Week of July 25, 2011

Words to Ponder
Regional

2nd Amendment Issues
Lake Huron
Lake Michigan

Illinois
Michigan
New York
Wisconsin
Other Breaking News Items

 

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Words to Ponder

Words to Ponder

"That barrier won't always last.  It is subject to outages, it’s not strong enough to kill the fish—it stuns them and

small fish are not affected by it" Bill Taylor, Fish & Wildlife Professor, Michigan State U.

 


Regional

More Asian carp eDNA found near Lake Michigan

CHICAGO — Fisheries biologists have discovered more eDNA material from Asian carp beyond the electric barrier designed to prevent them from invading the Great Lakes.

 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, reported on their web site this week that samples were collected from Lake Calumet and Little Calumet River on July 12, 2011and reported July 21. The site says; "results indicate that we have 2 positive for silver carp and ZERO for bighead carp. All the silver carp positives were from Lake Calumet. Previous eDNA results from Lake Cal/Little Cal, 15 June 2011: 7 positive for silver carp; ZERO for bighead carp. All the silver carp positives were from Lake Calumet.

 

eDNA monitoring results above Barrier

 

www.lrc.usace.army.mil/asiancarp/eDNAresultsmap-19JULY2011.pdf  eDNA surveillance area/results as of July 21

 

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said the federal government needs to speed up its long-range analysis of how best to stop aquatic species from migrating between the Great Lakes and other water systems, where they compete with native species for food and habitat.

"We don't need any more studies," Schuette said. "We need to act."

 

John Goss, the Obama administration's Asian carp program coordinator, told The Associated Press it remains

unclear whether the "environmental DNA" findings signal

the presence of live fish — and if so, how many. The genetic markers could have come from dead fish or from

bilge water picked up by boats on the other side of the barrier, which consists of three separate electric fields, he said.

 

Measuring the effectiveness of the barrier network, about 25 miles from Chicago, is a top priority this year for the government's Asian carp task force. Technicians have implanted ultrasonic transmitters in 166 fish on both sides of the electric field to trace their movements and none have passed through, the Army Corps said.

 

Underwater Didson sonar cameras have recorded images of some fish approaching the barrier but none traversing it or even making the attempt, Goss said.  "All the information we have is that the barriers are effective," he said. Federal agencies have taken two additional sets of water samples from those areas as required by their "rapid response plan." Both are being tested to determine whether additional measures such as spreading fish poisons or stepped-up commercial netting are needed.

 

The Army Corps and other agencies are planning to complete their study of possible invasive species solutions — including separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi basins — in 2015. Critics say that's too slow. A federal lawsuit filed by Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin demands quicker action.

 

Legislation pending in Congress would require the Army Corps to report within 18 months on the feasibility of separating the two systems. The Alliance for the Great Lakes, an environmental group based in Chicago, urged supporters Thursday to lobby their representatives to support the bill.  www.lrc.usace.army.mil/asiancarp/eDNA.htm


Great Lakes Water Levels for July 22, 2011 

WEATHER CONDITIONS

The Great Lakes basin experienced a heat wave this week with extremely hot and humid weather and record highs across the region.  Some locations reached 100 degrees.  Excessive heat warnings, watches and heat advisories were issued for many areas along the Great Lakes the past several days.  The hot and humid conditions produced scattered thunderstorms bringing locally heavy rain to several areas.  Relief from the heat is slowly arriving, with cooler and less humid weather by Sunday.  Scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible this weekend and can bring up to an inch or 2 inches in some areas. 

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

Currently, Lake Superior is 2 inches above its level of a year ago and Lake Michigan-Huron is 1 inch below last year's level.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 4, 8, and 5 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 4, 5, and 7 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 July 22

601.21

578.25

574.67

572.38

246.39

Datum, in ft

601.10

577.50

572.30

569.20

243.30

Diff in inches

+1

+9

+28

+38

+37

Diff last month

+3

+1

-2

-4

-7

Diff from last yr

+2

-1

+4

+8

+5


2nd Amendment Issues

Chicago still disrespects Second Amendment

That’s the upshot of a recent decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Ezell v. City of Chicago, says the Cato Institute.  This was a challenge to the new regulations the city enacted in the wake of McDonald v. City of Chicago case, which applied the Second Amendment to the states. 

 

In an attempt to circumvent the Supreme Court’s clear holding, Chicago’s ordinance first mandates that would-be gun owners receive training at a firing range but then prohibits firing ranges from operating in the city.  The court, in a striking opinion by Judge Diane Sykes (put her on your Supreme Court shortlist for the next Republican administration), tells the city to go back to the drawing board.

 

The court applied something greater than intermediate (but “not quite strict”) scrutiny and found that Chicago has not

presented anything approaching a compelling reason for its restriction.  Here’s an analysis of the opinion by Josh Blackman and some follow-up commentary from Cato associate policy analyst Dave Kopel.

 

Gratifyingly, Judge Sykes cites the Pandora’s Box article that we published early last year in the run-up to the McDonald argument (see footnote 11 on page 31).  It’s quite an honor to appear in the same footnote as Randy Barnett, Steven Calabresi, Brannon Denning, Glenn Harlan Reynolds (the Instapundit), and many other noted scholars — including Akhil Amar, who in the wake of our Obamacare debate and bet may not appreciate it as much.

 

Congratulations to the intrepid Alan Gura (who also litigated McDonald and Heller v. District of Columbia) and to all the citizens of Chicago!


Lake Huron

Managing Chinook salmon in Lake Huron

Current Findings and Proposed Management Options

July 2011, Executive Summary

In 2005, the Michigan DNR produced a document entitled “Lake Huron Management in Times of Change, August 2005”. The 2005 report recommended a 50% reduction in Chinook salmon stocking that was eventually adopted by the Department and implemented in the spring of 2006. Monitoring of the ecosystem and fishery over the past five years indicates that the lake has experienced a large food-web shift most likely linked to invasive zebra and quagga mussels, and the harvest and catch rate of stocked Chinook salmon in Lake Huron are at all-time lows.

 

Fig 1-Lake Huron Chinook salmon stocking (MDNR)

 

Evidence from creel surveys and feedback from stakeholders at workshops and public meetings reveal a strong desire to modify Chinook salmon stocking practices, with the main rationale being that current stocking rates represent a poor use of anglers’ license dollars. Anglers understand that the ecosystem and fishing opportunities have changed, and they are concerned about future management of Chinook salmon and other key salmonids.

 

In developing this proposal, the Department worked closely with an external advisory committee called the Lake Huron Citizens Fishery Advisory Committee (LHCFAC). The LHCFAC is comprised of representatives of many statewide fishing organizations that have a keen interest in Great Lakes fisheries. The Department meets regularly with the LHCFAC and this group provides important feedback on management proposals including Chinook salmon management on Lake Huron. The LHCFAC is generally supportive of significant reductions in Chinook salmon stocking throughout the lake.

 

Fig 2-Lake Huron stocking/harvest of Chinook salmon (MDNR)

 

The Lake Huron food web has radically changed during the previous 10-15 years, and the forage base (prey fish) is no longer dominated by alewife and smelt. Increasing populations of lake trout and walleye are contributing to post-stocking predation and mortality on stocked spring fingerling Chinook salmon. In recent years the returns of stocked Chinook salmon to the creel (angler harvest) and the Swan River weir have been at record low levels, and it is estimated that more than 80% of the Chinook salmon in Lake Huron are wild. A Chinook salmon stocking reduction is a defensible approach to managing the fishery in Lake Huron and should be viewed as adaptive management in the face of historic changes to the ecology of Lake Huron.

 

In 2004, alewife populations in Lake Huron effectively disappeared from the USGS surveys. While forage fish populations tend to fluctuate over time, the alewife collapse in 2004 was extraordinary. Not surprisingly, the harvest of Chinook salmon followed a similar trend. The estimated Chinook salmon harvest from Lake Huron in 2010 was fewer than 3,200 fish, the lowest level recorded in the time series from 1986-present.

 

Fig 3-Bottom trawl forage fish survey data, 1976-2010 (USGS)

 

Stocking Options

To assess the fishery, the DNR monitors and evaluates several key biological indicators. Collectively, these serve as an index of how well stocking programs are performing and contributing to the overall fishery in Lake Huron. The indicators allow managers to track the success of previous decisions and provide them with information they need to

alter management direction if necessary. The indicators that the DNR monitors include: harvest, catch rate, weir returns, stocked vs. wild production, growth, and age of fish.

 

Stocked vs. Wild

It is estimated that during 2000-2003 the number of wild Chinook salmon entering Lake Huron from tributary streams was approximately 15 million/year (Johnson et al, 2010). Estimates are not available for the years following 2003, but indications are that natural reproduction and recruitment of Chinook salmon has remained high. To better understand the contribution of wild and stocked Chinook salmon to the Lake Huron fishery, the DNR worked in cooperation with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to mark all Chinook salmon stocked in Lake Huron from 2000-2008 (nearly 24 million fish). Based on this work, it is estimated that more than 80% of the Chinook salmon in the creel were wild, thus bringing into question the value and discretion of stocking Chinook salmon into Lake Huron at current levels.

 

Predator Diet Study and the impacts of Alewife

In recent years, scientists have analyzed the diets of predators in Lake Huron. Roseman et al, 2010, collected angler-caught walleye, lake trout, Chinook salmon, steelhead, and other gamefish species and looked at their stomach contents. The results revealed few alewives in Chinook salmon diets. Instead, the most numerous prey item in Chinook salmon stomachs was the spiny water flea, an invasive zooplankton that often clumps on fishing lines and downrigger cables. Smelt were also found in significant numbers of Chinook salmon stomachs. In contrast to a similar diet study performed in the 1990s, analyses of current lake trout and walleye stomachs show significant numbers of round gobies (another invasive species) and stocked salmonids. It appears that in the absence of alewife, lake trout, walleye, smallmouth bass and other predators in Lake Huron now include stocked Chinook salmon and brown trout in their diet.

 

Based on evaluation of these indicators, three possible scenarios for future Chinook salmon stocking have been considered by fisheries managers:

 

1) Maintain current Chinook salmon stocking numbers and locations on Lake Huron:

Based on an analysis of the indicators and trends discussed above, maintaining current stocking rates is not recommended at this time.

 

2) Maintain Chinook salmon stocking at all current locations on Lake Huron, but reduce by 50% the number stocked at each location: Recent data suggests that stocked Chinook salmon are not surviving to be harvested, especially from mid-lake and southern ports. Also, catch rates and harvest of Chinook salmon are at all-time lows. Consequently, this option is not recommended at this time.

 

3) Maintain Chinook salmon stocking at Nunn’s Creek and Swan River, and suspend Chinook salmon stocking at all other Lake Huron locations: The DNR is obligated to stock Nunn’s Creek (St. Martin’s Bay) as a result of negotiations with Native American Tribes in the 1836 Treaty-ceded waters of the Great Lakes. The Swan River is an important site for Chinook salmon egg collection. This option is an acceptable management strategy and maintaining some level of stocking at the Swan River location is recommended. A decision to discontinue Chinook salmon stocking at all other locations on Lake Huron would result in an annual stocking reduction of approximately 630,000 fish.

 

Decision timeline and public input

It is imperative that decisions affecting the number of fish to be stocked in 2012 are made in time to adjust fall egg take. Consequently, a decision affecting the 2012 stocking of Chinook salmon must be made by October of 2011 before egg take is completed. If stocking changes

are implemented in 2012, a reasonable time frame for collection of data and assessing the impacts of the reduction is five to six years before discussing changes to future management direction. The reason is that any measurable affects to Chinook salmon fishing will most likely not become apparent for at least three years after implementation. This time frame to collect data provides fisheries managers a minimum of three full years of assessment and evaluation Angler input is encouraged and will be accepted through August 31.

 

Anglers are asked to submit their comments on this proposal and associated stocking options by visiting the DNR’s website at: www.michigan.gov/fishpublicinput

 

Written comments can be mailed to:

Lake Huron Chinook Salmon Stocking Proposal

Michigan DNR, Fisheries Division

PO Box 30446

Lansing, MI 48909


Lake Michigan

More Asian carp eDNA found near Lake Michigan

CHICAGO — Fisheries biologists have discovered more eDNA material from Asian carp beyond the electric barrier designed to prevent them from invading the Great Lakes.

 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, reported on their web site this week that samples were collected from Lake Calumet and Little Calumet River on July 12, 2011and reported July 21. The site says; "results indicate that we have 2 positive for silver carp and ZERO for bighead carp. All the silver carp positives were from Lake Calumet. Previous eDNA results from Lake Cal/Little Cal, 15 June 2011: 7 positive for silver carp; ZERO for bighead carp. All the silver carp positives were from Lake Calumet.

 

eDNA monitoring results above Barrier

 

www.lrc.usace.army.mil/asiancarp/eDNAresultsmap-19JULY2011.pdf  eDNA surveillance area/results as of July 21

 

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said the federal government needs to speed up its long-range analysis of how best to stop aquatic species from migrating between the Great Lakes and other water systems, where they compete with native species for food and habitat.

"We don't need any more studies," Schuette said. "We need to act."

 

John Goss, the Obama administration's Asian carp program coordinator, told The Associated Press it remains

unclear whether the "environmental DNA" findings signal

the presence of live fish — and if so, how many. The genetic markers could have come from dead fish or from bilge water picked up by boats on the other side of the barrier, which consists of three separate electric fields, he said.

 

Measuring the effectiveness of the barrier network, about 25 miles from Chicago, is a top priority this year for the government's Asian carp task force. Technicians have implanted ultrasonic transmitters in 166 fish on both sides of the electric field to trace their movements and none have passed through, the Army Corps said.

 

Underwater Didson sonar cameras have recorded images of some fish approaching the barrier but none traversing it or even making the attempt, Goss said.  "All the information we have is that the barriers are effective," he said. Federal agencies have taken two additional sets of water samples from those areas as required by their "rapid response plan." Both are being tested to determine whether additional measures such as spreading fish poisons or stepped-up commercial netting are needed.

 

The Army Corps and other agencies are planning to complete their study of possible invasive species solutions — including separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi basins — in 2015. Critics say that's too slow. A federal lawsuit filed by Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin demands quicker action.

 

Legislation pending in Congress would require the Army Corps to report within 18 months on the feasibility of separating the two systems. The Alliance for the Great Lakes, an environmental group based in Chicago, urged supporters Thursday to lobby their representatives to support the bill.  www.lrc.usace.army.mil/asiancarp/eDNA.htm


Lake Michigan Water and Weather conditions available online

Innovative sensing buoy deployed near Cook Nuclear Plant provides real-time data

BRIDGMAN, Mich., July 18, 2011 – Real-time lake conditions and weather data on Lake Michigan are now available to the public on the internet thanks to an innovative environmental sensing buoy located off-shore of the Cook Nuclear Plant. Indiana Michigan Power contracted LimnoTech, an Ann Arbor-based company specializing in Great Lakes monitoring and modeling to deploy and maintain the buoy.

 

The data is being generated for a multi-year environmental study of Lake Michigan and will be used by the Cook Plant for engineering studies on possible improvements to the plant’s water intake system. The buoy is equipped with a range of high-tech instruments that can

transmit air temperature, wind speed and direction, water current speed and direction, wave height and water temperature at several depths below the surface.

 

Data being collected will be useful for fishing, pleasure boating, search and rescue operations and weather-watchers.

 

The buoy is located two and one half miles from the shore and will remain in operation through the fall. Implementation may be extended for subsequent years. Information about the buoy and a link to real-time data is available at http://bit.ly/cookbuoy .

 

LimnoTech is currently working directly with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other federal agencies to increase the number of

environmental sensors in the Great Lakes and to improve the availability of the data to water quality managers and the public. The data from the buoy will feed into the developing Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS), the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) operated by NOAA, and the University of Michigan’s observing system.

 

Data is also being used by forecasters at the National Weather Service (NWS) offices in Northern Indiana and Grand Rapids to improve predictions of hazardous weather including high waves and rip currents along the shoreline. Rip currents are particularly dangerous for local

swimmers who are often unaware of the hidden threats these currents pose. Together, both offices are responsible for monitoring weather conditions along 240 miles of shoreline from Manistee, MI to Michigan City, IN.

 

“Until recently, we’ve had to rely on data collected from buoys in the middle of the lake where conditions may be different,” said Jeff Logsdon, Science and Operations Officer for NWS. “Buoys like this one will greatly improve our ability to predict dangerous rip currents at beaches in Berrien County.”

 

Data from the buoy will also feed Coast Guard information systems used to respond to distress calls from local boaters, enabling them to quickly assess wind, wave, and current directions before leaving port. Local boaters, fishermen, and swimmers can access the same information to make the decision whether to go out on the water or not. Local fishermen can view the temperature profile in real time to better pinpoint fishing hot spots and temperature bands that lake trout and salmon follow. This will save on gas and improve the catch rate for recreational and commercial fishermen.


Illinois

New Bowfishing Record

Set during Bowfishing Illinois Director’s Shoot

Event Promotes Bowfishing, Targets Invasive Asian Carp on Illinois River

UTICA, IL – A new state-record bighead Asian carp was among nearly 12,000 fish taken by participants in the Bowfishing Association of Illinois’ second-annual Director’s Shoot on the Illinois River near Starved Rock State Park, July 16-17.

 

The new record for bighead carp taken by bow – a 59 lb. 4 oz. fish – was brought in by Robb Kemper of the Team Fish Slayer bowfishing team of Iowa during the tournament.   The previous bowfishing record for bighead carp in Illinois was 43 lbs. 5.6 oz. set last year on the Des Plaines River in Will Co.   In all during the weekend tournament, participants took 48,000 pounds of invasive fish from the Illinois River during an eight-hour period. 

 

IDNR Director Marc Miller shows off his catch at the 2nd

annual Bowfishing Director’s shoot with Frank Pauliks (left)

and BAI President Ed Devries

 

The Bowfishing Association of Illinois Director’s Shoot targeting Asian carp included a day shoot on July 16 and a night shoot from 8 p.m. until 8 a.m. on July 16-17.  Participating teams were able to weigh-in their 30 top fish taken by bow, with prizes awarded to the heaviest stringer. 

 

Awards were also presented in an invasive fish format in which teams competed for the most Asian carp and common carp taken by bow.  The winning team in the numbers division, Team Innerloc from Iowa, took 2,932 Asian carp and common carp from the river. The second-place team removed 1,937 invasive fish from the river and the third-place team removed 1,435 fish.   In all, the 54 teams removed approximately 12,000 fish – or about 24 tons of fish – from the Illinois River.

 

Next year’s Bowfishing Association of Illinois Director’s Shoot is scheduled for July 21-22, 2012.  For more information on bowfishing and the Director’s Shoot, contact the BAI at 630-886-1672 or check the website at www.illinoisbowfishing.net

 

For information on bowfishing regulations and other fishing opportunities in Illinois, check the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov/fishing or the ‘I Fish Illinois’ website at www.ifishillinois.org

 

For more information on efforts to track and remove Asian carp from the Illinois River and Chicago Area Waterway System, check the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee website at www.asiancarp.org


Controlled Pheasant Hunting Reservation Information available online

Online applications for IDNR-managed sites begin Aug. 1

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Controlled pheasant hunting opportunities will be available at 19 Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) sites this fall, and the 2011-12 season dates and permit reservation information are now available online. 

 

Fifteen of the sites are operated by the IDNR, while four other sites will continue to be operated in a public/private partnership arrangement between the IDNR and concessionaire T. Miller, Inc.

 

“The controlled pheasant program provides an upland game hunting experience for thousands of hunters in Illinois each year and is a great opportunity for young hunters to have success,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller.  “We hear frequently about how much the program is appreciated and we are pleased to be able to continue it another year.  Now is the time to check the website and make plans for the upcoming season.” 

 

The online permit reservation system for the 15 IDNR-operated sites opens on Aug. 1 and permit information, season dates, and other information are now available.  Detailed information and permit reservations are now available for the four sites managed by T. Miller, Inc.  Hunters need to review the application instructions and season information accessible online prior to submitting an application.

 

On IDNR-operated sites, controlled pheasant hunting fees will remain the same for the 2011-12 season.  The daily permit fee for the controlled pheasant program is $25 for resident hunters and $35 for nonresident hunters.  The daily permit fee applies to each hunter.  Hunters will be required to pay for reserved permits in advance over a secure online system using an American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa credit card. The credit card account will be billed when hunters submit an application.  A transaction fee of $2.50 will be assessed for each application, except for applications submitted for the Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt.

 

The public/private partnership controlled pheasant hunting areas are Chain O’Lakes State Park in Lake County, Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area in Kendall County, Ramsey Lake State Recreation Area in Fayette County, and Horseshoe Lake State Park in Madison County.  Information about controlled pheasant hunting at these sites is available on the concessionaire’s website at www.tmillerinc.com or via a link on the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov.

 

Of the 15 sites operated by the IDNR, five offer only the Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt opportunity for young hunters between the ages of 10-15.  Those five sites are the Mackinaw River State Fish and Wildlife Area in Tazewell County, Clinton Lake State Recreation Area in DeWitt County, Edward Madigan State Fish and Wildlife Area in

 

Logan County, Sangchris Lake State Park in Christian and Sangamon Counties and the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Randolph County.

 

Nine sites provide lengthy hunting seasons for hunters as well as special hunting days for young hunters.  Those nine sites are Johnson Sauk Trail State Recreation Area in Henry County, Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area in Will County, Kankakee River State Park in Kankakee County, Iroquois County State Wildlife Area, Moraine View State Recreation Area in McLean County, Sand Ridge State Forest in Mason County, Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area in Cass County, Eldon Hazlet State Recreation Area in Clinton County, and Wayne Fitzgerrell State Recreation Area in Jefferson and Franklin Counties. 

 

Green River State Wildlife Area in Lee County provides 15 days of controlled pheasant hunting during a season that extends from early November until just before Christmas. 

 

At Des Plaines, Moraine View and Eldon Hazlet, hunting opportunities are available for hunters with disabilities where special vehicles are provided to assist with the hunt.

 

Online permit reservations for the first drawing period on IDNR-operated sites will be accepted from 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 1 through 1:00 p.m. on Aug. 8.  Two additional one-week drawing periods are scheduled thereafter.  Hunters need to review the application instructions and season information on the controlled pheasant hunting website prior to submitting an application.  To navigate to the controlled pheasant hunting website once the IDNR website www.dnr.illinois.gov has been accessed, hunters should follow these directions:

 

·  Click on "Upland Game" from the drop down menu under the “Hunting/Trapping” button on the toolbar

·  Then click on "Controlled Pheasant Areas" under the “Quick Links” heading

 

IDNR-operated controlled pheasant hunting sites will continue to have a portion of their hunter quota allocated to standby hunters.  Standby hunters acquire permits and pay permit fees at the site hunter check station on the day of the hunt.  For those sites involved in the Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt, standby permits are only available at Edward Madigan State Fish and Wildlife Area, Mackinaw River State Fish and Wildlife Area and Sangchris Lake State Park. 

 

Hunters without computers are encouraged to gain access to the controlled pheasant hunting online reservation system by checking with family or friends with a computer or by using a computer at their local public library. Completing a permit reservation online takes less than five minutes.

 

For complete details, check the controlled pheasant hunting website at www.dnr.illinois.gov or the T. Miller, Inc. website at www.tmillerinc.com.


Chicago still disrespects Second Amendment

That’s the upshot of a recent decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Ezell v. City of Chicago, says the Cato Institute.  This was a challenge to the new regulations the city enacted in the wake of McDonald v. City of Chicago case, which applied the Second Amendment to the states. 

 

In an attempt to circumvent the Supreme Court’s clear holding, Chicago’s ordinance first mandates that would-be gun owners receive training at a firing range but then prohibits firing ranges from operating in the city.  The court, in a striking opinion by Judge Diane Sykes (put her on your Supreme Court shortlist for the next Republican administration), tells the city to go back to the drawing board.

 

The court applied something greater than intermediate (but “not quite strict”) scrutiny and found that Chicago has not

presented anything approaching a compelling reason for its restriction.  Here’s an analysis of the opinion by Josh Blackman and some follow-up commentary from Cato associate policy analyst Dave Kopel.

 

Gratifyingly, Judge Sykes cites the Pandora’s Box article that we published early last year in the run-up to the McDonald argument (see footnote 11 on page 31).  It’s quite an honor to appear in the same footnote as Randy Barnett, Steven Calabresi, Brannon Denning, Glenn Harlan Reynolds (the Instapundit), and many other noted scholars — including Akhil Amar, who in the wake of our Obamacare debate and bet may not appreciate it as much.

 

Congratulations to the intrepid Alan Gura (who also litigated McDonald and Heller v. District of Columbia) and to all the citizens of Chicago!


Michigan

State Of Michigan Job Opportunities

You can now apply online by clicking on the job title you are interested in and clicking on the "Apply" link!  If this is the first time you are applying using our online job application, you will need to create an account and select a Username and Password. After your account has been established, you can build an application by clicking on the "Build Job Application" link.  This application can be saved and used to apply for more than one job opening.

 

Click here, State of Michigan Job opportunities  and scroll down till you come to the listing of job opportunities. Presently there are 132 of them.

Online applications are stored on a secure site.  Only authorized employees and hiring authorities have access to the information submitted. For those positions open to all applicants, first consideration will be given to current state employees and state employees on layoff status.  If no one is selected from this pool, consideration will be given to all applicants.  Your application for any job does not guarantee that you will be contacted by the department for further consideration.  Departments reserve the right to close postings prior to the indicated closing date based upon the volume of applications received.

 

 


DNR, Tribes team up to stock Walleyes in the U.P.

The DNR and the Inter-Tribal Fisheries and Assessment Program (ITFAP) teamed up to stock more than 937,000 walleyes in Upper Peninsula waters in 2011.  The DNR produced more than 400,000 walleye fingerlings from its hatchery ponds for stocking in Upper Peninsula inland lakes and Lake Michigan waters.

 

ITFAP hatchery ponds produced 324,000 fingerlings that were stocked in the St. Marys River, 100,000 in Lake Superior’s Brimley Bay and 55,000 in Lake Huron’s St. Martin Bay.

 

An additional 58,000 fingerlings that ITFAP considered surplus to its Great Lakes needs were stocked in three inland lakes – Brevoort Lake, North Manistique Lake and Millecoquins Lake.

 

“We are very appreciative of this ongoing offer from the tribes to help assist the state in enhancing not only the Great Lakes walleye fisheries, but also our inland lakes,” said Acting DNR Fisheries Chief Jim Dexter. “The surplus walleyes from the tribes freed up more than 50,000 walleye fingerlings to help meet other Upper Peninsula stocking

goals.”

 

The 2011 stocking effort represents a significant increase in walleye fingerlings compared to recent years. Walleye stocking has been limited in recent years after the discovery of viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) in Michigan waters. The discovery caused the DNR to severely curtail walleye stocking efforts in the Upper Peninsula, until new VHS detection and disinfection techniques enabled the DNR to begin returning to normal stocking levels.

 

The stocking is part of an ongoing cooperative partnership between the DNR and ITFAP.

 

Walleye production was slightly lower than anticipated in Upper Peninsula ponds, in part because they had been idled for several years. However, the resulting fingerlings were larger than normal and could result in better survival, said Jessica Mistak, the DNR’s Northern Lake Michigan Management supervisor.

 

For more information about the DNR’s fish hatcheries and stocking activities, go to www.michigan.gov/fishing.

 


Hunter Heritage Bills Signed into Law
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, on July 20 signed into law the Hunter Heritage Act, allowing youth hunters to get in the field at an earlier age, under the direct supervision of an adult mentor hunter. Senate Bill 207, sponsored by state Senator Joseph Hune (R-22), and House Bill 4371, sponsored by state Representative Peter Pettalia (R-106),

establish a mentored youth hunting program allowing parents to determine at which age their kids are ready to hunt.

 

Children under 10 would be allowed to hunt some types of game in Michigan as long as they're with an adult mentor through this legislation.


Learn Tips on Walleye Fishing and More

During DNR's Recreation 101 Events in August

Good anglers don’t often tell their secrets, but Captain Ken Clark of Fishmas Charters in Whitehall is willing to share tips garnered from years of successful fishing. Join him as he shares his knowledge on how to reel in the “big ones” during an Intro to Walleye Fishing in Michigan clinic taking place from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, at the Ludington State Park Boat Launch. 

 

Captain Clark has been catching walleye in Michigan waters for over 25 years and will reveal his secrets to beginners through advanced walleye fishermen. Participants should bring a lawn chair and something for taking notes. At the end of the course, names will be drawn for three lucky individuals to go out on Hamlin Lake for an hour of fishing with the captain. Ludington State Park is located at 8800 W. M-116 in Ludington in Mason County. For details or to register, call the park at 231-843-2423.

 

The walleye fishing clinic is being offered as part of the Department of Natural Resources’ Recreation 101 program. Recreation 101 offers year-round programs that recruit top instructors and sports equipment vendors to provide free or inexpensive hands-on lessons with the goal of giving the novice sportsman enough skill and knowledge to begin a new activity.

 

Program offerings, ranging from fishing, birding and geocaching to hiking, biking and paddling, are set to take place in numerous state parks and recreation areas across Michigan.

 

“Don’t just watch other people have fun. Use the Recreation 101 demo clinics to try the many wonderful outdoor activities to be enjoyed in Michigan’s woods and waters,” said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division.

 

Some additional programs available in August, and pre-registration is recommended:

 

Archery 101

DNR Park Interpreter Ed Shaw will offer beginning archery classes from 3 to 5 p.m., Friday, Aug. 5, 19, and 26 at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center at Mitchell State Park, 6093 M-115 in Cadillac in Wexford County. Learn bow safety, the different types of bows and how to use them, as well as the different types of accessories and arrows. At the completion of the class participants will shoot archery at the bow range. The class is for ages 8 and older. Children under 15 years old should be accompanied by a parent. For details or to register, call the park, 231-775-7911.

 

Bicycling 101

Jake Whelpley of the Woodshed Bike Shop will be at the Hart-Montague Trail State Park at 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 15, to explain different types of bikes and offer an overview of maintenance and pre-ride checks. Whelpley will also offer answer questions and offer tips on safe riding and accessories for biking. The clinic will take place at the Polk Road Trailhead (from US-31 exit take the Hart exit for Polk Road, go east one-quarter mile to parking lot on left). For details, call Silver Lake State Park at 231-873-3083.

 

Boater Safety 101

Members of the Birmingham Power Squadron will offer a Boater Safety Class from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, at Dodge #4 State Park’s boat launch area. The class will teach boating safety for a variety of ages and will cover life jacket sizing and use, what to do in emergencies, boat handling, knot tying, visual distress signals, and other general boating safety information. The park is located at 4250 Parkway Dr. in Waterford in Oakland County. For details or to register, call the park, 248-682-7323.

 

Fishing 101 at Dodge #4 State Park

Two Fishing 101 programs are scheduled for Dodge #4 State Park in August. Learn the basics of fishing during a class from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, at the park’s fishing dock. The course will be offered again from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 23. The park is at 4250 Parkway Dr. in Waterford in Oakland County. For details, call the park at 248-682-7323.

 

Fishing 101 at Interlochen State Park

John Griffin will offer the basics of fishing at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at Interlochen State Park, located on M-137 in Interlochen in Grand Traverse County. Griffin will explain the different types of tackle, lures, baits, suggest where to fish, and how to clean and cook your catch. Participants may bring their own equipment and, if they have one, their own boat. Fishing rods will be provided if needed. Instruction should last about an hour, followed by a fish fry and, of course, fishing. For details, call the park at 231-386-5422.

 

Fishing 101 at Mitchell State Park

Mitchell State Park Interpreter Ed Shaw will offer several Fishing 101 classes during August. Shaw will teach participants how to rig and use different lures, tie a variety of fishing knots to hooks, and identify minnows to purchase and use for fishing. Classes will take place from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Aug. 7, and from 1-3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, 11, 18 and 25 at the park, 6093 M-115 in Cadillac in Wexford County. The class can be taken alone or with friends or family. The class meets at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center. All equipment will be provided. Children under 10 years old should be accompanied by a parent. To register, call the park at 231-775-7911.

Foraging 101

Learn what may or may not be a good food source in the wilderness. Representatives from Wild West Michigan will offer a free introduction to foraging from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at Yankee Springs Recreation Area, 2104 S. Briggs Rd. in Middleville in Barry County. Guides will focus on introducing participants to edible plants such as berries, fruit and nuts. Bring a pair of hiking shoes and insect spray. Meet up at 10060 Gun Lake Rd. Pre-registration is recommended. To register, call 269-795-9081.

 

Great Lakes and Inland Kayak Safety 101

Learn the basics in kayak design, equipment and safety considerations when venturing out on the water during a free, in-depth training session from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, at Straits State Park, 720 Church St., St. Ignace in Mackinac County. Sessions led by certified kayak instructors from Woods & Water Ecotours include on-land training from 4 to 5:30 p.m., and on-water demonstrations from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Class size for the on-land portion is unlimited and does not require an RSVP. Class size is limited for the on-water portion and reservations are required. For reservations, call 906-484-4157. For details call the park at 906-643-8620.

 

Hiking 101

On Saturday, Aug. 13, join in an easy stroll through the lowland trails of the North Unit of Bald Mountain Recreation Area, 1330 E. Greenshield Rd. in Lake Orion in Oakland County. Nature subjects will be discussed along the way as well as hiking safety. For details including time, call the recreation area at 248-693-6767.

 

Kayaking 101 at Baraga State Park

Steve Koski, owner of Indian Country Sports, will be at Baraga State Park from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Aug. 6, to offer the basics of kayaking. Learn the different types of kayaks and try out kayaking on Keewenaw Bay. The park is located at 1300 US-41 South in Baraga in Baraga County. For details, call the park at 906-353-6558.

 

Kayaking 101 at Mitchell State Park

DNR Park Interpreter Ed Shaw will present the ins and outs of kayaking safety during four Kayaking 101 courses being offered from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 7, 14, 21, and 28 at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center at Mitchell State Park, 6093 M-115 in Cadillac in Wexford County. Learn the difference between kayaks, the different paddle strokes, and how to move your kayak sideways, how to stop your kayak and what to do if your kayak rolls. Participants will take a tour of one of the lakes. All equipment will be provided. Children under 10 years old should be accompanied by an adult. For details, call the park at 231-775-7911.

 

Kayaking 101 at Tippy Dam Recreation Area

Ryan Baldwin of Manistee Paddlesport Adventures will offer a Kayaking 101 class starting at 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Tippy Dam Recreation Area, 1500 Dilling Rd. in Brethren in Manistee County. Baldwin will offer basic instructions in how to paddle, steer, turn and exit a kayak. Participants should bring a swimsuit. The class is expected to take two hours and will take place in the backwaters behind the dam. For details, call the recreation area at 231-848-4880.

 

Kite Making 101

Mike and Susan Castor of Air Fun Kites will show kids of all ages how to build and decorate a simple sled kite and fly it on the beach. The Castors will be at Charles Mears State Park Beach Pavilion on West Lowell Street in Pentwater in Oceana County, at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8 and Aug. 22. To register, call the park, 231-869-2051.The Castors will also offer the same class at 7 p.m., Monday, Aug. 1 and Aug. 15, at Ludington State Park, 8800 W. M-116 in Ludington in Mason County. To register, call the park at 231-843-2423.

 

Orienteering 101

Representatives from Apex Outdoor Gear will offer a free introduction to orienteering from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 6, at Yankee Springs Recreation Area, 2104 S. Briggs Rd. in Middleville in Barry County. Master the use of a map and compass to navigate through a designated course with checkpoints. Bring hiking footwear, insect spray, a compass (some will be provided), water, snacks, as well as long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Meet at 10060 Gun Lake Rd. near the corner of Hastings Point Road and Gun Lake Road. Pre-registration is recommended. To register, call 269-795-9081.

 

Outdoor Photography 101

Photographer Mark Hicks will be at Highland Recreation Area from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, to offer tips on how to capture those great outdoor shots. The program will offer hands-on techniques and live demonstrations. The class will meet at the Lakeside Picnic area in the park, 5200 Highland Rd. in White Lake in Oakland County. For details, call the recreation area at 248-889-3750.

 

The Recreation 101 programs are free of charge, however, a Recreation Passport is required for vehicles entering the parks. The Recreation Passport has replaced motor vehicle permits for entry into Michigan state parks, recreation areas and state-administered boating access fee sites. This new way to fund Michigan’s outdoor recreation opportunities also helps to preserve state forest campgrounds, trails and historic and cultural sites in state parks, and provides park development grants to local communities.

 


New York

DEC policy to reduce cooling water intake fish kills by 90 %

Power plants and other industrial facilities throughout the state will be required to use the Best Technology Available (BTA) to protect aquatic wildlife when seeking cooling water intake permits under a new policy finalized by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today. A BTA determination is required in each State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit for industrial facilities operating a cooling water intake system.

 

“Billions of fish are killed each year when they are caught up in the intake of cooling water for industrial processes,” Commissioner Joe Martens said. “The policy we are implementing today will reduce fish kills by 90 percent while allowing flexibility for the industry to reach our goal of protecting aquatic wildlife.”

 

Throughout New York State, more than 16 billion gallons of water are permitted to be withdrawn each day for the purposes of industrial cooling. As a result, more than 17 billion fish of all life stages (eggs, larvae, juveniles and adults) are entrained or impinged annually. The policy outlines mitigation measures that facilities must implement in order to minimize impacts to fish and other aquatic organisms from the intake of billions of gallons of the state’s surface waters. Implementation of this policy through the permitting process is anticipated to significantly reduce these losses of the state’s aquatic resource.

 

Fish of all life stages can be subject to entrainment, passing through a plant’s cooling systems along with the cooling water, or to impingement, where they are smashed against the intake structure directly. They can suffer from lethally high water temperatures, contact with impellers or heat-exchangers, or from exposure to the chemicals used to maintain heat-exchanger cleanliness. Steam electric power plants account for the majority, though not all, of

this industrial cooling impact, with some power plants using more than a billion gallons of water every day for cooling purposes. Other industries in New York using non-contact cooling water include manufacturing facilities (e.g. cement and sugar industry) and large office buildings.

 

The policy identifies closed-cycle cooling or its equivalent as the performance goal for BTA to minimize these impacts. Many existing facilities use once-through cooling where water is drawn into the facility, passed through the cooling system, and then discharged back into the waterbody. Fish and other organisms are killed or injured in the process. Closed-cycle cooling systems, such as cooling towers, use significantly less water and recirculate the water they use, reducing millions of gallons of water that is actually withdrawn from the water body. This, in turn, greatly reduces the impingement and entrainment of organisms – by more than 90 percent.

 

However, closed-cycle cooling is not always an available technology for existing facilities as issues of space availability and compatibility of new technology with the facility’s original design frequently make it infeasible to implement. The performance goal of the policy allows facilities to propose an alternative mitigative technology, or operational measure, such as flow reduction, to achieve reductions in impact equivalent to what could be realized with cooling towers. This provides flexibility to the industry in designing a mitigative system while ensuring that aquatic impacts are reduced to the greatest extent possible.

 

A draft of the policy was released for public notice and comment in March 2010. Following public review, meetings were held with various stakeholders to discuss comments and questions on the draft policy. The revised, final policy is available on the DEC public website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/32847.html, along with a Response to Comments and final SEQR Negative Declaration.


Wisconsin

Sturgeon spearing season application deadline August 1

OSHKOSH – Sturgeon spearers have until Aug. 1 to apply for a 2012 Upriver Lakes sturgeon spearing lottery tag. Participation in the Upriver Lakes sturgeon spearing season on Lakes Butte des Morts, Winneconne and Poygan, is controlled through a lottery. Those people selected in the lottery will be notified by Oct. 1 that they are authorized to buy a license to participate in the Upriver season and must buy that tag by Oct. 31, 2011.

 

Applications can be made through the Online Licensing Center on the Department of Natural Resources website, at all license sales agents, and at DNR Service Centers (Hours for service centers vary; check the DNR website for service center days and hours of operation; DNR Service Centers are not open on Saturdays), Group lottery applications of up to four people are also accepted, but can only be submitted through the DNR Online Licensing Center.

 

Spearers who applied for but were not authorized to purchase an Upriver Lakes license receive a preference point toward the following lottery, and they can still purchase a license to participate in the Lake Winnebago spearing season that runs at the same time.

 

DNR biologists are considering increasing the number of licenses authorized in 2012 and will be meeting to discuss a potential increase on Aug. 4 with the Winnebago Citizens Sturgeon Advisory Committee, according to Ron Bruch, DNR fisheries supervisor in Oshkosh. Any increase that may occur in the number of licenses authorized in the Upriver Lakes fishery will not change the harvest cap allocation there or on Lake Winnebago, according to Ron Bruch, senior sturgeon biologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

 

The Upriver Lakes sturgeon spear fishery receives a small portion of the overall Winnebago System lake sturgeon

harvest cap – 20 percent of the juvenile female cap, 10

percent of the adult female cap, and 20 percent of the male cap. Due to sexually distinct physiology and migration patterns, nearly two out of three fish from the Upriver Lakes harvest are males, whereas two out of three fish harvested from Lake Winnebago during the February spearing season are females.

 

2011 license sales for the season set a new record at 12,423 (including the 490 sold for the Upriver Lakes fishery. A record number of fish weighing more than 100 pounds, a full 16-day season, and difficult travel conditions were the stories during the 2011 Winnebago System sturgeon spearing season that wrapped up Feb. 27.

 

Spearers harvested 1,426 fish, close to the average of 1,405 since the harvest cap started in 1999, but the fish were bigger than they've been since the 1950s, with 94 fish, or 6.6 percent of the harvest, exceeding 100 pounds. That compares to 1 percent a generation earlier.

The overall success rate was 9 percent for Lake Winnebago, below the average of 13 percent for that water body. Success rate on the Upriver Lakes was better, as it usually is, at 66 percent.

 

The growing popularity of the two seasons – there’s been a 20 percent increase in spearing licenses in recent years --and recent research work showing that lake sturgeon mature more slowly than originally thought underscore the importance of using a lottery to manage the harvest on the Upriver Lakes, Bruch says. The Upriver Lakes have had exceptionally high success rates: 2 of every 3 spearers get their fish compared to Lake Winnebago, where only 1 of 8 get their fish; Bruch says.

 

In 2009, 4,031 people applied for the Upriver Lakes lottery, and the DNR sold 10,239 licenses for spearing on both Winnebago and Upriver lakes. The 2009 Upriver season ran five days, and the Winnebago system season was open three additional days.]


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

 

Two more samples test positive for Asian carp in Chicago system 

For the second time this week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is reporting that "environmental" DNA samples taken from the Chicago waterway system above its electric fish barrier have tested positive for Asian carp.

 

International fisheries expert calls for complete hydrological separation to combat Asian carp menace
A Michigan State fisheries and wildlife professor and international fisheries expert maintains that if Asian carp enter the Great Lakes ecosystem, drastic changes will reverberate throughout the entire system. He believes the electric barrier currently in place to keep Asian carp from invading is not enough.

COMMENTARY: Current strategies to fend off Asian carp don't match devastating threat
The Army Corps of Engineers is playing a form of biological Russian roulette with the Great Lakes. If allowed to invade, Asian carp - which eat like pigs, breed like rabbits and rocket out of the water when disturbed by boat motors - could devastate the lakes' $7-billion fishery and endanger boaters' lives.

COMMENTARY: Effective barriers are in place to stop Asian carp, and monitoring continues
The Army Corps of Engineers, in partnership with federal, state and local agencies of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee, continues to pursue all actions needed to contain the Asian carp threat below the electric fish barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.

EDITORIAL: A day to celebrate: White Lake moves step closer to clean bill of health
White Lake in Muskegon, Mich., has come a long way since the week, decades ago, it was featured in Time magazine as the site of one of the nation's worst cases of industrial pollution.

 

More evidence of Asian carp found above electric fish barrier
With no fanfare, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers posted on its website this week news that nine water samples taken above the barrier in recent weeks have tested positive for the giant, jumping fish.

 

EDITORIAL: Alewives are manageable, for now
Thousands of dead alewives are washing up along the shores of Lake Michigan this summer, from Kenosha to Door counties.

 

Asian carp (part 6 of 6): Scientists race to win war on carp: pheromones, noise guns, biobullets tested
Scientists in the Great Lakes and beyond are trying to outsmart the Asian carp, using inventive technologies -- and the invaders' own biology and behavior -- against them

 

Asian carp (Part 5 of 6): Carp can be harvested -- but who will eat it?
In the U.S., some entrepreneurs see places such as China as a solution to the Asian carp infesting domestic waters. These businesses are trying to flash-freeze wild bighead and silver carp from the Illinois River and ship the fish overseas

 

Asian carp (Part 4 of 6): U.S. as much to blame as fish farms for escape
If you say "Arkansas fish farms" and "Asian carp" in the same sentence, you can almost hear the boos and hisses. They're the ones who let the fish escape into the wild, right? Maybe not

 

Asian carp (Part 3 of 6): Battle lines are drawn at Chicago ship canal
The most contentious issue in the debate over Asian carp is whether to barricade the superhighway for the fish -- and future invasive species -- created by the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal

 

Asian carp (Part 1 of 6): The truth about Asian carp
An electric barrier is the main line of defense against the much-feared invasive species entering the lakes. But this defense might not have been needed if the U.S. government had framed a more comprehensive, urgent policy in the late 1990s, when scientists first noted that Asian carp were reproducing in southern rivers.

 

Michigan issues health advisory for contaminated Lake Michigan trout
The state of Michigan is warning people about the potential health risk of eating larger lake trout from Lake Michigan because of concerns about possible contaminants. Michigan’s Department of Community Health recommends people avoid eating trout that are 20 inches or longer.

 

 

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Reproduction of any material by paid-up members of the GLSFC is encouraged but appropriate credit must be given. 

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