Week of June 13, 2005

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes












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Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

Indiana wiper record broken --- again

A second state-record hybrid striped bass has been certified this spring by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. David Coffman from Frankfort, Ind. caught the new record fish May 22 below Lake Freeman's Oakdale Dam. The white bass/striped bass hybrid, often called a wiper, weighed 22 pounds, and was 32 inches long. The fish's tail fin spanned a foot rule. The new biggest-ever Indiana

wiper beat the 19.5-pound record wiper caught below the same dam on April 30.


Coffman's wiper hit a crankbait lure cast in the early morning darkness and drawn across the Tippecanoe River below the Lake Freeman dam.  "The wipers are a new fish for me," said Coffman. "But I've really focused on them for the last three weeks. I caught a couple 16 pounders, and then the big fish, where the current breaks (below the dam)."  "The fish was like something you would see in the ocean," said Coffman.

Chattanooga Fireman Catches Probable World Record Fish

JJ Rorex is a Chattanooga fireman serving the city at Firehall #14 in St. Elmo. Given the slightest amount of opportunity, firemen are well-known for giving each other large doses of grief around the firehall.


But if the guys giving him grief are fishermen, they'll probably be jealous as well. Rorex may soon achieve something every angler dreams of. It appears at this point that Rorex will soon lay claim to the World Record Bighead Carp.   We're not talking "line class" record -- we're talking bona fide WORLD RECORD!


Rorex's 90-pound catch smashed the existing Bighead Carp record (73 lbs.) taken from Reelfoot Lake. He caught it from the same water where well-known angler Benny Hull captured the World Record Drum -- the tailwaters of Nickajack Dam.


Rorex and fellow fireman Jim Manis were rockfishing below Nickajack, throwing big white bucktail jigs. Rorex said when

he hooked the fish, "it shot across the surface like a big rock(fish)."  Rorex said the monster fish was well on the way to spooling his brand new casting reel.


The battle went on for a fierce 75 minutes. Rorex said when the fish finally rolled up next to the boat, they had no idea what it was.  "We just kind of put the dip net over it's head, but it would only go in as far as the dorsal fin. The two of us just finally managed to grab each end and roll it over into the boat."


Bighead Carp are an exotic species. Biologists actually wish they weren't here. They are thought to have been brought to the country by fish farmers. And then, of course, they escaped into public waters and continue to spread.  They are rarely captured by anglers because, like spoonbill catfish, they feed only on microscopic plankton. But sooner or later they are likely to cross paths with a fish hook.


Rorex says he's been having a second battle, trying to catch up with a TWRA fisheries biologist who will officially confirm the species. He's already done the certified scales scene, with witnesses. So once a biologist certifies the species, it's just a matter of paperwork before J.J. Rorex appears in the record books.


Australia Signs Treaty to Limit Hitchhikers in Ballast Water

June 07, 2005 -- The marine environment will have greater protection from introduced pests now that Australia has signed an international agreement on ships' ballast water, says Australian Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Warren Truss.


Australia on June 7 became the first country to sign the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, an initiative of the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO), based in London. An IMO Diplomatic Conference adopted the text of the treaty in February 2004.


The treaty requires that whenever possible, ballast water exchanges shall be conducted at least 200 nautical miles from the nearest land and in water at least 200 meters (656 feet) in depth. In cases where the ship is unable to conduct such ballast water exchanges, this should be as far from the nearest land as possible, and in all cases at least 50 nautical

miles from the nearest land and in water at least 200 meters in depth.


The IMO notes that ballast water is responsible for some serious health problems. "Some cholera epidemics appear to be directly associated with ballast water," says the organization.


Toxic algae that cause red, brown, or green tides are carried in ballast water. Depending on the species, they can cause massive kills of marine life through oxygen depletion, release of toxins and mucus. These algae can foul beaches and impact tourism and recreation. Some species may contaminate filter-feeding shellfish and cause fisheries to be closed. Consumption of contaminated shellfish by humans may cause severe illness and death.


The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments will come into force 12 months after ratification by 30 countries, representing 35 percent of world merchant shipping tonnage.


Court rejects tribe's tax-exempt claim

WASHINGTON - In a victory for the state of New York, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the Oneida Indian Nation's bid to avoid paying taxes on property that had been part of original tribal land ceded to New York in 1805 but repurchased by the tribe in the 1990s.


The 8-1 decision has implications for other states - including Florida - where American Indians, enriched by casinos and other businesses, have reacquired ancestral property outside their reservations.


The Oneida Indian Nation argued before the Supreme Court on Jan. 11 that it should not have to pay property taxes on a gasoline station, convenience market and textile factory in the small Oneida County, N.Y., town of Sherrill, 35 miles east of Syracuse. The tribe argued that the newly acquired ancestral properties are now an extension of their reservation and cannot be taxed by localities without congressional authorization.


But in the decision written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the court ruled the Oneida Indian Nation had relinquished its control of the land and cannot regain it by buying up property.  Doing so, the court said, "would yield a checkerboard of tribal and state jurisdictions" that would "significantly confound local governance" and "adversely affect landowners neighboring the tribal patches."


Mark Emery, spokesman for the Oneida Nation, issued a statement after the ruling saying, "Certainly the nation wishes the court had ruled differently."

Robert Batson, a professor of federal Indian law at Albany Law School, who worked on land-claim issues under former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, said the decision implies all 17,000 acres of land outside the 32-acre Oneida reservation are taxable.


The vast real estate holdings of the Oneida tribe now stand to be taxed - including golf resorts, convenience stores, gasoline stations, mobile home parks a huge hotel and Turning Stone Casino - said New York Assembly member David Townsend, a Republican who represents Oneida County.


Sherrill sought $12,000 in unpaid taxes on 10 properties purchased by the Oneidas in 1997 and 1998. When the Oneidas refused to pay, the city tried to evict the owners, and the Oneida Indian Nation sued in federal court.


Both the U.S. District Court and the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Oneida claim that their properties were tax-exempt.  In 2003, Sherrill and the state of New York appealed to the Supreme Court.


Todd Alhart, a spokesman for New York Gov. George Pataki, said the decision is being reviewed. Pataki argued in favor of Sherrill's position and was represented by the state attorney general's office.


The Oneida Indian Nation has about 1,000 members, about half of whom live in New York. It owns the Turning Stone Casino, luxury lodges and the SavOn chain of gas stations and convenience markets.

USSA’s ‘No Net Loss’ Concept Taking Hold in States

A number of states are taking a cue from a federal bill to ensure federal public lands remain open for hunting.  Pennsylvania and Oregon have seen the introduction of bills based on a model conceived by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance to protect hunting.


“A ‘no net loss’ concept that is the keystone of the bills is based on USSA language put forth in the federal Hunting

Heritage Protection Act in 2000,” said Rob Sexton, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance vice president for government affairs.  “the concept was adopted in 2004 in Illinois, and Georgia and Maryland passed similar bills this year.”


The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance provides legislative, legal defense and public education services to defend and advance sportsmen’s rights in Washington, D.C. and in all 50 states.


Great Lakes Fishery Commission Celebrates 50 Years

of Sea Lamprey Control and Bi-National Cooperation

ANN ARBOR, MI—The Great Lakes Fishery Commission celebrated its 50th anniversary in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, June 8th, 2005. The anniversary marked fifty years of sea lamprey control on the Great Lakes and celebrated the remarkable recovery of a fishery once thought destroyed by this invasive pest.


This anniversary also honors fifty years of Canadian and U.S. cooperation on fisheries research and coordinated management of shared fish stocks. The GLFC is an international organization established by the United States and Canada through the Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries. The convention was negotiated and approved in 1954 and went into effect in 1955. The commission has the responsibility to coordinate fisheries research, control sea lampreys, and facilitate cross-border fisheries management.


“This anniversary is a celebration of Great Lakes recovery and stewardship,” said Gerry Barnhart, Chair of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. “We have come a long way since the convention went into effect in 1955. Fifty years ago sea lampreys were out of control and had devastated the Great Lakes fishery. Today sea lamprey populations have been reduced by 90%, allowing for the recovery of fish populations. Fifty years ago the U.S. and Canada, and the states, the provinces, and the tribes, had no formal mechanism to cooperate on Great Lakes fishery management. Today, consultation and coordination are the norm.”

“The Great Lakes Fishery Commission has made enormous contributions to fishery science,” added Peter Wallace, Vice

Chair of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. “We are proud of the scientific publication series which the Great Lakes Fishery Commission started nearly fifty years ago, and the numerous international symposia we have sponsored to advance our understanding of freshwater fisheries.”


“Equally important is the change in mindset during the past fifty years.” Wallace concluded. “Great Lakes fishery management has gone from a jurisdictional-based approach prior to the convention, to a broader, ecology-based approach that prevails today. The commission is proud of the supporting role it plays in helping the jurisdictions share data, developing common objectives, and coordinating their fisheries management activities.”


The commission’s 50th anniversary annual meeting was held June 8th at the Queen’s Landing Inn, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. The Honorable Shawn Murphy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans; Honorable David Ramsay, Ontario Minister of Natural Resources; Mr. John Turner, Assistant Secretary of State; and Mr. Paul Steckle, MP; are among the dignitaries who made presentations.


1995 Chris Goddard also celebrates an anniversary, his tenth as appointment to the GLFC as Executive Secretary.  Our compliments and best wishes to the Commission and to Dr. Goddard.

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for June 10, 2005

Current Lake Levels:

Compared to this time last year, Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair and Ontario are 3, 3, and 6 inches lower, respectively. Lake Superior and Lake Erie are about the same as last years levels. May of 2005 was drier than average. Conversely, May of 2004 was extremely wet across the Great Lakes region. This difference in precipitation is the primary reason that water levels are lower than water levels for this time period last year.  Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, and St. Clair are below their long-term averages by 4, 15, and 5 inches, respectively.  Lake Erie is at its long-term average.  Lake Ontario is 1 inch below its long-term average.


Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

The Lake Superior outflow through the St. Marys River into Lake Huron is projected to be near average during the month of June.  Flows in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are anticipated to be below average during June, while flows in the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers are both expected to be above average in June.


Temperature/Precipitation Outlook:

Hot and humid conditions are expected to last through the weekend in the Great Lakes basin.  A chance of thunderstorms also exists each day, right into next week.


Forecasted Water Levels:

Looking ahead, the water levels of Lake Superior and Michigan-Huron are expected to rise 2 inches over the next month. Lake Superior is expected to maintain levels similar to last year’s conditions through the summer.  Lakes Michigan-Huron will see levels that are slightly lower than last summer. 

Lake St. Clair is expected to remain steady, while Lakes Erie and Ontario may fall up to 2 inches in the next 30 days. This summer, levels on St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario will also be slightly lower than in 2004.



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.


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels Data Summary




St. Clair



Expected levels for June 10 in ft






Chart datum (ft)






Diff from chart datum, in inches






Diff from last month, in inches






Diff from last year in inches







Learn How to Dissect a Phish

Guidelines to help protect against online ID theft

Online phishing scams are junk e-mail schemes sent to trick you into giving away valuable personal information. The sender does this by making its e-mail look official - like it’s coming from a trusted source. Beyond getting protective software to help keep phishing scams out of your inbox, knowing the warning signs of a phish is a great protective measure.


One tip you can use now is to move your mouse over the Web address in the mail that the scammer wants you to go to. Make sure the address that pops up matches the one listed.


 It's often extremely difficult even for experts to distinguish

between a slick scam and authenticity. Your best protection, therefore, is caution--and following these five simple rules. That said, here are some telltale signs of a phishing scam:


• Requests for personal information in an e-mail message. Most legitimate businesses will not ask for personal information in e-mail.

• Alarmist messages. Criminals attempt to create a sense of urgency so you'll respond without thinking.

• Misspellings and grammatical errors

• A slightly altered Web address. Only close scrutiny would reveal the deceptive spelling. For example, www.microsoft.com  could appear as www.micosoft.com  , www.mircosoft.com   or www.mIcrosoft.com  .




Illinois Urban Fishing Clinics posted

Youth Learn Fun of Fishing from Experts

SPRINGFIELD, ILL. - Learning how to fish is fun, easy and free for youngsters and families throughout Illinois this summer, thanks to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Urban Fishing Program.  Free fishing clinics are planned at 41 locations to introduce young people to the experience of fishing.


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


Fishing 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 a 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.


In addition to providing free fishing clinics, IDNR also provides loaner fishing gear to people of all ages. The Access to Fishing equipment loan program provides the opportunity to borrow rods, reels and tackle packs.  A list of participating agencies and businesses, including local park and forest preserve districts, recreation departments, public libraries, bait shops and other sites offering the fishing gear to those who want to borrow it is available on the web site.


Fishing clinics can also be arranged for scouts, seniors, civic clubs and groups with special needs.  All Urban Fishing Program clinics are presented on weekdays during the late spring and summer months at 41 locations throughout the state.


For more comprehensive info go to:  www.ifishillinois.org or by phoning the IDNR Urban Fishing Program at 217/782-6424.


The schedule of clinic dates follows:


Central Illinois

June 6-August 6

  • Miller Park, Bloomington (phone 309/4340-2260 for reservations)

  • Crystal Lake Park, Urbana (June 13-August 5th only; phone 217-367-1544 for reservations

  • Fairview Park, Decatur (phone 217/422-5911 for reservations

  • Washington Park, Springfield (phone 217-753-0700 for reservations

Contact:  Herb Dreier, 217/935-6860, ext. 238


Southern Illinois

            June 13 - August 5

  • Mt. Vernon Veterans Park Lake, Mt. Vernon (June 13-July 8 only, call 618/242-6890)

  • Foundation Park Pond, Centralia (July 11-August 5th only, call 618-532-4311)

  • SIU Campus Lake, Carbondale (call 618-453-6088)

  • Jones Lake at Kenneth Hall Park, East St. Louis  (call 618-874-3600)

  • Gordon Moore Park Lake, Alton (Call 618-462-1181)

(Contact Mark Yehling, 618/462-1181)


Northern Illinois

            June 13 - August 12


  • Riverside Park, Moline (Contact Moline Park District, 309-736-5714)

  • Glen Oak Park Lagoon, Peoria (Contact Peoria Park District at 309/681-2865)

  • Levings Lake, Rockford (Contact 815/625-2968)

  • Big Pond, Boone County Conservation District, Belvidere (815-624-2968)

  • Mill Race Ponds, Belvidere (815-625-2968)

(Contact: Dan Sallee, 815/625-2968)


Chicago Area

            June 27 - August 19

  • Chicago Park District lagoons

  • Columbus

  • Gompers

  • Humboldt/Douglas

  • Marquette

  • McKinley parks

(Contact: Brenda McKinney, 847/294-4137)                     


Illinois State Fair

            Conservation World,       August 12 – 21

  • Five Clinics Daily

(Contact: Herb Dreier, 217-782-6424)


Du Quoin State Fair Conservation Village Aquatic Area

            August 27 - September 5

  • Daily Clinics

(Contact: Mark Yehling, 618/462-1181)


Southern Illinois Hunting and Fishing Days,

            September 24 - 25        

  • IDNR Aquatic Area, John A. Logan College, 9 to 5 daily

Several additional clinic opportunities will again be available this year.  Prospective participants should phone ahead for information on the following clinic locations and schedules:


Northwest Illinois Clinics at Summerset Lake

 (Contact Joe Harper, at 815/2480-9099 or 815/864-2969)

  • Lake Carroll (815-493-2552)

  • Lost Nation Lake (Jerry Sellers, 815-652-3761)

  • Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Park (815-493-6909)

  • Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Camp (LOMC) in Oregon

(Tim Benedict at 815/732-2220)


Central Illinois

  • Charleston Park and Recreation Department (217/345-6897)

  • Human Resources Center, Park (217/465-4118)

  • Pittsfield Park District, Pittsfield (217/285-4484)

  • Quincy Parks Department, Quincy (217-223-7703)

  • Taylorville Park District, Taylorville  (217-824-3110)

  • Watseka Park District, Watseka (815-432-3931)

Southern Illinois Clinics/Mark Yehling  618/462-1181)

  • Southern Illinois Clinics in Belleville

  • Granite City

  • Nokomis

  • Ozark

  • O’Fallon

  • Wood River

  • Shawnee Community College in Ullin

Wingshooting Clinics

The Department of Natural Resources and a variety of participating sponsors are hosting a series of wingshooting clinics for beginners and hunters this spring and summer.  At the youth/women's clinics, Saturday session instruction is available for young wingshooters 10 - 15 years of age.  Sunday sessions are for girls and women and are open to all those ages 10 and older.  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 (and contact phone numbers) include:

            June 25-26 - Briar Knoll Club (Lee County) - 815/857-2320

            June 25-26 - Pioneer Valley Sportsmen's Assoc./St. Charles Sportsman's Club (Kane County) - 630/837-6869

            Aug. 20-21 - Shabonna Lake State Park (DeKalb County) - 815/758-2773

Upcoming Hunter's clinics are:

            June 4-5 and June 11-12 - Des Plaines Conservation Area (Will County), 217/423-5326

Check the IDNR web site for the complete schedule of wingshooting clinics.


Indiana wiper record broken --- again

A second state-record hybrid striped bass has been certified this spring by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. David Coffman from Frankfort, Ind. caught the new record fish May 22 below Lake Freeman's Oakdale Dam. The white bass/striped bass hybrid, often called a wiper, weighed 22 pounds, and was 32 inches long. The fish's tail fin spanned a foot rule. The new biggest-ever Indiana

wiper beat the 19.5-pound record wiper caught below the same dam on April 30.


Coffman's wiper hit a crankbait lure cast in the early morning darkness and drawn across the Tippecanoe River below the Lake Freeman dam.  "The wipers are a new fish for me," said Coffman. "But I've really focused on them for the last three weeks. I caught a couple 16 pounders, and then the big fish, where the current breaks (below the dam)."  "The fish was like something you would see in the ocean," said Coffman.

More about Indiana striper waters

The tailwaters below Norway and Oakdale dams, the two dams on the Tippecanoe River that create lakes Shafer and Freeman, have consistently produced the biggest Hoosier wipers over the last 20 years. Since 1985, 20 of 22 state record wipers have come from the Tippecanoe River. 


The wiper record is Indiana's most often broken sport fish record. The record has been broken more than 20 times since 1985.  More than half the record hybrids were caught during April and May. The wiper record was broken six times in 1988.


Wipers will attack a wide variety of cast or trolled lures or baits. These powerful fish are a genetic cross between white bass

and striped bass and resemble their temperate bass cousins,  striped bass, white bass and yellow bass. 


The best lakes in Indiana for adding wiper poundage to your stringer are Monroe Lake near Bloomington or lakes Freeman and Shafer near Monticello. Big wipers are also often caught below Ohio River dams.


Indiana record fish factoids:  www.IN.gov/dnr/fishwild/recordfish/recordfish_factoids.htm


Indiana Record Fish: www.IN.gov/dnr/fishwild/recordfish/recordfish_list.htm

Salt Creek Public Fishing Area opens

New fishing access site ready for summer steelhead

The new Department of Natural Resources Salt Creek Public Fishing Area in Porter County is open and ready for the summer Skamania steelhead run.


The 75 acres of natural land northwest of Valparaiso provides anglers with nearly 6000 feet of access to a high-quality steelhead trout and salmon fishing stream and protects a section of Salt Creek's watershed.


Salt Creek flows from south to north through upland and bottomland hardwood forest and fallow farm fields at Salt Creek PFA. The public property is similar to the DNR's nearby 76-acre Chustak Public Fishing Area along Salt Creek. Chustak PFA opened in 2001 and has a parking area off County Road 600 North.


Salt Creek PFA was bought in 2004 with funds provided from the sale of state fishing licenses. Salt Creek is a tributary to Lake Michigan, and generally offers excellent small-stream trout and salmon fishing as these fish swarm out of Lake 

Michigan on seasonal spawning runs. During mid to late June, depending on water temperatures and water levels in the tributaries, summer-run adult Skamania steelhead trout return to Indiana tributaries where they were planted as fingerlings.


Most Skamania will "stage" near the mouths of Lake Michigan tributaries, with fish rushing upstream -- especially after a heavy rainfall -- to begin the run. By mid-August (depending on tributary temperatures and water levels), good numbers of Indiana Skamania have entered home tributary streams.


Skamania will continue to enter tributaries throughout the fall and winter months until March. Chinook and coho salmon return to Lake Michigan tributary streams to spawn from late August to early November. Winter-run steelhead should be in the stream from November to mid-April.


Salt Creek is small to medium-size stream flowing north through Porter County in northwest Indiana. Salt Creek joins the Little Calumet River near Portage, which flows into Lake Michigan near Burns Harbor.


Oceangoing ships will need Michigan permit by 2007

Governor Signs Legislation to Protect Great Lakes from Aquatic Nuisance Species

LANSING, MI -Oceangoing ships will need a state permit to enter Michigan ports starting in 2007 under a state law aimed at protecting the Great Lakes from exotic aquatic species. Governor Jennifer Granholm on June 6 signed legislation requiring oceangoing ships to prove they will NOT discharge ballast water or are equipped to treat it.


“Those who rely on the Great Lakes for economic and recreational activities have a responsibility to protect them,” Granholm said.  “Requiring ships to prove they pose no threat to our health and safety will help protect our people, our environment and our economy.”


Vessels often take in thousands of gallons of ballast water to stabilize the ship when traveling without cargo.  The ballast water is then released in port as new cargo is loaded, potentially releasing millions of live organisms into the lake.  Often these invasive species have no natural predators in their new environment and can crowd out native species, cause environmental damage, or transport foreign disease or parasites.  There are currently more than 160 identified non-native species in the Great Lakes, including sea lampreys and zebra mussels .  Damage estimates from zebra mussels alone exceed $3 billion over the past ten years.


“Invasive species cost literally billions of dollars to control once they are introduced to the Great Lakes ecosystem, and often, trying to control them is a losing battle,” said Ken DeBeaussaert, director of the Office of Great Lakes. 


“These new laws are the right thing to do to protect the lakes, and it makes economic sense to spend money on keeping invasive species out, rather than the much larger cost of trying to control them once they are here,” added Steven Chester,

director of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).


House Bill 4603 (Public Act 32 of 2005) and Senate Bill 332 (Public Act 33 of 2005) mandate that all oceangoing vessels apply for a permit from the DEQ before being allowed to use Michigan ports.  To qualify for the permit, ships must prove they either will not discharge ballast water or they are equipped to prevent discharge of aquatic nuisance species.  Failure to comply with permitting requirements could result in a fine of up to $25,000 per day.  The bills also require DEQ to form a coalition with our Great Lakes’ neighbors to implement policies to protect the waters.


Granholm commended Representatives Kathleen Law (D-Gibraltar) and Matt Gillard (D-Alpena) and Senators Ray Basham (D-Taylor) and Liz Brater (D-Ann Arbor) for their work on this issue.  Each has introduced a resolution calling on the Coast Guard to join in this fight by eliminating exemptions that allow many ships to enter the Great Lakes without inspection under federal law.


The legislation also would encourage other states in the Great Lakes region to adopt stricter measures to fight exotic species, which raise energy costs and deplete some native fish populations.


The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality concludes that sufficient technology exists to effectively treat ballast water. The problem is cost; the shipping industry obviously doesn't want to spend the estimated $125,000 cost per ship on a ballast-cleansing system.


The shipping industry may not be as quick to acknowledge the cost to Great Lakes states having to deal with invasive species like the zebra mussel. That tiny mollusk causes an estimated $10 billion in damage each year to boats and water intake plants at power plants.

Boat capsizes, captain blames gill net

Tribe denies any responsibility for swamping

The Ludington Daily News reports fishing last week on Lake Michigan turned into a frightening experience for Joe Frontiera, of Hart, and his brother, Sam Frontiera, of Ludington.  Both were fishing in a 17-foot fiberglass Crestliner boat that capsized at roughly 2:40 p.m., about a mile-and-a-half from shore, after getting caught in a net owned by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians.  Aside from a few bruises and sores, neither was injured.


Joe Frontiera, a licensed captain who was fishing off the Ludington State Park bathhouse with Sam, was trolling back to shore that day when he noticed the flags marking the tribe’s fishing net. Knowing exactly what the flags were for, he said he made sure he kept at least a quarter of a mile away from the nearest net.


“I made sure I went way around it,” he said. “Evidently, the nets are stretched out way past the markers.” Frontiera said the boat’s downriggers got caught in the presumed to be the net, pulling the back of the boat down and causing water to flow onboard.


“The water was coming in good and we couldn’t get it to stop,” he said, adding that even the two pumps on board couldn’t stop the influx of water. “There was nothing we could do.”


When the water reached the front of the boat, Frontiera said he knew they were going to go under, and immediately called the Coast Guard. Minutes later, the boat capsized, and the Frontiera brothers, who had put life jackets on when the water started to flood the boat, were forced into the 55-degree water.


Frontiera said that about four or five feet of the front of the boat was above water. He said Sam grabbed onto the bow, while he tried to grasp the bottom, although cold, slippery hands and crashing waves made it that difficult.  “I just kept sliding up and down and the waves kept pounding me, and knocking me back and forth,” he said.  The brothers were in the water for 25 minutes, according to Sam’s watch, but Frontiera said it felt more like 45 minutes.


Joe Marion of the Ludington Coast Guard Station, said the Coast Guard team — Matt Herrmann, Seth Miller, Dave Duenow and Tommy Hissong — arrived on the scene in the

station’s 30-foot rigid-hull inflatable boat about 10 minutes after receiving the phone call around 2:40 p.m.


The boat was at 43º01.2N, 086º 32.4W and the brothers were floating in the water when the team arrived, according to Marion. The Coast Guard brought the boat near shore, and escorted the brothers to the Coast Guard station, where they called for a ride.


The Coast Guard was assisted by Mason County marine sheriff’s deputies.


Frontiera said the experience was kind of scary, but more than anything he’s angry at the fishing nets, which he said destroyed his boat and could have caused his and his brother’s death.  “I lost everything,” he said, adding that there were thousands of dollars worth of tackle on the boat and a slew of fishing equipment he’s collected over the years. “And I have no way of replacing it.


“Those nets are a big hazard. It’s just wrong the way they are placed out there,” he said. “I really think they have no right to put nets out there without proper markers.”


Glenn Zaring, public information director for the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians tribe, said that Sea Grant Extension recommendations state that boaters should go 2,600 feet around net markers, and that Frontiera was closer than that.  Zaring added,  the net was properly marked.  “The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians encourages boaters to follow Sea Grant Extension recommendations to stay 2,600 feet from net markers, and the tribe is taking no responsibility for the incident.”


Frontiera said he went one quarter of a mile around the net marker to avoid hitting the net.


“Our nets are marked in excess of legal requirements and are located at positions provided through the sea grant,” Zaring said. “I’m sorry the gentleman lost his equipment but our tribe is in no way responsible for the accident.


The boat is still in Lake Michigan, stuck on a sand bar about 30 feet from shore. Marion said it will be removed from the lake by a commercial salvage company.

DNR Unveils Proposed  Budget Reductions

to Address Projected Deficit in Game and Fish Fund

Facing a projected $8.1 million deficit into Fiscal Year 2007 in its general purpose Game and Fish Fund, Department of Natural Resources officials today announced a proposed spending reduction plan to address the shortfall and to continue to develop a plan for a long-term funding solution for the fund and other areas that lack sufficient funding.


"Revenues in the Game and Fish Fund are projected to be stagnant while expenditures continue to grow due to inflation," said Frank Wheatlake, chair of the Natural Resources Commission Policy Committee on Finance and Administration "To address this deficit, we have identified reductions throughout the department, and we will continue with our core mission of protecting, managing and conserving Michigan's natural resources."


The general purpose Game and Fish Fund is primarily supported by revenue generated from hunting and fishing license sales. The fund is in deficit due to stagnant revenues brought about by flat license sales.  DNR Director Rebecca Humphries said the reductions will not affect full-time, permanent DNR employees, but will mean reductions in seasonal and short-term employees. Some of the reductions include:


 * Reducing deer head collection and disease testing - $1



* Reducing seasonal and short-term workers who perform habitat and maintenance activities in game areas - $430,000;


* Delaying fisheries equipment purchases, such as nets, materials for building nets, data recording devices and replacement parts for outboard motors - $400,000;


* Delaying the placement of large woody debris in the Au Sable River to restore river habitat - $400,000;


* Delaying Great Lakes assessments - $247,400;

* Reducing inventory and assessment surveys of inland lakes and streams - $257,400;

* Reducing major maintenance projects at fish hatchery interpretative facilities - $300,000;

* Eliminating inland fishery grants programs for two years - $400,000;

* Reducing inland creel survey staff from 40 to 38 - $200,000;

* Reducing Coho stocking in Lake Michigan - $300,000;


"While the department has taken steps to protect funding for our core-mission programs, these reductions will not impact our ability to manage natural resources in Michigan," Humphries said. "We will continue to work with hunters and anglers to seek a long-term funding solution, and work for wise management of natural resources in Michigan."

Hunting Trends in Michigan

Bill Moritz, Chief, Wildlife Division, reviewed demographics, recruitment and retention of Michigan hunters. 


Fewer people are buying the most popular licenses.  For example, between 1999 and 2004, 9 % fewer deer licenses were sold; 12 % fewer waterfowl licenses were sold; 35 % less elk licenses were sold; and 16 % fewer small game licenses were sold. 


Deer hunter participation has remained consistent among the

youngest hunters since 1970.  Since 1981, there has been declining participation in most other age classes and age class 55-64 is increasing.  A need exists to keep hunters interested and involved.  For small game, there has been a declining participation since 1960 among all age classes.


A 20 year average (1960-79) of hunters shows that 2.4 % of small game licenses and 5.9 % of deer licenses were sold to females.  From 2002-04, 3.2 % of small game licenses and 8.1 % of deer licenses were sold to females.

Fishing Trends in Michigan

Tammy Newcomb, Acting Assistant Chief, Fisheries Division, reviewed demographics, recruitment and retention of Michigan fishers.


From 1999-03, there was a 6 % decline in fishing license sales.  Fishing license sales peaked in 1987 and have been declining annually with the 22-40 age group declining the most.  Restricted species are showing the greatest decline in sales of approximately 19 %.  Approximately 30 % of men ages 25-65 purchase a license, and only 7 % of women ages 21-60 purchase a license.  Participation by anglers 60 and older remains consistent.  Nonresident license sales have declined 10 % where non-resident-all species license sales have increased 19 %.  Ninety percent of the licenses sold are sold in-state.


Newcomb reviewed items that influence angling participation: 

quality of the fishery; weather; economy; competing hobbies; changes in family unit; and changes in social patterns. 


Dr. Moritz reviewed the Pittman Robertson Fund or federal dollars available to the DNR (luxury tax on guns, ammunition, etc.).  Several items, including the Brady Bill and 9/11, have affected munitions sales.  Therefore, declining hunter numbers are nation-wide.  He stated that more than the Game and Fish Fund is affected from the reduction in hunters.  It also affects the Deer Range Improvement Fund as well as the amount of money from the Federal government that tie into the shooting sports.


Regarding 25-45 age group, there is a large amount of time spent, both parents and children, on athletics and other school activities, taking up a great deal of time.


Temporary Closures at Chippewa Lake Access Site during June

Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials announced the Chippewa Lake boating access site will be renovated this month, and visitors will encounter limited parking and occasional temporary closures during construction. The project will expand parking from 20 spaces to 40, upgrade vault toilet facilities and relocate the entrance road to enhance safety.


Chippewa Lake is a 791-acre water body, located about 12

miles northeast of Big Rapids in Mecosta County. The lake is known for its bass, walleye and a variety of panfish.


Through June 24, anglers and boaters are urged to contact the Clare field office prior to venturing out to use this location. Contact Eric Fransen at (989) 386-4067 for current construction activity and site closure information.  The DNR Parks and Recreation Division's construction crew based in Grayling will complete the project with assistance of personnel from the Clare field office.

Historic Agreement Signed in Restoring Boardman River to Natural State

A historic agreement between local, state, tribal and federal officials was inked Wednesday that is seen as the first step to potentially restoring the Boardman River in northwest Michigan to a free-flowing, natural state.


At the center of the agreement is the license surrender, decommissioning and potential disposition of three hydroelectric dams * Sabin, Boardman and Brown Bridge * and one lake control dam (Union Street in Traverse City) on the Boardman River in Grand Traverse County. The agreement is the first of its kind to be crafted and executed in Michigan.


"Successful completion of this project will lead to rehabilitation of the Boardman River as a premier trout stream," said Todd Kalish, Department of Natural Resources fisheries management biologist.


The settlement agreement was negotiated by the DNR, the Department of Environmental Quality, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Grand Traverse County, the city of Traverse City, Traverse City Board of Light and Power, the Michigan Hydro

Re-licensing Coalition, and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. The agreement outlines the process for license surrender, dam decommissioning, developing an engineering/feasibility study, preparing an environmental assessment and gathering community input, which will be used by the city of Traverse City and Grand Traverse County to make an informed decision about the final disposition of the dams. This process is expected to take two to three years.


The hydroelectric facilities currently are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The agreement will be forwarded to FERC to start the process of license surrender and decommissioning. Once that process is complete, the regulatory oversight for the facilities will be turned over to the appropriate authority under the Michigan Dam Safety Act.


The key value of the Boardman River watershed is its ability to sustain cold water aquatic communities and habitat. Currently, the dams on the river degrade that habitat by warming water temperatures, inhibiting the flow of nutrients, sediments and woody debris and segregating aquatic communities by limiting their movement throughout the watershed.


Moose season application deadline is June 17

The application deadline for the 2005 Minnesota moose hunt is Friday, June 17. Applications may be made from any of the 1,800 statewide electronic license terminals or from the DNR License Center at 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul.


This year, 284 permits are available in 30 zones in the northeastern part of the state. There is no hunting season in northwestern Minnesota. The season dates are Oct. 1 through Oct.16, 2005.


Moose hunters must apply in parties from two to four individuals. An application fee of $3 per individual must be included with the application. Only Minnesota residents, at least 16 years old, are eligible for the moose hunt.


Permits are issued through a random drawing, except that

applicants who have been unsuccessful at least 10 times since 1985, will be placed in a separate drawing for up to 20 percent of the available licenses. A person who is still unsuccessful in this separate selection will also be included in the regular drawing. Because the moose hunt became a once-in-a-lifetime hunt in 1991, hunters who received permits for moose hunts for the 1991 hunt and later are not eligible to apply for the 2005 drawing.


The bag limit is one moose of any age or either sex per party. The license fee is $310 per party. There will be mandatory orientation sessions required for all hunters chosen for moose licenses.  In 2004, 3,062 parties applied for the 246 available state permits. State licensed hunters harvested 127 bulls and 24 cows, for a party success rate of 62 percent.


Minnesota to offer elk hunt in 2005

Big game hunters will once again have a chance to harvest an elk in Minnesota this year. Five elk permits will be offered through a lottery drawing in the primary elk hunt zone around Grygla.


The hunt will reduce the population from the present level of 35 to 30, according to the goal stated in the elk management plan. One of the five permits will be for a legal antlered bull, while the remaining four permits will allow the harvest of antlerless elk only. 


In Minnesota, a legal antlered bull is defined as a male animal with at least one 10-inch long antler. Hunters may apply individually or in parties of two. A nonrefundable application fee of $10 per hunter must accompany applications. Successful applicants will be notified by mail. They must purchase an elk license for $250. Each party will be authorized to harvest one elk.


Applications may be made on the DNR elk application form or an 8.5-inch by 11-inch sheet of paper. Applications and instructions can be obtained online at  www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/elk/index.html , or by calling (651) 296-6157 or toll free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367). Applications submitted on paper must include the hunter’s name and address, drivers license number, Social Security

number, daytime phone number and signature. To apply, a hunter must be 16 years of age by Sept. 17, 2005.


Applications must be postmarked by July 15 and mailed to: Elk Hunt, DNR Regional Wildlife Office, 2115 Birchmont Beach Road NE, Bemidji, MN 56601.


One of the five licenses will be issued in a preferential drawing to qualified landowners within the elk zone. The drawing for this license will occur first. Unsuccessful landowner applications will then be added to the general drawing. Four more applicants will then be selected in a general drawing for a total of five successful parties. 


From this pool of five successful parties, a second drawing will take place to determine which party will receive the bull license. The remaining parties will be issued antlerless licenses. Alternates will be selected in case successful parties opt not to purchase their permit. If no qualified landowners apply, all five licenses will be drawn from the general pool of applicants. The hunt is once in a lifetime, which means that parties that choose to purchase their license will not be eligible to apply for future elk hunts.


The 2005 bull elk hunt season will be Sept. 17-25. The antlerless elk hunt will be Dec. 3-11.


Ohio Finds No Merit In Tribe's Claim To North Bass Island

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A claim by the Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma to ownership of a chunk of North Bass Island in Lake Erie has been rejected by Attorney General Jim Petro. A spokesman for Petro said that experts hired by the state see no merit in the tribe's claim.


The tribe's attorney, Richard Rogovin of Columbus, declined to comment  The tribe is pressing a claim for 350 acres, more than half of the island, plus damages for the loss of its island acreage for 172 years.  All of the 350 acres is owned by the state, which bought most of the sparsely populated island for $17.5 million in 2003.


The Ottawas controlled a large chunk of northwest Ohio in the 1700s and Rogovin said the Ottawas never ceded their rights to North Bass Island.   The Ottawa tribe has sought a casino in Ohio, but has denied that the land claim is related to gambling.   It said it wants to set up a fishing fleet on North Bass, which lies 18 miles off Port Clinton.


A spokesperson for Jim Petro said the Ohio Attorney General will not meet with the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma to negotiate an agreement concerning the tribe’s land claims in the state. The Shawnee Tribe has stated it hopes a settlement can be reached without litigation and is using the land claim to force the state to the bargaining table so it can bring several resort-style casinos to Ohio. It already has four deals inked and several more in the works, including one in Stark County.


Terry Casey, a representative for the tribe, has stated the 

former 350-acre Republic steel site is one of three in the running for the Stark County project.  Both Gov. Bob Taft and Petro have made their position clear – no additional gambling in Ohio.


Early last month Enyart sent a letter to Petro noting the Shawnees “had substantial legal land claims concerning its aboriginal lands.” Enyart’s letter was supported by a 14-page letter from Mason Morisset. He has argued Native American issues before the U.S. Supreme Court successfully in the past, Casey said.


The tribe doesn’t want to take any land away from Ohio residents, Enyart said in his letter, but wants to work with the state and local communities to return to their homeland. The claim includes vast tracts of Ohio, mostly in the western half of the state – something which could tie up the deeds of thousands of land owners and make selling property a nightmare.


Enyart had requested a meeting on May 23, 24, or 25, and has received no reply from Petro, Casey said. Casey said he didn’t want to comment on possible legal action – that would be Morisset’s position. Morisset could not be reached for comment, but his 14-page letter lays the ground work for a legal claim.


“These claims left unresolved could cloud title to substantial areas of land in Ohio for the indefinite future,” he wrote on Feb. 28 in the letter to Enyart.   That is a tactic tribes have used successfully in other states to get gaming rights, said Steve DiPietro, one of the owners of the Republic site.

Tribe informs state of plans to fish commercially on Erie

The Ottawa tribe of Miami, Oklahoma has notified State of Ohio officials that it is hiring crews and buying fishing boats and gill nets — which are illegal in Ohio — to begin commercial fishing on Lake Erie.


In a letter sent last week to state Department of Natural Resources Director Samuel W. Speck, Columbus attorney Richard D. Rogovin wrote that the Ottawa tribe of Miami, Okla., "intends to exercise the fishing and hunting rights granted in the Treaty of Fort Industry" of 1805. State regulations do not apply to tribes’ fishing rights granted under a federal treaty, Rogovin said. However, the tribe wants to practice good

conservation and avoid conflicts with recreational fishing, he said.


Attorney General Jim Petro last week rejected the tribe’s claim to 350 acres of Lake Erie’s North Bass Island.  Roger Knight, administrator of the Lake Erie Fisheries Program in the Division of Wildlife, said gill nets were outlawed in Ohio in 1983 and are "totally indiscriminate" about size, ages and species of fish caught, typically killing them.


The tribe wants to develop the northern 250 acres of the 677-acre island into an Indian cultural village and vacation hotels, but will not seek to establish a gambling facility, Rogovin said.


Lake Erie commercial fishers fined $10000 for illegal catch

CHATHAM  — A Lake Erie commercial fisher, boat captain and licence holder have been fined $10,000 after pleading guilty to exceeding the initial allocation of their 2004 walleye quota.


Larry Jackson, of Port Stanley, the commercial fishing licence designee, was fined $5,000. Shawn Cook, of Port Stanley, captain of the commercial fishing vessel L.R. Jackson, was fined $2,000. The licence owner, 944674 Ontario Inc., was fined $3,000.


A Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officer discovered that the two men had caught their initial allocation

of walleye by March 2, 2004, but continued to fish for walleye until March 21, catching an over-harvest of 976 kilograms of fish.  Commercial fishers are allocated a small quantity of walleye from January 1 to May 1 to allow them to fish for other species and to limit the harvest of walleye during spawning time. The balance of their annual quota can be caught after May 1.


Justice of the Peace Carroll heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Chatham, on June 3, 2005.


The public is encouraged to help protect its natural resources by reporting violations to the local ministry office or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

O.F.A.H. blames gov’t for botched cormorant cull in Brighton

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters is furious that the Ontario Liberal government botched the cull of about 5,000 cormorants at Presqu’ile Provincial Park, in Brighton.


The O.F.A.H. has learned that government officials have been ordered to abort the cormorant cull, an urgently needed wildlife management tool that could have helped save what’s left of a fragile ecosystem now being destroyed by too many cormorants.


A year ago, the cull of 6,030 cormorants was efficiently carried out before the first week of June, but recently wildlife managers scrambled to cull only about two thousand cormorants in the same time frame. The O.F.A.H. is blaming the government for not acting quickly enough, for not assigning enough staff to carry out the cull, and for failing to meet a deadline that was easily achieved last year.


“Maybe the government never planned to achieve their target anyway and simply decided to ride the fence on this very serious environmental crisis,” said O.F.A.H. Executive Director, Mike Reader.


Reader said that sensible solutions to cormorant 

management have come under fire from media-savvy animal rights extremists who are more interested in protests than actually doing anything positive to protect the birds, trees, flora and fauna they claim to represent.


Meanwhile, anyone who really cares about water quality, habitat protection, property values and local fishing opportunities has the O.F.A.H. to thank for its leadership in demanding effective cormorant management. Earlier this year, an independent, scientific research committee confirmed for the government what the O.F.A.H. has said all along: cormorant culls are necessary to save our environment!


“If the government won’t step up to the plate and do what’s right, the O.F.A.H. hopes private property owners will. We have the government on record saying that shooting these birds on private property may be permitted. Where it’s safe and appropriate, the O.F.A.H. is encouraging private property owners to take action and help put the pressure on for local and provincial cormorant management,” added Reader.


Throughout Ontario, including Algonquin Park, Manitoulin Island, Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and Lake Simcoe, shoreline habitat, bird nesting areas and our fisheries are being destroyed by a population explosion of over half-a-million cormorants.

Ontario Minister says no need for bear hunt

Politicians continue to take the place of wildlife managers

TORONTO, June 9 (Broadcast News) – The government says there's no need to bring back the spring bear hunt, despite recent problems with black bears in urban areas of southern Ontario.


Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay says black bears spotted in suburban Toronto and other built-up areas are usually one-year-olds looking for their own territory.  He says cubs born last year are searching for territory not already

occupied by other bears, and some are straying too far south.  He says the young bears are attracted by the green spaces around the suburban housing developments.


Ramsay says hunters kill about 5,500 bears in the annual fall hunt -- the same number they used to take in the combined spring and fall hunts in the past.  He says the statistics show there's no need to bring back a spring bear hunt in Ontario, but admits there can be problems in spring with hungry bears searching for food.

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