Week of April 10, 2006

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General

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Illinois

Indiana

Michigan

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World

Pirate Trawlers Face Crackdown on Overfishing

PARIS (Reuters) — Pirate trawlers will be tracked by a new database as part of a planned crackdown on illegal fish catches worth $9.5 billion a year that are adding to strains on global stocks, a report said last week.

 

The High Seas Task Force, comprising six governments and three conservation organizations, also urged tighter rules for trawlers, better monitoring of marine stocks and improved international cooperation to catch pirates.  "Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is now a planet-wide scourge," the World Conservation Union said in a statement about the report, issued in Paris.

 

"The only ones to profit from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing are the owners of the fishing fleets who remain hidden behind veils of corporate secrecy," said Achim Steiner, Director General of the World Conservation Union.  A new database -- the Global Information System on High Seas Fishing Vessels -- would help identify pirate trawlers as a step toward limiting exploitation of already depleted world fish stocks, it said.

 

The task force comprised fisheries ministers of Britain, Canada, Australia, Chile, Namibia and New Zealand along with the World Conservation Union, the WWF environmental group and the Earth Institute.  Canada, saying it hoped "pressure and embarrassment" would force transgressors to comply with the new recommendations, threatened to take unilateral action against what it said was rampant illegal 

fishing in the high seas off its east coast.

 

"Our time frame is short, we are running out of patience ... we have the responsibility to make sure that our stocks are protected," Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn told reporters from Paris.   The report estimated that illegal catches were worth up to $9.5 billion a year or about 14 percent of the global marine catch in 2001. It said 25 percent of fish stocks were over-exploited, depleted or recovering from depletion.

 

A big loophole used by about 15 percent of major fishing fleets worldwide is to register vessels under a "flag of convenience", a country that does not enforce international maritime law strictly, the report said.  Deep-sea fisheries in 75 percent of the high seas, including most shark and squid fisheries, are unregulated since they fall outside national fishing limits.

 

The task force came up with a nine-point plan, to be implemented immediately by participating governments, including the new database and aid to regional fisheries organizations "to detect, apprehend and sanction" pirate trawlers.   Among threats, it said that fishing fleets often dragged nets along the seabed, damaging coral reefs, seamounts and sponge beds.

 

It said populations of two deep-sea fish -- the onion eye and the round-nose grenadier -- in the northwest Atlantic had crashed by 93.3 percent and 99.6 percent over the past 26 years


National

Asian Carp & Congress

This can wait no longer -- we need action now

 ► Two species of Asian carp—the silver and the bighead—threaten entry and adverse ecological and resource impacts to the Great Lakes. A four-year old electric barrier (Barrier I) in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship (San-Ship) Canal is our only line of defense and it is failing. The carp are currently only about 20 miles below the barrier, 50 miles from Lake Michigan.

 

 ► A second, permanent barrier (Barrier II) is under construction. The first phase is expected to be operational early this summer.  Cost estimates for the second phase of Barrier II suggest additional funding may be required to complete the project.

 

 ► Once construction of Barrier II is complete, Illinois will be responsible for operation and maintenance of this barrier. The ability of Illinois to accommodate the projected $250,000 annual cost is in question. The regional benefits dictate that this should be a federal project. 

 

  ► Congress provided NO funding in fiscal year 2006 to operate either barrier I or barrier II.  Further, once barrier II is complete, the COE authority to operate Barrier I ends and it will be shut down.  This must not be allowed to happen; both barriers are needed to provide a strong line of defense. 

 

ACTION NEEDED

Congress must take immediate action to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp. 

1.         Congress must authorize the COE to operate barrier I indefinitely.

2.         At the first possible opportunity, Congress should authorize the full federal operation of barriers I and II.  The authorization can be included in any legislation that will pass Congress immediately, whether that legislation is an authorization bill or an appropriations bill.

3.         Congress should provide the funds necessary to complete both phases of barrier II and to re-build barrier I.  It is essential that $5.7 million is needed for these activities.

4.         Congress should provide full funding of at least $1.0 million annually to operate and maintain barriers I and II at federal expense.

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Call or fax your Representative and Senators and tell them to take action TODAY to address the Asian carp problem.  If you do not know who your congressman or senator is, visit www.house.gov  or www.senate.gov/  and enter your request at the top of the page.

A list of some key Representatives and Senators is below, though you should contact your own members as well.

 

SENATE

Sen. Mike DeWine (OH), Chair, Great Lakes Task Force, 140 Russell, Attn:  Paul Palagyi

Sen. Carl Levin (MI), Chair, Great Lakes Task Force, 269 Russell, Attn:  Joy Mulinex

Sen. Durbin (IL), Member, Committee on Appropriations, 332 Dirksen, Attn:  Jessica Lenard

Sen. Kit Bond (MO), Member, Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water AND Chair, Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure (WRDA subcommittee), 410 Dirksen

 

 

HOUSE

Rep. David Hobson (OH), Chair, Appropriations

Subcommittee on Energy and Water, 2362-B Rayburn, Attention:  Kenny Kraft

Rep. Peter Visclosky (IN), Ranking Member, Appropriations Sub. on Energy and Water, 2256 Rayburn, Attention:  Pedr Maarbjerg

Rep. Judy Biggert (IL), dispersal barrier is in her district and she has been excellent on this issue—1317 Longworth, Attention:  Paul Doucette

Rep. Mark Kirk (IL), Chair, Great Lakes Task Force, 1717 Longworth, Attention:  Patrick Magnusen

Rep. John Dingell (MI), Chair, Great Lakes Task Force, 2328 Rayburn, Attn:  Katie Murtha

Rep. David Obey (WI), Ranking Member, Committee on Appropriations, 2314 Rayburn, Attn:  Will Painter

Rep. Rahm Emmanuel (IL), Interested in this issue, 1319 Longworth, Attn:  Jon Hoganson

 

The following members are on authorizing committees who are involved in this issue.

 

SENATE

Great Lakes Members, Environment and Public Works Committee

Republicans

            Sen. George Voinovich (OH)—415 Hart, Attention: Brian Mormino

            Sen. James Inhofe (OK)—410 Dirksen, Chair, full committee

 

Democrats

            Sen. Barack Obama (IL)—713 Hart, Attention:  Todd Atkinson

            Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY)—476 Russell, Attention:  Dan Utech

            Sen. James Jeffords (VT)—Ranking member, full committee, 410 Dirksen

 

HOUSE

Great Lakes Members, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

*=members, Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment

 

Republicans

Rep. Thomas Petri (WI)—2462 Rayburn

Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (NY)*—2246 Rayburn

Rep. Peter Hoekstra (MI)—2234 Rayburn, Attention:  Justin Woormeester

Rep. Vernon Ehlers (MI)*—1714 Longworth, Attention:  Mart Reiffer

Rep. Steven LaTourette (OH)*—2453 Rayburn

Rep. John Duncan (TN)—Chair Water Resources Subcommittee, B-376 Rayburn

Rep. Don Young (AK)—Chair, full committee—2165 Rayburn

 

Democrats

Rep. James Oberstar (MN)—Ranking member, full committee.  B-375 Rayburn, Attention:  Ken Kopocis

Rep. Jerry Costello (IL)*—2269 Rayburn

Rep. Brian Higgins (NY)*—431 Cannon

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX)*—Ranking member, Water Resources and Env. Sub, B-375 Rayburn

 

If you do not know who your congressman or senator is, visit www.house.gov  or www.senate.gov/  and enter your request at the top of the page.

 


Feds Say They Can’t Determine Effectiveness Of Endangered Species Act

Billions spent, little info on failures or successes

When U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials asked for $141 million to fund the endangered species program next year, they inserted a startling note: They can't prove how well their past efforts have worked.  “It is difficult to determine whether the program . . . is effective, achieving results and maximizing net benefits,” according to a 2005 audit that was quoted in the budget document.

 

That revelation highlights a grim problem as the Senate starts considering what could be the most substantial rewrite ever of the Endangered Species Act, the nation's benchmark for protecting embattled animals and plants. The House has passed a sweeping revision that is much friendlier to property owners and developers than the current law.

 

Despite billions of dollars spent on species recovery since 1973, the government can provide little nonpartisan information about the program's failures and successes. About 1,300 species nationwide are covered by the act, which has become a political lightning rod because it has been used to restrict logging, home building, farming and other forms of development.

 

Fish and Wildlife's most recent report to Congress on the 

progress of its species recovery efforts, now almost four years old, is hardly encouraging.  It said 30 % of the protected species were stable and 21 % were declining. Six % were improving, even though the act is designed so that, eventually, species will sustain and increase their numbers on their own.

 

The agency could not describe the status of more than one-third of the species – about 500 – in even the most general terms.  So much uncertainty could complicate legislators' efforts to determine how much they should overhaul the law and the agency's functions.

 

The vagueness also leaves a wide field for interest groups – from environmentalists to property-rights activists – to spin the data. With glossy mailers, news releases and Web sites, the groups tout what suits their political agendas and downplay the rest.

 

Fish and Wildlife officials and their critics agree that a lack of money and a stream of court orders imposed on the agency are central reasons for the lack of reporting. For instance, the service has been on a lawsuit-powered treadmill of calculating and recalculating the amount of protected habitat that species need.

 

The service's endangered species program has about 1,100 employees, but key offices historically have been short-staffed.


U.S. Court OKs Bid to Block Burned Tree Logging

Spotted Owl specter re-surfaces

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) — An environmental group may proceed with its bid to block harvesting of burned trees in the El Dorado National Forest because forest managers have not adequately assessed the effect of the logging on the California spotted owl, a U.S. appeals court ruled Friday.

 

The court also sharply criticized the U.S. Forest Service, saying the agency is putting potential timber profits ahead of environmental regulations.

 

The Earth Island Institute has a strong likelihood of success in its court challenge to obtain an injunction against the Forest Service's harvesting plans, according to the ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.   The ruling reverses a lower court's decision backing the Forest Service.

 

The San Francisco-based appeals court found the Forest Service in its logging plans over-predicted how many trees

died in wildfires and did not fully assess how California  spotted owls use the scorched habitat. The owls are being considered for the U.S. endangered species list, according to Jim Nickles, a spokesman for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in Sacramento, California.

 

"The likely consequence of the apparent over-prediction of tree mortality is excessive logging. This likely logging, in turn, is likely to produce adverse effects on the California spotted owl that are not adequately analyzed" in Forest Service plans, according to the opinion by Judge William Fletcher.  "We have noticed a disturbing trend in the USFS's recent timber-harvesting and timber-sale activities," Fletcher said, referring to other federal lawsuits against the Forest Service.

 

"It has not escaped our notice that the USFS has a substantial financial interest in the harvesting of timber in the National Forest ... the USFS appears to have been more interested in harvesting timber than in complying with our environmental laws."


Regional

Sea Lamprey Control Budget Slashed

Great Lakes fishery in serious jeopardy

By Ken Merckel -- Michigan Steelhead and Salmon Fisherman’s Association

The federal budget for 2007, released last month, slashed funding for sea lamprey control by a whopping 15% or $2.2 million.  This proposal seriously jeopardizes the significant gains in sea lamprey control and comes at a time when sea lamprey abundances are alarmingly high in some areas of the Great Lakes.  If allowed to stand, this budget will result in major cuts to sea lamprey control next year, leaving millions more sea lamprey larvae in the system to prey on our valuable fish.  Since each sea lamprey destroys up to 40 pounds of Great Lakes fish, the impact of this proposal could be devastating to the $4 billion fishery.

 

Sea lampreys are native to the Atlantic Ocean.  They invaded the Great Lakes through federally constructed shipping canals and, by 1940, were found throughout the basin.  Sea lampreys prey on fish and their impact on the Great Lakes fishery was severe and devastating.  By 1950, commercial catch of top species fell to nearly nothing and local fishing communities faced economic hardship.  The problem was so severe that the governments of Canada and the United States signed a treaty—the 1954 Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries—to address the sea lamprey problem.  Under the treaty, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission developed and continues to deliver a sea lamprey control program.

 

The success and importance of sea lamprey control is indisputable.  The commission, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, has reduced sea lamprey populations by 90% in most areas of the Great Lakes.  This incredible reduction has allowed the State of Michigan to invest millions of dollars in supporting and improving the fishery.  For example, Michigan would not even consider stocking fish in the Great Lakes if sea lampreys were uncontrolled—sea lampreys would just devour the stocked fish.

 

Despite the incredible success of the program, sea lampreys

are resilient; control will always be needed.  If sea lamprey control does not occur, sea lamprey populations will bounce back.  A case in point is the recent history with the St. Marys River.  For decades, the river, which connects Lake Superior to Lake Huron, was too polluted to harbor sea lampreys.  By the 1990s, as water quality improved, sea lampreys moved in, and the river sent a continuous onslaught of hungry lampreys into Lake Huron and northern Lake Michigan.  Sea lamprey abundances approached historic highs and Michigan all but abandoned its fishery program in Lake Huron until the situation could be addressed.  Because the river is too large to treat for sea lampreys using conventional methods, new techniques had to be developed.  Once they were used in the late 1990s, sea lamprey abundances dropped back dramatically and the fishery is much improved.

 

If there is any lesson from history it is that sea lamprey control must be strong and relentless.  We have the technology to control sea lampreys, yet the budget proposes a devastating reduction just when sea lamprey control should be heightened.  The budget will take the Great Lakes fishery back to the dark ages when sea lampreys dominated, when anglers had fewer fish in the box, and when the environment was in disarray.  Congress has an opportunity to reject this proposal.  They must be strongly urged to do so—the very future of the Great Lakes fishery is at stake.

 

How You Can Help

Call or write your U.S. Congressman and Senators and tell them that the proposed reduction in funding for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission will devastate the $4 billion fishery.  Congress should be urged to provide at least $18.9 million for the commission and its sea lamprey control program.

 

If you do not know who your congressman is, visit www.house.gov  and enter your zip code at the top of the page (under “find your representative”).  You may also call 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your representative’s office.

 


Intro to fishing Classes for Adults May 5, 12, 25 & June 4

Gurnee, Ill. – Have you every wondered what all the fuss over fishing is about? Did you ever wish you could try it, but did not know where to start? Then Bass Pro Shops has a class for you!

 

Bass Pro Shops will be hosting a four-class program geared toward the beginner adult fisherman/woman. This introduction to fishing class will meet on three Friday nights and end the class with a day of shore fishing to show off what they have learned.

 

The class is open to any adult who has never had the opportunity to learn the basics of fishing. Class material will

cover ethics, Illinois and Wisconsin DNR rules and regulations, equipment, tackle, terminology and a host of other things. Bass Pro Shops will provide equipment for the class or you may bring your own. The instructor for the class is Bass Pro Shops fishing team member Dan Hayes.

 

The class will meet at Bass Pro Shops located at 6112 Grand Ave, Gurnee, Ill Friday May 5, 12 and 26, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. and the final class will meet at a Lake County Forest Preserve for on-water shore fishing and a cookout on Sunday June 4, 2006.

 

For more information or to register, contact Bass Pro Shops Promotions Manager Tisma Juett at 847-856-1229 TEJuett@basspro.com


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for April 7, 2006

Lake Level Conditions:  

All of the Great Lakes are 4 to 9 inches below the levels of a year ago.  Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are below chart datum and are expected to rise 3 and 4 inches respectively in the next month.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are expected to rise 2 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.  See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.

 

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 April.  Flows in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are both anticipated to be below during April.  The Niagara River and St. Lawrence River flows are expected to be above average in April.

 

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

Expected level for Apr 7 in ft

600.9

577.4

573.7

571.4

245.5

Chart datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff from chart datum, in inches

-3

-1

+17

+26

+26

Diff from last month, in inches

+1

+4

+4

+3

0

Diff from last year in inches

-4

-5

-8

-9

-8


General

Recreational Boating Safety is a National Concern.

This year we will have a record number of boaters on our many lakes, rivers, streams and more ocean going vessels than ever before. Not many are aware of the many dangers that lie ahead.

 

This year boating safety is a great concern. The accident toll among boaters climbs every year. There are some very simple rules that all boaters can do to keep themselves and their friends and loved ones safe on the water.

 

Everyone knows that an airline pilot checks his plane before taking off. Boaters have the same obligation. Making sure the engine is in workable condition by checking such things as the battery, fluids, steering, etc.  Also make sure navigation lights are working, horn is loud and clear, the dates on distress signals such as flares are current along with a Marine VHF radio in case of emergencies are just a few things 

that make for a safe day. There are even proper procedures for putting a boat in the water.

 

The Coast Guard Auxiliary offers Safe Boating Classes which are a must for the beginner as well as the seasoned boater. They also provide free Courtesy Marine Examinations which can be quite an eye opener to having a safe trip whither going for a hour cruse of a round the world extravaganza.

 

Contact your local Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Marine dealer or Harbor for information on any of the above safety items and have a safe boating day.

 

For over 60 years, tens-of-thousands of men and women of the Coast Guard Auxiliary have spent millions of volunteer hours helping the Coast Guard carry out its missions.  For more information on America’s Volunteer Lifesavers, visit our website at: http://www.cgaux.org/


Three Position Junior Air Rifle Camps in June and July

Information Bulletin for 2006 Summer Camps

Each summer the Civilian Marksmanship Program sponsors a popular series of Three-Position Air Rifle Camps to teach intermediate and advanced rifle marksmanship skills to junior shooters and their adult leaders. 

 

Who May Attend? 

CMP Junior Three Position Air Rifle Camps are for school-age junior shooters who have a basic knowledge of the sport.  Athletes should have completed basic rifle marksmanship training and one season of three-position competition shooting.  CMP camps are designed for students who will be in grades 9 through 12 during the coming school year.  There is no minimum score requirement--CMP camps are open to all athletes who want to improve their rifle marksmanship and competition skills.  Shooters of all skill levels who attended previous years’ camps achieved remarkable improvements in their performances and scores.

 

Adult Leaders. 

An important feature of the CMP Camp format is the emphasis on athletes and adult leaders learning together.  At least one adult leader (coach, team or club leader, parent, etc.) must accompany each athlete or group of athletes who attend.  Adult leaders are encouraged to attend all instruction and coaching sessions with their athletes.  A session on rifle repair and maintenance will be provided for interested adults.  Adult leaders must also assist in supporting the camp, particularly in dormitory supervision. 

 

Housing and meals. 

Housing, breakfast and lunch are provided at resident camps. 

Local commuters or attendees at commuter camps are not provided with housing or meals, except that a noon lunch is provided at all camps. Snacks and water are provided at all camps.

 

Transportation. 

Camp participants must arrange their own transportation to the site of the camp. 

 

Athletes must bring their own shooting equipment as well as appropriate clothing for physical training.  Athletes may bring either precision or sporter class rifles and equipment to the camps.  Each athlete must bring a spotting telescope (spotting scopes are not required at Fort Benning where electronic targets will be used), prone mat and tools for making rifle adjustments.  Sporter rifle shooters are encouraged to bring a shooting sweatshirt and glove.

 

The tuition the CMP charges for these camps does not begin to cover the total cost of operating the camps; the CMP subsidizes the camp program through its budget for the camps.  This is the last year at these prices.  Fees will be increased next year. 

 

¥      Camp Tuition with Housing and Meals included     $275

¥      Camp Tuition for a local commuter, housing and meals not included $200

¥      Tuition for Advanced Camp Athletes and coaches are responsible for housing and meals $200

¥      Tuition for Coaches Camp Coaches are responsible for own housing and meals $120

 

For more info on locations, dates, registration, etc:  http://www.odcmp.com/Programs/camp.htm


Utah Governor Signs Youth Hunting Bill

Legislation designed to remove barriers for youth hunters and improve hunter recruitment rates in Utah has been signed into law.

 

On March 17, Gov. Jon Huntsman signed HB 328 to remove the minimum age for hunting upland game, small game and turkeys in the state.  According to the bill, hunters younger than 14 years must be accompanied by an adult mentor at all times.

House Bill 328 and many like it across the country were created after the results of the Youth Hunting Report were published.  The research funded by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and National Wild Turkey Federation and compiled by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and Silvertip Productions, revealed that Utah recruits only 59 hunters for every 100 that retire from the sport. The new law will help boost that ratio.

 


 

Your Health

Fish Oil May Help Protect Against Retinal Degenerative Diseases

A new study just released reports on the role that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil play in protecting cells in the retina from degenerative diseases like retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of loss of vision in those older than 65.

 

The invited paper was published in Trends in Neuroscience the week of April 3, 2006 by Nicolas G. Bazan, MD, PhD, Boyd Professor and Director of the Neuroscience Center of Excellence at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, The paper is titled, Cell survival matters: docosahexaenoic acid signaling, neuroprotection and photoreceptors.

 

In these blinding eye diseases, photoreceptor cells (rods and cones) degenerate and die. Although this process can be triggered by many different things, one of the most significant protective factors may be the close association of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells and the amount of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in them. The main role of RPE cells is photoreceptor maintenance -- they conduct the daily shedding, internalization, and degradation of the tips of the photoreceptor outer segments. It now appears that RPE cells are also key to the survival of photoreceptor cells.

 

Both photoreceptor and RPE cell types are normally exposed to potentially damaging factors such as sunlight and high oxygen tension.

 

How the cells avoid damage from these factors and others has been a mystery, up to now. Dr. Bazan's group, in close collaboration with colleagues at Harvard, has made several key discoveries that are beginning to provide answers to this complex riddle. One of them is the importance of DHA. RPE

cells cope with sunlight and oxidative stress, as well as trauma, by using antioxidants like Vitamin E, present in the cells.

 

Part of the RPE cells' response is to activate the synthesis of a major neuroprotective compound, which Dr. Bazan and colleagues discovered, called neuroprotectin D1 (NPD1). NPD1 inhibits genes causing inflammation and cell death that oxidative stress and other triggers turn on. RPE cells contain the omega-3 fatty acid family member, DHA, which Bazan and colleagues found is a precursor to NPD1. RPE cells regulate the uptake, conservation, and delivery of DHA to the photoreceptor cells. DHA, known to be in short supply in patients with retinitis pigmentosa and Usher's syndrome, promotes protective cell signaling by facilitating the expression of helpful rather than destructive proteins as well as stimulating the production of NPD1. DHA and NPD1 also decrease the production of damaging free radicals. DHA has been shown by Bazan to promote survival and inhibit cell death not only of photoreceptor cells, but also of neurons in an experimental model of Alzheimer's disease.

 

Questions remain, including the identification of another receptor believed to be an important pathway for NPD1, more information about the signals that control the formation of NPD1, and if NPD1 or a synthetic counterpart might be effective when administered therapeutically.

 

"Because the early clinical manifestations of most retinal degeneration precedes massive photoreceptor cell death, it is important to define the initial crucial events," notes Dr. Bazan. "This knowledge might be applicable to the design of novel therapeutic interventions to halt or slow disease progression."

Source: LSU Health Science Center, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060405234728.htm


 

Illinois

Investigation nets 14 for illegal hunting practices

DNR Police conclude two year undercover operation

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois DNR Acting Director Sam Flood announced the results of a two and a half year investigation by Conservation Police officers (CPO’s) to uncover a major poaching operation in Southwest Illinois.  Conservation Police ended the latest phase resulting in the arrest of 14 individuals for a number of major violations of Illinois and U.S. wildlife codes ranging from felony unlawful possession of game mammals to possession of Illinois threatened species.

 

This enforcement effort is the result of a two and a half year undercover operation known as Operation Mongo.  DNR agents gathered evidence and information regarding violations of state and federal fish and wildlife laws. 

This investigation was the result of complaints and information provided by concerned sportsmen in the area.  

 

A team of investigators from the Division of Investigations was sent in to gather information and evidence of illegal taking of wildlife.  Several of the alleged charges involve times when the undercover agents actually accompanied the defendants during the conduct of the alleged unlawful activities.

 

“This area has become known throughout the United States as a place to harvest trophy deer and illegal conduct is almost

certain to follow,” said Sgt. Tim Sickmeyer, Acting Chief of the Division of Investigations and supervisor of the operation. “The conduct and statements made by the suspects regarding the alleged illegal activities lead us to believe that it was almost routine for them to engage in illegal activity.”

 

The investigation was funded in part by the John Jacob (Jake) Wolf Memorial Fund established in 1983 for the investigation into the illegal taking of fish and wildlife, as well as other natural resource crimes. 

 

The investigation continues with additional subjects expected to be charged.  Anyone who has information regarding any type of natural resource violation is encouraged to call the Target Illinois Poachers hotline at 1-877-2DNRLAW (877-236-7529).

 

The Following individuals have been charged:

Kenneth L. Pace, 33, Grafton, Daniel A. Bailey, 37, Grafton, Robert M. DeSherlia, 37, Grafton, Susan M. Baze, 38, Grafton, Steven W. Gross, 55, Grafton, Roger L. Wangler, 27, Fieldon, Billy Jo Wangler, 30, Fieldon,  Stephen D. (Duane) Brown, 32, Griggsville, Stephen D. Brown, 56, Griggsville, Joyce E. Brown, 51, Griggsville, Dennis L. Will, 50, Griggsville, Paul Klinefelter, 74, Pittsfield, Ronald K. Clemence, 49, Athens, and Ronald D. Clemence, 18, Athens.


Indiana

Fishing closures to facilitate trout stocking

To facilitate Indiana inland trout stocking, all fishing will be closed from April 20 to April 29, 2006 at:

- LAGRANGE COUNTY - Pigeon River and Pigeon Creek in from the Steuben County line to CR 410E -- not including the Mongo Mill Pond, also Harding Run, Curtis Creek, Bloody Run and Graveyard Run (tributaries of the Pigeon River), Turkey Creek north of CR 100S, and Rainbow Pit at Pigeon River FWA

 

 While there is no closed season for taking trout and salmon

from Lake Michigan, certain tributary streams are closed to all fishing from April 1 through June 15. The closed fishing period allows small vulnerable trout to migrate safely downstream to Lake Michigan. The closed season applies to:

- LAPORTE COUNTY - Trail Creek in from the Franklin Street Bridge in Michigan City upstream to US 35

- PORTER COUNTY - The East Branch of Little Calumet River from US 12 upstream to US 20

 


Better brown trout rules in LaGrange and Franklin counties

Brown trout quality fishing regulations

New Brown trout quality fishing regulations should increase brown trout size at Oliver, Olin and Martin lakes in LaGrange 

County and in the East Fork of the Whitewater River below Brookville Lake. The brown trout minimum keeper size limit in these lakes and in the Brookville Lake tailwaters is 18 inches. The daily creel limit is still five trout, but no more than one fish can be a brown trout.


Michigan

Fishing Guides Available at All License Dealers

In an effort to reduce costs to the Game and Fish Fund, which pays for fishing programs in Michigan, the DNR is publishing a two-year Fishing Guide and Inland Trout & Salmon Guide. The regulations contained in these guides will be in effect for two complete fishing seasons - April 1, 2006 - March 31, 2008. 

 

The DNR is asking anglers to keep their fishing guides for use in both the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 fishing seasons. Anglers who misplace their guides or who need additional copies can access a printer-friendly version on the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr/fishing .

The 2006 fishing licenses have been on sale since March 1 and the new fishing regulations become effective on April 1. The new regulations will be effective until March 31, 2008.

 

Major regulation changes for the upcoming fishing season are listed on page 3 of the 2006-2008 Michigan Fishing Guide; however, other regulation changes exist throughout the guide, so anglers are advised to review each page prior to going fishing. New regulations appear in red throughout the Michigan Fishing Guide.  The Michigan Inland Trout & Salmon Guide does not indicate regulation changes in this manner.


Summer Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Program Set for U.P.

Women who are seeking the opportunity to gain confidence in their outdoor-related skills and abilities are invited to register for the 9th annual Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) Program set for June 2-4 in Big Bay, 30 miles north of Marquette. The program will be held once again at Bay Cliff Health Camp, a handicapped accessible facility, located in an isolated, wooded setting overlooking Lake Superior.  

 

Sponsored by the DNR, the BOW program will include instruction in over two dozen kinds of outdoor activities related to learning new and enhancing existing outdoor skills. Classes will be offered in rock climbing and rappelling, kayaking, canoeing, various types of fishing, hiking, mountain biking, fly tying, archery, birding, ORV/ATV use, GPS, geocaching, beekeeping, map and compass and several styles of shooting sports.  Instructors will provide basic and advanced instruction tailored to the participant's individual abilities. Participants will be housed in a new dorm-style facility with numerous amenities, including a pool, sauna, camping area, hiking and biking trails, tennis courts and easy access to Lake Superior.

 

BOW is an award-winning program designed to offer outdoor skill instruction to women in a relaxed atmosphere. 

Nationally, over 10,000 women take part in a BOW program each year, with programs offered in most states and Canada. Women 18 and older are eligible to participate.  The U.P. program will also include numerous extra activities, such as individual kayaking instruction in the pool after hours, birding hikes, group bonfires, evening fishing trips and special programs.

 

Registration is $155, which includes all meals, snacks, lodging and equipment, including firearms, ammunition and most supplies.

 

 Early registration is highly recommended. For questions call Ann Wilson or Sharon Pitz at the DNR office in Marquette, 906-228-6561, or e-mail wilsoann@michigan.gov  or pitzs@michigan.gov . Registration materials and class information is available on the DNR website, at www.michigan.gov/dnr . Click on "Learning Corner" then on "Becoming an Outdoors-Woman." The Michigan BOW statewide coordinator is Lynn Marla, marlal@michigan.gov .

 

Across Michigan, numerous BOW Programs will be offered this year. To check the complete BOW program listing by state, go to www.great-lakes.org , scan down to bottom and click the BOW icon.


Ohio

Walleye movement to be tracked in Sandusky River & Bay       

COLUMBUS, OH -A study tracking walleye movement during the spring spawning runs in the Sandusky River and Bay is underway, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

       

Biologists have implanted radio transmitters in 50 adult walleye and will track the fish with three shore-based sensors, as well as weekly tracking by boat and aircraft. This research will allow fisheries biologists to better understand movement patterns, locate specific spawning sites, and determine whether fish spawn every year.

       

The information obtained will be used to enhance the Sandusky River walleye population, which has undergone significant declines in abundance over several decades. Walleye for this study were collected near Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve and the outer Sandusky Bay.

“This research gives us a unique opportunity to document migration patterns of spawning walleye in the Sandusky River, said Roger Knight, Lake Erie fisheries program administrator for the Division of Wildlife. “The data obtained will enhance our ability to manage the Sandusky River fishery.”

 

If anglers encounter a walleye with an antennae protruding from the stomach, they should contact the Division of Wildlife’s Sandusky Fisheries Research Unit and provide information on the fish’s size, location, and jaw tag number if present. The Division’s fisheries biologists will be working in and around Sandusky River and Bay during the next several weeks tracking the walleye.  Anglers are encouraged to observe their work and ask questions.

       

Anglers should also note that new walleye regulations are in place from March 1 through April 30 and include a four-fish daily bag limit with a 15” minimum size limit.

 


Hunting opportunities expand for 2006-07

Extra weekend of deer-gun hunting approved     

COLUMBUS, OH - Ohio hunters will have expanded deer hunting opportunities this fall, under new regulations and season dates approved for 2006-07 by the Ohio Wildlife Council.

       

The additional weekend of deer-gun hunting will fall on Saturday, December 16 and Sunday, December 17. The traditional week-long deer-gun season will begin on Monday, November 27 and run through Sunday, December 3. Deer-archery season will run from Saturday, September 30 through Sunday, February 4, 2007.

       

 Statewide muzzleloader season will open on Wednesday, December 27, and run through Saturday, December 30. Early muzzleloader hunts will be open Monday, October 23 through Saturday, October 28 at Salt Fork, Shawnee and Wildcat Hollow. Muzzleloader hunts at these areas are by special permit only, with a random drawing held prior to the season for a limited number of antlered and unlimited number of antlerless permits.

       

Last year’s three deer-hunting zones remain in place. A three-deer limit (Zone C) will cover 38 central, south, southeastern and southwestern counties. The 30 counties of Zone B will have a two-deer limit, and the 20 northwestern counties of Zone A will have a one-deer limit. A hunter may take only one buck in Ohio, regardless of zone, hunting method or season.

       

The youth deer-gun season is set for Saturday, November 18 and Sunday, November 19. Young hunters can bag only one deer of either sex in any county of Ohio during this special

season. Any deer taken will be part of the young hunter’s total season limit.

 

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has never been found in Ohio’s deer herd. Still, to minimize the risk of CWD appearing in Ohio, reasonable measures were passed for the disposal of hunter-killed deer, elk and moose carcasses from CWD-affected areas before they are brought back to Ohio. The regulations require the meat from an animal from a CWD-infected area to be de-boned and wrapped with no part of the spinal column or head attached. Hunters can bring back antlers or antlers attached to skullcaps as long as all soft tissue has been removed. Also acceptable will be hides and capes without the head or lymph nodes attached and finished taxidermy mounts from known CWD-infected areas.

 

A pattern of corrupt activity demonstrated by some commercial fishing operations has resulted in approved regulations that will tighten the rules on the industry.  One change prohibits commercial fishermen from having yellow perch from the Central and Western basins of Lake Erie on their boat at the same time. Commercial fishing vessels are now required to notify the Division of Wildlife at least 30 minutes prior to docking with the fish they have netted. They are also now required to have additional color coding for their nets.

       

September 1 will again mark the kick-off date for the state’s fall hunting seasons - with the opening of squirrel, dove, Canada goose, rail, moorhen and snipe hunting.

       

Migratory waterfowl hunting rules and season dates will be set in August within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2006-07 framework, which will be supplied later this summer.


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