Week of June 1, 2009

National

Regional

General
Lake Erie

Michigan
Ohio
Wisconsin
Outdoors Tip

 

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National

New federal bill would control all water

Great Lakes, all wetlands, marshes & mud puddles would fall under federal jurisdiction

If Congress has its way, new legislation will put ALL surface waters in the United States of America under Congressional jurisdiction.

 

U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) has introduced a bill, S787, which was sponsored by 23 other members (all Democrats) Senate Bill S787 is entitled, "To amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify the jurisdiction of the United States over waters of the United States." Its chief author in the House is Minnesota Congressman James Oberstar (D).

 

The first changes the definition of what is under Congressional jurisdiction. Ever since the Commerce Clause of the Constitution and several test cases in the Supreme Court, Congress has had jurisdiction over navigable waters. The meaning of that word has been argued, but according to precedent and legal definition, navigable includes anything you can get a canoe down, or anything that is connected by

water to the same.

 

However, under S787, also known as the Clean Water Restoration Act, the word navigable is stricken, which means now ALL surface water is under Congressional jurisdiction. Additionally, in case there was any question of state's rights, the bill also states that this applies to interstate and intrastate waters. That means there is no state sovereignty over waters within that state's boundaries.

 

And, if you have any doubt as to what the Congressional definition of "waters" is, they spell that out, too. It includes, "all waters subject to the ebb and flow of the tide, the territorial seas, and all interstate and intrastate waters and their tributaries, including lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams), mudflats, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes, natural ponds, and all impoundments of the foregoing, to the fullest extent that these waters, or activities affecting these waters, are subject to the legislative power of Congress under the Constitution."


Free Fishing Weekends, June 6-7 or 13-14 or …

Most states will offer a similar program, but to find the correct

date(s) and locations go to.. www.freefishingday.com/freefishingsearch.html


Getting back into the U.S. now tougher

Getting back into the good old USA just got tougher effective June 1st.  Boaters and anglers visiting Canada or the Caribbean will now have a tougher time getting back into the U.S. without proper I.D. papers.

 

U.S. citizens returning by land or sea from those nations will now need passports or other secure ID unless travelers are youngsters. The new law, Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative was passed in January 2007 and has been enacted

in stages. This is the final phase.

 

Homeland Security says Customs and Border Protection agents will verify citizenship of people without proper documentation by using government databases and other tools. Joanne Ferreira, a spokeswoman for the agency, said those without proper paperwork will be given "non-compliance notices" -- a written warning without consequences -- before they are allowed into the country.


Public input sought on Chicago Sanitary/Ship Canal navigation zone

Coast Guard seeks public comment on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

CLEVELAND - The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking public comment on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking establishing a regulated navigation area and safety zone on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, near Romeoville, Ill.

 

The proposed regulated navigation area and safety zone places navigational and operational restrictions on all vessels transiting the navigable waters located adjacent to and over the Army Corps of Engineers electrical dispersal fish barrier system.

 

CLICK HERE to obtain the complete NPR, which was published in the Federal Register on May 26, 2009.

 

Submit your comments by one of these methods to the Coast 

 Guard docket # USCG-2008-1247:

►Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.  

►Fax: (202) 493-2251

►Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. DOT, West Bldg Ground Floor, Rm W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Ave, SE., Washington, D.C. 20590-0001.

 

Comments and related material must be submitted to our online docket on or before July 27, 2009 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date.

 

Any questions? Call Lt. Ann Henkelman, Waterways Management Branch, Ninth Coast Guard District, 216-902-6288.

Questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Mgr, Docket Operations, 202-366-9826

 


Animal Rights Extremist Becomes FBI’s Most Wanted Domestic Terrorist

While animal rights extremist Daniel Andreas San Diego isn’t toppling Osama bin Laden from his perch as America’s number one most wanted terrorist, he is competing for space on that same list.  He is suspected of engaging in at least two 2003 bomb attacks in northern California.

 

The FBI announced it was adding San Diego to its “Most Wanted” terrorist list on April 21.  The 31 year old San Diego becomes only the 24th person to be added to the list and the first one that is solely wanted for domestic terrorism. 

The attacks were directed against the offices of two biotech facilities that did business with a company conducting animal testing for medical purposes.  According to the FBI, one of the bombs was “laced with nails to create potentially deadly shrapnel.”

 

San Diego is described as a strict vegan that “avoids consuming or wearing anything made with animal products.”  A $250,000 reward for information leading to the capture of San Diego is being offered.  That amount is substantially larger the rewards offered for other “eco-terrorists” wanted in the U.S.


Regional

Great Lakes Water Levels for May 29, 2009

Weather Conditions

Plenty of sun and dry conditions prevailed this past holiday weekend.  Midweek, two areas of low pressure moved into the basin and provided some much needed rain to the upper Great Lakes.  This system is expected to move across the lower Great Lakes and out of the basin by Friday.  Looking to the weekend, high pressure will return with mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies and seasonable temperatures. 

Lake Level Conditions

Lake Superior is currently 2 inches above what it was at this time last year.  Lakes Michigan-Huron and St. Clair are 12 and 10 inches, respectively, higher than their levels of a year ago.  Lake Erie is 5 inches above last year's level, while Lake Ontario is 2 inches below last year's level.  Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are predicted to rise 3 inches and 2 inches, respectively, over the next 30 days.  Both Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie are projected to fall one inch during the next month while Lake Ontario is forecasted to decline 2 inches during the next month.  Over the next several months, Lake Superior is predicted to be around its level of a year ago. Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are forecasted to remain at or above last year's levels.  Lake Ontario is forecasted to be at or below its levels of a year ago over the next six months. 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions

In April, the outflow from Lake Superior through the St. Mary's

 

was lower than average.  The outflows through the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers were below average as well, while the Niagara and St. Lawrence River outflows were above average. 

Alerts

Lake Superior is near its chart datum elevation.  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 29

601.28

578.61

 

574.90

572.38

246.65

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

 

 +2

 

   +13

 

+31

 

+38

 

+40

Diff last month

 

+3

 

 +3

 

0

 

 0

 

0

Diff from last yr

 

+2

 

+12

 

+10

 

+5

 

-2


Public input sought on Chicago Sanitary/Ship Canal navigation zone

Coast Guard seeks public comment on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

CLEVELAND - The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking public comment on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking establishing a regulated navigation area and safety zone on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, near Romeoville, Ill.

 

The proposed regulated navigation area and safety zone places navigational and operational restrictions on all vessels transiting the navigable waters located adjacent to and over the Army Corps of Engineers electrical dispersal fish barrier system.

 

CLICK HERE to obtain the complete NPR, which was published in the Federal Register on May 26, 2009.

 

Submit your comments by one of these methods to the Coast

Guard docket # USCG-2008-1247:

►Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.  

►Fax: (202) 493-2251

►Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. DOT, West Bldg Ground Floor, Rm W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Ave, SE., Washington, D.C. 20590-0001.

 

Comments and related material must be submitted to our online docket on or before July 27, 2009 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date.

 

Any questions? Call Lt. Ann Henkelman, Waterways Management Branch, Ninth Coast Guard District, 216-902-6288.

Questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Mgr, Docket Operations, 202-366-9826

 


General

ESPN Radio And Bass Pro Shops to give away  Ultimate Outdoor Prize Package

Springfield, Mo – ESPN Radio and Bass Pro Shops have partnered together to offer listeners and shoppers an opportunity to win prizes any outdoors enthusiasts would love to have plus one lucky person will win the ultimate outdoor prize package.

 

All you need to do to enter is visit www.espnradio.com  or register at the Ultimate Outdoor Giveaway display at any Bass Pro Shops store to win. Names will be drawn for five outstanding outdoor prizes including a $3,000 Bass Pro Shops fishing package, $3,500 Bass Pro Shops camping package, $7,500 Bass Pro Shops/Bayfield cabin furniture package, $8,000 Tracker Pro 16 boat package, or a $10,000

Cub Cadet UTV.

 

One lucky Grand Prize winner will be drawn to receive a complete outdoor package valued at more than $80,000. The grand prize includes the Bass Pro Shops fishing package, the Bass Pro Shops camping package, the Bass Pro Shops/Bayfield cabin furniture package and the Cub Cadet UTV plus a fishing trip with Tom Rowland, host of Saltwater Experience, a Jim Barna “Hare’s Ear” log cabin and a special edition Under Armour Nitro Z-7 boat package.

For more information, listen to Mike & Mike in the Morning, sponsored by Bass Pro Shops, Monday thru Friday 6 am to 10 am eastern time on ESPN Radio, or go to www.espnradio.com and www.basspro.com.

(*Winners will be announced on or about August 10th)


Lake Erie

European Rudd Found in Ohio Waters of Lake Erie

COLUMBUS, OH - The first record of European rudd in Ohio waters was recorded this week. It was caught by licensed Ohio commercial fisherman Jim Swartz, who netted the fish near the Lakeside Pier in Marblehead and brought it to state fisheries biologists in Sandusky for identification, according to the Ohio DNR.

 

European rudd, Scardinius erythrophthalmus, is a medium-sized fish native to Europe and Western Asia, where it is a popular food and game species. It was introduced to the United States in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century and may be found in as many as 20 other states.

 

Rudd were first recorded in the Great Lakes drainage in 1950, found in Canadian waters of Lake Erie in 1997, and more recently in Pennsylvania waters of Lake Erie in 2004. Rudd are

benthic cyprinid fish (minnow family) with omnivorous feeding

habits and a lifespan of up to 15 years. Adult size is about 18-20 inches. The fish is very similar to the golden shiner in appearance. They are abundant in the upper Niagara River and in Buffalo Harbor, New York.

 

Rudd may compete for invertebrate food sources with native fishes. Because rudd are fairly hardy, they are likely to fare better than many native fishes in waters that are low in oxygen or polluted.

 

Bait bucket release seems to be the primary mechanism by which rudd have spread. Lake Erie anglers are encouraged to drain all live wells and use only Ohio approved bait fish. Ohio law prohibits the introduction of any fish species into public waters without written permission from the ODNR Division of Wildlife.


Michigan

Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center in Cadillac Summer Programs

The Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center in Cadillac has announced its summer schedule of programs. The center is located next to Mitchell State Park on M-115 in Cadillac, and is one of 10 Michigan DNR visitor centers around the state.

 

The summer programs include:

June 13 - Free Fishing Weekend. There will be a family fishing contest and prizes. Participants should pre-register by calling the center at 231-779-1321. Fishing tackle and bait will be available at the center all weekend. Refreshments will also be available.

 

June 20 - 90th Anniversary Celebration for Michigan State Parks. There will be a canoe and kayak clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with Chippewa Landing, Sportsman’s Port and Missaukee Paddle Sports; Live Amphibians with Jim McGrath of Nature Discovery from 2 to 4 p.m.; the 90th Anniversary Ceremony with cake and ice cream for all under the range pavilion at 4 p.m.; and another presentation of Live Amphibians from 6 to 8 p.m.

 

June 27 - Wildlife Wood Carving. There will be a presentation of World Class Wildlife Wood Carving Demonstration and Exhibit with Ray Eckert from 1 to 4 p.m. at the center.

 

July 4 - Fourth of July Fiesta Celebration. Pellet gun and archery range activities will be available to visitors from 3 to 5 p.m. and float fishing on the canal will be available from 6 to 8 p.m.

 

July 18 - Old Time Logging History (1860-1910). Wendell Hoover will be on hand for a presentation on old time logging history from 12 to 2 p.m. and again from 8 to 10 p.m. at the

campground at the east end of the canal. Float fishing on the canal will be available from 3 to 5 PM and shooting range activities will be available from 6 to 8 p.m.

 

July 25 - Storytelling in the Native American Tradition. Wendell Hoover will be on hand again to give a presentation of storytelling in the Native American tradition from 3 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. There will be a special evening campfire presentation from 10 p.m. to midnight.

 

Aug. 1 - Family Range Day. Pellet gun and archery range activities will be available from noon to 3 p.m. 

 

Aug. 8 - Picnic in the Park. The annual Picnic in the Park fundraiser for activities at the center will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Donations will be accepted. Live Wildlife Sampler with Jim McGrath of Nature Discovery will be held from 10 a.m. to noon and again from 1 to 3 p.m. Pellet gun and archery range activities will be available from 3 to 5 p.m., and float fishing on the canal will be offered from 6 to 8 p.m.

 

Aug. 29-30 - Hunter Safety Class. A hunter safety class will be offered this weekend at the center. Pre-registration is required by calling 231-779-1321.

 

Mitchell State Park is located on M-115 in Cadillac.  For more info, call the visitor center at 231-779-1321. For information about the park, accessibility, or persons needing accommodations, contact the park supervisor at 231-775-7911 (TTY/TDD711 Michigan Relay Center for the hearing impaired) or visit www.michigan.gov/mitchell.   Camping reservations can be made on-line at www.midnrreservations.com,  or by calling the DNR central reservation system at 800-447-2757.


Sturgeon Reproduction documented at Fighting Island Reef

Walleye and lake whitefish also spawning at reef - We built it and they have come!

Last year, in a unique U.S.-Canada partnership, a lake sturgeon spawning reef was built off Fighting Island in the Detroit River. Just last week it was confirmed that sturgeon are spawning on the reef. They also found an endangered species -- the northern madtom.

 

Lake sturgeon have spawned four times on the reef constructed last year at the head of Fighting Island in the Detroit River! This is the first time in 30 years that spawning by lake sturgeon, a threatened species in both Michigan and Ontario, has been confirmed in the Canadian waters of the Detroit River. The new spawning reef, constructed at Fighting Island in October, 2008, was celebrated as the first Canada-US funded fish habitat restoration project in the Great Lakes. The strong partnership between our nations and

the dedication of everyone involved in protecting our shared natural resources made this project a reality.

 

The fact that lake sturgeon, an indicator of ecosystem health, are utilizing the reef, provides scientific evidence that this restoration project was a success and further validates the binational pollution prevention and control efforts implemented through the water quality agreements crafted in the early 1970s (U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement).

 

“We are indeed so proud to be part of this international success story of recovery of lake sturgeon in our shared Great Lakes waters,” notes Canadian Member of Parliament Jeff Watson. “These results provide concrete evidence of the benefits of using sound science and unique public-private partnerships to improve our Detroit River ecosystem.”

 

“It is so heartening to see the amazing success of this sturgeon habitat restoration for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge,” notes Congressman John D. Dingell. “No one thought this degree of success was possible only 30 years ago. It truly validates the decades of international cooperation on pollution control and conservation efforts in the River and throughout the Refuge. I want to give my special thanks to all the Canadian partners who made this possible and I look forward to continuing this important work with them in the future.”

 

The lake sturgeon population in the Detroit River is estimated to be about 1% of its former abundance. Over the past century, fish populations in the Detroit River have been greatly reduced

by channelization, loss of coastal wetlands, filling/armoring of shorelines, water pollution, and dredging of the limestone bedrock that served as spawning habitat for lake sturgeon and other native fish species. Scientists determined, based on three previous reef projects undertaken in both Canadian and U.S. waters, that they could build new spawning habitat using various types of materials, such as broken limestone rock, to enhance reproduction of lake sturgeon and other fish. The finding of fertilized lake sturgeon eggs at Fighting Island indicates that this restoration strategy is yielding very positive ecosystem results, and that this small, remnant population of native lake sturgeon may one day be restored to a higher level of abundance in the Detroit River.

 

Walleye and lake whitefish have also spawned on the reef, demonstrating that the constructed spawning habitat is enhancing populations of these high-value fish as well!

 

Other exciting news at the Fighting Island reef was the discovery of several Northern madtom, a fish that is endangered in Michigan and Ontario and never before confirmed in the mid-reaches of the Detroit River. Northern madtom were also discovered on the spawning reef constructed at Belle Isle in 2004, indicating that this type of habitat restoration is of value for sustaining threatened and endangered native fish populations. It is critical that scientists continue to monitor the reef for at least 2 years to document use of the spawning habitat by other valuable native fish.

 

“Rehabilitating habitat for fish species that are native to Ontario is important to us,” said Donna Cansfield, Ontario’s Minister of Natural Resources. “We are delighted the work by partners on both sides of the border is already showing signs of success.”

 

The construction of the lake sturgeon spawning reef at Fighting Island exemplifies the spirit of binational collaboration, partnership and stewardship of our shared resources. The success of this fish habitat restoration strategy will strengthen and improve the fishery in the Detroit River, the Huron-Erie Corridor, and ultimately the entire Great Lakes!

 

Partners in this project include: BASF Corp, DTE Energy, Detroit River Canadian Cleanup, Environment Canada, Essex Region Conservation Authority, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, International Wildlife Refuge Alliance, Landmark Engineers Inc., Michigan DNR, Michigan Sea Grant, Michigan Wildlife Conservancy, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Ontario Great Lakes Renewal Foundation, Ontario MNR, USFWS, U.S. Geological Survey, and Wildlife Habitat Council.


McDonald Lake boat ramp closed for week of June 8

The Department of Natural Resources announced that the McDonald Lake boat access site in Schoolcraft County will be closed during the week of June 8 for the installation of a new

concrete boat ramp. Boaters should access the Michigan Recreation Boating Information System for information on alternate boat access sites in the area at: www.mcgi.state.mi.us/MRBIS.


DNR Reminds Public to Leave Wildlife in the Wild

As wildlife birthing season proceeds in the spring, it is not unusual for people to come across seemingly abandoned fawns or other baby critters.  The first instinct many people have is to try and help; DNR personnel offer a word of advice: DON’T.  The truth is, the animal doesn’t need help.

 

It is not uncommon for does to leave their young unattended for up to 8 hours at a time.  This is an anti-predator mechanism because it minimizes scent left around the newborn animals. The same is true for rabbits, ground-dwelling birds and other wildlife. In most cases, the animal is better off left alone than removed from the wild.  Even avian parents will continue to care for hatchlings that have fallen from a nest.

 

Many baby animals will die if removed from their natural environment. Also, some animals have diseases or parasites that can be passed to humans or pets.  And some “rescued”

animals that do survive become habituated to people.  These animals are unable to revert back to being wild.  Eventually they pose additional problems as they mature and develop adult animal behaviors.  Habituated deer have been known to become aggressive as they mature, especially bucks. Raccoons also are well-known for becoming aggressive as they mature.

 

It is illegal to possess a wild deer in Michigan and every day it spends with humans makes it that much less likely to be able to survive in the wild.

 

In the event that you know a deer or other animal has been orphaned, early in the year, for example, if the doe is dead nearby, call the local DNR office, which can refer you to a licensed rehabilitator.  Licensed rehabilitators are trained to handle wild animals and know how to release them so that they can live in the wild.


Tippy Dam Recreation Area Features Fishing Tackle Swap Meet June 13-14

The Department of Natural Resources are presenting an opportunity to “GO-Get Outdoors” at Tippy Dam Recreation Area on Saturday and Sunday, June 13 and 14, for a fishing tackle swap meet, in conjunction with the DNR’s Free Fishing Weekend. Free Fishing Weekend is June 13-14 in Michigan, when a fishing license is not required. All other fishing regulations do apply.

 

Beginning at 10 a.m., visitors are invited to purchase, sell and swap old or new fishing tackle, or just listen to the fishing stories about the one that got away.  This is an opportunity to

view old lures, rods, reels, decoys, patches, books, artwork, spears and anything else fishing-related. The swap meet ends at 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

 

Tippy Dam Recreation Area is located at 1500 Dillings Rd. in Brethren.

 

Persons wishing to reserve an exhibit space should contact DNR Lead Ranger Keith Lounsberry at 231-848-4880.  For more information about this event: 231-848-4880.  Join the DNR in celebrating the 90th Anniversary of Michigan State Parks (1919-2009) this year.  Events are being posted at www.michigan.gov/dnrgogetoutdoors.


Sugar Island and Lake George Channel Public Symposium

The Department of Environmental Quality, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Environment Canada, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Great Lakes National Program Office are announcing and inviting the public to attend the Sugar Island and Lake George Channel Public Symposium on June 9, at 7:00 p.m.  The Symposium will be held at the Sugar Island Township Hall, 6401 East 1 1/2 Mile Road, Sugar Island. 

 

The Sugar Island Monitoring Work Group will present the results of 2008 water quality monitoring conducted in the St. Marys River in the vicinity of Sugar Island and discuss proposed 2009 activities. Following the short presentation there will be significant time allocated to addressing remaining questions/concerns that stakeholders may have.  A detailed agenda package will be available at the meeting, including a CD containing the 2008 report.

The binational Work Group was formed in early 2007 to investigate the floating material and bacteriological contamination issues in the St. Marys River.  The Work Group consists of representatives from the Department of Environmental Quality, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Environment Canada, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Chippewa County Health Department, Algoma Public Health, Health Canada, Inter-Tribal Fisheries and Assessment Program, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Garden River First Nation, and Bay Mills Indian Community.  Over the last two years, the Work Group has conducted inspections of the river for floating materials and weekly water monitoring of 30 stations, including stations along the Sugar Island reach of the St. Marys River.

 

Additional information on the Work Group and the Symposium is available from Michelle Selzer, Area of Concern Coordinator, Aquatic Nuisance Control and Remedial Action Unit, 517-241-3731 or selzerm@michigan.gov.


Ohio

Parks Offer options for Boat Camping and Boat Swimming

COLUMBUS, OHIO - This summer, Ohio State Park lakes are offering more opportunities for boaters to camp aboard their crafts or drop anchor and swim in designated areas.

 

Boaters may now sleep aboard their watercrafts while secured to public docks on the lakes at Burr Oak, Dillon, Grand Lake St. Marys, Guilford Lake, Indian Lake, Paint Creek, Rocky Fork and Salt Fork state parks, along with Buck Creek State Park's C.J. Brown Reservoir. Boaters may drop anchor and spend the night on the water at designated boat camping areas at Buckeye Lake, Caesar Creek, Hueston Woods State Park's Acton Lake, and Portage Lakes State Park's Turkeyfoot Lake, as well as Grand Lake St. Marys and Buck Creek State Park's C.J. Brown Reservoir. Later this summer, docks for overnight use will be available at Middle Bass Island.

 

Boat campers should check in with the marina or park office before docking. Transient docks for overnight stays are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Some locations charge a fee for overnight docking.

 

New boat swimming areas have been added in coves or other quiet areas outside of boat traffic at several state park lakes, including Caesar Creek, Dillon, Lake Logan and Salt Fork. Boat swimmers are advised to wear lifejackets and be aware

of submerged hazards in boat swimming areas. Head-first diving from boats is strongly discouraged and consumption of alcohol while boating is strictly prohibited.

 

In addition to the parks that offer newly designated camping and swimming areas for recreational boaters, a number of state parks continue to allow these activities. Boat camping is also permitted where designated at Cleveland Lakefront, East Harbor, Geneva, South Bass Island, Mary Jane Thurston, Maumee Bay, Muskingum River Parkway and Shawnee state parks. Boat swimming and camping are permitted at Cowan Lake, Deer Creek, Delaware, East Fork, Lake Milton, Mosquito Lake and West Branch state parks. Established boat swimming areas are offered at A.W. Marion, Lake Loramie, Lake White, Paint Creek, Portage Lakes and Rocky Fork.

 

Children who swim at Ohio State Parks with their families this summer can receive credit towards the ODNR Explore the Outdoors Swim with a Buddy activity. Explore the Outdoors is a hands-on family program that gives Ohio children the opportunity to reunite with nature, improve their physical and emotional health and discover the rewards of becoming environmental stewards. For more program info: www.exploretheoutdoorsohio.com.

 

For more info about boating facilities and other recreational opportunities at State Parks: www.ohiostateparks.org.


Multiple agencies conduct search for owner/operator of submerged fishing vessel

MARBLEHEAD, Ohio – The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Ohio DNR and an Ottawa County dive team conducted a day long search for the owner/operator of a submerged fishing vessel found near the entrance of West Harbor on Catawba Island, May 26.

 

The 10-foot aluminum “Big John” boat was found in approximately three feet of water just north of East Harbor State Park by local fishermen at approximately 6:30 a.m.  The Coast Guard conducted nine search patterns with four assets covering a search area of approximately 84 square nautical miles.

 

The vessel appeared to have been used recently for fishing. A trolling motor, anchor with 40 ft of line attached to it and a GPS unit were found on board, however the battery was missing. Anyone having information related to this incident is encouraged to contact the Coast Guard at the number listed above.

Safe Boating Reminders:

•   File a “float plan” with a family member or friend who is not boating with you so they can report your intentions to the Coast Guard in the event you don’t return home at your expected time. 

 

•   Wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket or personal floatation device at all times.  The worst time to look for a life jacket is when you are already in distress.

 

•   Carry a marine-band radio.  If you are in distress, the Coast Guard can be reached on marine-band channel 16, the distress channel.  A cell phone is a good back-up.  However, a call from a radio on channel 16 can be heard by other boaters and/or relayed if you are out of range of the Coast Guard.  A cell phone call cannot.

 

•   Get a vessel safety check or take a boating safety course.  More boating safety info: www.uscgboating.org/.

 


Wisconsin

Spotted musky cross the Canada border with a broodstock passport

MADISON – The 1,100 fingerlings that made the road trip from Ontario, Canada, to their new homes in three northeastern Wisconsin lakes are among new efforts this spring in the decades-long quest to restore a self-sustaining population of the Great Lakes strain spotted musky to Green Bay.

 

These young fish will eventually serve as broodstock for Green Bay.

 

Taken as eggs from Georgian Bay and later certified disease free, they were raised in the small, Sir Sanford Fleming College hatchery in Ontario, Canada and stocked into Elkhart Lake, Sheboygan County, and Anderson and Archibald lakes in Oconto County.

 

The $59,000 project, funded by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, money from the Fox River environmental restoration settlement, Musky Clubs Alliance of Wisconsin, Muskies Canada and Titletown Chapter of Muskies Inc., is aimed at increasing the genetic diversity in Green Bay’s spotted musky population, which in turn will yield healthier fish, according to fisheries biologist David Rowe.

 

“Greater genetic diversity helps to protect a population from changes in their environment,” Rowe says. “If all the fish have the same genotype, they are all likely to succumb to the same illness or an environmental change like a warmer climate. If there is a great amount of diversity, the changes that impact some fish will not affect all fish in the population. This means the population can better adapt to changing conditions, and then they pass those stronger traits on to their offspring.”

 

The three receiving the Canadian fish have a 50" size limit to protect them, giving DNR multiple years to collect eggs before the musky would be vulnerable to harvest, according to Rowe.

 

A $200,000 grant from the Natural Resources Damage Assessment that resulted from the Fox River environmental settlement will allow the DNR to stock the Ontario-raised strain of musky into the recently established brood lakes for the next four years, which will continue to increase the genetic variation and abundance of the re-established Green Bay

population.

 

Spotted musky are native to Green Bay, but the population collapsed in the early 1900s due to over-fishing, pollution and habitat destruction. Thanks to stocking efforts that began in 1989, the population in the bay is older and larger than ever, according to Rowe.

 

“The musky have grown fast in Green Bay’s waters,” Rowe says. “We estimate the population in the lower bay somewhere between 5,000 to 10,000 musky and just this spring we handled about a dozen fish larger than 50 inches in our nets.”

 

Even though the musky population has been revived and anglers are finding opportunities for trophy fish, biologists, who have been looking for signs of natural reproduction for 20 years, are just now starting to see hopeful results.

 

“Last fall, for the first time, we collected two, unmarked fingerling musky in the lower Menomonie River,” Rowe says. “We know from genetic analysis that these two had the same genetic markers as the adult fish from Green Bay, meaning they are Great Lakes Spotted muskies, and the first evidence of natural reproduction.”

 

To help determine why the DNR hasn’t seen more spotted musky reproduction, fisheries crews have begun a two-year study funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act Program and several musky angling clubs including; Dave’s Musky Club, C&R Musky Club, Winnebagoland Musky Club, M&M Musky Club, Titletown Chapter of Muskies Inc., and the Between the Lakes Chapter of Muskies Inc.

 

This spring 20 female musky were inserted with miniature radio transmitters when they were captured during DNR fyke-netting. When those females spawn and expel their eggs, the transmitter will also drop, pinpointing their spawning location. This information will allow biologists to identify the area and see if there are any problems that might be hindering natural reproduction such as habitat degradation, poor water quality, or invasive species.


Outdoors Tips

Outdoors Tip

An anti-static sheet, like you use in your clothes dryer, like

Bounce - pinned to your clothes will help keep insects away


 

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