Week of June 12, 2006

National

Regional

General

Lake Erie

Illinois

Indiana

Minnesota

Ohio

Pennsylvania

Wisconsin

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National

Coast Guard seeks advisory council members

The U.S. Coast Guard is accepting applications for membership on the National Boating Safety Advisory Council.

 

The council advises the Coast Guard on matters related to recreational boating safety and regulation. Members are appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. The group usually meets twice a year at a location selected by the Coast Guard.

 The council has 21 members, including seven state officials responsible for state boating safety programs; seven recreational boat and associated equipment manufacturers; five representatives of national recreational boating organizations; and two members of the public.

 

There will be seven vacancies starting in December: two state

officials, two manufacturer representatives and three representatives of recreational boating organizations. Each member serves a term of up to three years and may serve consecutive terms.

 

ADVISORY COMMITTEE BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION REQUEST FORM http://dmses.dot.gov/docimages/pdf86/245712_web.pdf
SUPPLEMENTAL APPLICATION FOR THE NATIONAL BOATING SAFETY ADVISORY COUNCIL http://dmses.dot.gov/docimages/pdf86/245819_web.pdf 

 

Applications are due Sept. 1. Contact Jeanne Timmons, executive director of the advisory council, at (202) 267-1077.

 


FWS announces Boating Grants to Eight States

WASHINGTON) -- Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne announced that more than $8 million in grants for boating infrastructure enhancements such as repairing docks and installing new restrooms will go to Alabama, California, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Texas.

     

The grants are made available through the USFWS’s Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program.  Money for the program comes from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund supported by excise taxes paid on certain fishing, boating equipment and boat fuels.

     

The BIG proposals are reviewed by a panel of representatives from the Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as a committee from the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council. The Council is a federally chartered body which advises the Secretary of the Interior and the Service on recreational fishing and boating issues.  A Council-appointed committee made an initial funding recommendation to the Service based on a

review of project proposals.

 

The BIG program has two levels of funding, labeled Tier-1 and Tier-2.  Under the Tier-1 portion, all states and territories can receive up to $100,000 to construct or improve docking facilities for transient (short term, non-trailerable boats) without competing against other proposals. Grants totaling $3,740,433 were made available to 38 states as part of this year’s distribution under Tier-1.

     

The Tier-2 portion of the BIG program enables larger projects to compete for the remaining funding. These grants can match up to 75 percent of a project’s cost.

 

The Eagle Creek Marina in Kendall, NY will receive $245,741 and match $267,765 to construct 24 new transient slips with utilities, add new restrooms, and install an updated sewage system and fuel dock for transient boaters at the Eagle Creek Marina.


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for June 9, 2006 

Lake Level Conditions

Water levels on Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are 2 to 3 inches below the levels of a year ago. Lake Ontario is 6 inches below last year's level. Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are expected to rise 2 inches during the next month.  Lake St. Clair is expected to remain steady, while Lake Erie is projected to drop 1 inch over the next month.  Lake Ontario is forecasted to rise 1 inch within the next 30 days.  Over the next few months, water levels on all the Great Lakes are expected to remain similar to or slightly lower than 2005.  See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions

The Lake Superior outflow through the St. Marys River into Lake Huron is expected to be near average in June.  Flows in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are expected to be below average during June.  Flows in the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers are expected to be near and below average, respectively, in June.

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 9

601.4

577.9

574.1

571.8

245.7

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

+4

+5

+21

+31

+29

Diff last month

+5

+4

+5

+4

+3

Diff from last yr

-2

-2

-3

-3

-6


Great Lakes Commission names Tim Eder as new executive director

Ann Arbor, MI –Tim A. Eder, director of water resources for the National Wildlife Foundation, has been hired as the new executive director of The Great Lakes Commission

 

Eder, who has more than 25 years experience in natural resources policy development and advocacy, will be in charge of the Commission’s day-to-day operations and advancing the shared interests of the Commission’s membership in the areas of natural resources management and advocacy.

 

In nearly two decades with the National Wildlife Federation, Eder has headed a variety of programs that directly relate to Great Lakes issues. As NWF director of water resources, he led the formation of a nationwide coalition of taxpayer and conservation interests that forged bipartisan support in the U.S. House and Senate for legislation to protect and restore aquatic habitat. Prior to that, he served as director of the NWF’s largest field office, the Great Lakes Natural Resource Center, dedicated to educating, mobilizing and assisting individuals and organizations in the protection and restoration

of the Great Lakes.

 

As a regional executive with NWF in the 1990s, he represented the organization’s views before Congress, agencies, other opinion leaders and the media. He also coordinated and led a 10-year federal and multistate campaign to develop and adopt uniform pollution control standards to implement the purposes of the U.S.-Canadian Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

 

He currently serves on the boards of the Washtenaw County (Mich.) Road Commission, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters and on the Michigan Aquatic Nuisance Species Advisory Council. He previously served on the board of directors of the Great Lakes Fishery Trust and co-chaired the Aquatic Invasive Species Team of the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration.

 

He was graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in resource development in 1981.

 

Eder will officially begin his duties on July 10.


General

Did You Know?

►Average size of the blue sharks in the 1950s – 52 kg

►Average size of blue sharks in the 1990s – 22 kg (48.5 lb)

►Number of species caught on U.S. pelagic longlines – over 50 (mostly bycatch)

►Mercury level found recently in an 873 lb bluefin tuna from Delaware – 2.5 times the level considered safe to eat

►Percent of Northwest’s 31,000 miles of streams and shoreline considered critical habitat for salmon – 89%


 

Lake Erie

Legislation introduced to buy out Lake Erie Commercials

Rep. Jim McGregor (R-Gahanna), vice-chairman of the agriculture and natural resources committee, has introduced legislation to make the Ohio waters of Lake Erie a net-free zone.

 

A campaign was recently mounted by the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association, and joined in principle by the League of Ohio Sportsmen, for the state to buy out the remaining licenses and effectively end commercial fishing for good.  The members of LECBA had circulated scores of petitions and quickly collected over 12,000 signatures asking the State legislature to initiate a bill that would buy out all remaining commercial netters in Ohio Lake Erie waters.

 

McGregor, who has sponsored other fishing- and hunting-

related bills, agreed with LECBA President Capt Bob Collins and said it was time to introduce this critical bill to protect Ohio's resources. McGregor's legislation - H. B.609 to buy out the Ohio commercial fishing industry was reviewed and approved by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and co- sponsored by 4 other legislators, Patton, Skindell, Allen, Fende and Garrison. This bi-partisan bill would pay the commercial license holders $4 million, the value of their annual catch, and permanently get them off the lake.

 

Citing commercial fishing poaching cases in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court in recent months, McGregor said the time is right to eliminate Ohio's commercial fishing industry. He said it would benefit Lake Erie game fish and the more valuable sport fishing industry in Ohio.

 

The bill as introduced is below:


Ohio Bill to buy out commercials - H. B. No. 609

 

As Introduced

 

126th General Assembly

Regular Session

2005-2006

 

H. B. No. 609

 

 

Representatives McGregor, J., Patton, T., Skindell, Allen, Fende, Garrison 

     COMMERCIAL FISHING BUY-OUT PROGRAM

The foregoing GRF appropriation item 725-503, Commercial Fishing Buy-Out Program, shall be expended by the Division of Wildlife to acquire all commercial fishing licenses currently issued and in reserve, including the purchase of any rights to renew such licenses. Payment shall be made to the licensee to whom each such license was issued as soon as 

practicable after the effective date of this section.

 

All commercial fishing shall cease prior to the 2007 season. The amount paid to each licensee shall equal the product obtained by multiplying $1.94 per pound for yellow perch species by an average number of pounds per year of yellow perch caught, as reported by the licensee under section 1533.42 of the Revised Code. For all other species, the amount shall be $0.28 per pound multiplied by an average number of pounds per year of other species caught, as reported by the licensee under section 1533.42 of the Revised Code.

 

The average shall be determined by dividing by six the total for six years of largest reported catch during the 2000-2005 period. In no case shall the amount paid to each person holding a license be less than one hundred dollars.


Illinois

Asian carp die off in Illinois River

PEORIA, IL (AP)--There has been a major fish die-off in the Illinois River, but state conservation officials are far from worried about it. If anything, they wish it had been even worse -- because the dying fish are invasive Asian carp.

 

Since May 30, thousands of dead carp have been seen floating down the river. Their bodies have been spotted from the Starved Rock area to as far downstream as Havana.  "From a biological standpoint this is a good thing," Joe Ferencak, Illinois DNR impoundment program manager said.  Biologists say the die-off seems to have been widespread.

 

Two species of Asian carp, the bighead and the silver, have become a major ecological problem in the Illinois River Valley, where they have been competing successfully for food and habitat with native species. They have also been the object of intensive efforts to keep them from spreading into the Great lakes.

 

The carp were imported by catfish farmers in the 1970s to remove algae and suspended matter out of catfish ponds in the South. Many of those farm ponds overflowed their banks

during flooding in the early 1990s, releasing the Asian carp into the Mississippi River basin.

 

So far, the fish kill appears to have affected only Asian carp and a few carpsuckers.  News of the die-off was no surprise to biologist Larry Willis of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. "You can't have an unchecked population for long," said Willis, who works in the fish pathology laboratory at the Jake Wolf Fish Hatchery in Mason County. "Just by laws of population dynamics, a disease will come in there and limit the population."

 

While Willis is not yet certain what is killing bighead and silver carp, he has a hunch. He has ruled out columnaris -- a common disease that can take a toll on fish that are stressed or spawning in warm water.

 

He suspects spring viremia of carp (SVC), a virus first detected in the U.S. in 2001.  In June of 2003, SVC was found in common carp from the Calumet-Sag channel near Chicago, whose waters eventually mingle with the Illinois River. "But at this point, it's still total speculation," Willis said. "There are other viruses out there and it could be bacterial."


Wingshooting Clinics for youth, women & other hunters

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and participating sponsors are hosting a series of wingshooting clinics for beginners and hunters this spring and summer.  At youth/women's clinics, instruction is available for young wingshooters 10 - 15 years of age.  Sessions are also available for girls and women and are open to all those ages 10 and older.  (Youngsters must be at least 4 feet 6 inches tall and weigh at least 75 pounds to participate).

 

Instructors are certified by the National Sporting Clays Association.  All supplies including shotguns and ammunition are provided at youth/women's clinics.  Hunter clinics are designed to enhance the wingshooting skills of hunters ages 16 and older.  Hunters with wingshooting skill levels from beginner to advanced are encouraged to attend.  A small fee is assessed each hunter clinic participant to cover the cost of

 

clay targets and refreshments. 

 

Upcoming Youth/Women's clinics:

            June 17-18 - Briar Knolls Club, Amboy (Lee Co.), 815/857-2320

            Aug. 19-20 - Shabonna Lake SP (DeKalb County), 815/758-2773

            Aug. 20 - Decatur Gun Club (Macon County), 217/877-4096

            Aug. 26-27 - Champaign County Wingshooting Clinic, Fisher, 217/935-6860

 

Upcoming Hunter's clinics are:

            June 24-25 - Briar Knolls Club, Amboy (Lee Co.), 815/857-2320

            July 22-23 - Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA (Cass Co.)217/452-7741


Bullfrog season June 15-Aug 31

 The Ill DNR is sending out a reminder that the Illinois bullfrog season is June 15-Aug. 31.  A sport fishing license is required

to take bullfrogs.  The daily limit is eight frogs with a possession limit of 16.


Indiana

Off-road vehicle operators reminded of traffic laws

Many off-road vehicle users are misinformed about pertinent laws, according to the DNR Law Enforcement Division. As use of ORVs increases with the season, so do violations involving them.  To avoid fines and maximize safety, ORV users should familiarize themselves with all related regulations.

 

According to Conservation Officer J.P. Salb of DNR law enforcement, all ORVs operated on public property must be registered with the DNR, as must all ORVs purchased in or after 2004.  Registration forms are available from most dealers, license branches, and on the Web at the DNR customer service center. They also can be printed at www.in.gov/dnr/outdoor/ohv/ohvfaq.htm .

A relatively new law to help curb theft and resale of stolen ORVs also has taken effect. Owners of an ORV five model years or newer, and purchased after December 31, 2005, must obtain a certificate of title from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. 

 

The law also prohibits an individual from operating an ORV required to be registered on a public highway, street, or on a public or private parking lot not specifically designated for such use, except under the certain conditions. For instance, an ORV may be operated on the public right-of-way next to the traveled part of a public highway (except a limited-access highway), but only with sufficient width to allow a reasonable distance from the part traveled by general traffic.


Minnesota

Red Lake walleye harvest meets DNR approval

Anglers harvested an estimated 32,500 pounds of walleye and released more than five times that amount in the first three weeks of fishing on Upper Red Lake, the Minnesota DNR announced.  The lake, which was closed to anglers in 1999 due to low walleye numbers, was reopened this spring under special regulations that allow anglers to keep two walleye. All walleye from 17 to 26 inches must be returned to the water.

 

"Fishing is very good and the regulations the community helped design are protecting the fishery," said Henry Drewes, northeast regional fisheries manager. "We are very pleased with angling quality, regulation compliance and the pace of the harvest."

 

According to DNR data, there were 81,000 hours of angling from the May 13 fishing opener to May 31, with an overall catch rate of 1.8 fish per hour. An estimated 120,000 walleye have been caught and released on Upper Red Lake. Included in the harvest of 32,500 pounds are an estimated 1,100 pounds of

walleye that died after release. The Red Lake Band harvest totaled an estimated 12,000 pounds.

 

Drewes said it's too soon to predict if anglers will reach the open water harvest cap of 108,000 pounds. "What we do know is that the Red Lake regulations were designed to provide maximum fishing opportunity with only a small probability that fishing would have to be closed due to a harvest that surpassed the cap."

 

"We anticipate catch rates and fishing pressure will drop off somewhat in the coming weeks as water temperatures rise and fish begin to move off shoreline structure," Gary Barnard, Bemidji area fisheries manager said. "Fishing pressure, catch rates and release mortality will determine how total harvest accumulates in the coming weeks."

 

As water temperatures rise, anglers are encouraged to exercise restraint in the number of fish they boat in order to minimize release mortality. The DNR will continue updating harvest estimates every other week throughout the summer.


Ohio

Legislation introduced to buy out Lake Erie Commercials

Rep. Jim McGregor (R-Gahanna), vice-chairman of the agriculture and natural resources committee, has introduced legislation to make the Ohio waters of Lake Erie a net-free zone.

 

A campaign was recently mounted by the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association, and joined in principle by the League of Ohio Sportsmen, for the state to buy out the remaining licenses and effectively end commercial fishing for good.  The members of LECBA had circulated scores of petitions and quickly collected over 12,000 signatures asking the State legislature to initiate a bill that would buy out all remaining commercial netters in Ohio Lake Erie waters.

 

McGregor, who has sponsored other fishing- and hunting-

related bills, agreed with LECBA President Capt Bob Collins and said it was time to introduce this critical bill to protect Ohio's resources. McGregor's legislation - H. B.609 to buy out the Ohio commercial fishing industry was reviewed and approved by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and co- sponsored by 4 other legislators, Patton, Skindell, Allen, Fende and Garrison. This bi-partisan bill would pay the commercial license holders $4 million, the value of their annual catch, and permanently get them off the lake.

 

Citing commercial fishing poaching cases in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court in recent months, McGregor said the time is right to eliminate Ohio's commercial fishing industry. He said it would benefit Lake Erie game fish and the more valuable sport fishing industry in Ohio.

 

The bill as introduced is below:


Ohio Bill to buy out commercials - H. B. No. 609

 

As Introduced

 

126th General Assembly

Regular Session

2005-2006

 

H. B. No. 609

 

 

Representatives McGregor, J., Patton, T., Skindell, Allen, Fende, Garrison 

     COMMERCIAL FISHING BUY-OUT PROGRAM

The foregoing GRF appropriation item 725-503, Commercial Fishing Buy-Out Program, shall be expended by the Division of Wildlife to acquire all commercial fishing licenses currently issued and in reserve, including the purchase of any rights to renew such licenses. Payment shall be made to the licensee to whom each such license was issued as soon as

practicable after the effective date of this section.

 

All commercial fishing shall cease prior to the 2007 season. The amount paid to each licensee shall equal the product obtained by multiplying $1.94 per pound for yellow perch species by an average number of pounds per year of yellow perch caught, as reported by the licensee under section 1533.42 of the Revised Code. For all other species, the amount shall be $0.28 per pound multiplied by an average number of pounds per year of other species caught, as reported by the licensee under section 1533.42 of the Revised Code.

 

The average shall be determined by dividing by six the total for six years of largest reported catch during the 2000-2005 period. In no case shall the amount paid to each person holding a license be less than one hundred dollars.


Commercial fishing royalties paid to Ohio by year…

 

1996                                    $3,869 

1997                                  $15,693

1998                                  $19,782

1999                                    $6,838

2000                                  $11,324

2001                                  $15,896

2002                                  $14,740

2003                                  $31,047

2004                                  $34,329

2005                                  $92,048

 

Commercial fishing license revenues paid by year…

(Variability due to the number of seine licenses in escrow each year)

 

1996                                   $23,900

1997                                   $24,200

1998                                   $25,760

1999                                   $23,800

2000                                   $23,600

2001                                   $21,780

2002                                   $22,160

2003                                   $22,520

2004                                   $21,820

2005                                   $22,300


ODNR issue warning to buyers of used boats

Ohioans Should Avoid Boats Damaged By Gulf Coast Hurricanes

COLUMBUS, OH - Ohioans considering the purchase of a used boat are advised to look for hidden or undisclosed damage, especially in a boat from the Florida or Gulf Coast region, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

        

The Boat Owners Association of the United States estimates damage to recreational watercraft was extensive throughout the Gulf Coast region in 2005 and exceeded more than $650 million from Hurricane Katrina alone. Many of those damaged boats have now found their way onto the resale market as “nearly new” or used craft.

       

“Sadly, unethical people are everywhere, even in times of disaster,” said Rick Barrera, registration and titling manager of the ODNR Division of Watercraft and chairman of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Numbering and Titling Committee. “Used boat buyers should take precautions to protect themselves from those who would profit from hurricane-damaged watercraft.”

 NASBLA is joined by ODNR and other state watercraft agencies nationwide in advising potential boat buyers to first check out the full history of any used vessel they consider for purchase. Conducting business only with reputable dealers and seeking the services of a certified boat surveyor before buying any used watercraft is always recommended.

 

Of the states that require titling, including Ohio, fewer than 10 states require titles of boats and other watercraft that have been designated for salvage. Consumers and boat registration personnel can access the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s database of watercraft affected by last year’s hurricanes at www.nicb.org  

      

 “If a deal on a used boat sounds too good to be true, most times it is,” Barrera said. “And that likely means additional problems for some boat buyers.” He urges potential buyers to take a few extra steps to make sure their purchase is legitimate, has been properly inspected, and can be properly titled and registered in Ohio or other state of permanent residence.

 


$50 Million cleanup of Ashtabula River Sediment begins

ASHTABULA, (ENS) - Crews have begun to remove contaminated sediment from the bottom of the Ashtabula River, and today federal, state and local officials gathered in the city of Ashtabula to officially kick off the three year, $50 million project. In addition to PCBs, the river bottom is polluted with low-level radioactive material, heavy metals and other chemicals

 

From the 1940s through the late 1970s, discharges of contaminants from industries throughout the river's 137 square mile drainage basin settled in the mud along the river’s last two miles. In addition to PCBs, the river bottom is polluted with low-level radioactive material, heavy metals and other chemicals. The Ashtabula River flows into Lake Erie.

 

The cleanup project is the first to be carried out in Ohio under the Great Lakes Legacy Act of 2002, which provides for cleanup of 31 toxic hot spots known as "areas of concern" around the Great Lakes.

The cleanup plan involves dredging the sediment and pumping it through a three mile long pipeline to a disposal facility near State Road and the upper reaches of Fields Brook, a stream that flows into the Ashtabula River. There is concentrated industrial development around Fields Brook and east of the river mouth.

 

Workers will remove about 500,000 cubic yards, or 12.5 tons, of contaminated sediment and provide new habitat in the river.

In the process, the river will be deepened, allowing for the return of commercial navigation.

 

Costs are being split evenly by EPA and the Ashtabula City Port Authority and its partners. The state of Ohio is providing $7 million as part of the Port Authority's cost share. "The state of Ohio is proud to invest $7 million to help match the federal investment and advance the cleanup and restoration of the Great Lakes," said Governor Taft.

 

The work is being done in close cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is scheduled for completion in 2008. The Corps will also conduct navigation dredging downstream of the project area and will complete its work in 2009.

 

The Great Lakes Legacy Act authorizes $270 million in funding over five years for cleanups of contaminated sediment hot spots. Three earlier Legacy Act cleanups have addressed smaller hot spots. In 2004, the first year funds were available, Congress appropriated $9.9 million. In 2005, Congress appropriated $22.3 million, and $29.6 million is available this year.

 

Cleanups of Black Lagoon, an inlet of the Detroit River in Trenton, Michigan, as well as Newton Creek/Hog Island Inlet in Superior, Wisconsin, were completed last year. Another project at Ruddiman Creek in Muskegon, Michigan, was finished last month and more projects are expected.


Ohio commercial fishing sales associated with Canada…

According to the DOW Sandusky Office, approximately 35% of the 2005 commercial harvest was sold directly out-of-state

(primarily to processors in Canada).  Of the catch sold directly to Ohio processors, an unknown (but significant) quantity was subsequently re-sold to Canadian processors.

 


Pennsylvania

Board approved mentored youth hunting program

HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners on June 6 gave final approval to regulations establishing the Mentored Youth Hunting Program

 

"The logic behind the Mentored Youth Hunting Program is simple and clear: create expanded youth hunting opportunities while maintaining safety afield," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director.  "This program provides additional means for youngsters to nurture their interest in hunting early and allows them to take a more active role in those formative trips afield with mentoring adults.  The program increases hands-on use of sporting arms and can promote a better understanding and interest in hunting and wildlife conservation that will help assure hunting's future, as well as reinforce the principles of hunting safely through the close supervision provided by dedicated mentors."

 

Under the program, a mentor would be defined as a properly licensed individual at least 21 years of age, who will serve as a guide to a mentored youth while engaged in hunting or related activities, such as scouting, learning firearm or hunter safety and wildlife identification.  A mentored youth would be defined as an unlicensed individual less than 12 years of age who is accompanied by a mentor while engaged in hunting or related activities.

The regulations require that the mentor to mentored youth ratio be one-to-one, and that the pair possesses only one sporting arm while hunting.  While moving, the sporting arm must be carried by the mentor.  When the pair reaches a stationary hunting location, the mentor may turn over possession of the sporting arm to the youth and must keep the youth within arms length at all times.

 

"As this will be the first year of the MYHP, the agency decided it was prudent to start out slow and then refine the program after we've had a chance to evaluate response to it," Roe said.  "This is consistent with other agency actions.  For example, youth seasons were introduced one or two at a time; some youth seasons start with only a day or two and are expanded later.  Also, when the agency began the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP), we started slow and then grew the program.

 

Pennsylvania was the first state in the nation to pass legislation designed to encourage more young people to take up hunting in an effort to increase sportsmen's numbers.  The measure was part of a national Families Afield campaign promoted by the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the National Wild Turkey Federation.


Wisconsin

Walleye bag limits increase on some northern lakes

MADISON – Daily walleye bag limits have been increased on 91 lakes in the Ceded Territory of northern Wisconsin to reflect spearing harvest results by Wisconsin’s bands of Chippewa Indians. Additionally, the minimum length limit for muskie will be reduced on two lakes in the ceded territory.

 

A daily bag limit of one or two increased to three walleye per day on 43 lakes. In addition, 48 lakes went from an initial bag limit of two or three walleyes per day to the bag limit specified in the 2006-2007 Guide to Wisconsin Hook and Line Fishing Regulations, which in most cases is the state daily bag limit of five, according to Patrick Schmalz, who coordinates the treaty fisheries for the DNR.

 

The complete revised walleye bag limit is available on the DNR Web site and at all DNR Service Centers and authorized license sales locations.

 

As part of a 1983 federal Appellate Court decision affirming Chippewa off-reservation hunting, fishing, and gathering rights, the six bands of Wisconsin Chippewa set annual

harvest quotas for off-reservation lakes in the Wisconsin Ceded Territory. To assure the combined tribal and recreational angler harvest does not exceed a sustainable level, the state sets recreational bag limits in lakes declared for harvest by the Chippewa bands. In April, angler daily bag limits for walleye were set at one, two, or three fish per day for sport anglers in order to accommodate Chippewa spearing harvest goals. The bag limits on these lakes will be adjusted, starting May 27, to reflect actual Chippewa spring spearing harvest totals.

 

An administrative rule passed by the state Natural Resources Board in 1998 allows the department to adjust initial bag limits annually to reflect actual spring spearing harvests and projected summer harvests.

 

Of the 227 lakes still with reduced bag limits, 58 lakes will have a bag limit of two walleye per day and 169 lakes will have a daily bag of three. The six Chippewa tribes together declared a harvest of 42,513 for 2006 and had a preliminary harvest of 27,590 in 2006.


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

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

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