Week of June 8, 2009

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes
Beyond the Great Lakes
National

Regional

2nd Amendment issues

Illinois
Indiana
Michigan
New York
Ohio
Wisconsin

 

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Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

Sturgeon Fishery Closing in Washington

Washington's sport retention fishery for white sturgeon will be closed between Bonneville Dam and The Dalles Dam on the Columbia River from June 6 through December 31, 2009.  The

closure date for retention of sturgeon was adopted because Washington and Oregon fish managers estimate that the harvest guideline of 700 fish will be reached on June 5, 2009.


Beyond the Great Lakes

SD - Free Event Introducing Families to the Outdoors

The weather has been welcoming to outdoor enthusiasts so far this spring and not only to hunters and anglers.  Everyone interested in getting outside, enjoying our state and her resources has had plenty of opportunities.  But what if you are unaware of the opportunities available?  What if you’re new to the outdoors?  There is now an event just for those interested in learning more about the great outdoors of South Dakota. 

 

The second annual South Dakota Outdoor Expo will be held June 13 and 14 at the State Fairgrounds in Huron.  The inaugural event brought a variety of outdoor opportunities to thousands of people interested in learning more about the outdoors.  The second annual event will be even better!

The Outdoor Expo was started to encourage everyone to get outdoors, while promoting conservation and preservation of all our natural resources to ensure their availability for years to come.  Interactive exhibits and activities make it a fun and educational experience for all in attendance.  The 2009 expo will feature activities from all areas of the outdoors:  Shooting sports, fishing, dutch oven cooking, geo-caching, mountain biking, panning for gold, turkey calling, hunting dog demonstrations and much more. 

 

The greatest thing about the Outdoor Expo is that it’s free to the public.  This is a great opportunity to introduce someone new to the outdoors, and have a great time doing it!


National

Coast Guard will no longer inspect 'permanently moored craft'

In accordance with a Supreme Court decision of 2005, the U.S. Coast Guard announced May 11 that it will no longer inspect or issue new Certificates of Inspection to "permanently moored craft," such as certain dredges, cranes and anchored gambling casino ships, because by implication they do not meet the high court's definition of a "vessel."

 

Based on the Coast Guard's new policy, certain maritime cranes, dredges and other permanently moored craft (PMC) may find themselves subject to state and local building codes, rather than the frequently less expensive and less time consuming Coast Guard inspection procedures.

 

"The Coast Guard is sympathetic to these concerns, but if a craft is a PMC, it is therefore not a vessel under the Stewart criteria and we are without authority to deem it otherwise and inspect it," explained the Coast Guard in its new policy notice.

 

In February 2005, the Supreme Court determined in Stewart v. Dutra Construction Co., by an 8-0 vote, that Willard Stewart, a marine engineer hired by Dutra Construction Co. was allowed 

to sue Dutra for an injury he sustained involving a dredge that was being used beneath Boston Harbor, because that dredge met the statutory definition of a "vessel," as a watercraft capable of being used as a means of transportation.

 

Thus, when the Supreme Court determined that a vessel is any craft capable of being used as a means of transportation, the Coast Guard followed suit by determining that any craft not capable of being used as a means of transportation is not a vessel, and thus not subject to the Coast Guard's inspection requirements.

 

To make those individual determinations, the cognizant Coast Guard Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection, will look at such factors as whether the vessel is floating in a land-locked "moat," whether it is attached to shore by steel cables, I-beams or pilings, and other considerations that would indicate whether it is moored permanently.

 

The Coast Guard said it will continue to provide inspection services for two years to those permanently moored craft that have already been awarded a Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection.


Significant Gas Resource Discovered in Gulf of Mexico

The U.S. Gulf of Mexico contains very thick and concentrated gas-hydrate-bearing reservoir rocks which have the potential to produce gas using current technology, according to a recent report from the US Geological Survey.

 

Recent drilling by a government and industry consortium confirm that the Gulf of Mexico is the first offshore area in the United States with enough information to identify gas hydrate energy resource targets with potential for gas production.

 

Gas hydrate, a substance comprised of natural gas and water, is thought to exist in great abundance in nature and has the potential to be a significant new energy source to meet future energy needs. However, prior to this expedition, there was little documentation that gas hydrate occurred in resource-quality accumulations in the marine environment.

 

“This is an exciting discovery because for the first time in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, we were able to predict hydrate accumulations before drilling, and we discovered thick, gas hydrate-saturated sands that actually represent energy targets,” said U.S. Geological Survey Energy Program Coordinator Brenda Pierce.

 

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. Minerals Management Service (MMS) and a group of U.S. and international energy industry companies under the management of Chevron were responsible for conducting this first ever drilling project with the goal to collect geologic data on gas-hydrate-bearing sand reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

“We have also found gas hydrate in a range of settings,

including sand reservoirs, thick sequences of fracture-filling gas hydrates in shales, and potential partially saturated gas hydrates in younger systems,” said USGS Scientist Timothy Collett. “These sites should provide a wealth of opportunities for further study and data collection that should provide significant advances in understanding the nature and development of gas hydrate systems.”

 

The most important technical accomplishments include:

►The collection of a comprehensive set of logging-while-drilling (LWD) data through expected hydrate-bearing sand reservoirs in seven wells at three locations in the Gulf of Mexico.

►LWD sensors provided unprecedented information on the nature of the sediments and the occurrence of gas hydrate.

The expedition discovered gas hydrate in both sand and fracture dominated reservoirs.

►The discovery of thick gas-hydrate-bearing sands validates the pre-drilling integrated geological and geophysical approach used to identify the targets and provides increased confidence in assessing the energy resource potential of marine gas hydrates.

►In the case of the Walker Ridge and Green Canyon drill sites gas-hydrate-bearing sand reservoirs between 50 and 100 ft thick were discovered.

►The discovery of concentrated gas hydrates in sand reservoirs has made Walker Ridge and Green Canyon prime locations for future research drilling, coring, and production testing.

 

Field operations during this expedition were also supported by AOA Geophysics, the Borehole Research Group at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Schlumberger, and the crew of the Helix Q4000 drilling vessel.


Best Towns for Sportsmen Named By Outdoor Life Magazine

Lewiston, Idaho, Takes Top Honors

New York, NY—Outdoor Life magazine ranks the top towns for hunters and anglers to live in its June/July 2009 issue. The magazine used extensive data to score 200 towns on available sporting opportunities and quality-of-life for its second annual ranking. Lewiston, ID, population 31,794, took top honors on the magazine’s “Best Places to Live” list. The magazine also names 10 great towns on the list for whitetail hunters. For complete details on all 200 towns, please visit www.OutdoorLife.com.

 

“Outdoorsmen want world-class hunting and fishing, but like everyone else, they also want to have a high quality of life,” says Todd Smith, Editor-in-Chief of Outdoor Life. “The towns on this list offer the best of the outdoors as well as decent homes and schools and good-paying jobs. They are truly dream towns for sportsmen.”

 

Last year’s second-place finisher, Lewiston, ID, moved up one place to score the top spot on Outdoor Life’s 2009 list. Lewiston heads a list of three Idaho towns in the top ten—more than any other state. Lewiston’s score was elevated by the town’s access to world-class hunting and fishing, as well as the economy and industry of the Pacific Coast and Asia. Dubbed “The Gateway to Hells Canyon” Lewiston is located near North America’s deepest river gorge, offering the town’s 31,794 residents access to public lands and waters and a wide variety of fishable species. Hunters will also find whitetails and mule deer, turkeys, elk, black bears and mountain lions nearby.  Other Idaho towns in the top ten include Idaho Falls, making its first appearance on the list at No. 3 (tied with Rawlings, WY), and Pocatello, which maintained its previous year’s ranking at No. 5.

 

Marquette, MI, the easternmost town in the top ten, jumped five spots to No. 2 on the list. At No. 3 (tied), Rawlins is one of two Wyoming towns in the top 10; Sheridan, which moved down four spots to No. 7 due in part to rising cost of living, is the second. North Dakota’s capital, Bismarck, rose four spots to No. 6, based in part on the strength of its duck, geese and pheasant hunting. Coming in at No. 8, Pierre, SD, was hailed by Outdoor Life as the capital of “arguably the most hunter-friendly state in the country.” New to the list, Rochester, MN, coming in at No. 9, boasts a population of 99,121, the largest of any of the towns in the top ten. At the opposite end of the spectrum, with 6,106, is Carbondale, CO, at No. 10, which enjoys the smallest and fastest growing population of any of the towns in the top ten.

Outdoor Life’s 2009 “Best Places to Live”

 

1. Lewiston, ID 

2. Marquette, MI 

3. Idaho Falls, ID (TIE)

3. Rawlins, WY (TIE)

5. Pocatello, ID  

6. Bismarck, ND 

7.  Sheridan, WY 

8.  Pierre, SD 

9.  Rochester, MN 

10.  Carbondale, CO 

11.  Kodiak, AK 

12.  Kanab, UT 

13. Cody, WY 

14. Granby, CO 

15. Page, AZ 

16.  Sioux Falls, SD 

17.  Saratoga, WY 

18.  Colorado Springs, CO 

19.  Mountain Home, AR 

20.  Roseau, MN (TIE)

20. Glasgow, MT (TIE)

 

For detailed rankings including all 200 towns visit www.OutdoorLife.com. The website also includes a comment section for sportsmen and women to sound off on their favorite outdoors paradise and thoughts on the rankings.

 

To determine the 2009 “Best Places to Live,” Outdoor Life started with the 200 towns from the previous year’s list and added 50 additional locations from readers and colleague suggestions. Towns were ranked based on more than 20 criteria, with Outdoor-related factors given slightly heavier emphasis in computing the results than Quality-of-Life factors. Outdoor factors considered included gun-friendliness of each town’s state, huntable and fishable species nearby, the town’s proximity to public hunting land and fishable waters, and the potential for taking a trophy-caliber game animal or fish nearby.

 

Quality-of-Life factors considered included population growth since 2000; median household income; median home value; cost of living; unemployment rate; mean commute time and amenities (schools, hospitals). Certain socio-economic categories were weighted more than others to determine the overall Quality-of-Life score, which was combined with the overall Outdoor score to reach each town’s rank.

 


NRA Appeals Seventh Circuit Ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court

Fairfax, Va. – The National Rifle Association, on June 3 filed a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of NRA v. Chicago. The NRA strongly disagrees with yesterday's decision issued by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, holding that the Second Amendment does not apply to state and local governments.

 

“The Seventh Circuit got it wrong. As the Supreme Court said in last year's landmark Heller decision, the Second Amendment is an individual right that ‘belongs to all Americans'. Therefore, we are taking our case to the highest court in the land,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist. “The 

Seventh Circuit claimed it was bound by precedent from previous decisions. However, it should have followed the lead of the recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Nordyke v. Alameda County, which found that those cases don't prevent the Second Amendment from applying to the states through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

 

This Seventh Circuit opinion upholds current bans on the possession of handguns in Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois. “It is wrong that the residents of Chicago and Oak Park continue to have their Second Amendment rights denied,” Cox concluded. “It’s time for the fundamental right of self-defense to be respected by every jurisdiction throughout our country.”


Regional

Judge upholds NY rules on ship ballast water

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP). - A state judge has upheld rules to require commercial ships in New York waterways to retrofit with ballast water treatment systems by 2012 and to require such systems in new ships starting in 2013 as a means of killing invasive species.

 

The state Department of Environmental Conservation rules, which also prohibit bilge discharges, are meant to keep additional foreign aquatic plants and animals from the St. Lawrence River, Great Lakes and other New York waterways.  The court rejected the arguments of a coalition of large shipping interests that claimed the state had illegally placed further restrictions on a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency nationwide discharge permit for these vessels.

 

 In his May 21 ruling, New York State Supreme Court Justice Robert Sackett agreed with the state of New York and dismissed a challenge to permit requirements issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation designed to control discharges of invasive species to the Great Lakes and other waterways by ocean-going vessels.

 

"This decision is a critical win for New York's right and responsibility to protect our Great Lakes and resources," said New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

 

"The court's decision not only defends our state's actions, but affirms our right to take necessary measures to fight the plague of invasive species. Ensuring the continued health of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario is vital to our quality of life, our

economic growth and our environment."

 

Like California's regulations, they add ship overhauls to the new federal requirement for offshore ballast exchanges by inbound commercial ships at least 79 ft long. Justice Robert Sackett rejected Albany, Oswego and Great Lakes ports' concerns of economic harm.

 

In July 2008, Cuomo, together with five other attorneys general from states bordering the Great Lakes and several environmental groups, won a federal court decision confirming that large vessels and other oceangoing freight ships require a permit to discharge ballast water.

 

Earlier in 2008, New York signed onto a successful amicus brief in support of a Michigan law to control invasive species pollution by vessels. The Michigan law, too, was upheld in federal court, defeating a legal challenge by various shipping companies. The Department of Agriculture spends millions of dollars each year to combat invasive species. A study by Congress' General Accountability Office estimated that the total annual economic losses and associated costs related to invasive species totals $137 billion - more than double the annual economic damage caused by all natural disasters in the United States.

 

The bill was originally introduced into the NY State Assembly by then Assemblyman Richard Smith, former GLSFC vice president and present charter captain on Lakes Erie and Ontario.


Great Lakes Water Levels for June 5, 2009

Weather Conditions:  Cooler than average temperatures were recorded across the Great Lakes basin this week.  Many locations saw overnight lows dip into the 30s and 40s, while daytime highs struggled to reach 70.  Precipitation fell across the northern reaches of the basin on Monday and Tuesday, but was confined to the south on Wednesday.  More unsettled weather is expected for the upcoming weekend.  A cold front will approach the region, bringing the chance for showers and thunderstorms on both Saturday and Sunday. 

 

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 9 inches, respectively, higher than their levels of a year ago.  Lake Erie is 5 inches above last year's level, while Lake Ontario is equal to its level a year ago.  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 2 inches during the next month while Lake Ontario is forecasted to stay nearly the same over the following 30 days.  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.  See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:  In May, the outflow from Lake Superior through the St. Mary's River was below average, as was the outflow from Lake Michigan-Huron through the St. Clair River.  The Detroit and Niagara Rivers carried near average flows during May.  The outflow from Lake Ontario through the St. Lawrence River was above average. 

 

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 June 5

601.35

578.67

 

574.90

572.34

246.72

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

 +3

   +14

+31

+38

+41

Diff last month

+3

 +3

0

 -1

0

Diff from last yr

+2

+12

+9

+5

0


2nd Amendment issues

NRA Appeals Seventh Circuit Ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court

Fairfax, Va. – The National Rifle Association, on June 3 filed a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of NRA v. Chicago. The NRA strongly disagrees with yesterday's decision issued by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, holding that the Second Amendment does not apply to state and local governments.

 

“The Seventh Circuit got it wrong. As the Supreme Court said in last year's landmark Heller decision, the Second Amendment is an individual right that ‘belongs to all Americans'. Therefore, we are taking our case to the highest court in the land,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist. “The

Seventh Circuit claimed it was bound by precedent from previous decisions. However, it should have followed the lead of the recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Nordyke v. Alameda County, which found that those cases don't prevent the Second Amendment from applying to the states through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

 

This Seventh Circuit opinion upholds current bans on the possession of handguns in Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois. “It is wrong that the residents of Chicago and Oak Park continue to have their Second Amendment rights denied,” Cox concluded. “It’s time for the fundamental right of self-defense to be respected by every jurisdiction throughout our country.”


Illinois

Illinois announces Summer Urban Fishing Clinics

Clinics provide free instruction and fun for kids; “Access to Fishing” gear also available

SPRINGFIELD – Youngsters are invited to learn to fish and have a great time outdoors this summer by attending a free Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Urban Fishing Program fishing clinic, planned for more than 30 locations throughout the state. 

 

In addition to the fishing clinics, the IDNR provides fishing opportunities to anglers of all ages through the popular “Access to Fishing” initiative in which fishing gear can be borrowed at more than 165 locations statewide.

 

“Getting young people involved in outdoor recreation is a major focus of the IDNR, and the Urban Fishing program is one of the great ways for kids living in Chicago neighborhoods to downstate communities to get involved in fishing,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller.  “Urban Fishing program clinic instructors provide youngsters with basic instruction and information about the fun of fishing, along with a real, hands-on fishing experience that the kids really enjoy.”

 

The free Urban Fishing program clinics are targeted toward children ages 16 and younger, but anyone interested in learning basic fishing techniques may attend.

 

“Kids who have never held a fishing pole in their hands have been awed by the excitement and challenge of their first tug on the line,” said IDNR Chicago Urban Fishing Program Coordinator Brenda McKinney.  “Seeing their eyes light up and their smiles from ear to ear make fishing with kids one of the most rewarding ventures of my life.” 

 

Clinic instructors present information on fish and other aquatic life, rules and regulations for fishing, as well as basic

instruction on baiting a hook, tying a knot, casting, and how to handle and return fish to the water.  As part of each clinic, participants are provided with rods, reels, bait and tackle for 90 minutes of catch-and-release fishing.

 

Urban Fishing clinics are presented on weekdays during the late spring and summer months at 38 locations throughout the state. 

 

In addition to the scheduled clinics outlined below, fishing clinics can also be arranged for scouts, seniors, civic clubs and groups with special needs.

 

Science and physical education teachers interested in starting a fishing program in their schools can also contact the IDNR Urban Fishing coordinator in their area to get more information.

 

The Illinois Urban Fishing Program was introduced in Chicago in 1985 to teach individuals of all ages to fish, to provide better local fishing opportunities, and to give participants an understanding of and a greater appreciation for natural resources. Urban Fishing Program coordinators also hold non-fishing conservation education programs and visit schools during the fall, winter, and spring to teach and promote fishing and the appreciation of natural resources.

 

The IDNR Access to Fishing program provides loaner fishing gear to anglers of all ages.  The loan program provides the opportunity to borrow rods, reels and tackle packs.  Participating loaner locations include many public libraries, park and forest preserve districts, bait shops, recreation departments and other locations.  A list of sites offering access to fishing gear is available by checking the web site at www.ifishillinois.org or by phoning the IDNR Urban Fishing Program at 217/782-6424.


Indiana

Fish survey to be conducted on local rivers

 FORT WAYNE—The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will conduct fish surveys throughout the city’s three rivers in July to determine what species are available to local anglers.

 

The surveys are the next phase of the “Fishin’ in the Fort” program started by the DNR in 2008. The program was created to evaluate the current status of fisheries in Fort Wayne, improve fishing quality at community fishing locations, and increase awareness among the public that fishing opportunities exist within the city.

 

“Last year the DNR had the opportunity to coordinate with city park officials to conduct fish surveys at the local park ponds and conduct a creel survey that included park ponds and river access sites throughout the city,” said Nate Thomas, DNR assistant fisheries biologist. “This year we are going to survey the rivers to get a complete picture of what additional fishing opportunities exist in the city.

Thomas said that the creel survey conducted in 2008 indicated that Fort Wayne ponds and rivers are underused by local anglers—fishing has dropped by nearly 50 percent in 20 years. Additionally, satisfaction with fishing was low with three-quarters of anglers interviewed saying fishing was either "fair" or "poor."

 

After fish surveys are completed in 2009, Thomas said DNR will work the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department on strategies to improve fishing and increase angler participation in the city. Improvements may involve deepening ponds, stabilizing shorelines, installing in-stream habitat, stocking additional fish for anglers, and increasing the number of fishing clinics to teach youths and adults how to fish. 

 

The surveys are scheduled to take place this summer from July 6-17. For more information, contact fisheries biologist Nate Thomas at (260) 244-6805.

 


Coastal Program Public Meeting on Funding June 17

The Indiana DNR Lake Michigan Coastal Program (LMCP) and the Coastal Advisory Board kick off the 2010 Coastal Grants funding cycle with a public meeting, Wednesday, June 17. The board meeting is at the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC), at 6:15 p.m. CDT.

 

"The first step of each funding cycle is to gather input from the public, as well as potential applicants, on what they feel funding should be focused on," said Jenny Orsburn, LMCP program specialist. "The Board will then take a vote and determine the priorities."

 

The LMCP has a form posted to the Web site for people unable to attend this meeting at www.IN.gov/dnr/lakemich/grants/index.html  the document is labeled 2010 Priorities.doc. Comments need to be submitted prior to noon on June 17 for consideration.

 

Grant applications submitted for funding that meet a priority identified at the meeting receive additional points in project evaluation and scoring. The Lake Michigan Coastal Grants

Program is an annual competitive grants program that awards

up to $650,000 to units of local government, regional and state agencies, colleges and universities, as well as to non-profit organizations.

 

Eligible projects include low-cost construction activities such as habitat restoration and public access improvements; land acquisition; planning and coordination projects, including comprehensive planning; as well as education and outreach projects. Projects must be located entirely within the coastal area, which comprises the northern portion of Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties.

 

The LMCP was created to coordinate efforts between local, state and federal governments, as well as local organizations, and to support projects that protect and restore natural, cultural and historical resources in the region.

 

The LMCP is funded through the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Coastal Resource Management. Fore more information visit the program's Web site: www.dnr.IN.gov/lakemich.


Michigan

DNR Hosts Open House June 30 in Traverse City Forest Management Unit

The Department of Natural Resources will host an open house for the Traverse City Forest Management Unit on Tuesday, June 30, to provide information and receive public comment on proposed forest management treatments for 2011 in the Traverse City Management Unit.  The open house will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Traverse City Field Office, located at 970 Emerson Rd. in Traverse City.

 

Each year, DNR personnel inventory and evaluate one-tenth of the state forest. Information gathered includes the health, quality and quantity of all vegetation; wildlife and fisheries habitat and needs; archeological sites; minerals; recreational use; wildfire potential and social factors, including proximity to roads and neighborhoods; and use on adjacent lands, public and private.  Proposed treatments, which may include timber harvesting, replanting and other management activities, then are designed to ensure the sustainability of the resources and ecosystems.

 

The open house is an opportunity for the public to review 

proposed treatments and to provide input toward final decisions on those treatments. It also provides the public an opportunity to talk with foresters and biologists about issues of interest. Maps and information regarding the proposed treatments will be available at the open house, and can be accessed at www.michigan.gov/dnr  under the Forests, Land & Water section.

 

Each management unit is divided into smaller units or compartments to facilitate better administration of the resources. The Traverse City open house and compartment review will focus on compartments in Springdale Township in Manistee County; Almira and Weldon townships in Benzie County; Long Lake, Green Lake, Paradise, Acme, East Bay and Fife Lake townships in Grand Traverse County; Kasson and Elmwood townships in Leelanau County; and Elk Rapids Township in Antrim County.

 

The formal compartment review to decide on prescriptions for these areas is scheduled for 9 a.m., Wednesday, July 22, at the East Bay Township Hall at 1965 Three Mile Road North. 


Bay City State Recreation Area Hosting 15th Annual Free Fishing Festival

The Bay City State Recreation Area will host its 15th Annual Free Fishing Festival on Saturday, June 13, to celebrate Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend. During Free Fishing Weekend, no fishing license is required; however, all other fishing regulations apply.

 

The festival starts at 9 a.m. and runs until 2 p.m. This is a Department of Natural Resources “No Child Left Inside” event and is sponsored by Frank’s Great Outdoors, the Saginaw Bay Walleye Club and the Friends of Bay City State Recreation Area.

 

The day’s activities include a kids’ fishing derby, kids’ casting tournament, a fishing tips and tricks workshop, fly fishing demonstration, several how-to workshops, fish arts and crafts and much more. There also will be the annual Great Tobico Minnow Race, with a grand prize going to the fastest minnow overall.

 

Redesigned for this year is a special “Go Fish” pond game that will challenge young anglers and update their parents on the current Michigan Department of Community Health Fish Advisory.

 

“A major goal of the festival is to promote fishing and boating safety,” said DNR Park Interpreter Valerie Blaschka.  “Personnel from the DNR Law Enforcement and Fisheries

Divisions and the U.S. Coast Guard will be on hand with demonstrations to encourage safe fishing practices and responsible boating on Michigan waters.”

 

Special fish exhibits will be on display in the visitor center, including mounts which represent Michigan’s record-sized fish catches.

 

A free hot dog lunch will be provided by the Saginaw Bay Walleye Club, and equipment and bait used for fishing events has been donated by Frank’s Great Outdoors of Linwood. Trophies and prizes will be presented to youth at a special awards ceremony in the afternoon.  Children will be able to earn a special Fishing for Fun Junior Ranger patch by participating in five activities and all youth will receive a free raffle ticket for a chance to win one of 100 fishing poles donated by area sponsors.

 

The activities are free of charge, but all vehicles entering the recreation area must have a 2008 Michigan State Park Motor Vehicle Permit. Permits are available for purchase at the recreation area entrance at $24 for a resident annual or $6 for a resident daily. Non-resident permits are $29 for an annual and $8 for a daily.

 

For more information on the festival or other activities at the recreation area, please call the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center: 989-667-0717. The Bay City State Recreation Area is located at 3582 State Park Dr. in Bay City.


Forest Tent Caterpillar Outbreak Heavy This Year

Michigan is experiencing a heavy outbreak of forest tent caterpillars (FTC) this year, particularly in areas around Gaylord, Cadillac, Traverse City and Petoskey in the northern Lower Peninsula, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

 

Widespread outbreaks of FTC occur at intervals of 10 to 15 years.  These outbreaks last for two to five years, with most running their course in two to three years.  FTC epidemics commonly begin over large areas simultaneously.  This is caused by favorable weather conditions preceding an outbreak.  Population buildups often follow periods of unusually warm, dry springs. Fortunately, FTC outbreaks eventually subside as caterpillars succumb to parasites and other insect natural enemies.

 

Defoliation begins in early May in the northern Lower Peninsula and late May in the Upper Peninsula.  Defoliation can be dramatic and becomes noticeable by early to mid-June.  However, cool weather slows development and feeding, extending the duration of outbreaks. 

 

Native flies play an important role in natural control of FTC, but

fly populations tend to increase as a result, and can create another nuisance for the public. The DNR can provide technical advice to landowners and landowner groups experiencing FTC infestation. Landowners interested in technical advice should contact their nearest DNR office.

 

Aerial applications of pesticides may help reduce caterpillar nuisance during an FTC outbreak.  Applications must be made at the appropriate time and by licensed experienced applicators.  Once caterpillars are full grown and defoliation is nearly complete, pesticides are not effective.  The DNR can help homeowners determine whether aerial spraying will be effective.

 

When spraying is warranted, the DNR recommends the use of a biological insecticide called Bacillus thuringiensis (also known as Bt). The DNR recommends the use of Bt because of its environmental safety.  Bt is a naturally occurring bacterium that is effective only against caterpillars and is registered as an insecticide by several companies.  Only caterpillars feeding on leaves sprayed with Bt are affected. Spraying Bt on caterpillars will not harm them.  It has no effect on other insects, birds, people, and other animals.


 

 

New York

Judge upholds NY rules on ship ballast water

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP). - A state judge has upheld rules to require commercial ships in New York waterways to retrofit with ballast water treatment systems by 2012 and to require such systems in new ships starting in 2013 as a means of killing invasive species.

 

The state Department of Environmental Conservation rules, which also prohibit bilge discharges, are meant to keep additional foreign aquatic plants and animals from the St. Lawrence River, Great Lakes and other New York waterways.  The court rejected the arguments of a coalition of large shipping interests that claimed the state had illegally placed further restrictions on a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency nationwide discharge permit for these vessels.

 

 In his May 21 ruling, New York State Supreme Court Justice Robert Sackett agreed with the state of New York and dismissed a challenge to permit requirements issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation designed to control discharges of invasive species to the Great Lakes and other waterways by ocean-going vessels.

 

"This decision is a critical win for New York's right and responsibility to protect our Great Lakes and resources," said New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

 

"The court's decision not only defends our state's actions, but affirms our right to take necessary measures to fight the plague of invasive species. Ensuring the continued health of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario is vital to our quality of life, our

economic growth and our environment."

 

Like California's regulations, they add ship overhauls to the new federal requirement for offshore ballast exchanges by inbound commercial ships at least 79 ft long. Justice Robert Sackett rejected Albany, Oswego and Great Lakes ports' concerns of economic harm.

 

In July 2008, Cuomo, together with five other attorneys general from states bordering the Great Lakes and several environmental groups, won a federal court decision confirming that large vessels and other oceangoing freight ships require a permit to discharge ballast water.

 

Earlier in 2008, New York signed onto a successful amicus brief in support of a Michigan law to control invasive species pollution by vessels. The Michigan law, too, was upheld in federal court, defeating a legal challenge by various shipping companies. The Department of Agriculture spends millions of dollars each year to combat invasive species. A study by Congress' General Accountability Office estimated that the total annual economic losses and associated costs related to invasive species totals $137 billion - more than double the annual economic damage caused by all natural disasters in the United States.

 

The bill was originally introduced into the NY State Assembly by then Assemblyman Richard Smith, former GLSFC vice president and present charter captain on Lakes Erie and Ontario.


 

Ohio

Convicted Wildlife Violators Pay a National Price

Since Ohio became an Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact (IWVC) member state on January 1, 2008, 146 violators have been entered into the system by Ohio wildlife law enforcement officers. Ohio has also reviewed and agreed to recognize over 6,500 suspensions entered in the database by 30 other member states.

 

In June of 2008, the first entries in the database by Ohio officials were made. Wisconsin fishermen had taken twice the daily limit of walleye from Lake Erie. Their suspensions were recognized in their home state, and one of the men was caught fishing under revocation this past spring. He now has another year added on to his suspension.

 

"The suspension of hunting, trapping or fishing privileges is a powerful deterrent for violations," said Ken Fitz, law enforcement program administrator.

 

Fitz cites two other instances where the system worked well. One person from Michigan was suspended in Ohio, then went to Florida on a fishing trip and tried to buy a license and was denied. A Pennsylvania resident was suspended in Montana, when he contacted the ODNR Division of Wildlife to inquire about hunting here; he was told he cannot hunt in Ohio until his suspension ends.

 

Entries made by Ohio officers include citizens of Ohio (128), Wisconsin (12), Illinois (3), Michigan (2) and Tennessee (1).

The IWVC is an agreement between states that was developed to recognize hunting, trapping, and fishing license suspensions across state lines. The IWVC was begun in 1991, with Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington joining that year. Since that time, over 24,000 entries have been made in the national database used to track suspended violators. Each state must review entries in the database, and recognizes suspensions from other states based upon their individual laws or criteria.

 

The agreement also allows nonresident violators from a compact member state to be treated the same as a resident of the state where a violation occurs. In the past, nonresidents were immediately taken to jail or had to pay their fine immediately, but were not allowed to pay through the mail. Under the agreement, nonresident violators can be issued a summons (ticket) and allowed to pay through the mail. If they do not pay, their hunting, trapping, and fishing privileges are suspended in all member states until they pay or appear in court.

 

Member states are listed at http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Home/tabid/20979/Default.aspx. Several more states are in the process of completing the necessary legislative action to join. For more information, check the ODNR Division of Wildlife Web site at www.wildohio.com.

 


OLEC Funds Lake Erie Regional Collaboratives

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission (OLEC) will provide grants for four studies that will enhance regional collaboration, study environmental concerns along the lake and provide educational resources for those in the watershed.

 

On June 3, OLEC members approved the latest round of Lake Erie Protection Fund small grants. The grants fund a variety of projects that provide direct benefit to Lake Erie and its tributary watersheds in Ohio. The fund is supported by Ohioans through the purchase of the "Erie...Our Great Lake" license plates that display the Marblehead Lighthouse, or renewal of the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse plates as designed by noted Lake Erie artist Ben Richmond. Fifteen dollars from the sale of each plate is invested in the Lake Erie Protection Fund grants program.

 

GreenCityBlueLake Institute at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History will receive $15,000 for a project to help design a process by which planning agencies in the region can work with local elected officials to explore ways to collaborate on land-use planning and economic development to enhance the Lake Erie watershed.

 

The University of Akron will receive $15,000 for a project in which researchers will construct and test-deploy a Sensobuoy in Lake Erie. A Sensobuoy is a sensor platform designed for long-term, unattended monitoring of the depletion of dissolved oxygen. This is a severe, recurring environmental problem in Lake Erie and its exact causes and development patterns are not completely understood. The project, which will be partnership between The University of Akron and Kent State University, will monitor the long-term trends in near-shore water quality.

Kent State University will receive $15,000 for a project aimed at identifying naturally occurring heterotrophic bacterial species that can actively remove microcystins from open waters. The findings will serve as the basis for development of management tools, that could ultimately be used to remediate the effects of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in drinking water supplies.

 

Chagrin River Watershed Partners, Inc. will receive $14,900 for a project that will develop high quality web resources that link specific community issues to nonpoint source, storm water management, watershed planning, balanced growth, sustainability, regional and community events. The grant will create a Northeast Ohio Clean Water Portal to update CRWP and the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District web sites, provide assistance to individual communities to update their web sites with information and resource links and develop a survey to assess the effectiveness of the web resources as educational tools.

 

The Lake Erie Protection Fund was established to help finance research and implementation of projects aimed at protecting and preserving Lake Erie and its watershed.

 

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission was established for the purpose of preserving Lake Erie's natural resources, protecting the quality of its waters and ecosystem and promoting economic development in the region. The director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources serves as the commission's chairman. Additional members include the directors of the state departments of Transportation, Health, Development, Agriculture and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.


Wisconsin

Northern zone bass season opens June 20

MADISON – Anglers heading out for the northern zone bass opener on June 20 should prepare for post-spawn, hungry fish. Anglers will find plenty of nice smallies and largemouth bass when the northern bass zone season opens June 20.

 

“Both largemouth and smallmouth bass will have recently completed spawning in the north. They will likely be found in relatively warm, shallow waters making them accessible to both shore and boat anglers,” says Joe Hennessy, warm water fisheries specialist with the Department of Natural Resources. “Post-spawn bass should feed actively and be willing to strike a variety of lure presentations. Spinners, plastics, and top-water baits are all good choices when fished near available cover this time of year.”

 

More on bass lures, techniques, and the best time of day to go fishing can be found in a June 2002 Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine article: “Bassin’ Basics.”

Largemouth and smallmouth bass together are the most widely distributed recreational fish in the state -- found in lakes, cool and warm water streams, and large rivers.

 

Anglers looking for places to fish, can check the DNR Web site for quality bass fishing opportunities in Wisconsin or take a look at the 2009 Fishing Report to see which waters biologists predict will offer good bas fishing this year.

 

The northern bass season runs from June 20 to March 7, 2010, and most waters have a daily bag limit of five and a minimum length limit of 14 inches. The northern zone is the area north of highways 77, 64 and 29, with Highway 10 as the dividing line. More information can be found in the 2009-2010 Guide to Wisconsin Hook and Line Fishing Regulations and the Fishing Wisconsin Web pages.

 

 


10 waters to turn good fishing into good eating

SPOONER - Catch-and-release has caught on so big in the bass fishing world that Wisconsin anglers are only keeping about 5 percent of what they catch.

 

They kept only 550,000 of the 10 million small mouth and largemouth bass they caught in 2006, according to a mail survey of anglers. In contrast, Wisconsin anglers in the same year kept about 30 percent of the walleye they caught, or 2.2 million of 7 million caught.

 

In some places in northern Wisconsin, bass are very abundant and can make a tasty meal. Fisheries managers are encouraging harvest on these waters to keep the numbers in balance and to improve bass growth rates. As always, larger bass are less common and anglers should consider releasing them.


Two bucketmouths are better than one

“No one should feel bad about harvesting largemouth bass in northwest Wisconsin,” says DNR fisheries biologist Larry Damman, who is stationed in Spooner. “They are our most

abundant and under-utilized, naturally reproducing game fish. High minimum size limits coupled with angler catch and release ethic have resulted in many lakes with over abundant, stunted populations where few largemouth ever reach legal size. The biological need is to harvest fish less than the present minimum size limit.”

 

Here are 10 waters to try in northwestern Wisconsin where harvest is encouraged and there are no minimum length limits. Check the Hook and Line Regulations for 2009-2010 for specific regulations. Polk County: Balsam, Butternut Lake; Big Round Lake; Half Moon Lake; Pipe Lake and Ward Lake.

 

Washburn County: Big McKenzie Lake and Middle McKenzie Lake, both of which are actually in the southern bass zone, and Long Lake and Nancy Lake.

 

For anglers who don’t automatically think of bass as shore lunch, here are some recipes shared by Larry Sperling, editor of Natural Resources magazine, to whet their appetite. Remember to follow the safe eating guidelines to enjoy eating your catch while limiting exposure to environmental contaminants like mercury and PCBs.

 


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. 

Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.

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