Week of April 21, 2008

Beyond the Great Lakes




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Beyond the Great Lakes

Nantucket Shipwreck Museum to reopen July 2008

Museum to Showcase Exciting New Exhibits and Family-Friendly Programs in Expanded Space

 Nantucket Island, MA – Celebrating rescues and heroism at sea, the Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum will reopen on July 1, 2008 following an extensive $3 million renovation.  Drawing on its collection of over 5,000 objects – including period surfboats, beach carts, vintage photographs, and more – the Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum will feature new exhibits and family-friendly programs appealing to all ages.  Visitors to the newly expanded museum will immediately be engaged by the fascinating stories of people in peril at sea and those who risked their lives to rescue them.


Marshall, a friendly Newfoundland dog who was rescued along with 16 people at the island’s Surfside Life-Saving Station in 1877, will serve as the museum’s mascot.  His real-life tale of animal rescue will unfold through captivating displays designed for younger visitors.


Marshall’s heroic rescue also has inspired a new children’s book that is accompanied by an adorable plush toy, available through the museum’s gift shop.  Retailing for just $6.50, Marshall: A Nantucket Sea Rescue (by Whitney Stewart, published by Soundprints 2008) is destined to become a cherished memento for those who visit the museum.


“Considered a major hub along what was then a modern-day sea highway similar to I-95, Nantucket’s shipping lanes once boasted over 1,200 boats per day – all navigating without the advantages of today’s technology,” said best-selling author

Nathaniel Philbrick, founding director of the Egan Maritime

Institute, which spearheaded fundraising for the museum.  “Treacherous shoals and inclement weather led to over 700 shipwrecks in the surrounding waters, causing the area to be dubbed the ‘graveyard of the Atlantic.’”


A long-time Nantucket resident, Philbrick is best known for such books as Mayflower, a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in History, and In the Heart of the Sea, winner of the 2000 National Book Award for Non-Fiction.


Formerly known as the Nantucket Life-Saving Museum, the museum is being rechristened to better reflect the impact of shipwrecks on Nantucket and elsewhere in the fledging United States, when maritime travel was in its heyday.  The ambitious renovation project was made possible by an 18-month capital campaign led by Egan Maritime, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the study and appreciation of Nantucket’s maritime heritage.


The Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum is located at 158 Polpis Road, just 3.5 miles from Nantucket Town. The museum and gift shop will reopen Tuesday, July 1 and close on Columbus Day, Monday, October 13, 2008. Hours of operation are 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. daily. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children 5 – 18, and free to children under 5, and also includes admission to Egan Maritime Institute exhibits at the historic Coffin School, located at 4 Winter Street in Nantucket Town.


For more info call (508) 228-2505; as of July 1, call (508) 228-1885, or visit online at www.nantucketshipwreck.org.  


Congressmen Alerted on Clean Boating Act of 2008

Recreational Boating and Anglers Threatened with Burdensome EPA Permits

Washington, DC – The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) hosted a Capitol Hill breakfast briefing today, sponsored by Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.), where members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) and other interested parties were informed about the importance and status of The Clean Boating Act of 2008. If the legislation passes, it could save recreational boaters and anglers from having to comply with Clean Water Act regulations originally designed for cargo container ships, cruise ships and supertankers - not recreational boats.


THE PROBLEM - For thirty-five years, the Environmental Protection Agency has exempted recreational boaters from the regulations that protected aquatic resources from pollutants and invasive species transported in the ballast water of commercial vessels. In 2006, a federal judge overturned the exemption. If not corrected by legislation, boaters would be required to obtain onerous Federal or State permits for normal incidental discharges such as bilge water, deck runoff and engine cooling water. Boaters could also face oppressive fines for non-compliance. The ruling goes into effect on September 30 of this year, unleashing not only a layer of new regulations from the EPA, but creating a new bureaucracy to deal with 18-million boaters applying for the permits.


THE LEGISLATION - Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair, Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduced a bill, S. 2766, The Clean Boating Act of 2008, in March. The legislation would restore the EPA exemption for recreational boats. Last May, Boating Caucus Co-Chairmen Representative Candice Miller (R-MI) and Representative Gene Taylor (D-MS) introduced H. R. 2550, The Recreational Boating Act of 2007 in the House of Representatives. The language of H.R. 2550 and the language of S.2667 will be the same in the final version.


Passage of the Clean Boating Act of 2008 by Congress would reestablish the exemption for America’s recreational boaters. Congressional action is needed prior to a looming deadline for permit applications that would apply to all recreational and fishing boats, including charter boats.


THE BRIEFING - Jeff Crane, President of CSF, and the House Caucus leadership, Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Paul Ryan (R-WI), welcomed everyone and thanked the

members of CSC that took time from their hectic schedules to

attend.  Crane noted that, “Boaters and fishermen need a speedy legislative solution to avert a potential regulatory nightmare and enormous fines for noncompliance.  The EPA does not need to be in the business of regulating a little rain water runoff and CSF is working with the bipartisan CSC to take the lead to correct this unintended possibility.”


Chris Horton, Conservation Director of B.A.S.S. presented background information and commented on the impact that the regulations would have on recreational anglers. Horton said, "If action isn’t taken soon, anglers will need to have a permit just to empty, or even operate, their livewells. We don't need another impediment to angling and boating at a time when we're trying to grow participation."


Ben Grumbles, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) informed the attendees about the current status of the exemption, its time limit and the regulations being proposed by the EPA if there is no legislative settlement. Grumbles stated, “We do not want to get into the permitting business for recreational boaters.  However, we have September 30th circled in red on our calendar and are crafting the regulations for permits that would apply to recreational boaters. We are being driven by a court ruling which we are appealing.  The best solution is legislation particularly if a judicial appeal is not successful.”


Dylan Jones, Water Access Counsel for the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) brought those present up to date on where the legislation stands at this time. He is hopeful that policymakers will move swiftly. Jones made his point stating, “There are no costs to the taxpayers with this legislation; no funding is needed, no offsets – it’s a no brainer.”

Capt. Steve Chaconas of National Bass Guides demonstrated bass fishing techniques, spoke about the cleanup of the Potomac and encouraged those in attendance to take a kid or a friend fishing.


THE ACTION - The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation continues to work with its partners in the fishing and boating community and to inform the leadership and members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus to advance the Clean Boating Act of 2008.


For more info: www.nmma.org http://www.BoatBlue.org  or www.BoatUS.com/gov. 

USA Shooting's Lones Wigger to be Inducted into U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame

CHICAGO -- The United States Olympic Committee announced today that USA Shooting's Lones W. Wigger, Jr. will be part of the distinguished Class of 2008 that will be inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Presented by Allstate. The induction ceremony will take place June 19 in Chicago at the Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater. The U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Class of 2008 is comprised of nine Olympians, one Paralympian, an Olympic Coach, Veteran, Team and Special Contributor.

Seventy-year-old Wigger (Colorado Springs, Colo.), a rifle shooter, whose career spanned 25 years, is a three-time Olympian, having competed at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico and the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, where he won a combined two gold and one silver medals. In addition, he qualified for the 1980 Olympic Team.


Wigger also competed on five Pan American Games teams, where he won five silver and 13 gold medals. During his shooting career, Wigger won 111 medals and set 29 world records in international competition, more than any other shooter in the world. He is a member of the USA Shooting Hall of Fame and was also honored in 1996 by the USOC as a

"Golden Olympian." A retired Army Lt. Col., Wigger is a two-tour Vietnam Veteran and spent 25 years on active duty.


"It's a tremendous honor to be inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and especially to represent the shooting sports," said Wigger. "I am overwhelmed and can't hardly believe it. I would like to thank everyone who voted for me and supported me."


Along with Wigger, the outstanding 2008 U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Class to be inducted as individuals will include wrestler Bruce Baumgartner, athletics athlete Joan Benoit, figure skater Brian Boitano, boxer Oscar de La Hoya, volleyball player Karch Kiraly, equestrian J. Michael Plumb, basketball athlete David Robinson, swimmer Amy Van Dyken, and Paralympic swimmer John Morgan. Figure skating coach Carlo Fassi will be inducted in the Coach category along with Olympic figure skating gold medalist Carol Heiss Jenkins in the Veteran category. The members of the 1996 Women's Gymnastics Team - Amanda Borden, Amy Chow, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Jaycie Phelps and Kerri Strug - will also be honored in the Team category, as will legendary Hollywood producer Frank Marshall as the Special Contributor.


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for April 18, 2008

Weather Conditions:  High pressure led to tranquil weather across the Great Lakes basin this week.  Abundant sunshine pushed temperatures above 70 in some locations.  These warm temperatures lead to increased runoff from snowmelt across the northern Great Lakes.  A slow moving frontal system will stall in the region and lead to periods of rain and thunderstorms through the weekend.  Cooler temperatures will be found north of the front.  Next week will see periods of unsettled weather along with near average temperatures.


Lake Level Conditions: Currently, Lake Superior is 6 inches higher than it was at this time last year, while Lake Michigan-Huron is 3 inches lower than last year's level.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are 1, 4, and 8 inches, respectively, higher than they were a year ago.  Over the next month, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are predicted to rise 4 inches.  Lakes Erie, St. Clair and Ontario are projected to rise 1, 2, and 3 inches, respectively.  Lakes Superior and Ontario are forecasted to stay above last year's water levels through September, while the remaining lakes are forecasted to remain at or below their levels of a year ago over the next several months. 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:  Just as in February, outflows from the St. Marys and St. Clair Rivers were below

average for March.  Outflows from the Detroit, Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers were above average last month.


Alerts: Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are below chart datum and forecasted to remain below datum through June and May, respectively.  Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels.  Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings. Ice information can be found at the National Ice Center's webpage.





St. Clair



Level for Apr 18






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Boater Safety Class

GURNEE, IL - Illinois Boater's Safety Education Class will be held at Bass Pro Shops on Saturday, April 26, 2008 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. This class is required for any individual who is at least 12 years old and wishes to operate a watercraft on Illinois waters. For more details and requirements, go to: http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/education/SAFETY/boat.htm.


Seating for the class is limited to only 50 students. To register

please call Bass Pro Shops at 847-856-1229.


For more information the Boater's Safety Education Class or other events and promotions at Bass Pro Shops in Gurnee, please visit the store at 6112 Grand Avenue, Gurnee, Illinois at Gurnee Mills Mall, by phone at 847-856-1229 or visit the website at www.basspro.com Chicago location.


Chicago Harbors open May 1

CHICAGO – After a long, freezing Chicago winter, May 1 will mark the official beginning of the boating season. As harbors open, Chicagoans renew their summer love affair with our greatest natural resource: Lake Michigan. Boaters have a unique opportunity to get the most out of the wonder and excitement the lake has to offer -- as well as the opportunity to protect this magnificent yet vulnerable natural wonder.

Lake Michigan is not only one of our primary gathering places for summer fun; it also provides us with the water we use every day to drink, shower and cook. Yet this remarkable resource – and the people and animals that depend on it -- face threats from pollution, high bacteria levels, habitat loss and invasive species.


Boaters are often the first ones in and the last ones out of the lake, so Shedd Aquarium offers these tips for boaters to help protect the Lake Michigan while they enjoy the summer:


Remove any visible mud, plants, fish or other animals before transporting boats and equipment. This helps prevent the spread of invasive species like round gobies and zebra

mussels. The animals or their eggs can hitch a ride on boat hulls. To learn to recognize invasive species and learn more about them, visit Shedd’s Great Lakes invasive species exhibit.


Rinse your boat with hot water and avoid using chemical cleansers that pollute the water. Use clear water, or natural cleansers such as baking soda or vinegar.


When fueling your motorboat, be careful not to overfill the tank. If you spill gas on to the dock or in your boat, use a cloth rag to wipe up the spill, rather than hosing it off into the lake. If you spill fuel into the water, do not try to “clean” the spill with detergent; this only sinks the spill to the lake bottom, where it becomes even more toxic.


Stow all trash in bags on your boat, disposing of the bags when you return to shore. Trash such as plastic bags or plastic bottles can be especially harmful to lake animals if they eat them or accidentally become trapped in them. 


Illinois Gun Owners Hold Their Ground in Illinois Legislative Battle

Last week anti-gun legislators tried to limit gun owners to purchasing one gun a month and the bill did not pass - it can be brought back but chances of it passing don't look good!  Today the same bunch tried to ban the private sale of handguns - HB758 was defeated shortly before 4 pm this afternoon. It was a close call 58-58 and needed 60 to pass but it was an especially sweet victory for Illinois gun owners because Chicago bigwigs had been bussed in to lobby for   

the bill and were in the gallery to witness the bill fail.


Many of you have responded to ISRA, NRA, and IllinoisCarry alerts to call your legislators asking them to oppose these bills and with a vote this close now is not the time to let up!  HB4357 - "assault weapons ban" and SB1007 - "magazine ban" are still to be called for a vote, continue to call your legislators asking them to support the Second Amendment and Illinois guns owners by voting against these bills. 

Illinois Gun Owners Gaining More Ground - 76Counties and Counting!!

FIVE more counties approve resolution!!

Jersey, Mason, Scott, McHenry, and Kankakee counties have now joined the ranks of the Pro Second Amendment 

Resolution. The McLean County Board committee will be voting 4/24/08 on whether to advance the resolution to the full board.  Call your board members and urge their support Kendall County Board members have a legislative committee vote on the resolution on April 29th at 3:30 pm. 


Experimental goose season was successful

An experimental late Canada goose hunting season in 30 Indiana counties got off to a flying start with hunters bagging almost 4,800 birds during the 15-day season that began

Feb. 1.


“I’m really happy with how the first year went,” said Adam Phelps, waterfowl research biologist for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. “I don’t think it could have been better.”  Phelps said 81.7 percent of the geese that hunters submitted to check stations were giant Canada geese, the primary target of the three-year experimental season aimed at reducing their populations in and around urban areas.  “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service mandates 80 percent, so we’re good,” Phelps said.


If Indiana stays above 80 percent for the three-year period, it can petition the USFWS to allow a permanent late season.  “We’d be able to do those 30 counties every year, there’d be no special permits required, no mandatory check stations,” Phelps said. “All that stuff would go away.”

The DNR issued free special permits to 4,231 hunters, who were required to also have a valid Indiana hunting license, Indiana and federal waterfowl stamps, and a Harvest Information Program (HIP) number to participate in the late season.


Hunters had a daily bag limit of five Canada geese and a possession limit of 10, and they were required to report every goose killed. At designated check stations, DNR staff determined the age and sex of each bird, removed the heads and submitted them to the Bloomington office for additional data collection. Skull measurements were used to determine the proportion of giant Canada geese in the overall harvest.


The 3,705 Canada geese checked in included 2,048 adults, 1,278 juveniles and 379 of unknown age. An estimated 1,122 additional geese not taken to check stations were reported in follow-up hunter surveys. 



Lake layers' temperatures affect fish location

As spring temperatures rise, natural lakes across northern Indiana begin to divide themselves into three distinct thermal layers. How deep each layer becomes and how much oxygen each layer holds will ultimately affect fish and fishing throughout the summer.


  Anglers who understand this concept, called lake stratification, can increase their fishing success.


  “The density of water varies based on its temperature,” said Jed Pearson, DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife fisheries biologist. “As the surface water warms in the spring, its density decreases. By summer, it eventually floats on a layer of deep, colder water.”


  Biologists call the warm top layer the epilimnion and the cold bottom layer the hypolimnion. In between is a transitional layer called the thermocline. Most lakes stratify, but the thickness of each layer can vary from lake to lake.  Because water is such a great insulator, the thermocline acts as a barrier and prevents the epilimnion from mixing with the hypolimnion.


  “Most of our natural lakes stratify during May,” Pearson said. “After that, the differences between the surface and bottom temperatures increase even more dramatically and stay that way for the rest of the summer.”


  The temperature difference is usually more pronounced in deep lakes.  “It’s common to see summer surface temperatures over 80 degrees and bottom temperatures still in the low 40s in lakes that are over 60 feet deep,” Pearson said. “In shallow lakes, the temperature gradient is less sharp. Bottom temperatures might stay around 55 degrees throughout the summer.”


  Because fish are cold-blooded, they react to water temperatures. Different species have different temperature



  Popular sport fish in Indiana natural lakes, such bluegills, largemouth bass and crappies, avoid temperatures that exceed 80 degrees. Other species, such as trout and ciscoes, can’t tolerate temperatures much above 70 degrees. Walleyes, northern pike, and muskies are usually found somewhere between.


  “When the water temperature gets too warm, it increases the energy requirements of fish and puts extra stress on them. Fish look for colder water when the surface layer gets too hot,” Pearson said.   But don’t think fish simply go deep to find cold water in the summer.


  “The bottom layer is cold but it usually has very little oxygen,” Pearson said. “Plants that produce oxygen in shallow water seldom grow in the hypolimnion because sunlight can’t penetrate deep enough. So the amount of oxygen near the bottom depends on how much is present in the spring before the lake stratifies and how fast it gets used up by decaying organic matter.”


  Fish cannot stay where they cannot breathe. As a result, the deep holes in a lake may be devoid of oxygen and therefore devoid of fish.  Most fish need an oxygen concentration of at least 3 parts per million (ppm) to survive. Summer oxygen levels within the hypolimnion of most Indiana natural lakes are usually less than 1 ppm.  So where do most fish hang out in summer once a lake stratifies?


  “If we are talking about bass and bluegills, they usually concentrate more at the top of the thermocline,” Pearson said. “In most of our lakes, that’s around 10 to 12 feet deep. In muddy lakes, they might be a little shallower. In clear lakes, they might be a little deeper.”


Creel surveys at two Kosciusko County lakes

Angler surveys to monitor fishing success at Robinson and Pike lakes in Kosciusko County have begun and will run through September.


A DNR clerk will be stationed at the boat ramp of each lake, and will periodically interview anglers to gather information regarding their fishing trip. Anglers will be asked a series of questions regarding their experience. Any fish harvested will be measured.    “These surveys provide us with detailed information about the fishery and how it’s being utilized,” said Rod Edgell, DNR assistant fisheries biologist “They are essential in evaluating the success of management decisions.” 


Pike Lake is a 228-acre natural lake located in the city of Warsaw and is stocked with approximately 11,400 2-inch walleye annually. In addition to having a good walleye population, Pike Lake is also known for its abundance of channel catfish.


The survey at Pike Lake will provide biologists with information on how popular these two species are among anglers, and if the stocking of walleye is justified.  

Robinson Lake is located on the Whitley-Kosciusko county line near Pierceton, and is one of a handful of Indiana natural lakes to have an 18-inch minimum size limit and a two-fish bag limit on largemouth bass.


DNR biologists have been monitoring the effects of the harvest restrictions at Robinson Lake since the regulation was implemented in 1996, and the results have been positive.  “Angler pressure on this lake has more than doubled since 1996, but the harvest restrictions have done a great job of protecting the quality of the fishery,” said Ed Braun, DNR fisheries biologist.


-The angler survey at Robinson Lake, in combination with a bass population estimate to be conducted this spring, will provide state fisheries biologists with a measure of just how beneficial these special regulations have been to the fisher


Participation in an angler survey is completely voluntary; however, the success of these surveys is dependent upon the cooperation of local anglers. The DNR urges everyone to participate.



2008 Elk Season Dates and Quotas Set

The Natural Resources Commission approved the 2008 elk season dates and quotas at their meeting last week. 


The dates for Hunt Period 1 (early elk season) are Aug. 26-29 and Sept. 12-16. The dates for Hunt Period 2 (December elk season) are Dec. 9-16. The time frame for Hunt Period 3 (January elk season) would be five days in mid-January, if the hunt is necessary to achieve population management goals.


Following a survey of the elk range in February, the elk herd is estimated to be between 1,100 and 1,200 animals.  The management objective is for 800 to 900 elk. To manage the elk toward the desired objective there will be 330 elk licenses available this year -- double the number available last year.

The application dates have changed from the previous application period. Interested individuals may apply for an elk license from May 1 to June 1. Only Michigan residents are eligible to apply for an elk license. Hunters may apply online at www.michigan.gov/dnr, any authorized license agent, or at a DNR Operations Service Center. A nonrefundable $4 fee must be paid at the time of application.


The application periods for bear licenses and elk licenses will be the same this year so people may apply for both license types at the same time. The cost for a bear hunting license application is also $4. Drawing results for elk will be posted on the DNR Web site on Monday, June 23, 2008. 



Lead Shot Ban Removed From Omnibus Bill

Late last this week the Senate Omnibus Game and Fish Bill, introduced by State Senator Satveer Chaudhary (DFL-50), was successfully amended to remove a lead ban that would have been detrimental to hunters and sportsman alike. Senate File 3385 originally contained a provision that would ban the use of

lead shot for hunting small game on public lands in Minnesota.  Lead alternatives are expensive and have reduced capabilities, and only increase wounding rates of game animals.  There has also been no science-based evidence that lead shot has been a problem in Minnesota. 

State archery tournament winners receive lifetime licenses

A student from North Campus High and another from Grand Rapids High each received their choice of a lifetime hunting or fishing license for winning the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) National Archery in the Schools Program state tournament held in March. Dozens of other winners in various categories were also honored.


Chantelle Skarda of North Campus High School in White Bear Lake finished first in the female category and Ryan Dumm of

Grand Rapids High School finished first in male category for individual high school competition. In addition to lifetime licenses, Skarda and Dumm also received Genesis bows.


"Nearly 600 students from throughout the state participated in the tournament," said Kraig Kiger, DNR shooting sports program administrator. "The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) keeps involving more schools, more students and more families in a safe and supervised activity that can last a lifetime." 


Ohio reduces daily bag limit for western Lake Erie Yellow Perch

Twenty-five fish daily limit takes effect July 1 in waters west of Huron

COLUMBUS, OH - Lake Erie anglers fishing in Ohio waters west of Huron will face a reduction this summer in the daily bag limit for yellow perch, following action by the Ohio Wildlife Council.


Beginning July 1, the daily bag limit for yellow perch will drop from 30 to 25 fish per angler, but only in waters west of Huron.  The daily bag limit will remain at 30 fish per angler in Ohio waters from Huron eastward, according to the Ohio DNR.

In additional action, the wildlife council:

1) Approved a reduction in the statewide daily bag limit for muskellunge from two fish to one fish.

2) Allowed access to several lakes owned by the Division of Wildlife to motorboats greater than 10 horsepower as long as they operate at idle speed. These lakes include Knox Lake in Knox County, Lake La Su An in Williams County, Oxbow Lake in Defiance County, and Rupert Lake in Vinton County.

3) Allowed 10-horsepower motors on Greenfield Lake and Rockmill Lake in Fairfield County, and Zepernick Lake in Columbiana County.


ODNR offers Free Boat Safety inspections across state

COLUMBUS, OH - Recreational boaters seeking to get their season off to a good start are encouraged to participate in free safety inspections offered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Watercraft and its boating partners across the state.


safety inspections help increase safety awareness at a time when many Ohioans are launching their boats for the season. Watercraft officers provide written courtesy inspection reports

that allow boat owners to make recommended improvements to their safety equipment. Officers and other safety inspectors will look for properly working fire extinguishers, horns, navigational lights and distress signals, as well as life jackets and vests that are in good condition.


Information on required safety equipment, boating rules and other boating programs is available online at www.ohiodnr.com.  

ODNR to hold public forum for boaters

COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio DNR Division of Watercraft is seeking public comments for revision of its long-term strategic plan for recreational boating in Ohio.


Ten town meetings will be conducted around the state beginning April 29 at Walnut Township Elementary School in Millersport. "Anyone interested in the future of Ohio boating is encouraged to attend an area meeting," said Pamela Dillon, chief of the ODNR Division of Watercraft.


The Division of Watercraft first developed a long-term strategic plan in 1998 to serve as a guide in addressing multiple boating-related topics such as public launch ramp facilities, waterway access, law enforcement and boating safety education programs. The agency last revised its strategic

management plan for Ohio's boating programs in 2004.


"Recreational boating remains very popular and is enjoyed by an estimated 3 million Ohioans annually," Dillon said. "Many communities large and small throughout the state are impacted by boating and other recreation opportunities, so it's important to us that we provide these forums as an opportunity to receive comments on how we can do a better job in serving the needs of Ohio boaters."


Comment forms are available for those persons interested in providing input, but cannot attend a meeting. To obtain a comment form, or to obtain information on the public boating forums, call the Division of Watercraft at 614-265-6500 or visit online at www.ohiodnr.com.


Wisconsin inland fishing season opens May 3

Dive into the 2008 Fishing Report for fishing forecasts, fabulous projects and tips to lure in your favorite catch

MADISON – Despite lingering, winter-like conditions, spring has officially arrived and that means anglers are counting down the days until the May 3, inland fishing season opener. Opening weekend is also the perfect time to share your angling passion with a friend or family member.


“No matter where you live in Wisconsin, there’s great fishing to be had,” says Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank. “Everyone can enjoy this traditional pastime. And by introducing a new angler to fishing, you’re helping them create memories that last a lifetime.”

Passing on the angling experience does even more than create great memories, it also helps to protect Wisconsin’s fish populations and expand fishing opportunities. Every license that anglers purchase is an investment in improving Wisconsin’s fisheries and each license sold brings an additional $10 in federal aid for fish restoration.


There are still a few weeks until opening day, so anglers have time to dive into the 2008 Wisconsin Fishing Report for fishing forecasts, tips and techniques to increase their chances of reeling in a trophy catch this season. 



Governor’s Fishing Opener at Lake Wapogasset, Polk County

AMERY Wis. -- The 43rd Governor’s Fishing Opener, officially kicking off Wisconsin’s game fishing season, will take place at Lake Wapogasset in Polk County on Saturday, May 3.


Gov. Jim Doyle is invited, and also fishing at Lake Wapogasset during event will be local legislators and officials and Wisconsin and out-of-state media, joined by Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank and state Fisheries Chief, Mike Staggs.

Former Gov. Warren Knowles started the tradition in 1965 to

officially open the state's fishing season. The angling event is held at various locations in western and northern Wisconsin each year and is sponsored by the Wisconsin Indianhead Country Tourism group. This event is by invitation only to key media and state and local government officials.


Lake Wapogasset is the third largest waterbody in Polk County located a few miles west of Amery. The lake hosts good populations of walleye, northerns, bass and panfish. 


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

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

Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.

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