Week of June 13, 2011

Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues


New York
Other Breaking News Items


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Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Browning New Bird'N Lite Upland Apparel

Browning is introducing the new Bird'N Lite® Upland line of outdoor apparel that features a weight distribution system that incorporates shoulder straps, fully adjustable side straps and a padded adjustable waist belt to help distribute a load of birds higher and balances weight between hips and shoulder for more comfort. 


A Browning Bird'N Lite Lite Jacket and Vest will be offered as well as a Pant and Bird'N Lite Strap Vest.  All are constructed of rugged, lightweight cotton/polyester shell fabric in Khaki color with Blaze Shoulder overlays.


 The Bird'N Lite Strap Vest utilizes the patented Bird'N Lite Technology load bearing system that distributes the weight

of heavy loads, making walking all those miles while upland hunting much more comfortable.  It features a front-loading blood proof game bag with load stabilizing strap.  Lined handwarmer pockets are behind shell pockets.  Suggested Retail $140.00.


The Bird"N Lite Jacket features oversized shell pockets with internal shell loops and snap closures.  It also has lined handwarmer pockets behind shell pockets, a zipper front, water bottle pockets and front-loading blood proof game bag.  A transmitter pocket with antenna loop is also featured.  Suggested Retail $162.00.


All Bird'N Lite apparel will be offered with Pheasants Forever embroidery as an option.  New Bird'N Lite Vest, Suggested Retail, $116.50 and Bird'N Lite Pant, Suggested Retail, $81.00




Bushnell BackTrack D-Tour Personal GPS Device

Record, Track and Share

For 2011, Bushnell introduces the BackTrack D-TOUR, a user-friendly, personal GPS device that makes it easier than ever to record your track and find your way back. The D-TOUR includes a host of new features - including the ability to record, track and share your adventures - while remaining committed to the "GPS made simple" design.


The BackTrack D-TOUR allows users to mark up to five locations, while providing simple distance and direction to each location. This makes marking and locating deer stands, downed game, or a fishing spot quick and easy. In addition to a self-calibrating digital compass, the device provides time, temperature, altitude, and current latitude/longitude coordinates.

After the trip is over, users can easily upload and save up to 48 hours of data to a PC or  MAC using the free D-TOUR software application. By overlaying saved routes on a topographic map, users can view routes from hunting or scouting trips, and quickly evaluate the course to determine if there is a better route to take next time. The D-TOUR also captures key stats from each trip including length of the trip, average speed, elevation and temperature. This data can easily be saved for future use or uploaded and shared via email or social media.


With the peace of mind that comes from knowing you can always find your way back, the Bushnell BackTrack D-TOUR makes your next hunting, hiking, camping, boating or fishing outing safer and more enjoyable. It is available in red or green and includes a USB cable.


About $119.99




www.backtrackgps.com  www.bushnell.com




A Faster Way for Boaters to Report to U.S. Customs

The Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS), a voluntary program offered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), helps boaters report their arrival to the U.S. at no charge. 


The program is designed to expedite entry of legitimate boaters, enabling CBP officers to focus their attention on higher-risk travelers and craft.  SVRS is available to: U.S. Citizens, nationals and lawful permanent residents; Canadian citizens; and permanent residents of Canada who are nationals of a Visa Waiver Program country.


Enrolling is quick, easy, and free via the Internet in just three steps:

  • Complete application at www.CBP.gov/SVRS

  • Schedule interview online with CBP officer

  • Receive boater registration number and password by email

SVRS participants report their entry to the U.S. quickly too, by calling a dedicated telephone line and responding to the questions. (CBP reserves the right to hold an in-person inspection if needed.)


Important links

►Enrollment page (not case-sensitive): www.CBP.gov/SVRS

►General information: www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/pleasure_boats/boats/svrs.xml

►Audio of announcement – for sharing or broadcast: http://dvidshub.net/r/6mv47y.


Studies on Ballast water treatment

Two studies were issued last week relevant to ballast water treatment and our fight against invasive species.


►The first one "Assessing the Relationship Between Propagule Pressure and Invasion Risk in Ballast Water" is led by the

National Academy of Sciences National Research Council (NAS), which helps to derive environmentally protective numeric ballast water discharge limits in the next Vessel General Permit and

other programs.  www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13184


As part of this study, researchers prepared a background paper: www.epa.gov/npdes/pubs/vessels_densitymatters_final.pdf


For more information on the NAS committee: www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/projectview.aspx?key=49224   



►The second one "Efficacy of Ballast Water Treatment Systems" is led by EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB), and provides advice on technologies and systems to minimize the impacts of invasive species in vessel ballast water discharge.  A "draft final" report is available on its website. Click here to view the 188 page report: Efficacy of Ballast Water Treatment Systems  


As part of this study, EPA and USCG staff prepared a

background paper:



For more information on the EPA SAB committee and Vessel General Permit:




National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/vessels/programdevelopment.cfm

GLSFC Web site highlights

Check out the latest new product reviews on our web site. For new Abu Garcia, Quantum, Zebco, Shakespeare or Okuma fishing rods/reels, go to:  www.great-lakes.org/review.html  

Looking for new boots/shoes from Wolverine?

How about some optics from Bushnell?

For more reviews on Berkley Power baits, Gulp! Mepps lures


Lindy walleye lures, Buck Knives, Rebel and Bomber lures, new Plano boxes, etc., click on


Need a fishing license? Click here: Fishing licenses

Looking for a charter captain? Click here: Charter fishing


Agencies keep pressure on Asian Carp activities and potential expansion

Regional committee, state agencies committed to control – search and destroy, but how successful?

Right now there are major activities going on in different parts of the Great Lakes Region, searching for any presence of Asian Carp.  But how successful are they- and will they continue to be, at controlling the presence and expansion of these scary and heinous critters?


Asian Carp sampling for eDNA evidence is ongoing - in the Chicago Waterway System (CAWS) by the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee; the state of Michigan, using the study team from the University of Notre Dame is monitoring for eDNA evidence in the southwestern Lake Michigan tributaries, and the Ohio DNR Division of Wildlife and U.S. Geological Survey are monitoring the tributaries of western Lake Erie and looking into the Maumee River for any populations that may be hunkered down there.


In Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is leading the Canadian research, while it's Centre for Expertise for Aquatic Risk Assessment is leading the risk assessment, which is being coordinated by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.  The DFO effort, under the able leadership of Becky Cudmore is doing an extensive evaluation of the risk assessment of Asian Carp in the Great Lakes and the North American Continent.


They are conducting research that will complement ongoing work in the Unite States to look at potential entry points, food supply, habitat and spawning habitat availability, potential spread and impact in Canadian waters. The results of this research, along with those from the U.S., will feed into a binational risk assessment.  It is anticipated the risk assessment will help clear up uncertainties surrounding potential introduction, survival, establishment and impact in the Great Lakes, and provide science-based advice for managers to direct activities. 


The 18-month long study requested by the GLFC should be completed late this year. Cudmore tells us, "The data should be available in November-December of this year."


The most intense and possibly the most critical activities are ongoing, and renewed from last year, in the Chicago Waterway. Formed last year, The Asian Carp Regional Coordination Committee is committing federal funds and resources to contain any carp movements.


Federal and state officials announced at a recent media boat outing an updated plan to prevent Asian carp from expanding beyond the Chicago River system, or other waterways, and establishing themselves in Lake Michigan and the other Great Lakes. The program does not include closing the locks at the head of

the Chicago River, an activity sought by state officials from

other Great Lakes States who went so far as filing federal lawsuits to accomplish that task. That and subsequent appeals were rejected by the courts.


"We're not letting up in our fight to keep Asian carp from the Great Lakes," said John Rogner, assistant Illinois DNR director. "We’re not letting up on our monitoring activities. We are building on what we did last year and expanding on those programs and eDNA evidence."  Rogner added, "If Asian carp are above the barrier, they're in very low numbers. We’re prepared to take any action to keep Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes."


Rogner added Illinois DNR biologists/researchers have been on the water since late March monitoring the area. Right now Asian carp have been monitored 35-65 miles downstream of the barrier - majority of the carp are located there.


The ACRCC committee, comprised of federal, regional and state natural resources agencies, is using all known methods to deal with this pending environmental disaster, including electro-shocking, hiring commercial fishermen to set gill nets to remove the carp from the CAWS system, and eDNA testing by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 


Asian Carp Director John Goss and other state and federal officials took the media and this individual for a boat ride on the to see Asian carp monitoring and sampling strategies on the Chicago Area Waterway System to an area called Bubbly Creek, about three miles from the lakefront. State and federal fisheries biologists, and commercial fishermen were using electrofishing boats and gill nets to sample the waters for any carp activity.  They only found the common carp, and some game fish.  They were also taking water samples for subsequent eDNA testing, all activities they will be repeating every two weeks.


Illinois Natural History Survey biologists were sampling for fish eggs and larval fish. The agency, a division of the Ilinois Dept of Natural Resources is monitoring the river for Asian Carp.


USFWS Deputy Regional Director, Charley Wooley said "we have the ability to use federal dollars to survey and sample with nets and electrofishing. If there is a need for a rapid response anywhere in the Great Lakes the USFWS will move with all haste.  "We will be using cutting edge scientific methods to monitor Asian Carp" added Wooley. "It’s an important component of our strategy, and will include the use of underwater Didson cameras to monitor and evaluate carp activities at strategic locations. Another is to identify and block other avenues into the Great Lakes."   Responding to questions about the camera, he said "these cameras have sonar/acoustic imaging capability, and we’ll be reporting more on them as we proceed."

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for June 3, 2011 


Temperatures were hot and humid across the Great Lakes basin at the start of the week.  Several areas saw strong to severe storms on Tuesday, which was followed by much cooler temperature and less humidity on Wednesday.  There is another chance for thunderstorms in some locations today and tomorrow with heavy rainfall possible in northern portions of the basin and the potential of up to an inch of rain.  Temperatures are expected to be around seasonal averages for the weekend.


Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 1 and 2 inches, respectively, above their levels of a year ago.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 9, 13, and 24 inches, respectively, higher than they were at this time last year. Over the next thirty days, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are projected to climb 4 and 2 inches, respectively. The water levels of Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are forecasted to decrease 3, 4 and 4 inches, respectively, over the next month.


Lake Superior's outflow through the St. Mary's River is projected to be below average for the month of June.  The outflows from Lake Huron into the St. Clair River, and 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 predicted to be above average and the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River is predicted to be above average.


The water level of Lake Superior is below chart datum.  Lake Superior 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.





St. Clair



Level for June 3






Datum, in ft






Diff in inches






Diff last month






Diff from last yr







DNR offers Kayaking Class for Women June

28 & 30

The Michigan DNR is inviting women to learn the basics of kayaking on Tuesday, June 28, and Thursday, June 30, in Milford. The two-part class is being offered through the department’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program and will be held on both weeknights from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Proud Lake Recreation Area, Heavener Canoe Livery in Milford.


Introduction to Kayaking is comprised of two segments, one on land and one on the water. During the land segment, participants will learn kayaking safety, tips on comfortable clothing and shoes, types of kayaks and paddles, weather awareness and other potential hazards. During the water segment, participants will be introduced to proper entry and exiting a kayak, proper paddle grip, the 

“total body kayak stroke” concept and a full set of strokes suitable for beginners. Time and weather permitting, the class will take a relaxing paddle around the lake.


The class is offered in cooperation with Black Parrot Paddling, LLC and Heavener Canoe and Kayak Livery, Inc. The class will meet at 2775 Garden Rd. in Milford. Registration deadline is June 23 and the cost is $65 per person. For registration forms and information on this and other BOW programs, visit www.michigan.gov/bow, call 517-241-2225 or email [email protected].


BOW is a noncompetitive program for women, in which each individual is encouraged to learn at her own pace. The emphasis is on the enjoyment, fun and camaraderie of outdoor activities, and sharing in the success of one another.

DNR Director Rescinds Order to Close 23 State Forest Campgrounds

Department of Natural Resources Director Rodney Stokes withdrew an order to close 23 state forest campgrounds this summer at a recent Natural Resources Commission meeting in Lansing.  Stokes said he wanted to give the Department more time to work with local units of government on lease agreements, and he called on the Department to review the entire state forest campground system for possible local partnerships and interdepartmental agreements to operate state forest campgrounds.


The DNR announced the first lease agreement with a local unit of government earlier in the week, turning over

operation of the McCollum Lake State Forest Campground

in Oscoda County to Clinton Township. Talks continue with other local units of government on some of the campgrounds that were slated for closure, Stokes said.


The DNR Parks and Recreation Division will assume management of Lime Island State Forest Campground, and will conduct a pilot project with the DNR Forest Management Division to co-manage the Munuscong River State Forest Campground in Chippewa County.


The DNR will continue to operate the remaining campgrounds this year, Stokes said. He has asked Forest Management Division to develop a comprehensive cost estimate for operating the campgrounds slated for closure.

New York

I Fish Free Fishing Clinics Summer 2011

Fishing Clinics Sponsored by State

The New York State NYSDEC I FISH NY program will be offering free fishing clinics for all New Yorkers during this summer.


►June 25: Raritan Bay Festival at Conference House Park, Staten Island, Noon - 5:00 pm

►July 13: Fishing w/ Senior Citizens at Baisley Pond Park, Queens, 9:00am - 12:00pm

(This event has been designated a “free fishing event” during which a NYS freshwater fishing license will not be required. While most of the expected participants will be seniors, ALL ages are welcome!)

►July 17: City of Water Day at Governor's Island, 10:00am - 4:00pm

►September 17: Little Red Lighthouse Event at Fort Washington Park, 10:00am – 4:00 pm Tentative

►September 24: Snapper Derby w/ NYC Parks, 68th St. Pier, Manhattan 11:00am – 3:00pm Tentative


The clinics are open to people of all ages. No pre-registration is required. The events are free and I FISH NY provides all tackle and bait. Equipment is provided on a first come, first served basis. For additional information, please contact Melissa Cohen at (718) 482-4022.


The I FISH NY program is a joint initiative between NYSDEC and New York Sea Grant that introduces urban residents to fishing in New York State. For more information, please visit the NYSDEC website at: www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/44804.html.

Knife Rights Sues New York City

Knife Rights, last week filed a federal civil rights lawsuit to stop New York City from arresting law-abiding citizens carrying common pocket knives.


The lawsuit challenges New York State law on "gravity knives" and "switchblades," and New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance's attempt to mischaracterize the most widely-owned pocket knives in America as contraband. The case seeks a judicial determination that the law is unconstitutionally vague as applied to these ordinary pocket knives.


"District Attorney Vance is trying to advance his political career by exploiting a vague state law to demonize common pocket knives," said Knife Rights Chairman Doug Ritter. "In the process, hundreds of law abiding knife owners are being arrested and Vance has extracted nearly $2 million from retailers to avoid prosecution on bogus

charges. This lawsuit intends to put a stop to Vance's abusive and unconscionable civil rights violations."


"One-hand opening pocket knives are legal tools, used and carried every day by millions of law-abiding citizens for work, recreation and self-defense," said Ritter. "Shame on D.A. Vance for demonizing common tools and turning honest citizens into criminals for purely political ends."


Knife Rights is supported in this lawsuit by the Knife Rights Foundation Sharper Future Legal Fund™ whose major donors include at Platinum level: Benchmade Knife Co., Blue Ridge Knives, Buck Knives, Columbia River Knife & Tool, Taylor Brands and United Cutlery; Silver level: KnifeWorks.com and Wenger NA; Titanium level: Smokey Mountain Knife Works; Bronze level: Ethan Becker and KA-BAR Knives.  Click here to download the Federal Complaint as filed



Norcross new Chief of ODNR Division of Watercraft

COLUMBUS, OH – Rodger M. Norcross has been appointed chief of the state’s Division of Watercraft by Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director David Mustine. The appointment becomes effective on June 13.


“We are pleased to have an individual of Rodger’s caliber as chief of the Division of Watercraft,” said Mustine. “His experience with the U.S. Coast Guard and many years in law enforcement, both with the division and administration, make him invaluable as a leader and member of the DNR team.”

Norcross began his ODNR career in 1988 as a state  

watercraft officer in Sandusky where he also served as Watercraft Area Supervisor. He relocated to the Columbus area to administer the division’s Search and Rescue program before accepting a position in 1999 with the ODNR Office of Law Enforcement. He returned to the Division of Watercraft in 2009 as a Watercraft Area Supervisor in Delaware.


Norcross served with the U.S. Coast Guard from 1986 to 1988. He graduated from the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy in 1989.

Norcross, a resident of Morrow County, succeeds acting chief Bill McGarity, who will return to his former post as deputy chief. Former Watercraft chief, Pamela Dillon, retired from the position at the end of April.


Hot action ahead for northern zone bass harvest opener

Cool spring means bass still spawning

RHINELANDER -- The northern bass zone harvest season opens June 18 and the cool spring is likely to deliver some hot fishing action, state fish biologists say.


"The cool spring means the bass are spawning later than normal," says Steve Avelallemant, Department of Natural Resources fisheries supervisor in northern Wisconsin. "They're going to be easier to fish because they will still be on the beds in many waters on opening day of the harvest season."


Avelallemant encourages anglers to enjoy the fast action but consider practicing catch and release for a while longer, especially for large bass.   "Overall, we don’t have a huge concern, but one of the things that can happen when they are that vulnerable is you can overharvest large fish. So please let those big dogs go to complete spawning if you do happen to catch them," Avelallemant says.


Statewide, anglers tend to release far more bass than they

keep: a statewide mail survey of anglers showed that only

550,335 of the 10,073,286 smallmouth and largemouth bass caught during the 2006-7 survey year were harvested,

about 5.4 percent. There are waters in the northern zone, however, where DNR biologists are actively encouraging harvest of largemouth bass right out of the gate, although the reasons vary. These waters have no minimum length limit for all bass although most have few if any smallmouth present.


"On many of these waters largemouth bass have always been the dominant predator but they have become overabundant and slow growing," Avelallemant says. "They could use some thinning, especially of the small fish."  In other waters, where once naturally abundant walleye populations have declined, the DNR is encouraging harvest of expanding largemouth bass populations as one measure to help rehabilitate walleye populations.


"Take a look in the regulations pamphlet under the county headings to find those waters with have no minimum length for bass," Avelallemant says. Most of these waters also will have signs posted at the landings.

Fish production ends at Lakewood hatchery; facility closed

LAKEWOOD - Fish production has ended at Lakewood Rearing Station in Oconto County this spring and the site, often a summer stop for tourists, is temporarily closed.


The facility ended production and closed in May after the retirement of Joe Golbach and the transfer of a second employee to another Department of Natural Resources program. Two people are needed to operate the rearing station and the DNR was not able to fill the vacant positions because of the need to balance the budget, according to Al Kaas, DNR fish culture section chief.


Lakewood Rearing Station reared rainbow trout, brook trout

and brown trout. The year-old trout at the station this

spring were stocked in Wisconsin waters as planned to provide opportunities for people to catch legal-sized trout where there would otherwise be none.


Where possible, other DNR fish hatcheries will raise more trout to make up for the loss of Lakewood's production, but the overall number of catchable-size fish for stocking will decrease due to the need to hold positions vacant to balance budgets, Kaas says.


For the short term, the facility will be temporarily closed. Longer term, the DNR is examining a range of alternatives ranging from rebuilding to leasing to decommissioning, he says.

Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)


Raising Lakes Huron, Michigan costly
Artificially raising water levels in Lakes Huron and Michigan to compensate for drop-offs caused by human tinkering is technologically feasible but would take decades to achieve and could cost more than $200 million, according to a report prepared for a U.S.-Canadian advisory panel.

Lake Michigan offshore wind turbines' visibility, noise addressed in GVSU study
An offshore wind farm located six miles off the shoreline in Lake Michigan would be visible from shore about 64 percent of the time, a report issued by a Grand Valley State University group has determined.

EDITORIAL: Honor the compact
The Great Lakes Compact represents a signal accomplishment, eight states and two Canadian provinces coming together to manage more effectively one of the world's most precious natural resources. The compact took effect in 2008. Now states are moving to turn the aim into reality.


Coast Guard warns of rip current dangers on Great Lakes
As part of National Rip Current Awareness Week, the Coast Guard is warning swimmers about the dangers of getting caught in a rip current. Coast Guard officers at Station Oswego say it is a common misconception that rip currents only happen in the ocean. In fact, they can also occur in any of the Great Lakes.


Invasive weed becoming a problem
Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources is gearing up to combat phragmites, an aggressive weed that can grow up to 20 feet tall. The invasive plants are crowding out native species and obscuring valuable waterfront views.


Illinois wants scientists in Asian carp fight
Federal and state officials are mounting a desperate, last-ditch effort to prevent the marauding carp from breaching an electrical barrier and slipping into the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River.


Proposed rules could shrink Lake Erie
Despite a pact to keep outsiders from collecting water from the Great Lakes, the agreement doesn't stop cities and businesses from draining billions of gallons each day from Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario




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

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

Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.

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