Week of August 1, 2011

National

Regional

Job Opportunities
Lake Erie
Lake Huron

Michigan
Minnesota
New York
Wisconsin
Ontario
Other Breaking News Items

 

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National

Lawmaker seeks waiver for U.S., Canadian boaters

U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., introduced legislation this week that would waive a reporting requirement for Canadian boaters who do not anchor or dock in American waters.  If passed, the legislation would not take effect until identical legislation is passed in Canada for American boaters.

 

“For more than a century the economic development of our border communities has depended on a common-sense relationship between the United States and Canada,” Owens said in a statement. “It is critical to the continued economic recovery of the region that the reporting requirements for boaters and fishermen on both sides of the border are clear and easy to understand, allowing boaters from both nations to enjoy shared waterways.”

 

Owens is working with Canadian Parliament member Gordon Brown on the issue.

 

“Since the end of May, I have been working with our officials and the Minister’s office to try to find a solution to the confusion that exists between our two countries’ rules,”

Brown said in a statement. “Though some changes were made to simplify the opportunities for reporting in Canada, I am pleased to note that Public Safety Minister Vic Toews just announced that the department will be reviewing the regulations. For my part, I will continue to encourage the department and the minister to harmonize the regulations with that of our U.S. friends so that boaters will face the same rules on both sides of the border.”

 

The legislation is being crafted in reaction to a May 30 incident in which a U.S. boater had his vessel boarded by a Canadian Border Services Agency officer and was issued a $1,000 fine for not first reporting his entry into Canadian waters to the Canadian authorities.  A decades-long lack of enforcement of this requirement led American boaters in the region to believe they could recreate freely without reporting.

 

The Canadian government later announced that they were reducing the fine for the American citizen involved in the incident from $1,000 to $1 and would allow American boaters to report to Canadian law enforcement from their cell phones.

 


BoatUS Delivers 15,000 Comments to FCC: "Don't Mess With Our GPS"

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 26, 2011 - The nation's largest boat owners' group, BoatUS, hand delivered over 15,000 comments from concerned boaters, sailors and anglers to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today asking the agency to protect the future reliability of GPS (Global Positioning System) across the United States. The agency is currently considering a request from a private company, LightSquared, to build up to 40,000 ground stations for a new nationwide broadband wireless telephone network, which, tests have shown, could cause significant interference with most GPS signals.

 

At issue is LightSquared's proposed use of radio frequency bandwidth adjacent to frequencies that are used by the relatively weak GPS signal.  A recent report to the FCC said, "all phases of the LightSquared deployment plan will result in widespread harmful interference to GPS signals and service and that mitigation is not possible."  In an unusual move, a conditional waiver was granted in January by the FCC to LightSquared to permit the dramatic expansion of land-based use of mobile satellite spectrum, subject to spring testing and public comments.

"We hope these 15,000 comments indicate to the FCC the critical need of having a reliable navigation system, not just for boaters and anglers, but for pilots, drivers, outdoor adventurers, and first responders.  It is unimaginable that

the federal government - the guardian of the bandwidth - would consider approving a proposal with so many problems and grave public safety consequences," said BoatUS Vice President of Government Affairs Margaret Podlich.

 

An unusually short 30-day public comment period on the FCC permit ends Saturday, July 30. BoatUS is urging citizens around the country to share their views by going to www.BoatUS.com/gov to send their comments to the FCC.

 

After losing their only other viable navigation system (LORAN) last year after the Department of Homeland Security shut the system down, boaters now solely rely on GPS for electronic navigation. The US Coast Guard's emergency search and rescue system, Rescue 21, now uses GPS to locate stricken vessels on over 36,985 miles of coastline. Mariners also rely on GPS-enabled communications with DSC VHF radios to provide location information, as do 406MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) and Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) for mayday and man-overboard situations, respectively.

 

BoatUS is a member of the Coalition to Save Our GPS, which works to resolve this serious threat to the GPS system.

 


Regional

Regional Committee to begin intensive Asian Carp monitoring

Response to Environmental DNA results in Lake Calumet

CHICAGO- The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC), on July 29 announced intensive monitoring action will begin in Lake Calumet and surrounding areas on Monday, August 1st , after three consecutive rounds of Environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling yielded positive results for Asian carp DNA. 

 

The ACCRC’s 2011 Monitoring and Rapid Response Plan calls for a Level 1 response to three consecutive rounds of positive eDNA results in one area.  While Lake Calumet is regularly monitored for the presence of Asian carp, a level 1 response adds commercial fishing crews as well as additional electrofishing boats,  larger sweeping nets, called seines, and additional sampling gear to the area during an intensive four day fishing period.

 

At present, eDNA evidence cannot verify whether live Asian carp are present, whether the DNA may have come from a dead fish, or whether water containing Asian carp DNA may have been transported from other sources, such as bilge water.  The monitoring response is designed to intensify resources and use the best available technology to search for live Asian carp in the Lake Calumet area.  Eight previous monitoring trips to Lake Calumet since March 2011 have identified 4,500 fish and indicated no Asian carp presence. 

 

“Finding three or more consecutive sets of positive eDNA samples in the same area triggers us to use significant resources to try to find a physical specimen,” said John Goss, Director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “Through the ACRCC’s comprehensive Asian carp  control strategy, we remain vigilant both in monitoring to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes, and also in investigating all possible sources of Asian carp DNA to minimize the human transfer element such as people unknowingly using Asian carp as bait or other activities that could transfer them to the Great Lakes.” 

 

Biologists from the USFWS, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the IL DNR will be on the water with commercial fishermen and biologists from Southern Illinois U. and the IL Natural History Survey beginning Monday August 1st through Thursday August 4th.  The crews will lay various net types throughout the Lake Calumet area, including half-mile long seine nets to sweep large portions of the area.  Electrofishing boats will sample fish in shoreline areas and will be used to drive fish towards the nets.  Commercial and private vessel traffic will be able to proceed with minimal interference from the monitoring activity. 

Three separate eDNA samples sets were taken at Lake Calumet between June 15 and July 19 and revealed 11 positives (all Silver carp DNA) out of 328 samples taken.   eDNA sampling details are below.  Full eDNA sampling details can be found at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website at http://www.lrc.usace.army.mil/ 

 

 

Asian carp monitoring and response activities are Federally funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Federal agency budgets.  The ACRCC is following a set of protocols in the 2011 Monitoring and Rapid Response Plan (MRRP) which outline specific circumstances that would trigger one of three different response levels.  The MRRP can be found on the ACRCC’s website at www.asiancarp.org.

 

 

The threat from Asian carp has generated an urgent and committed government response.  In addition to aggressive monitoring and sampling, the ACRCC has proactively worked to contain Asian carp in the Chicago Area Waterway System by constructing a third electric barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, constructing a 13-mile physical barrier along the Des Plaines River to prevent fish bypass during flooding, and researching control technology and methods that can be tailored and applied to control Asian carp.

 

The Obama Administration also remains focused on preventing Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes through all possible pathways.  For more information on the 2011 MRRP, 2010 actions, or to view the entire 2011 Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework, visit: www.asiancarp.org.

 

 


Great Lakes Water Levels for July 29, 2011 

WEATHER CONDITIONS

Temperatures across the Great Lakes basin this week have been near seasonal averages for this time of year.  Some scattered showers and thunderstorms moved through the area on Sunday and Monday, and then more storms moved through the region Wednesday and into Thursday.  Heavy precipitation of over 3 inches was reported in localized areas of southern Michigan during the early hours of Thursday morning.  Scattered showers and thunderstorms will continue through Friday, and temperatures are predicted to be slightly above average heading into the weekend.  Saturday is expected to be mostly sunny, but chances of storms return for the start of next week.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

Currently, Lake Superior is 3 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 3, 7, and 2 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 fall 1 inch.  The water levels of Lakes St. Clair and Erie are each forecasted to decrease 5 inches over the next month, while Lake Ontario is expected to decline 7 inches. 

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 29

601.28

578.28

574.74

572.34

246.23

Datum, in ft

601.10

577.50

572.30

569.20

243.30

Diff in inches

+2

+9

+29

+38

+35

Diff last month

+2

0

-2

-4

-9

Diff from last yr

+3

-1

+3

+7

+2


Job Opportunities

State of Michigan job opportunities:

Fisheries Assistant Thompson Fish Hatchery

Fisheries Technician Charlevoix Research Station

Fisheries Assistant (Creel Clerk) for Grand Traverse County

For more info and to apply, go to: http://agency.governmentjobs.com/michigan/default.cfm

Also:

Web Developer/Programmer for Great Lakes Commission/Great Lakes Fishery Commission

For more info: Position available: Web Developer/Programmer (Application Deadline August 29th,2011).


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.

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 received by August 31,can be mailed to:

Lake Huron Chinook Salmon Stocking Proposal

Michigan DNR, Fisheries Division

PO Box 30446

Lansing, MI 48909

 


MI - DNR to hold public meetings on Lake Huron in August

The Department of Natural Resources will host three public meetings in the Lake Huron Watershed to discuss the future of Chinook salmon stocking in the lake.  The meetings are scheduled for:

 

► Aug. 8, 7 – 9 PM, Ubly Fox Hunters Club, 8780 S. Ubly Rd., Ubly

► Aug. 9, 7-9 PM, Oscoda, Oscoda Township Mtg Room, 208 S. State St  (Corner of Dwight St and US-23) 

► Aug 10, 7-9 p.m., Cheboygan, Cheboygan Sportsman’s Club, 13516 Seffren Rd..

 

In 2006, the DNR reduced Chinook salmon stocking in Lake Huron by 50% in response to a greatly reduced forage fish population and evidence that most of the salmon in the lake were produced naturally.  At that time, the DNR made a commitment to reassess the Chinook stocking issue in five years.  Annual angler surveys show the fishing has not improved, but has further deteriorated.

“We now understand that there has been a significant food web disruption in Lake Huron, and we haven’t seen any rebound of alewife, the preferred food for Chinook, since our previous stocking reduction in 2006,” said Todd Grischke, acting Lake Huron Basin coordinator.  “Lake Huron anglers have experienced a dramatic decline in Chinook salmon fishing success over the past several years, and recent data suggests that more than 80% of the Chinook salmon sampled are naturally produced, most likely from Canadian streams.” 

 

The DNR will present recent survey information at the meetings and ask anglers for their input.  “We want to make sure our anglers are apprised of the current situation in Lake Huron, and ask them help us chart the best course of action for the near future,” Grischke said. 

 

Angler input is encouraged and will be accepted through Aug. 31. DNR Fisheries Division will evaluate input and prepare a recommendation by October. Anglers who wish to comment should visit www.michigan.gov/fishpublicinput.


Lake Huron Basin meetings hosted by Army Corps of Engineers

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Detroit District is leading a watershed reconnaissance study for the WLHB—Michigan’s 14 coastal counties near the Lake Huron shoreline. The Corps need your input and local knowledge to make this effort a success.

 

They are reviewing what the past and current planning documents say about the water resource related problems around Lake Huron, but want to hear from local officials, community organizations, and residents. What are the problems you see around Lake Huron and what solutions will work in your community?

 

"If you can tell us about the water resource problems and opportunities, we can help identify implementation strategies and funding sources to make the solutions happen," says a corps spokesman.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

9:00 - 11:00 am: Lake Superior State U. Anchor Room, 650 W. Easterday Av, Sault Ste. Marie, MI  49783 ( Chippewa/ MackinacCounties)

2:30 - 4:30 pm: Cheboygan Public Library, 100 S. Bailey Street, 49721 (focus: Cheboygan & Presque Isle Counties)

 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

9:00 - 11:00 am: Alpena Community College, Newport Center Bldg, Rm 104, 665 Johnson St, 49707 (focus: Alpena and Alcona Counties)

2:30- 4:30 pm: East Tawas Community Center, Multi-Purpose Rm, 760 Newman St, 48730 (focus: Arenac & Iosco Counties)

 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

9:00 - 11:00 am: Alice and Jack Wirt Public Library, Community Meeting Room, 500 Center Ave, Bay City, MI 48708 ( Bay County)

2:30 - 4:30 pm: Dow Memorial Library, Lounge, 1710 W. Street Andrews, Midland, MI 48640 (focus: Midland County)

 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011                                    

9:00 - 11:00 am: Port Austin Visitor’s Center, 17 W. State St, MI 48467 (focus: Huron & Tuscola Counties)

2:30 - 4:30 pm: Bark Shanty Community Center, 20 N. Ridge St, Port Sanilac, MI 48469 (focus: Sanilac &  St. Clair Counties)

 

To ensure that we adequately plan for the number of attendees for each of these meetings, it would be helpful to us

If you could RSVP (TO: kellie.dubay@tetratech.com SUBJECT: RSVP) to let us know which meeting (or meetings) you plan to attend. However, neither an RSVP nor advance registration is required to attend any of these meetings.


Lake Erie

$11,000 fine for Lake Erie Commercial Fishing violations

Two Port Stanley commercial fishing boat captains and a Port Stanley commercial fishing company have been fined a total of $11,000 for committing commercial fishing violations on Lake Erie.

 

L. R. Jackson Fisheries Ltd., owner of commercial fishing licences on Lake Erie, pleaded guilty to failing to retrieve gill nets from the lake within 8 days and allowing 104 kilograms (229 pounds) of fish to spoil and was fined $4,000. In addition the company was convicted of falsely reporting a gill net set duration on a daily catch report and was fined $1,000.

 

Joe Jackson, captain of the commercial fishing vessel G. W. Jackson, pleaded guilty to three counts of falsely reporting gill net set durations on daily catch reports and one count of leaving gill nets in the water for 10 days. He was fined a total of $4,000.

 

Sean Cook, captain of the commercial fishing vessel L. R. Jackson, pleaded guilty to two counts of falsely reporting gill net set durations on daily catch reports and two counts

of leaving gill nets in the water for nine days. He was fined $3,000.

 

Commercial fishing licence conditions permit gill nets to remain in the lake for a maximum of eight days during the winter fishing season in order to ensure fish quality and to prevent gill nets from becoming lost in poor ice conditions.

 

The court heard that during February and March of 2009, Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officers conducted a substantial number of commercial fishing investigations in the Chatham-Kent waters of Lake Erie. As a result of these investigations, numerous charges were laid for violating the terms and conditions of commercial fishing licences.

 

Justice of the Peace Elaine Babcock heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Chatham, on July 21, 2011.

 

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

 


Michigan

DNR outdoors workshops for Women in August

The Michigan DNR is offering a variety of opportunities for women to learn more about shooting, archery and hunting this August, through its Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program. These hands-on workshops, designed primarily for those 18 and older, teach women the skills needed to take part in outdoor recreational activities.

 

"This August, women can learn how to shoot a shotgun, a rifle, a bow or how to hunt for deer," said BOW program coordinator Sue Tabor. "Even if you've never held a gun or a bow before, here's a great chance to get your feet wet in a fun and friendly atmosphere."  August BOW programs are taking place in the metro Detroit, Grand Rapids and Saginaw areas.

 

For registration forms and more information on the following BOW programs, visit www.michigan.gov/bow, call 517-241-2225 or email dnr-outdoors-woman@michigan.gov.

 

Introduction to Rifle Shooting

Saturday, Aug. 6, 3 to 6 p.m.

Hosted by Detroit Sportsmen’s Congress

49800 Dequindre Rd., Utica

 

This class will consist of the National Rifle Association’s FIRST Steps rifle course, presenting firearm safety with video and computer graphics in the classroom. Instructors will discuss firearms actions and component parts, ammunition basics, basic shooting positions and firearms for recreational and sporting uses. A hands-on firearms display will be set up for students to handle and become comfortable with the unloaded firearms, with certified instructors available to answer questions. Live fire will take place at an indoor range, using .22 rimfire firearms and supervised by certified instructors at all times. Ammunition, eye and ear protection will be provided. Participants are asked to not bring their own firearms to this class. Youngsters 10 and older are welcome to attend but must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Cost per person is $30 (adults and youth) to cover ammunition and class materials. This class is first-come, first-served and is limited to 24 participants.

 

Introduction to Shotgun Shooting

Thursday, Aug, 11, 6 to 9 p.m.

Hosted by Saginaw Field and Stream Club

1296 N. Gleaner Rd., Saginaw

 

For beginners as well as those who would like to sharpen their shotgun skills, this shooting clinic provides one-on-one instruction. With an emphasis on firearm safety, participants will learn and practice shotgun shooting technique, how to determine their dominant eye, proper stance and firearm fit. Attendees may bring their own shotgun to this class or one will be provided for their use. Only 20-gauge ammunition will be provided; those bringing their own 12-gauge shotgun will need to provide their own ammunition. Eye and ear protection will be available. Cost per person is $30. The class is first-come, first-served, and class size is limited.

 

Introduction to Archery

Saturday, Aug. 13, 9 a.m. to noon

Hosted by Detroit Sportsmen’s Congress

49800 Dequindre Rd., Utica

 

No skill level is required for this workshop, which will cover safety, dominant eye, proper shooting form/technique, various archery equipment, maintenance and selection. The course will also provide hands-on practice shooting a

bow with assistance by instructors. All equipment will be

provided. Girls 10 and older are welcome to attend, but must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Cost for both adults and youngsters is $20 each. This class is first-come, first-served and is limited to 24 participants.

 

Introduction to Shotgun Shooting

Wednesday, Aug. 17, 5 to 9 p.m.

Hosted by Caledonia Sportsman’s Club

10721 Coldwater Road SE, Alto

 

The Great Lakes Outdoors Foundation will provide one-on-one instruction in this class for beginners as well as those who would like to sharpen their shotgun skills. With an emphasis on firearm safety, participants will learn and practice shotgun shooting technique, how to determine their dominant eye, proper stance and firearm fit. Attendees may bring their own shotgun to this class or one will be provided for their use. Eye and ear protection also will be available. Cost is $30 per person, including ammunition.

 

Deer Hunting Workshop

Saturday, Aug. 20, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Hosted by Detroit Archers Club

5795 Drake Rd., West Bloomfield

 

Learn the basics necessary to successfully take part in one of Michigan's favorite hunting traditions in this workshop that will cover both archery and firearms deer seasons. Participants will learn about deer hunting regulations, rules, and deer health; deer hunting equipment and scent control; scouting and habitat - where to find deer and places to hunt; safety and hunting etiquette in the field; and caring for and processing game after the harvest. The $20-per-person cost includes lunch and all materials.

 

Introduction to Archery

Wednesday, Aug. 24, 5 to 9 p.m.

Hosted by Caledonia Sportsman’s Club

10721 Coldwater Road SE, Alto

 

No skill level is required for this workshop, which will cover safety, dominant eye, proper shooting form/technique, various archery equipment, maintenance and selection. The course will also provide hands-on practice at an indoor range, shooting a bow with assistance by instructors. All equipment will be provided. Cost is $15 per person. This class is first-come, first-served and is limited to 10 participants.

 

Women’s Hunter Education Safety Course

Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 27-28

Hosted by Tuscola County Conservation Club

1060 Gun Club Rd., Caro

 

This is the perfect class for anyone who has been interested in learning how to hunt, or to use a firearm, but has been nervous to get started. Women and girls age 12 and up are welcome to take part. Participants must attend both days to take the hunter education safety standard test and take home their certificate. Beverages and morning snacks will be provided; attendees are asked to bring their own sack lunch both days. Early registration is encouraged, as the class is limited to 25 participants and is first-come, first-served. Cost is $10 per person.

 

BOW is a noncompetitive program for women, in which each individual is encouraged to learn at her own pace. The emphasis is on the enjoyment, fun and camaraderie of outdoor activities, and sharing in the success of one another.


Michigan groups plan Asian carp summit

The Michigan United Conservation Clubs, the Michigan Boating Industries Association and the Michigan Lodging & Tourism Association announced co-sponsorship of the first Asian Carp Summit to be held Sept. 13 during the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Industry Legislative Conference at the Radisson Hotel in Lansing.

 

The summit represents the first time Michigan tourism business and outdoor recreation groups have collaborated on an issue of common concern.

 

Asian carp have been working their way up the Mississippi River basin since their initial release from flooded fish farms in the southern United States in the 1970s. These invasive species are as close as northern Illinois and DNA traces have been found in waters above an electric barrier designed to prevent their entry into the Great Lakes.

“The potential destruction of a $3.6 billion commercial and

sports fishing industry and $3.9 billion boating industry by

Asian carp should be alarming to all segments of Michigan's leadership,” MBIA president John Ropp said in a statement. “And the thought of a 40-pound silver carp jumping in front of a boat travelling at 30 miles per hour is chilling to pleasure boaters everywhere. We must act now to prevent such possibilities.”

 

The ultimate goal of the summit is to seek passage of a concurrent House/Senate resolution calling on Congress to act immediately to pass the Stop Asian Carp Act sponsored by Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., and Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. The act would require the speedy creation of an action plan to permanently separate Lake Michigan from the Chicago Area Waterway System, where experts believe Asian carp could enter and cause irreparable harm to the Great Lakes.


DNR to hold public meetings on Lake Huron in August

The Department of Natural Resources will host three public meetings in the Lake Huron Watershed to discuss the future of Chinook salmon stocking in the lake.  The meetings are scheduled for:

 

► Aug. 8, 7 – 9 PM, Ubly Fox Hunters Club, 8780 S. Ubly Rd., Ubly

► Aug. 9, 7-9 PM, Oscoda, Oscoda Township Mtg Room, 208 S. State St  (Corner of Dwight St and US-23) 

► Aug 10, 7-9 p.m., Cheboygan, Cheboygan Sportsman’s Club, 13516 Seffren Rd..

 

In 2006, the DNR reduced Chinook salmon stocking in Lake Huron by 50% in response to a greatly reduced forage fish population and evidence that most of the salmon in the lake were produced naturally.  At that time, the DNR made a commitment to reassess the Chinook stocking issue in five years.  Annual angler surveys show the fishing has not improved, but has further deteriorated.

“We now understand that there has been a significant food web disruption in Lake Huron, and we haven’t seen any rebound of alewife, the preferred food for Chinook, since our previous stocking reduction in 2006,” said Todd Grischke, acting Lake Huron Basin coordinator.  “Lake Huron anglers have experienced a dramatic decline in Chinook salmon fishing success over the past several years, and recent data suggests that more than 80% of the Chinook salmon sampled are naturally produced, most likely from Canadian streams.” 

 

The DNR will present recent survey information at the meetings and ask anglers for their input.  “We want to make sure our anglers are apprised of the current situation in Lake Huron, and ask them help us chart the best course of action for the near future,” Grischke said. 

 

Angler input is encouraged and will be accepted through Aug. 31. DNR Fisheries Division will evaluate input and prepare a recommendation by October. Anglers who wish to comment should visit www.michigan.gov/fishpublicinput.


Minnesota

DNR meeting to discuss status of Fish Lake reservoir

A public information meeting on the status of Fish Lake Reservoir north of Duluth will take place 

Aug. 15 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

 

The meeting will be at the Environmental Protection Agency office, 6201 Congdon Blvd., one block past the Lester River on Highway 61.

 

The 2010 fish population assessment will be presented along with information regarding other potential factors that might impact fish populations, including historical water levels, nutrient loading, aquatic vegetation and growing season conditions.

 

Over the past 10-20 years, changes appear to be taking place in fish populations in the Fish Lake Reservoir. The DNR will present several ideas on the relationship between

fish populations and habitat quality in the Fish Lake Reservoir, including plans over the next 18 months to better understand these relationships and potential future management actions. 

 

The DNR is committed to looking comprehensively at trends impacting fish habitat and fish populations for northeastern lakes, including the Fish Lake Reservoir. Understanding these trends and identifying stakeholder goals and objectives for lakes are both necessary for choosing realistic and feasible management options, according to the DNR.

 

The DNR is also looking for volunteers to serve on a committee that will meet several times over the next 15 months to provide input on future goals and objectives for fish populations in the Fish Lake Reservoir. People interested in serving on the committee, but who are unable to attend the meeting, should contact Deserae Hendrickson, Duluth area fisheries, 218-525-0853, ext. 201.


New York

NY New record brook trout

Forestport Resident Reels in 5. 8 lb “Brookie” from South Lake

The New York State DEC has certified Dan Germain from Forestport, Oneida County, is the new holder of the state record for brook trout. Germain reeled in the record-breaking fish on June 15 while fishing at South Lake in Herkimer County in the southwest corner of the Adirondack Park. The new record brook trout, caught on a Lake Clear Wabbler and worm, measured 22 inches and weighed in at 5 pounds, 8 ounces, surpassing the previous state record set in 2009 by 3.5 ounces.

 

Germain submitted details of his winning fish as part of DEC’s Angler Achievement Awards Program. Through this 

               

program, anglers enter freshwater fish that meet specific qualifying criteria and receive official recognition of their catch and a distinctive lapel pin commemorating their achievement. The three categories that make up the program are: Catch & Release, Annual Award and State Record.

 

Information about the Angler Achievement Awards Program, including past winners and a downloadable application form, can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7727.html.  Program details and an official entry form can also be found in DEC’s current Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide. For more info on the Angler Achievement Awards Program contact (518) 402-8891 or email fwfish@gw.dec.state.ny.us


Wisconsin

Fish contaminant levels decreasing in some waters

Mercury controls, PCB cleanups lead to progress

MADISON -- Wisconsin's commitment to cleaning up contaminated sediment and regulating mercury is paying off for anglers, as recent studies and the newly available 2011 fish consumption advice booklet show reduced contaminant levels in fish in some waters.

  • Mercury levels in walleye and largemouth bass have dropped in Wisconsin and most of the rest of the Great Lakes region since the 1970s, according to a study to be presented at the July 24-29 International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and which also appears in the June 25, 2011, issue of Ecotoxicology (exit DNR).

  • The PCB advisory for smallmouth bass has been relaxed in the Lower Fox River from Little Lake Butte des Morts to the De Pere dam as testing appears to reflect the improvements due to river cleanup in this first and most upstream segment.

  • In general, PCB levels in fish statewide are declining slowly since the U.S. ban on manufacturing of PCBs. In 2011, this decline resulted in Neshonic Lake in La Crosse County and the Upper Fox River from Swan Lake to Portage no longer needing more stringent advice than the general statewide guidelines, and to a relaxation of consumption advice in some other areas.

"The data we've collected over the past 40 years shows general improvements in mercury and PCB levels in many locations," said Candy Schrank, DNR fisheries toxicologist. “Studies using our data support assertions that fish respond to sediment clean-up and mercury emission reductions, and this is good news for anglers and for state and local economies."

 

Nearly half of Wisconsin adults say they fish, and sport fishing generates a $2.75 billion annual economic impact in Wisconsin, supports 30,000 jobs, and generates $200 million in state and local tax revenues.

 

DNR has been working for more than a decade with local communities to reduce the use of mercury-containing products, promote mercury recycling, reduce mercury spills and reduce air emissions from coal-fired power plants and other industrial sources.

Fish are the main source of mercury and PCBs in the

human diet; both contaminants can harm developing fetuses and children and are also harmful for adults, Schrank says.

 

Mercury is naturally occurring in the environment and also comes from human sources. It enters waters and is converted to a toxic form that’s easily absorbed by fish and other aquatic organisms, and in turn, by people that eat the fish. PCBs are man-made chemicals once used in a variety of manufacturing processes but now banned; they remain in sediments and accumulate in fish and other organisms.

 

Several big reduction efforts took effect in 2010: utilities were required to reduce mercury emissions by 40 percent by Jan. 1, 2010; ERCO Worldwide, which owns and operates a chlor-alkali plant in Port Edwards that until 2009 was responsible for about 20 percent of the annual mercury emissions reported in Wisconsin, voluntarily moved to a new technology that eliminated mercury emissions from its manufacturing processes and a new law effective Nov. 1, 2010, bans the sale of mercury containing devices including fever thermometers, barometers, toys and thermostats, according to Martin Burkholder, lead staff on mercury for the air management program.

 

Wisconsin and the federal government have worked with a variety of responsible parties, committing significant resources toward removing PCB-contaminated sediments from rivers and harbors that historically received wastewater discharges from paper mills and other operations that used PCBs.

 

In March 2011, Gov. Scott Walker travelled to Little Lake Butte des Morts to announce that successful remediation had reduced PCBs in walleye (pdf), sediment and water significantly to levels that would have taken 15 to 20 years to achieve if nothing had been done.

Other stretches of the Lower Fox where remediation efforts are ongoing, or have been planned but not yet started, still carry advice ranging from "don't eat" to "limit to one meal per month" depending on the species.

 

"What we're doing is working and we need to keep at it until all of our waters are fishable and swimmable," says Ken Johnson, DNR's top water official.


Ontario

$11,000 fine for Lake Erie Commercial Fishing violations

Two Port Stanley commercial fishing boat captains and a Port Stanley commercial fishing company have been fined a total of $11,000 for committing commercial fishing violations on Lake Erie.

 

L. R. Jackson Fisheries Ltd., owner of commercial fishing licences on Lake Erie, pleaded guilty to failing to retrieve gill nets from the lake within 8 days and allowing 104 kilograms (229 pounds) of fish to spoil and was fined $4,000. In addition the company was convicted of falsely reporting a gill net set duration on a daily catch report and was fined $1,000.

 

Joe Jackson, captain of the commercial fishing vessel G. W. Jackson, pleaded guilty to three counts of falsely reporting gill net set durations on daily catch reports and one count of leaving gill nets in the water for 10 days. He was fined a total of $4,000.

 

Sean Cook, captain of the commercial fishing vessel L. R. Jackson, pleaded guilty to two counts of falsely reporting gill net set durations on daily catch reports and two counts

of leaving gill nets in the water for nine days. He was fined $3,000.

 

Commercial fishing licence conditions permit gill nets to remain in the lake for a maximum of eight days during the winter fishing season in order to ensure fish quality and to prevent gill nets from becoming lost in poor ice conditions.

 

The court heard that during February and March of 2009, Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officers conducted a substantial number of commercial fishing investigations in the Chatham-Kent waters of Lake Erie. As a result of these investigations, numerous charges were laid for violating the terms and conditions of commercial fishing licences.

 

Justice of the Peace Elaine Babcock heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Chatham, on July 21, 2011.

 

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


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

 

Tourism, recreation groups join forces to keep Asian Carp out
The first-ever “Asian Carp Summit,” to be held in Michigan this September, represents the first time Michigan tourism business and outdoor recreation groups have ever collaborated on an issue of common concern.

 

Pump helps clear Ontario Beach of algae
A system to pump algae-laden water away from a Lake Ontario beach was tested by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Monroe County, NY. The test was intended to see whether algae could be removed from near-shore waters, thus minimizing the chances of beach closures.

Freak storm, aging sewers and Chicago's topography lead to flooding woes
Last weekend's deluge quickly saturated aging sewers in Chicago and soon overwhelmed the Deep Tunnel, a cavernous $3 billion backup system built to prevent flooding and protect Lake Michigan, the Chicago River and suburban waterways from water pollution.

Asian carp threat imminent
Asian carp, the invasive species threatening Michigan’s multibillion dollar fishing and tourism industries, are now closer than ever to penetrating Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes.

Asian carp may just be beginning of trouble brought by canal
The potential trouble lurking in the Chicago River system is bigger than just the giant Asian carp, according to a new report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

New York's tough ballast water rules attacked in Congress
New York state is facing new pressure to scrap tough ballast water regulations that are set to go into effect next year. The rules are designed to stop invasive species from reaching the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes.

 

COMMENTARY: Don't quit conservation
The Department of Interior's Appropriation Bill due to come before the full House later this week would significantly compromise our ability to maintain and improve the health of Lake Michigan, the Great Lakes and many of our other national treasures.

 

Huge alewife die-off a sign of life for the lake
The sight and smell of thousands of dead alewives on Lake Michigan beaches, although unpleasant, might be a sign of health for the lake.

 

Limits to ballast rules fail in court; lawmakers debate similar action
Attempts to limit state authority over ballast water rules fell flat last Friday, but the legal tug-of-war continues this week as lawmakers consider the nation’s environmental spending.

 

EDITORIAL: New carp DNA should raise alarm
The voracious Asian carp has built an indisputable reputation for ecological disruption, and arguments for acting quickly and effectively against the carp's invasion of the Great Lakes basin continue to gather strength.

 

Tourists despise tiny fish but anglers love them
Hundreds of thousands of alewives have been washing up along a stretch of Michigan's west coast for several weeks, troubling beachcombers and tourism offices. However, all the carcasses littering the beaches are a good sign for the $7 billion sport fishing industry on the Great Lakes.

US court rejects challenge to EPA ballast permit
A federal court has rejected a shipping industry challenge to a government permitting system designed to prevent the spread of invasive species that have disrupted ecosystems and cost billions in the Great Lakes and elsewhere.

 

 

The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the GLSFC, its officers or staff. 

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

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