Week of June 15, 2009

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes


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Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

Tilapia rapid response news release

The Louisiana Dept of Wildlife and Fisheries announced on June 8 its intent to begin rotenone application June 9 in port sulphur area as tilapia rapid response plan moves forward


LDWF Office of Fisheries staff planned to utilize the fish-specific toxicant rotenone to remove the exotic species from an area north and south of Port Sulphur along LA Hwy. 23. Working within an area that has been closed to commercial and recreational since May 5, biologists and technicians will target drainage ditches, and all public and private waters bounded on the north by St. Jude Road, on the east by the Mississippi River main levee, on the south by Milan Drive and on the west by the back levee of the drainage ditch.


During the closure, no person has been allowed to take or possess or attempt to take any species of fish from waters

within the closed area.   No person can possess while on the waters of the closed area any fishing gear capable of taking fish.  The area remains closed to fishing until reopened by the LDWF Secretary.


Rotenone, a naturally derived fish toxicant, is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and will biodegrade within four days within the waterways where it is used.  Once tilapia removal has been verified, LDWF plans to re-stock area waterbodies with indigenous species.


For more information on the fishing closure and tilapia, visit the LDWF web file www.wlf.louisiana.gov/tilapia.   Any fisherman landing a tilapia, outside of the closure area, is asked to contact LDWF’s Office of Fisheries by phone or e-mail at 225-763-5415 or [email protected].


Hunting/fishing images may be viewed as animal cruelty

Supreme Court Case Threatens Outdoor Industry

A case to be heard by Supreme Court of the United States might result in serious problems for any person, outlet or entity that shows or sells depictions of hunting and fishing activities.


Taking, selling or publishing images of hunting, fishing or trapping could mean felony charges and jail time, for journalists, photographers magazine publishers, television show hosts and producers, Web content publishers, hunters and anglers, in general and many more.


For more info read on and view these links:


Decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in United States v. Robert Stevens

Brief in Opposition -- filed before the U.S. Supreme Court


This summary below and the documents listed above explain well the serious risk the government's case against Stevens poses to those who produce depictions of hunting and fishing activities.


Summary of the Case

UNITED STATES of America v. Robert J. STEVENS, Appellant.  No. 05-2497

Robert J. Stevens of Virginia was convicted of criminal charges for producing and selling films about dogs. Stevens' conviction was overturned as a result of a Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision that said the law relied upon to convict Stevens was unconstitutional.


Stevens may still go to prison. The case is now being heard by the Supreme Court of the United States. The outcome could be devastating to all journalists and specifically to the traditional outdoor sports of hunting, fishing and trapping.


The Third Circuit struck down a federal law banning "depictions of animal cruelty." 18 USC 48. The statute does not ban acts of animal cruelty themselves (and so this case is not about such actions). It bans images of animals being hurt, wounded or killed if the depicted conduct is illegal under federal law or illegal under the state law either (i) where the creation of the depiction occurs, or (ii) where the depiction is sold or possessed.


That means that a picture taken of the killing of an animal during a hunt (perfectly lawful where it occurred) could be a federal felony crime if that picture is sold or possessed somewhere in the United States where hunting (or the particular type of hunting, ie, crossbow) is prohibited.


As the court of appeals explained, the law now makes it a federal felony to buy a picture of bullfighting in Spain or an image shot by a journalist of a hunter or angler taking a shot at a legal game animal or catching a fish -- if that action is 

unlawful anywhere in the U.S.


The law creates an exception if a jury finds that the images have "serious" value. The government defined "serious" as "significant and of great import." The result accordingly is that all depictions of animal killings that might be unlawful somewhere in the U.S. are now presumptively federal felonies, with the only hope of protection being that a jury in San Francisco (or wherever an eager prosecutor wants to go) agrees that the images are "significant and of great import."


The government and Humane Society, which is pushing this issue hard, are trying to paint this as a case about dog fighting, since that incites peoples' emotions. It's about the First Amendment.


Mr. Stevens is a 69-year-old hunter and Pit Bull dog lover from Southern Virginia. He is a published author. He has no criminal record at all -- other than this conviction. He has been sentenced to more than three years (37 months) in prison for making films; Nothing else.


A prosecutor hauled him to Pittsburgh, perhaps because obtaining a conviction in rural Virginia would be difficult, to prosecute him for: one documentary he made about training catch dogs for hunting (called "Catch Dogs"); and two documentaries he made about Pit Bulls and their fighting history.


For that, Stevens faces spending three years in federal prison.


Of particular concern to the hunting and fishing industry is the fact Stevens' prosecution rested on his film "Catch Dogs", which showed how dogs are trained to help catch prey (wild boar, etc.). The film shows a dog making a mistake in trying to catch a hog, but does so with Stevens talking over the images about the training mistake and explaining what should be done to teach dogs to catch prey properly.


There is no allegation that Stevens engaged in dog fighting or any acts of animal cruelty. Nor is it even alleged that the images depicted in his films were illegal when taken. Furthermore, he did not take the images himself, but edited together films taken by others -- films that were recorded in Japan, where the conduct is perfectly legal, and from historic films from the 60s and 70s in rural America.


To be sure, the latter two films contain extensive images of dog fighting. But Stevens is not a dog fighter, he opposes dog fighting, but loves the traits in Pit Bulls that made them fighters.


Stevens' films were made to document the strength, endurance, and similar features of Pit Bulls to support his argument (made at length in his book) that Pit Bulls make great hunting dogs, protection dogs, and schutzhund (strength contests) dogs.

DOI Secretary Announces Boating Grants to 28 states

To Help Keep Waterways Clean

Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that $14.6 million will be awarded to 28 states under the Clean Vessel Act grant program in 2009. The grants will be used to fund the construction and installation of sewage pumpout facilities and floating restrooms, to purchase pumpout boats and provide educational programs for recreational boaters.


“Clean Vessel Act funds support construction of facilities in communities that depend on recreational boating for their economy, and depend on clean water for their health,” said Salazar. “These grants provide immediate funding for construction of infrastructure that will provide lasting value for recreational boaters, and everyone who relies on clean waters.”


Since the program’s inception in the early 1990s, the program – administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – has awarded more than $163 million to states to install thousands of sewage pumpout stations. In addition, many states now rely upon mobile sewage pumpout boats to make the sewage collection process more efficient and convenient. A number of states also have begun installing floating restrooms and pumpout stations in high use areas of lakes and coastal waters.


Funding for the CVA program comes from the Sport Fishing and Boating Trust Fund, formerly known as the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, which is supported by excise taxes levied on certain fishing and boating equipment and boat



A listing of grant awards made to Great Lakes States include:


Illinois: $112,500 –  To install up to five sewage pumpout stations throughout the state, dependent upon the needs of the state’s marina operators.


Indiana: $495,482 – To install eight sewage pumpout stations and one floating restroom and to continue efforts to inform boaters about the importance of proper sewage disposal.


Michigan: $100,000 –To fund the installation of four sewage pumpout facilities on coastal waters and continue its education and awareness efforts for proper sewage disposal.


Minnesota: $337,500 – To install five sewage pumpout stations at marinas throughout the state and to educate boaters about the importance of proper sewage disposal and its importance to the environment.


New York: $1,270,007 –To purchase 31 stationary sewage pumpout units, three sewage pumpout boats, and 31 dump facilities for portable toilets; and to install two floating restrooms throughout the state’s inland and coastal waters.  In addition, the state plans to provide operation and maintenance funds for existing facilities to ensure their availability for recreational boaters.


Ohio: $248,625 –To install sewage pumpout facilities at five locations throughout the state.

Smith & Wesson to Sponsor National Hunting and Fishing Day

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.—Legendary firearms maker Smith & Wesson is the newest sponsor of National Hunting and Fishing Day, set for Sept. 26, 2009.  “A special excise tax on

new firearms is one of the primary funding mechanisms for conservation in America, and Smith & Wesson is proud of our role in making America’s great outdoors a model for the entire world,” said Paul Pluff, director of marketing for Smith & Wesson.


Coast Guard receives new search-and-rescue air-boat

SAGINAW, Mich. -- Coast Guard Station Saginaw River is the first to receive a new version of the Special Purpose Craft (SPC) airboat from Midwest Rescue Airboats.


As the Ice Capabilities Center of Excellence (ICCE), Station Saginaw River will be conducting training and testing of the new craft until it is found to be a suitable platform for Coast Guard operations. The new airboat can be one of the many tools the ICCE uses to increase its response times and on-

scene time. The Coast Guard has been using a different version of SPC airboats successfully for ice rescues, flood responses and hurricane responses.  


"The new state-of-the-art Special Purpose Craft will potentially allow the station crew members to do the challenging missions of ice rescue in  a safer and more comfortable fashion and will provide the public with safer and more efficient ice rescue service," said Capt. Jeff Ogden, Chief  of Response for the Ninth Coast Guard District in Cleveland.

Great Lakes Water Levels for June 12, 2009

Weather Conditions

A series of storm systems brought heavy rainfall to the Great Lakes basin this week.  The first system pushed through the region on Monday and touched off some severe storms.  The next system brought rain to the southern Great Lakes on Thursday.  To date in June the Lake Michigan-Huron basin has seen above average precipitation, while the remaining lake basins have received lower than average rain.  High pressure will build across the Great Lakes basin this weekend, leading to very nice weather.  Temperatures will climb into the mid 70s, under a mix of sun and clouds.

Lake Level Conditions

Lake Superior is currently at the same level as it was at this time last year.  Lakes Michigan-Huron and St. Clair are 10 and 6 inches, respectively, higher than their levels of a year ago.  Lake Erie is 4 inches above last year's level, while Lake Ontario is 1 inch below its level a year ago.  Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are predicted to rise 2 inches, over the next 30 days.  Lake St. Clair is predicted to decrease by 1 inch over the next 30 days. Lakes Erie and Ontario are projected to fall 2 inches during the next month. Over the next several months, Lake Superior is predicted to be around its level of a year ago. Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are forecasted to remain at or above last year's levels.  Lake Ontario is forecasted to be at or below its levels of a year ago over the next six months. 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions

In May, the outflow from Lake Superior through the St. Mary's  

River was below average, as was the outflow from Lake Michigan-Huron through the St. Clair River.  The Detroit and Niagara Rivers carried near average flows during May.  The outflow from Lake Ontario through the St. Lawrence River was above average. 


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



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Cabela's offers special sale June 17-19

For all our Hometown Hero’s - We are forever grateful

Cabela's is offering an employee discount to all EMS, firefighters, Law Enforcement, Military and Veterans June 17-19 as their way of saying Thank You.


This offer is good at Cabela’s retail stores only. Not available 

on catalog or internet orders. This offer will be valid on in-stock store merchandise only. Not valid on Firearms, Ammunition, Gift Certificates or Gift Cards. Offer cannot be used on prior purchases. Offer cannot be used in combination with any other promotion or previous offers. Other restrictions apply, see store for details. Please present  government ID.  Please join us at Cabela’s on June 17, 18 & 19

Despite Economy Tackle and Fishing License Sales Holding Steady

Millions of Americans turn to fishing during the economic downturn

Alexandria, VA – June 9, 2009 – Despite the sluggish economy and cut backs in consumer spending, there are strong indications that recreational angling remains one of the largest outdoor recreational activities in the nation as well as one of the most solid industries in the United States. Annually, nearly 40 million anglers generate over $45 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for more than one million people.


“People want a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively, and from what we’re being told; anglers are heading outdoors and putting a line in the water,” said American Sportfishing Association (ASA) President and CEO Mike Nussman. “Although anglers, just as the general public, seem to be deferring higher end purchases, it’s clear that people are going fishing and purchasing tackle.”


According to Tom Mackin, president, RapalaUSA, an international tackle manufacturing company with U.S. operations located in Minnesota, business continues to be good. “I’m pleased to say that Rapala reports a double digit sales increase in North America for the first quarter of 2009,” said Mackin. “Business is looking very strong for us.”


Gary Remensnyder, executive vice president, Sales and Marketing, for Pure Fishing, Inc., a global company with multiple tackle brands headquartered in Columbia, S.C., commented, “What we’re seeing in the outdoor marketplace points to an increase in family fishing. Fishing is an inexpensive way for families to enjoy quality time together outdoors. We’re seeing an increase in sales, particularly in products for children and women, as well as for the avid recreational angler. Our brands, especially Shakespeare and Berkley, benefit from this trend because of a wide product assortment ranging from beginners to the most dedicated angler."


Going hand in hand with strong tackle sales are increases in fishing license sales. A sample survey of state fish and wildlife agencies indicates  that 2009 fishing license sales are up 11 percent in the first quarter (January – March) compared with the first quarter of 2008. Additionally, there are strong indications that sales in the second quarter will be stronger in 2009 than in 2008 with some state agencies reporting increases which continued through the Memorial Day weekend.


“An 11 percent overall increase in state fishing license sales is significant,” said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman, “particularly during the first quarter of the year when license

sales tend to hold steady. In fact, these are the best numbers

we’ve seen in several years.”


According to Dennis Schenborn, section chief, Planning, Budget and Outreach, for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the economy does affect license sales. “We’ve been collecting license sales data for 35 years and we know that during tough economic times, Wisconsin’s fishing license sales increase. We’ve experienced an eight percent increase in fishing license sales up through Memorial Day weekend compared with 2008. This year, we expect to sell more than 1.5 million fishing licenses.”


“In times of economic stress, many people turn to simple, outdoor pursuits that are easy to do, are close to home, are not expensive and can  be enjoyed by everyone in the family,” said Jeff Pontius, president, ZEBCO Brands and ASA’s Board of Directors chairman. “Recreational fishing certainly fits that description. We know from past experience that in recessionary times, fishing retains, and even increases, in its popularity.”


The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF), established through the efforts of the sportfishing and boating industries and state fish and wildlife agencies, is taking steps to increase participation in fishing and boating through marketing and education campaigns aimed at both novice and avid anglers. RBFF's State Direct Mail Marketing Program, a three-year initiative to recruit and retain lapsed anglers is seeing  success. Thirty-two states currently participate in the State Direct Mail Marketing Program which has contributed more than $4 million in  gross revenue to date for state fisheries management efforts through increased license and tackle sales.


Interesting statistics on sportfishing include:

• The three states with the most anglers are Florida (2.77 million), Texas (2.52 million) and California (1.73 million).

• The top three states in terms of jobs supported by sportfishing are Florida (75,100), Texas (59,000) and Minnesota (43,100).

• The number of U.S. anglers is greater than California’s population.

• One out of every three anglers fishes for largemouth bass, America’s most popular game fish. Flounder is the most-targeted saltwater fish.

• Forty-five percent of anglers come from cities of one million or more people.

• Fifty-one percent of anglers have a household income greater than $50,000 per year and 17 percent have incomes in excess of $100,000 per  year.

• Over half of all anglers have attended college.

• Twenty-five percent of anglers are women.

• Nearly half of all anglers are between 35-54 years of age.

Sixty Years after the Publication of George Orwell’s Classic, Do We Face a Real “1984”?

The Threat of Big Brother in Green Clothing

 Washington, D.C., June 8, 2009—Sixty years ago this week, George Orwell’s most important work of political fiction, 1984, was published.  Orwell’s novel warned of the centralization of political power and the lengths that a totalitarian regime, led by Big Brother, would go to maintain its control over society.


On this anniversary, the Competitive Enterprise Institute reminds those who value freedom of a more current threat – the crusade for global governance led by environmental activist groups in the name of combating global warming. With calls for limits on energy use, new global taxes and the regulation of individual behavior, the recent development of environmental policy has tended ever more toward greater government control and less personal freedom.


“Environmental campaigners have long benefitted from the assumption that they have good intentions,” said CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman. “Unfortunately, the modern

environmental movement has focused increasingly on

policies that increase government control over what business can sell, what consumers can buy and what individuals can do with their lives. Truly harmful emissions have been successfully restricted for the most part.  But with the war on carbon dioxide being escalated to extreme levels, as demonstrated in the new Waxman-Markey bill, we see expanding government control become a goal unto itself.”


CEI’s 90-second video campaign dramatizes this threat. The video follows in the steps of Apple Computer’s 1984 Super Bowl ad and the 2007 anti-Hillary Clinton “Vote Different” parody. It shows – in place of Big Brother – Al Gore lecturing a captive audience on the need to crack down on energy use, economic growth and personal freedom.


Mr. Kazman stated: “Orwell’s nightmarish society rested on a never-ending war fought on constantly shifting battlefronts. Nothing in our experience comes closer to that war than the current campaign to restrict humanity’s carbon footprint.”

Genmar files for bankruptcy protection   

Genmar Holdings, the country's second-largest boatbuilder, has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization protection in U.S. bankruptcy court.

"If someone would have said to me as recently as even one month ago that Genmar would someday be filing for Chapter 11, I would have said  it was not even a remote possibility," Genmar chairman and CEO Irwin Jacobs said in a statement.


Announcing that his company had filed for bankruptcy, Genmar Holdings chairman and CEO Irwin Jacobs noted that previous economic  downturns "do not even remotely resemble" anything close to what has taken place in the industry during the last year.


"I've always looked for ways to enhance Genmar's balance sheet and felt that even though business conditions were incredibly difficult, there  were alternatives available," he added. "Unfortunately, I didn't have the necessary time to complete any of the alternative financing  acceptable to the banks."


The Chapter 11 petition, filed in St. Paul, Minnesota, lists

assets of $237.5 million and liabilities of $216.4 million.

Omitted from the filing are  more than $400 million in "intangible assets". The only secured creditors, Wells Fargo and Fifth Third Bank, are owed $75 million.


In fact, the filing credits Wells Fargo with forcing Genmar into court through its continued reduction in Genmar's credit lines. "Despite  restructuring steps and infusion of significant equity, the bank reduced [credit] availability," the bankruptcy filing states. "The bank rejected  all ... proposals for making adequate capital available and continued to reduce the borrowing base."


Minneapolis-based Genmar Holdings has approximately 1,500 employees in five manufacturing centers. The company builds 15 boat brands,  including the recently introduced FinCraft, which are sold worldwide through its approximately 1,100 dealers. The bankruptcy filing covers the  thirteen brands that comprise Genmar's boat building business: Ranger, Champion, Triumph, Seaswirl, Hydra-Sports, Stratos, FinCraft, Larson, Wellcraft, Marquis, Windsor Craft, Carver Yachts, Glastron and Four Wins brands.


New public fishing area on Sugar Creek opens

Outdoor lovers have new access to Sugar Creek with the recent opening of the new Sugar Creek Public Fishing Area, located southwest of  Crawfordsville.  The Montgomery County site is approximately 1.5 miles south of  Indiana 32 on Camp Rotary Road, and approximately 1 mile west on Offield Road. The DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife purchased the approximately 12.5-acre area as part of a larger partnership to acquire 41 acres. 


The 12.5 acre site has been planted with trees using a tree planter from the Indiana State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and  includes a parking lot. The existing path to the creek for canoes has been improved. Pheasants Forever will plant a portion of the site with  warm-season grasses. The remaining land, owned and managed by NICHES Land Trust, was acquired with funds from the Indiana Heritage Trust, NICHES Land  Trust, The Nature Conservancy, and Friends of Sugar Creek. That 28.5-acre area, known as Bachner Nature Preserve, also has been planted  with native trees and grasses with support from Pheasants Forever.


Fishing is allowed on both parcels. There is no fee for use of either.

Funding for the DNR's public access program is derived primarily from the sale of fishing and hunting licenses and from federal aid through  the Sport Fish Restoration Fund. Sport Fish Restoration funds are generated from federal excise taxes on motorboat fuel and fishing and  boating equipment.


These funds are distributed to each state according to the size of the state and number of fishing licenses sold. This is one of the most  effective “user-pay, user benefit” programs in the nation—anglers and boaters provide the financial support for the boating access, fisheries  management and related programs they enjoy. 


The sale of senior fishing licenses brings additional dollars to Indiana through this program. The state pays for the acquisition, development  and maintenance of access sites up front, then receives a 75 percent reimbursement from the federal government on most sites.  For more than 800 other ideas on where to fish, see the Where to Fish Finder at www.dnr.IN.gov/fishwild.




Baraga State Park Hosting a Crafty Campers Weekend June 19-21

Do you enjoy crafts, painting, photography or woodworking?  Are you looking for a new venue to showcase and sell your handiwork?  Camp at Baraga State Park the weekend of June 19-21, and take advantage of this one-time opportunity to GO-Get Outdoors and showcase your crafting talents, homemade items and sell your creations.


For this special weekend, Baraga State Park will allow registered campers to sell items at their campsite with the following requirements:


- You must be a registered camper to be a vendor. 

- You must have a two-night minimum camping reservation, beginning Friday, June 19-20 (departing Sunday, June 21), or beginning Saturday, June 20-21 (departing Monday, June 22).

- All items being sold must be new (created within the past year) and handmade.  No rummage sale or pre-purchased items will be allowed.  No items such as cosmetics, personal care products, clothing, etc. will be allowed unless you have created them yourself (i.e. homemade soap, knitted or crocheted articles of clothing).

- No food or baked goods will be allowed unless pre-approved by the park.

- After making your camping reservation, you must complete a vendor registration form, available by calling the park at 906-353-6558, to be included in our vendor/marketing list.  Vendor

registrations must be received by June 12.

- Vendor registrations can be made upon your arrival to the park. However, registrations received after June 12 will not be included in the vendor/marketing list or map.

- If you do not register, you will not be authorized to sell your items at Baraga State Park.

- You must provide your own display tables, chairs, extension cords, etc.  Make sure you reserve a campsite with electricity if you need it.

Campsites are only furnished with a fire pit and picnic table.


The Crafty Campers Weekend is being held in conjunction with Michigan State Parks 90th Anniversary celebration at Baraga State Park.  On Saturday, June 20, the festivities begin with cake and ice cream at 4 p.m., followed by a program about Baraga State Park’s 88-year history.  This will be a unique weekend for the public to visit the park, learn about its history and shop at the crafters’ campsites.


Baraga State Park is located at 1300 US-41, one-half mile south of Baraga.  For information about Crafty Campers Weekend, the park, accessibility, or persons needing accommodations to participate in these events, contact the park at 906-353-6558, visit www.michigan.gov/baraga or www.twitter.com/BaragaStatePark.

For camping reservations: www.midnrreservations.com, or call the DNR central reservation system at 1-800-447-2757. 

DNR to Take Additional Actions to Address Human-Goose Conflicts

The Department of Natural Resources says it is likely that lethal means will be necessary to address nuisance Canada goose populations in parts of southeast Michigan this year.  Increasing conflicts with landowners and a lack of suitable relocation sites leaves no other alternative.


Adult geese that are removed from the population will likely be processed for human consumption and distributed to charitable organizations through the Sportsmen Against Hunger program.  Michigan’s estimated spring population of resident Canada geese has increased from 9,000 in 1970 to 201,000 in 2009. Although the population is within Wildlife Division’s desired statewide goal, human-goose conflicts continue to increase, primarily in urban and suburban areas. 


Michigan has had a long and successful human-goose conflict program. The program includes the use of harassment and aversion techniques such as scare devices, landscape alterations, fencing, and harassment with dogs. “If

these techniques are not successful, Michigan has permitted the round-up and transfer of geese to new locations. “In certain urban areas, especially in southeast Michigan, permits have also been issued for the destruction of goose nests and eggs in an effort to control goose numbers.”


The number of sites participating in the Canada Goose Roundup Program has increased significantly in recent years.  In past years, the DNR has been able to relocate some geese to other states as well as to various in-state sites, based on criteria such as suitable water and food resources, legal hunting opportunities, limited proximity to agricultural crops, and limited likelihood of causing additional human-goose conflicts.  However, in-state release sites are limited and no other states have requested Michigan’s geese this year.


The DNR encourages landowners to increase their tolerance of Canada geese to reduce human-goose conflicts in situations where there are no human safety or health threats.


Young State Park Hosting Youth Fishing Tournament  June 20

for the 90th Anniversary of Michigan State Parks

Young State Park is hosting a GO-Get Outdoors youth fishing tournament on Saturday, June 20, as part of the 90th Anniversary of Michigan State Parks.  At 10:30 a.m., there will be a tournament for children age 14 and younger.  At 11:30 a.m., there will be fishing activities and a guided nature hike with Department of Natural Resources Park Interpreter Maureen Jacobs.  Prizes will be donated by local vendors.


Cake will be served at 12:30 p.m. at the day use area near the camp store in celebration of Michigan State Parks’ 90th

Anniversary celebration.


Young State Park is located at 02280 Boyne City Rd. in Boyne City.  For more information about this event, the park, accessibility, or persons needing accommodations to attend this event, contact the park at 231-582-7523 (TTY/TDD711 Michigan Relay Center for the hearing impaired), or visit www.michigan.gov/young.


The park offers 239 campsites, and camping reservations can be made online at www.midnrreservations.com,  or by calling the DNR central reservation system at 1-800-447-2757.

Littlefield Lake Boating Access to Undergo Redevelopment/Paving

The Michigan DNR said that the Littlefield Lake Boating Access Site located in Gilmore Township in Isabella County will be undergoing  paving and site redevelopment beginning today.  Upgrades will include asphalt paving, expanding the parking area, and barrier-free  accessibility.


It is anticipated that construction activities will necessitate closure of the site on an intermittent basis.

The improvements will benefit site users by providing a more efficient use of parking space, as well as enhanced 

accessibility for persons with  mobility impairments.  It has also been found that asphalt paving of boating sites saves public dollars in the long run, as most gravel-surfaced  sites require perpetual maintenance, including grading, erosion repair, and regular replenishment of aggregate surfaces.


This project is being funded through the Michigan State Waterways Fund, a restricted fund, derived from boat registration fees, and the  marine fuel tax.  Malley Construction Co. of Mt. Pleasant, the project's general contractor, anticipates beginning work today, June 12, and finishing by July 2.

New York

1985 – 2009 Lake Ontario Fishing Boat Survey

Preliminary Monthly Summary for April and May 2009


The start of the Lake Ontario fishing boat survey was delayed from April 1 until April 22 due to administrative issues relating to hiring of creel survey agents. We received numerous reports from anglers on the eastern half of Lake Ontario that indicated good brown trout fishing, and better than typical catches of Atlantic salmon, Chinook salmon, and Coho salmon. Few fishing updates were received from the western half of the lake during the first half of April. Creel survey data collected during the end of April (4/22- 4/30/09) indicated relatively good brown trout and Coho salmon fishing, and much higher than average Atlantic salmon catch rates.

Figure 1 - May Fishing effort, 1985-2009



During May 2009, there were an estimated 15,360 fishing boat trips, which was the highest estimated for May since 1995, and a 50.6% increase compared to the previous 5-year average (2004-08; Table 1, Fig. 1). Boats targeting trout and salmon accounted for 14,731 boat trips (95.9% of the total May effort). This is the third year of the pre-season smallmouth bass catch and release period covered by the creel survey, and during May 2009 there were an estimated 319 boat trips targeting smallmouth bass. This was well above the number of trips estimated for May 2006 (196 trips) and May 2007 (43 trips).

Fig 2 - Total trout and salmon catch and catch rate, during

May 2009


The estimates of total number of trout and salmon caught (76,635 fish) and harvested (29,432 fish) during May 2009 were the highest since 1993 and 1994, respectively (Table 1, Fig. 2). For the second consecutive year Chinook salmon was the most commonly caught and harvested species (40,831 and 12,978 fish, respectively; Fig. 3), followed by brown trout (15,838 and 11,256 fish, respectively; Fig. 4). Numerous anecdotal reports from anglers indicated that Atlantic salmon catch was higher than is typically observed. May creel survey data confirmed these reports, with the highest Atlantic salmon catch (430 fish) and harvest (222 fish) estimates since 1994.


Fig 3 - Chinook salmon catch and catch rate, during May 2009


The quality of trout and salmon fishing during May 2009, as measured by catch rate, was excellent for the sixth 

consecutive May (5.2 fish per boat trip; Table 1, Fig. 2). This was the highest estimated May catch rate among the 25 years surveyed and was a 37.4% increase compared to the previous 5-year average.


Fig 4 - Brown trout catch and catch rate, during May 2009


May 2009 catch rates were above their respective 2004-08 averages for Atlantic salmon (+503.1%, the highest since 1994), Chinook salmon (+88.6%, highest in the 25 year data series), Coho salmon (+26.0%, third highest in the data series; and brown trout (+13.7%), and were below their respective averages for rainbow trout (-17.6%, but comparable to the long-term average; and lake trout (-27.0%; Fig. 5).

Fig 5 - Lake trout catch and catch rate, during May 2009


Only 38.4% of all trout and salmon caught were harvested, resulting in an estimated total trout and salmon harvest rate (2.0 fish per boat trip) that was well within the range of values observed throughout the data series and comparable to (+1.0%) the previous 5-year average. May 2009 harvest rates were above their respective 2004-08 averages for Atlantic salmon (+1854.3%, highest since 1994), brown trout (+23.1) and Chinook salmon (+21.4%, the highest in the data series), and were below their respective averages for Coho salmon (-27.9%, but the third highest in the data series), rainbow trout (- 57.9%, the fourth lowest in the data series), and lake trout (-80.7%, the lowest in the data series).


Table 1. Preliminary summary of May fishing boat trips, fish

caught and harvested, and catch rates and harvest rates per

boat trip for trout/salmon among boats seeking these species,


Assembly's anti gun bills are dead for this term

Political Coup in New York Senate

   Safari Club International informs us that two downstate New York Senators have switched parties, from Democrat to Republican and the Republicans have again taken over control of the NY State Senate.  They are in the process of reorganizing the Senate at this time.  Senator Dale Volker has announced that there will be NO gun bills this year!!!


Republicans have retaken control of the New York Senate after at least two Democrats, Senators Hiram Monserrate (D-Queens) and Pedro Espada (D-Bronx), crossed party lines to caucus with the GOP. The Albany Times-Union has reported that Dean Skelos (R), former minority leader, has been elected majority leader and Espada has been elected Senate



What this political change portends for the firearms microstamping bill (S.4397) is unknown; however, the legislation has been removed from the current schedule. The National Shooting Sports Foundation government relations team is on the ground in Albany monitoring this situation. NSSF would like to thank the thousands of sportsmen in New York who contacted their senators and the minority leader, urging opposition to the microstamping bill.  Special recognition also goes to Kimber Manufacturing Inc. for arranging a very public meeting with Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) in her district office, where several reporters and news channels were present.

NY Dec Expands Shellfish Closure

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announces that shellfish harvesting in certain areas in the Town of  Huntington, Suffolk County, has been expanded due to the detection of a marine biotoxin that can adversely affect public health.


This expanded closure, effective immediately, adds approximately 5,200 acres to the 2,200-acre closure that DEC implemented on May 27. It  covers all the shellfishing lands in Huntington Bay, Northport Bay, Centerport Harbor, Duck Island Harbor, Lloyd Harbor and Coast Guard  Cove that lie south of a line extending from the northernmost point of Lloyd Point to the northernmost point of Eatons Neck Point. A map of  the closed area will be posted at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/35917.html


The closed areas produce to clams, mussels and oysters that are taken by both commercial and recreational harvesters. All shellfishing in  these areas is prohibited until further notice.

The action was taken after DEC determined that shellfish samples collected on June 1, from both Huntington Bay and Northport Bay, tested  positive for saxitoxin, a marine biotoxin that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). The samples were tested as part of DEC's marine  biotoxin monitoring program. In 2006, DEC implemented New York's first-ever closure of shellfish lands due to the detection of biotoxins in  shellfish in Northport Harbor; a similar closure was also necessary in 2008.


DEC will re-open areas as soon as possible based on the results of laboratory analyses of shellfish and water samples that will be collected  over the next few weeks. A recorded message advising harvesters of the status of these shellfish areas may be heard by calling (631) 444-0480.  The message will be updated during the course of the temporary closure.


For more info, contact DEC staff at (631) 444-0475 or go to  www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/345.html  on DEC's website.


ODNR Offers Public Boating Facilities Map

COLUMBUS, OHIO - Recreational boaters looking for a marina facility or convenient boat launch ramp can request the newly updated Ohio  Boating Areas map and guide from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Watercraft. The free publication is  available online at www.ohiodnr.com and by calling toll-free 1-877-4BOATER.


Recreational boating generates a statewide economic impact estimated at $3.5 billion annually, according to a 2007 Great Lakes Commission  study. (http://glc.org/recboat/). Ohio's recreational boating industry supports the fulltime equivalent of more than 26,000 jobs. Ohio also  ranked ninth nationally in 2008 with a total of 411,366 registered watercraft.

Local communities with marinas, boat launch ramps and other related facilities especially benefit economically by attracting boaters to spend  money locally on lodging, meals, fuel, entertainment, shopping and more, according to the Division of Watercraft.


The new Ohio Boating Areas map includes facility locations, amenities and phone numbers grouped by waterways based upon their  horsepower rating and regional location such as Lake Erie and the Ohio River. Additional information on navigation rules, life jacket safety,  boating safety tips and launch and loading tips for boaters is included as part of the map.


Lake Delton Fisheries Restoration Project

Lake Delton, Wis.--- June 9th marked the first anniversary of the tragic disaster that drained Lake Delton and shook this small, central-Wisconsin community to its core. But June 9 also marks the completion of a yearlong effort on the part of dozens of volunteers and donors to restore and improve the lake and its fishery.


In the short span of a year, here is what has occurred:

• After several days of heavy rain, Lake Delton breaches its bank, washes out a stretch of Sauk County Highway A and drains into the Wisconsin River, destroying five homes and eliminating the resource that supported the tourist industry for numerous businesses around the lake. Debris is scattered for 23 miles downriver.

• Week of 9th, Ben Hobbins calls Dan Small to co-found his project to restore now drained Lake Delton. Hobbins meets Tom Diehl and Melanie Platt-Gibson to discuss project to restore lake and its fishery.

• Week of June 16th, LDFRP Task Force is formed in LD consisting of Hobbins, Small, retired DNR fisheries biologist and current Lake Delton Village Trustee Gordon Priegel and

DNR fisheries biologist Tim Larson (since retired). DNR fisheries biologist Scot Stewart replaces Larson in

• 6/20/08 in Bismarck, ND, Ben Hobbins and Dan Small announce creation of the Lake Delton Fisheries Restoration Project (LDFRP) at annual Outdoor Writers Association of America conference.

• LDFRP Web site is established www.restorelakedeltonfisheries.com to provide information on the disaster and create a donation portal to help fund the restoration. First donations received online.

• LDFRP bank accounts are set up at Associated Bank and Bank of Wisconsin Dells.

• Larson draws up fish stocking and carp eradication plan. Estimated cost: $200,000+

• Larson & Priegel draw up plans for placement of rock reefs on the dry lakebed.

• First sponsors commit their support: Walleyes for Tomorrow ($7,500), Moose Jaw Pizza & Brewing Co.

($5,000), Horn Plastics ($1,300).

• 8/27/08 LDFRP Task Force holds press conference at the site of the breach to officially launch LDFRP made up of Larson, Priegel, Small and Hobbins.

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