Week of July 11, 2011

Misc New Fishing-Boating Products
National

Regional

2nd Amendment Issues
General

Illinois
Wisconsin
Other Breaking News Items

 

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Misc New Fishing-Boating Products

MarCum Technologies’ Immersive LX-7 Sonar System

When Genetic engineering goes terribly right

"You do of course know sir, that nothing quite like this has ever been done before," remarked one high-ranking sonar lab-coat to another.

 

In the high-tech field of angling electronics, it's a statement that the engineers at MarCum Technologies have learned to accept. It began with their game-changing underwater video cameras, which over a decade ago coupled advanced SONY® optics with high-resolution viewscreens for a near HD-quality viewing experience.

 

Soon after, advanced MarCum LX series ice-fishing flashers unveiled the first patented Adjustable Zoom, Interference Rejection (IR) and vivid TrueColor™ Display technology. The LX-5, LX-3tc and VX-1Pro were immediately embraced by the sport's elite anglers. Relied upon by the top-ranking competitive teams on the professional tournament trail, MarCum LX flashers have accounted for every North American Ice Fishing Team-of-the-Year title in NAIFC circuit history.

 

Next, MarCum bested its own technology, developing a new breed of digital sonar. The ShowDown Digital Fish Finder provided an intuitive vertical perspective of the water column in a high-speed, high-resolution LCD. For the past several years, ShowDown has been the hottest, most in-demand ice sonar system on the market.

 

All this was merely the beginning...

 

The culmination of a decade-plus of advanced sonar engineering, the minds at MarCum Technologies recently leaked word of an all-new, totally immersive sonar system-LX-7.

 

As press time, here's what we know about this powerful new sonar system:

• Integrates the optimum blend of "DNA" from MarCum LX Flasher & Digital technologies

• Panoramic 8-inch LCD displays vibrant sonar images with four user-selectable color palettes

• Multi-Dimensional Sonar interface gives user maximum flexibility and the broadest underwater perspective. LCD windows include "water column vertical," vertical zoom, flasher-dial and traditional widescreen graph displays.

• Industry-exclusive Sonar Footprint™ Technology displays a 3-dimensional scan area of bottom coverage at any depth, with either 8o or 20o transducer cone angles.

• Classic MarCum patented features-Infinitely Adjustable Zoom, Interference Rejection (IR), Auto Range, etc.

• Dynamic Depth™ Interface with auto-populating sonar ranges maximize display area for superior resolution at all times.

• Fully user-defined "Dashboard" displays digital depth, battery voltage, range, gain, IR, target adjust, or any combination.

• USB compatibility for web-friendly software upgrades

• True-Time™ sonar response - less than .02 seconds between the echo reaching the transducer and when signal appears on LCD screen

• Internal LCD heater for use in extreme cold

• Includes rechargeable 12-volt 9amp battery, charger and softcase.

• Intelligently managed sonar engine, driven by 4800-watts PtP (600-watts RMS)

• Made in the USA

 

"We've always adhered to the precepts of innovation and the highest levels of sonar technology," says MarCum Brand Manager, Jon Marshall. "So when we set out to build the next generation in ice fishing sonar, it was with a total team intent to greatly exceed anglers' expectations. The LX-7 is indeed a wholesale advancement in technology, offering the best DNA from both worlds-real-time flasher response time combined with vivid LCD resolution and realism, all in an expansive and immersive colorful environment."

 

About 699.99

 

888-778-1208      www.marcumtech.com

 


National

Federal Fish Hatcheries are on the Chopping Block
Cuts to the System budget could greatly reduce angling opportunity

In response to recent cuts in the federal budget, the FWS has proposed an $11 million reduction in National Fish Hatchery System (NFHS) funding, with $6 million coming from the account for operating mitigation hatcheries.

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Fish Hatchery System is responsible for stocking many of our nation's waters with the fish that anglers enjoy pursuing. Federal hatcheries across the U.S. raise and release millions of recreationally-important species such as rainbow trout to mitigate for the loss of native fisheries due to water development projects. If approved, this large reduction will result in the closure of nine hatcheries, seven of which are located in the southeastern U.S., greatly reducing angling opportunity in the region. The impacts of these closures will hit both anglers and local economies hard, as the operations of these hatcheries help support over 3,500 jobs and have an annual economic impact of over $325 million.


The FWS provides millions of hatchery-reared fish to mitigate the impacts of dams and other man-made water projects by agencies such as

the Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and

the Tennessee Valley Authority. If the FWS does not receive full reimbursement for these efforts, they have proposed stopping operations at these nine hatcheries. If this happens, recreational fishing opportunities, especially in the southeastern U.S., will be severely reduced.

 

The FWS is planning to direct money from the NFHS budget to alleviate the impact of funding cuts on other FWS programs and provide funding for new initiatives. These programs and new initiatives make few contributions to recreational fisheries. In the recent past, the FWS had sought reimbursement for mitigation hatchery operations.  But now, because this reimbursement is unsure, the FWS is proposing to close the hatcheries and redirect any savings out of the Fisheries program. To keep these hatcheries operating, the FWS must either be assured of full reimbursement or restoration of NFHS base funding until reimbursements are negotiated. Unfortunately, neither of these options is likely to happen without Congressional mandate.

How You Can Help
Click here to: Send a message to your Members of Congress urging them to take the necessary actions to restore the NFHS budget and keep our nation's hatcheries operating.

 


FWS proposes to expand hunting opportunities on National Wildlife Refuges in eight states

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, on July 5 announced a proposal to open Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota to deer and turkey hunting for the first time, while expanding hunting activities at nine other refuges in eight states. If approved, the proposal would provide additional public hunting opportunities in fulfillment of the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997.

 

“For decades, the National Wildlife Refuge System has offered some of the nation’s best public hunting and fishing, helping to connect generations of Americans to their sporting heritage. The Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to expanding these opportunities wherever they are compatible with refuge purposes,” said Service Director Dan Ashe.

 

In addition to the new deer and turkey program at Crane Meadows, other proposed changes include:

►Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge, CO, would increase big game hunting by offering elk hunting for the first time. The refuge also allows migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and fishing.

       

►Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge, LA, would open for the first time to migratory bird hunting of waterfowl and coot. The refuge also allows fishing.

       

►Coldwater River National Wildlife Refuge, MS, would open for the first time to migratory bird hunting of duck and geese; upland game hunting of squirrel, rabbit and raccoon; and big game hunting of deer and hogs. The refuge also permits fishing.

      

►Currituck National Wildlife Refuge, NC, would open for the first time to big game hunting of deer and hogs.

      

►Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, MN, would increase acreage for migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting.

       

►Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge, MN/IA, would increase acreage for migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting. The refuge would expand the species for migratory bird and upland game hunting.

       

►Ouray National Wildlife Refuge, UT, would allow for the

first time upland game hunting of turkey and big game hunting of elk. The refuge also allows migratory bird hunting and fishing.

 

►Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, MN, would open new areas to migratory bird hunting. It would allow big game hunting of turkey and deer for the first time. The refuge is also open for fishing.

 

►Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge, TX, would open three new units to upland game hunting of squirrels and rabbits and big game hunting of feral hogs and white-tailed deer. The refuge is also open for migratory bird hunting and fishing.

 

While definitions of hunting categories vary by refuge and state, migratory bird hunting generally includes ducks and geese. Upland game hunting may cover such animals as game birds, rabbit, squirrel, opossum and coyote. Big game hunting may include such animals as wild turkey, deer and feral hogs.

 

Hunting is an important tool for wildlife management, giving resource managers a valuable tool to control populations of some species that might otherwise exceed the carrying capacity of their habitat and threaten the well-being of other wildlife species, and in some instances, that of human health and safety.

 

Under the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, the Service can permit hunting and fishing as well as four other types of wildlife-dependent recreation where they are compatible with refuge purpose and mission. Hunting, within specified limits, is permitted on more than 300 national wildlife refuges. Fishing is permitted on more than 270 national wildlife refuges. Other wildlife-dependent recreation on national wildlife refuges includes wildlife photography, environmental education, wildlife observation and interpretation.

 

Notice of the proposal was published in the Federal Register on July 5, 2011; the public has until August 4, 2011, to provide comments.

 

To comment on the proposed hunting rule changes:

http://frwebgate1.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/PDFgate.cgi?WAISdocID=o3Y9mC/1/2/0&WAISaction=retrieve

 

www.fws.gov/


BRP engineer testifies on dangers of E15

Jeff Wasil, emissions certification engineer for Bombardier Recreational Products' Evinrude Marine Engine division, testified Thursday on behalf of the National Marine Manufacturers Association at a congressional hearing titled "Hitting the Ethanol Blend Wall: Examining the Science on E15."

 

The hearing, held by the Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, was to examine the scientific and technical issues related to the EPA’s recent waiver decisions permitting mid-level blends of as much as 15 percent ethanol in gasoline and receive feedback on draft legislative language.

 

In his testimony, Wasil outlined the technical reasons that ethanol is incompatible with boat engines and other non-road engines, as well as concerns that the EPA’s gas pump label will not do enough to prevent consumers from misfueling.

 

He also endorsed draft legislation that calls for a National

Academy of Sciences survey of scientific information related to the effects on engines of ethanol blends greater than 10 percent.

 

Wasil also testified that the warning label the EPA has proposed for placement on gasoline pumps is “completely inadequate. The label they propose will not properly warn and inform consumers about problems associated with E15, and it is almost certain to result in massive misfueling and subsequent engine damage.”

 

Wasil also discussed concerns that the EPA is not requiring that E10 continue to be available.

 

“There is no need to rush E15 into the marketplace. Let’s have a strategic pause while more testing is done to determine the effects of E15 on various kinds of engines and to see whether there might be alternatives to ethanol, such as butanol,” he added.

 

Click here for a transcript of Wasil's testimony

 


Regional

New Asian Carp Paper reflects extent of threat

Noted Great Lakes Scientists dispute flawed assertions

"Hydrologic separation is the only option which closes the aquatic connection between the two basins (Great Lakes and Mississippi River) and does not require continuous operation and maintenance of various technologies that have some risk of failure", is the finding of a peer-reviewed science paper released last week.

 

"Aquatic Invasive Species Risks to the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins," is authored by Jerry Rasmussen, Henry Regier, Richard Sparks and William Taylor -- all distinguished U.S. and Canadian researchers from the Great Lakes and Mississippi basins. The paper has been posted on the website of The Journal of Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) and will be published in an upcoming issue.

 

The four noted scientists assert "electric barriers have not been fully effective on Asian carp and will not work on organisms or propagules (any structure capable of being propagated or acting as an agent of reproduction) that drift downstream; eDNA evidence suggests silver and bighead carp are in the Chicago waterways well upstream of the electric barriers."

 

The study recognizes the one-time, "capital cost to separate the two basins is widely acknowledged to be high, and the outstanding question is whether the costs are justified given the significant risk of future ecological damages and long-term economic losses."

 

The study group challenges four existing assertions: (1) existing electric barriers in the Chicago canals are effective; (2) it is too late–the carps are already in the Great Lakes or soon will be; (3) Asian carps will not thrive in the Great Lakes due to inadequate food and spawning habitat; and (4) Asian carps are unlikely to cause serious harm.

 

The four assertions being challenged and their source(s) are:

1. Existing electric barriers (constructed in the Chicago Sanitary/Ship Canal to prevent migration of harmful aquatic species) have proven effective in blocking Asian carp; Asian carp recently captured on the Lake Michigan side of the barrier arrived by other means (Frede, 2010).

2. Asian carp have already found their way into the Great Lakes, or soon will, through various means such as the dumping of bait buckets by anglers or intentional transfers—therefore it is too late to prevent the invasion (Frede, 2010; McCloud, 2010; Stanek, 2010).

3. Asian carp will not thrive in the Great Lakes due to a lack of adequate food and spawning habitat (Flesher, 2010; Golowenski, 2010).

4. Asian carp are not likely to cause serious damage to the Great Lakes ecosystem (Smith and Vandermeer, 2010).

 

Despite claims to the contrary, the four noted and well respected scientists claim that it's not too late to keep the carp out of the lakes. Those who believe that too much is being made of an Asian carp invasion of the Great Lakes downplay the risk, claiming Asian carp will simply join the many species that are now accommodated by the Great Lakes ecosystem.

 

The paper’s authors note the existing electric barriers in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal are designed to repel, not kill fish, and most experts agree that permanent solutions to block Asian carp and other harmful aquatic species from invading the Great Lakes must look beyond electrical barrier systems.  One of the greatest deficiencies of electrical barriers that allow the free flow of water and boats are their inability to block downstream movements. Electric fields cannot prevent downstream migration and drifting of invertebrates, fish eggs and larvae, and potentially harmful plants, parasites and disease organisms.

 

While acknowledging that to date, there is no evidence of reproducing populations of Asian carps in the canals upstream of the electric barriers or in Lake Michigan, but given enough time, even low probability events will ultimately occur.  Food sources and potential spawning areas in the Great Lakes and tributary rivers are available to support bighead and silver carp, despite assertions to the contrary that were based on misrepresentation of one bioenergetics paper (Cooke and Hill, 2010).

 

The authors also reminded us food availability was one of many factors considered in a Canadian government risk assessment that concluded it is reasonably certain that bighead and silver carp will reproduce and spread in the Great Lakes if they are provided access (Mandrak and Cudmore, 2004).  

 

The Great Lakes and tributary rivers are neither too cold nor too stagnant to support Asian carp spawning. In Asia,

bighead carp thrive in rivers as far north as 47° latitude,

which equates in North America to the latitude of Lake Superior, or about 100 miles north of Lake Huron and almost 300 miles north of Lake Ontario. The native range of silver carp extends to 54° north, which cuts across the southern basin of Hudson Bay.

 

Twenty-two tributaries on the United States side of four Great Lakes are at least 100 km long and may have sufficient current velocity to keep Asian carp eggs in suspension long enough to hatch (Kolar et al., 2010).

 

The Study also notes:

►Food sources and potential spawning areas in the Great Lakes and tributary rivers are available to support bighead and silver carp, despite assertions to the contrary

►Silver carp have recently been reported to consume Cladophora, a genus of alga comprising several species that are found in abundance around the margins of the Great Lakes

►Food availability was one of many factors considered in a Canadian government risk assessment that concluded it is reasonably certain that bighead and silver carp will reproduce and spread in the Great Lakes

►The Great Lakes and tributary rivers are neither too cold nor too stagnant to support Asian carp spawning

►In Asia, bighead carp thrive in rivers as far north as 47° latitude, which equates in North America to the latitude of Lake Superior, or about 100 miles north of Lake Huron and almost 300 miles north of Lake Ontario

►The native range of silver carp extends to 54° north, which cuts across the southern basin of Hudson Bay

►Twenty-two tributaries on the United States side of four Great Lakes are at least 100 km long and may have sufficient current velocity to keep Asian carp eggs in suspension long enough to hatch

►Reports exist of bighead and silver carp spawning in stagnant backwater environs, and fry being found in 50–55 °F (10–12 °C) water

►Successful Asian carp reproduction may be possible in many smaller, shorter tributaries to the Great Lakes where oxygenated sand and gravel substrates occur

 

The authors are urging Congress to approve legislation ordering the Army Corps of Engineers to quicken a study of whether to divide the two freshwater basins, now due for completion in 2015.  Legislation from Congress in 2007 (Water Resources Development Act) authorized the U.S. Army Corps to conduct "a feasibility study of the range of options and technologies to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and other aquatic pathways." However, more than three years passed before the USACE issued the study's first Draft Project Management Plan, and the completion date for the study has been stalled to 2015.

 

The paper concludes and recommends:

The electric barriers have not been fully effective on Asian carp and will not work on organisms or propagules (any structure capable of being propagated or acting as an agent of reproduction) that drift downstream; eDNA evidence suggests silver and bighead carp are in the Chicago waterways well upstream of the electric barriers.

 

Based on our current understanding of Asian carp dietary and habitat requirements it is unlikely they would be limited by food or habitat in the entire Great Lakes basin. The addition of two more species of plankton feeders to the Great Lakes would adversely affect an already stressed food base. There are more invasive species besides the Asian carps that could cause species extinctions, declines of valuable fisheries, and other economic losses if they pass between the Great Lakes and Mississippi basins via the Chicago connection. It is imperative to stop the exchange of invasive species as quickly as possible.

 

The pending legislation needs to be passed, so the public and their elected officials can evaluate the costs and relative risks based upon the best scientific information and engineering technology available.

 

About the authors;

Jerry Rasmussen, is a retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist who first warned of the Asian carp threat more than a decade ago; he was almost fired by one of  President Bill Clinton's henchman for rocking the boat about the ponds in Arkansas and Missouri using invasive Asian carp for environmental purposes;  Henry Regier, is a Great Lakes researcher at the University of Toronto; Richard Sparks, with the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center in Godfrey, IL is a longtime member of the Electronic Waterway Advisory committee, and William Taylor, Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University,  is a commissioner of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.

 

To view the full study: http://news.msu.edu/media/documents/2011/06/12af5b94-962e-494d-bd56-ec1243212057.pdf


Great Lakes Water Levels for July 8, 2011 

WEATHER CONDITIONS

Other than a few scattered showers and thunderstorms, the Great Lakes basin enjoyed a very nice summer week.  Temperature mostly reached the upper 70s and low 80s, under abundant sunshine.  A weak disturbance may bring a few scattered showers and thunderstorms Friday and Saturday, but most of the basin should see sunny skies and warm temperatures.  Precipitation through the first week of July is above average in the Lake Superior basin and below average in the remaining Great Lake basins.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

Currently, Lakes Superior is 2 inches above its level of a year ago, while Lake Michigan-Huron is 1 inch above its level of a year ago.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 6, 9, and 11 inches, respectively, higher than they were at this time last year. Over the next thirty days, Lake Superior is projected to rise 2 inches and Lake Michigan-Huron is expected to remain at its current level.  The water levels of Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are forecasted to decrease 5, 5, and 8 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 July.  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 July.  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

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 Aug 4

601.18

578.31

574.87

572.51

246.78

Datum, in ft

601.10

577.50

572.30

569.20

243.30

Diff in inches

+1

+10

+31

+40

+42

Diff last month

+4

+3

0

-4

-6

Diff from last yr

+2

+1

+6

+9

+11


2nd Amendment Issues

SAF wins injunction v. Chicago gun range ban

BELLEVUE, WA – In a 3-0 ruling issued this morning, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has reversed a lower court ruling and ordered that court to issue a preliminary injunction against the City of Chicago on behalf of the Second Amendment Foundation that prevents the city from banning gun ranges inside city limits.

 

Joining SAF in the original lawsuit were Action Target, Inc., the Illinois State Rifle Association and three Chicago residents, Rhonda Ezell, William Hespen and Joseph Brown. Their attempts to obtain a temporary restraining order against the gun range ban were twice rejected by the district court. The Appeals Court ruling is severely critical of the lower court’s ruling.

 

“This is a significant victory that could have strong implications well beyond the Chicago city limits,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The court is making it clear that cities cannot adopt firearms ordinances that are so deliberately restrictive that they make it impossible for citizens to exercise their rights under the Second Amendment.”

 

Immediately after last year’s landmark SAF victory in

McDonald v. City of Chicago, the city adopted a handgun

ordinance that required special permits and mandated range training, but banned gun ranges inside city limits. The city argued that citizens could fulfill their training requirement by visiting a suburban range. In today’s ruling, written by Judge Diane S. Sykes, the Appeals Court observed, “It’s hard to imagine anyone suggesting that Chicago may prohibit the exercise of a free-speech or religious-liberty right within its borders on the rationale that those rights may be freely enjoyed in the suburbs. That sort of argument should be no less unimaginable in the Second Amendment context.” In a concurring opinion, Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner noted, “…the city may not condition gun ownership for self-defense in the home on a prerequisite that the City renders impossible to fulfill within the city limits.”

 

“What the city tried to do, as the court ruling noted, was ‘thumb its municipal nose at the Supreme Court’,” Gottlieb stated. “City governments, no matter how much they abhor the fundamental right of citizens to keep and bear arms, cannot use clever legal devices to prevent the exercise of that right. As Judge Rovner noted, ‘the city must come to terms with that reality’.”

 


SAF files for preliminary injunction against Illinois carry ban

BELLEVUE, WA – Capitalizing on its federal appeals court victory Wednesday in Ezell v. City of Chicago, the Second Amendment Foundation today moved for a preliminary injunction against the State of Illinois to prevent further enforcement of that state’s prohibitions on firearms carry in public by law-abiding citizens.

 

The motion was filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois in Springfield. Joining SAF in this motion are Illinois Carry and four private citizens, Michael Moore, Charles Hooks, Peggy Fechter and Jon Maier. The underlying case is known as Moore v. Madigan.

Illinois is the only state in the nation with such prohibitions. The state neither allows open carry or concealed carry, which runs afoul of recent U.S. Supreme Court Second Amendment rulings, including last year’s landmark ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago, another SAF case. SAF was represented in McDonald and Ezell by attorney Alan Gura, who noted after yesterday’s appeals court win – forcing a temporary injunction against the city’s ban on gun ranges that the city immediately changed after the decision was announced – that “Even

Chicago politicians must respect the people’s fundamental civil rights…Gun rights are coming to Chicago. The only question is how much the city’s intransigence will cost taxpayers along the way.”

 

“Now that the Seventh Circuit has recognized that the deprivation of the right of armed self-defense is an inherently irreparable injury, it is clear that Illinois’ law-abiding gun owners are entitled to a protective injunction,” said attorney David Jensen of New York, who, along with Glen Ellyn, IL attorney David Sigale, is representing SAF and the other plaintiffs.

 

“Yesterday’s win was a wake-up call to Chicago,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “Today’s motion is a signal to the Illinois Legislature that the state’s total ban on carrying of firearms for personal protection is counter to both Supreme Court rulings on the Second Amendment, and yesterday’s ruling by the Seventh Circuit appeals panel that shredded Chicago’s gun ordinance. Our victory Wednesday and today’s motion are key components of SAF’s overall mission to win back firearms freedoms one lawsuit at a time.”

 


General

NRA leads in national polls, not so NEA & Sierra Club

42% give the NEA positive marks, 54% like the NRA

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 42% of all likely U.S. Voters hold at least a somewhat favorable opinion of the NEA, with 17% Very Favorable. Thirty-seven percent (37%) regard the teacher’s union at least somewhat unfavorably, including 22% with a Very Unfavorable view. Twenty percent (20%) are not sure what they think of the group.
 
Among Democrats, however, 60% view the NEA favorably, while 57% of GOP voters regard the union unfavorably. Voters not affiliated with either of the major parties are narrowly divided.  Similarly, while 55% of the Political Class holds a favorable opinion of the NEA, the plurality (45%) of Mainstream voters does not.
 
The National Rifle Association, on the other hand, is likely to endorse whomever Republicans choose as their presidential nominee in 2012. Fifty-four percent (54%) of voters view the gun rights group favorably, including 29% with a Very Favorable opinion. The NRA is regarded 

unfavorably by 41%, with 25% who have a Very Unfavorable view.

 

Yet while 80% of Republicans and 53% of unaffiliated voters share a favorable opinion of the NRA, 63% of Democrats view the group unfavorably.   Seventy-five percent (75%) of the Political Class don’t care for the NRA, but 61% of Mainstream voters regard the group favorably.

 

The Sierra Club is one of the nation’s most prominent environmental organizations, but 33% of voters have no opinion of the group. Thirty-five percent (35%) view the Sierra Club favorably, including 12% with a Very Favorable opinion. Thirty-two percent (32%) share an unfavorable view of the organization, with 16% Very Unfavorable.
 
Democrats are inclined to have a positive view of the Sierra Club, while Republicans tend to see it in a negative light. Unaffiliated voters have more mixed feelings.
 
Thirty-six percent (36%) of Americans say the United States needs stricter gun control laws, but 56% don’t share that belief and oppose stronger anti-gun laws


Illinois

Illinois on Its own after Wisconsin allows Concealed Carry

Now that Wisconsin has allowed for residents to carry a concealed weapon in public, Illinois stands alone as the final State to object to legalizing concealed handguns, The Associated Press reports. Wisconsin’s law will take effect November 1.

 

The State will now be the center of attention for gun-rights

advocacy groups, such as the NRA and its allies, the

 

news source stated.  The news source reports that those on both sides of the argument agree Chicago will be the deciding factor in the dispute.  “It’s about as anti-gun a city as one could find,” Harry Wilson, a gun control expert at Virginia’s Roanoke College, told the news provider.

 


SAF wins injunction v. Chicago gun range ban

BELLEVUE, WA – In a 3-0 ruling issued this morning, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has reversed a lower court ruling and ordered that court to issue a preliminary injunction against the City of Chicago on behalf of the Second Amendment Foundation that prevents the city from banning gun ranges inside city limits.

 

Joining SAF in the original lawsuit were Action Target, Inc., the Illinois State Rifle Association and three Chicago residents, Rhonda Ezell, William Hespen and Joseph Brown. Their attempts to obtain a temporary restraining order against the gun range ban were twice rejected by the district court. The Appeals Court ruling is severely critical of the lower court’s ruling.

 

“This is a significant victory that could have strong implications well beyond the Chicago city limits,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The court is making it clear that cities cannot adopt firearms ordinances that are so deliberately restrictive that they make it impossible for citizens to exercise their rights under the Second Amendment.”

 

Immediately after last year’s landmark SAF victory in

McDonald v. City of Chicago, the city adopted a handgun ordinance that required special permits and mandated range training, but banned gun ranges inside city limits. The city argued that citizens could fulfill their training requirement by visiting a suburban range. In today’s ruling, written by Judge Diane S. Sykes, the Appeals Court observed, “It’s hard to imagine anyone suggesting that Chicago may prohibit the exercise of a free-speech or religious-liberty right within its borders on the rationale that those rights may be freely enjoyed in the suburbs. That sort of argument should be no less unimaginable in the Second Amendment context.” In a concurring opinion, Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner noted, “…the city may not condition gun ownership for self-defense in the home on a prerequisite that the City renders impossible to fulfill within the city limits.”

 

“What the city tried to do, as the court ruling noted, was ‘thumb its municipal nose at the Supreme Court’,” Gottlieb stated. “City governments, no matter how much they abhor the fundamental right of citizens to keep and bear arms, cannot use clever legal devices to prevent the exercise of that right. As Judge Rovner noted, ‘the city must come to terms with that reality’.”

 


SAF files for preliminary injunction against Illinois carry ban

BELLEVUE, WA – Capitalizing on its federal appeals court victory Wednesday in Ezell v. City of Chicago, the Second Amendment Foundation today moved for a preliminary injunction against the State of Illinois to prevent further enforcement of that state’s prohibitions on firearms carry in public by law-abiding citizens.

 

The motion was filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois in Springfield. Joining SAF in this motion are Illinois Carry and four private citizens, Michael Moore, Charles Hooks, Peggy Fechter and Jon Maier. The underlying case is known as Moore v. Madigan.

Illinois is the only state in the nation with such prohibitions. The state neither allows open carry or concealed carry, which runs afoul of recent U.S. Supreme Court Second Amendment rulings, including last year’s landmark ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago, another SAF case. SAF was represented in McDonald and Ezell by attorney Alan Gura, who noted after yesterday’s appeals court win – forcing a temporary injunction against the city’s ban on gun ranges that the city immediately changed after the decision was announced – that “Even

Chicago politicians must respect the people’s fundamental civil rights…Gun rights are coming to Chicago. The only question is how much the city’s intransigence will cost taxpayers along the way.”

 

“Now that the Seventh Circuit has recognized that the deprivation of the right of armed self-defense is an inherently irreparable injury, it is clear that Illinois’ law-abiding gun owners are entitled to a protective injunction,” said attorney David Jensen of New York, who, along with Glen Ellyn, IL attorney David Sigale, is representing SAF and the other plaintiffs.

 

“Yesterday’s win was a wake-up call to Chicago,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “Today’s motion is a signal to the Illinois Legislature that the state’s total ban on carrying of firearms for personal protection is counter to both Supreme Court rulings on the Second Amendment, and yesterday’s ruling by the Seventh Circuit appeals panel that shredded Chicago’s gun ordinance. Our victory Wednesday and today’s motion are key components of SAF’s overall mission to win back firearms freedoms one lawsuit at a time.”

 


Wisconsin

3 million walleye stocked in Wisconsin waters

WILD ROSE, Wis. -- Nearly 3 million walleye have been stocked in dozens of lakes and rivers waters over the last few weeks.  The fish, up to 2 months old and 2 inches in size, were harvested from the Art Oehmcke Hatchery in Woodruff, the Tommy G. Thompson Hatchery in Spooner, the Lake Mills Hatchery in its namesake community, and, for the first time in 20 years, Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery in Waushara County. Construction of new coolwater facilities at that century-old hatchery allowed fish crews there to return to producing walleye for the first time in a generation.

 

"It was a good year for small fingerling walleye production, and it's good news for future walleye fishing opportunities in Wisconsin," says Dave Giehtbrock, statewide fish production manager. "The longer winter led to later egg collection, which caused a logistical complication at some hatcheries, but the cooler water temperatures were good for the walleye, and we were able to pull off successful rearing at our hatcheries, producing the fish we needed to produce."

The walleye are stocked to provide walleye fishing opportunities where otherwise there would be none, and to help restore naturally self-sustaining walleye populations in the receiving waters. The vast majority of the state's walleye fisheries are naturally reproducing but stocking plays an important role in some waters.

 

How long it takes these little guys to reach legal size depends on the water where they're stocked and regulations, but count on two to five years before these fish are likely to turn up in the frying pan. The fish have been raised at the four hatcheries for the last month or two, living in hatchery ponds that DNR fertilizes to help fuel production of algae. Zooplankton in the pond eat the algae, and the young fish eat the zooplankton. Now, that the plankton and algae supplies are depleted, it's time to get the fish out before they start eyeballing one another.

More information on state fish hatcheries is available on the DNR website.

 

 


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