Week of April 20, 2009
Summary of Improvements by Great Lakes Seaway Ballast Water Working Group
Washington, D.C. (March 13, 2009) - A new U.S. government report released March 13 shows a notable increase in the number of ballast tank inspections of oceangoing commercial ships entering the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System from outside U.S. or Canadian waters. Ship operators also improved their compliance with ballast water requirements in 2008 compared with 2007, the report says.
The 2008 Summary of Great Lakes Seaway Ballast Water Working Group released by the U.S. Coast Guard examined the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Seaway System ballast water ship inspection program. The report finds that 99 percent of all oceangoing ships bound for the Great Lakes Seaway System ports from outside U.S. or Canadian waters in 2008 received a ballast tank exam, compared with 74 percent in 2007. Moreover, the report found that 98.6 percent of all ships were in compliance with ballast water management requirements, compared with 95 percent in 2007.
The report was prepared by the Great Lakes Seaway Ballast Water Working Group (BWWG), which includes representatives of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC), the U.S. Coast Guard Ninth District, Transport Canada, and the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation. The group coordinates U.S. and Canadian enforcement and compliance efforts to reduce the introduction of aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes via ships’ ballast water.
In 2008, the SLSDC implemented regulations requiring all oceangoing ships with no ballast in their tanks to conduct saltwater flushing of their empty ballast water tanks before arriving in the Seaway.
“The new Seaway regulations, along with those of Transport Canada and the U.S. Coast Guard and best management practices, strengthen environmental oversight of oceangoing ships prior to entering the Seaway,” said U.S. SLSDC Administrator Collister Johnson, Jr. “This collective inspection
regime is critical to preventing the further introduction of
invasive species into the Great Lakes.”
In 2008, 96 % of all ballast tanks (6,704 of 6,983) were sampled, compared with 78 percent in 2007. In addition, all reporting forms for each ship were examined to assess ballast water history, compliance, voyage information, and proposed discharge location. Ships with non-compliant ballast tanks were required to take one of several options: (1) retain the ballast water and residuals on board, (2) treat the ballast water in an environmentally sound and approved manner, or (3) conduct a ballast water exchange at sea.
In reviewing the findings, Richard Corfe, President and CEO of the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation emphasized that, "sustainability is a priority governing all of our actions and initiatives and to be sustainable, we have to eliminate the further introduction of aquatic nuisance species into the Great Lakes. This report highlights the very tangible progress that we are making toward this goal."
The BWWG expects high compliance rates for ships to continue in 2009, noting in the report that “… ballast water management requirements in the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway System are among the most stringent in the world.” A copy of the report can be found at www.greatlakes-seaway.com.
To read the full report: http://www.d9publicaffairs.com/posted/443/Document.261306.pdf
Highlights from the report include a marked improvement over the prior year's inspection program statistics in a number of areas, including ship compliance rates.
Some of those highlights are:
* 99% of ships bound for the Great Lakes Seaway received a ballast tank exam
* 6704 ballast tanks, onboard 364 ships, were sampled and had a 98.6% compliance rate
* All ballast reporting forms were screened for ballast history, compliance, voyage info and planned discharge location.
The BWWG anticipates continued high ship compliance rates for the 2009 navigation season.
Agreement will provide additional boating and water safety outreach
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Boy Scouts of America announced that the two organizations have signed a Memorandum of Agreement. The two organizations will collaborate on projects that support recreational boating safety and promote citizenship training and character development, including public education programs, water safety educational outreach, and volunteer support.
The agreement calls on the two organizations to work together
in educating members in a wide variety of boating and nautical subjects and promoting citizenship training and character development.
The Auxiliary is working with Boy Scouts in recreational boating safety areas such as, National Scout Jamboree, boating safety classes, providing vessel safety checks for Scout boats, and holding "Safety at Sea" training events for Sea Scouts. Future plans include programs to develop safe boaters, promote boating safety, and collaborate on water quality initiatives.
When Google Earth 5.0 was released back in February, it included the capability to view the world ocean landscape from beneath the water surface. This capability now extends to the “Third Coast” of the United States, the Great Lakes. Through a cooperative effort with the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) and the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center, Google Earth now incorporates detailed bathymetry for the five Great Lakes. Users will be able to explore features such as the canyons and shoals in eastern Lake Superior, the Lake Michigan mid-lake reef complex, and the old river channel, now underwater, that once connected Lakes Michigan and Huron at the Straits of Mackinac.
The Great Lakes are the largest system of fresh surface water on earth, containing roughly 18 % of the world supply. The lakes contain enough water to cover the entire surface of the continental United States to a depth of 9 feet. The Great Lakes span more than 750 miles from west to east and their
shoreline is equal to almost 44 percent of the circumference of the earth. Michigan's Great Lakes coastline alone is over 3,200 miles long, which is more coastline than any state but Alaska.
To highlight some of the interesting coastal and subsurface features of the
Great Lakes, the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory has
narrated Google Earth tour,
which you can download
You can also watch the tour, using the
Cool conditions and rain showers prevailed throughout the Great Lakes basin early this week. Locations across the southern basin received the heaviest amounts of precipitation. Temperatures began to moderate by the middle of the week, and reached into the upper 60s in many locales on Thursday. Cooler weather will again arrive in time for the weekend, with a good chance of rain also existing through the start of next week.
Lake Level Conditions
Currently, Lake Superior is 4 inches above what it was last year. Lakes Michigan-Huron and St. Clair are 9 and 7 inches, respectively, above their levels of a year ago. Lake Erie is an inch above last year's level, while Lake Ontario is 4 inches lower than last year's level. Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are predicted to rise 4 inches over the next 30 days, while Lakes St. Clair and Erie are projected to rise an inch. Lake Ontario is also forecasted to climb 4 inches over the next month. Over the next several months, Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, and St. Clair are forecasted to remain at or above their levels of a year ago. Lakes Erie and Ontario are forecasted to be at or below last year's levels over the next six months. See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.
Current Outflows/Channel Conditions
In March the outflows through the St. Marys and St. Clair Rivers
were lower than average. The outflow from Lake St. Clair into the Detroit River was near average in March, while the Niagara and St. Lawrence River outflows were above average.
Lake Superior is below its chart datum elevation and is expected to be below datum through May. 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.
Scientist asking Anglers asked to submit info
The Great Lakes Science Center has initiated a predator diet study that will take place in Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay during 2009. The USGS-GLSC is asking anglers to collect predator stomachs, and if possible, Chinook salmon vertebra for us. We hope to communicate with participants electronically, and the first step in the process is to establish a list of participants.
Their goal over the next few weeks is to have as many participants as possible on the email list. The list is not yet complete. To participate or are interested in updates/progress, contact Jeff Schaeffer: Jeff_Schaeffer@usgs.gov
If you know individuals who may wish to participate, forward this email to them and ask that they contact me via email with "add diet study" as the subject. I do not want to sign anyone up by proxy.
A subsequent email will be sent with more information about supplies, procedures, and sample pickup. That will occur as soon as we get the participant list more complete. At that time, you may contact me with questions about study details.
I will be out of the office most of next week (turkey permit AND trout opener), and anticipate being able to send out study details and an update on or about April 28.
USGS Great Lakes Science Center
1451 Green Rd. Ann Arbor, MI 48105
URBANA - In an experiment spanning over 20 years, researchers at the University of Illinois have found that vulnerability to being caught by anglers is a heritable trait in largemouth bass.
The study began in 1975 with the resident population of bass in Ridge Lake, an experimental study lake in Fox Ridge State Park in Charleston. The fishing was controlled. For example, anglers had to reserve times, and every fish that was caught was put into a live well on the boat. The fish were measured and tagged to keep track of how many times each fish had been caught. All fish were then released.
"We kept track over four years of all of the angling that went on, and we have a total record – there were thousands of captures," said David Philipp, ecology and conservation researcher at U of I. "Many fish were caught more than once. One fish was caught three times in the first two days, and another was caught 16 times in one year." After four years, the pond was drained, and more than 1,700 fish were collected. "Interestingly, about 200 of those fish had never been caught, even though they had been in the lake the entire four years," Philipp said.
Males and females from the group that had never been caught were designated Low Vulnerability (LV) parents. To produce a line of LV offspring, these parents were allowed to spawn with each other in university research ponds. Similarly, males and females that had been caught four or more times in the study were designated High Vulnerability (HV) parents that were spawned in different ponds to produce a line of HV offspring. The two lines were then marked and raised in common ponds until they were big enough to be fished.
"Controlled fishing experiments clearly showed that the HV offspring were more vulnerable to angling than the LV offspring," said Philipp. This selection process was repeated for several generations over the course of the 20 year experiment.
"As we had predicted, vulnerability was a heritable trait," he said. Philipp went on to explain that with each generation, the difference between lines in angling vulnerability grew even larger. "Most of the selection is occurring on the LV fish – that is, for the most part, the process is making that line of fish less vulnerable to angling. We actually saw only a small increase in angling vulnerability in the HV line," Philipp said.
Male bass are the sole caregiver for the offspring. Females lay eggs and leave. The male guards the nest against brood predators for about three to four days before the eggs hatch and another eight to 10 days after they hatch, before they become free-swimming. Even after the baby bass start to swim, the dads stay with them for another three weeks while they feed and grow, protecting them from predators.
Philipp explained that the experiment sped up what's actually
happening in nature. "In the wild, the more vulnerable fish are
being preferentially harvested, and as a result the bass population is being directionally selected to become less vulnerable. We selected over three generations, but in the wild the selection is occurring in every generation.
"We've known for 50 years that commercial fishing exerts selection on wild populations," he said. "We take the biggest fish, and that has changed life histories and growth patterns in many populations of commercially harvested species. Because there is no commercial fishing for bass, we were assessing the evolutionary impacts of recreational fishing."
Philipp explained that the perception among anglers is that catch-and-release has no negative impact on the population. During the spawning season, however, if bass are angled and held off of their nests for more than a few minutes, when they are returned to the lake, it's too late; other fish have found the nest and are quickly eating the babies.
Philipp recommends that to preserve bass populations across North America, management agencies need to protect the nesting males during the spawning season. "There should be no harvesting bass during the reproductive period. That makes sense for all wildlife populations. You don't remove the adults during reproduction.
"One of the big issues for concern is the explosion of tournaments. Lots of bass tournaments are held during the springtime because there are lots of big fish available. In tournaments you put fish into live wells, and yes, they're released, but they could be held for up to 8 hours first. They're brought back to the dock, miles from their nest. So, basically, if a fish is caught in a tournament and brought into the boat and put into a live well, his nest is destroyed."
Philipp recommended that if fishing tournaments were held during the spawning season, then regulations should require that there be immediate catch-and-release, eliminating the use of tournament weigh-ins.
Philipp urges management agencies to go even further and suggests that a portion of each lake could be set aside as a bass spawning sanctuary, where all fishing would be prohibited until after bass reproduction is complete. In the rest of the lake, mandatory catch-and-release regulations could be put into place during that same reproductive period. In Illinois, the bass reproduction period is from about April 1 through June 15. Philipp said that in that way, anglers could help protect the long-term future of the resource without completely restricting fishing.
"The potential for angling to have long-term evolutionary impacts on bass populations is real. If we truly want to protect this valuable resource into the future, then we need to understand that and adjust our management strategies," Philipp said.
Lock will close Mondays and Tuesdays; hours reduced during week
McHenry, IL – Starting May 1st, operating hours will be reduced at the William G. Stratton Lock and Dam on the Fox River in McHenry in an effort to manage costs during challenging fiscal times.
The Illinois DNR, which operates the Stratton Lock and Dam,
announced the lock will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays (with the exception of holidays) starting in May. New hours of operation on Wednesdays and Sundays will be from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The lock will be open from 10 a.m. to midnight on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Holiday hours will be from 10 a.m. to midnight. Funding availability requires the postponement of hiring staff at this time. IDNR is working on solutions to provide more revenue streams and restore services as quickly as possible.
Despite some commonly expressed concerns, a closed season on largemouth bass fishing in Indiana natural lakes is not needed during the spring spawning period, according to the Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW).
Biologists say ample numbers of young bass are produced each year to replace those caught and the current 14-inch minimum size limit provides adequate protection for bass that are mature (or large) enough to spawn.
In an eight-page document presented to the Indiana Lakes Management Workgroup (LMWG) in March, DFW biologist Jed Pearson addressed a series of concerns expressed by opponents to Indiana’s policy of no closed season. In 2007, the LMWG asked the DFW to summarize current information on bass populations in Indiana natural lakes and assess the need for a closed season. The group’s request came in response to persistent complaints that catching bass “on the beds,” a common term for fishing during spring spawning, harms bass fishing.
“Indiana’s bass fishing regulations are not much different than in other states,” Pearson said.
Indiana, like Ohio and Illinois, dropped its closed season in the 1950s. Michigan, New York and Wisconsin recently relaxed their closed seasons. Minnesota is the only state that still bans statewide spring bass fishing but is considering changes. Like Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin have a general 14-inch size limit. Ohio and Illinois have no size limit
except at selected waters.
Pearson said the overall number of bass in a lake depends more on habitat and how many survive from year to year, than on the number of eggs laid or fry produced in the spring. “Bass fishing during the spawning period is harmful only if fishermen take more than the lake can replace,” he said. “It makes no difference when a bass is removed if the total number is too high.”
Biologists generally say that over-harvest occurs when more than 40 percent of the adult population is taken annually. “Based on dozens of fishing surveys we conducted from 1980 through 2007, bass anglers take close to 40 percent of the 14-inch and larger bass present each year, but only 7 percent are taken in April and May combined,” Pearson said.
The most compelling argument against a closed season, according to Pearson, centers on long-term trends in bass populations monitored by the DFW at more than 50 Indiana natural lakes since 1980.
“Bass are now more abundant, bigger, and are caught at higher rates than ever before,” Pearson said. “All of these improvements have occurred despite the fact we have no closed season.”
"Bass Fishing on the Beds: an Indiana Perspective" www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/files/Bass_on_Beds_Final.pdf.
Reopening depends on status of invasive plant
The Indiana DNR access site on Lake Manitou will be available through the last weekend of this month but will close temporarily for an unspecified length of time as soon as April 27. All other public and private access sites remain closed, including the city boat ramp on the northwest corner of the lake.
The closure will allow for further treatment of hydrilla, an exotic, highly invasive plant that was first confirmed as being in the lake in August 2006. Last year, when the DNR relaxed access restrictions at the lake, it expected to have to re-close the area again due to the nature of the plant.
The closure will give DNR time to apply Sonar, a chemical that eliminates hydrilla plants, before boats are allowed to come and go. That treatment is expected to be done in mid-May, by which time many of the tubers should have sprouted and emerged through the sediment, making them susceptible to Sonar. Keller said it's likely that periodic interruptions in the availability of the Manitou access site will continue in future years.
It's possible, but by no means a given, that the ramp will re-open at the end of June. A plant survey will take place in mid-June. If no viable hydrilla plants are found, the DNR ramp will open before the July 4 holiday. If viable hydrilla plants are found, opening of the ramp will be delayed until later surveys
reveal no live hydrilla plants.
No matter what the outcome of the June 2009 plant survey; the DNR will maintain chemical concentration between 3 and 6 parts per billion of Sonar through at least the middle of October. Sonar, with the active ingredient Fluridone, is an aquatic herbicide produced by SePRO Corporation of Carmel. Humans, fish and other aquatic life are not harmed by Sonar, especially at the extremely low rate being used at the lake.
If and when the risk of hydrilla movement is again low, the DNR will announce that the DNR ramp is again available for use and reopen it.
If and when that happens, the threat of spreading the plant to other waters will still exist. Signs will be placed at the DNR site to remind boaters to self-inspect their watercraft, motor and trailer for signs of plants when taking them from the water. All plant material should be removed and disposed of at the ramp before the boat is towed. Mud should be rinsed from the boat and trailer before transport, since hydrilla tubers could be present.
Boating equipment should dry for five days before being used in another body of water. These precautions should be performed not only at Lake Manitou but also at all waters, to prevent the spread of a host of aquatic invasive species, not just hydrilla.
Women with an interest in learning outdoors skills take note: few openings remain for the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) workshop, May 1-3. The Indiana Department of Natural Resource’s BOW offers women a relaxed, non-competitive
environment conducive for learning outdoor skills in a workshop designed just for women. The workshop will be at Ross Camp in West Lafayette. The cost, including four classes, lodging and meals, is $175. The workshop is limited to 150 women. Register at www.bow.IN.gov or call Danielle Shrake 317-232-4194.
Glen Salmon, director of the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife for the past seven years, has announced he is retiring after 32 years with the state agency to accept a position with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Washington, D.C.
“This is really exciting,” said Salmon, who will become deputy director for the federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. “This is a chance to do some stuff on the national level, to continue a great relationship between the states and the Service on this program, and hopefully just make that even stronger.”
The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program provides oversight and administrative support for 10 federal grant programs that cover wildlife, sport fish, boating, coastal wetlands conservation, landowner conservation incentives, and tribal activities.
“It’s going to be different,” said Salmon, who will remain with DNR through June. “They have a great culture in the Service,
but we have an incredible culture here (in DNR).”
Salmon managed a staff of 230 DNR employees that includes biologists, property managers, staff specialists, and natural resource educators. The division oversees 21 fish and wildlife areas, eight fish hatcheries, numerous other conservation areas, and hundreds of public access boat ramps.
The division also is responsible for the management of wild animal populations on both public land and private property.
Salmon joined the DNR in 1977. His first position was at Cikana State Fish Hatchery near Martinsville. He later worked at Mixsawbah State Fish Hatchery near Walkerton before returning to Cikana to become assistant hatchery manager in 1980. He moved to the DNR central office in Indianapolis in 1980 as a staff specialist and was promoted to assistant division director in 1998 before becoming division director in 2002.
Wildfire season has been building recently as the snow melts and weather improves. Recent warm days and a dry April, which has lacked widespread spring showers, are keeping firefighters busy responding to numerous blazes, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
Firefighting agencies have designated April 19-25 as Wildfire Prevention Week in Michigan due to the importance of preventing wildfires during the critical spring fire season. Late April typically has some of the highest fire danger of the year which was illustrated in 2008 when a 1,400 acre blaze occurred April 24 during Wildfire Prevention Week. This fire jumped I-75 and burned into the City of Grayling destroying several structures.
It is extremely important that people exercise caution when burning any yard or household debris. Kollmeyer stressed these tips:
- Always obtain a burn permit before lighting any rakings or brush piles. Northern Michigan residents can easily obtaining a permit by going to www.michigan.gov/burnpermit, or calling 866-922-2876 to get the latest fire danger and permit information. Southern Michigan burning information can be obtained from your local fire official or government office. When burn permits are not being issued, it’s due to outdoor burning being prohibited by law or high fire danger makes it unsafe to burn, which has been the case in many locations already this year.
- Always have garden tools available to scrape away combustible vegetation and never leave a fire unattended even for a minute. Be sure all fires are completely out before you do leave. Keep a good water supply on hand and use plenty to douse any remaining embers; covering a fire with soil can insulate the heat allowing coals to smolder for days.
For more information on wildfire prevention, go online at www.michigan.gov/dnr-fire.
The partial fee schedule below takes effect Oct. 1, 2009. Notably, the rates do not increase fees for the new Junior Big-Game Hunting license or junior trapping license signed into law by Governor Paterson last year, or the fishing license for those 70 and older. Also, the legislature calls for dropping the price of a one-day fishing license from $15 to $5.
Passed by the state legislature, the last comprehensive license fee adjustments occurred in 2002.
New License Fee Schedule
License/Permit Type Current Fee New Fee
Conservation Legacy $76 $96
Super Sportsman $68 $88
Sportsman $37 $47
Sportsman (Sr. 70+) $5 $10
Small and Big Game $19 $29
Fishing $19 $29
Fishing (Sr. - 70+) $5 $10
Fishing (Blind) $0 $0
Deer Mgmt Permit $0 $10
Military Disability $5 $5
Bow Hunting $16 $21
Bow Hunting (Sr. 70+) $0 $5
Bow Hunting (Jr.) $9 $9
Muzzleloading $16 $21
Muzzleloading (Sr. 70+) $0 $5
Small Game $16 $26
Junior Hunting $5 $5
Turkey Permit $5 $10
Trapping $16 $21
Trapping (Sr. 70+) $0 $5
Trapping (Jr.) $6 $6
7-day Fishing $12 $15
1-day Fishing $15 $5
License/Permit Type Current Fee New Fee
Sportsman (age 0- 4) $300 $380
Sportsman (age 5-11) $420 $535
Sportsman (age 12-69) $600 $765
Sportsman (age 70+) $50 $65
Small and Big Game $350 $535
Fishing (age 0-69) $300 $460
Fishing 70+ $50 $65
Trapping $300 $395
Bow Hunting $180 $235
Muzzleloading $180 $235
License/Permit Type Current Fee New Fee
Super Sportsman $250 $280
Big Game $110 $140
Bow Hunting $110 $140
Bow Hunting (Jr.) $9 $9
Muzzleloading $110 $140
Bear $30 $50
Small Game $55 $85
Junior Hunting $5 $5
Turkey $30 $50
Trapping $255 $310
Fishing $40 $70
7-Day Fishing $25 $35
1-Day Fishing $15 $15
Conservation Patron $12 $12
SANDUSKY, OH – Recreational boaters and marina operators can save space at local landfills and help support Ohio roadway projects simply by recycling their plastic shrink wrap when removing their boats from winter storage. To make this effort easier, at least seven Lake Erie marinas have agreed to serve as collection points for recycled boat shrink wrap.
The project is coordinated through leadership of the Ohio Clean Marinas Program and its participating partners, which include the Ohio Sea Grant, the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association and Ohio DNR.
Boaters may bring their marine shrink wrap for drop-off at the following locations mid-April through mid-June:
Beaver Park Marina, 6101 W. Erie Ave., Lorain; Brenner 75 at Harrison’s Marina, 3840 N. Summit St., Toledo; Catawba Landing, 2021 NE Catawba Rd., Port Clinton; Geneva State Park, Geneva; Sandusky Harbor Marina, 1 Huron St., Sandusky; Spitzer Riverside Marina, 485 California Ave.,
Lorain; and Venetian Marina, 2035 First St., Sandusky.
During the first three years of the program, which began in 2006, approximately 720,000 lbs of boat shrink wrap was collected from more than 100 marinas in the Lake Erie region (all participating again this year) and kept out of community landfills. This amount would cover an area approximately equal to a 13' wide strip of plastic covering Ohio’s 312 shoreline miles of Lake Erie. When recycled, this plastic has produced 103,000 highway guardrail blocks, now protecting 120 miles of Ohio’s highways.
To further encourage boaters to bring their boat shrink wrap to an Ohio Clean Marinas collection site this season, participants also may enter a drawing to win a product gift certificate from West Marine.
For more info: www.ohiocleanmarina.osu.edu , 419-609-4120.
Free events reveal scenic paddling opportunities at Ohio State Parks
COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio DNR in cooperation with Gander Mountain, has announced the dates for Paddle Quest 2009. The event series will promote canoeing and kayaking, which are among the fastest growing segments in outdoor recreation.
Paddle Quest 2009 events will be held at ten scenic Ohio State Parks this summer. Ohio watercraft officers will offer brief boating safety presentations at the start of each event, which begin at 10 AM. The event series will be held at the following locations:
May 16 - Shawnee State Park, Friendship, OH
June 6 - Lake Milton State Park, Lake Milton, OH
June 13 - Pleasant Hill Lake (Mohican State Park), Loudonville, OH
June 27 -Lake Loramie State Park, Minster, OH
July 11 - Portage Lakes State Park, Akron, OH
July 18 - Buck Creek State Park , Springfield, OH
August 15 - Geneva State Park, Geneva, OH
August 22 - Maumee Bay State Park, Oregon, OH
August 29 - Punderson State Park, Newbury, OH
September 26 - Salt Fork State Park, Lore City, OH
"We hope to raise public awareness of the excellent opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors across the state," said Joe Hardin, district manager of Gander Mountain's Ohio stores. "Paddling is fun, great exercise, and something that can be done inexpensively and close to home."
"We're really excited to partner with Gander Mountain on these events," said Arley Owens, special programs manager for Ohio State Parks. "Paddle Quest 2009 events are great opportunities for families to get acquainted with canoeing or just to get together with other outdoor enthusiasts and enjoy the diversity of Ohio State Parks."
Paddle Quest 2009 events are open to all ages and no experience is required. Participants under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult. All participants must wear approved life jackets during the events. Canoes, kayaks, paddles and life jackets are not provided. Rental boats and safety equipment may be available at some state parks. Please call the event location to find out if rentals are available.
Children who participate in the Paddle Quest events can receive credit towards the ODNR Explore the Outdoors Paddle a Canoe activity. Explore the Outdoors is a hands-on family program that gives Ohio children the opportunity to reunite with nature, improve their physical and emotional health and discover the rewards of becoming environmental stewards. Program information and downloadable activity guides can be found at www.exploretheoutdoorsohio.com.
Paddle Quest participants will enjoy a cookout-style lunch, door prizes and a chance to win a matching pair of kayaks at the end of the event series, all courtesy of Gander Mountain. Registration is required for Gander Mountain prize eligibility.
For more info about the Paddle Quest 2009 series and to pre-register for events, visit www.gandermountain.com.
Survey will help agency gauge feasibility of web-based access program
COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife has teamed up with the Ohio Farm Bureau to consider a pilot program that will help manage local deer herds and expand hunter access.
The two agencies are exploring the possibility of developing a web-based deer hunter access program. Through the program, which would be run on a trial basis in selected counties, landowners could review a searchable database of deer hunters and select hunters to whom they would grant hunting permissions. A survey, available at wildohio.com, will help determine deer hunters' interest in participating in such a program.
To be involved in the program, hunters would have to complete an online profile that could include the number of years hunting experience, willingness to harvest does, preferred type of hunting (archery, shotgun, muzzleloader), and
willingness to submit to a background check at the request of the landowner.
The program's concept provides landowners with a desired level of control and hunters benefit from increased hunting opportunities.
Hunters will not be charged to submit their profiles to become eligible for the access program. There is also no additional charge to hunt on enrolled properties. All who submit their profiles are not guaranteed to receive hunting permissions.
Access to hunt deer is a major component to successful deer management. Because 95 percent of Ohio's land base is held in private ownership, access to private property is vital to the success of Ohio's deer management program. Access to private property is a privilege that cannot be legislated. For that reason it is essential that hunters and landowners work cooperatively to develop positive relationships that facilitate the harvest of deer, specifically does, from private property.
MADISON – Does the early bird really get the worm? Trout anglers will have to find out for themselves, but with more than 600,000 catchable trout scheduled to be stocked by the inland trout season opener on May 2, it’s hard to argue the old proverb.
“We hope that trout anglers of all ages find good weather on opening day,” says Al Kaas, Department of Natural Resources statewide fish propagation coordinator, “and also that they catch some of the fish we stock as part of the traditional opening of the fishing season.”
A total of 615,296 catchable rainbow, brown and brook trout are expected to be delivered to hundreds of waters statewide, and as many as the weather permits before the inland opener. A list of waters with catchable trout is available on the DNR Web site.
“Put and take” waters, which are capable of supporting trout during the spring, summer and fall, but have poor habitat for sustaining fish over the winter are scheduled to be stocked with 328,800 brown, brook and rainbow trout.
Urban fishing waters, which are small lakes and ponds cooperatively managed with the local municipality and used as a place for fishing clinics and kids fishing, are expected to be stocked with 74,950 rainbow trout. A list of these waters and specific regulations can be found in the “2009-2010 Guide to Wisconsin Hook and Line Fishing Regulations".
With the help of cooperative fish rearing agreements and non-profit organizations around the state, an estimated 117,900 additional trout will be stocked. The organizations take small trout fingerlings (less than 1 year old) and raise them to legal size and larger for stocking.
Restoration, rehabilitation, and experimental projects, in addition to overwinter waters throughout Wisconsin, also receive fingerling stocking. The trout stocked are between 16 and 18 months old and are typically at least 9 inches in length.
The department tries to make sure that 80 to 90 percent of the fish stocked are legal size or better, according to Kaas.
Anglers can still warm up to the May 2 opener by taking in some fishing during the early catch and release trout season that runs through April 26. Try some of these “tried and true” waters recommended by DNR fish biologists, supervisors, technicians and hatchery personnel for early trout season.
Anglers should check the “Wisconsin Trout Fishing Regulations and Guide, 2009-2010" for daily bag limits and size limits. The state’s inland trout season opens May 2 and runs through September 30.
And when you head out for on your trout fishing trips this year, take someone with you.
MADISON – The countdown to the May 2 inland fishing season opener has officially begun. The ice is melting, the fish are hungry and 1.4 million anglers who purchase Wisconsin fishing licenses each year are ready to forget the winter, reconnect with family and friends, and make great memories.
“The fishing season can’t come soon enough for most of us,” says Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank. “It’s been a hard year so far economically, so we feel a heed to relax and recharge our batteries – and fishing is a great way to do that.”
Wisconsin has thousands of fishable lakes and streams, two great lakes, and a long stretch of the Mississippi River which means that good fishing is never far and good catching isn’t either, evident by the 88 million fish that anglers caught in
2006, the most recent statewide survey of anglers.
Fishing is a great activity for the family, and with children under 16 being able to fish for free, it provides year-long, low-cost fun. If you need fishing tackle, DNR has equipment for loan at many DNR offices and state parks for your angling pleasure.
And there’s no better day to catch fishing fever than on May 2.
“Taking part in the May 2 fishing opener is a tradition that’s meant to be shared,” Frank says. “A fishing license is your first-class ticket to enjoy time outdoors with family and friends.”
Anglers looking for a new place to fish or fishing forecasts for individual waters: 2009 Wisconsin Fishing Report.
MADISON -- Daily walleye bag limits have been revised on 418 lakes in the Wisconsin Ceded Territory in response to harvest declarations made by six bands of Chippewa Indians in Wisconsin, the state Department of Natural Resources has announced. Revised bag limits are effective between May 1, 2009 and March 7, 2010, inclusive.
There will be a three walleye bag limit for sport anglers on 87 lakes, a two-fish daily bag limit on 324 lakes, and seven lakes will have a daily bag limit of one walleye.
Most Chippewa tribal harvest takes places during the spring spearfishing season. An administrative rule passed by the state Natural Resources Board in 1998 allows the department to adjust initial bag limits annually to reflect actual spring spearing harvest and projected summer harvests. Following the spring spearfishing season, DNR will review tribal harvest and where possible revise bag limits upwards on lakes lightly or not speared. The number of lakes spearers harvest annually is typically been in the range of 150 to 170.
Lakes declared by the Lac du Flambeau Band have a daily bag limit of three walleye for sport anglers. The DNR and the Lac du Flambeau Band have an agreement giving the Band authority to sell fishing licenses in return for making declarations at a level that allows a three walleye per day recreational angler bag limit.
The adjusted bag limits are available in portable document
format on the regulations page of the DNR Fishing Wisconsin Web site and are being published as an insert to the 2009-2010 Guide to Wisconsin Hook and Line Fishing Regulations.
Lakes not listed are subject to the regulations printed in the regulations pamphlet. The statewide daily bag limit for walleyes on many Wisconsin lakes remains at five fish per day, but anglers should check the regulations for special size and bag limits that are in effect on specific waters.
As part of a 1983 federal Appellate Court decision affirming Chippewa off-reservation hunting, fishing, and gathering rights, the six bands of Wisconsin Chippewa set annual harvest quotas for off-reservation lakes in the Wisconsin Ceded Territory. As part of court agreements, the Department of Natural Resources reduces bag limits for recreational hook and line anglers in lakes declared for harvest by the Chippewa bands to assure the combined tribal and recreational angler harvest does not jeopardize the ability of walleye to sustain its population in any lake. The state is entering its 25th year of the joint tribal and recreational fishery.
For background information on Chippewa treaty rights, a description of the management and monitoring system used to ensure the long term viability of fisheries in the Ceded Territory, and to see data collected as part of that monitoring system, including walleye population estimates and creel survey summaries for all game fish, see DNR joint tribal and recreational fishery site at: Wisconsin Ceded Territory.
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