Week of April 11, 2005

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

National

Regional

General

Lake Huron

Illinois

Michigan

Minnesota

Ohio

Pennsylvania

Wisconsin

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Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

Youth Wins Big Florida  Halibut Derby

First time a Youth Division angler bests all adults

12 year old Ryan fishing near the shore of Malibu in Santa Monica Bay, with his dad and younger brother, had a fantastic day on Saturday April 2nd.  On the first day of the 31st annual Marina Del Rey Halibut Derby Ryan landed an outstanding 36 lb California Halibut.  His dad made sure it was the first fish weighed in when the weigh-in station opened and it never moved from the top of the leader board all weekend.

 

Dad Keith proudly said "It was just me and my two boys out there on the most perfect fishing day that Saturday."

This is first time a Youth Division fisherman ever bested all the adults.  Over 800 seasoned anglers annually compete in this event that is the oldest and biggest halibut derby in California.  California Halibut are just as good to eat as Alaska Halibut just a smaller species.  At 36 lbs this is a whopper.

 

Second place was a 32.9 lb Halibut, and  $65,000 in cash and prizes was distributed from the awards, jackpots, side bets and raffles.

 

More photos and reading about the event may be found at www.MDRAnglers.com

 


National

Justice Dept says Gun Violence Falls 63%

A study by the US Department of Justice National Crime Victimization Survey indicates that between 1993 and 2001 approximately 26% of the average annual 8.9 million violent victimizations were committed by offenders armed with a weapon. About 10%, or 846,950 victimizations each year, involved a firearm.

* From 1993 to 2001 the rate of firearm violence fell 63%

* Blacks were about 9 times more likely than whites to be murdered with a firearm.

* From 1993 through 2001 blacks accounted for 46% of homicide victims and 54% of victims of firearm homicide but

12% of the U.S. population.

* From 1993 through 2001 the number of murders declined 36% while the number of murders by firearms dropped 41%.

* From 1994 through 1999, the years for which data are available, about 7 in 10 murders at school involved some type of firearm, and approximately 1 in 2 murders at school involved a handgun.

 

Source: US Department of Justice http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/guns.htm 

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/wuvc01.htm

 


Ballast water discharge loophole closed

Federal Court Rules on Invasive Species

SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal judge has ruled that the government no longer can allow ships to dump without a permit any ballast water containing nonnative species that could harm local ecosystems.  U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ordered the USEPA on Thursday, March 31, to immediately repeal regulations exempting ship operators from having to obtain such permits.

 

The U.S. District Court handed down the decision that will protect the Great Lakes from aquatic nuisance species. The court order involved a petition filed in 1999 by Northwest Environmental Advocates, The Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council and others, against the USEPA for the federal regulation that exempts ballast water discharges from federal water pollution rules.  The EPA exemption for ballast water violated the Clean Water Act and created a loophole that allowed invasive species to enter our Great Lakes waters. That loophole is now closed. 

 

The EPA has estimated that aquatic nuisance species cost the Great Lakes region $5 billion per year in damages.

 

When the EPA denied the petition, the conservation groups filed a lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco in 2003. Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox and seven other attorneys general from the Great Lakes region filed friend-of-the-court briefs also urging the EPA to repeal the exemption.

 

The court granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs in the case, and EPA has been ordered to repeal the exemption.

 

Cox applauded the court decision, saying the Great Lakes provide a foundation for the state's environment, economy and recreation.

 

Zebra mussels were found in the Great Lakes in 1988 after apparently being carried in a trans-Atlantic ship's ballast water, which was emptied in the lakes. It has caused billions of dollars in damage and since then has clogged water pipes, ships and docks. It has also wreaked havoc in the aquatic balance of the Great Lakes ecosystems, destroying system food chains, and impairing once robust fish stocks.

The harm caused by other invasive species such as the Eurasian *water milfoil, round goby, and spiny water flea in the Great Lakes is widespread.  Milfoil chokes many waterways, requiring either expensive "mowing" of the weed or chemical treatment that has unintended consequences.   Scientists say over 160 aquatic foreigners have made their way into the lake system, and continue arriving at a rate of one every eight months.

 

Analysis and implementation:

The court decision says that the exemption is repealed. The loophole may temporarily be closed on paper but the press release makes no mention of a likely appeal and the need for Great Lakes states to remain vigilant. Nor does it discuss operationalizing the law.

 

General permits would likely make up the regulatory framework, and those permitees would need to achieve a specific biological or technical performance standard to demonstrate "clean" ballast prior to discharge. Enforcement would take place by the U.S. Coast Guard, perhaps supported by the states, with an emphasis on the first U.S. port of entry, Massena, NY. Ballast is currently inspected at this locale to ensure compliance with salinity standards for ships required to conduct a "high seas" ballast exchange under the National Invasive Species Act.

 

Ray Skelton, environmental and government affairs director for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, called the decision "lunatic fringe."  "Nobody's been planning to deal with this because it would be impossible to do. We're assuming it will be overturned," he said. "Even if EPA tried to enforce it, they couldn't begin to do the job. It would shut things down"

 

"The USEPA is currently reviewing the decision and discussing available options," said Dave Ryan, EPA spokesman. The agency has 60 days to appeal the decision.

 

This has been a long and arduous journey with EPA, the Coast Guard and the shipping industry kicking and screaming all the way. The court ruling should be viewed as a battle victory in a long war.   There is a big difference between winning a decision and enforcing the decision.  That will be the next series of battles. 


The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act

Continue your support for S. 397 and H.R. 800

As you know, "The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act" was introduced this year as S. 397 in the U.S. Senate, and H.R. 800 in the U.S. House. This critically important, NRA-backed legislation would protect law-abiding firearm manufacturers from reckless, predatory, and potentially bankrupting lawsuits.

 

In 2003, the "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act" passed the U.S. House of Representatives on an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 285-140, enjoyed more than 50 Senate cosponsors, and had the full support of President Bush. Sadly, the legislation was torpedoed in the Senate in 2004 by anti-gun zealots, including former Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), who helped his fellow anti-gun Senators attach a number of anti-gun amendments to the underlying measure.

 

It is imperative that you continue to contact your U.S. Senators

and your U.S. Representative and ask them to cosponsor and support S.397 and H.R. 800--without any anti-gun amendments--and put a halt to these reckless lawsuits once and for all. Again, please be sure to let them know that you consider any votes in support of anti-gun amendments to this legislation as votes against the bill itself.

 

To access the most up-to-date information on this issue, please go to the "Stop Reckless Lawsuits Against the Firearm Industry" heading at, www.NRAILA.org. This function will allow you to easily send an e-mail or letter to your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators. Please forward this link to your family, friends, and fellow firearm owners.

 

For additional information on effectively communicating with your lawmakers, please see last week's Grassroots Alert (http://www.nraila.org/CurrentLegislation/ActionAlerts/Default.aspx) (Vol. 12, No. 12).

 


U.S. passport rules likely to be tightened

Traveling to and from Canada will require a passport

Washington DC (AP) - Passports will be required for travelers entering and re-entering the United States from Canada, Caribbean countries and Mexico, the State and Homeland Security departments announced last week.

 

The government's proposal is part of a tightening of border security that would be phased in over the next three years.

"Our goal is to strengthen border security and expedite entry into the United States for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors," said Randy Beardsworth, acting homeland security undersecretary for border and transportation security.

 

Americans re-entering the United States from Canada, the Caribbean, Bermuda, South and Central America, and Mexico would be required to have passports. Canadians, who can now enter the United States with just a driver's license, and Mexican citizens also would be required to have passports or

other accepted documents to cross the border.

 

U.S. passports, which are valid for 10 years, cost $97 for citizens who are 16 or older. It usually takes four to six weeks for passports to be issued. It costs an additional $60 to expedite the process.

 

The government's travel initiative would be rolled out in phases -- first affecting air and sea transportation and then land crossings.  Travel to and from Mexico and Canada would require the new documentation by the end of 2006. By Dec. 31, 2007, it would be needed at all air, sea and land crossings.  The rules may not be finalized until as late as October, giving little time for travelers to get the required document before the end of the year.

   

The government is requesting input and comments from the public.


Federal Clean Air Excellence Award given to Bombardier

USEPA presents award for Evinrude E-TEC outboard technology

BRP was  presented with the Clean Air Excellence Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency  for their Evinrude E-TEC outboard engine technology on April 7, in Washington D.C.

 

This is the first time ever a marine engine manufacturer has received an award of Clean Air Excellence by the EPA. The

award recognizes and honors individuals and organizations that have taken the risks of innovation, served as pioneers in their field, and have helped to improve air Evinrude E-TEC exhaust emissions, including carbon monoxide emissions,

are so low, the technology is being recognized by the U.S. EPA for its excellence.

 

Their one-of-a-kind E-TEC two-stroke outboards lead the industry in many advanced features. E-TEC benefits include no maintenance for 3 years, less fuel consumption, and a cleaner, safer boating environment. E-TEC technology meets stringent 2006 EPA, European Union (EU), and 2008 California Air Resources Board (CARB) 3-Star ultra-low emissions standards.

 

The outboard division is located in Waukegan, Illinois and Sturtevant, Wisconsin producing the award-winning E-TEC engines.


Sandy Berger’s Crime vs. Martha Stewart’s

Washington DC (AP) - Martha Stewart went to jail for lying to federal investigators. But for lying after stealing highly classified documents from the National Archives--in an apparent attempt to alter the historical record on terrorism, no

less--former Clinton national security adviser and Kerry campaign adviser Sandy Berger will get a small fine and slap on the wrist.  Is this a gender thing by federal prosecutors or just part of Washington’s good ole’ boys club?


Deadly force self-defense bill passes House/Senate

Measure heads to Gov. Bush, who says he'll sign

The Florida  House voted overwhelmingly last week for a self-defense bill aimed at letting armed citizens "stop violent crime in its tracks," removing the legal presumption that people should back away from deadly confrontations if they can.

 

Gov. Jeb Bush said he will sign the measure (SB 436) when it reaches his desk. Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, said "What this does is allow law-abiding citizens to stop violent crime in its tracks."  Overwhelming majorities in both chambers co-sponsored the bill, and the proposal cleared the Senate unanimously the previous week. The House voted 94-20 on it.

 

The Florida Sheriffs Association, Police Chiefs Association and Florida Police Benevolent Association supported the bill.

 

Opponents had warned the bill "will possibly turn the state of Florida into the O.K. Corral.  One legislator asked members to "think of the message that we are sending our children - that if you feel threatened, you can kill someone." 

 

But supporters of the bill said the same arguments were heard in the late 1980s, when Florida adopted a law allowing law-abiding residents to get concealed-weapon permits. Despite predictions that crime would increase, backers of the new bill said the law has not resulted in wild shootouts. 

 

Marion Hammer, a senior citizen and grandmother, was the first — and only — female president of the National Rifle

Association.  Hammer promoted and was instrumental in getting Florida to be the first state to adopt the Conceal Carry Weapons provision.  Late last month she was inducted into the Florida Women's Hall of Fame, and had been tireless in promoting the current legislation to promote self-defense beyond the home.

 

A man's home is his castle, and with the Governor’s signature, the sidewalk or the grocery store could be his castle, too, if he shoots someone he thinks might seriously harm him.  The proposal, approved by the full House, was written by the National Rifle Association and is aimed at expanding and clarifying the centuries-old "Castle Doctrine."

 

Currently, the doctrine presumes that a person can use deadly force when someone unlawfully invades his home because the resident is presumed to have his back "against a wall." If not at home, a person generally has a duty to retreat from a confrontation. The doctrine is not fully enshrined in law.

 

But the proposed law says that a person who is lawfully in any place has "no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm.

 

The legislation when signed into law could have national ramifications similar to the CCW law Florida passed in the 1980s.  At least 37 states since then followed suit and implemented their own CCW law.


Regional

Ruffe Expansion

One ruffe was newly discovered in Marquette harbor, MI, extending their range 110 km eastward along the south shore of Lake Superior. Also, one ruffe was newly discovered in Big Bay de Noc, Lake Michigan, by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, extending their range 10 km eastward from Little Bay de Noc.

 

No ruffe were captured from Lake Huron, the first time since

they were discovered there in 1995. No ruffe were reported captured from inland lakes and streams in the Great Lakes Basin. Monitoring activity has been  primarily outside of the documented ruffe range in the Great Lakes Basin to check on any colony or geographic expansion.

 

The report, “Surveillance For Ruffe In The Great Lakes, 2004,” will be available on the Ashland FRO website at http://midwest.fws.gov/ashland .

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for April 8, 2005

Current Lake Levels:

All of the Great Lakes are 5 to 11 inches above last year’s levels.   Lake Superior is 2 inches below its long-term average, while Lake Michigan-Huron is 12 inches below its long-term average. Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario are 2, 7, and 5 inches, respectively, above their long-term averages.

 

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 anticipated to be below average during April, while flows in the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers are both expected to be above average in April.

 

Temperature/Precipitation Outlook:

Seasonable temperatures and dry conditions are expected in the Great Lakes basin this weekend.  The next chance for inclement weather arrives during the middle of next week.

 

Forecasted Water Levels:

Lake Superior is beginning its seasonal rise and should increase 5 inches during the next month.  Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario will continue their seasonal rises and should increase 2-5 inches during the next month.

 

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.

 

WATER LEVELS OF THE GREAT LAKES
WEEKLY DATA SUMMARY

 

 

SUPERIOR

MICH-HURON

ST. CLAIR

ERIE

ONTARIO

Expected water level
for April 8, 2005, in feet

601.2

577.8

574.4

572.2

246.1

Chart datum, in feet

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Difference from chart datum, in inches

+1

+4

+26

+36

+33

Difference from last month, in inches

0

+1

+4

+4

+5

Difference from last year, in inches

+5

+6

+9

+11

+6

 


$2.6 million settlement with OMC Bankruptcy Estate

Helps Waukegan Harbor Revitalization

CHICAGO ---- USEPA Region 5, the State of Illinois and the U.S. Department of Justice announced two settlements involving cleanup at Waukegan Harbor.

 

One is a $2.6 million agreement with Outboard Marine Corp.'s bankruptcy estate to help pay for additional Superfund ground water cleanup at OMC's Plant 2 site in Waukegan, Ill. The second settlement, a supplemental consent decree with the city of Waukegan, ensures the continued operation and maintenance of containment cells on the Plant 2 site.  Together, these two settlements clear the way for the city to purchase and eventually to redevelop the site and the broader harbor area.

 

EPA and the state have a long history of involvement at the 75-acre OMC site.  Part of the site was placed on the Superfund National Priorities List of hazardous waste sites in 1984 due to the presence of widespread PCB contamination in Waukegan Harbor. EPA and the state later filed a civil action against the OMC, which resulted in a consent decree requiring a $20 million harbor cleanup. OMC performed the cleanup during 1992-93, and under the decree, placed contaminated sediment and other waste from the cleanup in containment cells on its Plant 2 property. OMC thereafter operated and maintained the cells.

OMC declared bankruptcy in 2000, selling off most of its assets and halting its environmental oversight work including its operation and maintenance of the containment cells. The estate was not able to sell Plant 2 and petitioned for legal abandonment in 2002, which the government opposed due to the environmental hazards remaining at the site. Subsequently, EPA and the state reached a settlement in 2002 requiring the estate to perform a limited amount of emergency cleanup work at Plant 2 and to pay EPA $221,250 to fund further work prior to abandonment of the site. Separately, EPA and the state also filed a civil complaint in 2002 seeking the cleanup of chlorinated solvents in the ground water beneath Plant 2.

 

Under the settlement of the governments' civil complaint, the OMC estate will place $2.6 million in a Superfund special account to be used toward cleanup of the ground water beneath Plant 2. In addition, the agreement grants EPA and Illinois EPA allowed unsecured claims against the estate totaling approximately $2 million.

 

The supplemental consent decree, which is being lodged for public comment with the U.S. District Court, frees Waukegan from future liability for the existing, historic contamination at the now-unoccupied Plant 2 site, enabling potential redevelopment for the broader lakefront area.


Spring Wildfire Season is Here

State wildfire officials want to remind Michigan citizens that the spring wildfire season has begun in areas where the snow has melted. The return of warm, windy weather has already led to numerous wildfires across southern and central portions of the state.

 

"Camping season is upon us and spring cleanup tasks are underway, with large amounts of branches, dead grass and leaves requiring disposal," said Paul Kollmeyer, Department of Natural Resources coordinator for law enforcement/fire prevention. "There is always a risk of starting a wildfire with campfires or when conducting outdoor burning, and smoke is also a nuisance and creates unhealthy air."

 

Wildfire officials are urging citizens to use caution with all outdoor fires and consider alternate, safer disposal methods such as chipping and mulching. Wood chips can be used in landscaping and mulch enriches the soil, Kollmeyer said.

 

If burning debris is necessary, citizens should first obtain a 

burn permit. The State Forest Fire Law requires a burn permit whenever the ground is not snow covered, and it is a misdemeanor to burn without one. Burning performed in an "approved" metal barrel with a lid and holes smaller than three-quarters of an inch in diameter does not require a permit.

 

Burn permits can be obtained from local fire departments and township officials in southern Michigan, and from DNR or the USDA Forest Service offices in northern Michigan.

 

Evening is the safest time to burn, after the wind has died down and temperatures are cooler, Kollmeyer added. Citizens should have garden tools, a charged garden hose or other source of water nearby in case a fire begins to get out of control.   "Never leave a fire unattended, even for a moment," Kollmeyer said. "Improperly extinguished campfires and debris fires have been the leading cause of wildfires, and most fires escape control when left unattended."

 


   

Carp Fund Barometer

 

Donation          Ranking

$    1 – 10   Alewife

 

$  11 – 20  Yellow Perch

 

$  21 – 50   Black Bass

     Berg, Jeffrey W.

     Cozzie, Ken

     Fuka, John J.

     Gold Coast Charter Service

     Reider, Robert

 

$  51 – 100   Coho Salmon

     Couston, Tom

     Yahara Fishing Club

 

$  101 – 200   Walleye

     Chagrin River Salmon Association

$  201 – 500   Brown Trout

     Northeast Wis. GL Sport Fishermen

     Detroit Area Steelheaders 

     Klavon, Patrick  

 

$  501 – 1000   Steelhead

 

$  1001 – 5000   Chinook Salmon

 

$  5001 – UP   Lake Trout

 

Current Total= $1,315.00

 

View a carp video

The attached video is a shortened version of a video provided by Minnesota DNR. It will help you to understand the potential problem with Bighead and Silver Carp. Click on image of Carp to view video.

 


General

Future Anglers

By Tom Mayher

Possibly the most important issue today is the fact that. Ohio’s fishing license sales have dropped from 1,228,000 in the 90’s to 690,000 last year. Not only is this a  great loss of revenue it also reflects one of our major problems. I attend lot of club meetings and have often said that it was like attending an AARP meeting. The loss of over 500,000 fishing licenses translates into one-half million fishing dads, moms, friends and grand parents who are not there to introduce the kids to the great outdoor sport of fishing. DOW is missing the boat because they believe that literature and videos will get kids interested in fishing. Today’s kids are deep into action things that go boom-bang- crash 

 

A kid fishing Lake Erie in these modern times would probably be bored to death. Example; Governor Taft participates in Governor’s Day in the Western Basin and if my memory serves me correctly, it took him several years to catch a walleye. The Governor was introduced to the product that his ODNR has created, and not to the Lake Erie that we all have known. Managing the Lake Erie fisheries for the benefit of special interest groups has not worked and will not work. DOW’s rogue management policies and refusal to compensate for the introduction of exotics has resulted into a large decline in our fisheries. We have great yellow perch fishing today because, unlike other species,

 

Chief Budzik protected the spawning fish from the commercial netters in the mid 1990’s. Kids want action and we have let our Lake Erie fisheries decline to the point where it is difficult to catch a sport fish. The white bass was possibly our most important fish. It was consistently caught along the Lake Erie shoreline, was easily caught, was on the surface, most any type of lure worked, no expensive fishing equipment necessary, didn’t need a boat only access to the lake and most importantly it was almost everywhere. We have a couple of hundred miles of shoreline and only a very small percentage available for kids who don’t have a boat to fish from.

 

Rather than trying to talk kids into going fishing, DOW should take the direct approach, such as closing a lake like Punderson, to everyone except school kids when they have their annual stocking of trout into the lake.  No doubt we could

have enough volunteers from our local sportsmen clubs to
assist the busloads of school kids to get started on the right foot. Many are already experienced in such matters because many of our clubs sponsor kids fishing days.

 

We must have a sense of urgency in getting our children involved in our great outdoors. They are constantly bombarded by with negative articles in the media. Several articles that were in the Florida’s Orlando Sentinel newspaper in early March of this year they had fish consumption advisories on the same page as the mercury emissions from their power plants. One of their coal fired plants puts out about 480 pounds of mercury annually. Women of childbearing age and children were advised not to eat largemouth bass from 6 of the 8 lakes listed in the area.

 

A companion article listed the opinions of 7 young adults or teenagers, 4 were against sport fishing because it was cruel and painful. Also there were 3 letters to the editors saying that fishing was cruel and wanted the paper to stop running it’s fishing column. It seems as if the media is trying to trash our sport fishing industry. With all the negative articles being printed, a kid soon will be afraid to touch a fish for fear of getting mercury poisoning
 

Never saw a balanced article that listed the benefits acquired from eating this very valuable food. Why was there no mention of the scientific evidence that proves that FISH DO NOT FEEL PAIN? The newspapers prefer to take the word of their Animal Rights Divisions.
 

Here in Ohio less than 10% of our population own a fishing or hunting license, these articles are part of a campaign to put an end to fishing and hunting. This means that these negative articles influence 90% or 10 million of Ohio’s citizens, many of who are children, because they probably believe that newspapers print he truth.
 

Taking the White Bass off of the commercial list would be a step in the right direction to revitalize our sagging Lake Erie sport fishing, especially for the kids and shore line anglers

Mayher is President of the Ohio North Coast Sportfishing Council and Ohio State Director to the GLSFC Board of Directors.


 

Lake Huron

Lake Huron Workshops, Meetings Scheduled April 16 & April 30

Shorter evening sessions April 13, 20 & 21

To Discuss Status of Lake Huron Fishery

The status and future of Lake Huron's fishery are the topics of a series of workshops being conducted in April by Michigan Sea Grant, in cooperation with the Michigan State University Extension Service and the Department of Natural Resources.

 

Registration form is included here.

 

Two, day-long workshops will provide in-depth analysis of some of the major fisheries and food web concerns in Lake Huron, while a series of evening meetings will serve as a shorter version of the daytime workshops.

 

 "The Lake Huron fishery has undergone marked changes in recent years," said Dave Borgeson, Northern Lake Huron unit supervisor for the DNR's Fisheries Division. "The invasion of exotic aquatic species and the near absence of the Chinook salmon's preferred prey, the alewife, have greatly altered the lake's food web. These workshops and meetings give all stakeholders a chance to sit down and discuss these changes and the future of the lake's fishery."

 

The day-long workshops will feature the latest research and information related to the changing Lake Huron fishery. These meetings will be:

*       8:30 - 3:30 p.m. Sat, April 16, Franklin Inn Motor Lodge, 1060 E. Huron Ave in Bad Axe.

*       8:30 - 3:30 p.m. Sat, April 30, Oscoda Yacht Club, 430 S. State St in Oscoda.

Registration for the day-long workshops is $12 in advance or $15 at the door, and includes lunch. The workshops are open to the public, and Borgeson especially encourages charter captains, anglers and resource professionals interested in the future of the fishery on Lake Huron to attend one of the workshops.

 

Three evening meetings, which will be shorter versions of the workshops, also will be held. These meetings are free and open to the public as well. They include:

 

*       7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Wed, April 13, McMorran Place, 701 McMorran Blvd in Port Huron. Hosted by Blue Water Sportfishing Assn

*       7 - 9 p.m. Wed, April 20, Alpena Community College in Alpena;

*       7 - 9 p.m. Thurs, April 21, Cheboygan Sportsmen's Club, 13516 Seffern Rd in Cheboygan.

 

One of the major issues to be addressed at these sessions will be the future of the Chinook salmon fishery on Lake Huron. Borgeson said Chinook salmon have been naturally reproducing in increasing numbers in Lake Huron, with fish of wild origin now greatly outnumbering the Chinook of hatchery origin.

 

For more info, MI Sea Grant: 989-984-1060:  www.miseagrant.umich.edu/workshops/huron-fisheries_wrksp.html .

 

To download Registration Form click here.


Illinois

Governor’s Cup Fishing Invitational June 17-18

Don't miss the first annual PFC Geoffrey Morris Memorial Governor's Cup Fishing Invitational on Lake Michigan off Waukegan on June 17-18.  

 

The salmon and trout tournament proceeds will benefit the

Illinois Military Family Relief Fund.  The tournament will be held in honor of Geoff Morris, a U.S. Marine from Gurnee who gave his life in combat in April 2004.  The entry fee is $550 and is tax deductible.  For more information on registration, prizes, rules and a tournament schedule, check the web site at www.gsmtournament.com

Registration continues for the 2005 State of Illinois Crappie Circuit.

Sponsored by Bass Pro Shops and the Illinois Conservation Foundation, the State of Illinois Crappie Circuit series will culminate with the Illinois State Championship on June 4-5.  The series is a team fishing event with teams consisting of three members, two of whom can fish any tournament.  Each tournament is limited to 100 boats. 

 

The first event was conducted on March 26 on Kinkaid Lake.  The remaining tournament schedule includes Rend Lake on April 16, Chain O'Lakes on May 7 and the Quad Cities on May 21.  Winners and top qualifiers will advance to the Illinois State Championship on June 4-5.  The entry fee for each

tournament is $100 per boat.  To register or for more information, contact Gary Watson at 217/782-9990 or go to the link and print out a registration form on the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us/events/announce.htm

 

At the Kinkaid Lake event, the team of Jason Dudley of Bonnie and Kevin Russell of Vienna won first place with a catch of 11 fish and total weight of 8.42 pounds.  Jason Dudley had the big fish at 1.7 lbs.

Second place went to the team of Glendell Carter of Bonnie and Grey Rednour of Mt. Vernon catching 14 fish with a total weight of 8.20 lbs.  Third pace at Kinkaid Lake went to Michael and Thomas McFeron of Nashville.


DNR Awards $123,000 pheasant Fund Grants

Habitat for Pheasants and Other Wildlife

SPRINGFIELD, ILL. -- The Illinois DNR is awarding $123,634 from the State Pheasant Fund for 17 wildlife conservation projects to begin in 2005. Combined with contributions from the organizations receiving grants, the total value of the pheasant projects is estimated to be more than $187,800.

 

“The funds, combined with contributions from partner organizations, help create and preserve much-needed pheasant habitat,” said IDNR Director Joel Brunsvold.  “These improvements benefit not just pheasants, but a wide variety of plants and animals.  It’s part of our mission at IDNR—to protect and sustain Illinois’ natural resources.”

Pheasant Fund money is derived from the purchase by Illinois hunters of the Habitat Stamp, which costs $5.50. By law, 30% of the stamp revenues are deposited in the State Pheasant Fund for the purpose of wild pheasant conservation projects.  Proposed project applications are submitted for consideration each year by not-for-profit organizations and the IDNR to the State Pheasant Committee.  The committee reviews the projects and recommends allocation of funds from the State Pheasant Fund.

 

Application forms and project criteria for 2006 projects will be available after April 1, 2005 on the Department’s web site http://dnr.state.il.us.  The application deadline is August 1, 2005.


Lt. Gov. chairs Illinois River Coordinating Council Mtg

Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn last week chaired the quarterly meeting of the Illinois River Coordinating Council (IRCC), updating members on the status of the Conservation Initiative, a $25-million plan to restore and bolster stewardship of Illinois’ rivers and natural resources.

        

The agenda covered several river-related issues, including a sediment-trading program, an upper Sangamon River watershed grant, an upcoming nature-based tourism symposium, and a proposal for an Illinois River watershed hydrological observatory.

        

The council coordinates private and public funding for land and waterway restoration in the Illinois River watershed.

        

Quinn’s Conservation Initiative would support the

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), a voluntary federal, state and local program to prevent soil erosion, and to improve water quality and wildlife habitat in the Illinois River watershed.  The state’s investment in the CREP program is matched 4:1 by the federal government.  The state’s investment would bring $40 million in federal funds to rural Illinois under Quinn’s plan.

 

The Conservation Initiative also would support IDNR staffing in Illinois state parks and wildlife areas.

        

 Funding for the Conservation Initiative would come from eliminating the landfill gas loophole.  Illinois is the only state with such a subsidy.  “By eliminating an obsolete landfill gas tax loophole, which benefits a handful of mostly out-of-state companies, we can use this revenue for conservation of our state’s precious natural resources,” Quinn said.


Machine Guns seized

Eleven persons have been indicted in southern Illinois on charges related to illegal machine guns and explosives seized by federal investigators near Alton. Agents with the

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reportedly recovered 50 unregistered, fully automatic firearms including AK-47s and UZI machine guns.


Michigan

U.P. Summer BOW Weekend Set for June 3-5   

Women seeking an opportunity to develop their outdoor skills are invited to register for the 8th annual Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program, set for June 3-5 in Big Bay, 30 miles north of Marquette.

       

The program will be held at Bay Cliff Health Camp, a universally accessible facility, located in a picturesque wooded setting overlooking Lake Superior.

       

Sponsored by the Michigan DNR, this program offers instruction in more than two dozen kinds of outdoor activities, including kayaking, canoeing, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, archery, birding, ORV/ATV use, Global Positioning Satellite (GPS), map and compass and several styles of shooting sports. Instructors provide basic and advanced instruction tailored to the participant's individual ability.

        

The $155 registration fee includes all food and lodging, as

well as most equipment and supplies (except as noted in the registration materials). Participants will be housed in a new dorm-style facility with numerous amenities, including a pool, sauna, tennis courts, hiking and biking trails, and easy access to Lake Superior.

 

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshops are for women 18 and older who wish to learn outdoor skills in a relaxed atmosphere. The U.P. program also includes special evening programs, group bonfires and more.

       

Early registration is recommended. Registration materials and class information are available on the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr. Scroll down to "Of Special Interest" and click on "Becoming an Outdoors-Woman." For more information, contact Ann Wilson or Sharon Pitz at the DNR office in Marquette at (906) 228-6561 or e-mail wilsoann@michigan.gov  or pitzs@michigan.gov .


2005 Bear Hunt Applications Available April 15

The Michigan DNR reminds bear hunters that they may apply for a 2005 bear hunting license beginning April 15.  The application period is from April 15 through May 15, and hunters may apply for a license at more than 1,700 license dealers, most DNR offices statewide or via the Internet at www.great-lakes.org/licenses.html

 

A $4 nonrefundable fee must be paid at the time of application. Online customers may use MasterCard or Visa and then print their application receipt. There is no application fee for Comprehensive Lifetime license holders. 

 

The 2005 bear season will include the following hunt periods: Sept. 10 through Oct. 21, Sept. 15 through Oct. 26 and Sept. 25 through Oct. 26 in all Upper Peninsula units except Drummond Island; Sept. 10-6 on Drummond Island; and Sept. 16-22 in northern Lower Peninsula's Baldwin, Gladwin, and Red Oak bear management units. An additional hunt period for bow and arrow only will be held in the Red Oak Unit from

Oct. 7-13. 

 

Copies of the 2005 Michigan Bear Hunting Guide are available at DNR offices, license agents, and on the DNR Web site.  Drawing results will be posted June 6, 2005 at 10 a.m. EDT on the DNR Web site.  For those who did not apply online, notification of the drawing results will be mailed June 6. 

 

Successful applicants may go to any license dealer or via the Internet to purchase their bear hunting license and harvest tag. The cost of the license and harvest tag is $15 for residents, $6 for seniors and $150 for nonresidents. There is no license fee for successful Lifetime Comprehensive License Holders.

 

A participation license is required for bear hunters who are not issued a harvest tag but wish to participate in a bear hunt behind dogs. Participation licenses may be purchased for the same fee as a hunting license.


Minnesota

Wisconsin anglers face fines, restitution totaling nearly $7,000

Five anglers from Wisconsin face fines and restitution of nearly $7,000 after being caught with 206 perch over their legal limit while fishing on Lake Winnibigoshish in northeastern Minnesota.

 

DNR Conservation Officer Larry Francis, Remer, was among the officers who contacted the group on March 25 as they were packing up from a day on the lake.  Officers found 303 perch in the round (not filleted) and seven one-gallon plastic bags that contained filleted perch. Six of the seven bags were discovered between the mattress and box spring of one of the beds. The anglers had concealed another 69 perch in a bag containing a power auger. When the counting was completed the group possessed more than 406 perch, 206 perch over the legal limit.  The perch limit in Minnesota is 20 daily and 40 in possession per individual.

 

Charged in Cass County District Court with gross overlimit of perch were Bradley Arthur Bricco, 31, Shawano, Wis.; Cotty George Barrett, 47, West Bend, Wis.; Allen Emil Barrett, 45, Marion, Wis.; Richard Charles Bricco, 52, and David Roy Anderson, 45, both of Clintonville, Wis. Each man was charged under Minnesota's Gross Overlimits Law and had his license seized. The citation carried a fine of $920 and a restitution value of $410, for a total of $1,330 for each angler.

 

Poachers can have their fish and game licenses seized and face stiffer penalties, including having their boats, motors and 

trailers confiscated, under Minnesota's gross overlimits regulation in effect since March 1, 2003.  The law is based on established restitution values that determine payments made by poachers to the state for illegally taken game and fish. For example, a walleye is valued at $30. Under the gross overlimits law, the time period for license suspension is based on those restitution values. The higher the restitution values, the longer the suspension of hunting or  fishing privileges. For instance, a poacher would lose his fishing

licenses for three years if he had 24 walleye, which is 18 fish over the legal limit.

 

The law also allows for a gross misdemeanor penalty when the value of illegally taken game and fish exceeds $1,000. The enhanced penalties apply to small game and waterfowl violators as well as commercial fishing operations. It is aimed at intentional poachers, according to DNR Chief Conservation Officer Col. Mike Hamm.

 

"The law is not to target the average angler or hunter who makes an honest mistake," Hamm said. "It targets those who are intentionally out to break the law."

 

The law also allows for joint liability when two or more people are involved. In addition, those who lose their fishing or hunting

privileges in Minnesota would also be barred from similar activities in 16 other states that share reciprocity agreements. "This law gives conservation officers better ability to protect and preserve Minnesota's natural resources," Hamm said.


Minnesota bear hunt application deadline is Friday, May 6

The Minnesota DNR is now accepting applications for the 2005 Minnesota black bear hunting season. This year’s season will offer 15,950 licenses, available in 11 permit areas, and will run from Sept. 1 through Oct. 16. Applications can be made through the Electronic Licensing System (ELS), and are available from ELS agents throughout the state, plus the DNR License Center in St. Paul.

 

Applications can also be made by calling 1-888-MNLICEN (665-4236), or through the DNR Web site at    PRIVATE HREF="http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/" MACROBUTTON HtmlResAnchor www.dnr.state.mn.us. The deadline for bear

applications is Friday, May 6.   Licenses for the no-quota area, which is the area outside of the 11 permit areas, can be purchased directly at any ELS agent beginning July 1. No previous application is necessary to buy a no-quota area license.

 

In 2004, there were 16,466 applicants for the available 16,450 permit area licenses. Seven of the 11 permit areas were under-subscribed. Hunters harvested a total of 3,391 bears: 2,962 in the permit areas and 429 in the no-quota area. Bear licenses cost $39 for residents and $196 for nonresidents. The bag limit will remain at two bears in the no-quota area, and one bear in all-quota permit areas.


Ohio

Oklahoma tribe files claim on North Bass Island

Ottawas seek fishing, not gambling, lawyer says

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports the Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma wants to take back a chunk of North Bass Island to fish, not to gamble, a lawyer for the tribe says. And the Ottawas want damages for the loss of their island acreage for 172 years. If the claim is valid, it could be worth millions of dollars from the state, one legal expert says.

 

The Ottawa tribe is pressing a claim for 350 acres, more than half of Ohio's northernmost island in Lake Erie. North Bass Island lies 18 miles off Port Clinton, two miles south of the Canadian border.  All of the 350 acres is owned by the state, which bought most of the sparsely populated island for $17.4 million in 2003.

 

The Ottawas are among at least three tribes that have pursued a casino in Ohio. But Columbus lawyer Richard Rogovin insisted the Ottawas are not using the land claim to leverage a settlement for a casino, as tribes are trying in several other states.

 

The Ottawas controlled a large chunk of northwest Ohio in the 1700s. They used North Bass Island as an outpost for fishing, hunting and trade.  From 1783 to 1822, the Canadian border ran through half of North Bass Island, Rogovin said. That land was not affected by treaties the Ottawas and other tribes struck as settlers moved west, Rogovin said.

 

The U.S.-Canadian boundary moved north of the island in

1822, but "no treaty was ever made with respect to this island,"

Rogovin said.  The tribe also claims it gained hunting and fishing rights to Lake Erie under an 1805 treaty with the federal government.

 

The Ottawas "never ceded their rights to North Bass Island," Rogovin said. The tribe wants to set up a fishing fleet on the island, Rogovin said.

 

Federal courts have held that tribes can take up to half of the annual fish harvest enjoyed by the non-American Indian population, Rogovin said. That means the Ottawa could take up to 2,400 tons of fish a year, he said. A catch of that size could potentially upset the lake fishery, which is managed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. An ODNR official said it was "too early and too speculative" to talk about the Ottawas' plan.

 

The 1,000-member tribe also wants damages for being deprived of its land. That could be worth millions if the Ottawas' claim is legitimate, said Blake Watson, a University of Dayton law professor and an expert on American Indian law.

Tribes elsewhere have sued states and filed claims with the federal government to assert property rights. Rogovin said it's too early to talk about such actions.

 

Anti-gambling opponent David Zanotti is among those skeptical that the Ottawas want to open a fishing business. "It's suspect that this happens now," said Zanotti, noting that tribal casinos are a hot topic in Ohio.


Pennsylvania

Angler Study to Focus on Use and Economic Impact

Trout fishing is big business in Pennsylvania - just how big will be part of a continuing study by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC).  The PFBC, in partnership with Penn State University, will be counting anglers and conducting interviews to collect information on how many people are fishing, what they catch and keep as well as information about how much they spent to fish for trout on stocked streams.

       

Through the use of creel clerks, the Commission will contact anglers on a random selection of stocked trout streams to log information on the amount of time anglers have fished and what they caught and/or kept during their fishing trip.  Information will also be collected to determine how far anglers traveled, what they spent and their opinions about trout fishing.  The data will be compiled by the Commission and analyzed at Penn State for purposes as diverse as evaluating relationships between different kinds of trout streams, trout stocking, and the amount of fishing that occurs.  The results will allow the Commission to refine its trout allocation system and to determine the impact that stocked trout fishing has on the statewide economy.

       

Thirty different streams across the state are included in the study.  Starting with Opening Day on April 16, creel clerks will canvas study waters at different times and locations to get a balanced picture of fishing use.  Waters in the program will be

monitored for the first eight weeks of the trout season.  To minimize bias in the study, the Commission is not announcing ahead of time which waters are part of the study effort.  The waters selected will represent the range of streams included in the stocked trout program from small, rural streams to large creeks and waters in highly populated areas.

 

The Fish and Boat Commission and its partners have conducted similar studies recently.  For instance, the evaluation of the steelhead fishery on Lake Erie during the autumn and spring 2003/2004 resulted in an estimate of more than 200,000 angler trips and an Erie County Economic Impact of more than $10 million.  Results have been analyzed and a report is being prepared for evaluation of the fishing activity on more than 2,500 miles of Pennsylvania wild trout streams and its estimated economic impact in Pennsylvania; preliminary results suggest more than 80,000 wild trout fishing trips occurred with an economic value of more than $2 million.

       

The 2005 stocked trout fishing survey is an opportunity for individual anglers to contribute to improvements in trout fishing in Pennsylvania.  Anglers are encouraged to cooperate if a creel clerk approaches them on their favorite trout stream this spring.


Wisconsin

State Supreme Court to hear power plant case

OAK CREEK, Wis. (AP) - When Wisconsin's largest utility proposed in late 2000 to build coal-fired power plants next to Lake Michigan here, it embarked on the biggest power project in state history.

 

Since then, WE Energies' proposal to add twin, $2.15 billion boilers has had a rocky reception from some neighbors and environmentalists, sparking debates on everything from the claim of a future power crisis to whether state regulators were too quick to approve it.

 

The latest challenge is now before the state Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case after a judge tossed out state approval for the plants, saying plans weren't scrutinized enough.  Dane County Judge David Flanagan said he was surprised the facility was approved before there was a plan for the design, location and cost of transmission lines to get the power to customers.

 

State officials and WE Energies say the transmission system can't be set up until plans for the plants are finalized.

 

Lawsuits are pending over the air, water and construction permits the state Department of Natural Resources approved, including one allowing the plants to tap 2.2 billion gallons of water from Lake Michigan each day, then return it to the lake 15 degrees warmer. A permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is pending.

 

University of Michigan water scientist David Jude, who was hired by Racine's S.C. Johnson & Son -- a party to the

Supreme Court lawsuit -- to investigate the potential impact, said the plants' intake valve system, the hot water and construction would hurt the lake's food chain.   "It's probably going to kill all the aquatic life in some places," Jude said. "This is bigger than any other power plant on the Great Lakes, so it's sort of unprecedented."

 

It's not only environmentalists who are opposed.

 

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan urged the Corps to do a stricter review of the plants, which would be among the largest water users on the Great Lakes, and again in February protested the DNR permit that would allow an 8,000-ft tunnel to daily draw almost as much water as Chicago and 100 suburbs use in a day.

 

Her office said the plants would discharge toxic mercury into the lake and kill aquatic life in the intake system and its hot water would degrade the lake's ecosystem. 

 

Pollution probably would be felt downwind, because of tall smokestacks that would carry emissions out of the area, said Lloyd Eagan, director of the DNR's Bureau of Air Management. But all the emissions are within allowable levels, she said.  "We are confident that the permit that we issued for air will protect air-quality standards, and by doing so will also protect public health," she said.

 

The plants, which would add enough electricity to power 615,000 homes, are part of WE Energies' $7 billion, 10-year Power the Future plan.


Commentary on Milwaukee River Walleye plantings

By Louis Kowieski

On March 30, 1995, a meeting was convened at the Great Lakes Research Center to establish a stocking protocol regarding an attempt by two Milwaukee fishing clubs to re-establish walleyes in the Milwaukee River estuary.   At that time I was chairman of the Great Lakes Committee for the Conservation Congress.
 

After hearing the proposal, the first ‘red flag’ in my mind was, why would we purposely introduce a known major predator into a declining perch area?  The most alarming ‘red flag’ though, was a 1990 brown trout stocking at Thunder Bay, Michigan.  Most of the 100,000 6-8 inch fingerlings which Michigan DNR biologist Jim Johnson stated were planted, were lost because of the walleye predation.  He said, “1990 was the year we had the most loss to predation.  The 1990 year class proved to be a failure.”  Even though Michigan has since changed trout stocking locations and strains, in the hope of better survival and recruitment, he further stated, “Losses due to predation are still significant however” due to walleyes.  West Coast and other Great Lakes studies have borne out the same findings: walleyes feed on trout and salmon!
 

I had reason for concern that walleyes and trout/salmon would be stocked on top of each other with no acceptable time separation between the trout/salmon (prey)-walleye (predator) introductions.  The signed amendment called for the chinook to be planted at Kletzch of Estabrook parks and the walleyes below the North Avenue dam in the Milwaukee River.  “Goodwill act number one” for all trout and salmon fisherman occurred when the protocol and subsequently signed amendment were breached in whole by the intentional WDNR stocking of the 3-4 inch chinook smolts below  the North Avenue dam, on top of the extended growth (5-7 inch) walleyes.  

 

Another protocol requirement of the walleye re-introduction was that any trout or salmon depredation of 5% or more would result in halting the introduction of walleyes into the Milwaukee River or its estuary.  Study estimates for 1996, indicated a loss of 1,123 Chinooks out of 144,250 released, for a mortality rate of less than 1%.  1997 results should have killed any future walleye stockings, when the DNR analysis indicated that 30,162 out of 181,000 Chinooks planted were eaten by walleyes.  Keep in mind that this was an agreement between the WDNR and concerned stamp and license buying Wisconsin sportsmen, to try to protect a recreational and economic investment of huge proportions.  So much for “good faith” agreements with the DNR!
 

A review of the data gathered from other areas of the United States prior to this failed study, would lead prudent citizens to the logical conclusion that trout and salmon cannot survive and flourish in an environment laden with walleyes.

 

Let’s jump right off the mountain and propose annual stocking anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 walleyes in the Milwaukee River from 1998 through 2004.  If 10,000 walleyes can eat 30,000 chinook smolts, than 50,000 walleyes will consume 150,000 smolts!  How many of the 6,500 brook trout planted annually will be fodder for the walleye?  How many of the 41,700 steelhead planted in this area will be destroyed by the introduced walleyes?  And let’s not forget the 23,000 Coho trying to swim out into Lake Michigan through the gauntlet of introduced walleyes waiting in the estuary.
 

The Milwaukee River dam located about three miles up stream from the river’s mouth was removed only last year, thereby allowing the free movement of the predator and prey alike through the estuary system.  Why don’t we give the system a chance to work on its own?  Might we not get a natural reproduction of walleyes?  Will we ever know?
 

WDNR toxicologist Jim Amrhein has twice stated to me in the last two weeks, that walleyes from the Milwaukee River harbor should be eaten, at the most, only 6 times per year-or one meal every two months! And that was from samples of walleyes under 20 inches in length!

When I asked Bill Horns, WDNR Great Lakes Specialist, on February 4, 1998, if he was going to get involved in this controversy, his answer was “NO!”  This is the same Bill Horns who stated that the European ruffe “may not be as destructive as feared” even though a 1997-98  study indicated a population explosion of 6,000% or more in the Bad River.  I do not comprehend how the WDNR Great Lakes Specialist can deny his input or authority in this matter.

 

Thirty years of establishing a world renowned recreational trout and salmon fishery (to control alewife) will be jeopardized by supporting the program of a handful of zealots wishing to serve selfish individual purposes.  This is not a program “scientifically based on sound fish management.”  There is only one logical position for proposed management directives: Discontinue walleye stocking!  In addition, the intended proposals to stock walleyes in the trout/salmon populated estuaries do not even come close to meeting the legal requirement of the Natural Resources Board Policy 104 paragraphs 1, 3, and 4.
 

predation.”  We now know this to be a fact!

 

The Indiana Fisheries Chief, William James, wrote a two page statement on August 4, 1994, sent to Mick Conlin, Fisheries Chief, Illinois Department of Conservation, regarding requests from some Illinois and Indiana sportsmen to stock southern Lake Michigan with walleyes.  He sent copies to Lee Kernan, former WDNR Chief, and John Robertson, then Michigan’s Fish Chief.  His last sentence concerning walleyes says it best: “I strongly recommend against it!”  On May 26, 1994, John Robertson sent a two page statement to Mike Conlin regarding the introductions of walleyes into Lake Michigan.  Mr. Robertson concluded that this introduction was “premature, ill advised, and inconsistent with scientific management practices.”  Coincidentally, on the same date, Lee Kernan sent Mike Conlin a three page statement outlining his concerns about stocking walleyes in Lake Michigan.  He concluded, “Frankly, it would scare the hell out of me.”  He also noted, “My point is this, considering all the unknowns facing our great salmonoid fishery, do we want to inject yet another unknown (walleyes) that would negatively influence our fishery?”
 

In a “Special Issue Meeting for the Lake Michigan Integrated Fisheries Management Positions, part of statement (3) is as follows: “Stocking walleye to improve fisheries can be done, but probably not to the degree expected by some anglers.  As an example, for some of our lake shore communities, stocking walleye in estuaries or river systems are options, which have been considered as part of remedial action plans.  However, there are both biological and management considerations that must be considered.  Expectations of high walleye abundance in near shore waters of Lake Michigan are not realistic.  The habitat is inappropriate and the environment outside the estuaries is too hostile for walleye.  Furthermore, in streams where salmonoids are stocked, the presence of walleye could significantly affect their survival though high

 

In June of 1997, the State of Wisconsin signed the revised Joint Strategic Plan for Management of the Great Lakes Fisheries of the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission.  Fifteen separate state governments and agencies are signatory to this treaty.  The signatories agree and have “recognized that any impact on a part of the system may to some degree affect the entire lake, connecting channels, and even the entire basin.”  Neither this body’s Council of Great Lakes Fishery Agencies nor the Council of Lake Committees has been notified or requested to review the proposed six-year walleye stocking program the WDNR is proposing for the Milwaukee River estuary.  It seems that once one agreement is broken, it just gets easier to keep breaking them! The only acceptable proposal on walleyes being stocked in the Milwaukee River estuary is to STOP ALL WALLEYE STOCKING!

(Kowieski is President of the Wisconsin Federation of Great Lakes Sport Fishermen and Wis. State Director to the GLSFC Board of directors)

 

 


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