Week of June 20, 2011

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World

Proposed UN Treaty Would Restrict Gun Rights In America

U.N. maneuver would create "Global Gun Control"

In October 2009 the Obama administration participated in helping to write a United Nations International Treaty that will restrict your gun rights in America.

 

The Bush administration voted against the creation of this proposed Arms Trade Treaty, believing that such oversight would be more productive on a national level. But on October 30th, 2009, Obama reversed course, quite possibly turning the sovereignty of the United States, its Constitution and the rights of its citizens to United Nations and the member states. 

 

Specifically, the UN treaty will restrict and regulate small arms trade worldwide. The U.S. delegate to the United Nations voted yes on a UN resolution to continue with the treaty negotiations. The UN wants to put this treaty in force by 2012. This was the first time a U.S. delegate voted yes on such a proposal.

 

In a recent column on the Forbes website, contributor Larry Bell wrote about the danger posed to the 2nd Amendment by the treaty proposed by the United Nations. According to the University of Houston professor, if the Small Arms Treaty is passed by the international body and ratified by the United States Senate, the rights of gun owners would be harmed in a number of ways.

 

It would become tougher for American citizens to obtain gun licenses, giving law-abiding people even more hoops to jump through to exercise their Constitutional right to bear arms. In addition, the treaty would seek to ban the sale and ownership of all semi-automatic weapons that have magazines, according to Bell.

The U.N. says that the treaty is designed to combat terrorism, but a number of prominent figures are cautioning that the rights of Americans could be severely restricted by the agreement.  While the terms have yet to be made public, if passed by the U.N. and ratified by our Senate, it will almost certainly force the U.S. to:

 

►Enact tougher licensing requirements, creating additional bureaucratic red tape for legal firearms ownership

►Confiscate and destroy all “unauthorized” civilian firearms (exempting those owned by government).

►Ban the trade, sale and private ownership of all semi-automatic weapons

►Create an international gun registry, clearly setting the stage for full-scale gun confiscation

 

In short, this treaty would override our national sovereignty, and in the process, provide license for the federal government to assert preemptive powers over state regulatory powers guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment in addition to our Second Amendment rights.

 

Have no doubt that this plan is very real, with strong Obama administration support. In January 2010 the U.S. joined 152 other countries in endorsing a U.N. Arms Treaty Resolution that will establish a 2012 conference to draft a blueprint for enactment. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has pledged to push for Senate ratification.

 

Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton has cautioned gun owners to take this initiative seriously, stating that the U.N. "is trying to act as though this is really just a treaty about international arms trade between nation states, but there is no doubt that the real agenda here is domestic firearms control."


National

Recreational boating fatalities hit record low

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Coast Guard released its official 2010 Recreational Boating Statistics today, which show total fatalities fell to 672, the lowest number on record.

 

Coast Guard officials said that while they are heartened by the drop, they believe this number remains unacceptably high. They noted that the 2010 total is only slightly lower than the 676 deaths in 2004, the previous record low, but it is 26 deaths lower than the average number of fatalities for the last 10 years.

 

Total reported accidents were 4,604 in 2010, down from 4,730 in 2009, while injuries totaled 3,153, down from 3,358. Property damage was estimated at $35 million.

 

"We're glad to see the numbers decline," Rear Admiral Kevin Cook, Director of Prevention Policy for the U. S. Coast Guard, said in a statement, "but the real tragedy is that so many of these deaths are needless and could have been prevented had boaters taken some simple steps. I am optimistic that the number of deaths and injuries can

 

continue to be reduced further because of the strong commitment to safe boating from our partners in the States, non-government advocacy groups, and the boating industry."

 

Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed, and alcohol use rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 19 percent of the deaths.

 

Cook emphasized the importance of boating education saying, "There is a clear link between safety and boating education. Statistics indicate that boaters who have taken a boating safety course are less likely to be involved in an accident. In addition, almost three-quarters of all fatal boating accident victims drowned; and of those, roughly 90 percent were not reported as wearing a life jacket. The Coast Guard urges all boaters, whether as operators or passengers, to take a boating safety course, avoid alcohol consumption, and to always wear their life jacket."


Recreational boating statistics demonstrate importance of education

National Association of State Boating Law Administrators release new statistics

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 14, 2011) – The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) applauded Tuesday's release of the U.S. Coast Guard's 2010 Recreational Boating Statistics, which illustrate record achievements by the states and federal government in educating boaters and preventing tragic loss of life in recreational boating.

 

According to the report, total fatalities in 2010 dropped to 672, the lowest number on record. The study also found that almost three-fourths of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those, 88 percent were not wearing a life jacket. Alcohol remained the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 19 percent of the deaths. Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed, and alcohol use rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.

 

In addition, the statistics show that there were 3,153 injuries and approximately $35.5 million dollars in property damage as a result of recreational boating accidents in 2010. Compared to 2009, the number of accidents decreased by 2.66 percent, the number of deaths decreased 8.7 percent and the number of injuries decreased 6.1 percent.

 

NASBLA believes that while these statistics show an improvement from 2009, they also further confirm the importance statelevel education and public awareness campaigns. In 2010, for recreational boating fatalities where the operator's instruction was known and reported, only nine percent occurred on boats where the operator had received boating safety instruction, and only six percent occurred on vessels where the operator had received boating safety instruction from a NASBLAapproved course provider.

 

“These statistics indicate that boaters who have taken a boating safety course are less likely to be involved in an accident. The states and territories play an important role

in recreational boating safety. It is their combined efforts that are saving lives,” said NASBLA Executive Director John Johnson.

 

"It's extremely rewarding to see the record low number of boating deaths in 2010, but the numbers are also clear about how to prevent those families from having to experience any loss. Education and life jackets are the most important life-saving tools boaters can have at their disposal," said NASBLA President James Graybeal. Graybeal went on to say that, "I am also more confident than ever that the NASBLA initiated campaign to reduce incidents of boating under the influence – Operation Dry Water is a key program to make boaters aware of this grave danger."

 

Operation Dry Water is a national weekend of "Boating Under the Influence" (BUI) detection and enforcement aimed at reducing the number of alcohol and drugrelated accidents and fatalities and fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol and drug use on the water. Held during the summer boating season and coordinated by NASBLA – with the states, the U.S. Coast Guard and other partner agencies – Operation Dry Water directly addresses the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. This year’s Operation Dry Water takes place June 24-26.

 

For more information on NASBLA, approved boating safety courses, Operation Dry Water and the U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics, please visit www.nasbla.org.

 

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) is a national nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories. The association offers a variety of resources, including training, model acts, education standards and publications. Through a national network of thousands of professional educators, law enforcement officers and volunteers, NASBLA affects the lives of over 83 million American boaters.

 


Joint Canada-U.S. Great Lakes Ballast Water Program proven effective

Burlington, Ontario - A new study completed by researchers at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Transport Canada and the Canadian Aquatic Invasive Species Network has determined that current ballast water policies for the Great Lakes are highly effective in protecting ecosystems from aquatic invasive species. The report was recently published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, and provides strong support for Canadian policies to be adopted around the world.

 

Ballast water, required for the safe navigation of ships, can inadvertently transport non-indigenous species into new areas. In 2006, Canada and the U.S. implemented the Great Lakes Ballast Water Program to help prevent new invasions. This program verifies that each and every vessel crossing the ocean exchanges its ballast water, or flushes its tanks, with mid-oceanic saltwater before entering the Great Lakes.

Before this study, the effectiveness of the program was largely untested.

 

Between 1959 and 2006, an estimated 56 aquatic non-indigenous species were reported in the Great Lakes, of

which 55-to-70 per cent was attributed to transoceanic shipping. Since 2006, when the program was implemented, no new invasive species attributed to ballast water have been recorded.

 

The study demonstrated the effectiveness of the program, both in the laboratory and onboard transatlantic ships. It concludes that similar programs could protect fresh water ecosystems around the world from invasive species transported by ballast water.

 

The Canadian Aquatic Invasive Species Network is a national network consisting of some of the world's leading researchers, explorers and innovators in the field of aquatic invasive species.

 

Ballast Water Management in the Great Lakes Reduces the Introduction of Aquatic Invasive Species: Fisheries and Oceans Canada Study: www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/science/publications/article/2011/06-13-11-eng.html

 

Press release: www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/media/npress-communique/2011/ca09-eng.htm

 


Regional

Job opportunity – MI DNR

Position Title: State Administrative Manager 1 – Basin Coordinator - 2 positions

 

Agency/Location:  Michigan Department of Natural Resources

                                     Lake Erie and Lake Huron Basin 

 

Responsibilities:    Help guide Fisheries Division in the pursuit of its mission and goals by participating as a member of Fisheries Division Management Team.  Coordinate Fisheries Division activities, including work and budget planning processes, within the Lake Erie Basin.  Assist in coordinating statewide activities between basins.  Help enable ecosystem- and landscape-scale management within  the Lake Erie Basin. Represent the Division on Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GFLC), Lake Committee, Department-level assignments. 

Represent Division and help organize Lake Erie Citizen Fishery Advisory Committee meetings.  Assist Unit Managers in development of collaborative work between Fisheries Division and other agencies and groups

 

Qualifications: Possession of a bachelor's degree in any major and two years of professional experience.

 

Salary: $67,007.00 - $96,383.00; excellent benefits

 

Closing Date: June 27, 2011

 

Contact:  For application materials, access the vacancy website at http://agency.governmentjobs.com/michigan/default.cfm

 


2011 IJC Great Lakes Water Quality Biennial Meeting Oct 12-14

Detroit, Michigan & Windsor, Ontario] – The International Joint Commission’s 2011 Great Lakes Water Quality Biennial Meeting will be held October 12-14 on the campus of Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. The theme of the meeting is “H2O NOW”, emphasizing the pressing need for the public, industry, environmental groups and governments to take action and work together to protect and restore the Great Lakes.

 

To register for the 2011 Biennial Meeting, please click here.

 

“The Detroit-Windsor crossing is the busiest in North America and the Biennial Meeting will be just as busy with hundreds of participants coming together to build new partnerships, learn about the latest science and share ideas that lead to action,” said the Hon. Joe Comuzzi, the Canadian Co-Chair of the IJC.

 

“At the Biennial Meeting in Detroit, the public can learn firsthand about the health of the Great Lakes and how to press for action,” said the Hon. Lana Pollack, U.S. Co-Chair of the IJC. “H2O NOW is a reflection of the urgent need for action, not just by governments, but by everyone who uses the lakes to swim, fish and drink the water.”

 

For the first time, the IJC Biennial Meeting will be held in conjunction with the annual meetings of the Great Lakes Commission and the Healing Our Waters Coalition (an organization of more than 100 environmental groups), among

other organizations. In addition to holding their respective

meetings, all of the groups will meet jointly for a half day afternoon session on October 12 that will feature reports on progress toward Great Lakes restoration from top government officials and a public town hall meeting.

 

The Biennial Meeting is a critical opportunity for citizens throughout the Great Lakes basin community to become involved in the work of the IJC. Over the past two years expert work groups have been tasked by the Commission’s Great Lakes advisory boards to undertake research in six key priority areas: the Nearshore Framework; Chemicals of Emerging Concern; Harmful and Nuisance Algae; Aquatic Invasive Species; Benefits and Risks of Fish Consumption; and Beaches and Recreational Water Quality.

 

On October 13th, the public can participate in workshops on each of the priorities and provide comments on the findings and recommendations regarding draft reports that will be published later this summer. This public input will inform the 16th Biennial Report on Great Lakes Water Quality, a responsibility of the IJC under the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, to be published in 2012. A detailed schedule and registration information is posted at http://meeting.ijc.org/.

 

The IJC prevents and resolves disputes between the U.S. and Canada under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty and pursues the common good of both countries as an independent and objective advisor to the two governments.

 


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for June 17, 2011 

WEATHER CONDITIONS

Seasonal temperatures, fair weather and little precipitation were recorded across the Great Lakes basin this past week.  Showers and thunderstorms are possible throughout the region this weekend and into early next week as a high pressure system moves into the region.  Temperatures are expected to be near seasonal averages over the next few days.  Precipitation so far for the month of June has been below average.   

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are at their levels of a year ago.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 6, 10, and 19 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 3 inches and 1 inch, respectively, while the level of Lake St. Clair is expected to drop 3 inches.  The water levels of Lakes Erie and Ontario are each forecasted to decrease 4 and 6 inches, respectively, over the next month. 

FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS

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.

ALERTS

The water level of Lake Superior is below chart datum and is forecasted to remain below chart datum until July.  Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels.  Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for June 17

600.85

578.12

574.84

572.74

247.18

Datum, in ft

601.10

577.50

572.30

569.20

243.30

Diff in inches

-3

+7

+30

+42

+47

Diff last month

+4

+4

0

+4

+4

Diff from last yr

0

0

+6

+10

+19


Indiana

Hearings for changes to deer hunting rules, July 25 & 26

The Natural Resources Commission will conduct two public hearings on proposed changes to deer hunting rules next month. The components of the proposed deer rule changes include modifications to the season structure, bag limits, hunting equipment, and licensing requirements.  The proposed rule language and fact sheet can be found at: www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/2362.htm.

Individuals can provide comments at one of the public hearings scheduled as follows:

Monday, July 25, Spring Mill Inn, Spring Mill State Park, 3333 St. Rd. 60 East, Mitchell, IN 47446 - 6 p.m. (EDT)

Tuesday, July 26, Community Building, Miami County Fairgrounds, 1029 W. 200 N., Peru, IN 46970 - 6 p.m. (EDT)

Submit comments regarding these proposed changes to the NRC at www.IN.gov/nrc/2377.htm by clicking on "Comment on Proposed Rule" next to the “Deer Amendments.” The deadline for submitting comments is Wednesday, July 27.

Comments can also be mailed to:

 Natural Resources Commission
 Indiana Government Center North
 100 North Senate Ave., Room N501
 Indianapolis, IN 46204

All comments sent to the NRC regarding these proposed rule changes will be provided to its members and DNR staff, and will be publicly disclosed and searchable on the Internet and in a paper docket as part of the final report.

 

 


Michigan

Job opportunity – MI DNR

Position Title: State Administrative Manager 1 – Basin Coordinator - 2 positions

 

Agency/Location:  Michigan Department of Natural Resources

                                     Lake Erie and Lake Huron Basin 

 

Responsibilities:    Help guide Fisheries Division in the pursuit of its mission and goals by participating as a member of Fisheries Division Management Team.  Coordinate Fisheries Division activities, including work and budget planning processes, within the Lake Erie Basin.  Assist in coordinating statewide activities between basins.  Help enable ecosystem- and landscape-scale management within  the Lake Erie Basin. Represent the Division on Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GFLC), Lake Committee, Department-level assignments. 

Represent Division and help organize Lake Erie Citizen Fishery Advisory Committee meetings.  Assist Unit Managers in development of collaborative work between Fisheries Division and other agencies and groups

 

Qualifications: Possession of a bachelor's degree in any major and two years of professional experience.

 

Salary: $67,007.00 - $96,383.00; excellent benefits

 

Closing Date: June 27, 2011

 

Contact:  For application materials, access the vacancy website at http://agency.governmentjobs.com/michigan/default.cfm

 


Fish Disease Returns to Central Michigan Lake

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the reappearance of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) in Budd Lake in central Michigan.

 

The 175-acre lake in central Clare County experienced a die-off of largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegills, and pumpkinseed sunfish in late April and early May this year. A similar die-off involving bluegill, black crappie, largemouth bass and muskellunge occurred in the spring of 2007, and the VHS virus was identified in the lake from that mortality.  Despite annual monitoring since 2007, the VHS virus was undetected through 2010.

 

DNR biologists and technicians responded to calls from the public in early May to investigate the reported fish kill, collecting samples of largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegill and pumpkinseed that were sent the Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory at Michigan State University. Test results received this week indicate that both large- and smallmouth bass were positive for VHS virus; the results for the other species are still pending.

 

VHS is known to cause large-scale mortalities in fish populations over short periods of time. Infected fish may exhibit hemorrhaging in the skin including large red patches, small pin-point spots of minor hemorrhaging, or no external signs at all.  Sick fish will often appear listless, swim in circles, or hang just below the surface. They don’t flee from humans or boats and are easily netted or caught by hand. VHS only infects fish; humans are not susceptible to the virus.

Budd Lake is one of only two inland lakes in Michigan -- Baseline Lake in Washtenaw County is the other -- where the presence of the VHS virus has been confirmed. It was not known if the virus was still present in the lake in the four years since the last mortality.

 

“These test results confirm the continued presence of the virus in Budd Lake and reinforces the continued need for anglers and boaters to follow our regulations that are designed to prevent VHS virus from spreading,” said acting-Lake Huron Basin Coordinator Todd Grischke. “It is important that anglers and boaters not move live fish between waters, empty live wells and bilges when leaving a body of water, and disinfect and clean their equipment to prevent the spread of VHS virus to other waters.” 

 

“New restrictions concerning movement of fish out of Budd Lake are unlikely at this time,” said DNR Fish Production Manager Gary Whelan, who oversees fish disease management for the agency. “Regulations already in place since 2007 restrict the harvest and use of fish and baitfish from VHS-positive waters, and Budd Lake is included in that category. Boaters on Budd Lake are reminded to carefully dry and disinfect boats and trailers before launching in other waters to minimize the likelihood of spreading the virus.”

 

Additional information on VHS virus and on the ways that anglers and boaters can prevent the spread of this pathogen and other undesirable organisms and plants is available on www.michigan.gov/dnrfishing.

 


New York

DEC announces Saltwater fishing registry

Future Harvest Quotas Based on Number of Registrants

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced all saltwater anglers are required to register in the state’s new, no-fee saltwater fishing registry. DEC developed the registry in compliance with recent legislation that suspended the fee associated with the state’s marine recreational fishing license for two years. The no-fee registration system will be used by the National Marine Fisheries Service and interstate fisheries regulators to set harvest quotas for marine species.

 

“New York’s angler community plays an essential role in the management of the state’s fish and wildlife programs,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “Full participation in the registry by the marine sportfishing community is needed to help ensure New York gets its fair share of the national coastal fishing harvest in comparison with other states.”

 

The new registration system fulfills a federal mandate to develop a database of New York marine recreational anglers to improve federal recreational fishing surveys about the number and size of their catch. This information is vital since it is used to set quotas, size and bag limits, and fishing seasons in subsequent years. DEC anticipates this new data will provide accurate information for future

management of the coastal fishery and better integration

into federal reporting systems.

 

DEC reminds anglers that registration in the New York registry is required even if they are already registered with the federal National Saltwater Angler Registry. DEC will automatically enroll all lifetime license purchasers, charter/party boat operators and individuals who purchased a Recreational Marine Fishing License in 2011 in the no-fee registry. Therefore, those license holders do not need to register this year. However, all saltwater anglers will be required to register annually beginning in 2012.

 

Marine anglers can register by using DECALS, the DEC’s automated sporting licenses system. Effective immediately, all anglers 16 years of age and older who take fish from the waters of the marine district, or who take anadromous fish from any waters of the state, are required to register. This requirement is the same as the recently repealed Recreational Marine Fishing License, but is now free of charge. Those fishing from a for-hire party or charter fishing vessel licensed by DEC are not required to obtain an individual registration.

 

To register, go to the usual outlets for sporting licenses, or register online: www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6101.html. Anglers can also register by phone by calling 1-86-NY-DECALS (1-866-933-2257).


Pennsylvania

PA proposes life jacket rules for boaters

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has proposed a rule requiring all people aboard boats less than 16 feet, or any canoe or kayak, to wear life jackets between Nov. 1 and April 30.

 

Interested persons are invited to submit written comments, objections or suggestions about the proposed rulemaking to the Executive Director, Fish and Boat Commission, P.O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000, within 60 days after publication of this notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted.

 

Comments also may be submitted electronically by 

completing the form at www.fishandboat.com/regcomments.  If an acknowledgment of electronic comments is not received by the sender within 2 working days, the comments should be retransmitted to ensure receipt. Electronic comments submitted in any other manner will not be accepted.

 

Submit comments by Aug. 10

 

Read the full proposal at: http://fishandboat.com/rulemakings/228nprp.pdf

 

Pennsylvania Bulletin: www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol41/41-24/968.html

 


Wisconsin

Hearing on tentative denial of Milwaukee River Fishway, June 27

During 2009 and 2010, the Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department was awarded federal funding to develop, refine, and implement a “Milwaukee River Watershed Fish Passage Program” (Program).  The Program reconnects existing, high quality habitat in Milwaukee River tributaries to Lake Michigan, the Milwaukee Estuary, and lower reaches of the mainstem Milwaukee River.  It also forges new connections between Ozaukee, Milwaukee, and other counties, municipalities, businesses, schools, non-profit organizations, citizens, volunteers, and state and federal agencies. To date, the Program has removed or remediated over 120 impediments to fish and aquatic life movement.

 

Read the full notice here: www.co.ozaukee.wi.us/planningparks/FP_Files/Bridge%20St%20Dam%20Fishway%20Public%20Notice.pdf

 

Program Goals:

  • Creation and maintenance of jobs in Ozaukee County

  • Long-term economic development and benefits associated with increased recreational fishing, tourism, and improved municipal infrastructure.

  • Provide hands-on job training skills for underserved regional youth

  • Reconnect 218 total miles of river and streams for fish and aquatic life movement

  • Provide access to over 20,000 acres of wetland habitat

  • Benefit native and endangered or threatened fish populations and aquatic life

  • Build a public sense of environmental and community stewardship for Ozaukee County’s natural resources

 

Program Goals Cannot be Completed without the Construction of the Bridge Street Fishway in the Village of Grafton

 

Construction of the Fishway will allow Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan game and non-game fish species (northern pike, walleye, lake sturgeon, salmon, trout, etc.) access to requisite, high quality habitat upstream of the dam. The fishway design includes specific features to prevent upstream movement of aquatic invasive species.

 

WDNR has issued a tentative permit denial for the Bridge Street Fishway.  A public informational meeting will be held by WDNR on Monday, June 27th from 4:30pm-7pm at Village Hall in Grafton (860 Badger Circle). Now is the time for public comment on this important issue facing our state natural resources.  Please see the attached PDF for more details and contact information.

 

Read the full notice here: www.co.ozaukee.wi.us/planningparks/FP_Files/Bridge%20St%20Dam%20Fishway%20Public%20Notice.pdf


Qualified bass tournaments can now start culling

MADISON -- Starting June 14, anglers fishing in permitted tournaments can cull, or sort, smallmouth or largemouth bass under a new law signed last month by Gov. Scott Walker.

 

The new law allows culling in Wisconsin but limits the practice to participants in a DNR-permitted bass tournament in which the bass are caught, held in a live well, and released to the water, according to Jon Hansen, the DNR fisheries biologist coordinating the tournament permit system. In an earlier pilot study in 2005 and 2006, culling bass was allowed in seven tournaments on an experimental basis. The new law does not allow culling for any species other than bass.

 

Culling is defined as the practice of releasing a live fish from an angler's possession and replacing it with another fish. The released fish does not count towards the angler's daily bag limit after it is released if the angler is participating in a permitted bass fishing tournament. The number of fish held by the tournament angler at any one time cannot exceed the daily bag limit authorized for that water, even if the fish are later released. Any released fish must be able to swim away under its own power. Anglers who are culling must have a functioning live well.

 

To minimize delayed mortality caused by stress of holding fish in live wells at warmer water temperatures, bass tournaments occurring between the first Saturday in July and the second Sunday in August will generally still have a three-fish daily bag limit, unless the DNR has data that shows the water temperatures will be below 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

Only DNR authorized fishing tournaments can cull, so small tournaments that do not now have a permit but want to be able to cull bass must seek a permit to gain that privilege, Hansen says.

 

A tournament permit is needed if any of the following apply: the tournament involves 20 or more boats, or 100 or more participants; targets any trout species on waters classified as trout streams; is a catch-hold-release tournament with an off-site weigh-in; or has a total prize value of $10,000 or more, or the participants will be culling largemouth or smallmouth bass during the tournament.

 

In 2010, there were 211 permitted bass tournaments in Wisconsin, and so far there are 207 permits for bass tournaments in 2011.

 

 


New role for sports, gun clubs: Find next generation of hunters

DNR shooting sports coordinator sets goal of 2,000 new participants for 2011

Here's a thought for Wisconsin hunters: Picture your kids' teachers, your hair stylist, grocery store clerk, doctor, or neighbor kid enjoying their first hunt. You can make it a reality and help preserve a Wisconsin tradition, and the Department of Natural Resources will help.

It’s an exciting time to be in sports, rod and gun and conservation clubs. Club members have a focused sense of purpose and challenge -- find the next generation of hunters. Think about recruiting participants from your community. Reach beyond the local hunter education class to other adult friends and their children.

 

Hunting offers an opportunity to meet new people, exercise, connect with nature, spend quality time with family and friends, and have the opportunity to bring home high quality food. Let's share it and see if we can introduce hunting to at least 2,000 new people this year. I know a lot of hunters who want to help, and I think we can do it.

 

The reality facing hunting in Wisconsin and other states is the majority of participants are Baby Boomer generation, marching through middle age into their 60s with reduced participation in the more recent generations. The gradual loss of the hunting population threatens to reduce the relevance of hunting to our strong conservation community.

 

In the challenge there is also opportunity -- all those baby boomers also represent an army of qualified mentors for the next decade. Wisconsin citizens recognize the importance of hunters to conservation in our state and they strongly support us. It’s up to us as hunters – as well as business organizations, youth groups, churches and

neighborhood organizations -- to make sure that great tradition continues.

 

A good way to introduce people to hunting is a Learn to Hunt event. Nearly 1,000 joined a Learn to Hunt turkey event this past spring. If your group hosted an event, make sure you send in the final roster to the DNR at Learn to Hunt Coordinator LE/8, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI, 53707.

 

The processes and application forms sponsors need to organize a Learn to Hunt event are available on the DNR website. Sponsors should work closely with the local wildlife biologist or warden when planning an event, and ensure at least one of the event instructors is a certified Hunter Education Instructor. Remember, this opportunity is open to novice hunters of all ages. Consider planning an event for parents who don’t hunt and include their children.

 

Mentors are screened by the DNR using background checks at least two weeks before the hunt. There is also a reimbursement program through which groups can receive $25 per novice hunter to help cover the costs of hosting a learn-to-hunt event. If you are interested in hosting an event or have any questions about LTH, see the DNR website: or contact Warnke at the number below.

 

The DNR initiated the Learn to Hunt program in 1998 to provide novice hunters of all ages opportunities to experience a hunt with an experienced hunter. It does involve classroom instruction and field work before an actual hunt. More than 3,000 novice hunters in the past two years have gone to a Learn to Hunt event. In addition to turkey, the program also includes small game, pheasant, wild turkey, waterfowl, bear, and deer.

 


Ontario

16,500 In Fines for Illegal Sale of angler-caught fish

Two Windsor area residents were fined $12,000 for illegally possessing over-limits of fish and selling the fish without a licence.

 

Nicholas Obermok, 63 of Lasalle, and Carmen Rainone, of Windsor, were each fined $6,000. In addition, two vehicles, a boat and trailer, an outboard motor, a fridge and freezer, as well as a large quantity of fishing gear were permanently forfeited to the Crown. Obermok and Rainone are prohibited from fishing in Ontario and cannot possess fishing equipment or sport fish, except at their residence, for the next five years.

 

Court heard that conservation officers with the Lake Erie Enforcement Unit launched a 16-month investigation after receiving several complaints from the public regarding alleged illegal fishing activities.  Between April 25, 2007, and May 9, 2008, conservation officers conducted surveillance of Obermok and Rainone.  The pair were observed catching walleye and yellow perch in excess of the limits from the Detroit River and Lake Erie, and then processing the fish and selling it to a fish retail outlet and individuals on at least 16 occasions. On May 15, 2008, officers executed three simultaneous search warrants on two residences in Lasalle and a fish retail outlet in Windsor that led to charges.

 

In earlier convictions related to this investigation, the 

Coolwater Fish Ltd. retail outlet in Windsor and an employee of the retail outlet, Gerald Goldhar of Woodslee, were fined a total of $4,500 after pleading guilty in a Windsor court on May 6, 2010.

 

Justice of the Peace Robert Gay heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Windsor, on June 15, 2011, and Justice of the Peace Susan Hoffman heard the case on the earlier convictions in the Ontario Court of Justice, Windsor, on May 6, 2010.

 

In order to harvest and sell fish in Ontario, a licence is required from the Ministry of Natural Resources. Fish retail outlets must purchase fish for resale from fish processing plants or holders of commercial fishing licences. It is also illegal for anyone to purchase or sell any angler-caught fish.

 

For info on fishing regulations:  2011 Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary, available at ServiceOntario/Government Information Centres, licence issuers and at ontario.ca/fishing.

 

To report a natural resources violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours.  You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

 


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