Week of May 3, 2010

Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Lake Erie

New York
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Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Insight Technology Releases New Tactical Illuminators

Insight Technology, the world's leading provider of tactical lasers, illuminators, thermal imaging equipment, and red dot sighting systems release  their new X2/X2L LED Series Tactical Illuminators.


The X2™ series are the world's first and best subcompact weapon-mounted light/laser units now delivering a peak output of 80 lumens from a new LED emitter. The X2L LED features a visible red Class IIIa laser with a range of 200 meters. Both models are powered by one CR2 lithium battery for a run time of 60 minutes. The X2L LED Series easily mounts to most subcompact pistol rails utilizing Insight's


patented Slide-Lock interface. The ambidextrous rocker switch allows the X2 LED series to be activated in either a Momentary On or Constant On mode. A two position laser switch on the X2L turns the laser on and off so it can be used in a white Light Only or White Light and Laser mode. Replacement LED kits available later this year. The X2/X2L LED series improve light output, extend run time, and increase durability.


MSRP for X2 LED - $189.99 

MSRP for X2L LED- $299.99



Remington Outdoor Foundation

Remington Outdoor Foundation, founded in January of 2009, is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit that supports the efforts of its partners to share hunting and target shooting traditions with youth, women and other participants and outdoor enthusiasts while emphasizing the importance of safety, training, ethics, and access. Remington Outdoor Foundation also upholds conservation principles through assisting partnership work on habitat enhancement, wildlife research and management projects.


A critical tool to broaden the base of hunters and target shooters is Remington Outdoor Foundation's comprehensive Web site, Outdoor Roadmap. This site provides a one-stop source of information, and connections for hunters and shooters alike. Visitors can find places to hunt and target shoot as well as take advantage of state-of-the-art online training, and check out a variety of tips and expert advice as well as connect to other people that share the same affinity toward the outdoors.

To that end, Remington Outdoor Foundation is collaborating with some important partners including the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP), International Hunter Education Association (IHEA), Ducks Unlimited (DU), National Rifle Association (NRA), National Forest Foundation (NFF) and the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of Wyoming (WHFW).


Plus, a full website is in the works that I expect will become THE online guide to the outdoors. Outdoor Roadmap will host a vibrant community where visitors can trade tips, stories, photos and videos.  It also will answer the question, “where can I go to hunt and target shoot?” by offering interactive maps and other tools. In addition, you’ll get product reviews, event listings, training and licensing resources as well as coupons and discounts on gear. Stay tuned! You’ll be hearing a lot more in the coming weeks and months.  For more info or to sign up:  www.outdoorroadmap.com/remington-outdoor-foundation


Ohio Will send 591 Archers to 2010 NASP Championships

COLUMBUS, OH - Five hundred ninety-one Ohio elementary, middle and high school students, from 30 schools, will participate in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Championships, May 7-8, in Louisville, Kentucky.


Approximately 7,125 students from 34 states will compete,


making it the largest archery tournament in the world. Registration for the 2010 National Tournament is up 42 percent from 2009. Ohio is second only to Kentucky in the number of students participating in the national competition.


Kentucky originated the NASP in 2002. Ohio has participated in the program since 2004. Currently, 402 Ohio schools have teachers trained to introduce students to target archery as a part of their physical education curriculum. NASP is in 47 states, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.


Plano Steps Up Involvement in School Archery Program

PLANO, Ill.  - Plano Molding Co., a longtime leader in recreational outdoor sports, announces it has become a national partner of the highly successful and popular National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP). It is a higher level of involvement for the in-the-school program than previously, but support of outdoors-related youth activities has always been a Plano trademark.


"What better way to prepare today's youngsters as tomorrow's stewards of our outdoor resources than to engage them now in healthy, wholesome activities that can be enjoyed with family and friends for the rest of their lives," said Jesse Simpkins, Plano vice president of marketing. "Archery in the Schools is a showcase example of how fun and learning can be combined into a single activity that further reinforces all classroom studies. Plano is proud to support this great educational program."


Tom Bennett, NASP co-founder, says Simpkins is right on target with his assessment. "Our program teaches three life skills that will forever be part of these youngsters lives going forward in everything they do: focus, concentration and practice," Bennett explained. "And, in archery, a student's physical size and build is a non-factor for success ... if we can get just a little interest and desire, we'll take it from there to build upon a youth's self-esteem and responsibility. Thanks to companies like Plano, NASP is touching many lives."


In fact, according to NASP figures, more than 5 million students have gone through the program since its inception as a pilot project in 21 Kentucky schools in 2002. Designed to

teach international style target archery in physical education

class 4th-12th grades, core content covers archery history, safety, technique, equipment, mental concentration, core strengthening physical fitness and self-improvement. Teachers are required to complete an eight-hour NASP Basic Archery Instructor Training Program before being qualified to present the two-week course.


Thanks to its corporate partners, NASP archery kits, including everything needed from bows to targets, are available to the schools at a fraction of what the equipment would cost otherwise. To date, NASP is offered as part of school curriculums in Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and the United States. In the United States, 46 states have NASP programs among their schools.


"NASP is an amazing program and we applaud the organization and its supporters for their efforts to build student character along with mental and physical skills," Simpkins added. "If we grow some Plano customers along the way, great. Regardless, we feel good about having helped out with a really neat school program. We are really looking forward to being at the national shoot in Louisville in May to start our involvement out with a firsthand experience."


Plano makes a number of different protective cases for the safe and efficient transporting of bows, arrows and archery accessories. Among its lineup is the company's innovative Grab N Go case, model 1110-89. The case provides all the protection that one comes to expect from a Plano product, plus it offers the convenience of an integrated fully removable soft case that is included inside.



Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for April 30, 2010

Weather Conditions

High pressure led to mainly sunny skies and cool temperatures across the Great Lakes basin this week.  Sub-freezing temperatures were recorded in many locations both Tuesday and Wednesday night.  Warmer air arrived by Thursday, ahead of an advancing frontal system.  This system is expected to bring showers and thunderstorms to the majority of the basin this weekend.  Severe storms are possible as are torrential downpours.   Seasonable temperatures and dryer weather should arrive by early next week.

Lake Level Conditions

Currently, all of the water levels on the Great Lakes are below last year's levels.  Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 5 and 6 inches, respectively below last year's levels.   Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are 12, 12 and 21 inches, respectively below the last April's levels.  The lower levels on all of the lakes are a result of the dry winter and spring experienced across the basin.  Over the next month, the water levels of Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are both expected to increase by 3 to 4 inches, while Lakes St. Clair and Erie are expected to rise by 2 inches. Lake Ontario is projected to rise 6 inches over the next 30 days. Over the next few months, all of the Great Lakes are expected to be below their levels of a year ago.  See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.

 Forecasted April Outflows/Channel Conditions


The outflow from Lake Superior into the St. Marys River is

forecasted to be below average.  The outflows from both Lake Huron into the St. Clair River as well as the Detroit River are forecasted to be below average.  Near average flows are expected for the Niagara River and the St. Lawrence River.


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.    





St. Clair



Level for April 30






Datum, in ft






Diff in inches






Diff last month






Diff from last yr







Van Hollen says Asian Carp Legal Battle Not Over

MADISON, WI -- State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says the legal battle to keep the Asian carp out of the Great Lakes is not over. That’s after the U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to consider a lawsuit that may have ultimately closed the link between Lake Michigan and the carp-infested Mississippi River.


Van Hollen says his office will do what’s necessary to protect the Great Lakes. And they’ll keep trying to find new alternatives, and work with other Midwest states on the matter. Wisconsin was part of a suit from Michigan’s attorney general


Mike Cox that might have eventually ordered Chicago to reverse the flow of its sewage so it goes into Lake Michigan.


But for now, it would have closed the shipping canals which the Obama White House and the state of Illinois say are vital to Chicago’s economy. There’s an electronic barrier on the main canal designed to keep the Asian carp out of Lake Michigan. But according to researchers, DNA evidence has shown that the bloated carp has moved past the barrier to several spots on Lake Michigan. That triggered the lawsuit a few months ago.

Asian carp court decision will help; IL DNR

Marc Miller is determined to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes and the recent decision by the Supreme Court to stay out of the legal tussle between Michigan and Illinois will help him.


Miller, Illinois’ DNR director aid the underwater electric barrier near Lockport is working. No Asian carp have been found above the barrier although carp DNA has been found. In an earlier conversation with me, he speculated that perhaps the DNA tests were so sensitive that they could pick up evidence of carp even though they were miles away.


The DNR has been aggressive, he said, in trying to find carp  


above the barrier. The Chicago River was poisoned in

December in the search for the ugly fish, but only one was found. Since then, the DNR has been hunting for Asian carp that might have slipped past the electronic barrier and has yet to find any. Miller wants it to stay that way. “It’s not going to happen on my watch,” he said.


The Supreme Court decision helps him because it allows the DNR to concentrate on fighting the fish instead of fighting lawyers. The court challenges Michigan and other states have been filing put Illinois on the defensive. Now, Miller said, the DNR can get back on the offensive in dealing with this invasive species. Another poisoning effort is being considered.

No carp in Chicago waters after six-week search

Chicago(AP) — An initial six-week mission to catch and kill Asian carp lurking on the Great Lakes' doorstep turned up none of the despised fish, suggesting few if any have eluded an electric barrier designed to block their path to Lake Michigan, officials said Monday.


Beginning in mid-February, teams of biologists and commercial fishermen combed a network of Chicago-area rivers and canals where Asian carp DNA has been detected in numerous spots over the past year. They spread netting across large areas and used electric stunning prods where they believed the carp were most likely to gather, said Chris McCloud, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.


The operation yielded more than 1,000 common carp, a similar number of gizzard shad and a few other varieties but no silver or bighead carp — natives of Asia that have infested sections of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers plus the Chicago waterways south of the electric barrier, some 25 miles from Lake Michigan.


"What this tells us is if they are present above the barrier, they are in very low numbers as we've said before," McCloud said. The barrier's effectiveness is a key issue in the debate over whether to close shipping locks in the waterways to keep the invasive carp from entering Lake Michigan, as sport fishing interests and most states along the Great Lakes would like.


Notoriously prolific, Asian carp can grow as large as 4 feet long and 100 pounds and eat up to 40 % of their body weight daily in plankton, the base of the lakes' food chain. Scientists say that if the species spreads across the lakes, it could damage the $7 billion fishing industry.


Illinois and the Obama administration oppose closing the locks, siding with Chicago barge and tour boat companies who say doing so would devastate their businesses. They contend the electric barrier is performing well and closing the leak-prone locks wouldn't be a foolproof measure.


The U.S. Supreme Court last week refused for a third time

Michigan's request to order the locks closed.


The sampling operation was conducted by the Illinois DNR, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Their crews set more than 5 miles of netting in the main channels of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, the Des Plaines River and other waterways, plus barge slips, marinas and other likely carp hideouts.


Early on, the teams focused on areas where warm water was being discharged from industrial operations, including power plants and wastewater treatment plants. Fish tend to congregate near warmer water during winter. As spring approached and ice receded, the search area was broadened.


To make sure they were using effective techniques, the crews also searched for Asian carp below the electric barrier. They nabbed 36 silver carp and four bighead carp near Starved Rock Lock and Dam, about 70 miles downstream.


Ashley Spratt, a spokeswoman for the fish and wildlife service, acknowledged the failure to catch any Asian carp above the barrier didn't necessarily mean none were there.  "They are hard to catch and this is a big area we're looking at," she said.


John Sellek, a spokesman for Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, said Monday that although no Asian carp were found, Michigan still wants the locks closed.  "What did they expect? (Illinois') own court filings say they are not likely to catch Asian carp using nets or electro-fishing," Sellek said.


Biologists plan to continue searching over the next three months as part of a $78.5 million Asian carp control strategy.


"Intensifying our sampling and monitoring efforts in high-risk areas for Asian carp provides us with critical data on population dynamics, potential range expansion and movement of the species," said Charlie Wooley, deputy regional director for the USFWS.


Lake Erie

2010 Lake Erie Sport Fishing Outlook Good

 COLUMBUS, OH - Lake Erie anglers should experience another year of diverse fishing opportunities during 2010, according to biologists with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.


"We expect fishing to be generally good this year, especially if you are willing to take advantage of the best opportunities," said Roger Knight, Lake Erie fisheries program manager for the Division of Wildlife. "While fishing success will vary among species and seasons, the lake's populations of walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, white bass and steelhead are in fair to excellent condition."


Lake Erie walleye and yellow perch fisheries are managed through an interagency quota system that involves Ontario, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio jurisdictions. Each jurisdiction regulates their catches to comply with their quotas and minimize the risk of over-fishing these species. Quotas for the upcoming fishing season are determined through consensus agreement by these jurisdictions through the Lake Erie Committee of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and are announced publicly in late March of each year.


Beginning this year, walleye and yellow perch bag limits will be set after the quota announcement, and will go into effect May 1, 2010. The daily bag limit for walleye remains four fish per person during March and April, 2010. As a result of the 2010 quota allocation, the walleye bag limit will be six from May 1, 2010 to February 28, 2011, and four from March 1, 2011 to April 30, 2011. A 15-inch minimum size limit is in effect during the entire season.


The daily bag limit is 25 yellow perch per angler in the waters west of Huron and 30 perch per angler from Huron eastward to the Pennsylvania border through April 30, 2010. As a result of the 2010 quota allocation, the yellow perch bag limit will be 30 perch per angler lakewide from May 1, 2010 to April 30, 2011. There is no minimum size limit on yellow perch. Lake Erie anglers can find walleye and yellow perch bag limit information at ODNR offices, in special publications at bait and tackle shops, and on the Web at www.wildohio.com.


Lake Erie anglers have great access to fishing in the Western and Central basins due to the numerous public boat ramps, private marinas and shoreline areas. They also benefit from having the largest charter boat industry in the Great Lakes.



Ohio walleye anglers will catch fish mostly from the 2007 and 2003 hatches, with some contributions from the 2001, 2005 and 1999 hatches. Walleye from the moderate 2007 hatch will range from 14-19 inches long and will complement the larger 20- to 28-inch fish from the strong 2003 hatch as the major contributors to the Ohio catch. Fish from the fair 2005 hatch should be in the 19- to 23-inch range. Large walleye from strong hatches in the 1980s and mid-1990s still persist in the population, providing "Fish Ohio" (more than 28 inches) opportunities.


"Fish from the 2007 hatch grew faster than expected last year and showed up prominently in our fishery in 2009 and they should dominate the west basin catch this summer," said Knight. "The 2003 hatch is still holding strong and will likely carry most of the Central Basin fisheries, particularly as the waters warm up and large fish migrate eastward to cooler waters."


Yellow Perch

Perch anglers should encounter fish ranging from 7- to 13-inch fish from the 2007, 2008, 2005 and 2003 hatches in this year's fishery. Lake wide, perch numbers should be similar to levels observed in 2009 in the Western and Central basins. Small fish from the weak 2009 hatch may show up in the fishery in the fall."Overall, we expect to have good perch fishing in 2010, with the largest fish coming from the eastern part of the Central Basin," said Knight.


Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass fishing in 2010 is expected to be fair. Although bass abundance remains below desired levels, those caught should be of excellent size (15 to 22 inches, weighing 2 to 6 pounds). Bass fishing is best in areas with good bottom structure, which is available across much of the entire Ohio near shore area.


A closed season remains in effect from May 1 through June 25, 2010, during which all black bass (smallmouth and largemouth) must be immediately released. Beginning June 26, 2010, the daily bag limit for bass will remain at five fish, with a 14-inch minimum length limit.



Steelhead anglers should enjoy another year of great fishing in Ohio's Lake Erie tributaries throughout the fall, winter and spring months. Good fishing opportunities will also exist on the open lake when schools of fish can be located. Peak summer steelhead action on Lake Erie can be found offshore from June through August between Vermilion and Conneaut, with catches measuring 17 to 29 inches. Most Lake Erie anglers troll for steelhead in deep waters using spoons with dipsy divers or downriggers. The daily bag limit remains at five fish per person from May 16 to August 31, and two fish per angler between September 1 and May 15, with a 12-inch minimum size limit throughout the year.


White Bass

White bass will continue to provide excellent seasonal fishing opportunities in the Maumee and Sandusky rivers and in the open lake. The catch will be dominated by hatches from 2003 and 2005, which will include many 13- to 16-inch fish. The 2006 and 2007 hatches were moderate and should contribute 10- to 14-inch fish to the fishery. Anglers should focus on major Western Basin tributaries during May and June and near shore areas of the open lake during summer months. There is no daily bag or size limit on white bass.


Anglers are also advised of numerous fishing opportunities in the bays and harbors on the Ohio shoreline. These inlets offer excellent fishing for panfish including crappie and bluegill, as well as largemouth bass. In early spring, anglers may also catch an occasional Northern pike or muskellunge in vegetated areas.


Anglers are reminded that fishing conditions on Lake Erie can change hourly and adjustments are often necessary to improve success. Anglers should take into account factors such as water temperature, cloud cover, water clarity, boat traffic, wave action, structure and the amount of baitfish in the area. Anglers are also reminded to carefully monitor Lake Erie weather and to seek safe harbor before storms approach.


Updated Lake Erie fishing reports are available online at www.wildohio.com and by calling 1-888-HOOKFISH.


The Sport for Reel Fans

Illinois high school sports dives into one of the oldest competitions on Earth— sport fishing.

Story By Joe McFarland


Can fishing be a competitive sport? You bet. Just ask Steve Graves, a member of the Peoria-based River City Casters bass club, where the urge to challenge other fishermen for bragging rights always runs deep. The club’s die-hard bass anglers hold regular fish-offs and prize tournaments around central Illinois, including the Illinois River. With strategy and technique the key to success, Graves and his fellow bass anglers rarely reveal their secrets. But in a surprisingly generous move, he and other bass experts are now sharing their tricks of the competitive trade with a new generation of bass anglers: high school students.


Frankfort Community High School in West Frankfort became the first school in the nation to bring home a state championship for  the newly sanctioned IHSA sport of competitive team bass fishing


“When I heard about the new program to get students involved in bass fishing at one of our club meetings, knew I had to volunteer,” Graves explained. Such generosity doesn’t come without sacrifice. Despite the chronic pain he endures from an old back injury, the former iron worker knew his expertise as a tournament winning bass angler in Illinois could help local students get an edge on the water—and, more importantly,  draw them outdoors.


“We didn’t have this sports opportunity when I was in school,” Graves said. Standing 5’-6” and weighing 150, Graves said he wasn’t always a first-pick for heavyweight sports in school. But competitive fishing, he pointed out, has little to do with the size of the competitor and everything to do with the size of the catch. Realizing he had the ability to help students compete on the water, this Pekin resident contacted local high school officials to offer a hand. Soon he was teaching everything from casting exercises to bass-finding strategies from his own experience to a team of Pekin high school students. “I told the kids, ‘You don’t have to be a giant to win a bass tournament,’” Graves said. His encouraging words quickly earned him a nickname: “Right away they started calling me ‘coach.’” His student fishermen did so well through early competitions and regional qualifying championships, they eventually found themselves at the first-ever Illinois state championship held at Carlyle Lake on May 8 last year. It was the first of its kind in the nation.


During the 2009 state finals held at Carlyle Lake, team anglers chased bass with the ultimate bragging rights

on the line


As a newly sanctioned sport by the Illinois High School Association, team bass fishing not only guides students into nature, it lets them challenge themselves and opponents in a competition that’s as ancient as fishing itself. “Already there

are more than 240 four-man teams registered for the 2010 tourney, with sectionals on 19 lakes,” explained Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Biologist and IHSA liaison Dan Stephenson. Those 240-plus schools include students living in both rural and urban regions of the state. “At last year’s championship, the top 10 came from all areas of Illinois,” he noted. At Pekin, where Graves coached his team to the state championship, team member Austin Pool hooked more than he could have imagined while getting ready for the pre-championship round.


For scores of Illinois high school students—some of them not

old enough to drive—the chance to operate a bass boat with

their coach in a championship tournament was victory enough


were not participating in any other IHSA sanctioned sport.”


“The weekend before our sectionals I caught a 17-inch, 3-pound crappie on a chatterbait,” the freshman bass angler reported. Although tournament bass fishing is a catch-and-release competition, where bass get released after the weigh-in, the unexpected crappie was fair game for keeping. “I’m getting that one mounted,” Pool grinned. Stephenson pointed out that competitive, team bass fishing became an instant favorite among Illinois high school students after it was incorporated into the ranks of official IHSA-sanctioned school sports in 2008.


“There were 2,496 students who started the competition in the winter of 2008-09,” Stephenson said, explaining how student anglers, along with  their teammates, fish their way up the ranks through a series of regional and sectional competitions. “Among those—and this is significant  —1,361 of them


Competitive bass fishing not only is appealing to students who weren’t otherwise involved in sports, it’s giving them a healthy and  eye-opening opportunity to be outdoors in nature. “I want to give the students as much time on the water as I can,” Pekin coach Graves said (his bass club now allows student anglers to tag along during their own club events). “I figure that every hour spent out on the water for them is one less hour they’re going to spend sitting indoors staring at a computer.”


Student anglers quickly figured out some tricks of veteran anglers:

Great fishing opportunities are often “hidden” in plain view.


“People can find out more by going on the IHSA Web site ww.ihsa.org,” Stephenson pointed out. “It has become so popular, the IHSA set up a fishing site: www.thefuturefisheshere.org.”   


The 2010 IHSA state bass fishing tournament competition will be May 7-8 at Carlyle Lake.


This article originally appeared in the April 2010 issue of OutdoorIllinois, the official monthly magazine of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. visit their web site: www.dnr.state.il.us/oi


Boater safety class, Raccoon SRA, May 9

Those new to the sport of boating or seeking a refresher on rules and techniques are invited to a free boater safety class at the Raccoon State Recreation Area park office on Saturday, May 9.  The program is free of charge but standard park entrance fees of $5 per in-state vehicle and $7 per out-of-state


vehicle will apply.  Advance registration by calling (765) 344-1412 is recommended.


Raccoon SRA is on U.S. Hwy. 36 in Parke County in west central Indiana, 50 miles west of Indianapolis and 35 miles NE of Terre Haute.

Upper Tippecanoe Lake Area fish report available online

COLUMBIA CITY – Anglers who fish the Upper Tippecanoe River Lake Area (UTRLA) might be able to improve their catch by looking at a computer before hitting the water.

A report on fish population surveys conducted last year at six natural lakes north of Columbia City is on the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) website at www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/files/fw-UTRLA_Report_2009.pdf.  The report summarizes data collected by DFW fisheries biologists at Big, Crane, Crooked, Goose, Loon, and Old lakes in northern Whitley and southern Noble counties.


These UTRLA lakes lie within the upper reaches of the Tippecanoe River watershed.


The report includes comparisons of largemouth bass and bluegill populations in each lake, data on the overall make-up of fish communities in each lake, estimates and fishing effort and angler catches based on interviews, information on aquatic plants, and recommendations for future fish management.


“The report summarizes one of the most comprehensive series of fish surveys ever done on a watershed basis,” said Jed Pearson, DFW biologist who conducted much of the field work and report writing.


The purpose of the surveys was to document which lakes provide good fishing and determine which lakes currently meet fishing standards set by local anglers, lake residents,


and the DFW. The standards were established after a six-month public planning process spearheaded by the Tippecanoe Watershed Foundation.


“They wanted to know how the lakes stacked up against each other and what steps could be taken to improve fishing,” Pearson said.


Overall, largemouth bass were twice as abundant in the UTRLA lakes as in other lakes in northern Indiana. Crooked Lake contained an average number but bass were three times more abundant in Big Lake.


Bass sizes, however, were generally small. Those that were of legal size (14 inches and larger) made up an average of 11 percent of the populations, but those that were 18 inches and larger made up less than 2 percent. Big Lake had the lowest percentage of legal-size bass.


“We’re looking into options to reduce the number of small bass in Big Lake,” Pearson said.


Bluegill numbers and sizes fell within normal ranges, except at Goose and Loon. Goose Lake had an unusually high number of bluegills, including many large ones. In contrast, small bluegills dominated Loon Lake


“We need to encourage more bluegill fishing at the UTRLA lakes and find a way to increase bluegill size at Loon,” said Pearson.

Zebra mussel found at Geist means trouble

A marina worker at Geist Reservoir hooked a Chinese mystery snail, an exotic species already prominent in the reservoir, while fishing recently, and on it was another undesirable species—an adult zebra mussel. 


 “That’s one invasive species colonizing on another,” said Doug Keller, aquatic invasive species coordinator with the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife. The find could signal trouble for Geist, much as the mussel's presence has affected other waters.


Previously found in more than 65 bodies of water in 44 counties throughout Indiana, the discovery marks the first time that the mussel has been found in the Indianapolis area. Zebra mussels were also discovered last year in Summit Lake, the first population known to occur in Henry County.


Keller said the effect of zebra mussels can be devastating where the invasive species successfully colonizes. “Zebra mussels can rapidly multiply and are known for clogging drainage and filtration pipes,” Keller said. “Besides pipes, they can attach to virtually anything in the water column, including rocks, limbs, piers or even boats.”


Geist is one of three water supply reservoirs for the Indianapolis area.  Keller said that as zebra mussel numbers increase in Geist and downstream in Fall Creek, there could be negative impacts to the water utility’s withdraw capacity.


Zebra mussels are originally from Europe and spread rapidly across North America in the 1990s. Aside from being a costly nuisance to humans, zebra mussels may also cause declines in fish populations. By filtering tiny plants, called phytoplankton, out of the water column, zebra mussels diminish the base of the food chain, potentially causing declines in all other aquatic life, including fish.


Keller said that few options for eradicating the mussel exist, short of eliminating every other living thing in the reservoir. The best means of control, he said, is by educating boaters about preventing further spread of the mussel.


Typically, zebra mussels are transported by human recreational activities such as boating or fishing. A few simple steps can prevent the spread of zebra mussels and other invasive species. Removing all aquatic vegetation and draining livewells, bilge, water lines and boat trailers at access ramps will prevent transport of the mollusk to other waters. Drying equipment after each use also is important.


“Letting all equipment dry for five days after a boating trip will prevent the spread of both adults and larvae," Keller said. “However, if you plan to visit a body of water sooner, you can use a solution of 5 percent bleach and water to clean and disinfect all of your equipment.”   For more info: www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3123.htm, or contact Keller at (317) 234-3883.

Trout stocking at Potato Creek State Park

Those looking for a new place to fish for trout in St. Joseph County might want to head to Potato Creek State Park. Trout that were originally intended for Redwood Road on Potato Creek will instead go to the state park later this week. 

The new site is a half-mile upstream from the old stocking site, and the park surrounding should provide a better fishing experience for anglers than can typically be found at a county road crossing. 

Trout season opens next Saturday, April 24 at 6 a.m.


MI reminds anglers about Bait Restrictions

With fishing season heating up, the Michigan DNRE reminds anglers that the use of salmon eggs or minnows for bait is restricted in some waters as part of a strategy to slow the spread of VHS.


Anglers who purchase spawn or minnows for bait should make sure it is certified as VHS-free. Certified VHS-free bait is widely available and may be used anywhere in the state for 14 days. The use of bait that has not been certified as disease-free is restricted, depending on where the bait was collected, and anglers need to follow the regulations to use uncertified bait in the correct locations. Uncertified bait can only be used for three days after purchase.  All bait collected by anglers is considered to be uncertified bait.


VHS virus, a virus that causes fish to die from internal bleeding, has caused mortalities among a number of species of fish in Michigan. The disease has been found in Michigan’s

waters of lakes Superior, Erie and Huron. VHSv was detected in yellow perch in Lake Superior from the Paradise area in 2009 and in lake herring from the Apostle Islands in Wisconsin’s waters.  The virus has been found in fish sampled in Lake Huron from Cheboygan and Thunder Bay in 2006 and in spottail shiners from Saginaw Bay in March 2010.  Fish have been found to be positive from Lake Erie in Ohio’s waters each year since 2006.  VHS virus has been found in fish in Lake Michigan, but not in Michigan’s waters. And it has been found in at least two inland lakes - in Budd Lake in Clare County in 2007; and in Baseline Lake in Washentaw County in 2009.


“There is no known treatment for VHS,” said DNRE Fish Production Manager Gary Whelan. “Our best defense against it is trying to prevent its spread.  It is important to anglers to realize that the virus is not yet widely distributed in Michigan, thus anglers have the opportunity to help slow its spread by using baitfish properly.”

MI invites Women to learn Shooting Skills at clinic June 12

The Michigan DNRE is offering a Beginning Shooting Clinic designed specifically for women, ages 18 and older, through the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program on Saturday, June 12.


The clinic is open to beginners as well as those who would like to sharpen their shotgun and rifle skills. Participants will learn and practice shotgun shooting technique, determining

the dominant eye, proper stance and firearm fit, and have the opportunity to practice trap shooting.


Firearms will be available for use and ammunition provided. This class will be held at DNRE Rose Lake Shooting Range located at 14500 Peacock Rd. in Bath from 8 a.m. until noon. Registration deadline is June 7; fees are $20 per person. For more info and a registration form, visit www.michigan.gov/bow. Questions, ask: [email protected]  or 517-241-2225.


Late Memorial Day weekend delays walleye fishing opener

Minnesota’s 2010 walleye opener will be Saturday, May 15, one a week later than usual.  State law sets the walleye opener two Saturdays prior to Memorial Day weekend, which does not occur until the last weekend of May this year.  The later start means that the walleye opener will not coincide with Mother’s Day weekend, which will be Saturday, May 8, and Sunday, May 9.


“Moms still can fish free on Mother’s Day weekend,” said Dirk Peterson, fisheries section chief for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “But they’re going to have to focus on panfish.” Stream trout season opens statewide on Saturday, April 17. The early catch-and-release trout season in southeastern Minnesota opened April 1 and runs through Friday, April 16.


DNR in second year of catfish project, still seeking angler help

The Minnesota DNR is entering year two of an effort to better understand and manage catfish in metro region rivers and is looking for a few avid anglers to help.


The project includes DNR tagging catfish to get a better idea of their population and movement. It also draws upon catfish anglers who are willing to answer a few survey questions and keep diaries of their angling efforts. The angler diaries will provide valuable information that is not typically obtained in standard creel surveys because many catfish anglers fish at night. More than 200 anglers have taken the survey since last year, but few have kept diaries.


Anglers may take the 12-question survey online at www.surveymonkey.com/catfish. Anglers also may send an e-mail to [email protected] or call 651-259-5806 to request that a paper copy of the survey be mailed to them. 

Anglers who have already taken the survey do not need to take it again. Attempts have already been made to contact most of last year’s survey respondents willing to keep a diary.


Anglers who catch and release a tagged catfish should record the species, length, tag number and location caught, and release the fish with the tag in place. Anglers who harvest a tagged fish should record the same information and report the fish as harvested. Anglers not participating in the catfish angler diary program can still report tagged fish locations using the DNR Web site or by contacting the phone number or e-mail address listed above.


Catfish are becoming increasingly popular with Minnesota anglers, and metro rivers are fertile waters for big cats. The state record flathead catfish, weighing 70 lbs, was caught on the St. Croix River in Washington County. The record channel cat was pulled from the Mississippi River in Hennepin County.


New York

Fishing Pays Big on Oswego County Waters –

Anglers Have Many Chances to Win This Summer

By Spider Rybaak

OSWEGO COUNTY, NY -- Oswego County, home to four world class hot spots (Lakes Oneida and Ontario, the Salmon and Oswego Rivers), is one of the most popular fishing destinations in the Lower 48. Lately, a lot of folks have figured out that a properly planned fishing trip to the county’s productive waters can lead to money in the bank.


Drawing on statistics from the sales of everything from fishing licenses and bait to tackle and boats, independent studies show that 20 % of Americans fish at least once a year. Most do it for fun and relaxation; some do it for the health benefits of eating fresh fish; increasingly, people are doing it for the bucks.


Fishing for dollars has been around for a long time. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. After all, fishing relies heavily on luck; the emotional fuel that propels people to gambling casinos, off-track betting, state lotteries…


Lake Ontario: Bettin’ Angler’s Honey Hole

Jam-packed with all the popular game fish, the tiniest Great Lake offers numerous competitive fishing events all summer long. Problem is it’s loaded with great fishing spots. And like brick and mortar gambling operations, their payouts vary tremendously. Finding the right spot is key to realizing your fishy dreams of wealth and glory.  Savvy anglers don’t believe in simply handing their fate over to lady luck and spinning the wheel. They play the odds and go where the fish are likeliest to be all the time; places where large feeders flow into the lake, tributaries like the Oswego and Salmon Rivers.


Gallon for gallon, Oswego County’s corner of the lake has fulfilled more fishing dreams than any other county on the lake. But don’t take my word for it. Check out the list of tournaments below. It’s the most exciting menu of competitive angling events in the state.


Pick and Choose

Oswego County’s territorial waters are notorious for coughing up world and state records, including the world record Coho salmon (a species indigenous to the Pacific Ocean) and the

state record brown trout and Chinook salmon. So you can bet your last flasher competitors in all the usual tournaments will be trolling around here this summer for derby winners.


Indeed, the venerable Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon and Trout Team Tournament, July 10 – 11 (www.lakeontarioproam.net) and the lakewide Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derbies (www.loc.org) have honored numerous fish from our waters as top prizes in the past. And there are many lesser known, equally exciting derbies to test your luck.


For instance, take the 10th Annual K&G Lodge All Women’s Fishing Derby, June 25 – 27 in Oswego (www.kglodge.com). Started by a group of charter captains who wanted to get their client’s wives interested in fishing, the contest is great for getting ladies into the manly game of trophy fishing. Four-woman teams compete against each other for two days. Trophies are handed out and the women pool their money for a Calcutta prize awarded for the biggest fish.


Mike’s Little Salmon River Challenge (315-963-3119) is a family oriented event. In fact, it’s held July 24, the weekend of Harborfest, the city of Oswego’s biggest summer extravaganza—it boasts the most explosive fireworks display this side of the Mississippi--a time local folks traditionally set aside for days off. All kids are given a prize.


Oneida Lake

“Bass Masters’ recent events on the lake have made Oneida the bass capital of the north,” says Rob Goffredo, Fishing/Marine Manager at Gander Mountain, “and there are 56 tournaments already planned for this summer.” Spruce Grove and Big Bay Marinas on the north shore will host weigh stations for the 34th annual Oneida Lake Walleye Tournament held May 1 and 2 by the Cicero-Mattydale Lions Club.


With all this going on, a fishing trip to Oswego County this summer is sure to be exciting, maybe even profitable. All you need is a few dollars and some luck.  Current fishing conditions, call 1-800-248-4FUN (4386) or go to:www.visitoswegocounty.com


DEC Reminds Anglers of Recreational Marine License Requirement

As striped bass are beginning their run up the Hudson River, the NY DEC reminded New York anglers that their recreational marine fishing license initiated in October 2009 is required when fishing for this sport fish and other migratory fish of the sea. Anglers are also reminded that in an effort to restore dwindling stocks, the recreational and commercial fisheries for American Shad have been closed.


A recreational marine fishing license is required for anglers (16 years of age and older) when fishing in the waters and along the shores of the marine and coastal district and when fishing for "migratory fish of the sea" species in the waters and along the shores of the Hudson River, Delaware River, or


Mohawk River and their tributaries (exemptions can be found on the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov/permits/54950.html.


Depending on the specific location of the Hudson River fishing activities, and/or the specific species fished for, an angler may need to have a recreational marine fishing license, a freshwater fishing license or both licenses


A Marine Fishing Regulations Guide is available at: www.dec.ny.gov/docs/fish_marine_pdf/marinelic09.pdf. You may print this document, but before sending to the printer make sure to set the appropriate printer settings: Go to File and select Print..., under Page Handling select "Booklet Printing" in the drop down menu.

NY announces changes to Fluke, Scup and Black Sea Bass Seasons

New York DEC announced the 2010 recreational fishing seasons and catch limits for fluke, scup and black sea bass:


1. Black Sea Bass: For 2010, DEC has set the season for May 22 to Sept. 12, a reduction from 2009 when the season was open the entire year. The change is necessary to comply with interstate and federal management measures to assist in rebuilding the black sea bass population. The minimum size limit remains at 12.5 inches and the possession limit remains 25 fish per day.


2. Scup: The regular recreational season is the same as last year - May 24 through Sept. 26. The size limit is 10.5 inches and the possession limit is 10 fish per day.


There is a new season for scup for recreational anglers aboard licensed party or charter vessels; it will run from June 8 to Sept. 6, with a minimum size limit of 11 inches and a possession limit of 10 fish per day. The scup "bonus" season for recreational anglers aboard licensed party or charter vessels will be from Sept. 7 through Oct. 11, with a size limit of 11 inches and a new daily possession limit of 40 fish.


3. Fluke: Commissioner Grannis previously announced proposed limits for fluke, also known as summer flounder, www.dec.ny.gov/press/63240.html, which have now been finalized. The 2010 fluke season is a return to a longer, more traditional recreational fishing season. The recreational season for fluke will open May 15 and close Sept. 6. The minimum size limit remains at 21 inches and the possession limit remains at two fish per day.

As a member state of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (MAFMC), New York is required to develop recreational fishing limits that will prevent New York State anglers from exceeding the state's assigned fluke quota. DEC convened meetings with the Marine Resources Advisory Council - made up of representatives of the recreational fishing community -- to develop options that encompass the most popular fluke fishing periods on both the north and south shores of Long Island. Commissioner Grannis said the 2010 schedule would maintain a viable fluke fishery for all anglers, while ensuring that New York meets the federal requirements.


Last year, New York did not exceed its fluke quota for the first time in six years. That fact, combined with a federal decision to increase the overall East Coast fluke quota, means that New York anglers will enjoy a significantly higher quota for 2010: 449,000 fluke, an increase of 23 percent over 2009.


DEC adopted these changes to recreational seasons for fluke, scup and black sea bass as emergency regulations and they are currently in effect. DEC is also proposing to adopt the emergency rules as permanent; public comments on the proposed permanent rulemaking may be submitted by July 10, 2010 to [email protected] with the subject line "2010 Fluke."


Comments can also be sent to Stephen W. Heins, NYSDEC Marine Resources, 205 Belle Mead Road, Suite 1, East Setauket, NY 11733




Steelhead Stocking in Ohio

FINDLAY, OH - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife will be stocking steelhead trout in the Vermilion River on Friday, April 30, 2010 at 10:00 a.m.


Fifty-five thousand yearlings will be released at the Vermilion City Boat Launch. These fish were raised in the Division of Wildlife's Castalia Fish Hatchery. The yearlings are 6-8 inches

long when stocked, and will grow to a length of 18 inches by the end of the first year.


The Vermilion City Boat Launch is located one-half mile south of U.S. Route 6, off of West River Road. A brief program will be included, and Division of Wildlife staff will be on hand to answer questions. The public is invited.


Board eliminates use of bait in SE Counties

HARRISBURG –Based on a recommendation from staff, the Board of Game Commissioners today took action to eliminate regulations that allowed deer hunters to use bait in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, to increase hunter harvest in these largely-developed, high-conflict areas.  The Board accomplished this by allowing the sunset provision to take effect, thereby automatically striking the option from regulations.


In 2006, as recommended in the Game Commission’s Urban/Suburban Deer Management Plan, the Board approved the use of bait. However, before giving the regulation final adoption, the Board included a sunset provision that required a future Board to revisit the issue by March 31, 2010.

“After evaluating the impact of baiting on hunting deer populations in these suburban/urban areas, the staff determined that there has been no positive impact,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director.  “With no benefit from the option to use bait, the staff recommended that the Board eliminate this regulation by simply allowing the sunset provision to take effect.”


Baiting has long been illegal for all big game, small game, waterfowl and migratory game birds in other parts of the state.  The only legal use of bait is for trapping and hunting of furbearers.



Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)


EDITORIAL: Next steps, please
Illinois and the Obama administration now have to do what they said they would and come up with a way to stop the Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan en masse.


Regulators approve first offshore wind farm in U.S.
After nine years of regulatory review, the federal government gave the green light Wednesday to the nation's first offshore wind farm, a highly contested project off the coast of Cape Cod.


Monitors will collect data on lake's currents and waves
Environment Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans teamed up this week to put special monitoring equipment across Lake Ontario from Cobourg to Point Breeze on the American side.


Novel solution to Asian Carp problem: eat 'em
Chicago Chef Phillip Foss is serving Asian carp in ceviche form, although on the menu, it has been renamed "Shanghai bass."


Birds takes a bite out of fishing in the UP

Earlier this month, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment planted 28,000 brown trout in the Ford River near Escanaba in the Upper Peninsula – right in front of about 500 hungry cormorants that dined for days on those $1 apiece fish.


FSI: Fish Scene Investigator

The test that detected Asian carp's environmental DNA, or eDNA, above the electric barrier in the Chicago waterways leading to Lake Michigan, was developed in the past year by New Zealand scientist Lindsay Chadderton and researchers at Notre Dame




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