Week of July 7, 2008

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General
Lake Michigan

Illinois
Minnesota

 

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National

Coast Guard, TSA announce TWIC compliance date for ports

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), today announced the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program compliance date for owners and operators of facilities located within Captain of the Port Zones Buffalo, Duluth, Detroit, Lake Michigan and Sault Ste. Marie will be Oct. 31, 2008. 

 

These port compliance dates are in addition to the Oct. 15, 2008 compliance date previously announced for Captain of the Port Zones Boston, Northern New England and Southeastern New England.

 

Additional ports will be announced in the coming weeks, and the Coast Guard will provide at least 90 days notice prior to enforcement. Compliance will be phased in by Captain of the Port Zone between Oct. 15, 2008 and April 15, 2009, after which all ports must be in compliance and all credentialed mariners must be in possession of a TWIC. A framework showing expected future compliance dates by COTP Zone has been posted on the U.S. Coast Guard's Homeport Website,

http://homeport.uscg.mil/twic .  

 

Workers are encouraged to enroll as soon as possible and are able to pre-enroll for TWIC online at www.tsa.gov/twic.  Pre-enrolling speeds up the process by allowing workers to provide biographic information and schedule a time to complete the application process in person. This eliminates waiting at enrollment centers and reduces the time it takes to enroll. 

 

TWIC was established in the Maritime Transportation Security Act and the Security and Accountability For Every Port Act to serve as an identification program for all Coast Guard credentialed mariners and personnel requiring unescorted access to secure areas within a port. The program is progressing steadily and has opened more than 130 fixed enrollment centers and dozens of mobile sites nationwide.  More than 350,000 workers have enrolled to date and thousands more are processed each week.

 

Additional information can be found at http://homeport.uscg.mil/twic and www.tsa.gov/twic


Regional

Scientists Find Bird and Human E. coli in Wild Fish

Scientists at the U. of Minnesota have found that some of the potentially harmful bacteria in the Duluth-Superior Harbor come from an unlikely  source: the fishes. It's not the fishes' fault, though. They are just carrying around bacteria that are already in their environment.

 

University of Minnesota researchers Dennis Hansen, John Clark, Satoshi Ishii, Michael Sadowsky, and Randall Hicks are the first to discover  the sources of E. coli (Escherichia coli) in several species of wild fish. They collected carp, brown bullheads, Eurasian ruffe, round gobies, white  perch, and rock bass from the Duluth-Superior Harbor as part of a Minnesota Sea Grant-funded study to determine the sources of bacteria that  result in local beach closures.

 

In a peer-reviewed paper recently published in the Journal of Great Lakes Research, the scientists describe that most of the E. coli were found in  bottom-dwelling fishes (brown bullheads, ruffe, carp, and round gobies) and the genetic matches were most similar to E. coli found in bottom  sediments, Canada geese, mallard ducks, and human wastewater. The researchers didn't test the bacteria for pathogencity.

 

"We didn't find the bacteria in the fish meat  -- it's carried in their intestine," said Randall Hicks, biology professor at the University of  Minnesota Duluth. "Anglers shouldn't worry about using the fish as food. They should just be careful not to cut open a fish's intestine." If an angler happens to cut open fish intestines during cleaning, Jeff Gunderson, associate director with Minnesota Sea Grant, suggests they  thoroughly wash the fish with clean water and cook it fully.

E. coli is an indicator of potential pollution. Levels of it are used to determine whether local beaches should be posted with "no water contact"  advisories. There are a variety of types of E. coli. The most worrisome for humans is usually the E. coli from other humans (often from sewage  overflows). While many strains are harmless, some cause gastrointestinal illnesses. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, or other more serious  conditions people would not want as a reminder of a fun day at the beach.

 

"Fish probably acquire E. coli when they eat food contaminated with feces," said Hicks. Researchers don't expect E. coli to flourish in  cold-blooded fish, since the bacterium is more common in warm-blooded animals. "However, it is possible that fish may reintroduce E. coli  bacteria into waterways when they excrete their own waste," Hicks said.

 

"Currently, it's probably more appropriate to consider fish as carriers of E. coli from other sources, rather than a new source of contamination in  our waterways," Hicks added.

 

Until 1966, E. coli was thought to survive only in warm-blooded animals such as birds and mammals but it has since been discovered in the  intestines of wild fish. The source of the bacteria in these cold-blooded animals was thought to be from polluted water and food, but  researchers did not attempt to trace it.

 

Subsequently, E. coli was discovered in the intestines of farm-raised tilapia and rainbow trout. The fish were not the source for the E. coli, rather, the suspect was their food, which had been contaminated by pigeon droppings.


CG Sets temporary navigation zone on Sanitary Ship Canal

CLEVELAND – The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary regulated navigation area and safety zone on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal near Romeoville, IL. This regulated navigation area and safety zone places navigational and operational restrictions on all vessels transiting through the electrical dispersal barrier IIA.

 

The electrodes on the demonstration electrical dispersal barrier I located between mile markers 296.1 and 296.7 of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal are failing. The Army Corps of Engineers intends to shut down barrier I and begin the process of replacing the barrier electrodes which run across the bottom of the canal. Divers will be in the water and a barge-mounted crane will be operating during maintenance operations to barrier I. Electrical dispersal barrier IIA 296.1 to mile marker 296.7 will be in operation while repairs are being made to demonstration electrical dispersal barrier I. Barrier IIA will operate continuously for a two week period before taking barrier I off line for electrode replacement. Electrical dispersal barrier IIA generates a more powerful electric field than barrier I over a larger area within the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.

 

The Coast Guard and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducted field tests to ensure the continued safe navigation of commercial and recreational traffic across the barrier; however, results indicated an arcing risk and hazardous

electrical discharges as vessels transited the barrier posing a serious risk to navigation through the barrier. To mitigate these risks, navigational and operational restrictions will be placed on all vessels transiting through the vicinity. Until the potential electrical hazards can be rectified, the Coast Guard will require vessels transiting the regulated navigation area to adhere to specified operational and navigational requirements.

 

This temporary rule prohibits all vessels from loitering in the regulated navigation area; vessels may enter the regulated navigation area for the sole purpose of transiting to the other side and must maintain headway throughout the transit. The rule also requires all personnel on open decks to wear a Coast Guard approved Type I personal flotation device while in the regulated navigation area. In addition, vessels may not moor or lay up on the right or left descending banks in the regulated navigation area.

 

This regulation is effective from 7 a.m., July 14, 2008 to 5 p.m., August 9, 2008. The safety zone will be enforced from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on July 14, 2008 through August 9, 2008. The safety zone will encompass all waters of the Chicago Sanitary Ship Canal, from mile marker 296.1 to mile marker 296.7.

 

If you have questions on this temporary rule, contact Cmdr. Tim Cummins, Deputy Prevention Division, Ninth Coast Guard District, telephone 216-902-6045.


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for July 4, 2008 

Weather Conditions

A strong cold front pushed through the Great Lakes basin this week, bringing more heavy rain to the region.  Numerous instances of severe weather were reported.  High pressure in the wake of the front will lead to a very nice 4th of July Holiday weekend.  Plenty of sunshine will push temperatures into the upper 70s and low 80s.  The next chance for inclement weather arrives Monday, as a frontal system approaches from the west. 

 Lake Level Conditions

Currently, all of the Great Lakes are higher than they were a year ago. Lake Superior is 16 inches higher than it was at this time last year. Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair and Erie are 6 to 7 inches above last year's levels, while Lake Ontario is 11 inches higher.  Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are projected to rise 2 and 1 inches, respectively, over the next 30 days.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are forecasted to fall 3 to 5 inches during the next month.  All of the Great Lakes are expected to remain above their water levels of a year ago over the next few months.  See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions

In June, outflow through the St. Mary's, St. Clair, and Detroit

Rivers was below average. Niagara River's outflow was near average, while outflow from the St. Lawrence River was above average.

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 July 4

601.6

578.2

574.5

572.0

246.6

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

 +6

+8

+26

+33

+39

Diff last month

6

 +6

+4

 0

-2

Diff from last yr

+16

+7

+6

+6

+11

 


General

WFN: World Fishing Network

Launches in the U.S. in High Definition on DISH Network

TORONTO, June 30, 2008 – Insight Sports, a leading sports media and entertainment company announced today the launch of WFN HD, North America’s only 24-hour high definition fishing lifestyle network. Through a carriage agreement with Echostar’s DISH Network, WFN HD has been added to the satellite television company’s package of high-definition channels on channel 394.

 

“There are more than 50 million sport fishing enthusiasts in North America looking for a dedicated television network devoted exclusively to angling and related lifestyle programming in high-definition,” said Mark Rubinstein, President of WFN. “In just under three years, WFN has emerged as the industry’s leading pure-play fishing television channel. We are delighted to partner with DISH Network and provide WFN HD to the underserved community of sport and leisure fishing enthusiasts.”

 

Available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, WFN HD provides recreational and sport fishing enthusiasts with an entertaining and comprehensive line-up that covers a wide range of programming including American and Canadian angling, saltwater and freshwater fishing, professional competitions, expert advice, international tournaments, travel destinations and conservation.

 

WFN HD’s summer line-up features 21 series in all, exclusive to WFN in high-definition. The HD program line-up includes: Dave Mercer's Facts of Fishing; Bass Edge with tournament pro Aaron Martin; Fishing the Flats featuring Henry Waszczuk; Hooked with Mark Krupa; George Poveromo's Saltwater

Fishing; and The New Fly Fisher. The network will add four

original HD series during the summer built around several of its most popular personalities: Charlie Moore TV; Reel Road Trip with Mark Melnyk; Hooked Up with Mariko Izumi; and WFN News.

 

WFN HD features extensive tournament coverage; theme nights; the largest selection of international series; and the most diverse species coverage of any outdoor network. WFN offers viewers insight from a variety of professional anglers such as Bob Izumi, Angelo Viola, Dave Mercer and J.P. DeRose. Together, hosts provide viewers with an in-depth look at the sport of fishing and its many facets.

WFN HD follows the launch of WFN in the fall of 2005.

 

“These two networks, WFN and WFN HD, will allow us to meet the needs of all cable, satellite and telecommunications operators,” said Mr. Rubenstein. “Whether they have SD or HD bandwidth, we have a proven product that is guaranteed to help them satisfy their existing subscribers and also attract a large and passionate new audience.”

 

About WFN & WFN HD

WFN: World Fishing Network was originally launched in December 2005 as North America’s first channel dedicated to covering every aspect of the angling and sport fishing industry. In November 2007, WFN secured an agreement with Verizon FiOS TV as its first U.S distribution partner. Today, WFN and WFN HD are available in more than 20 million households through North American cable, satellite, and telecommunications distributors.

 

For more information see www.insightsports.com.


Lake Michigan

VHS detected in Illinois waters of Lake Michigan

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois DNR on July 2 announced emergency regulations aimed at slowing the spread of fish-killing Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) in Illinois after sampling of fish in the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan detected the presence of VHS in two species of fish sampled. 

 

The new emergency regulations regarding VHS that affect recreational anglers and boaters include:

► Eliminating natural water from all equipment when leaving a body of water

► Empty/draining all bait buckets, livewells, baitwells, bilges,

etc. or any other compartment capable of holding natural waters when leaving a body of water.

► Do not remove live VHS-susceptible species (fish or bait fish) from any waters.  Anglers may catch and keep VHS-susceptible species, but may not transport those fish live from the waters where caught.

► Use of wild-trapped fishes from within the state as bait will be restricted to the waters where legally captured.    

 

New emergency regulations are also being implemented immediately regarding fish stocking and the transport of fish in Illinois.


Illinois

Remarkable State Record Fish(s)

The IDNR Division of Fisheries salutes Aurora teenagers Andrew and John Chione for their catches of state-record fish this spring.  The  accomplishments of the Chione brothers are even more remarkable in that the record-setting catches occurred on consecutive days in generally  the same area on the Fox River in Kane Co.  13 year old John Chione landed a 6.71 lb silver redhorse  Thursday, April 24  while fishing the Fox with his brother and family friends.  After the anglers weighed and documented the fish, IDNR fisheries  biologist Vic Santucci inspected and certified the new state-record fish. 

On Friday, April 25, the Chione brothers and friends met again to fish  the Fox.  15 year old Andrew Chione caught a 3.74 lb shorthead redhorse.  Sensing another possible record, the anglers repeated the  weighing and documenting of Andrew Chione’s shorthead redhorse and biologist Vic Santucci certified the second state record in as many  days.  The previous state record silver redhorse was 5.10 lb, caught in the Fox River in Kendall Co. in 2003.  The previous state  record shorthead redhorse was caught in the Spoon River in Fulton County in 2003 and weighed in at 2.2.56 lb.


Illinois announces emergency regs to stop spread of fish virus

VHS detected in Illinois waters of Lake Michigan

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois DNR on July 2 announced emergency regulations aimed at slowing the spread of fish-killing Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) in Illinois after sampling of fish in the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan detected the presence of VHS in two species of fish sampled. 

 

The new emergency regulations regarding VHS that affect recreational anglers and boaters include:

► Eliminating natural water from all equipment when leaving a body of water

► Empty/draining all bait buckets, livewells, baitwells, bilges,

etc. or any other compartment capable of holding natural waters when leaving a body of water.

► Do not remove live VHS-susceptible species (fish or bait fish) from any waters.  Anglers may catch and keep VHS-susceptible species, but may not transport those fish live from the waters where caught.

► Use of wild-trapped fishes from within the state as bait will be restricted to the waters where legally captured.    

 

New emergency regulations are also being implemented immediately regarding fish stocking and the transport of fish in Illinois.


Minnesota

Lake Mille Lacs walleye population is healthy

A recently completed tagging and recapture population estimate shows that Mille Lacs Lake walleye are healthy and able to support the sport fishing this popular central Minnesota lake offers.

 

"After last fall's gill net survey, there was some uncertainty about the amount of walleye that could be safely harvested from Mille Lacs," said Ron Payer, DNR fisheries section chief. "But our spring population estimate confirms that the safe harvest level established in January is consistent with Mille Lacs' walleye population."

 

Safe harvest levels are established by biologists each year for walleye and other species in Lake Mille Lacs, which is managed differently than other lakes in the state because the fishery is shared between state-licensed anglers and tribal harvests taken under treaty fishing rights. Walleye counts during the fall 2007 gill net survey suggested an unexpected decline in the walleye population. After taking a number of factors into account, including the uncertainty of the gill net estimate, biologists established the 2008 safe harvest level at 430,000 pounds in January.

 

"This spring's population estimate was conducted to address the uncertainty caused by last fall's low counts," Payer said. "The preliminary results of the 2008 spring survey indicate a safe harvest level of approximately 400,000 lbs, consistent

with the level that was set in January."

 

Field aspects of the spring population estimate went well, though late ice out during tagging operations and wind and storms during the recapture sampling were challenging for field crews. In total, nearly 19,000 walleyes were tagged with small, yellow, uniquely numbered tags during late April and early May. Nearly 5,000 walleyes were captured during mid-May through mid-June and examined for tags. Approximately 130 tagged walleyes were recaptured in that effort.

 

The DNR is still interested in getting information on tagged fish. Anglers who catch a tagged fish are asked to report the tag information to the DNR. If the fish is harvested, the tag should be removed and returned to the DNR in Aitkin. Tags should be left in released fish and tag numbers should be written down and reported to the DNR in one of several ways. Tag cards are available at public access sites and businesses around Mille Lacs. Information can also be sent to MN-DNR Fisheries 1200, Minnesota Avenue, Aitkin, MN 56431. E-mails can be sent to fishtags@dnr.state.mn.us  or information can be entered at http://mndnr.gov/fishing/tagged_fish_reporting.

           

The walleye regulation for Mille Lacs is that all walleye 18-to 28” must be immediately released and the possession limit is four. One fish may be longer than 28”.


 

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