Week of May 16, 2010

Words to Ponder
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
National

Regional

General
Lake Erie

Michigan
New York
Ohio
Wisconsin
Ontario
Other Breaking News Items

 

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Words to Ponder

Words to Ponder

Did you know - The FBI recently reported that the number of background-check applications for the purchase of firearms significantly increased this year. The NICS processed 4.25 million requests in the first quarter of 2011, which is a 16 % increase from the same period in 2010.

 

We’re told by a chief market strategist the increase in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System represents Americans’ doubts about the nation’s economic future. Similar to the reasons behind gold purchases, widespread interest in firearms reveals that many residents are wary of the nation’s stability.


Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Simmons Introduces New Predator Series Scopes

Simmons has introduced a new line of all-weather predator hunting riflescopes.  Simmons Predator Quest scopes are ideal for all types of predator hunting. The scopes feature a 30mm tube for plenty of elevation adjustment on longer shots. With a practical side focus and fingertip adjustable turrets, shooters can make rapid adjustments to get a clear sight picture for both close- and long-range shooting.

 

Simmons Predator Quest scopes are both versatile and dependable - a must-have combination for serious predator

hunters.  Predator Quest riflescopes are enhanced with multi-coated optics for exceptional clarity and brightness. The fully waterproof and fog-proof scopes feature the versatile TruPlex reticle, which is ideal for rapid and precise target acquisition.

 

For more information about the Simmons Predator Quest riflescopes, visit the Predator Quest section online.

 

About $189.00 - $229.00.

 

800-423-3537

 

www.simmonsoptics.com

 


Left-Hand X-Bolt Rifles Now Available From Browning

Left-hand shooters now have three models of left-hand X-Bolt rifles to choose from in the new Browning X-Bolt rifle line. These new rifles have the same innovative features as the popular right-hand models.  The three new left-hand models include the X-Bolt Medallion, X-Bolt Hunter and X-Bolt Micro Hunter.

 

The Medallion model has a steel engraved receiver with a blued finish. The barrel also has a blued finish and is free floated in the stock. The stock is a gloss finished checked walnut with a rosewood fore-end cap. The Hunter model steel receiver and barrel have a low-luster blued finish. The stock is a satin finished checkered walnut.

 

The Micro Hunter model has the same finish on the metal and wood as the Hunter model but the stock is sized for a smaller framed shooter and barrel lengths are shorter.

 

Each of the new left-hand models have a steel receiver that is drilled and tapped for the X-Lock scope mounting system.  The bolt action has a 60bolt lift; a popular

Browning design.   The Feather Trigger is easily adjustable to give the shooter a clean, crisp trigger. The detachable rotary magazine lines up each shell in the middle of the magazine for positive, consistent feeding.   An Inflex Technology Recoil Pad reduces felt recoil and muzzle climb. 

 

All three left-hand models are available in a number of popular short and long action calibers.

 

Suggested retail for the X-Bolt Medallion $999.99 to $1,039.99

Suggested retail for the X-Bolt Hunter $869.99 to $899.99

Suggested retail for the X-Bolt Micro Hunter $869.99 to $899.99  

 

800-333-3288

 

www.browning.com


 

National

Michigan Boating Industries (MBIA) Shocked by Coast Guard damaging Ad

May 11, 2011, Livonia, MI - The MBIA is contacting members of Congress to share the boating industries outrage at the intent of the U.S. Coast Guard to launch a misguided and damaging advertising campaign that implies boating is dangerous when in fact boating has a strong safety record that continues to improve.

 

“Every year, millions more people participate in boating, yet fatality rates are holding steady across the nation,” said MBIA President John Ropp. “This also holds true for Michigan.” Michigan DNR reports show that through the years, boating accidents and fatalities in Michigan have declined steadily as boat registrations in this state have increased dramatically. There were 36 boating related fatalities in 2009 and, according to the April, 2009, Secretary of State report, 921,773 registered boats on file (1 out of every 25,604 boaters) compared to 88 boating related fatalities in Michigan in 1967 with 385,124 registered boats on file (when 1 out of every 4,376 boaters had a fatal accident). “Our industry has made substantial progress in improving and maintaining safety,” said Ropp. “We are proud of these gains – they are remarkable and the Coast Guard message should be to keep up the good work.”

 

Boating’s safety record is better than both snowmobiling and motorcycle safety records in Michigan. Snowmobiling had 13 deaths and 346,315 registered snowmobiles in 2009 (1 in 26,639 deaths according to the International Snowmobile Manufacturer’s Association) and motorcycling had 121 deaths and 269,669 registered motorcycles in Michigan in 2008 (1 in 2,228 deaths according to the National Highway Traffic Association).

Across the country, boating industry groups are shocked. “In these uncertain economic times it is incomprehensible that the USCG is using taxpayer dollars to push a new ad campaign whose only message is that boating is a dangerous activity,” commented the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association in a statement about the issue. It is confusing to the industry why the prominent message of this campaign highlights the danger of boating and the smallest message is to “boat responsibly.”

 

“We will tell Congress that they must require the Coast Guard to work with the industry, boaters, and a competent advertising agency to design an effective boating safety campaign that highlights the importance of safety and responsible behavior rather than scare boaters away from a safe and treasured recreational activity,” said Ropp. “These are taxpayer dollars at work and more care should be taken on how they are spent. Not only is this campaign misguided, it is also damaging to an important industry and a beloved American pastime.”

 

The MBIA is a state-wide trade association representing the recreational boating industry in Michigan. The MBIA membership is comprised of businesses which manufacture, distribute, service and sell recreational marine products. This includes facilities such as boat dealerships, various types of marine retail stores, marinas, boat yards, boat and accessory manufacturers, distributors and service companies. The MBIA also produces the Detroit Boat Show at Cobo Center in Detroit, the Spring Boating Expo at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, and the Boating & Outdoor Festival in Mt. Clemens, Mich. The Boater’s Association of Michigan (BAM) is a division of MBIA and serves as a voice for boaters in Michigan. For more info:  www.mbia.org.


2011 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing National Championship

Record-setting field registers for National Championship

Tournament organizers announced that 191 teams representing 380 collegiate anglers are registered to compete in the 2011 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship.

 

Tournament organizers announced that 191 teams representing 380 collegiate anglers are registered to compete in the 2011 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship. Because the field size for the event is capped at 300 anglers, a waiting list has been created to identify which anglers will fill the spots left vacant by registered anglers who are unable to make the trip.

 

This year's event will feature an international field, including a team representing the Canadian Collegiate Bass Anglers as well as the defending national high school champions from The Bass Federation, all of whom will meet at Lake Lewisville, Texas on May 26 and 27 to decide the 2011 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing National Championship. The anglers competing for this prestigious championship title have earned the opportunity to represent their schools based on their tournament performances over the past year.

 

"These students have worked hard to get here," said BoatUS Angler Brand Manager Steve Levi. "Now their sole focus is all about landing the biggest catch. Our focus will be to ensure that boat problems don't stand in their way. We'll be providing on-the-water assistance just like we do in waterways across the country, on every day of the year." Capt. Jay Nunnally of TowBoatUS Lake Lewisville will shadow the fleet daily in his fully equipped response vessel, ready to help with a breakdown, running aground or running out of gas.

 

The official practice fishing days are May 24 and 25. Following practice on May 24th, the Cabela's retail store in Ft. Worth, Texas, will host the Cabela's Collegiate Bass

Fishing Day where the competitors will enjoy meeting professional bass anglers like Clark Wendlandt, Jeff Kriet, Mike McClelland, Kelly Jordon and others who will be on hand providing seminars and shopping assistance. Every two-person team attending the event will be provided a $100 Cabela's gift card to help outfit themselves prior to the event.

 

Registration, the pre-tournament banquet and rules meeting will take place on the evening of the 25th. Event sponsors will have displays on site for the purpose of providing information about their products and services as well as product samples. All told more than $100,000 in scholarships, prizes and product samples will be awarded during the event.

 

The full field of anglers will compete on May 26 and 27. Take off will occur at safe light each morning from Sneaky Pete's and weigh-in will begin at 3 p.m. Careco TV will have camera teams on hand to capture all the action for the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship television series which will air on the Versus network this fall on Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. Eighteen-and-one-half hours of dedicated television coverage will showcase the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship Series which is sanctioned by the Association of Collegiate Anglers.

 

Full event coverage, including updates from the water will be available throughout the event at www.collegiatebasschampionship.com.

 

"The amount of registrations this year has simply been amazing because you've got the best collegiate anglers - as determined by their own schools - competing for the national title," said Tournament Director Wade Middleton. "It's never been more evident on how tough it is for the college teams to determine who competes in this prestigious field, as some of the schools have up to a dozen events that help determine who will represent them at the national championship. This one will be a great one to watch on-site as well as on television, no question about it."

 


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for May 13, 2011 

WEATHER CONDITIONS

Temperatures across the Great Lakes basin rose this week and are currently above seasonal averages.  Thunderstorms will be moving through the basin over the next couple of days, and rain showers may linger through the weekend.  Temperatures will drop this weekend and are expected to be below seasonal averages next week.  Most areas should see sunshine on Monday and Tuesday of next week before cloudy conditions return across the basin for the middle of the week.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

Presently, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are each 2 inches below their levels of a year ago.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 2, 7, and 18 inches higher than their levels of a year ago. Over the next month, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are expected to climb 4 and 3 inches, respectively.  The water levels of Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are predicted to remain steady during the next thirty days. 

FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior's outflow through the St. Mary's River is projected to be below average for the month of May.  The outflows from Lake Huron into the St. Clair River, and from Lake St. Clair into the Detroit River, are expected to be below average throughout the month of May. Lake Erie's

outflow through the Niagara River is predicted to be above

average and the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River is predicted to be near average.

ALERTS

The water level of Lake Superior is below chart datum.  Lake Superior is forecasted to remain below chart datum until July.  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 13

600.46

577.69

574.34

572.15

246.62

Datum, in ft

601.10

577.50

572.30

569.20

243.30

Diff in inches

-8

+2

+24

+35

+40

Diff last month

+5

+7

+7

+9

+14

Diff from last yr

-2

-2

+2

+7

+18


General

Many anglers travel for fishing adventure

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. — The local lake, pond or beach may serve as the backdrop for many great fishing memories, but in the past year, nearly 40 percent of anglers revealed that they also traveled out of state to fish as well. It seems as many as 38.6 percent of fishermen surveyed by AnglerSurvey.com revealed that in the past year they had traveled out of state to fish.

 

Of those who traveled out of state, AnglerSurvey.com reports 34.9 percent took at least one trip out of state, 23.8 percent took two, 10.3 percent took three and 31 percent said they traveled out of state to fish four or more times in the past year. As many as 7.6 percent of survey respondents reported they even traveled out of the country to fish.

 

“Many of these trips require the purchase of gas, meals, hotels, guide or charter boat services and tackle, all of which go to strengthen local economies” said Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, which designs and conducts the surveys at HunterSurvey.com , ShooterSurvey.com and AnglerSurvey.com. With an estimated 30 million fishermen in the United States, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Estimates, that means

more than 11.5 million anglers each year travel out of state

to fish.

 

“These findings suggest there is an entire market of sportsmen worth targeting from state and local visitor bureaus and chambers of commerce,” says Southwick. Those who hunt, fish and shoot are invited to participate in the surveys conducted on HunterSurvey.com , ShooterSurvey.com and AnglerSurvey.com. Each month, participants who complete the survey are entered into a drawing for one of five $100 gift certificates to the sporting goods retailer of their choice.

 

About AnglerSurvey.com and HunterSurvey.com: Launched in 2006, AnglerSurvey.com , ShooterSurvey.com and HunterSurvey.com help the outdoor equipment industry, government fisheries and wildlife officials and conservation organizations track consumer activities and expenditure trends. The information above represents only a small sample of the vast amount of data collected from the complete survey results and available to government agencies, businesses, the media and other interested parties. Results are scientifically analyzed to reflect the attitudes and habits of anglers and hunters across the United States.


 

Lake Erie

Ontario fines commercials for fishing violations on Lake Erie

Richard Jackson of Erieau, captain of the commercial fishing vessel, “Seven O”, pleaded guilty to five counts of violating the terms and conditions of his commercial fishing licence while gill netting in the Chatham-Kent waters of Lake Erie and landing his catch of fish in the Port of Erieau.  He was fined $3,500.

 

The court heard that several investigations conducted by conservation officers with the Lake Erie Enforcement Unit showed that Jackson submitted falsified and inaccurate daily catch reports to the Ministry of Natural Resources in the winter and spring of 2009. The investigations concluded that Jackson submitted three daily catch reports that contained falsified net set durations and a fourth report with no net set duration recorded. Jackson also failed to report

104 kilograms (231 pounds) of walleye on a daily catch report.

 

The Family Fish Company Ltd., owner of a commercial fishing licence, and Helio Ferreira of Leamington, captain of the commercial fishing vessel Mummery Bros., pleaded guilty to one count each of violating the terms and conditions of a commercial fishing licence. The Lake Erie commercial fishing boat captain was fined $3,500 and the Leamington commercial fishing company has been fined $2,000 for committing commercial fishing violations.

 

To report a natural resource violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time or contact your ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

 


Michigan

Asian carp town halls held across Michigan

Forums to be held in Linwood, Alpena, Traverse City and Muskegon

Michigan residents can learn about the invasive species threatening the Great Lakes and share their opinions with state lawmakers at aquatic invasive species town hall meetings with members of the House Natural Resources, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation Committee.

 

Committee Chair Rep. Frank Foster of Pellston, lawmakers and invasive species experts will be at the town halls hosted by Reps. Holly Hughes in Muskegon; Joel Johnson in Linwood; Peter Pettalia in Alpena; and Wayne Schmidt in Traverse City.

 

“Many people in Michigan have a lot at risk if Asian carp take hold in the Great Lakes, from residents enjoying a day at the beach or holding a fishing pole to business and industries that rely on the diversity of the resource for their livelihood,” Foster said. “It’s important that we listen to all those concerns and ideas to develop the most effective approach to protecting the lakes.”

 

The programs will also include presentations from the

Michigan State U, Michigan Sea Grant and Department of Natural Resources for an overview of the Asian carp species and to present prevention, detection, assessment and management tools currently under consideration, and there will be opportunities for committee members and other legislators to listen to public comment.

 

The first round of meetings will be on Friday, May 13:

• St. Anne’s Church, 317 W Center St, Linwood, from 9-11 AM

• NOAA’s Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Ctr, 500 W. Fletcher St, Alpena, 6:30-8:30 PM

 

The second date is Friday, May 20:

• GVSU Annis Water Resources Institute, 740 W. Shoreline Dr, Muskegon, 9-11 AM

• Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce, 202 East Grandview Pkwy, Traverse City, 6:30-8:30 PM

 

Residents unable to attend can contact Foster’s Lansing office at 517-373-2629; by email at frankfoster@house.mi.gov;  through his online office website, www.RepFoster.com; or by writing to the lawmaker at State Capitol, Lansing, MI 48909.


Urban kayaking on the Detroit Heritage River Water Trail on the rise

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Think about kayaking in Michigan and one undoubtedly thinks about the pristine rivers, lakes and forests as a setting. Researchers at Michigan State University (MSU), however, say think again.

           

Though the Detroit River has a far-reaching history of industrial usage, a recent survey conducted by the MSU Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies (CARRS) and Michigan Sea Grant Extension finds that the river offers much more.

           

Kayaking enthusiasts now enjoy an urban paddling experience among freighter traffic, skyscrapers and industries as the Detroit River emerges as an important natural resource and provider of ecological services and benefits to the state.

           

“The leadership and collaboration toward water trails and paddling sports in the downriver area is terrific and forward-thinking,” said Christine Vogt, professor in the Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies. “This recreation and tourism activity can put Michigan on the map with all our Great Lakes and rivers in urban, suburban and rural areas.”

           

The two-year water trail survey, done in conjunction with the Downriver Linked Greenways Initiative, Riverside Kayak Connection of Wyandotte and the National Park Service, was conducted from July 2009 through December 2010 to learn more about people who participate in paddling programs on the Detroit River.

           

Respondents to the survey gave their opinion on whether they viewed the Detroit River as a desirable paddling destination. They also were asked about their spending habits when paddling on the river as a potential economic indicator influencing the Detroit Heritage River Water Trail region. The survey found that respondents recognized the connection between urbanized Detroit and the more natural downriver areas of the Detroit River International Wildlife

Refuge, Huron-Clinton Metroparks and Pointe Mouillee State Game Area, and concludes that the Detroit River is a draw for paddling enthusiasts.

 

“This survey has implications for coastal tourism efforts throughout the region,” says Mary Bohling, MSU Extension educator, Urban Southeast District. “As more coastal communities explore implementation of water trails, it becomes important to understand potential trail users and how to effectively attract them to a variety of recreational options.”

 

Broader marketing through social media and email discussion group lists has led to an increase in visitors from outside of Wayne County. In 2009, nearly one-third of the paddlers participating in kayaking programs on the Detroit River were from outside Wayne County. By 2010, two-thirds of participants came from areas including Ohio, Illinois and Canada.

           

With an increase in the number of paddlers on the river came positive economic impacts. Spending for kayak equipment was the most common expenditure that included small dollar purchases to larger purchases of more than $1,000.

           

“Our business has been thriving and growing as users realize the wonderful natural resources available in southeast Michigan,” says Anita Twardesky, public relations and marketing director of Riverside Kayak Connection LLC.

           

Restaurants and lodging were also popular sources of spending, showing that new paddlers are attracted to new boats and accessories as well as water trails where a day or overnight trip can be staged and enjoyed.

           

“Other areas of Michigan should be following the program innovations of Anita and Mary, and creating even more paddling opportunities,” Vogt said. “The research shows how natural resources and people are connecting and finding urban areas attractive.”

 


DNR seeks public input on plan to increase hunting access, opportunity

The Michigan Departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture & Rural Development announced the kick-off of a 30-day comment period related to the Hunting Access Program (HAP), a tool the state will use to increase access to high quality hunting land in Michigan.

 

“Providing increased access to high quality hunting land in southern Michigan is a top priority for the DNR,” said DNR Director Rodney Stokes. “Increasing HAP enrollment addresses one of my top goals of getting more people hunting, fishing and enjoying Michigan’s natural resources.  Providing access to quality hunting lands close to urban centers is a key component to attracting new and retaining current hunters.” 

 

Last fall, the two departments received a federal Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP) grant to expand the DNR’s Hunting Access Program. As part of the grant, the departments were required to complete a Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA), which determines the impacts a program may have on the environment. The Michigan Department of Transportation was hired to complete the PEA.

 

The VPA-HIP is a new grant program authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, which provides grants to states and tribal governments to encourage land owners to voluntarily open their land for outdoor recreation activities such as hunting, fishing, wildlife watching and other activities.

 

Alternatives outlined in the PEA include the Proposed Action Alternative and the No Action Alternative. The Proposed Action Alternative would expand the existing Hunting Access Program in southern Michigan, increase hunting opportunities for all hunters as well as youth and apprentice hunters, encourage landowner participation by

offering increased financial incentives and greater flexibility, encourage high quality wildlife habitat, and increase hunter

and landowner awareness of these new opportunities through targeted outreach and program marketing.  Grant funding will also be used to hire a coordinator to oversee program expansion and increase DNR presence on HAP lands.  The Proposed Action would not result in any land use changes, or disturbances to the ground or vegetation.  The No Action Alternative assesses the potential effects of not implementing the proposed action. 

 

The HAP was created in 1977 to increase public hunting opportunities in southern Michigan where 97 percent of the land base is in private ownership, and is now one of the oldest dedicated private lands public access programs in the nation. HAP provides financial incentives to landowners in southern Michigan who allow hunters access to their lands.  Eligible properties must be at least 40 acres in size and payments are based on habitat quality.  With the help of the new VPA-HIP grant, the DNR hopes to significantly increase HAP from 53 farms totaling 8,000 acres, to 100 farms and 15,000 acres.

 

“The DNR is excited to overhaul the HAP program completely,” said DNR wildlife biologist and HAP Coordinator Mike Parker. “As places to hunt become harder and harder to find, HAP becomes more important than ever before to provide quality hunting opportunities on privately owned lands. Funding from this grant will help the DNR reach the goal of doubling existing HAP acreage.

 

The PEA is available on the DNR Website at www.michigan.gov/hunting. Comments may be sent to Mike Parker at parkerm@michigan.gov or at the DNR Rose Lake Field Office, 8562 East Stoll Rd., East Lansing MI 48823. Comments will be accepted until June 8, 2011. For individuals who may be interested in submitting property into HAP, contact Mike Parker via email or at 517-641-4903, extension 228.


Michigan Boating Industries (MBIA) Shocked by Coast Guard damaging Ad

May 11, 2011, Livonia, MI - The MBIA is contacting members of Congress to share the boating industries outrage at the intent of the U.S. Coast Guard to launch a misguided and damaging advertising campaign that implies boating is dangerous when in fact boating has a strong safety record that continues to improve.

 

“Every year, millions more people participate in boating, yet fatality rates are holding steady across the nation,” said MBIA President John Ropp. “This also holds true for Michigan.” Michigan DNR reports show that through the years, boating accidents and fatalities in Michigan have declined steadily as boat registrations in this state have increased dramatically. There were 36 boating related fatalities in 2009 and, according to the April, 2009, Secretary of State report, 921,773 registered boats on file (1 out of every 25,604 boaters) compared to 88 boating related fatalities in Michigan in 1967 with 385,124 registered boats on file (when 1 out of every 4,376 boaters had a fatal accident). “Our industry has made substantial progress in improving and maintaining safety,” said Ropp. “We are proud of these gains – they are remarkable and the Coast Guard message should be to keep up the good work.”

 

Boating’s safety record is better than both snowmobiling and motorcycle safety records in Michigan. Snowmobiling had 13 deaths and 346,315 registered snowmobiles in 2009 (1 in 26,639 deaths according to the International Snowmobile Manufacturer’s Association) and motorcycling had 121 deaths and 269,669 registered motorcycles in Michigan in 2008 (1 in 2,228 deaths according to the National Highway Traffic Association).

Across the country, boating industry groups are shocked. “In these uncertain economic times it is incomprehensible that the USCG is using taxpayer dollars to push a new ad campaign whose only message is that boating is a dangerous activity,” commented the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association in a statement about the issue. It is confusing to the industry why the prominent message of this campaign highlights the danger of boating and the smallest message is to “boat responsibly.”

 

“We will tell Congress that they must require the Coast Guard to work with the industry, boaters, and a competent advertising agency to design an effective boating safety campaign that highlights the importance of safety and responsible behavior rather than scare boaters away from a safe and treasured recreational activity,” said Ropp. “These are taxpayer dollars at work and more care should be taken on how they are spent. Not only is this campaign misguided, it is also damaging to an important industry and a beloved American pastime.”

 

The MBIA is a state-wide trade association representing the recreational boating industry in Michigan. The MBIA membership is comprised of businesses which manufacture, distribute, service and sell recreational marine products. This includes facilities such as boat dealerships, various types of marine retail stores, marinas, boat yards, boat and accessory manufacturers, distributors and service companies. The MBIA also produces the Detroit Boat Show at Cobo Center in Detroit, the Spring Boating Expo at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, and the Boating & Outdoor Festival in Mt. Clemens, Mich. The Boater’s Association of Michigan (BAM) is a division of MBIA and serves as a voice for boaters in Michigan. For more info:  www.mbia.org.


DNR Director tables campground closure order until June

Department of Natural Resources Director Rodney Stokes on Thursday tabled a director’s order to close 23 state forest campgrounds until the June 9 Natural Resources Commission (NRC) meeting. The order was eligible for Stokes’ signature at Thursday’s NRC meeting in Flint.

 

Stokes said he was tabling the order to give DNR staff more time to work on two plans to keep more of the campgrounds open. First, he wants to give DNR staff more time to discuss leasing agreements with local units of government that have expressed an interest in some of the campgrounds targeted for closure.

 

Stokes also wants to give the DNR’s Forest Management Division staff time to work with the DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division staff on a joint management agreement for some of the campgrounds. He also announced that the Lime Island State Forest Campground in the St. Marys River near Sault Ste. Marie, on the list for closure, would be transferred to the DNR Parks and Recreation Division to

manage.

 

“It is always unfortunate when we have to close campgrounds due to budget cuts and low revenues,” Stokes said. “However, by tabling this order until the June NRC meeting, we buy some time to keep discussing options with local units of government and within the Department to keep some of these campgrounds operating this year.”

 

In May, the DNR announced it would be closing 23 of the 133 state forest campgrounds in the northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula. State forest campgrounds are rustic camping sites located within state forest land – they are not state parks. Reasons cited for the closures are a 63 % reduction in General Fund support for the State Forest Recreation Program over the last three years and declining use and revenues.

For more information on the NRC, including agendas, past meeting minutes and informational memos, go to www.michigan.gov/nrc.

 


New York

Dec temporarily closes Shellfishing areas

In Town Of Southampton, Suffolk County

Shellfish Closures Follow Finding of Marine Biotoxin in Shellfish

The New York State DEC last week announced that shellfish harvesting in particular areas in the Town of Huntington have been temporarily closed, effective immediately, due to the detection of a marine biotoxin. The closure impacts approximately 3,900 acres, covering all the underwater lands in Shinnecock Bay that lie west of the southbound lanes of the Ponquogue Bridge and west of the western side of the Post Lane Bridge in Quogue. Clams, mussels and oysters are harvested commercially and recreationally in these areas.

 

All shellfish harvesting in these lands is prohibited until further notice in an effort to protect public health. A map

showing the affected areas is available on the DEC website directly at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7765.html. This action was taken after DEC determined that shellfish samples collected from western Shinnecock Bay tested positive for saxitoxin, a marine biotoxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). The samples were tested as part of DEC’s marine biotoxin monitoring program. This is the first biotoxin closure of areas outside Huntington and Northport bays, which were first closed in 2006.

 

DEC will re-open areas as soon as possible based on the results of laboratory analyses of shellfish and water samples that will be collected over the next few weeks. A taped message advising harvesters of the status of these shellfish areas may be heard by calling (631) 444-0480. The message will be updated during the course of the temporary closure.


Ohio

Free Safety inspections offered as boating season begins

COLUMBUS, OH – Keeping recreational boating a safe and pleasurable experience is the goal of encouraging Ohioans to get a free vessel safety inspection offered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Watercraft and its boating partners.

 

Free to the public, more than 85 safety inspection events have been scheduled through early June, according to the Division of Watercraft. Many of these will be held the weekends of May 21-22 and May 28-30 in observance of National Safe Boating Week (May 21-27) and the Memorial Day holiday (May 28-30) weekend which signals the traditional start of Ohio’s summer boating season. The vessel safety inspections help increase safety awareness just as many Ohioans are launching their boats for the first

time this year. A complete listing of vessel safety

inspections may be found at http://ohiodnr.com/watercraft/areas/tabid/2487/Default.aspx.

 

Watercraft officers provide written courtesy inspection reports that allow boat owners to make any recommended improvements to their boating safety equipment. These inspections typically examine the condition of required safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, horns, navigational lights and distress signals, as well as life jackets and vests, which must be kept in good condition and readily accessible to all boat occupants.

 

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

 


Wisconsin

Wire clippers required for anglers trolling with downriggers on Great Lakes

MADISON - Starting May 15, anglers trolling with downriggers on Wisconsin's Great Lakes waters must have wire clippers on board that can cut their downrigger cables should they get tangled in commercial fishing trap nets or other obstructions below the water's surface.

 

The requirement is part of an emergency rule adopted late last month by the state Natural Resources Board and aimed at better protecting sport anglers on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior from hazards under the water, including commercial fishing nets.

 

"This rule requires the boat operator to have wire clippers on board and easily accessible, which many anglers already do," says Conservation Warden Supervisor Chris Groth, who leads the Marine Enforcement Unit for the Department of Natural Resources.

 

"The most important thing anglers can do is steer clear of the nets and other obstructions," he says. "Having wire cutters on board is a small but important step anglers can take to protect themselves should they get into a bad situation on Lake Michigan or Lake Superior.".

 

Cutting any cable or line that gets tangled in an underwater obstruction is the only safe way for a boater to get free. Backing, circling or other attempts to retrieve the snagged

gear is extremely dangerous because a boat tethered or

caught on a rock or other object on the bottom can be swamped and capsize.

 

In June 2010, a boat carrying three anglers who were trolling in Lake Michigan near Sheboygan capsized after their downrigger cables got tangled in a legally set trap net. While in the water, one of the anglers suffered a heart attack and died.

 

Bill Horns, the DNR's Great Lakes fisheries specialist, says that new measures commercial fishermen must take also will better protect sport anglers. Nets on Lake Superior must be marked in the same way as nets on Lake Michigan, and nets set on both waters must have reflective tape on the staffs of the flags marking them.

 

Horns says that having consistent net markers on both lakes will help increase angler awareness of the nets, what to look for, and the potential dangers they pose. If anglers bring a strong light at night, the reflective tape will be easier to see and allow the operators to steer clear of the nets.

 

DNR and UW Sea Grant will be releasing revised informational materials in coming weeks showing the new markings and boundaries. More information on trap net safety can be found on DNR's web site at http://dnr.wi.gov/fish/greatlakes/trapnets.htm.


Walleye bag limits raised on two popular Oneida County Lakes

MADISON – The Wisconsin DNR announced it raised the daily walleye bag limit for sport anglers on the Willow Flowage and Lake Tomahawk in Oneida County.  Officials of the Lac du Flambeau Tribe and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) notified DNR that the Lac du Flambeau had lowered their walleye harvest

quotas on the two lakes enough to facilitate increasing the daily sport angler bag limit from two to three walleye.

 

“Walleye fishing is big in northern Wisconsin, and we are grateful to the Lac du Flambeau that they did this in time for the opening of fishing season,” said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp.


Ontario

Ontario fines commercials for fishing violations on Lake Erie

Richard Jackson of Erieau, captain of the commercial fishing vessel, “Seven O”, pleaded guilty to five counts of violating the terms and conditions of his commercial fishing licence while gill netting in the Chatham-Kent waters of Lake Erie and landing his catch of fish in the Port of Erieau.  He was fined $3,500.

 

The court heard that several investigations conducted by conservation officers with the Lake Erie Enforcement Unit showed that Jackson submitted falsified and inaccurate daily catch reports to the Ministry of Natural Resources in the winter and spring of 2009. The investigations concluded that Jackson submitted three daily catch reports that contained falsified net set durations and a fourth report with no net set duration recorded. Jackson also failed to report

104 kilograms (231 pounds) of walleye on a daily catch report.

 

The Family Fish Company Ltd., owner of a commercial fishing licence, and Helio Ferreira of Leamington, captain of the commercial fishing vessel Mummery Bros., pleaded guilty to one count each of violating the terms and conditions of a commercial fishing licence. The Lake Erie commercial fishing boat captain was fined $3,500 and the Leamington commercial fishing company has been fined $2,000 for committing commercial fishing violations.

 

To report a natural resource violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time or contact your ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

 

Feds demand Chicago River cleanup
The Obama administration is ordering an ambitious cleanup of the Chicago River, a dramatic step toward improving an urban waterway treated for more than a century as little more than an industrialized sewage canal.

 

Walker plan calls for more DNR autonomy
Gov. Scott Walker's administration is developing a plan that it says will streamline the Department of Natural Resources to make it more responsive to the public and help speed reviews of environmental permits sought by industry.

Ohio anglers encouraged to participate in survey
)
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife invites anglers to see www.ohiodnr.com/creel to take a new online angler survey.

 

Experts search for reasons for so much algae in Lake Ontario

Scientists have searching for an underlying explanation for the presence of so much algae in Lake Ontario.  An international research project that may help provide an explanation is in its final stages.  The nutrients, especially phosphorus, a constituent of fertilizers, sewage and animal waste, fuel the growth of

 

Fishing nets 43,000 Minnesota jobs, $2.8 billion in retail spending
According to the fisheries chief of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, fishing is an economic engine that supports 43,000 Minnesota jobs, generates $2.8 billion in direct annual expenditures and contributes more than $640 million a year in tax revenues.

An Asian carp solution?
Asian carp have been threatening to invade the Great Lakes for years, but a permanent solution remains to be found. With the opportunity to act quickly slipping away, a couple of Houghton-based scientists have come up with a plan of their own

 

Resurgence of native Great Lakes fish welcomed
Thought to have been a lost genetic strain of native fish, the reef Cisco has reappeared in Lake Michigan in increasing numbers after 20 to 30 years out of biologists’ view.

 

On the trail
They aren't the fish that leap out of the water and knock out boaters nor the ones that can reach 100 pounds, but the discoveries late last month of grass carp in the Milwaukee River and in the Lower Wisconsin River are very concerning, according to state fisheries officials.

 

DNR paying anglers $100 for landing tagged walleye
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will pay you $100 to hook a fish, but there's a catch: It has to be a specially tagged, electronically enhanced walleye.

 

Great Lakes lamprey control program will see cuts next year
The Great Lakes Fishery Commission’s sea lamprey control program will see a significant reduction in support next year. Funding to the commission for its anti-lamprey efforts will be $18.7 million in 2012, a 14% reduction compared to 2010.

 

 

 

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

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

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