Week of July 2, 2012

Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
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General
Indiana
Michigan
Minnesota
Wisconsin
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Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

RUGER INSIDE & OUT TV program

A new show offered by Ruger, gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the product development process at Ruger and other industry leaders. RUGER INSIDE & OUT will premiere on Sportsman Channel on June 25th at 9:00 PM EST during Monday Night's Lock & Load primetime block.

 

"We are excited that RUGER INSIDE & OUT offer viewers a different look at firearms, ammunition, optics, and other topics of interest to shooting enthusiasts," said Ken Jorgensen, Ruger Director of Media Relations. "RUGER INSIDE & OUT tells the story of how products come to be. We talk with designers, engineers, manufacturing staff, and many others that are part of the process that brings products from concept to customer. Viewers will hear these stories and see what goes on in the factory, not only at Ruger, but also with show partners such as Hornady and Zeiss. We'll also head out on hunts, to training classes, and to other venues where we can put these excellent products to use," he concluded.

 

With the help of our sponsor partners, RUGER INSIDE & OUT will give viewers valuable "how to" information: how to choose the best equipment; how to prepare for a day on the range or a big hunting trip; even how to incorporate personal defense strategy into your daily life. Whether it is choosing the right optics for an upcoming hunt or the best ammunition for

your personal protection firearms, show hosts and guests will discuss the

products that will work best for you and why.

 

As part of the show, well-known firearms trainer and author Dave Spaulding is joined by law enforcement professional Jason Teague for a series of "Straight Talk" discussions for those who carry concealed firearms as part of their personal defense plan. Dave and Jason's many years of law enforcement experience allow them to provide realistic insight into what really happens in the world of self-defense.

 

Hosted by Ruger staff and top writers from the InterMedia organization, and featuring knowledgeable and experienced industry insiders, trainers, competitors, guides, and enthusiasts, RUGER INSIDE & OUT will keep you informed and entertained!

 

Catch RUGER INSIDE & OUT four times a week on Sportsman Channel:
Monday Night Lock & Load - 9:00 PM EST (following Guns & Ammo at 8:00 PM and Davidson's Gallery of Guns at 8:30 PM)
Tuesday - 12:00 AM EST
Wednesday - 6:00 AM EST
Thursday - 3:30 PM EST


National

Senate Committee OKs National Fish Habitat Conservation Act

Senator Lieberman (I-Conn.) has introduced legislation into Congress that will have a tremendous impact on fish and their waters. The National Fish Habitat Conservation Act (NFHCA) - S. 1201 – will establish a comprehensive national framework for conserving, restoring and enhancing fish habitats throughout the United States.

 

The NFHCA will authorize the most comprehensive effort ever attempted to improve fish habitat. Focusing on community-driven efforts, this

program aims to restore fish habitats on a landscape scale through 

projects such as eliminating barriers to fish passage, restoring native vegetation and removing invasive species. By restoring fish habitat and boosting fish populations, the NFHCA will improve fishing opportunities across the country, helping to ensure that you, your family and your friends can continue to get outside and enjoy our nation's aquatic resources.

 

The NFHCA was recently approved by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and will soon be considered by the full U.S. Senate.

 


U.S. House passes Marksmanship Training Support Act

The U.S. House of Representatives, on June 19, passed the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act (H.R. 3065), which will ensure that shooters and hunters have high-quality public facilities at which to participate in recreational shooting sports and to learn about firearms safety.

 

The bill was included as Title XII of the Conservation and Economic Growth Act (H.R. 2578), which the House passed late this afternoon by a broad bipartisan margin.

Sponsored by Rep. Heath Schuler (D-N.C.), the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act amends the Pittman-Robertson Act to provide state game and fish agencies with more flexibility and discretion to be able to utilize Pittman-Robertson (Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund) funds for the creation, enhancement and maintenance of public shooting ranges. The bill is badly needed to respond to a significant decline in recent years of opportunities for recreational and competitive shooting on public lands.

 

 


House Appropriations Bill helps Anglers, Hunters access Public Lands

The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, on June 28 approved the fiscal year 2013 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill that includes $7.5 million to expand and enhance access for hunting, fishing and recreational shooting on U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management lands.

 

If included in the final appropriations measure, the funding will allow the Forest Service and BLM to acquire rights-of-way and other land interests from willing-seller landowners to open access to existing federal lands for hunting and fishing where it is closed or significantly restricted.

 

For the 32 million American hunters, anglers and recreational shooters, federal public lands are increasingly vital to their participation in outdoor

sports. Nearly half of all hunters, for example, pursue their passion on

public lands. Reduced access is repeatedly cited as the primary reason that hunters, anglers and recreational shooters stop participating in these sports.

 

A 2004 report to the House Committee on Appropriations concluded that more than 35 million acres of BLM and Forest Service land have inadequate access. Specifically, nearly 2 million acres (or 10 %) of Forest Service lands in Montana and 8.4 million acres (or 29 %) of BLM lands in the Montana/Dakotas region were identified as having inadequate access.

 

Sportsmen and women make important contributions to both wildlife conservation and the nation's economy. The hunting and shooting sports industry creates 210,000 jobs nationwide, generating an economic benefit of nearly $32 billion annually.


EPA takes major beating in Appropriations Committee Vote

On June 28 the House Appropriations Committee passed by a 26-19 vote the Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. The bill would slash the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget by about a fifth for fiscal year 2013, the lowest it has been funded since 1998 and deeply cut funding for other environmental programs including the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a program that provides critical resources for protecting national parks, wildlife refuges and local recreation areas.

In addition, the bill was riddled with anti-environmental riders, including ones that would block the Obama administration from finalizing and implementing proposed guidelines to restore Clean Water Act protections to many of America’s rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands; stop the administration from setting and enforcing clean car standards which are widely supported and would drastically cut global warming pollution; and prohibit funding for greenhouse gas standards for power plants, the largest stationary source of carbon pollution in the country.

 


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for June 29, 2012

WEATHER CONDITIONS

Most of the Great Lakes basin experienced light precipitation this past week, while the Lake Superior basin, received a little more moderate rainfall during last weekend.  Temperatures were average to above average at times this past week.  Expect similar weather into the coming weekend.  Additional precipitation is expected towards the end of the weekend across the southern lakes while the Lake Superior basin is likely to remain dry.  For the month of June, the Great Lakes Basin as a whole has seen slightly above average precipitation.  Precipitation within the Lake Superior basin has been well above average in June.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior's water level is 2 inches higher than last year's level, while Lake Michigan-Huron is 7 inches lower than its level of a year ago.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 9, 15, and 15 inches, respectively, lower than their levels of a year ago.  Over the next month, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are forecasted to rise 2 inches and 1 inch, respectively, from their current levels.  And the water levels of Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are expected to fall 4, 3, and 3 inches, respectively, over the next thirty days. 

FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior's outflow through the St. Marys River is projected to be below average for the month of June.  Lake Huron's outflow into the St.

Clair River and the outflow 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 forecasted to be near average and the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River is predicted to be below average in June.

ALERTS

Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels.  Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for June 29

601.25

577.66

574.08

571.42

245.67

Datum, in ft

601.10

577.50

572.30

569.20

243.30

Diff in inches

+2

+2

+21

+27

+28

Diff last month

+5

0

+1

-3

-1

Diff from last yr

+2

-7

-9

-15

-15


Coast Guard, Ill DNR, Chicago Police combat illegal charter boat operations

CLEVELAND — Personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Chicago Police Department wrapped up a joint operation Friday intended to deter illegal charter boat operations occurring in the downtown-Chicago area.

 

Personnel from the Coast Guard, Chicago Police Department, and IDNR Conservation Police teamed up in response to multiple reports by local licensed charter captains that recreational vessels appeared to be operating illegal charters in the Chicago area.

 

One of those reports prompted Coast Guard and IDNR personnel to investigate a vessel carrying passengers for hire on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Members of IDNR and CPD attended a scheduled charter on the vessel. As the charter got underway, the agents identified themselves and returned the vessel to the dock. Coast Guard investigators were contacted to complete the investigation with IDNR and CPD.  

 

Coast Guard investigators issued the operator a Notice of Violation, which can carry a penalty ranging from $110 to $32,500, depending on the specific violation. IDNR issued separate citations for violations of state laws including the lack of a U.S Coast Guard license. The operator's boat was also confiscated by Chicago Police, as he was operating commercially without appropriate business license requirements.

"The success of this evolution was culmination of a multi-agency effort," said Lt. Cmdr. Stacy Miller, executive officer of Coast guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago. "Each agency's participation was vital in the elimination of another unsafe operation in the heavily congested Chicago River."

The operation of a charter vessel without the required vessel documents and operator license is a violation of federal law, and if convicted, the

captain could be subject to criminal or civil liability. The regulations are in place to help ensure the safety of passengers. Illegal charter boats are typically recreational vessels and are generally operated by a person without the required Coast Guard-issued captain’s license.

 

Coast Guard-issued captains licenses demonstrate that the captain of a commercial vessel has met minimum proficiency requirements in navigation and seamanship rules. A paying passenger cannot be assured of the captain’s competency when the captain does not possess a valid captain’s license. The Coast Guard advises the public to ask the boat’s captain to show them his or her original Coast Guard license.

If the boat is carrying more than six passengers, it is required to be inspected by the Coast Guard, and the Certificate of Inspection should be displayed in an area accessible to passengers. The Certificate of Inspection shows a vessel has met the minimum Coast Guard safety standards in regard to fire-extinguishing systems, manning, vessel de-watering capabilities, and life saving and navigation equipment requirements. It also sets the maximum number of passengers the vessel can carry.

 

If the public wants to verify a captain’s license or the inspected status of a vessel carrying more than six passengers, or to report an illegal charter operation, they can call Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan 24/7 at 414-747-7182.

 

The joint operation was an extension of the partnership developed during this year’s Chicago Public Safety Campaign.

 


General

ACA Launches New Online Membership System

BARRY, IL--The Armed Citizen Alliance, Inc. launched a new online membership system for its website www.ArmedCitizenAlliance.com.

 

Website visitors will now be able to join ACA instantly via online credit-card payment, or download and print manual application forms for mail-in membership. There are three ACA membership categories for individuals: Annual Member ($25), Annual Member with gold membership pin ($30), and Life Member ($300). ACA Life Members will automatically receive a gold Life Member pin. All members will also receive an embossed plastic individual membership card, and a password which will provide access to the members-only sections of the ACA website. Shooting ranges and gun clubs will also be able to affiliate with ACA online.

 

According to ACA Board Chairman Steve Hornady, “We are delighted to

be back online after undergoing a complete redesign of our system due to the overwhelming response to our initial launch on May 4th. Nobody

anticipated the thousands of ordinary citizens who were waiting for this organization.” ACA President Todd Jarrett says, “Success is a good problem to have . . . sometimes. We are very happy to be able to serve all the people who have been patiently waiting for us to return to full operation.”

 

The Armed Citizen Alliance is the only national membership organization created for the sole purpose of providing ordinary American citizens with hands-on opportunities for practice and preparation for the responsibilities of armed personal and home defense. It is supported by a broad-based nationwide coalition of companies and organizations from the shooting sports and firearms community. The ACA offers an avenue for citizens to learn how to react with confidence should they face their worst nightmares.

 

For more information contact: ACAinfo@ArmedCitizenAlliance.com


Pike Patterns:  Blades and Weeds

A northern pike is a tubular fuselage of green fury. The coloration is no accident.

 

It’s camouflage, allowing it to propel itself from weeds into prey suddenly to surprise, confuse, and add weight through momentum. Shock-and-awe, aquatic style. Nothing aids that approach more than a bright, green stand of weeds, creating a smokescreen for ambush.

 

Myth has it pike lose their teeth in summer, which has no basis in science. But it drives traditional angling pressure, which peaks spring and fall. That alone could make summer the best time to dust off your pike gear. Pike are less pressured and always hungry until waters warm up above 78°F or so, at which point metabolism begins to backtrack

 

Between Iowa and central Canada, summer pike display three primary patterns in big water. Some move out over basin areas to track suspended schools of pelagic baitfish. Some move deep, to main-lake flats surrounding structure—typically into depths of 40 to 60 feet. But some always remain shallow and within reach of the weekend warrior, haunting the dark shadows of deep weed edges wherever cabbage, coontail, milfoil, and other deep-growing weeds thrive.

 

When the wind blows into a deep weedline for three days straight or longer, all three patterns can coalesce into one, big free-for-all, making weedlines the place to be. At other times, after water temperatures climb above 64°F or so in spring, anglers need to decide which pattern they want to address in big water. In smaller lakes, pike pretty much stick to weeds. In big water, weeds come first, meaning pike pass through a weed phase before heading out to sea, so you can always find some pike munching at the salad bar.

 

Blades and Weeds

Location for summer pike on weedlines is fairly easy. Stick with main-lake weedbeds that border or come closest to main channels or sharp drops into the main basin. That eliminates bays, backwaters, most shallow weed beds, and at least 50% of the main lake itself. Look for structurally-diverse areas. Rocky points, reefs, gravel bars, or any hard-bottom structure intercepting a healthy weedline can be a prolific spot for big fish.

 

After locating a deep weedline that meets those criteria, comb it for pockets, points, and spots adjacent to the steepest drop-offs. Places where the weeds are healthy and dense attract the most prey and, therefore, the most active pike. Don’t be intimidated by dense weed growth. Rip a single-hook bait right through the weed tops and pike will come snarling, slashing, and tearing into it—sometimes even when it has weeds draping from it.

 

As mentioned, the best presentations have single hooks. And the fastest 

way to cover a weedbed, of course, is with a spinnerbait. Pike love spinnerbaits, and the spinner arm protects the hook so it can be ripped through cabbage more efficiently than most baits. Even the biggest pike surprise us and get patterned on smaller, single-blade spinnerbaits like the Booyah Single Colorado, but effective sizes range right up through the big Lindy Musky Greats.

 

Position 20 feet off the edge of the weeds and start by burning spinnerbaits over the top with medium-heavy casting gear. Let the bait flutter into pockets, then accelerate and rip it right through. Let it parachute down the edge and slow roll it back to the boat with a couple direction changes, snaps, or twitches. Sudden movements trigger pike.

 

When pike feed on perch and walleyes, they position closer to bottom at the base of the deep weed edge. Put the trolling motor down, position the boat right on the edge and cast ahead of the boat white the angler in the back pitches over the top. Fishing the base means slow rolling with a less-resistant bait, like the Booyah Bait Company Double Willow Vibra-FLX.

 

Whenever the bait engages weeds, ripping it free can trigger explosive strikes. But it can also send the clip sliding up the arm of the spinnerbait. Either wrap wire around the R-bend bend (where bass anglers tie directly to the bait) or crimp metal beads to each side of the R-bend to keep the clip on your wire leader from sliding up the arm when casting or ripping weeds. Wire leaders should have heavy-duty, 200-pound or better snaps and swivels. A 12-pound pike can hit a spinnerbait with enough velocity to bend weak clips open. Imagine what a 30 pounder can do. You can tie directly to R-bends with steel or titanium wire, too, but it can still slide. Using spinnerbaits with closed loops or just closing the R-bend works best.

 

You can use the big 1-ounce Booyah baits, even crimping lead to the hook shaft to add more weight, to burn the bait as fast as you might with a bucktail spinner. Cast out over the weeds, point the rod tip at the water, and use a high-speed reel to sizzle the bait back as fast as the blades will allow. Breaking the surface now and then is not a no-no in pike fishing. Having the blades “re-engage” as you slow the bait back down is a decidedly effective trigger for pike in the weed tops.

 

The best spinnerbait retrieves for pike are achieved with the rod tip down. Even when slow-rolling a bait along weededges extending down to 15 feet or deeper, holding the rod tip low: 1/ Allows you to keep the bait deeper, 2/ Keeps you in a better position to set the hook, and 3/ Puts you in the best position to sweep the bait right or left, changing its direction. Sudden changes of direction and speed trigger lots of strikes. It’s rare for a steady retrieve to work best in summer, though it does happen.

 

The best retrieve some days starts with acceleration. Accelerate a slow-rolling spinnerbait, then stop it completely while keeping the line tight. That forces a following pike to make a decision: Turn or eat. Try anything and everything to trigger pike until you hit on the retrieve that drives them out of the weeds to slash, rip, shock, and awe.

 

Lawrence Taylor is Public Relations Director, PRADCO Fishing (makers of Arbogast, Bomber, Cotton Cordell, Creek Chub, Heddon, Lazy Ike, Smithwick, XCalibur, and other fine brands)

Indiana

Bowfin mistaken as snakeheads

When a Fort Wayne angler caught two odd-looking fish from the Pigeon River in LaGrange County, he thought they were snakeheads, an invasive species that biologists fear could wreak havoc on native fish.

 

But as has happened with other reports of what someone thought were snakeheads, the dark green, slimy, toothy fish that 27-year-old Jeremy Hennen caught were not the exotic predator from Asia. They were run-of-the-mill bowfinor what  some anglers call dogfish.

 

The mistake is easy to make. Bowfin and snakeheads look alike. Both have round tails and long dorsal fins that stretch along their backs. They each have teeth. Both live in similar habitats and are capable of breathing surface air by using the air bladder as a lung. Each can survive dry periods by burying themselves in mud.  In contrast, bowfin are generally greener and have a short anal fin. The anal fin on a snakehead extends more than half the length of the dorsal fin. The head of a bowfin is more rounded than a snakehead and, unlike a snakehead’s, the bowfin’s upper jaw is longer than its lower jaw.

 

Bowfin also have a large spot in front of the tail. The bulls-eye snakehead

does too, but the giant snakehead and Northern snakehead do not.

Bowfin are native and common in lakes and rivers throughout Indiana. Snakeheads are present in several states, particularly along the East Coast, but have not been found in Indiana. DNR officials hope to keep it that way.

 

To reduce the risk of snakeheads escaping into the wild, it is illegal for anyone to possess a live snakehead in Indiana, even in an aquarium. Anyone who catches or possesses a snakehead is also obligated to kill it. The DNR will provide euthanizing assistance if needed.

 

Hennen, who has fished since he was 7 years old, caught the bowfin while fishing for catfish and using hotdogs as bait. He had never caught a bowfin before and was unsure of what he had. “So I let them go. I didn’t want to kill them,” he said. “That’s OK,” said Jed Pearson, DNR fisheries biologist. “Bowfin evolved as a natural part of fish communities and don’t pose any ecological danger. But fishermen need to be on the lookout for snakeheads and know what to do if they catch one.”

 

More information on bowfin and snakeheads can be found at: www.in.gov/dnr/files/SNAKEHEADS.pdf


Michigan

Keith Creagh new MI DNR Director
Jamie Clover Adams to head MDARD

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder announced the appointment of state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Keith Creagh as director of the state DNR, and state Department of Environmental Quality's Policy and Legislative Affairs Director Jamie Clover Adams as MDARD director.

 

Creagh has extensive management experience, including policy development, strategic planning and operational leadership. He has served as MDARD director since January 2011, and was director of industry affairs for the Neogen Corp. after serving for 30 years within the state department of agriculture. He holds a bachelor's degree in forestry from Michigan Technological University and is an avid outdoorsman.

 

Clover Adams replaces Creagh, after having served as the state Department of Environmental Quality's Policy and Legislative Affairs

director since 2011.   Clover Adams has decades of experience both in working with the agriculture industry and in legislative policy development, notably serving as secretary of the Kansas state Department of Agriculture from 1999-2003. Before joining DEQ, she was deputy chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, and served as director of the Senate Majority Policy Office before that. Clover Adams was raised on a farm in Michigan, and holds a master's in public policy from Georgetown University and a bachelor's in general studies from the University of Michigan.

 

Creagh fills the vacancy of outgoing DNR director Rodney Stokes, who was recently named by Snyder as special adviser for city  placemaking, where he will work to help cities become more vibrant and inviting by enhancing their existing resources.

 

Both appointments are effective July 9.

 


Michigan Court strikes down stun gun ban

Says Second Amendment applies to open carry in public

People v. Yanna (Mich. Ct. App. June 26, 2012) holds that Michigan’s stun gun ban violates the Second Amendment.

 

The court also in the process made three broader statements:

 

1. The Second Amendment applies not just to firearms but to other weapons as well. “[The state] argues that Heller is strictly a gun control case, but the broad nature of the language used in Heller’s definition of arms clearly covers more than just firearms.”

 

2. Even weapons that are “far less prevalent than handguns” may still be protected by the Second Amendment. “The prosecution also argues that tasers and stun guns [are] ‘unusual’ or rare weapons. However, they are legal in forty-three states, and in Michigan are routinely used by law enforcement officers. They have been in use for several decades. Though far less prevalent than handguns, we do not think that stun guns or tasers may be fairly labeled as unusual weapons.”

 

3. The Second Amendment extends to open carrying of at least some

weapons — possibly including other “protected arms,” such as handguns — in public, and not just to possession in the home. “The next question is whether the protected status of these arms makes unconstitutional a complete ban on carrying them in public. Heller specifically addressed only a full ban of protected weapons inside the home, not in public. Further, the analysis in Heller focused in part on the unmatched popularity of handguns for self-defense, and did not make clear to what extent greater restrictions could be applied to less popular weapons.

 

“On the other hand, Heller states that concealed weapons may be banned, but makes no such statement regarding openly carried arms. Indeed, Heller cites with approval two state cases that struck down laws prohibiting the public carrying of hand guns. The Second Amendment explicitly protects the right to ‘carry’ as well as the right to ‘keep’ arms. Likewise, the Michigan Constitution specifically allows citizens to ‘bear’ arms for self-defense. We therefore conclude that a total prohibition on the open carrying of a protected arm such as a taser or stun gun is unconstitutional.”

 

 


New handgun range at Rose Lake State Wildlife Area now open

The Department of Natural Resources will reopen portions of the Rose Lake State Wildlife Area shooting range in Clinton County – which had been closed for the construction of a new handgun range – on Saturday, June 30. The construction work, originally scheduled to be finished by July 12, was completed ahead of schedule.

The new handgun range features five covered, accessible stations where visitors can shoot their handguns at 10 yards.

"This and other upgrades at the Rose Lake range – including new concrete sidewalks and automatic clay target throwers available Sundays during the summer months – make it a great destination for Michigan shooters," said Dennis Fox, DNR Recruitment and Retention Section manager.

Funding for all of the recent renovations at Rose Lake shooting range come from a combination of sources, including the Natural Resources Trust Fund, federal Pittman-Robertson Act funds and state restricted

funds (shooting range program income).
 

Located at 14500 Peacock Road, between Stoll and Clark Roads in Bath, the Rose Lake shooting range also offers a rifle/pistol range with 10 stations each at 25, 50 and 100 yards; a hand trap range with 10 stations; and an archery range where targets may be set up from 10 to 70 yards.

The range is open Nov. 16-Sept. 30 five days per week, Thursday through Monday. From Oct. 1-31, the range is open six days per week, Wednesday through Monday. From Nov. 1-15, the range is open seven days a week. The range hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information about the Rose Lake State Wildlife Area shooting range, please call 517-641-7801 or visit www.michigan.gov/shootingranges.

Shooters are reminded to bring eye and ear protection and approved targets with either a bull's eye pattern or a depiction of legal game. Shooters under the age of 16 must be supervised by an adult.


Minnesota

Aquatic invasive species laws change July 1, fines double

Civil citation fines for violating aquatic invasive species (AIS) laws in Minnesota will double beginning July 1. For example, the fine for transporting a watercraft or water related equipment with attached aquatic plants will go from $50 to $100 and the fine for possessing, or transporting a prohibited invasive species, such as zebra mussels will now be $500.

 

Watercraft users need to remove all aquatic plants, animals from their watercraft, drain all water and leave all their drain plugs and water draining devices open during transport.

This weekend and throughout the summer, the Minnesota DNR has

considerably ramped up its boat inspections, enforcement efforts and educational campaign to prevent the spread of invasive zebra mussels and other AIS.

 

About 140 watercraft inspectors will be stationed around the state, checking boats for AIS and advising water users of laws and practices that will keep invasive species from spreading. The DNR will also deploy 23 decontamination units at various water bodies around the state. The agency will concentrate inspectors and decontamination efforts at high-use water bodies that are currently infested with AIS.


Wisconsin

WI DNR hiring DNR wardens, apply by July 27

MADISON - The Wisconsin DNR is looking for up to 15 exceptional men and women ready for a challenging and rewarding career as a conservation warden.

 

DNR Chief Warden Randy Stark says being a conservation warden is a very fulfilling career. “It is an opportunity to serve the public in a very meaningful way -- by protecting our natural resources and the people who enjoy them,” Stark said. “Wardens also work in close partnership with other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to achieve the mission. Conservation wardens have an incredibly diverse array of job responsibilities that require a unique combination of skills, knowledge and abilities."

 

Stark says the 15 wardens to be hired are needed in light of the current 38 warden service vacancies. "Like many employers, our age structure is creating some pretty significant turnover,” he said, adding the turnover will continue for a few years.

The anticipated employment and training start date for the new wardens is March 11, 2013. Another round of hiring likely will begin in 2014.

The warden recruitment process is a competitive one. There are eligibility standards including college study, a valid state driver’s license, a clean background and physical fitness requirements.

 

People interested in a career as a conservation warden can visit Wisc.Jobs to learn about the hiring and required online exam. Those needing computer and Internet access can find these at public libraries or Wisconsin Job Service offices. Applicants must create a free account with Wisc.Jobs to complete the application and exam. The deadline to apply and to complete the exam is 11:59 p.m. on July 27, 2012.

To learn more about being a conservation warden, visit the DNR website at and search keywords “warden recruit.”

 

For more info: Jeff King, 608-219-4887; Joanne Haas, 608-267-0798

 


New Lake Michigan fishing hotline, updates now available

STURGEON BAY - Anglers now have beefed up information available to them on where the fish are biting and what's working on Lake Michigan, the state's most popular fishing destination. A new telephone hotline with fishing reports covering northern Lake Michigan waters and Green Bay waters is now available at 920-746-2873. That hotline complements a longstanding call-in report for southern Lake Michigan waters 414-382-7920.

 

Trout and salmon fishing has been strong on Lake Michigan, as this Father’s Day catch shows; a new hotline and updates can help steer anglers to what’s biting where.

 

Anglers can get similar, more detailed fishing reports for the entire Lake Michigan coast delivered to their smartphones and computers by signing up to receive free Department of Natural Resources’ Lake Michigan Outdoor Reports.

 

To sign up, enter an email address and look for “Fisheries Updates” and check that box to get a listing of DNR fisheries topics to receive updates for, including for “Lake Michigan Outdoor Report.”

 

The reports are updated every week with information primarily from DNR creel clerks who interview willing anglers at boat landings and shore 

fishing areas about what the anglers caught, where and with what methods and baits. The creel clerks gather such fishing information while they are collecting information that helps DNR estimate fishing effort, catch rates and harvest rates to help manage the Lake Michigan fisheries.

 

Brad Eggold, fisheries supervisor for the DNR southern Lake Michigan unit, says the new northern Lake Michigan hotline, beefed up reports and new communications methods will help stakeholders get accurate and timely information on the state of the fishery in Lake Michigan.

“DNR’s Lake Michigan fisheries team is committed to providing the latest fishing information to the public, which includes not only fishing reports but information on our recent surveys and assessments,” Eggold says.

 

David Boyarski, fisheries supervisor in Sturgeon Bay, hopes the information can help reach a wider audience with information that might help them try fishing Lake Michigan for the first time or help better familiarize them with different parts of the lake to fish.

 

A 2006-07 statewide survey of Wisconsin anglers revealed that Lake Michigan was the most frequently visited fishing destination, and statistics from the American Sportfishing Association estimate that 235,000 anglers fish 3.7 million days every year for fish in Wisconsin's Great Lakes waters, the bulk of that spent on Lake Michigan.

 


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

Congress OKs bill setting 18-month deadline for plan to protect Great Lakes from Asian carp
The fishing is hot in western New York

 

 

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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