Week of June 11,  2012

 
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
National

Regional

2nd Amendment Issues
Lake Huron

Illinois
Indiana
Michigan
Other Breaking News Items

 

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Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Taurus Ultra-Light Semi-Auto 22 PLY

The Taurus 22PLY and 25PLY have been redesigned with sleek new lines and a polymer frame-weighing in at a mere 10.8 oz. Both feature a blowback action and tip-up barrel for safety and convenience during loading and chambering the first round. Blue or Matte Stainless finish.

 

 

Its Tip-up barrel allows for easy loading.  If light and fast are your priorities, the 22PLY or 25PLY are the pistols for you.

 

As with all the other Taurus family of semi-auto pistols these Taurus ultra-lights feature the Taurus Security System, which provides instant-ready defense with built-in ability to secure your pistol and make it inoperable at the turn of a key. When the Security System is engaged, the pistol cannot be fired or cocked and the gun's manual safety cannot be disengaged.

The device is part of the firearm and cannot be lost, and the same special Security Key works for both the revolver and pistol Systems (two keys come with each gun). To engage: simply insert the Key into the button on the rear or side of the pistol and rotate one-quarter turn clockwise. This engages the Security System. The manual safety cannot be moved and the trigger cannot be pulled. To disengage: simply rotate the key one-quarter turn back. This releases the Security System, yet leaves the pistol's manual safety in the "safe" position until you are ready to release it yourself and fire the gun.

 

Features include:

Blue or Matte Stainless Steel  

Caliber: .22 LR  

Polymer Grips  

Capacity: 8 +1   

Weight: 11.27 oz  

Action: DAO  

Front Sight: Fixed  

Rear Sight: Fixed

Manual Safety,Manual Safety  

Trigger Type: Smooth  

 

About $ 289.00

 

800-623-7506     www.taurususa.com/


Taurus 445 .44 Special

The new Taurus 445 Ultra-Lite answers the call for a revolver in the popular .44 Special round. this aggressive new wheelgun delivers superior accuracy and stopping power without the heft or bulk of most .44 Magnum revolvers.  The 445 was previously produced in a heavier version; this is a new ultralight version that weighs in at only 22 ounces, model 445B2UL.

 

This Taurus is a five shot revolver with a two inch barrel, a rubber grip, and includes the Taurus Security System.  It is available in blue finish or stainless steel.

 

The .44 Special has been staging a comeback of late, offering the power of a full size load without the recoil that a magnum load can yield. The Taurus model 445 is built to maximize the .44 Special while allowing for comfort of use. Speedloaders are available from aftermarket retailers.

Features Include:

Front Sight: Fixed  

Grooves: 5  

Safety: Transfer Bar  

Rear Sight: Fixed

Capacity: 5 rounds

Finish: Stainless  

Caliber: .44 SPL  

Barrel Length: 2"

Action: SA/DA    

 

About $ 539.00

 

 

 

800-623-7506    www.taurususa.com

 


National

Sportsmen's Act of 2012 Introduced in the Senate

Many of the top legislative priorities addressed in historic package of 19 pro-fishing and hunting bills

Alexandria, VA – June 8, 2012 -A large package of pro-sportsmen legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate Friday as an amendment to the Farm Bill.

 

Introduced by co-chairs of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and John Thune (R-S.D.), the Sportsmen's Act of 2012 addresses several key issues that are impacting the sportfishing industry and anglers. The package features two bills that recently passed the House of Representatives as a part of the Sportsmen's Heritage Act, including legislation that prevents a federal ban of lead fishing tackle and ammunition. The Sportsmen's Act of 2012 features several other provisions that will advance the conservation of fish habitat and populations and increase recreational fishing opportunity.

 

"The Sportsmen's Act of 2012 is the largest, most diverse pro-sportsmen legislative package introduced in recent memory," said American Sportfishing Association VP Gordon Robertson. "From improving habitat conservation to increasing public access, passage of the Sportsmen's Act of 2012 would represent one of the biggest advancements for recreational fishing in years."

The Sportsmen's Act of 2012 features 19 bills that promote our nation's recreational fishing, hunting and shooting heritage, eight of which will have significant specific impacts on the sportfishing community. Of particular note are:

  • The Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act (S. 838) – This section will block ongoing attempts to ban lead in recreational fishing equipment and ammunition by clarifying the Toxic Substances Control Act. Recent attempts to overregulate sportfishing equipment in a non-scientific fashion by anti-fishing interests represent one of the largest threats to the sport.

  • National Fish Habitat Conservation Act (S. 1201) – This section will authorize the National Fish Habitat Partnership, an initiative that seeks to protect, restore and enhance fish habitat on a range-wide scale. This non-regulatory partnership is the most comprehensive effort ever attempted to voluntarily conserve freshwater, estuarine and marine habitats nationwide.

  • Billfish Conservation Act (S. 1451) – This section will conserve declining billfish populations by prohibiting the commercial sale and importation of billfish throughout the U.S., with an exception in the state of Hawaii and the Pacific Insular Area islands to preserve traditional fisheries. It is currently illegal to harvest or import Atlantic-caught billfish into the U.S., but billfish from other oceans come into U.S. markets in substantial numbers.

  • Report on Artificial Reefs in the Gulf of Mexico – This section would require the Department of the Interior to develop a report on its Idle Iron policy, which requires the removal of idle drilling platforms, in order to develop a coordination strategy between agencies and states. These platforms represent the world's largest network of artificial reefs and provide habitat for marine species on an otherwise barren seafloor.

  • Making Public Lands Public Act (S. 901) – This section will address one of the most significant obstacles to sportfishing – lack of access to public lands and waters. This language will increase access to angling, hunting and recreational shooting opportunities on federal lands, by directing 1.5 percent of the Land and Water Conservation Fund to ensure that fishing, hunting and other recreational activities are accessible.

"There is no doubt that the thousands of anglers who have supported these individual provisions through KeepAmericaFishing™ played an important role in the introduction of this amendment," said Robertson. "This clearly demonstrates the impact that anglers can have when speaking collectively with one voice. With passage of this bill, anglers will see the rewards of their efforts on the water."

The Senate voted on June 7 to advance the 2012 Farm Bill discussions, which will cover the potential inclusion of the Sportsmen's Act of 2012.

"While Sportsmen's Act of 2012 addresses many of the key issues impacting recreational fishing today, there are still other legislative measures important to the sportfishing community that we hope to see move this year. With Congress's support, we can overcome the obstacles facing sportsmen and women and improve conservation efforts nationwide," Robertson concluded
.

 

 

 


Olcott Beach, NY Proclaimed the Ultimate Fishing Town in America

After a record number of votes were cast, Olcott Beach, New York topped the leader board in WFN: World Fishing Network's Ultimate Fishing Town contest.

 

The town will receive a $25,000 community donation to be used toward a fishing-related project, plus a fully produced feature story to be aired on WFN, the world's only television channel dedicated to fishing programming.

 

During the competition this spring, now in its third year, 505 towns in the U.S. were nominated by the public on a dedicated website (www.WFNFishingTown.com). Anglers from every state showed the world why their community is a great place to fish, creating a town wall where they could upload pictures, videos and tell great fishing tales to support their nomination. The hard work began May 1st, when the nomination phase came to a close, and the public voting phase began. For the entire month, the communities behind each nomination used all their resources with local news and social media to gain the support needed to drive them to the top. A total of 329,327 votes were cast.

 

"The enthusiasm and pride exhibited by anglers all across the U.S. has been phenomenal," said Mark Rubinstein, President and CEO of WFN. "Providing a platform to share community spirit and personal stories is what WFN's Ultimate Fishing Town 2012 was all about. We hope anglers all over the world discovered new fishing destinations to put on their travel list."

The hamlet of Olcott Beach, NY, situated on the shores of Lake Ontario, is in an enviable position in the fishing world. The port carries an excellent reputation for trout and salmon fishing - in the lake, off the piers and up 18 Mile Creek to Burt Dam, one of the top fishing destinations in the state. Burt Dam attracts up to 50,000 anglers each fall. Located just a half-hour from Niagara Falls, this is truly an ultimate fishing town year-round.

 

"Winning this contest means the world to us," said Timothy Horanburg, Supervisor for the Town of Newfane. "We know we have a world-class freshwater fishery, right here in our small community on Lake Ontario, and now, that word will spread with much more credibility coming from WFN. This contest has brought together local folks, charter fishermen from all across the nation, residents that have long since left the area, and a regional effort by our local schools, civic organizations, USA Niagara Tourism and many others, all for a common cause - pride in our community and region." Plans for the donation include maximizing the enhancement of their fisheries. They will be taking suggestions from some of the sportfishing professionals that they have in the region.

 

The leader board for the U.S. rounded out with Waddington, NY taking second place, and Cape Hatteras, NC coming in third.

 

www.WorldFishingNetwork.com

 

 


Regional

Great Lakes Water Levels for June 8, 2012 

WEATHER CONDITIONS

The Great Lakes basin experienced heavy precipitation last weekend, especially the Michigan-Huron, Erie and Ontario basins which received an inch to an inch and a half of rain. Temperatures are expected to be warm this weekend, with a few scattered showers and thunderstorms possible throughout the region. The Lake Superior basin is forecasted to receive some heavy precipitation on Saturday and Sunday.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior's water level is 1 inch higher than last year's level, while Lake Michigan-Huron is 5 inches lower than its level of a year ago. Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 9, 14, and 19 inches, respectively, lower than their levels of a year ago. Over the next month, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are forecasted to rise 3 inches and 1 inch, respectively, from their current levels. The water levels of Lakes St. Clair and Erie are each expected to fall 2 inches, while the level of Lake Ontario is expected to remain near its current level over the next thirty days.

FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior's outflow through the St. Marys River is projected to be below average for the month of June. Lake Huron's outflow into the St. Clair River and the outflow from Lake St. Clair into the Detroit River are expected to be 

below average throughout the month of June. Lake Erie's outflow through the Niagara River is forecasted to be near average and the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River is predicted to be below average in June.

ALERTS

The water level of Lake Superior is below chart datum and 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 June 8

600.89

577.66

574.11

571.69

245.73

Datum, in ft

601.10

577.50

572.30

569.20

243.30

Diff in inches

-3

+2

+22

+30

+29

Diff last month

+4

0

-1

-1

-1

Diff from last yr

+1

-5

-9

-14

-19


USGS Predator Diet Update

Noted Great Lakes scientist Jeff Schaeffer tells us they are now analyzing their 2010 and 2011 data. "There was a large backlog of stomachs that we needed to process, and we then needed to get the data prepared for analysis" said Schaeffer. "Fortunately we found a brilliant intern who was able to help Ethan process the last thousand fish and Dana got it all typed in with great accuracy, so we are the final stages of making files that can be read by the statistical software. The final numbers kept changing as we found some bags in the dark corners of the freezers, but I think we ended up with almost 7,000 fish. So if you were wondering why it was taking us a bit longer than expected to get results out that is the reason. "

However, there is another part of the study that is new. Schaeffer added "Ed and I are sponsoring a special symposium at this years American Fisheries Society meeting in St. Paul, MN, entitled "Stakeholder Involvement in Fisheries Science: New Approaches and Partnerships".


The symposium is a collection of presentations in which research or management agencies formed partnerships

with stakeholder groups to achieve results that otherwise

 would have been impossible. "We will be presenting a talk about the Lake Huron predator diet study" Jeff advised. "The talk will not have any diet results, but rather will tell the story of how the study began, and some of the factors that we think made it all come together, the most important being your personal efforts to take that extra time at the end of many long fishing trips to collect the data. Another factor was the fact that anglers participating in the collections convinced other anglers to participate as well. That increased the size of the network well beyond anything we could have achieved. If possible, we will try to develop the presentation as a journal article sometime during the next year."

The
goal of these USGS scientists is show what is possible with stakeholder involvement so that other groups can use a similar approach for their own initiatives. Jeff added "It is a great story, and we are excited to share it with other scientists."
Jeff Schaeffer, USGS Great Lakes Science Center, Jschaeffer@usgs.gov

 


IJC and Brookfield Power join Commission to battle Sea Lamprey

Project removes sea lamprey from Great Lakes by altering water flow in St. Marys River

ANN ARBOR, MI—The Great Lakes Fishery Commission will once again commence a major initiative this week to study ways to considerably enhance sea lamprey trapping on the St. Marys River.  The initiative was conceived collaboratively by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and the International Joint Commission’s International Upper Great Lakes Study and first implemented in 2011.

 

Trapping sea lamprey – a non-native fish predator that has caused major ecologic and economic harm to the Great Lakes – before they spawn and contribute to the next generation is a major element of the sea lamprey control program.  The enhanced trapping study—conducted in partnership with Brookfield Renewable Power in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario—will involve a change in the timing and volume of water provided to the company for electricity generation.  Conditions on the St. Marys River rapids may appear atypical to anglers and other users due to re-distribution of water through the compensating gates.  The IJC and its Lake Superior Board of Control, which has authority over water flow levels, facilitated the conditions for this initiative.  This work is funded in part through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

 

Since it spread throughout the system during the early 20th Century, the sea lamprey has wrecked havoc on the Great Lakes fishery.  After the near-collapse of the lake trout population in the 1940s, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, formed in 1955, implemented a sea lamprey control program that has successfully reduced sea lamprey populations by 90%, resulting in a thriving fishery. The goal is to reduce sea lamprey populations to levels consistent with the objectives of provincial, state, tribal, and federal fishery agencies. Sea lamprey populations are still above target levels in parts of the basin.

 

The St. Marys River is considered to be the major single source of sea lampreys into Lake Huron. Trapping spawning sea lampreys is a critical element of the control program in the St. Marys River and is complemented by the use of the lampricide, granular Bayluscide. Some of the most productive trapping sites are located at power

facilities, as the higher flows produced at the power

facilities are more attractive to sea lampreys. The commission has been working with Brookfield Renewable Power for many years to seek ways to improve trapping near its facility. 

 

Power companies typically decrease flows during the night (off-peak hours) to curtail power generation during times of reduced power demands. Evidence shows, however, that sea lamprey trapping can likely be enhanced with increased water flows at night, when sea lampreys are most active. To help in the sea lamprey control effort, Brookfield Renewable Power agreed to increase flows during off-peak hours on alternate nights so the commission can determine the effect of increased flows on the efficiency of sea lamprey traps placed at the power facilities.

 

The IJC, through its Lake Superior Board of Control, approved the increased water allocation in support of the sea lamprey control program.  The water flow—during the course of this operation—cannot exceed a total water limit, known as “Criterion C in Plan 1977A,” the regulations governing the outflow of Lake Superior.  In the unlikely event that the “Criterion C” level is reached, this sea lamprey control operation will end and the power companies will forego additional power generation.

 

“The St. Marys River is a significant source of sea lampreys and can produce more sea lampreys than all other Great Lakes tributaries combined” said Commission Chair Robert Lambe. “The lampreys that come from St. Marys River system invade lakes Huron and Michigan and cause irreversible economic and ecological harm. If proven successful, this project will significantly improve the efficiency of trapping these noxious invaders before they are able to reproduce, thereby better protecting the multi-billion-dollar Great Lakes fishery.”

 

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission is conducting this work in careful coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Parks Canada, the Batchewana First Nations, and other key stakeholders.  For more information about the commission, visit www.glfc.org .


2nd Amendment Issues

Oral Arguments Presented in Illinois Carry Case (Shepard v. Madigan)

Oral arguments took place Friday, June 8 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Shepard v. Madigan.  The case involves lead plaintiff Mary Shepard, an Illinois resident and a trained gun owner with no criminal record, who is licensed to carry a concealed handgun in both Utah and Florida.  The National Rifle Association is funding this case.  The Illinois State Rifle and Pistol Association is a co-plaintiff in this case.

 

On September 28, 2009, while working as the treasurer of her church, Ms. Shepard and an 83-year-old co-worker were viciously attacked and beaten by a six-foot-three-inch, 245 pound man with a violent past and a criminal record. Ms. Shepard and her co-worker were lucky to survive, as each of them suffered major injuries to the head, neck and upper body.  Ms. Shepard's injuries required extensive surgeries and she continues physical therapy to this day attempting to recover from her injuries.

 

"The Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms and the right to self-defense," said

NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox.  "The state of

Illinois' severe and irrational restriction on self-defense is

an abettor in the terrible attack on Ms. Shepard and her co-worker.  Illinois is the only state to completely deny law-abiding residents the right to carry a firearm for self-defense outside the home, which is both unconscionable and unconstitutional.  The NRA will continue to fight to ensure that the Second Amendment rights of all law-abiding Americans are protected throughout the country."

 

In introducing the opening brief, NRA counsel David Thompson said, "Illinois is the only state in the Union that flatly forbids law-abiding citizens from carrying operable firearms in public for self-defense.  Illinois attempts to defend this ban as a public safety measure, asserting that mayhem would ensue if law-abiding citizens were licensed to bear weapons in public.  The inconvenient truth that every other state in the nation allows some form of public carriage of firearms by at least some private, law-abiding citizens --and does so without fostering the mayhem forecast by the Defendants here-- gives the lie to Illinois's pleas that firearms in the hands of any and all law-abiding citizens are uniquely a threat to public safety in this state, even if nowhere else in America."

 


Lake Huron

Saginaw Bay source Of millions Of Lake Huron Walleyes, Study

Magnitude and timing of migration from the bay surprises researchers

ANN ARBOR, MI — Preliminary results of a new study examining the movement patterns of walleyes in Lake Huron has surprised researchers by indicating out-migration from Saginaw Bay to the main basin of the lake occurs earlier in the year than previously assumed and in greater numbers than expected. These results—from the first year of an intensive four-year study using advanced telemetry tracking—suggest Saginaw Bay is a major source of walleye for Lake Huron, supporting an important fishery. Evaluation of movement throughout Lake Huron will help officials better manage the valuable walleye fishery during these times of large-scale ecological change. Scientists will compare these first-year data to future data to better understand trends in Lake Huron walleye migration.

 

Entitled “Spatial Ecology, Migration and Mortality of Adult Walleye in Lake Huron and Western Lake Erie,” the 4-year study seeks to understand the extent and reasons for walleye movement into and throughout Lake Huron. Two source populations are being tracked: walleyes originating in Saginaw Bay and in western Lake Erie. Acoustic transmitters were surgically implanted in 200 walleyes in each location in the spring of 2011 and their movement was monitored by 160 acoustic receivers strategically positioned in Lakes Huron and Erie. The study, funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, is being conducted jointly by the Biological Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, and Carleton University.

 

Although it has long been known that some walleyes leave Saginaw Bay, this study is the first to provide clear indication of the magnitude and timing of such migration. The preliminary results of this telemetry study revealed that nearly half the implanted walleyes from Saginaw Bay crossed the outer-most line of receivers, indicating out-migration into the main basin of Lake Huron. Fish migrated both north and south out of Saginaw bay, though very few appeared to go as far as the St. Clair River, which drains Lake Huron to the Huron-Erie corridor.

 

Most of the walleye migration out of Saginaw Bay occurred by early June, somewhat surprising given the cool temperatures of the main part of Lake Huron. Such early migration by a large part of the population of walleyes spawning in Saginaw Bay tributaries suggests that these fish may be seeking prey resources in the open lake. Understanding when walleyes move from Saginaw Bay helps fishery biologists make decisions about the timing of management actions.

 

“Researchers are still analyzing preliminary findings to determine whether there is a sex or age/size factor triggering movement,” says the study’s principal investigator Dr. John Dettmers of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. “The exact motivation for why certain walleyes make such a migration is not yet fully

understood; for example, it may be based on the pursuit of

prey resources or a preference for cooler temperatures. Given this is the first year of a multi-year study, the investigators are eagerly awaiting data from future years to see whether these initial trends are repeated. As more data become available, scientists and managers will have an increasing understanding about the extent and timing of walleye movements in Lake Huron as well as what may cause those movements. That information will be invaluable to the management of this popular fishery.”

 

Co-investigator Dave Fielder of the Michigan DNR adds: “Given estimates of the size of the Saginaw Bay walleye population, as many as 2 million adult walleyes are thought to be migrating into the main basin of Lake Huron. The implications of this magnitude of movement are significant for fishermen and biologists alike. For anglers, these walleyes help create fisheries in locations outside Saginaw Bay; for biologists, this migration pattern raises ecological implications, as the food web of Lake Huron has changed drastically over the last decade and, as a result, walleye in the bay have increased fourfold and are now believed to be fully recovered in abundance. Walleyes are likely now one of the principal predators in the Lake Huron food web.”

 

Other studies of walleye in Lake Huron are seeking to estimate walleye consumption of prey resources and to examine management options. Those studies are looking to the walleye movement as a foundation on which to refine estimates and options. One consideration for biologists is that management of Saginaw Bay’s walleye stock needs to consider harvest and exploitation from fisheries outside the bay. In 2012, an additional 90 walleyes between Lakes Huron and Erie were implanted with acoustic transmitters thus extending the ability to gather more information about walleye movement.

 

Anglers catching an implanted walleye are asked to report the capture and return the transmitter to the numbers on the tag. A $100 reward is offered to any angler who returns a tag. More can be learned about the walleye study including some preliminary maps of movement at: www.glfc.org/telemetry/walleye.php  

 

The Lakes Huron and Erie walleye telemetry study is one part of a larger telemetry system deployed in the Great Lakes region since 2010, led by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and supported by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Other species tagged and monitored through several projects include lake trout, sea lamprey, and lake sturgeon. Last month, the commission and the Great Lakes Observing System launched GLATOS, a website that currently comprises five major projects (including the walleye study) using 337 telemetry receivers. The system tracks more than 1,700 tagged fish. Planning for additional studies is underway, including the incorporation of lake sturgeon in the HuronErie Corridor. In addition to facilitating collaborative fisheries research projects, the GLATOS tool allows the public to learn more about current fish movement studies. For more information about acoustic telemetry, the location of receivers, and current projects, visit www.data.glos.us/glatos . 

 


Illinois

Oral Arguments Presented in Illinois Carry Case (Shepard v. Madigan)

Oral arguments took place Friday, June 8 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Shepard v. Madigan.  The case involves lead plaintiff Mary Shepard, an Illinois resident and a trained gun owner with no criminal record, who is licensed to carry a concealed handgun in both Utah and Florida.  The National Rifle Association is funding this case.  The Illinois State Rifle and Pistol Association is a co-plaintiff in this case.

 

On September 28, 2009, while working as the treasurer of her church, Ms. Shepard and an 83-year-old co-worker were viciously attacked and beaten by a six-foot-three-inch, 245 pound man with a violent past and a criminal record. Ms. Shepard and her co-worker were lucky to survive, as each of them suffered major injuries to the head, neck and upper body.  Ms. Shepard's injuries required extensive surgeries and she continues physical therapy to this day attempting to recover from her injuries.

 

"The Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms and the right to self-defense," said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox.  "The state of

Illinois' severe and irrational restriction on self-defense is an abettor in the terrible attack on Ms. Shepard and her co-worker.  Illinois is the only state to completely deny law-abiding residents the right to carry a firearm for self-defense outside the home, which is both unconscionable and unconstitutional.  The NRA will continue to fight to ensure that the Second Amendment rights of all law-abiding Americans are protected throughout the country."

 

In introducing the opening brief, NRA counsel David Thompson said, "Illinois is the only state in the Union that flatly forbids law-abiding citizens from carrying operable firearms in public for self-defense.  Illinois attempts to defend this ban as a public safety measure, asserting that mayhem would ensue if law-abiding citizens were licensed to bear weapons in public.  The inconvenient truth that every other state in the nation allows some form of public carriage of firearms by at least some private, law-abiding citizens --and does so without fostering the mayhem forecast by the Defendants here-- gives the lie to Illinois's pleas that firearms in the hands of any and all law-abiding citizens are uniquely a threat to public safety in this state, even if nowhere else in America."

 


Indiana

Anglers help DNR balance bass numbers at two Noble County lakes

Effort to improve bass fishing at two Noble County lakes continues to show progress

A temporary rule put in place last summer reduced the number of small, over-abundant largemouth bass at Big and Crane lakes, according to state fisheries biologists.

 

The rule set aside a 14" minimum size limit and temporarily allowed anglers to take home bass that were 10 to 14" long.  Earlier surveys revealed both lakes were dominated by small, slow-growing bass, with few larger than 14 inches. Sampling this spring indicated anglers took out about one-third of the small bass at Big Lake and two-thirds of the small bass at Crane Lake.

 

At Big Lake, estimated numbers of 10- to 14" bass dropped from 4,426 last year to 2,878 this year. Numbers at Crane Lake declined from 1,162 to 374.  By reducing the number of small bass, biologists say those that remain should grow faster and larger.  To protect the remaining bass, the 14" minimum size limit is now back in effect at both lakes.

“Ideally we wanted anglers to take home half of the number of small bass in each lake, but we’re happy with the outcome,” said Jed Pearson, DNR biologist. “We’ll now see if too many bass were taken from Crane Lake and not enough were taken from Big Lake.” The DNR will continue to monitor the number of bass in both lakes to study the long-term effects of the temporary rule. If successful, similar regulations may be imposed at other lakes with too many small bass.

 

The key, Pearson said, is to get numbers of bass in line with the productivity of a lake and its food supply.  Since 1998, when the 14" size limit was imposed at all northern Indiana lakes, some lakes have developed dense populations of small bass. The majority of lakes, however, now have both higher overall numbers of bass and larger bass.  Biologists aren’t sure why some lakes produce too many bass.

 

“If we can restore balance to the bass populations in Big and Crane lakes, we hope that maybe they will stay that way,” Pearson said.

 


Michigan

MI officials place felony charges against Arkansas Asian Carp salesman

LANSING -   Attorney General Bill Schuette and the Michigan DNR Director announced that the Attorney General's Criminal Division has charged an Arkansas man with twelve felony counts of possessing and selling live Asian carp in violation of state law protecting against the spread of invasive species.  The charges follow a joint investigation by the DNR's Special Investigation Unit and Commercial Fish Enforcement Unit . 

 

"Once destructive Asian carp enter our waterways, the damage cannot be undone," said Schuette.  "We must remain vigilant and use every tool available to protect Michigan's tourism and sport-fishing industries from this dangerous threat."

 

"Invasive species in general and the Asian carp in particular pose one of the most serious current threats to the economy and the ecology of the Great Lakes," said Stokes. "The excellent work in this case by the DNR's Law Enforcement Division is one more indication that we will continue to vigilantly protect the lakes from this menace."

 

It is alleged David Shane Costner, 42, of Harrisburg, Arkansas, possessed 110 grass carp fish, a type of invasive Asian carp.  The fish were allegedly transported and sold from tanks housed in a semi-truck furnished by parent company Farley's Arkansas Pondstockers.  Costner allegedly travelled around the state, conducting

sales of the illegal carp from store parking lots.  The trucks

also contained live fish species permitted under state law, including channel catfish, largemouth bass and fathead minnows.  On May 16, 2012, Costner allegedly sold two of the live grass carp to undercover DNR investigators in Midland, Michigan. 

 

Grass carp, which are herbivorous and could potentially remove all vegetation from a body of water at the expense of native species, have been illegal to possess in Michigan for decades. Stokes said the DNR has been aggressively monitoring traffic in restricted species since the threat of Asian carp entering the Great Lakes became apparent.

 

Schuette filed the following charges against Costner today in Midland's 75th District Court:

►Ten counts of possession of an illegal species, a felony punishable by two years in prison and a fine of $2,000-$20,000 for each violation;

►Two counts of selling an illegal species, a felony punishable by two years in prison and a fine of $2,000-$20,000 for each violation

 

Arrangements are being made for Costner to surrender himself to the proper authorities.  Arraignment will be scheduled in Midland's 75th District Court at a later date. Citizens who are aware of the trade or movement of any restricted species of fish in Michigan are asked to call the DNR's 24-hour Report All Poaching (Rap) Hotline at 800-292-7800.


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

 

Lake Michigan swimming with salmon this spring
Lake Michigan has been producing bumper catches of salmon this spring.

 

Asian carp seizure is biggest in history of Michigan agency
The undercover seizure of 112 live Asian carp from an out-of-state seller is the largest such bust ever conducted by Michigan's wildlife agency, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Group wants to keep Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes
Environmental groups are asking the Ontario government to push for the physical separation of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi basins to prevent the unwanted arrival of Asian carp, a monster-sized fish that crowd out native species

 

A world view of Asian carp
The Mississippi and Illinois rivers have more Asian carp than anywhere else on the planet. Even more than China where they came from, according to a biologist from the United States Geological Service who gave a presentation on Asian Carp at the Mississippi River Forum.

Michigan Sea Grant: Great Lakes temps higher than usual
The Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, a program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, plotted the average temperature of Lake Michigan during 2012 compared to its twenty-year average. The graph shows above-normal temperatures with a spike during the hot spell in March.

 

Arkansas man charged with selling live Asian carp in Michigan
Michigan
has leveled a dozen felony counts against an Arkansas man for selling Asian carp Michigan. Michigan law prohibits the possession or sale of live Asian carp. The fish are seen as a threat to the Great Lakes ecosystem.  

 

EDITORIAL: Electrical carp barrier is too flimsy a Great Lakes shield
The recent failure of two of three electric barriers in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal along with their backup generator gave piscine predators -- aka Asian carp -- a 13-minute window of opportunity to establish a finhold in Lake Michigan.

 

Southern Illinois lawmakers block 2-year fracking moratorium
Southern Illinois lawmakers blocked a last minute anti-fracking bill that appeared suddenly Thursday morning that could have blocked a potential $100 billion new oil boom in the region.

Lake Erie shares walleye wealth
Through a creative breeding and stocking program, the biologists from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources are tapping into Lake Erie’s considerable wealth of walleyes, and spreading those assets around.

 

 

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