Week of April 16, 2007

Fishing Beyond the Great Lakes

World
National

Regional

Beyond the Great Lakes
General

Lake Erie

2nd Amendment Issues
Illinois
Minnesota
Ohio
Wisconsin
 

       Weekly News Archives

                         or

       New Product  Archives

Fishing Beyond the Great Lakes

Boating Access Survey highlights need for more public ramps

RALEIGH, N.C. - When it comes to public boat ramps built and maintained by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, there's no question demand exceeds supply.  That's the basic finding of the Commission's recent wide-ranging study that focused on boating access across the Tar Heel state. Conducted from October through December of 2006, the "Boating Access Survey" received input from a total of 3,783 North Carolina residents, with particular attention paid to 20 coastal counties.

 

The report showed that roughly 7 out of 10 respondents use 

Commission boat ramps. Of that group, ease of use, convenient location and fishing opportunities near access points were cited as primary determining factors.

 

On average survey participants said they used their boats 58 days a year. The most common reasons for going out on the water were:

 ● Recreation - 73 %,

 ● Saltwater fishing - 53 %,

 ● Inland fishing - 51 %, and

 ● Hunting -15 %

 


World

Omega-3 fatty acids found to restructure brain matter tied to positive mood and emotions

Intake of omega-3 fatty acids is correlated with a better mood and more positive outlook, and may contribute to improving the structure of the areas of the brain associated with emotions, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society.

 

Researchers studied 55 healthy adults, questioning them about their omega-3 intake and taking magnetic resonance images of their brains. Higher intake of omega-3s was significantly correlated with a higher volume of brain matter in the areas associated with the regulation of mood and emotion. 

 

In a prior study, the same researchers had discovered a correlation between blood levels of omega-3s and a positive life outlook. People with lower omega-3 levels were more likely to be impulsive and have a negative outlook. People with higher levels were more likely to have a positive mood and outlook.

 

The new study suggests that omega-3s may play a role in the

structuring and improvement of mood-regulating areas of the brain. Omega-3s are one of the two types of fatty acids; the

others are omega-6. Scientists believe that the ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 intake is between 3:1 and 5:1. The typical omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in the modern, Western diet is between 10:1 and 30:1.

 

Mike Adams, author of The 7 Laws of Nutrition says the typical Western diet is dangerously low in omega-3 fatty acids. The health effects of these severe deficiencies, which include diabetes, breast cancer, depression, ADHD, schizophrenia and heart diseases, are usually diagnosed as independent "diseases" requiring chemical treatment. But in many cases, the root cause of the problem is simply a deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids.

 

Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include chia seeds, flax seeds, certain fish oils (wild salmon) and various nuts and seeds.

 

Bottom line? Studies suggest that a higher intake of omega-3s may lead to a more positive outlook and a better regulation of mood. Source: http://www.newstarget.com/021767.html


National

Collegiate Bass Fishing In National Spotlight

As college basketball winds up its championship play, another college sport is coming out of its own March Madness flurry to kick off a season that culminates with a fall national title.    

 

The sport is collegiate bass fishing, and the goal for all teams is the BoatUS FOX College Sports National Bass Fishing Championship (NCBFC) scheduled for Lake Lewisville, Texas, Sept. 27-29, 2007. The non-profit Collegiate Bass Anglers Association (CBAA) recently named the NCBFC as the sport's premier event for determining the national collegiate fishing champion.

 

Three major college bass tournaments were held last month as the season's openers. The Big 10 Classic has been an annual event for the past 12 years and the host school of the recent North Carolina State Invitational also boasts a long-established collegiate fishing program. In contrast, the Arkansas Tech Open was an inaugural event. Its winner, the University of Arkansas, has not had a team before this year.

 

New collegiate fishing programs and teams appear to be an increasing trend, with much of the interest being fueled by the growing number of competitions and the elevated national attention from the FOX College Sports (FCS) television exposure.

 

As the country's 2007 collegiate teams prepare for upcoming

tournaments and/or work on plans to host their own, all have their eyes on the championship event this fall. Registration for the NCBFC opens on April 5. Eligible college and university fishing clubs have the opportunity to send up to two teams to participate in the 2007 championship. The official place to register and view all related rules is www.foxcollegesports.com .  Over 120 colleges and universities are already participating.

 

One team that intends to be on Lake Lewisville during the September championship is from the recently formed University of Arkansas club. "In fishing, unlike in most other college sports, just about any team has a chance to win the title," said Matthew Ridgeway, a junior at the school and president of the group. "We don’t have to be the biggest or the fastest guys - we just have to catch the most weight of those green fish we're after."

 

In FCS collegiate bass fishing events, the anglers are completely responsible for boat operation and fishing decisions. For more info go to: www.collegiatebasschampionship.com  .

 

FOX College Sports is the nation's leading source for live televised collegiate games and events. The BoatUS National Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship television series is a FOX College Sports program.

 


Possible credit card fraud at Indiana call center handling state parks reservations

InfoSpherix, the company that handles camping reservations for 12 states including five Great Lakes states, has notified state park authorities that it is investigating possible credit card fraud at their call center in Carmel, Ind.

 

The five Great Lakes state parks at risk are: Indiana,  Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.  The other states InfoSpherix handles camping reservations for includes: Delaware, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, and S. Dakota.

 

"InfoSpherix informed us April 11 about their rapid detection and containment of this incident," said Chuck Kartak, deputy director of state parks for the Minnesota DNR. "The company also told us that their computer reservation and security system was not involved."

 

Although the investigation is ongoing, the early indication is that three to six Minnesota individuals may be affected. The

alleged fraud appears to have involved several InfoSpherix employees who took phone reservations and were hired within the last month.

 

According to InfoSpherix Indiana Call Center General Manager Sue Clevenger, "This ongoing investigation has revealed possible credit card fraud from information that was revealed during verbal conversations with customers. An internal personnel matter has been dealt with immediately and details of the investigation have been turned over to the proper authorities."

 

A centralized reservation system operated by private vendors has been used by state park campers since 1991, with online reservations added in 2001 so customers can reserve campsites or lodging facilities at Minnesota state parks 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

 

Concerned users who made a recent state park reservation may direct questions to Jeff Lowe, InfoSpherix, Vice President of corporate communication at (301) 419-7835.


Regional

Bass Pro Shops Bolingbrook, IL opens April 25

The grand opening for the BPS in Bolingbrook is set for Thursday, April 26th, but a special “Evening for Conservation” to help benefit area conservation groups will be held on Wednesday night, April 25th, 6-9 PM.  This exciting, star-studded celebrity-packed event is free and open to the public.  On hand will be pro NASCAR drivers, pro fishing greats, THE Gayle Sayers, Miss Illinois USA 2007 Mia Heaston and Miss Illinois Teen USA 2007 Victoria Davis.

 

For every $1 spent during the Evening for Conservation fifty cents will be donated to the “More Fish” campaign of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to save fish and their habitats for our kids and grandkids.  Local conservation 

groups will sell food and drinks courtesy of Johnsonville® andCoca-Cola® and may hold raffles with 100 % of the proceeds benefiting those organizations.

 

Local conservation groups on hand Wednesday evening include Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council, Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Quail Unlimited, Quality Deer Management Assn, Pheasants Forever, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and many more.

 

The new 1.1 million sq. ft Bass Pro Shops is located at The Promenade at Bolingbrook, 709 Janes Ave, Bolingbrook, IL 60440, 630 296-2700.


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for April 13, 2007

Weather Conditions:

A strong storm tracked across the Great Lakes basin Wednesday and brought rain and heavy snow to the region.  Up to a foot of snow fell across the northern basin late Wednesday and into Thursday, while the southern basin saw mostly rain.  More precipitation is on tap for the weekend, but spring may finally take hold next week with the arrival of warmer temperatures.

 

Lake Level Conditions:

Lake Superior is currently 13 inches below its level of a year ago, while Lake Michigan-Huron is at the same level as it was last year.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 5 to 8 inches above last year’s water levels.  All of the Great Lakes are forecasted to rise between 2 and 4 inches over the next month.  During the next few months, Lake Superior is predicted to remain well below its water level of a year ago.  Water levels on Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are expected to be similar to last year.  Lake Ontario is projected to be slightly above last year’s level over the next couple months.

 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

Outflow from the St. Marys River is predicted to be well below average for April. Flows through the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are also predicted to be lower than average

this month. Flow in the Niagara River, as well as the St. Lawrence River, is expected to be above average.

 

Alerts:

Due to abnormally dry conditions on the Lake Superior basin over the last several months, Lake Superior’s water level is currently below chart datum and is expected to remain below datum through August.  Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels.  Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for Apr 13

599.8

577.5

574.2

572.1

246.0

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

-15

0

+22

+35

+32

Diff last month

+2

+4

+5

+6

+7

Diff from last yr

-13

0

+5

+8

+6

 


Beyond the Great Lakes

Bass Pro Shops Prattville, AL to open Aug 16

Another Bass Pro Shop is scheduled to open, this one in Prattville, Alabama.  The new outlet is located on the northwest

corner of I-65 and Cobbs Ford Road and is tentatively scheduled to open August 16


General

IGFA Inshore World Championship Tournament

July 8-11

The IGFA will hold their Seventh annual IGFA Inshore World Championship on July 8-11, off Islamorada, Fla., USA.

 

The “super bowl” of light tackle and fly fishing where the winners of over 50 IGFA qualifying tournaments held on four continents in 2006 are invited to compete in this three day all-release championship. From a drawing the qualifiers are paired with a different premier Keys guide each day fishing for tarpon, bonefish, permit, snook and redfish using fly or light tackle equipment.

Beginning in 2007 the four major award categories will include: Grand Champion (the angler who accumulates the most points for all five targeted species); and first places in the fly, artificial lure and bait casting divisions.  There are also trophies and merchandise for second and third place divisional winners in the three categories as well as the top three guides. 

 

Contact: IWC tournament coordinator Denise Hartman 954-927-2628 or DHartman@igfa.org  or for media information from Pete Johnson, IGFA PR counsel at 480-951-3654 or johnsoncom@aol.com


Study Shows Rich Reforestation after Fires

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- Scientists looking at the aftermath of wildfires in the forests of southwestern Oregon and Northern California found that after five to ten years even the most severely burned areas had sprouted plentiful seedlings without any help from man.

 

Though natural regeneration generally took longer to produce pines and firs, it created a more varied forest, even after brush had become established, which is likely to benefit wildlife, concluded to the study by scientists from Oregon State University appearing in Wednesday's issue of the Journal of Forestry.

"When time is not a factor in achieving the goals, then natural regeneration appears to be a very good approach to reforestation," said David Hibbs, a professor of ecology at Oregon State U. who took part in the study.

 

The study is the latest to address the contentious issue of whether to harvest trees killed by wildfires on national forests and replant, or let them regenerate on their own. The findings seem obvious, given the fact that forests have survived millions of years with wildfires, said Jerry Franklin, professor of forest ecology at the University of Washington and one of the nation's leading experts on old growth forests.


 

2nd Amendment issues

Parking Lot Gun Laws and the Right to Transport Firearms

Legislators respond to transporting/storing firearms in locked vehicle

All 50 states allow the transportation of firearms in motor vehicles for all lawful purposes and 48 states allow the carrying of firearms in vehicles for personal protection, in some manner. More than one of every four of America’s 65-80 million gun owners carries a firearm in his or her vehicle for protection.

 

The U.S. Constitution and the constitutions of 46 states protect the right to arms and/or self-defense. And, since 1986, federal law has protected the right to transport firearms in vehicles interstate. However, over the last few years disagreements over the right of people to leave firearms locked in their vehicles on business property have arisen. As a result, five state legislatures have passed, and during their current legislative sessions additional states are considering  

passing, laws to protect that right.

 

The issue began in 2002 in Oklahoma, when the Weyerhaeuser Corporation fired employees for having guns in personal vehicles on company property. The Oklahoma Legislature responded, unanimously in the House and by a vote of 92-4 in the Senate, by prohibiting "any policy or rule" prohibiting law-abiding people "from transporting and storing firearms in a locked vehicle."

 

In 1998, Kentucky's Attorney General determined that state law prohibits employers from prohibiting people from having firearms in their vehicles. Minnesota's Right-to-Carry law (2003) prohibits employers from prohibiting carry permit holders from having firearms in their vehicles. Laws protecting the right of any lawful possessor of a firearm to have a firearm in a personally-owned vehicle were passed in Oklahoma and Alaska in 2005, and Mississippi in 2006.


 

Lake Erie

Weak hatches force perch limit reduction

Recreational and commercial limits cut 35%

COLUMBUS, OH - In response to declining fish populations, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland issued an executive order to reduce the sport fishing bag limit for Lake Erie yellow perch from 40 to 30, and cut commercial catch limits to below 2006 levels.

 

The order went into effect Monday, April 9, immediately reducing the bag limit while new rules are finalized and placed into affect. The normal rule-making process would require about 90 days to be completed. The Lake Erie yellow perch bag limit for sport anglers was only recently increased to 40 in 2006 and prior to that has been 30 over the past nine years.

 

Lake Erie commercials will also see a reduction in their quota compared to 2006. Commercial allocations for Lake Erie yellow perch in Ohio will drop from 3 million lbs in 2006 to 2.1 million lbs in 2007. The recreational allocation will fall from 4.5 million lbs in 2006 to 2.8 million lbs in 2007.

 

“We are making the decision to manage the perch harvest in order to assure the long-term vitality of this important natural resource,” said Sean Logan, director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

These actions come on the heels of the March 23 announcement from the Lake Erie Committee, which significantly reduced the 2007 lake-wide total allowable catch (TAC) from 2006.  The TAC represents the amount of fish that can be caught by recreational and commercial fishermen without putting the fish stocks at risk. Ohio's 2007 share or for yellow perch is 4.92 million lbs of the lake-wide TAC of 11.39 million lbs. Both figures represent a 34 percent reduction from last year's quota. 

 

“Recent estimates of perch abundance were lower than we initially expected and reflect weak hatches from 2002, 2004, and 2005, especially in the western basin,” said Roger Knight, Lake Erie program administrator for the Division of Wildlife. “Our projections indicate that the Ohio recreational fishery would exceed its quota allocation without a bag limit change.”

 

Late last week, the Ohio Wildlife Council voted unanimously in favor of reducing quotas and bag limits for both sport anglers and commercial netters. The Council also expressed their strong support for the governor’s decision to issue an Executive Order to help ensure that Ohio does not exceed its quota set by the Lake Erie Committee.

 


Fishing reports for Western Lake Erie

Looking for current fishing reports for the western basin of Lake Erie?  Check out the site offered by the Western

basin sportfishing association. The fishing report is located at:  www.westernbasinsportfishingassociation.com/denied/report.html


Illinois

Bass Pro Shops Bolingbrook, IL opens April 25

The grand opening for the BPS in Bolingbrook is set for Thursday, April 26th, but a special “Evening for Conservation” to help benefit area conservation groups will be held on Wednesday night, April 25th, 6-9 PM.  This exciting, star-studded celebrity-packed event is free and open to the public.  On hand will be pro NASCAR drivers, pro fishing greats, THE Gayle Sayers, Miss Illinois USA 2007 Mia Heaston and Miss Illinois Teen USA 2007 Victoria Davis.

 

For every $1 spent during the Evening for Conservation fifty cents will be donated to the “More Fish” campaign of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to save fish and their habitats for our kids and grandkids.  Local conservation 

groups will sell food and drinks courtesy of Johnsonville® andCoca-Cola® and may hold raffles with 100 % of the proceeds benefiting those organizations.

 

Local conservation groups on hand Wednesday evening include Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council, Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Quail Unlimited, Quality Deer Management Assn, Pheasants Forever, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and many more.

 

The new 1.1 million sq. ft Bass Pro Shops is located at The Promenade at Bolingbrook, 709 Janes Ave, Bolingbrook, IL 60440, 630 296-2700.


Licenses given to connected hunters

Audit shows chosen few bypassed lottery

SPRINGFIELD (AP) -- Politicians, judges and professional athletes were given Illinois hunting permits without having to take their chances in a lottery with other hunters, according to an audit released April 10.

 

The Illinois DNR gave out "excessive" permits through an administrative process that is not advertised to the public, giving preferential treatment to those who know about it, Illinois Auditor General William Holland found. His review of some of the 1,250 administrative permits issued in 2005 and 2006 showed they went to professional athletes, judges, politicians and donors to the state's not-for-profit Conservation Foundation.

 

Names of those who got the permits were not included in the audit.  Deer- and turkey-hunting permits typically are issued through a random, computerized lottery. Permits are rationed

to prevent overhunting of some game. DNR biologists develop

game-harvest quotas for each part of the state, based on the number of animals they count and the number of hunters they expect in the field. Holland said handing out too many additional permits could upset that balance.

 

The audit noted that state law allows the department's director to grant special permits for free to out-of-state guests, foreign dignitaries, outdoors writers or other visitors. Holland found the department had failed to compile adequate documentation on 92 % of the special permits his office examined. He also found the requester's signature was missing from 43 % of the permits -- typically because the agency filled it out for the hunter -- and that fees were not charged in one-fifth of the cases reviewed.

 

In a written response included in the audit, the agency agreed with the findings. "The documentation for permits issued administratively needs significant improvement," it said


Sporting Clays Shoot at WSRC April 27-29

Registration is open for the 7th annual Governor's Cup Shooting Challenge, Friday and Saturday April 27-29 at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta.  Shooters will compete for the Illinois Governor's Cup title and cash prizes in this NSCA-registered classified shoot. 

There will also be a Hunters Class for non-registered shooters.  The competition includes a 50-bird 5-stand event, a 100-bird preliminary event and a 200-bird main event.  For more information and registration, call 217/785-7742.  Proceeds benefit IDNR and Illinois Conservation Foundation youth shooting programs.


Wingshooting Clinics

The IDNR and partnering organizations will host a series of wingshooting clinics for beginning shooters and for more experienced hunters this spring and summer.  At the free youth/women’s clinics, Saturday sessions generally provide instruction for youngsters ages 10 - 15, while Sunday sessions are generally used to provide instruction for girls and women ages 10 and older. 

 

Youth participants must be at least 4’ 6” tall and weigh at least 75 lbs. Instructors are certified by the National Sporting Clays Association.  Hunter clinics are designed to enhance the wingshooting skills of women and men ages 16 and older.  Hunters with wingshooting skill levels from beginner to advanced are encouraged to attend.  A small fee is assessed each hunter clinic participant to cover the cost of clay targets and refreshments. 

 

Youth/Women’s clinics:

April 21-22 - Moraine View State Rec. Area, Leroy (McLean Co.), 309/724-8032

May 19-20 - Des Plaines Conservation Area, Wilmington (Will

Co.), 815/423-5326

May 19-20 - World Shooting and Recreational Complex, Sparta (Randolph Co.), 217/785-8060

June 2-3 - Beaver Dam/South Central Chapter NWTF and Joker’s Wild Sporting Clays, Chesterfield (Macoupin Co.), 217/854-8020

June 9 - Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA (Cass Co.), 217/452-7741

 

Hunter’s clinics:

June 2-3 - Des Plaines Conservation Area, Wilmington (Will Co.), 815/423-5326

June 9-10 - Briar Knoll Hunting and Fishing Club, Amboy (Lee Co.), 815/857-2320

June 16-17 - Decatur Gun Club, Decatur (Macon Co.), 217/877-4096

July 7-8 - Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA (Cass Co.), 217/452-7741

 

Check the IDNR web site for a complete list of this year’s Wingshooting Clinics.


IDOT & State Police Warn Drivers to Prepare for Highway Construction Season

Will use photo radar in freeway work zones in July with heavy fines for violators

Second offense tickets are $1,000 with license suspension

Beginning in July the State of Illinois will use speed cameras in areas designated as "Work Zones" on major freeways. Anyone caught by these devices will be mailed a $375.00 ticket for the FIRST offense, but he SECOND offense will cost $1000.00 and comes with a 90-Day suspension.  Drivers will

also receive demerit points against their license, which allows insurance companies to raise their rates. 

 

This represents the harshest penalty structure yet for a city or state using PHOTO enforcements. The State will begin with two camera vans issuing tickets in work zones with speed limits lowered to 45 MPH. Photographs of both the Driver's face and License plate are taken.  For more info:    www.dot.state.il.us/press/r033005.html


Minnesota

S. Dakota border fishing opener is April 21

Anglers anticipating the Minnesota-South Dakota border waters fishing should be aware that the opening date is one week earlier this year, according to the Minnesota Department

of Natural Resources. South Dakota had initially announced that it intended to set its opening date one week earlier and in order to avoid confusion and conflict Minnesota chose to follow suit. The opener is Saturday, April 21.


Ohio

Weak hatches force perch limit reduction

Recreational and commercial limits cut 35%

COLUMBUS, OH - In response to declining fish populations, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland issued an executive order to reduce the sport fishing bag limit for Lake Erie yellow perch from 40 to 30, and cut commercial catch limits to below 2006 levels.

 

The order went into effect Monday, April 9, immediately reducing the bag limit while new rules are finalized and placed into affect. The normal rule-making process would require about 90 days to be completed. The Lake Erie yellow perch bag limit for sport anglers was only recently increased to 40 in 2006 and prior to that has been 30 over the past nine years.

 

Lake Erie commercials will also see a reduction in their quota compared to 2006. Commercial allocations for Lake Erie yellow perch in Ohio will drop from 3 million lbs in 2006 to 2.1 million lbs in 2007. The recreational allocation will fall from 4.5 million lbs in 2006 to 2.8 million lbs in 2007.

 

“We are making the decision to manage the perch harvest in order to assure the long-term vitality of this important natural resource,” said Sean Logan, director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

These actions come on the heels of the March 23 announcement from the Lake Erie Committee, which significantly reduced the 2007 lake-wide total allowable catch (TAC) from 2006.  The TAC represents the amount of fish that can be caught by recreational and commercial fishermen without putting the fish stocks at risk. Ohio's 2007 share or for yellow perch is 4.92 million lbs of the lake-wide TAC of 11.39 million lbs. Both figures represent a 34 percent reduction from last year's quota. 

 

“Recent estimates of perch abundance were lower than we initially expected and reflect weak hatches from 2002, 2004, and 2005, especially in the western basin,” said Roger Knight, Lake Erie program administrator for the Division of Wildlife. “Our projections indicate that the Ohio recreational fishery would exceed its quota allocation without a bag limit change.”

 

Late last week, the Ohio Wildlife Council voted unanimously in favor of reducing quotas and bag limits for both sport anglers and commercial netters. The Council also expressed their strong support for the governor’s decision to issue an Executive Order to help ensure that Ohio does not exceed its quota set by the Lake Erie Committee.

 


Wisconsin

New rules aimed at containing deadly fish virus

MADISON – All boaters, anglers and people who harvest bait from the wild must follow new rules regarding moving live fish, requiring water to be drained from boats after being used on potentially infected waters, and how they use and move bait.

 

The emergency regulations aim to contain a deadly fish virus that has already caused huge fish kills on several Great Lakes waters. They were adopted April 4 by the state Natural Resources Board and went into effect April 8. The emergency regs seek to prevent the spread of VHS, especially to Wisconsin’s inland lakes and rivers, by prohibiting anglers, boaters and wild bait harvesters from moving live fish or even water from the potentially infected waters of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and the Mississippi River. The virus can be spread from fish to fish and can survive in water for more than a week; freezing or refrigerating fish does not kill the virus, although chemical and other treatment can. Fish infected with VHS can shed the virus into water in their urine and reproductive fluids; fish infected with the virus essentially bleed to death.

 

VHS is not a human health threat but more than 25 species of fish are susceptible to it, and state officials say the virus presents a very serious potential threat to fish populations and fishing opportunities in Wisconsin inland lakes and streams.

 

“We’re very worried,” says Mike Staggs, who directs Wisconsin’s fisheries program. “VHS virus can survive in the water without the fish and it can kill a broad range of species – all of which could allow it to spread quickly in our inland waters and have potentially devastating effects. “We want you to continue to enjoy fishing and boating, but we truly need your help to protect Wisconsin’s waters and fisheries.”

 

The rules, which are similar to measures other Great Lakes states have taken, require anglers and boaters to:

 

Be careful with live bait. Purchase your bait from a Wisconsin bait dealer or capture bait on the water in which you will be fishing. Anglers and boaters are not allowed to bring in bait from other states under a longstanding rule. You can also capture bait legally in a lake or stream and used in another lake or stream that is not the Mississippi River or any portion of a tributary stream to the Mississippi or to Lake Michigan, Green Bay or Lake Superior, up to the first barrier impassible to fish. Leeches, worms, and insects are not restricted by this rule and are OK on waters not restricted to artificial lures only.

Be careful with dead bait. Several restrictions apply to dead fish, eggs, crayfish or frogs. Such dead bait may be used on the lake or stream where it was captured. Dead bait may also be used on Lake Michigan and Green Bay (including tributaries up to the first dam), as VHS may already be in those waters. The use of frozen or refrigerated dead bait is prohibited in all other waters. This includes frozen smelt taken from any waters. Dead bait may be used if preserved by means other than refrigeration or freezing, neither of which is assured of killing the virus.

 

Don’t take live fish off the Great Lakes or Mississippi River. You may not take or transport any live fish or fish eggs (including bait) when leaving Lake Michigan, Green Bay, Lake Superior, the Mississippi River or any of their tributaries upstream to the first barrier impassable to fish. This includes fish caught and kept in livewells and leftover live bait, or minnows or fish eggs. There are some limited exceptions; contact your DNR office for information for those situations.

 

Drain your boat and live well and empty your bait bucket before you leave the landing. After boating or fishing on the waters of the Great Lakes or Mississippi River (including all bays and tributaries up to the first dam), you must immediately drain all water from the boat and boat trailer, bilge, live wells and bait buckets or other equipment used onboard the boat. Place unused minnows in the trash, unless they are dead and will be saved for future use on the same body of water.

 

Notify DNR if you see a fish with bloody spots on its skin. Call a local DNR fish biologist to help the agency monitor state fish populations for the virus. DNR is testing wild fish from Lake Michigan and Lake Superior this spring and will respond to fish kills.

 

VHS caused widespread fish kills in 2005 and 2006 in lakes St. Clair, Erie, Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, and was confirmed in early 2007 in Lake Huron chinook and whitefish collected in late 2005, Staggs says.

 

Because Chinook move widely in and between the Great Lakes, DNR biologists say the virus is “almost certainly” in Lake Michigan, and it may also be in Lake Superior, which is connected to Lake Huron. It may also be in the Mississippi River or the waters that drain to that river, which connect to Lake Michigan through the Chicago Sanitary Ship Canal.

 


The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the GLSFC, its officers or staff. 

Reproduction of any material by paid-up members of the GLSFC is encouraged but appropriate credit must be given. 

Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.

arrowUSFWS Press Releases  arrowSea Grant News

State Fish Pages

Illinois - Indiana - Michigan - Minnesota - Ohio - Pennsylvania - New York - Wisconsin - Ontario

 

Home | Great Lakes States | Membership | Exotics Update | Great Links

Pending Issues | Regional News | Great Lakes Basin Report | Weekly News / Archives 


All contents Copyright © 1995 - 2007, GLSFC All Rights Reserved.

Site maintained by JJ Consulting