Week of May 2, 2005

National

Regional

General

2nd Amendment issues

Lake Ontario

Lake Erie

Illinois

Indiana

Michigan

Minnesota

New York

Pennsylvania

Wisconsin

         (Related letter to Wisconsin State Senator Alan Laser)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ontario

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Club News

National

Passport proposal scrapped for now

Border Rule would have affected U.S.-Canada vehicle traffic

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration announced last week that it is withdrawing its plan to require passports for those motoring across the northern border by 2008. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the government is "seeking alternatives" to the passport edict announced by his department and the State Department on April 5.

 

The original announcement that passports would be required for land crossings drew strong protests from businesses and institutions that depend on casual travel. For a family of four, passports would cost almost $300 and require months to obtain. Since at least the 1920s, all that has been needed to cross the border was a driver's license or a declaration of citizenship or residence.

 

Great Lakes bridge and tunnel operators said the passport mandate would virtually end spur-of-the-moment business and recreational trips between the United States and Canada.  

 

Bush on April 14 indicated the department's announcement surprised him and said he wanted the plan reviewed. An official notice containing the proposed rule was to have been 

published last week.   However, the rule, proposed by the Homeland Security and State departments, is still under review in the president's Office of Management and Budget.

 

There was no discussion about withdrawing the passport edict for those traveling from the United States to the Caribbean as of 2006 or those flying between the United States and Canada and Mexico, as of 2007.

 

Spokesmen for Homeland Security on Monday confirmed they are "seeking alternatives" to passports but said that was their plan all along.  Homeland Security "is not declaring that a passport will be the sole means of identification" for land border crossings, said department spokesman Jarrod Agen. "Passports will still be accepted" by border security officials, he said.

 

Christiana Halsey, spokeswoman for Customs and Border Protection, said passports "are always the preferred document," no matter how the review turns out.  The era of terrorism begun by the attack on the World Trade Center requires stronger means of identification than a driver's license, she said.  "There always needs to be a balance between security and facility," she said, "now that there is a need to better secure this country."


Ivory-billed Woodpeckers, Presumed Extinct, Rediscovered in Cache River, Arkansas

Biologists were shocked and overjoyed when an article published in the journal Science on 28 April 2005 revealed the ivory-billed woodpecker, long presumed extinct, persists in the “Big Woods” region of Arkansas. 

 

Before the recent sightings in the Cache and White River National Wildlife Refuge Complex between February 2004 and February 2005, the last documented ivory-billed woodpecker in continental North America was in Louisiana in 1944, some 61 years ago.

 

Many sightings of the spectacular bird — with its 3-foot wingspan, ivory-white bill and distinctive ebony, white and scarlet plumage — had been reported over the years. It was finally videotaped a year ago. An article confirming its  reappearance was published yesterday by the journal

Science. The news was met with hallelujahs by bird lovers — and a pledge of $10 million from the feds.

 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials say the government spending will help save the woodpeckers' old-growth forest habitat. "The amount of habitat left in the lower Mississippi valley is not nearly what it once was," said Sam Hamilton, the Fish and Wildlife Service's southeast regional director. He added that the next step is to establish some sense of just how large a population remains. "We don't know if we have one bird or a few birds," Hamilton said.

 

Ivory-billed woodpeckers are huge (larger than crows; similar in size to red-shouldered hawks, which are regularly found in floodplain forest), and notoriously shy and quiet.  The Arkansas bird has apparently been seen only 15 times in more than 7,000 hours of searching by professional ornithologists.


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for April 29, 2005

Current Lake Levels:

All of the Great Lakes are 4 to 12 inches above last year’s levels.   Lake Superior is near its long-term average, while Lake Michigan-Huron is 9 inches below its long-term average.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 2, 8, and 9 inches above their long-term averages, respectively.

 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

The Lake Superior outflow through the St. Marys River into Lake Huron is projected to be near average during the month of April.  Flows in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are anticipated to be below average during April, while flows in the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers are both expected to be above average in April.

 

Temperature/Precipitation Outlook:

Rain is expected to move back into the region beginning on Friday night.  Precipitation is expected to persist through midweek.

 

Forecasted Water Levels:

Lake Superior is beginning its seasonal rise and should increase 5 inches during the next month.  Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario will continue their seasonal rises and should increase up to 3 inches during the next month.

 

Alerts:

Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels. Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.


General

11-Year old catches winning bass

Using 10" Berkley Power worm on 17 lb Berkley line

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa ­ Brandon Adams, an 11-year-old angler from Florence, Texas, reeled in the largest bass of the 21st Annual Sam Rayburn McDonalds $560,000 Big Bass Splash at Lake Sam Rayburn last weekend and became the youngest winner in the event’s history.

 

To catch his 11-pound, 5.7-ounce largemouth bass, Adams fished with a 10-inch black and blue Berkley Power Worm on 17-pound Berkley line. After setting the hook, Adams reeled the lunker to the boat with an Abu Garcia reel.

 

"I was dragging a 10" black and blue Berkley Power worm

when a sudden strong tug caused me to set the hook," explained Adams. "My dad immediately dropped what he was doing when he saw how big the bass was after it jumped."

 

This was Brandon’s second year fishing the Big Bass Splash, winning $2,000 for an 8-pound bass he caught at the 2004 event. Brandon won a Hummer H-2 hitched to a Triton TR21XPDC/Mercury Optimax bass rig valued at $102,000 plus a $1,000 hourly McCheck from McDonalds.

 

Jim Sluss of Newton TX, took second place at the event with an 11-pound 5.2-ounce bass caught on an Abu Garcia reel spooled with 15 lb test Berkley Big Game mono.


BRP launches an all new Evinrude E-TEC Line-up

Johnson 40-225 hp four-stroke engines no longer available North American market

(Sarasota, Florida, April 27, 2005) – Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP) announces the expansion of its Evinrude E-TEC outboard engine line-up. The 115-hp 60-degree V4 E-TEC is now joined by a 130-hp engine and, a 60-degree V6 platform will be available in 150, 175, and 200-hp. As of fall 2005, the Evinrude E-TEC line-up will go from 40 through 250 hp.

 

“The V4 and V6 constitute an important milestone toward completing our line-up,” said Roch Lambert, vice president, general manager, Outboard Marine Engines. “This achievement allows us to no longer offer, in the North American market, the 40 to 225-hp Johnson four-stroke engines as of 2006. We firmly believe the Evinrude E-TEC family of engines is the best in the market,” concluded Lambert.

 

The new compact, lightweight V4 and V6 engine platforms deliver the advanced features of all Evinrude E-TEC engines, offering excellent fuel economy and strong performance while providing cleaner emissions than four-strokes, no scheduled dealer maintenance for three years or 300-hours of use, industry-leading quality components, and unique BRP styling. The 130 and 200-hp engines feature an exclusive variable exhaust control valve that delivers more low end power and top speed performance than ever before.

Evinrude E-TEC will now be available in in-line 2-cylinder 40, 50, and 60-hp; in-line 3-cylinder 75 and 90-hp; V4 115 and 130-hp; V6, 2.5 liter, 150, 175, and 200-hp; V6, 3.3 liter, 200 HO, 225, 225 HO, and 250-hp models. As of 2006, the Johnson four-stroke line in North America will only include 2.5, 4, 6, 9.9, 15, 25 and 30-hp engines. The 2.5-hp is a new addition to the line-up and will be available in early spring 2006. The Johnson carbureted two-stroke line-up will include 3.5, 9.9, 15, 90, 115, 150, and 175-hp models.

 

Evinrude E-TEC won the Clean Air Excellence Award from the US EPA earlier this month in Washington DC. This is the first time ever a marine engine has received this prestigious recognition for improving air quality and a safer boating environment, confirming that Evinrude E-TEC technology produces lower exhaust emissions including lower carbon monoxide emissions than four-stroke engines and meets stringent 2006 EPA, European Union (EU), and 2008 California Air Resources Board (CARB) 3-Star ultra-low emissions standards.

 

For U.S. information: Julie Johnson

Manager, Shows, Events & Public Relations

262.884.5495   julie.johnson@brp.com

For International information: Johanne Denault, Senior Advisor

Communications & Public Affairs   450.532.5173    johanne.denault@brp.com


Coming Home Again: Getting through Customs

Plan ahead to ease your laptop through customs

International travelers are often worried about being asked to pay duty when they pass their laptop computers through customs. Although many people never have problems, there are many that do, according to the Los Angeles office of the US Customs Service. Consequently, it’s best to take some precautions.

 

With a few hundred separate countries in the world, you can be sure that there are an equal number of separate customs regulations. Yet when it comes to assuring a customs agent that a computer is not a very recent purchase, the procedure should be largely the same the world round. We’ll use the US as our example, as in all immigration and customs matters it can be one of the more difficult countries in the world.

 

If you originate your trip in the US, generally no one really cares what you carry out of the country for your personal use on your trip, laptop included. But when you return, you may be asked to prove that you started your trip with the computer and didn’t purchase it while out of the country. It is ironic that one often has more trouble bringing one’s laptop home again than taking the computer into a foreign country in the first place

 

"You’d be surprised how many people get asked," pointed out an LA customs official.

 

According to the US Customs Service, there are essentially two ways to protect yourself. First, you can take along some sort of proof of purchase or ownership. "Foreign-made personal articles taken abroad are dutiable each time they are brought in to our country," the Customs Service writes, "unless you have acceptable proof of prior possession. Documents which fully describe the article, such as a bill of sale, insurance policy, jeweler’s appraisal, or receipt for purchase, may be considered reasonable proof of prior possession.

 

The second alternative is to register your laptop with the Customs Service prior to departure: "Items...which may be readily identified by serial number or permanently affixed markings, may be taken to the Customs office nearest you and registered before your departure."

 

This Certificate of Registration, accomplished with Form CF 4455, will merely contain a brief description of your computer and list appropriate serial numbers. There is no charge for the certificate, and it is good for as "long as it remains legible."

 

View a sample form

Form CF 4455 can be downloaded from the Web at www.customs.ustreas.gov/travel/forms.htm . Unfortunately, though, there’s no way to register by phone, online, or in any way short of showing up at a Customs office in person together with your computer equipment.

 

The Custom’s Service’s various Web sites seem to all recommend that you present yourself at a main customs offices, mostly located downtown in major US cities. Such sites are extremely inconvenient for most people. Tracking down Customs officials at the airport from which you are about to hop on an international flight is usually more practical. But you are on your own when it comes to finding out where in each airport Customs officials may be located and during which hours they are available.

 

Best advice is to phone ahead.

 

Also, leave yourself some extra time. While the form is rather simple, you may have to queue up. And although the form is fairly routine, travelers report that officials often appear less than enthusiastic about offering the necessary stamps and signatures to validate the certificate.

 

Taking along the receipt for the purchase of the computer sounds like a good option, but is not always practical. First of all, it is often not you, but your company, that has purchased the computer and the receipt is safely filed away in the accounting department. Even if you have access to the receipt, you may still prefer to keep it safe for accounting purchases. You could take a photocopy, but no where does the Customs Service actually say that a photocopy is acceptable proof.

 

In the end, a Form CF 4455 is your only sure proof that a foreign-made computer was purchased in the US prior to departure on you trip. Sooner or later you’re going to find yourself with a long lay-over at a major US airport, so make good use of your time by tracking down the Customs office. If you never wish to be hassled, make it sooner rather than later.

 

Until you pick up a Form CF 4455 be sure to travel with some ammunition. A photocopy of a receipt is not sure proof, but it will help you talk your way past an inquisitive Customs Agent, as will an appropriate letter from your employer and anything else you might dream up that establishes your computer’s pre-trip purchase.

 

One last thing: Be sure not to forget about significant peripherals, such as a printer, that you might take along. They, too, may be questioned.


 

2nd Amendment issues

Gov. Bush Signs Florida’s New “Castle Doctrine” Self-Defense Law

Fairfax, VA – Last Tuesday Gov. Jeb Bush signed Florida’s “Castle Doctrine” (SB-436) into law.  Sponsored by Senator Durell Peaden and Representative Dennis Baxley, the bill unanimously passed the Senate and overwhelmingly passed in the House, 94-20. 

 

Prior to signing the National Rifle Association (NRA) supported bill, Gov. Jeb Bush stated, "It’s a good, commonsense, anti-crime issue."

 

The "Castle Doctrine" simply says that if a criminal breaks into your home, your occupied vehicle or your place of business, you may presume he is there to do bodily harm and you may use any force against him. It also removes the “duty to retreat” if you are attacked in any place you have a right to be.  Furthermore, this law provides protection from criminal

prosecution and civil litigation for those who defend themselves from criminal attack.

 

Past National Rifle Association (NRA) president and current Executive Director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida, Marion P. Hammer, stated, "Existing law is on the side of the criminal.  The new law is on the side of the law-abiding victim.”  She continued, “To suggest that you can’t defend yourself against a rapist who’s trying to drag you into an alley or against a carjacker who’s trying to drag you out of your car is nonsense.  The ability to protect yourself, your children, or your spouse is important, no matter where you are.

 

“I want to thank Governor Bush and the bill sponsors, Sen. Peaden and Rep. Baxley, for supporting this vital measure.  This law is about affirming that your home is your castle and, in Florida, you have a right to be absolutely safe inside its walls,” Hammer concluded.


 

Lake Ontario

State of Lake Ontario

The following is a report of the New York Lake Ontario State of the Lake Meetings held last month.  Our thanks to GLSFC member and Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon & Trout Association officer Doug Fuegel for supplying this information

 

Bill Culligan – Great Lakes Section Head at Dunkirk, opened the meeting with a welcome note and a moment of silence in memory of Hank Cosselman who passed away in Oswego on March 13th. Hank was a former president of the NYSCC. Without question, Hank’s untiring efforts will be greatly missed by all. Bill then introduced the speakers for the evening and briefly outlined various ongoing DEC fisheries management programs and fiscal applications.

 

Brian Lantry – USGS at Oswego, provided a detailed report with graphics that outlined forage fish trends over the past several years. As expected the annual trends are cyclic, reflecting water temperature and other variables. Recent trawls show that alewife in the eastern basin are healthy and numerous and; unexpectedly, there is a slight increase in the smelt population.

 

Scott Prindle – DEC Biologist at Cape Vincent, discussed the logistics and results of the 2004 fishing boat census which provides a lengthy detailed analysis of boat trips and fish harvested per trip. This information will be made available for public use. He also provided an update concerning the Lake Trout restoration effort and the value of the “slot limit”. This subject resulted in a prolonged discussion from the floor regarding DEC’s statistical graphs and opportunities to shift slot range to provide anglers with larger numbers of harvestable fish. In general the overall numbers of lake trout are down in the eastern basin.

 

Dan Bishop – DEC Fisheries Manager Region 7, provided updates and an analysis of studies related to salmon growth rates, steelhead stocking in the Salmon River, natural reproduction of salmon in the Salmon River, pen rearing evaluations across the State, and barge stocking at Sodus and Point Breeze. There is no doubt pen acclimation greatly enhances returns compared to other stocking methods.

 

Steve LaPan – Lake Ontario Unit Leader at Cape Vincent, provided an update on the Double Crested Cormorant management program, changes to the bass regulations, and the proposal to increase the minimum size limit of steelhead to 21 inches on a lake-wide basis. All three of these issues resulted in lengthy discussions from the floor.

 

Briefly, The DEC will continue to employ its egg oiling, non-lethal efforts to reduce the cormorant population in the eastern basin. To date these methods have been effective on Galloo Island. However, the majority of the birds have relocated to Canadian waters which are beyond our jurisdiction. A similar situation is occurring on the St Lawrence River which also includes many refuges on “off- limits” privately owned islands. DEC staff will work with these US owners to obtain permits if they opt to implement control measures.

 

DEC is still accepting comments concerning a plan to introduce an early “catch and release” season from December

through the current opening Saturday. To date it appears that this proposal is not being favorably received by anyone. The proposal to delay the bass season opening day one week on the St Lawrence River is also being challenged.  It should be noted that this proposition is based, in part, upon an effort to develop more consistent bass regulations between NYS and Province of Ontario. Specifically, a minimum size limit of 12 inches.

 

In an effort to cope with an apparent decline in the recruitment of steelhead DEC has suggested a 21 inch minimum size limit on a lake-wide basis. This offer generated several opposing opinions from the floor. Stream anglers continue to insist that the current one fish tributary limit should include the lake; and, lake fishermen think all changes should be deferred pending the performance of new studies. Eastern basin trollers generally concur that the 21 inch limit represents a more significant impact upon possession opportunities in the Niagara River and western basin. It could be assumed from the meeting that some form of management action is imminent.

 

Cormorant issue

I wish I could say our DEC is making big strides on the cormorant issue, but I can't and I am at a loss to really understand why the soft approach. They say they are doing all the can without inciting law suits from the antis, DOW, PETA, Animal Defence League, etc. They will continue as in the past egg oiling on Little Galloo Island and a zero nest policy on Calf, Bass, and Gull and some assistance to the Canadians. They was a lot of dismay at the foot dragging by the Canadians concerning the cormorant issue, the birds have devastated some islands in the St. Lawrence River and are raising havoc with perch and bass populations.

 

 We (I) did find out for the first time at our SOL meeting that concerning cormorants nesting on most river islands the hands of the DEC are tied, most of the islands are privately owned and the DEC can only advise and that can come only after the landowner requests assistance.

 

According to Steve LaPan the tide is turning, owners once viewed the birds and welcome visitors now they are watching as their islands and the vegetation is being destroyed. In the meantime the birds have the upper hand. I wish I knew the answer Dan but the birds are still destroying our fishery. As you probably already know the Canadians did kill about 7,000 last year at one location but not because of the fishery but because the birds were destroying an area with sensitive vegetation.

 

Forage Base

on the forage base last years trawls revealed some pretty good news, there is a very good year class of two year old alewives out there and a fair amount of three year olds also a fair amount of young of the year, a pleasant surprise was they came up with a pretty good number of smelt which was a total surprise, they are small but finding any was very encouraging. Over all our forage is not in too bad shape for this season and our recent winter should not have been a factor in any big mortality of either species.


Lake Erie

Researchers to study Lake Erie’s ailing central basin

Focus of researchers will be on food chain

Dozens of scientists will take a sweeping look at Lake Erie starting next month in what is being called one of the largest research projects ever on the Great Lakes.   The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports the two-year international project, led by NOAA, will focus on the lake's food chain, which starts at the microscopic level and goes up to predator fish, such as walleye, bass and burbot.

 

As many as 10 research ships will concentrate on the lake's central basin, an area from Huron to Erie, Pa., that has seen fluctuating levels of phosphorus and lower levels of oxygen over the last decade. Researchers will try to understand why low oxygen levels recur in the central basin and whether they affect fish and other aquatic creatures.

 

A number of federal, state and local government agencies in the United States and Canada, plus 15 universities, will be part of the multimillion-dollar study, called International Field Year on Lake Erie.

 

"The amount of data to come out of this will be staggering," said Roger Knight, who oversees the Lake Erie fisheries program for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. "I don't think we will realize all that we learned for 10 years."

 

Researchers will measure phosphorus and other physical and biological characteristics of Lake Erie from May through October to help understand how they affect lower oxygen levels.  Phosphorus in fresh water serves as a nutrient. It washes off from yards and farm fields where it is used as a fertilizer and winds up in the lake. Phosphorus also is discharged into the lake from sewage treatment plants.

In the last decade, dissolved phosphorus levels have steadily increased. This alarmed scientists because phosphorus had been steadily dropping through the 1980s, primarily because communities had spent billions of dollars to improve discharges from sewage treatment plants.

 

Research over the past few years shows the leading culprits for the phosphorus change are zebra and quagga mussels, fingernail-size clams that filter microscopic organisms out of the water and expel vast amounts of phosphorus. This phosphorus is then concentrated along the shoreline and lake bottom.

 

The higher phosphorus levels are causing more algae to grow. Of particular concern is microcystis, a blue-green algae that is inedible and, in the right conditions, can release toxins that can affect fish and other aquatic life, Knight said.

 

When phosphorus is abundant, the "bad" blue-green algae out-competes the "good" green algae, which is at the base of the lake's food chain and is eaten by free-floating microscopic animals in the water, Knight said.  When the "bad" algae dies, it sinks to the bottom, rots and uses up oxygen. That was the problem in the 1960s when the lake looked like pea soup and was considered dead.

 

Low oxygen levels are a problem in the central basin between spring and fall in part because of its physical characteristics. The central basin is not as deep as the eastern one, which has a thick layer of oxygen on the bottom. It is not as shallow as the western basin, which receives oxygen from wind mixing.

 


Illinois

Ladies' Fly Fishing School - May 15

Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation

The Elliott Donnelley Chapter of Trout Unlimited announces its 8th Annual Ladies Fly Fishing School on Sunday, May 15th, at the Max McGraw Wildlife Center in West Dundee, IL.

 

Let the Trout Unlimited Instructional Team Introduce You to the Sport of Fly Fishing!  Fee is $125.00 includes classroom & outdoor instruction, meals, parking, use of equipment and materials

 

  ► Learn the basics of fly casting required for most fishing

  ► A commonsense overview of today’s tackle and related fly fishing accessories

  ► The essentials for building leaders and tying the knots every angler needs to know

  ► Practical, straightforward strategies for catching & landing freshwater game fish

  ► Basic biology, from panfish to trout, what they eat, where they live, what makes up their world

 

Proceeds will benefit: the continuing stream conservation efforts of Trout Unlimited's Elliott Donnelley Chapter. Reeling & Healing is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing fly fishing retreats, instruction and opportunities to breast cancer survivors.

 

Remember the date: Sunday, May 15, 2005, Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation, Dundee, IL. Attendance is limited.  For more info or to register, contact:  847-441-3195 melchiorp@aol.com


New Conservation Police Academy Dedicated

Center an Example of Innovative, Economical Renovation

Springfield-The new Conservation Police Academy was dedicated today on the Illinois State Fairgrounds.  The facility is a renovated building, which formerly housed Department of Correction Inmates.  The renovations were completed using just $6000 of state taxpayer money.

 

"These renovations were accomplished in the same way that a homeowner would do a project-using what we had and pinching pennies at every turn," said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Joel Brunsvold.  "Not only did we do this inexpensively, but we certainly have a facility of which we can be proud."

 

The center includes a gymnasium, classroom, dormitories, lounge, and cafeteria. The building is furnished with items from state and federal surplus. Donations from the private sector, including the Illinois Conservation Foundation, have

funded improvements ranging from carpeting to bedding in the dormitories.  Portions of the facility have been used by IDNR's Illinois Conservation Police Department since last July, already saving the agency $25,000 in lodging and rental costs.

 

The new Conservation Police Academy will be used during training of Conservation Police Officers, as well as to house officers who are called to Springfield from other locations around Illinois for special details.  It will also be used for officers receiving continuing education.

 

There are 158 Conservation Police Officers in the state of Illinois.  To become an officer requires 400 hours of general police training, and twelve weeks of training in conservation law.  Conservation Officers duties include enforcing the wildlife and aquatic code, law enforcement in Illinois State Parks, and safety enforcement and training for recreational activities, including boating, hunting, and snowmobiling.


Indiana

Lake Webster husky muskie

DNR Biologists trap and count some very big fish

Anglers who say Indiana's Lake Webster is among the Midwest's best muskie fishing lakes now have official numbers to back their boast.

 

DNR fish surveys this spring show the 774-acre natural lake in northeastern Indiana contains more than 5,000 adult muskellunge. A fair number of the trapped fish measured more than 50” long.

 

"That's way more Muskies than we originally thought were out there," says DNR fisheries biologist Jed Pearson. Pearson and his crew recently completed a three-week-long muskie trapping and tagging project at Lake Webster.

 

Between March 29 and April 14, DNR biologists set traps in Webster Lake to capture sexually ripe male and female Muskies for the state's muskie stocking program, to estimate the density of adult Muskies in the lake, and to examine the fish's long-term survival and growth rates.  Biologists caught 951 Muskies at 13 different trapping sites. One trap in the northwest corner of the lake caught 299 Muskies. Another trap in the northeast corner of the lake caught 210 Muskies.

 

"We caught 72 Muskies in one trap in just one day alone," says Pearson. "That same trap produced 46 the day before and 28 the day after." Pearson says the density of muskie is more than six fish per acre. "Most lakes are considered good muskie lakes if they have one adult muskie per acre."  Trapped muskie was measured, tagged with a small PIT tag inserted near the fish's dorsal fin, and then released near the center of the lake.

 

PIT (passive integrated transponder) tags allow biologists to identify individual fish. By noting the number of tagged muskie recaptured during the trapping operation, biologists can mathematically estimate the overall

number of muskie in a lake.

Photo of DNR biologists and big Lake Webster muskie: www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/webmuskie.html

 

Muskellunge (nick-named muskie) are long, slim, predatory game fish native to the Great Lakes region and parts of the Mississippi and Ohio River drainage systems. The state-record muskie caught by a sport fisherman  weighed 42.5 lbs. The average size of a muskellunge is 10-20 lbs.

 

Some muskie trapped by Pearson and his crew were kept to support the State's muskie stocking program. In the fall and early winter, the DNR stocks a bunch of Indiana lakes with young muskie.

 

Northern Indiana muskie waters,

-Ball Lake, Steuben County

-Skinner Lake, Noble County

-Loon Lake, Whitley Co

-Palestine Lake, Kosciusko County

-Bruce Lake, Fulton County

-Lake Webster, Kosciusko County

-Tippecanoe Lake (Tippecanoe, James, and Oswego basins)

-Barbee Lakes (Kuhn, Big Barbee, Little Barbee, Irish, Sawmill, Banning, and Sechrist lakes)

 

The Webster Musky Club stocks Upper Long Lake in Noble County under a DNR stocking permit.

 

Southern Indiana muskie waters

-Brookville Lake, Franklin/Union counties

-Lake Waveland (First stocking in 2004), Montgomery County,

-Bass Lake, Greene-Sullivan State Forest

-West and Black Cat Lakes,(First stocking in 2004), Greene-Sullivan State Forest

-Plover and Sandpiper Pits, Driftwood State Fishing Area, Bartholomew County

 

 


Mississinewa Lake is back

Walleye stocking resumes this summer

"Mississinewa Reservoir refilled to "normal" summer water level this week," said the lake's wildlife biologist Mike Renie.

 

This is good news for Hoosier anglers and boaters, as the popular fishing and recreational lake in north central Indiana nearly disappeared during the last four years while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lowered the lake water level for repair of the lake's dam.

 

During this period, much of the lake resembled a wide river amid acres of new weedy vegetation. However, Renie says if conditions are right, this newly flooded weedy lakebed could be prime fish spawning habitat this spring. Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist Ed Braun says a bunch of anglers have called DNR to ask when Mississinewa Lake will be restocked with fish.

 

"The lake should not need to be restocked this spring," said Braun. "The low winter pool lake volume determines the adult fish population and the winter water level did not change during dam repairs, so the adult Mississinewa Lake fish population is the same as always."

 

Braun says many adult fish are already living in the lake, including bass, bluegill, crappie, white bass and catfish. DNR biologists conducted fish sampling on the reservoir during Oct. 2004 and found good numbers of adult largemouth bass and other game fish.  "This summer, these adult fish will spawn and young fish will naturally fill the space created by filling the reservoir to summer pool," said Braun. "Basically, the reservoir is a very large hatchery pond that produces a large number of young fish each summer."

In the fall, the volume of the flood-control reservoir is lowered again in anticipation of winter snowmelt or spring rains. Many of the lake's young fish flow through the dam, are stranded, or are eaten by other wildlife.

 

Later this summer, Braun says the DNR will resume stocking walleye, which do not reproduce naturally in the lake. "The lake's walleye population was showing promise prior to the dam repair draw down."  Walleye stocking was suspended during dam repairs, but, "The walleye rearing pond at Mississinewa is ready and DNR will be raising walleye again for release into the reservoir this summer," said Braun.

 

Braun says the walleye stocking should also improve the spring walleye fishing below the lake dam in the Mississinewa River. "We'll be watching the fish community in Mississinewa Reservoir over the next five or six years to see how it develops. If a need is identified, the DNR will restock."

 

Mississinewa Lake is southeast of Peru in Miami and Wabash counties. DNR manages several recreation areas on 11,000 acres surrounding the 3000-acre lake. Facilities include boat ramps, a public swimming beach, hiking trails, picnic shelters, primitive campground, and a modern campground with hot showers and full sewage, water and electric hookups.

 

Mississinewa Reservoir map, camp/launch info: www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/properties/reservoirs.html

 

More information on Mississinewa Lake dam repairs: www.lrl.usace.army.mil/Mississinewa/

 


Michigan

Detroit (AP) – Senate approves Bill - calls for ocean vessel permits

Oceangoing ships would need a permit to enter Michigan ports starting in 2007 under legislation approved Wednesday by the state Senate.  The bill, approved on a 38-0 vote, is aimed at reducing the threat of invasive species in the Great Lakes.  Ships would no longer be able to discharge untreated ballast or aquatic nuisance species. They would have to treat any ballast water before releasing it.

 

The legislation, which heads to the House, also would

authorize Michigan to form a coalition with the Great Lakes region's other states to deal with aquatic invaders. Supporters say states must join together to act because the federal government has been slow and ineffective.

 

Permit applicants would have to show their vessels don't discharge aquatic nuisance species, or have the technology to treat ballast water in hopes of eliminating them.  The legislation has the endorsement of Gov. Jennifer Granholm's administration.


DNR Considering Options to Help Boaters on Higgins Lake

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is considering a variety of options to help provide boaters better access to Higgins Lake. Three townships around the lake recently asked the DNR to allow township residents to have "drop and go" privileges at the three boat launches at Higgins Lake, which would allow them to move to the front of the line of boats waiting to access the lake, launch their boats and then drive their vehicle and trailer back to their residence.

 

"Higgins Lake property owners asked us to stop this practice at DNR boat launches back in 1995," said Parks and Recreation Division Chief Ron Olson. "This practice is prohibited at our boat launches for several reasons, including fairness, safety and the fact that the DNR uses the number of parking spots at the launches to control the number of boats on lakes. We are cooperating with the townships' request by considering various solutions including expanded off-site parking."

The townships of Gerrish, Lyon and Beaver Creek recently approached the DNR asking for a method to permit residents who do not need a parking space the opportunity to launch. The townships also recommended utilizing nearby vacant property for short-term boater parking, and Olson said the DNR is cooperating with the townships on a proposal to expand parking.

 

Another option to alleviate congestion at busy boat launches involves the construction of a waiting dock. These facilities are being planned for the West Higgins and West Houghton access sites for the 2006 boating season.

 

"We appreciate the public's patience when both launching and retrieving a boat this summer," Olson said. "We want boating in Michigan to be an enjoyable experience for all, and hope to resolve the issue of long waits at boat launches by working with the local units of government on these issues."

 


DNR Obtains Federal Permit to Address Wolf Depredations

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources can take up to 20 wolves under a permit granted April 19 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  The permit allows the DNR, under certain conditions, to use lethal methods to address wolf-related livestock loss for the remainder of 2005. 

 

"An ability to deal with animals that are causing problems, such as livestock depredation, is important for the effective management and conservation of gray wolves in Michigan," said DNR Director Rebecca Humphries. "This permit will allow us to manage wolves in an ecologically and socially responsible manner."

 

In January, a federal district court in Oregon withdrew a 2003 federal decision that had reclassified gray wolves from endangered to threatened status throughout much of the United States. Due to the change, management actions pertaining to the species became more restricted.  The DNR lost the legal authority to use lethal control to deal with wolf-related livestock depredation.

 

Although the wolf populations in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota have exceeded recovery goals for several years, the status of wolves elsewhere in the country drove the court's decision.  As a result of this ruling, the federal status of wolves in Michigan reverted to endangered.

 

The federal permit allows the DNR to take wolves under the following conditions:

*       Depredation must have occurred on lawfully present domestic animals, including livestock as legally defined by the Michigan Department of Agriculture. Lethal control may not be used when wolves kill dogs that are free-roaming on, hunting on, or training on public lands;

*       Depredation at the site is likely to continue in the

immediate future if the depredating wolf or wolves are not removed;

*       Depredation control activities must occur within one mile of the depredation site;

*       Traps and snares must be checked at least every 24 hours;

*       Wolves born in 2005 and captured before Aug. 1 must be released near the capture site;

*       Lactating females trapped before July 1 must be released near the capture site, unless they have been involved in three or more depredation events, in which case they may be euthanized;

*       Depredation control on tribal lands must be coordinated with tribal natural resources personnel, and lethal control will only be carried out if requested by the tribe;

*       Prior to Aug. 1, no more than four accidental, serious trap-related injuries or mortalities to wolves born in 2005 may occur.  In the event this number is reached, all trapping shall cease until Aug 1; and

*       Prior to July 1, capture of lactating females may not exceed four individuals. In the event this number is reached, all trapping shall cease until July 1. in Michigan during the survey conducted this past winter.

 

"We will continue to pursue and promote non-lethal techniques for preventing depredation, but we must also retain the option of using lethal control as a last resort when the alternatives are not effective," said Todd Hogrefe, DNR endangered species coordinator.  "The conditions of the permit, as well as our own agency guidelines, will ensure this authority is used in a responsible manner."

 

During the 22 months under the previous threatened classification, 10 Michigan wolves were euthanized in response to confirmed depredation events.  During that period, the Michigan wolf population size grew by approximately 25%. Approximately 400 wolves were counted


Minnesota

Angling regulations proposed for 2006 Upper Red Lake opener

The Minnesota DNR has announced the proposed walleye regulations on Upper Red Lake. The regulations will take effect when walleye fishing resumes in spring of 2006. All of Upper Red and Lower Red lakes have been closed to walleye harvest since 1999 under a recovery agreement between the Red Lake Band and DNR.

 

The Red Lakes Fisheries Technical Committee has determined that walleye recovery is sufficient to resume some harvest by 2006.

"In anticipation of high angling pressure on a newly reopened fishery, regulations will need to be fairly restrictive to manage harvest within safe harvest levels," said Henry Drewes, DNR regional fisheries manager in Bemidji.

 

Fisheries managers utilized a citizen advisory committee to help select from a limited number of possible regulation options. The walleye regulation calls for a two fish possession limit and a 17- to 26-inch protected slot, with only one over 26 inches allowed in possession.

           

"The two-fish bag limit option has the best chance of

spreading the available safe harvest over a full summer and winter season," Drewes said. The protected slot was selected to protect the bulk of the mature broodstock that has been built up during the recovery period.  "The Upper Red Lake Citizens Advisory Committee clearly recognizes the importance of protecting this fishery through conservative regulations" said Drewes. "We sincerely appreciate their support and hard work over the last 12 months."

 

In addition, there are concerns about maintaining the quality northern pike fishery known to exist on Upper Red, with the expected increase in open water fishing pressure as walleye angling resumes. A 26- to 40-inch protected slot, with only one in possession over 40 inches, is being proposed to provide quality management for northern pike.

           

These proposed regulations have been announced for public review. Input can be directed by mail to Bemidji Area Fisheries Office, 2114 Bemidji Avenue, Bemidji MN 56601; by phone at (218) 755-2974; or by email to gary.barnard@dnr.state.mn.us.

 

Public input meetings will be scheduled in September, with dates and locations to be announced.


New York

State of Lake Ontario

The following is a report of the New York Lake Ontario State of the Lake Meetings held last month.  Our thanks to GLSFC member and Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon & Trout Association officer Doug Fuegel for supplying this information

 

Bill Culligan – Great Lakes Section Head at Dunkirk, opened the meeting with a welcome note and a moment of silence in memory of Hank Cosselman who passed away in Oswego on March 13th. Hank was a former president of the NYSCC. Without question, Hank’s untiring efforts will be greatly missed by all. Bill then introduced the speakers for the evening and briefly outlined various ongoing DEC fisheries management programs and fiscal applications.

 

Brian Lantry – USGS at Oswego, provided a detailed report with graphics that outlined forage fish trends over the past several years. As expected the annual trends are cyclic, reflecting water temperature and other variables. Recent trawls show that alewife in the eastern basin are healthy and numerous and; unexpectedly, there is a slight increase in the smelt population.

 

Scott Prindle – DEC Biologist at Cape Vincent, discussed the logistics and results of the 2004 fishing boat census which provides a lengthy detailed analysis of boat trips and fish harvested per trip. This information will be made available for public use. He also provided an update concerning the Lake Trout restoration effort and the value of the “slot limit”. This subject resulted in a prolonged discussion from the floor regarding DEC’s statistical graphs and opportunities to shift slot range to provide anglers with larger numbers of harvestable fish. In general the overall numbers of lake trout are down in the eastern basin.

 

Dan Bishop – DEC Fisheries Manager Region 7, provided updates and an analysis of studies related to salmon growth rates, steelhead stocking in the Salmon River, natural reproduction of salmon in the Salmon River, pen rearing evaluations across the State, and barge stocking at Sodus and Point Breeze. There is no doubt pen acclimation greatly enhances returns compared to other stocking methods.

 

Steve LaPan – Lake Ontario Unit Leader at Cape Vincent, provided an update on the Double Crested Cormorant management program, changes to the bass regulations, and the proposal to increase the minimum size limit of steelhead to 21 inches on a lake-wide basis. All three of these issues resulted in lengthy discussions from the floor.

 

Briefly, The DEC will continue to employ its egg oiling, non-lethal efforts to reduce the cormorant population in the eastern basin. To date these methods have been effective on Galloo Island. However, the majority of the birds have relocated to Canadian waters which are beyond our jurisdiction. A similar situation is occurring on the St Lawrence River which also includes many refuges on “off- limits” privately owned islands. DEC staff will work with these US owners to obtain permits if they opt to implement control measures.

 

DEC is still accepting comments concerning a plan to introduce an early “catch and release” season from December

through the current opening Saturday. To date it appears that this proposal is not being favorably received by anyone. The proposal to delay the bass season opening day one week on the St Lawrence River is also being challenged.  It should be noted that this proposition is based, in part, upon an effort to develop more consistent bass regulations between NYS and Province of Ontario. Specifically, a minimum size limit of 12 inches.

 

In an effort to cope with an apparent decline in the recruitment of steelhead DEC has suggested a 21 inch minimum size limit on a lake-wide basis. This offer generated several opposing opinions from the floor. Stream anglers continue to insist that the current one fish tributary limit should include the lake; and, lake fishermen think all changes should be deferred pending the performance of new studies. Eastern basin trollers generally concur that the 21 inch limit represents a more significant impact upon possession opportunities in the Niagara River and western basin. It could be assumed from the meeting that some form of management action is imminent.

 

Cormorant issue

I wish I could say our DEC is making big strides on the cormorant issue, but I can't and I am at a loss to really understand why the soft approach. They say they are doing all the can without inciting law suits from the antis, DOW, PETA, Animal Defence League, etc. They will continue as in the past egg oiling on Little Galloo Island and a zero nest policy on Calf, Bass, and Gull and some assistance to the Canadians. They was a lot of dismay at the foot dragging by the Canadians concerning the cormorant issue, the birds have devastated some islands in the St. Lawrence River and are raising havoc with perch and bass populations.

 

 We (I) did find out for the first time at our SOL meeting that concerning cormorants nesting on most river islands the hands of the DEC are tied, most of the islands are privately owned and the DEC can only advise and that can come only after the landowner requests assistance.

 

According to Steve LaPan the tide is turning, owners once viewed the birds and welcome visitors now they are watching as their islands and the vegetation is being destroyed. In the meantime the birds have the upper hand. I wish I knew the answer Dan but the birds are still destroying our fishery. As you probably already know the Canadians did kill about 7,000 last year at one location but not because of the fishery but because the birds were destroying an area with sensitive vegetation.

 

Forage Base

on the forage base last years trawls revealed some pretty good news, there is a very good year class of two year old alewives out there and a fair amount of three year olds also a fair amount of young of the year, a pleasant surprise was they came up with a pretty good number of smelt which was a total surprise, they are small but finding any was very encouraging. Over all our forage is not in too bad shape for this season and our recent winter should not have been a factor in any big mortality of either species.


Pennsylvania

Fishing Guide and Charter Boat regulations introduced      

Commercial charter boats and fishing guides would have to meet uniform standards, including insurance requirements and safety certifications, in order to operate legally under a measure proposed by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC).

           

Regulations for the administering of Charter Boat/Fishing Guide Permits were approved for publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking at the PFBC Spring quarterly meeting April 26.  The Commission had previously created a working group of active fishing guides and charter boat operators that was instrumental in drafting the regulations.  The PFBC will now solicit additional public input on the proposed regulations before taking a final vote on the rulemaking at a later date.

           

Among the provisions the regulations propose to establish is

a requirement that fishing guides and charter boat operators possess liability insurance of at least $500,000 in aggregate.  Guides and charter boat operators would also be required to possess and maintain current certifications in basic CPR and first aid.  Charter boat operators would likewise be required to obtain a Boating Safety Education Certificate in order to be permitted to operate their business.  Permits would be issued on an annual basis at a cost of $100 for resident guides and operators and $400 for non-residents.

 

Authorization for issuing Fishing Guide/Charter Boat Permits was given to the Commission as part of Act 150 of 2004.  The Commission deferred issuing the permits in 2005 while drafting regulations governing administration.  It is the PFBC’s intent that the final regulations be in place and permits issued beginning in 2006.

 


Wisconsin

Lawsuit challenges plants' cooling system

MADISON - Environmentalists are challenging state regulators' approval of a water permit for two proposed power plants along Lake Michigan they say will kill billions of fish every year.

 

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issued the permit to We Energies in March, a step required before the company can build twin coal-fired plants in Oak Creek, south of Milwaukee that could power 615,000 homes.

 

A lawsuit filed Monday by the environmental watchdog group Clean Wisconsin and consumer products giant S.C. Johnson & Son Inc. of Racine asks a judge to throw out the permit for the plants' cooling system.  The two-mile-long pipeline extending into Lake Michigan would take in 2.2 billion gallons of water daily, the same amount that Chicago and 100 suburbs use in a day, then return it to the lake 15 degrees warmer.

 

Opponents of the project say the cooling system will kill 

billions of fish per year, sucking them into the pipe and trapping them on the structure's screens, and the warmer water discharged will disrupt aquatic ecosystems in Lake Michigan.

 

In granting the permit, the DNR ordered the company to perform a study by the end of the year about the cooling system's impact on fish and held open the possibility it could order changes.

 

The lawsuit filed in Dane County Circuit Court is the latest legal challenge to the $2.15 billion project, the largest power project in state history, by opponents who say it will damage the air and water. The state Supreme Court is considering whether state regulators followed the law in approving the project.

 

A lawsuit over an air emissions permit for the project also is pending. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also must issue its own water-use permit.


Commercial, sport fishermen at odds

Placement of nets is big issue

By Neil Rhines, Herald Times Reporter

MANITOWOC —An emergency rule instituted last summer has pushed whitefish trap nets north to an area off the shores of Point Beach State Forest, north of Two Rivers. That rule expired earlier this year, however, giving whitefish quota holders like Mike LeClair and Steve Kulpa the ability to fish between Two Rivers and Manitowoc this summer.

 

Some sport fishermen say the nets should not be placed there in the summer, which is their prime season for catching salmon.  Commercial fishermen counter that there is plenty of lake for everyone, and they should be allowed to exercise their fishing rights on prime fishing grounds in the summer months.

 

Before last year, summer whitefish trap netting had not been allowed between Manitowoc and Two Rivers since the 1980s. A higher concentration of whitefish makes the area a preferred place for commercial fisherman to set their nets. Summer trap netting begins July 1 and runs until the end of August.

 

Pete LeClair of Susie Q Fish Market said the company didn’t fare well on the northern grounds, which is traditionally lake trout territory. DNR catch records confirm his assertion.  “We lost our (butts),” he said.

 

Mike Rusch, a member of the Northeastern Wisconsin Great Lakes Sport Fishermen, and Chuck Weier, a member of the Wisconsin Federation of Great Lakes Sport Fishing Clubs, are trying to gather support and force the nets back north.   According to Rusch, thousands of sport anglers annually ply the waters between Two Rivers and Manitowoc for salmon and trout, bringing millions into the local economy annually.  Both the Northeastern Wisconsin Great Lakes Sport Fishermen and Wisconsin Federation of Great Lakes Sport Fishing Clubs are member clubs of the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council.

The area the nets would cover — essentially east of the ports of Manitowoc and Two Rivers, between the depths of 75 and 150 feet — is the prime zone sport anglers prefer for salmon in the summer. Between six and 12 nets could be employed in that area this summer, Weier said.

 

Linda Daugherty, director of media relations for the Lake Michigan Carferry Service, said she also has concerns. The S.S. Badger doesn’t normally pass over the area the nets would be placed, but has used the area during upwind conditions.  “The potential for (net placement) is huge; we have 492 crossings a year,” she said.  Daugherty said the company is concerned about the possibility of catching one of the propellers in the net or lead lines, which can extend beyond 1,000 feet.    She also is concerned with the lack of lighted markers for the nets at night.

 

Phil Moy, fisheries and non-indigenous species specialist with University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, said the Badger has nothing to worry about, because they’ve gone over these nets before.

 

Other concerns expressed by Rusch and Weier include:

 

—Fishing equipment, including lures and downriggers (elaborate pulley systems using weights to take lures to deep water) could become entangled in the nets. Weier, a retired charter captain, he said he lost about $1,200 worth of equipment during an incident where it became entangled in the nets several years back.

 

—Anglers who aren’t familiar with the area, and who might get caught in the fog or drift into the nets.

 

People unfamiliar with the lake, however, have no business being out there, Moy said. “Lake Michigan is no place to be out there if you don’t know what you’re doing,” he said.

Related letter to Wisconsin State Senator Alan Lasee follows


Related letter to Wisconsin State Senator Alan Lasee

SENATOR ALAN LASEE

P.O. BOX 7882

MADISON, WI.  53707

 

Dear Senator Lasee,                                                              April 25, 2005

 

I and many other fishermen are very upset about the WDNR giving more of our fishing waters to the Commercial Fisherman. How much shoreline does four or five commercial fishing families need or are entitled to?

 

Over the years I have attended many meetings about the commercial fishing on Lake Michigan. We were assured by the DNR that there would be no more commercial operations allowed to start in Wisconsin and that they were going to keep them in areas where they were at the time. In other words not allow them to expand.

 

As we all know that the state of Michigan bought out they’re commercial fishing operations. We know only too well that two (2) moved over here and immediately started up here in Wisconsin. The DNR’s excuse was we had some loopholes and they got in. The loopholes are closed now of coarse. This is according to Mark Holley who has moved on to US. Fish and Wildlife now. Again we were assured that they would not allow the commercial fishing areas to expand.

 

The sportsman in Manitowoc/Two Rivers just narrowly avoided them expanding there. Unfortunately we didn’t have the same luck here when the DNR Board and WDNR with Mr. Bill Horns and Representative Gary Bies did not watch out for the Sport and Charter Fisherman’s best interest. Instead they gave the Commercial Fisherman another 20-25 miles of shoreline to control. From Baileys Harbor down to Whitefish Point. The DNR swears no fowl play that they went through all the normal notices. I believe them, but it is funny that nobody knew the nets were there till we were loosing fishing equipment in them early in the morning, me included.

 

What a shock to see nets stretched from 30 ft. of water all the way out to 250 ft. of water East to West. The nets are so close together fisherman who pay for their license too cannot even fish between them without fear of getting hung up in them. I looked out over the water to the north from Whitefish Point and there were net buoys as far as you could see. From in shallow to out deep.

 

I called the DNR and asked why these nets were here. They said we cut a deal with them to use less Gill Nets and more Trap nets. The Commercial Fisherman had to be laughing all the way to the bank with that one.  Every trap net has about a ¼ mile lead, which is an 8-inch gill net that starts in shallow and goes deep out to the trap net. This is supposed to guide the fish into the trap. Salmon/Trout do not guide very well so they get caught in these leads. Hundreds and maybe thousands are killed and wasted every year at the Sport Fisherman’s expense.

 

When I called the DNR they also were kind enough to drop off a brochure about the dangers of getting caught in a trap net with a boat. The brochure tells how your boat can be sunk if caught in these nets. You’re supposed to shut off your engines but keep you vessel pointed into the waves. Otherwise the ropes at the top can get caught in your propeller

and wind you right down under the water. I’ve included a copy of this brochure also.

 

The Commercial Fisherman controls most of the shoreline with nets. We have to fish north and south, their nets go west to East. We have a few miles with out nets in front of Sturgeon Bay. Algoma to the south has commercial fishing nets and now we have them at Whitefish Point. What is next?

 

We want the nets moved back to Baileys Harbor line where they use to be. The Sport and Charter Fisherman want our water back. We pay the majority of the money to support the WDNR. And what do they do? It feels to me like I got stabbed in the back when I wasn’t looking. Alan if you need names on petitions to get this done we will get them. It is not fair that we pay the bills and four or five commercial fishing families reap the profits. How much water do they need?

 

The Sport and Charter Fishing Industry bring about 5-600 million dollars of revenue into the state of Wisconsin each year. How much do the Commercial Fisherman bring into the state? Motels, Restaurants, Gas Stations and all stores in general benefit from the Fisherman that come here. We don’t want to drive out the commercial fisherman but we don’t want to see them take over all the Lake Michigan shoreline of Wisconsin. Right now I estimate that Commercial Fishing control almost 70% of our Lake Michigan shoreline in Wisconsin.

 

We only have 4-5 Commercial Fishermen on the Door County Peninsula, but they control the shoreline water from Gills Rock all the way down to White Fish Point. Roughly 65-70 miles of our shoreline with the added distance to White Fish Point. We have open or (net free) water from White Fish Point to the Kewaunee boarder or about ten miles or shoreline.

 

There use to be a permit system that allowed the commercial fisherman to fish these waters temporarily when the Sport and Charter fisherman were not out there. This wasn’t good enough for the WDNR and commercial fisherman. In doing this they again lied and deceived the Sport Fisherman that pay for most of the bills. Who do they come to for more money all the time? The Sportsman.

 

We would like you to draft a bill or whatever it takes to get the commercial nets moved back up to the Baileys Harbor line. We don’t care if they have special permits to fish this area during the off-season just not during the regular fishing season for us. We would like to see this changed back to the way it was as soon as possible.

 

Alan, you know me. I am not going to let this go. I hope you can tell by this letter we mean to get this changed. I hope we can get the same support that we have got in the past from you.

 

I’ve included a list of names of whom I sent this letter to plus a map of where nets are and a copy of the brochure about the dangers of trap nets. If need be I will also get pictures of Salmon/Trout caught in the leads of the trap nets and send them to papers and magazines to visually show people how many sport fish are killed each day in these trap net leads or gill nets.

 

Respectfully

Capt. Fritz Peterson


Ontario

Toronto welcomes Cormorants

Designates April 12 Welcome Back Home Cormorant Day

The city of Toronto recently celebrated the water bird with a Welcome back Home Cormorants Day on April 12, with the birds making Tommy Thompson Park home, as the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters said Cormorants are destroying the environment in an April 11 press release.

Meanwhile The Ministry of Natural Resources has been studying Cormorants around the Great Lakes for the last four years to determine, in part, the affect the birds have on fish stocks.

 

 


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