Week of May 10, 2010

Regional

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Indiana
Michigan
Ohio
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Regional

Asian Carp Committee Announces new Monitoring 

and Sampling Plan 

Includes closure of Little Cal River May 20-26, from 1-3 miles below the O’Brien Lock for Rotenone treatment

The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committe (RCC) is announcing its latest monitoring and sampling plan to guide Asian Carp control efforts in the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS).

  

“This sampling plan will provide us with important data needed 

to make future decisions,” said John Rogner, Assistant Director 

of the Illinois DNR. “Keeping Asian carp from establishing a 

population in Lake Michigan remains our ultimate goal and 

we think this new monitoring pan will help us achieve 

our objectives.”

  

“These new monitoring efforts will help us make the most strategic decisions for keeping Asian carp from becoming established in the Great Lakes,” said Charlie Wooley, Deputy Regional Director of the USFWS.  “The new monitoring plan will provide the quantitative information necessary to determine the most successful control methods for Asian carp, if they are present in the area.”

 

To date, the Regional Coordinating Committee's efforts have focused on monitoring and sampling the CAWS to determine whether positive hits of Asian carp environmental DNA (eDNA) found in multiple locations upsteam of the electric barrier indicate the presence of Asian carp. Traditional sampling techniques including gillnetting and electrofishing did not yield the capture of any Asian carp inareas surveyed during the inital six week sampling period.

 

Based on the eDNA tests, the new sampling and monitoring  plan will take those traditional fishing methods to the North 

Shore Channel where a three day sampling effort using 

electrofishing gear and commercial fishing nets will be used 

in an attempt to locate Asian carp.   The operation will require 

the Illinois DNR to close a portion of the North Shore Channel 

starting on Tuesday, May 11 and will reopen the morning of 

Friday, May 14.   The area targeted for sampling extends ¼ mile 

south of Oakton St, approximately five miles north to the 

Wilmette Pumping Station.  The North Shore Channel is almost 

exclusively used by paddlers because of its shallow depths 

and not navigable to most commercial and recreational boats.

 

The new plan also calls for a rotenone sampling operation  upstream of the electric barriers near the O’Brien Lock and  Dam to determine whether- and if so, how many- Asian carp might exist in that location where positive eDNA  samples have been taken.

 

The planned application and subsequent fish recovery will 

begin with waterway closure on Thursday, May 20 and last 

five to six days.  The application will take place on the Little 

Calumet River approximately one mile downstream of T.J. 

O’Brien Lock and Dam, east of the I94 overpass, and will cover a stretch of two miles downstream of the starting location.   

The waterway will be treated in one day,and therecovery phase 

of the operation will last between four to five days.   During that 

time, the FWS, IDNR, and other participating agencies will aim 

to recover as many fish in the application area as possible to 

determine theabundance and type of fish present in the treated area. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will support this effort 

by modifying operations at T.J Obrien Lock and Dam as needed 

during the operation.

 

The toxicant will eradicate Asian carp and other fish in the canal, 

but does not present a risk to people or other wildlife when 

used properly.

 

During the application and recovery phases, the USCG will 

implement a safety zone to protect waterway users and workers 

conducting sampling operations in the vicinity of he O'Brien 

Lock. Access to the canal will be restricted for a period of five to 

seven days, meaning that boaters will not be able to transit the 

safety zone until sampling operations are completed and the 

safety zone is rescinded by the U.S. Coast Guard.  Any safety 

zone notice for these sampling operations will be published 

in the federal register and will also be posted online at www.uscg.fishbarrierinfo.com.

  

The Monitoring Plan has several objectives with an overall goal 

of preventing Asian carp from establishing self-sustaining populations in the Great Lakes including: 

►Determine the distribution and abundance of Asian carp in 

the CAWS, if they are present

►Establish parameters of acceptable risk and determine our 

current risk level

►Remove Asian carp in the CAWS to a level below what is 

considered an acceptable risk

►Determine the leading edge of major Asian carp populations 

and reproduction

 

Rotenone, a fish toxicant commonly used in fisheries 

management, was previously used on a six mile stretch of the 

Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal in December of 2009 

while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shut down the 

Electric Barrier System for routine maintenance.  That effort 

yielded one Bighead carp caught just above the Lockport Lock/

Powerhouse about six miles downstream of the Electric barrier. 

No Asian carp have been found above the electric barrier to date.

 

Knowledge of the population size and location of possible 

Asian carp in CAWS is critical data that will inform biologists 

and decision makers on selecting and prioritizing appropriate 

actions to keep Asian carp from moving into Lake Michigan.

  

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to report eDNA 

results through the RCC multi-agency http://asiancarp.org Web site.

    

These partners are working to address the threat Asian carp 

pose to the Great Lakes through the development and 

implementation of the Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework.  

The Framework, which is guided by the latest scientific 

research, is expected to encompass more than two dozen 

short- and long-term actions and up to $78.5 million in 

investments to combat the spread of Asian carp.   

For up to date information about the efforts of the Asian Carp 

Regional Coordinating Committee please see an updated 

version of the Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework now 

available at www.asiancarp.org.

 


Local fishing clubs raising fish

There are a handful of Ontario fishing clubs and some American clubs that raise and stock hundreds of thousands of salmon & trout annually to perpetuate our beloved fishery. Taken on as a long term permanent club project, annually raise and release Chinook Salmon, Rainbow trout and Brown trout;  hundreds of thousands of them into Lakes Huron and Michigan and beyond.

 

The Lake Huron Fishing Club, with their Chinook Hatchery annually returns some 250,000 Chinook smolts back into the Lake Huron area. The  Canadian government does not stock salmon into Lake Huron, so this task has been assumed by the club hatcheries such as the The Lake Huron Fishing Club. Other clubs such as Sydenhamham Sportsmen's Association and Blue Water Anglers, all members of the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council, also contribute time, money, efforts and thousands of man-hours to these greatful and rewarding programs

 

In Kincardine, The Lake Huron Fishing Club's Trout Hatchery produces 2 types of fish; 60,000 brown trout are raised annually from eggs obtained from the Ministry of Natural Resources. They have been doing this since 1993.   These fish are released directly into Lake Huron at sites from Point Clark to Pike Bay, usually the last week of October. Brown trout eggs are supplied by the OMNR.

 

Their hatchery also raises 60,000 rainbow trout annually from eggs obtained from wild fish on the Saugeen River. These fish are raised to 10 months of age when they will be 10 to 18 cms in length and weigh 25 to 75 grams. These fish are all released into the Saugeen River around the Walkerton area.The eggs are supplied by The Ontario Steelheaders and members of the Lake Huron Fishing Club.

 

In late April 2010 about 57,000 rainbow trout were released into

the Saugeen River in the Walkerton area. Average weight of the 

yearling rainbows was about 49 grams. The Bluewater Anglershave been in the fish raising business since 1982. Their facility is located at the head of the St. Clair River in Point Edward, Ontario, which is used to restock lower Lake Huron with Salmon, Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout.

 

Several years later the Bluewater Anglers built an indoor facility for the annual rearing of 150,000 Chinook salmon and 25,000 Rainbow Trout, with occasional forays into Brown Trout.  The hatchery is located immediately north of the Bluewater Bridge. Two wells inside the building provide a safe, 52 F water supply.  The rearing season begins in September with the collection of Salmon eggs at Owen Sound.  At the same time Rainbow Trout eggs are purchased for the hatchery.  The 3" Salmon are ready for stock-out by mid April.

 

The Rainbows stay in the Bluewater hatchery until mid to late May and grow quickly to a 7" size.  They are stocked within Sarnia city limits.  Salmon, Rainbows and Browns are kept in an outside pond to grow to adult size for spectacular fish viewing. 

 

The Sydenham Sportsmen's Association also operates Chinook salmon, rainbow trout and brown trout hatchery programs. Located on Owen Sound, the Association works in collaboration with the Weaver Family.    Yearly they raise and stock 200,000+ chinook salmon, 125,000 rainbow trout and up to 100,000 brown trout.

 

Just south of Milwaukee and headquartered in Kenosha, on the western shores of Lake Michigan, the Kenosha Sportfishing & Conservation Association operates a rearing pond a stones throw from the big lake. On the evening of May 4th the KSFCA released 115,000 Chinook salmon from their net pens in Milwaukee. The KSFCA annually raise 60,000-100,000 fingerlings for about 6 weeks at the rearing pond before they transfer them to their net pens for imprinting.  The organization was originally founded in 1969 to build their rearing pond, which they have maintained since then. The rearing pond had an excellent survival percentage.

 

Kudos to these and all the other clubs involved in egg taking, hatchery fish raising and net pen projects to help perpetuate our great fishery.


USGS Study up and running for 2010!

USGS researcher Jeff Schaeffer reports they had a great time presenting the 2009 results during April at the Sea Grant workshops and fishing club gatherings. It was nice to finally meet many of you in person and we hope that you enjoyed our presentations.

 

We have already sampled two tournaments in Port Huron, and we will sample a third tournament in Harbor Beach this Saturday. We have received reports that the first non-tournament stomachs have been collected already.

 

Sea grant funds and hiring of additional technicians to process stomachs is nearing completion, and we are already processing newly obtained stomachs with our existing staff from last year.

 

We have established seven locations (so far) where stomachs can be dropped off.

 

1. Straights State Park at the office, St Ignace

2. Cheboygan DNRE launch ramp, DNRE cleaning station

3. Rogers City boat launch cleaning station

4. Alpena field station office has a freezer

5. Harrisville State Park office has a freezer

6. Bunyantown marina also has freezer in Oscoda. They are right on route 23 at the river.

7. Lighthouse Park, freezer at the fish cleaning station in Grindstone City.

 

More freezer locations should be available within a few weeks, but these are available now.

Worse case scenario? We can pick up stomachs from you directly from your home freezer. We will do pick-up runs as needed during the summer.

 

Not everyone who wanted collection kits has them. There are three ways you can receive a collection kit.

 

1. Pick up an existing kit from MDNRE offices in Bay City or Alpena.

2. Print your own labels and use your own bags. Labels and instructions can be found in the attached word files.

3. Email us your address and we will mail you a kit.

 

Lake trout taken at Port Huron consumed gobies and rainbow smelt, but one had eaten a yellow perch.

 

Remember, this study achieved success by a large group of people each contributing what they could. The three, four, or five stomachs that you can provide are important and may be the only data we get from that area during the year. Every stomach counts.

 

Thanks and good fishing!

 

Jeff Schaeffer

USGS Great Lakes Science Center

1451 Green Rd. Ann Arbor, MI 48105

734-214-7250 (voice)

734-994-8780 (fax)

Jeff_Schaeffer@usgs.gov

 

 


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for May 7, 2010 

Weather Conditions

Scattered showers and thunderstorms occurred in many places across the Great Lakes Basin this week. Another low pressure system is expected to move into the region this weekend, bringing up to an inch of precipitation to portions of the basin. Temperatures are predicted to be much cooler through the beginning of next week, with a frost being a possible concern throughout the basin. The colder temperatures bring a chance for snow to be mixed with rain showers. By mid-week clouds are expected to clear giving way to a high pressure system and seasonably average temperatures. This warm-up brings additional chances for rain and scattered thunderstorms to be experienced by mid to the end of the 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 6 and 7 inches below last year's levels, respectively. Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are 11, 13 and 20 inches, respectively below the last year's levels. Over the next month, the water levels of Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are both expected to increase by 3 and 2 inches, respectively, while Lakes St. Clair and Erie are expected to rise by 1 inch. Lake Ontario is projected to rise 3 inches over the next month. Due to dry conditions so far in 2010 all of the Great Lakes are expected to be below their levels of a year ago during the next six months.

Forecasted May Outflows/Channel Conditions

The outflow from Lake Superior into the St. Mary's River is forecasted to be below average. The outflows from both LakeHuron into the St. Clair River as well as the Detroit River are forecasted to be below average. Near average outflow is expected from Lake Erie and into the Niagara River. Conversely, the flow in the St. Lawrence River is forecasted to be below average throughout the 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.

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for May 7

600.62

577.85

573.88

571.33

244.98

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

-6

+4

+19

+26

+20

Diff last month

-1

+1

+2

+4

+1

Diff from last yr

-6

-7

-11

-13

-20

 


Illinois

Wingshooting Clinics

The Illinois DNR and participating partners will sponsor wingshooting clinics at sites throughout Illinois to help improve the shooting skills of participants. Youth/Women's clinics are designed to teach participants basic firearm and hunter safety and the fundamentals of wingshooting.  Hunter clinics are designed to enhance the wingshooting skills of hunters and provide sound wingshooting practice techniques.  The clinics are conducted on weekends throughout the spring, summer and early fall.  For a complete schedule, check the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us.   

 

Upcoming clinics include:

May 15-16 – Youth/Women Clinic – Des Plaines Conservation Area, Wilmington (217/785-8129)

May 22-23 – Youth and Women’s Clinic – World Shooting and Recreational Complex, Sparta (866/850-2564)

June 5-6 – Hunter Clinic – Des Plaines Conservation Area, Wilmington (217/785-8129)

June 12-13 – Hunter Clinic – Briar Knoll Hunting and Fishing Club, Amboy (815/857-2320)

 

June 12 – Youth/Women Clinic – Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA, Chandlerville (217/452-7741)

June 26-27 – Youth/Women Clinic - St. Charles Sportsmen’s Club, Elburn (630/363-6180)

August 21-22 – Youth/Women Clinic – Shabbona Lake State Park, DeKalb Co. (815/758-2773)

August 21-22 – Youth/Women Clinic – Raycraft Farm, Piatt Co. (217/935-6860)

August 28-29 – Hunter Clinic – Raycraft Farm, Piatt Co. (217/935-6860)

September 11-12 – Youth/Women Clinic – Stephen A. Forbes State Park, Kinmundy (618/547-3381)

September 11-12 – Youth/Women Clinic – Johnson-Sauk Trail State Park, Kewanee (309/853-5589)

September 18-19 – Hunter Clinic – Des Plaines Conservation Area, Wilmington (815/785-8129)

September 25-26 – Youth/Women Clinic – South Fork Dirt Riders Park, Kincaid (217/496-3113)

September 26 – Youth Clinic – Decatur Gun Club, Decatur (217/521-9469)


Non-Resident Archery Deer Permits available June 1

The online lottery application period for non-resident Illinois archery combination deer permits for the 2010-11 deer season will open on June 1.   Non-resident hunters can apply for the lottery through DNR Direct Online License Sales at:  www.dnr.state.il.us or by phone at 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648).  Non-residents may apply for one combination archery permit per season.   The cost of a non-resident archery combination deer permit (one either-sex/one antlerless) will be $411.  The quota will be 25,000 for non-

 

resident combination tags.  Antlerless-only archery permits will be available throughout the season over the counter at local license agents, by phone or through DNR Direct Online License Sales for $25.50 each (if ordering by phone or online, the permit will be mailed within 7 - 10 business days).  The upcoming Illinois archery deer season is Oct. 1, 2010-Jan. 16, 2011 (except closed in firearm deer counties on Nov.  19-21 and Dec. 2-5).  For more information on Illinois deer hunting, check the IDNR web site at this link:  http://www.dnr.state.il.us/admin/deer.htm


Indiana

Mountain lion confirmed in rural Greene County

Bob:  Photo  www.dnr.in.gov/images/co-dnr-lion2.jpg

A mountain lion has been confirmed in a rural part of Greene County east of Bloomfield as a result of a new Indiana DNR policy designed to systematically collect data and evaluate reported sightings of such animals. 

 

The mountain lion’s presence was verified by Scott Johnson, the DNR’s non-game mammal biologist and member of the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife.  Johnson made the determination from photographs taken by motion-sensitive game cameras placed in the area after a preliminary investigation found evidence consistent with mountain lion behavior, including an eviscerated deer carcass buried under a pile of leaves. The cameras were set on April 30, and multiple images of a mountain lion were captured at approximately 2:30 a.m. on May 1.

 

Mountain lions are known by many names, including cougar, puma, catamount and panther. Historically, mountain lions (Puma concolor) lived in most of the eastern United States, including Indiana. Different published reports cite the last documented case of a wild mountain lion in Indiana as somewhere between 1850 and 1865.

 

The chance of encountering a mountain lion today in Indiana is almost non-existent, but people should be alert to their surroundings. If an encounter does happen, the MLRT points to advice from authorities in Western states, where mountain lions are more common:

► Do not approach a mountain lion. Give it a way to escape

► Do not run from a mountain lion. Instead, stand and face the animal. Make eye contact

► Do not crouch or bend over. Do all you can to appear larger. Raise your arms, open your jacket or shirt. Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly in a loud voice.

► Fight back if attacked using big sticks, stones, or any other available items.

 

“One thing to point out is mountain lions are not stalkers,” said Gary Langell, the DNR’s private lands program manager and developer of the mountain lion policy. “They don’t stalk prey. They tend to pick an active game trail, like a deer trail, and wait for a deer to come by. That’s typically why you don’t see livestock kills from mountain lions. They lay in wait rather than stalk.”

 

The purpose of the policy is to develop a consistent procedure to investigate reported sightings and to institute a formal data collection and storage system.

 

Mountain lions are a protected species in Indiana, but state law allows a resident landowner or tenant to kill a mountain lion while it is causing damage to property owned or leased by the landowner/tenant. If the landowner/tenant wishes to have someone else take the mountain lion, that person is required to secure a permit from the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife.

 

For more info on mountain lions: www.easterncougarnet.org,  or go to www.easterncougarnet.org/Assets/pumaidguide.pdf  for an identification guide.


Michigan

Changes to Commercial Trap Net Fishing

Increasing Great Lakes depth limit from 90 to 130'

As most of you know there has been a substantial change in commercial fishery management with respect to the maximum depth trap nets may be fished.  This change will take effect on May 7th.  Over the last several months Todd and I have presented before the Lake Huron and Lake Michigan citizen advisory committees as well as the Natural Resources Commission.  However, I want to provide you a detailed description of the issue in case questions are received from the public in the coming months.

 

For many years state licensed commercial fishermen have asked for a “level playing field” with tribal fishers when it came to depth restrictions.  State licensed fishermen were subjected to a 90 ft depth restriction by statute and administrative rule while tribal fishers were not restricted by depth.  This put state fishermen at a distinct disadvantage during the summer months as fish move into deeper water off shore.  Beginning in 2001 the department initiated a 4 year study comparing paired nets set in 130 ft of water to those set at the current 90 ft limit.  Five fishermen were utilized in the study with one in Superior, two in Huron, and two in Michigan with a 6th fisher added for Lake Michigan in 2003.  Lifts were observed by division research personnel from 2001-2003 and the data was provided for analysis by Phil Schneeburger and Jim Johnson in 2004.

 

The study compared all relevant biotic and abiotic factors including: size and age structure of whitefish, mortality rates of sub legal whitefish, catch and mortality rates of target and nontarget species (lake trout, walleye, burbot, etc.), water temperature, lifting rates and season comparisons.  The results revealed the following facts:

 

1)            Nets set in 130 ft caught more legal whitefish than nets in 90 ft at certain times of the year which varied by lake and season.

2)            The number of sub-legal whitefish caught was not significantly different between nets set in 90 and 130 ft.

3)            The number of lake trout caught was not significantly different between nets set in 90 and 130 ft for any season or lake.  Trend: In Lake Michigan noticeably less lake trout were caught in the deeper nets.

4)            The number of lake trout mortalities was not significantly different between nets set in 90 and 130 ft for any season or lake.  Trend: less overall mortality was observed in the deep nets.

5)            The proportion of lake trout mortalities was not significantly different between nets set in 90 and 130 ft for any season or lake.  Trends: none.

6)            There was significantly less bycatch in nets fished at

130 ft.  A total of 473 non target specimens were caught in 90 ft of water as compared with 58 specimens in nets set at 130 ft.  (See table on slide 9 of accompanying presentation)

 

Based on these six facts, the department concluded there was no biologic justification behind the 90 ft depth restriction for trap nets established by Statute/Administrative Rule.  The division then formulated a position in support of increasing maximum trap net depth to 130 ft through a Fisheries Order issued by the director. 

 

We received positive feedback on the study results and proposed depth increase from user group representatives at the Huron and Michigan advisory committees and the Michigan Fish Producers Association annual meeting.  On March 10, the study results and proposed Fisheries Order were presented to the Natural Resource Commission for information only.  Several commissioners commended fish division staff for their work on this matter and no negative feedback was offered by the public during open forum period.  At the April 7th commission meeting, FO-243.05 modifying the maximum trap net depth from 90 to 130 ft was offered for action and the director’s signature.  Again no negative comment was taken and the order was signed, effective May 7, 2005.  A copy of that order is accompanying this write up.

 

Therefore, on May 7th state licensed commercial fishermen will begin setting their nets in depths to 130 ft.  With this change recreational anglers around the state will see nets in areas where there were none before, and although this information has been available, inquisitive calls should probably be anticipated.  At your discretion, feel free to handle questions received or send them to me or Todd in Lansing.  If you do handle some calls beside the chronology described above, here are some of the key talking points:

 

1)            The number of commercial trap nets being fished has not increased.

2)            The area where fishing can be conducted is greater with an increased depth limit but the overall concentration of nets is lower.  This will result in additional space between commercial nets during the peak of recreational fishing in the summer.

3)            Our three year study showed fishing trap nets deeper resulted in lowered catch rates and mortality of non target sport fish including: walleye, salmon, and perch.

4)            Our three year study showed fishing trap nets deeper has no detrimental effect on lake trout catch or mortality rates.

5)            This change only affects state licensed trap nets and no other regulations were amended.

 


More Coho salmon bound for Lake Michigan

DNR revives stocking program

Michigan fishery managers released 325,000 Coho salmon into the Grand River in downtown Lansing last month after taking two of the past four years off.  Michigan State University reports thru Their Great Lakes Echo online news service that after skipping the Grand River in 2007 and 2009, the Platte River State Fish Hatchery sent four truckloads of the popular sport fish to stock at Lansing’s boat launch.

 

The hatchery, located 30 miles south of Traverse City, is the state’s main source of Coho salmon for stocking. Fish raised there are usually planted annually in the Grand, Boardman, Manistee and St. Joseph rivers, among others. But a funding shortage meant some rivers weren’t stocked as often in the past four years.

 

That gap will allow biologists to study the movement and survival of the salmon, said Jay Wesley, manager of the DNRE’s Southern Lake Michigan Unit.  “Annually, about 3,000-5,000 fish return to the Grand River. We’re thinking maybe we can begin to stock only 50,000 Coho,” Wesley said.

 

Not all the salmon in the state’s waters come from stocking. Some reproduce naturally, but that’s more common in northern streams with cold water and gravel bottoms, said Jan Sapak, a biologist with the hatchery.  “Coho salmon are native to the Pacific Ocean,” Sapak said. “They were brought here in

the late 1960s to reintroduce sports fishery in the Great Lakes after many of the game species were diminished.”

 

The Coho stocked the Grand River were yearlings that will return as adults in the fall of 2011. The salmon average a mere six inches when they are released but should weigh up to eight pounds when they return.  The salmon will migrate to Lake Michigan around the Grand Haven area. Sticking together, the fish will move to southern parts of the lake, where anglers from Michigan, Illinois and Indiana can catch them.

 

“They have the whole summer of 2011 to continue feeding, and if the forage base is great, they’ll come back bigger,” Sapak said.

But not as many salmon return as officials would like, Wesley said.  “Around 1 percent return, mostly because they have to travel 160 miles down the Grand River,” he said. “Survival from the downstream migration could be low.”

 

The salmon are stocked in Lansing so that the area is imprinted on them, making it more likely that they will return the following year, he said.

 

With stock costs, employee salaries, food, electricity, testing and trucking, Sapak estimates that each fish costs roughly $1.  Because we raise more than one type of fish, it’s hard to figure the cost for individual species,” she said.


Ohio

ODNR Halts State Scenic River Designation Effort

The Ohio Scenic Rivers Program will no longer actively pursue scenic river designation for the Vermilion River, according to the Ohio DNR.

 

"The Scenic Rivers program has been successfully protecting Ohio's high quality streams without compromising property ownership rights for more than 40 years," said ODNR Director Sean Logan. "There are a number of economic and conservation benefits which follow scenic river designation, however, a number of local communities have made it clear that they are not interested in partnering with ODNR to protect the Vermilion River through the Scenic Rivers program."

 

The Vermilion River meets the criteria for inclusion in the state scenic rivers system. If designated, the Vermilion would have become Ohio's 15th state scenic river. The designation is a

means of publicly recognizing and retaining conservation support for Ohio's superior waterways.

 

"The Vermilion River remains eligible for scenic river designation, if local communities wish to pursue it in the future," said Director Logan. "Our goal remains the same-protecting Ohio's remaining high quality stream systems. We had hoped to reach that goal on the Vermilion River through conservation initiatives like the Ohio Scenic Rivers Program."

 

Ohio passed the nation's first scenic river protection legislation in 1968. To learn more about scenic river designation, visit ODNR's Web site at www.ohiodnr.com/watercraft. As a result of ODNR's decision, all scheduled Vermilion Scenic River public information sessions have been cancelled.


Pennsylvania

Board eliminates use of bait in SE Counties

HARRISBURG –Based on a recommendation from staff, the Board of Game Commissioners last week 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.

 

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.

 


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