of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for the lake, which is determined by the Lake Erie Committee under the aegis of the Great Lakes Fishery

Commission. The TAC is generally based on overall abundance of walleye. The commission establishes quotas for each jurisdiction based on the percentage of habitat for adult walleye in each jurisdiction's waters of the lake. The daily limit is based on a formula that projects how many walleye anglers can keep but still remain within the quota.

 

The 2012 Total Allowable Catch for Lake Erie is 3.487 million fish, making Michigan's quota 203,000 fish.  As a result of this regulation process, the possession limit for walleye on Lake Erie is not set until TACs are determined each March, after the annual Michigan Fishing Guide goes to press. Anglers must check for changes annually. The DNR has developed a strategy to communicate the walleye possession limit that includes a statewide press release, informational flyers, an updated online Fishing Guide, and a pre-recorded message at 888-367-7060 to inform anglers of the limit.

 

There are no changes to either the fishing season or size limit for walleyes on Lake Erie.


Enforcement of Invasive Species order on Swine begins

On April 1, the Michigan DNR began active enforcement of an Invasive Species Order declaring certain types of swine illegal in Michigan.

 

As part of that effort the department’s Law Enforcement Division conducted inspections of six properties that in the past may have had prohibited swine. The inspections were conducted with permission of the landowners. Each of the properties was found to be free of prohibited swine and therefore in compliance with the Invasive Species Order.

 

Those facilities, farms or individuals still in possession of prohibited swine are in violation of the law and could face criminal or civil penalties under Part 413 of the state’s Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act.

 

“Our intent from the beginning of this Invasive Species Order has been to enforce the law while minimizing the impact on individuals and livelihoods,” said Department of Natural Resources Director Rodney Stokes. “For that reason, we provided additional time and assistance for ranch owners, breeders and others to remove prohibited animals from their properties prior to the April 1 enforcement deadline. The additional time allowed property owners to adjust their business plans to minimize economic hardship. We will continue to work cooperatively with property owners where we can.”
 
Sus scrofa Linnaeus, the scientific name for the prohibited

animals, can pose a significant threat to the environment and to domestic pork production. The animals have been known to carry several diseases and parasites, including hog cholera (classic swine fever), , anthrax, pseudorabies, brucellosis, tuberculosis, salmonellosis, ticks, fleas, lice and various worms. When released into the wild, the animals are highly mobile, making it easy for them to spread disease quickly in Michigan's wildlife and domestic livestock populations. One sow can produce two litters of four to six piglets in a year’s time, increasing the threat.

 

The swine engage in two types of behavior that damage soils, crops and water -- rooting and wallowing. Their rooting behavior, during which they dig for food below the soil surface, causes erosion, damages lawns and farm lands, and weakens plants and native vegetation. Wallowing behavior, during which swine seek out areas of shallow water to roll in mud, increases turbidity in ponds and streams and increases erosion along stream banks, which affects water quality.

 

The DNR in December 2010 issued an Invasive Species Order outlawing certain types of swine in Michigan. The order went into effect Oct. 8, 2011. In order to give those in possession of prohibited swine every opportunity to come into compliance with the law, Director Stokes delayed enforcement of the order for an additional six months, until April 1, 2012.  The DNR is now moving ahead with the next phase of implementation of the Invasive Species Order.

 

 


Shooting Ranges closed on Easter

Get Ready for Turkey Season!

In preparation for the spring turkey hunting season, the DNR shooting ranges feature shotgun patterning opportunities where staff are available to assist you! The ranges are open Thursday-Monday. The Ortonville and Pontiac Lake ranges are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the Rose Lake and Sharonville ranges are open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Please remember to bring your ear and eye protection, number 4, 5, and 6 shot for your shotgun and chokes. Bring several targets so you can check and compare which shot and choke combination works best for

your shotgun.

 

You can watch a short video on patterning your turkey shotgun and print off free turkey targets on the National Shooting Sports Foundation website, www.nssf.org/hunting/news/turkey-target.cfm.  Please note the ranges will be closed on Sunday, April 8, for Easter.   

The range staff will have clay throwers available on Sundays in April, beginning on April 15.

 

Visit the DNR shooting range website at www.michigan.gov/shootingranges.


It’s Time to Fish for Smelt
With the weird spring weather we’ve been having, anglers may want to take advantage of the numerous smelt fishing opportunities available throughout the state.

 

The spring smelt season has arrived and anglers can take smelt with hook/line, hand nets, dip nets and spearing gear. There is a two-gallon daily possession limit on smelt. Smelt netting regulations can be found on page 12, Table 5

of the Fishing Guide and bow and spearing gear may be

used for smelt as indicated on page 9, Table 3 of the Fishing Guide.

 

Want tips on some specific locations you may want to target during this activity? We’ve just posted an updated document that highlights counties, water bodies, abundance and fishing opportunity for both dipping and hook-and-line smelt fishing. Check it out online!


Manistee River sturgeon success story

A new documentary highlights the efforts of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians and their pioneering techniques to restore the lake sturgeon in the Great Lakes.  A free screening of "Manistee Nme': A Lake Sturgeon Success Story" will be hosted by LRBOI Fisheries Biologist Marty

Holtgren at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 12 at Hemlock Crossing Nature Education Center in West Olive, MI.

 

Read the full article here: http://news.msue.msu.edu/news/article/manistee_river

_sturgeon_success_story


Minnesota

New state park reservation system fully phased in
Camping and lodging reservations now available up to a year in advance

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today that the phased-in rollout of their state park reservation system is complete. Camping and lodging reservations are once again being accepted up to a year in advance. More than 8,500 reservations have already been made online and through the Minnesota-based call center. 

 

“Minnesota has a high demand for campsites and cabins at our state parks,” said Courtland Nelson, director of the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “We are ready to meet that demand and hope everyone’s looking forward to visiting Minnesota state parks and making great memories with family and friends this summer and throughout the year.”

Reservations can be made online at mndnr.gov/reservations or by calling 866-857-2757 (TTY 952-936-4008) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily (except holidays). Up to 30 percent of the campsites at Minnesota state parks cannot be reserved in advance and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

The new online reservation website features:

  • Calendars that show available sites at a park for three weeks at a time.

  • Campground maps showing proximity of campsites to shoreline, restrooms, and other amenities.

  • Photos of most (but not yet all) campsites.

  • Advanced search options that allow prospective visitors to enter specific desired criteria and see their options at a glance.

 


New walleye regulation at Mille Lacs Lake; good fishing expected
Anglers who fish Mille Lacs Lake during the 2012 season will be able to keep walleye less than 17 inches in length, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). This is a change from last year's regulation that allowed keeping of walleye less than 18 inches.

 

The 17- to 28-inch protected slot regulation is designed to keep the walleye harvest by state licensed anglers within the state's allocation of safe harvest. One walleye 28 inches or longer may be included in the four-fish limit. The walleye season is scheduled to open Saturday, May 12.

 

"We expect anglers to do very well at Mille Lacs," said Dirk Peterson, DNR Fisheries Section chief. "The winter

bite was good. The open water bite should be very good, too." He said the new regulation on Mille Lacs is identical to that of Rainy Lake and similar to regulations on several other large walleye lakes.

 

Mille Lacs Lake is being managed this year for a safe walleye harvest level of 500,000 pounds. The state angler allocation is 357,500 pounds. The tribal allocation is 142,500 pounds. The DNR met with the citizen-comprised Mille Lacs Fishery Input Group twice this past winter to discuss fishing issues.

 

Peterson reminds anglers that Mille Lacs also offers outstanding muskellunge and smallmouth bass fishing. The muskellunge season opens June 2. The smallmouth bass season on Mille Lacs opens May 26.

 


Bear hunt applications open April 2
Applications for this fall's bear hunt will be accepted from April 2, through ay 4, at any Minnesota DNR license agent and online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense.  They also are available at the DNR License Center in St. Paul or by phone at 888-665-4236.

 

A total of 6,000 licenses are available in 11 permit areas. This year's bear hunt will run from Sept. 1, to Sunday, Oct. 14.  Hunters selected in the annual lottery must purchase their licenses by Aug. 1, so licenses that aren't purchased can be made available to other hunters. After this year's Aug. 1 deadline, any eligible hunter may purchase any

remaining licenses starting at noon, Aug. 6.

 

In 2011, hunters purchased 5,684 licenses by the deadline. Those hunters were chosen from a pool of 19,170 applicants for the available 7,050 permit area licenses. The remaining 1,336 permits were sold after the deadline passed. Hunters harvested a total of 2,131 bears.

Bear licenses cost $38 for residents and $200 for nonresidents. The bag limit is two bears in the no-quota area and one bear in all quota permit areas.  Complete information on the fall bear hunt is available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/bear.

 


Ohio

Anglers Can Avoid "Missing the Boat"

One and three-day licenses can be purchased over the phone

COLUMBUS, OH – With spring fishing heating up, anglers can now purchase one-day and three-day fishing licenses over the telephone according the Ohio DNR.

 

Customers have two telephone options to purchase a “last-minute” fishing license by using a credit card:  Calling 866-703-1928 between 5 a.m. and midnight to reach a live operator who will walk the customer through the transaction; a $5.50 convenience fee is included with this option.

 

Call 855-764-3474 any time for an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. Callers should be sure and have their nine-digit customer identification number, which can be obtained at no cost from the Wild Ohio Customer Center at www.wildohio.com. The IVR option includes a $3.25 convenience fee.

 

In both cases, the customer is issued a 10-digit license number and instructed to carry it along with a picture ID as proof that the angler is properly licensed. A printed copy of the license is not included. Convenience fees in either

option can be avoided by purchasing licenses early at license agent outlets or online at www.wildohio.com. Customers should note $10 of the one-day fishing license can be exchanged for credit toward the purchase of an annual fishing license at any time within the license year. All license purchases include a $1 writing fee.

 

Also new this year, anglers have the option of buying in advance an $11 “Lake Erie Charter 1-Day Fishing License” allowing them to wait and validate the license at the dock the day of the trip. Waiting to sign and date the license allows for its future use in case the original fishing trip is cancelled due to weather or other circumstances. This license is not available for purchase over the telephone. 

 

Customers should be aware that Social Security Numbers (SSN) will be required of all individuals, youth and adults, who plan to buy licenses and permits. United States Federal Statute 42 requires the collection of SSN of any individual to whom the state issues a recreational hunting or fishing license. When buying a license, customers are also required by law to give their full name, date of birth, gender, declaration of residency, mailing address, height, weight and hair and eye color.

 


Ohio approves 2012-13 Hunting and Trapping Regulations

Deer hunters have until noon the following day to check in their deer

COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Wildlife Council approved hunting and trapping regulations for the 2012-13 hunting seasons, during the April 4 meeting, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

 

Seven west-central Ohio counties will move from deer Zone A to Zone B; those counties are Auglaize, Darke, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Shelby. Madison County, currently in Zone B, will move to Zone A.  Antlerless deer permits will no longer be valid the first week of deer-gun season in Zone C. The antlerless permits will be valid until Nov. 25 in deer Zones A, B and C. This is a return to regulations adopted in 2007.

 

Deer hunters will have until noon the following day to complete the automated game check process. The only exception will be on the last day of any season when automated game check must be completed by 11:30 p.m.  A hunter may take only one buck in Ohio, regardless of zone, hunting method or season. Either a $15 antlerless deer permit or $24 either-sex deer permit and a valid

hunting license are required to hunt deer in Ohio.

 

Seasons and Dates for 2012-13:

• Archery season – Sept. 29 through Feb. 3, 2013

• Special area muzzleloader hunts – Oct. 15-20

• Youth deer-gun season – Nov. 17-18

• Statewide deer-gun season – Nov. 26 through Dec. 2 and Dec. 15-16

• Statewide muzzleloader season – Jan. 5-8, 2013

 

Deer bag limits are zone specific by permit type. A hunter may take one deer from Zone A, two deer from Zone B and three deer from Zone C during the entire 2012-2013 season using the either-sex deer permit. Only one antlered deer may be taken regardless of zone.

Additionally, a hunter may take one antlerless deer from Zone A, two antlerless deer from Zone B and three antlerless deer from Zone C during the archery season from Sept. 29 to Nov. 25 using the antlerless deer permit.

 

Those hunting in urban units and at Division of Wildlife-authorized controlled hunts may use the antlerless deer permits during all deer hunting seasons. Urban units and controlled hunts will again have a six-deer bag limit, and those deer will not count against the hunter's zone bag limit.


Wisconsin

Walleye bag limits adjusted for Ceded Territory lakes

MADISON -- Daily walleye bag limits have been adjusted on 537 lakes in the Wisconsin Ceded Territory in response to harvest declarations made by six bands of Chippewa in Wisconsin, the state DNR has announced. These bag limits are effective between May 5, 2012, and March 3, 2012, inclusive.

 

There will be a three-walleye bag limit for sport anglers on 225 lakes, a two-fish daily bag limit on 311 lakes, and a one-fish daily bag limit on Grindstone Lake in Sawyer County.

 

“DNR strives to maintain recreational opportunities for the public while assuring the tribes can exercise their court-affirmed rights,” said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. “Our mutual goal is a healthy, sustainable walleye fishery for future generations of all of our respective constituencies.”

 

Most off-reservation Chippewa tribal harvest takes place during the spring spearfishing season. Tribal spearers typically harvest walleye from 170-180 lakes annually, regardless of the number of lakes initially declared. DNR will review tribal harvest following the spring spearfishing season and may revise bag limits upwards on lakes lightly or not speared. An administrative rule passed by the state Natural Resources Board in 1998 allows the department to adjust initial bag limits to reflect actual spring spearing harvest and projected summer harvests.

 

The adjusted walleye bag limits are available in portable document format on the fishing regulations pages of the DNR website. They will also be posted to the fishing regulations page of the DNR Fishing Wisconsin website and are being published as an insert to the 2012-2013 Guide to Wisconsin Hook and Line Fishing Regulations. Lakes not listed are subject to the regulations printed in the regulations pamphlet. Anglers should check the regulations for special size and bag limits that are in effect on specific waters.

 

Of 232 lakes declared by the Lac du Flambeau Band, 217 will have a daily bag limit of three walleye for sport anglers,

while 14 lakes and chains will have a daily bag limit of two

walleye. Those lakes are: Rice River Flowage and Lake Mohawksin (Lincoln County), Clear and Tomahawk lakes, Rainbow and Willow flowages (Oneida), Butternut and Pike (Price), and Ballard, Big (Boulder Junction), Big Muskellunge, Island, and Star lakes (Vilas).

 

2012 marks the 15th year the Lac du Flambeau and state have cooperated on the agreement giving the band authority to sell fishing licenses in return for making declarations at a level that allows a three-walleye per day recreational angler bag limit.

 

“This year’s agreement assures a three-walleye per day bag limit for sport anglers on most lakes the Lac du Flambeau spear,” said Stepp. The band declared 14 lakes at the two-bag level. Also, the band has promised that it would not select any lake for a two-bag, two years in a row.

 

“We believe that the agreement is good for both the northern tourism interests and the tribe,” said Stepp. “Our cooperation and respectful government-to-government consultation serves tribal members and the public alike.”

 

As part of a 1983 federal Appellate Court decision affirming Chippewa off-reservation hunting, fishing, and gathering rights, the six bands of Wisconsin Chippewa set annual harvest quotas for off-reservation lakes in the Wisconsin Ceded Territory. As part of court agreements, the Department of Natural Resources reduces bag limits for recreational hook and line anglers in lakes declared for harvest by the Chippewa bands to assure the combined tribal and recreational angler harvest does not jeopardize the ability of walleye to sustain its population in any lake.

 

For background information on Chippewa treaty rights, a description of the management and monitoring system used to ensure the long term viability of fisheries in the Ceded Territory, and to see data collected as part of that monitoring system, including walleye population estimates and creel survey summaries for all game fish, go to DNR's Fisheries in the Ceded Territory page and search for keywords "ceded territory."


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

 

Ohio, Michigan officials join forces to fight Lake Erie algae
Officials from Ohio, Michigan and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency met Wednesday to outline plans to work together to stop worsening toxic algae blooms on Lake Erie.

NOAA expanding western Michigan research lab
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s maritime operation in Muskegon, Mich., is about to take on a higher profile with an expansion of the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory on the Muskegon Channel.

Asian carp controversy: The view from Shanghai
It turns out there are plenty of people in China who love Asian carp as a food item, and don't understand the Asian carp controversy currently taking place in the Great Lakes.

Michigan planning big shift on how coho salmon are stocked along Grand River
Salmon fishing on the Grand River in Grand Rapids, Mich., could get a boost next year. That’s when state fish managers propose to move ahead with a plan to reconfigure how they stock coho salmon there.

 

Ontario faces $1-billion lawsuit for moratorium on offshore wind farms
Ontario's government will defend itself against a $1-billion lawsuit over its moratorium on offshore wind farms, the second such action over the province's energy policies.

More algae, more problems
The mild winter could mean a spring and summer where algae blooms are a bigger problem than usual in Lake Ontario and other local waterways.

Michigan wetland restoration snags millions for two projects
Two federal grants of $1 million each will help restore wetlands and migratory bird habitats and address water control and distribution structures in Michigan.

 

Shallow harbors are sinking Great Lakes tourism
A $200-million backlog in unfunded Great Lakes dredging and maintenance projects has left many Great Lakes harbors so shallow, they create safety hazards and hurt Michigan's tourism industry.

Great Lakes biologists to fire underwater cannon to combat goby
Scientists will fire an underwater cannon in parts of Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay this summer, hoping to scatter the nuisance fish that eat native trout and herring eggs.

 

Soo police have chance to patrol the Great Lakes
Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canadian Coast Guard will base a marine security enforcement team in Sault Ste. Marie starting this year

 

 

 

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.

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