Week of August 6, 2007





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'Dead zone' in Gulf of Mexico among top 3

NEW ORLEANS, (AP) -- The oxygen-poor "dead zone" off the Louisiana and Texas coasts isn't quite as big as predicted this year, but it is still the third-largest ever mapped, a scientist said July 28.


 Crabs, eels and other creatures usually found on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico are swimming in crowds on the surface because there is too little oxygen in their usual habitat, said Nancy Rabalais, chief scientist for northern Gulf hypoxia studies.


Eels, which live in sediments 60-70 ft below the water surface, are an even less common sight, she said.  The 7,900-square-mile area with almost no oxygen, a condition called hypoxia, is about the size of Connecticut and Delaware together. The Louisiana-Texas dead zone is the world's second-largest hypoxic area, she said.

Hypoxia occurs when fresh water pouring in from the Mississippi River floats above the heavier salt water in the Gulf. Algae die and fall to the bottom, where their decay uses oxygen faster than it is brought down from the surface. Eventually, the lower layer holds too little oxygen for fish and other aquatic life.  Nitrogen, from sources including fertilizer, erosion and sewage, speeds up the process by feeding algae.


The dead zone was larger in 2002 and 2001, when it covered 8,500 and 8,006 square miles respectively, and was almost as big in 1999. Scientists want to reduce the zone to about 2,500 square miles.


Check out this article: http://v.mercola.com/blogs/public_blog/More-Fish-Oil--Less-Vegetable-Oil--Better-for-Your-Health-30879.aspx


Barrier Bill approved in Joint Conference committee

But Bush threatens to veto over excess funds

The joint congressional conference for the Water Resources Development Act (the large bill that authorizes Corps of Engineers’ projects) includes the authorization for the Asian carp dispersal barrier on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.  The language in the bill is pretty much what we all have fought for.  The language:


--Makes the experimental barrier (barrier I) and the new permanent barrier (barrier II) a single project

--Makes the barriers a federal responsibility (that is important because before this authorization, Illinois was responsible)

--Authorizes the retrofitting of barrier I (barrier I is failing and needs to be re-built)

--Authorizes the completion of barrier II

--Provides a credit to the states (which is all of them, I believe) that contributed to the construction to date of barrier II

--Authorizes a study about how to stop the spread of invasive species through the canal.


However, the president sent a letter to Congress on August 2nd stating he will veto this bill.  The issue is cost—the bill is $5 billion more than the House or Senate versions.  He also expressed some concern about shifting projects to the federal government.  Right now we’re not sure what this means for the ultimate passage of WRDA.  Congress could re-negotiate WRDA, do a new bill, or override the veto.  The president could

also not follow through on his threat (though his letter is fairly

resolute).  We’ll know more in a few days.


The House and Senate still need to pass the final (conference) version of WRDA, but passage is imminent.  It’s been a long, tough slog to get this bill done.  The support from many including the Dispersal Barrier Advisory Panel, helped move this along.  The Great Lakes Congressional delegation should also be thanked for staying on this issue.


Now we need to work on funding!  The House Energy and Water appropriations bill for fiscal 2008 included $7.65 million for the dispersal barriers, consistent with the president’s request.  The Senate bill included around $3 million.  I am told the House appropriation would bring us a long way toward finishing barrier II and would allow the corps to start retrofitting barrier I.  It would also allow for operations and maintenance.  The House and Senate will decide in August or September on which level of funding to accept.


The completion of the barrier project is essential to the Great Lakes, made all the more urgent by continued Asian carp migration toward the site of the barrier.  The capture of a grass carp (not one of the Asian carp in the Chicago canal, but a worrying Asian carp nonetheless) in Lake Huron, as reported by Milford Purdy, a member of the Ontario Commercial Fisheries’ Association, reminds us of what’s at stake here.

USCG recognizes more than one million people rescued since 1970

CLEVELAND - The U.S. Coast Guard on August 4th, recognized the fact that it has rescued more than one million people worldwide since it was established in 1790, during the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival in Grand Haven, Mich.


The Coast Guard also celebrated its 217th birthday on August 4th.


The Ninth Coast Guard District has an area of responsibility that encompasses all of Lake Michigan and portions of the other four Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.  The Ninth District also includes portions of eight states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.


The Great Lakes basin covers more than 295,000 square miles of land and water, including 6,700 miles of American shoreline and more than 1,500 miles of international border

with Canada.  In 1818, the Coast Guard began its service on the Great Lakes with the building of the Buffalo Lighthouse.  Today, the Ninth District includes:


Four (4) Sector commands and one Sector Field Office which supervise 47 small boat stations which provide search-and-rescue, law enforcement and homeland security coverage from Alexandria Bay, N.Y. to Duluth, MN,

Two Air Stations and two seasonal air facilities,

Nine (9) multi-mission cutters,

Five (5) Aids to Navigation teams


In an average year, the Ninth Coast Guard District:


Saves 568 lives

Assists 7,467 people

Conducts 2,013 marine inspections and boardings

Responds to 439 marine casualties and/or pollution incidents

Issues 1,910 marine and boating safety violations

Fired official's endangered species decisions revisited

WASHINGTON, DC - Eight decisions made by a disgraced Bush administration official under the Endangered Species Act could be reversed after questions were raised about the integrity of the science used and whether the decisions were made illegally, the USFWS said last week.


The decisions in question were overseen by former Deputy

Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Julie MacDonald, who resigned April 30 under a cloud of scandal.  Her resignation followed a Department of the Interior Inspector General's report in March finding that MacDonald violated federal ethics rules by leaking sensitive government documents to industry lobbyists, browbeating USFWS scientists, and illegally overturning scientific recommendations to squelch protections for endangered species.


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for August 3, 2007

Weather Conditions

Hot and humid conditions were in place across much of the Great Lakes basin this week, under a ridge of high pressure.  A weak cold front tracked through the basin Thursday, but rainfall was hard to come by.  Warm temperatures will continue into the weekend, but a chance of an afternoon shower or thunderstorm does exist on Saturday and Sunday.


Lake Level Conditions

Currently, Lake Superior is 13 inches below its level of a year ago, while Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 6 to 9 inches lower than last year’s levels.  Lake Superior is predicted to rise 1 inch over the next 30 days. Lake Michigan-Huron is expected to decline 2 inches, while Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are projected to drop 5 inches over the next month. All of the lakes are forecasted to be below their water levels of a year ago during the next few months.  


Current Outflows/Channel Conditions

Outflow from the St. Marys River is predicted to be well below average for August. Flows through the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are also predicted to be lower than average this month. In addition, flows in the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers are expected to be below average as well.


Due to abnormally dry conditions on the Lake Superior basin over the last several months, | Lake Superior’s water level is currently below chart datum and is expected to remain below datum over the next six months.  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.





St. Clair



Level for Aug 3






Datum, in ft






Diff in inches






Diff last month






Diff from last yr







Cabela’s set to open 1st Chicago area Store Sept 21

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. -- Cabela’s will open its newest destination retail store in Hoffman Estates, Ill., on Friday, September 21, 2007.  The northwest metro Chicago store is Cabela's first in Illinois and the company’s 20th retail location in the country.


The 185,000-sq ft superstore is located 20 minutes from Chicago’s O'Hare Airport within the Prairie Stone Business Park at I-90 and Route 59.  Prairie Stone, which also serves as the headquarters for Sears Holdings Corp., is a 780-acre, master-planned business park surrounded by a forest preserve that captures the beauty of the surrounding Midwestern landscape.


The store will include:

•Huge 16,000-gallon, walk-through aquarium, stocked with freshwater fish, including those native to Illinois

•Information kiosks with interactive touch-screens identify each species and explain its characteristics.  Kids as well as adults will find the kiosks educational and fun

• Boat showroom and a maintenance shop

•CONSERVATION MOUNTAIN - The store’s vast, sunlit interior is punctuated by its centerpiece, a 26' tall Conservation Mountain with a trout pond, running waterfalls and streams and even a beaver dam 

•Hundreds of big-game trophies and other wildlife mounts -- from the western prairie to the Alaskan tundra and Arctic ice

• Indoor archery range where archers can test and fine-tune their equipment

• Full-service fly-fishing shop, and helpful, experienced staff – for all fly-casters from novice to expert

• Shooting gallery providing fun along with the opportunity to learn basic shooting skills in a safe environment

• World-class Gun Library, providing the opportunity to browse through a collection of examples of the gun-making art

• Cabela's famous Bargain Cave, featuring discount prices on returned and discontinued merchandise

• Specialty furniture store, art gallery and country store with homemade fudge

• Service for firearms, archery equipment and fishing gear 

• A deli-style restaurant, with a menu that includes delicious wild-game sandwiches, as well as tamer fare

• Dog kennels so customers can let their animals out to exercise while they are enjoying the store

• Beautifully landscaped grounds featuring native trees and plants

• Walking path through the landscaped grounds featuring native trees and plants

• Two large conference rooms and educational center for school groups, seminars, conferences and conventions


Cabela’s Hoffman Estates store hours will be Monday – Saturday, 9:00 AM- 9:30 PM., and 10 AM. – 7 PM on Sunday.  The store address is 5225 Prairie Stone Pkwy, Hoffman Estates, Ill. 60192.


New Evidence Fish Oils Decrease Inflammation

Scientists have provided new evidence that using more fish oil than vegetable oil in the diet decreases the formation of chemicals called prostanoids, which, when produced in excess, increase inflammation in various tissues and organs. The results, by William L. Smith, Professor and Chair of Biological Chemistry at the University of Michigan may help in designing new anti-inflammatory drugs with fewer side effects than the ones currently available.


"Prostanoids help control blood pressure, fight allergies, and modulate inflammation, but too much of them – especially those made from vegetable oils – can also lead to increased pain, swelling, and redness in various tissues," Smith says. "Our study shows that prostanoids made from fish oil are less effective at causing pain and swelling than those made from vegetable oil and that adding fish oil to the diet decreases the amount of prostanoids made from vegetable oil."


The new study, published in the August 3 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, was selected as a "Paper of the Week" by the journal's editors; meaning that it belongs to the top one percent of papers reviewed in significance and overall importance.


Smith and colleagues looked at the mutual effects of both oils by changing their respective amounts in cultured cells. As expected, a relative increase in fish oil lowered the amount of prostanoids from vegetable oil, although not always in the expected proportions.


Both fish and vegetable oils are converted into prostanoids through chemical reactions that are aided by enzymes called cyclo-oxygenases (COX), two types of which – COX-1 and COX-2 – are involved in the reactions. The scientists showed that, in reactions involving COX-1, when more fish oil is present, it preferentially binds to COX-1, thus limiting

vegetable oil's access to this enzyme. But in reactions involving COX-2, increasing the amount of fish oil did not change the way it binds to COX-2, so a significant portion of vegetable oil was still converted to prostanoids.


"This was completely unexpected," Smith says. "This new result shows that COX-2 does not ‘prefer' fish oil to vegetable oil. Regardless of the amount of extra fish oil that we added, COX-2 still helped convert all the vegetable oil available."


This finding reveals for the first time a limit to how the body naturally regulates levels of prostanoids produced by fish and vegetable oil. If both oil types are present in the body, levels of prostanoids from fish oil will, in general, be higher than those coming from vegetable oil, but mechanisms such as the one involving COX-2 can counter this trend.


The researchers are now investigating why COX-1 and COX-2 act differently. One possibility is that since COX-2 has two binding sites, it can bind to both fish and vegetable oils. When fish oil binds to one of the two sites, it may prepare the other site to bind more easily to vegetable oil, a process called allostery.


Smith and his colleagues hope that by further investigating how prostanoids are regulated in the body, they can design potential drugs that bind to COX-2 and decrease levels of the vegetable oil prostanoids. "The drugs that are currently used to inhibit COX-1 and COX-2 provide relief from the symptoms of inflammation and pain, but they still have many side effects," Smith says. "By better understanding how prostanoids work at the cellular level, we hope to find new ways to regulate inflammation and create better anti-inflammatory drugs."


Source: http://www.jbc.org/cgi/content/full/282/31/e99930

New Bass Pro Shop in Prattville, AL

Bass Pro Shops is opening a new facility in Prattville, Alabama on August 15. The new store is located at the new High Point

Town Center— on the northwest corner of I-65 and Cobbs Ford Rd.


Wingshooting Clinics

The Illinois DNR and partnering organizations are hosting a series of wingshooting clinics for beginning shooters and for more experienced hunters this summer and fall.  At the free youth/women's clinics, Saturday sessions generally provide instruction for youngsters ages 10 - 15, while Sunday sessions are generally used to provide instruction for girls and women ages 10 and older. 


Youth participants must be at least 4' 6" tall and weigh at least 75 lbs. Instructors are certified by the National Sporting Clays Association.  Hunter clinics are designed to enhance the wingshooting skills of women and men ages 16 and older.  Hunters with wingshooting skill levels from beginner to advanced are encouraged to attend. A small fee is assessed each hunter clinic participant to cover the cost of clay targets and refreshments. 

Upcoming Youth/Women's clinics:

*Aug 18-19 - Shabonna Lake State Park (DeKalb Co.), 815/758-2773

* Aug 25-26 - Fisher (Champaign Co.), 217/935-6860

* Sept 8-9 - Sam Dale Lake (Wayne Co.), 618/835-2292

* Sept 22-23 - Johnson Sauk Trail (Henry Co.), 309/853-5589


Upcoming Hunter's clinics are:

* July 7-8 - Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA (Cass Co.), 217/452-7741

* Sept 22-23 - Des Plaines Cons. Area (Will Co.), 217/785-8060

* Sept 29-30 - Decatur Gun Club (Macon Co.), 217/877-4096

Check the IDNR web site for a complete list of this year's Wingshooting Clinics.


Firearm Deer Permits deadline Aug 14

Aug. 14 is the deadline to apply for the second lottery for resident and non-resident firearm and muzzleloader deer

permits for the 2007 season.  For more information, check the "Hunting" link on the home page of the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us.

Deer Hunting Clinic Nov 10

GURNEE, IL – You have made your deer hunting checklist. Have you checked it twice? Did you include the deer hunting clinic at Bass Pro Shops? Join RedHead Pro Staff member Mike Reynolds as he makes preparations for hunting deer during the Illinois Gun Season. Mike will discuss deer strategy for bucks and does as well as calling techniques, guns, slugs, setup, tree stand safety, and other points to get you ready for the season.

The clinic will take place on Saturday, November 10, 2007 at 3:00 p.m. This free clinic is sure to be very popular and seats are limited, so register early. For more information on the Deer Clinic, to register, or details on other events and activities at Bass Pro Shops in Gurnee, please contact Tisma Juett, Promotions Manager by phone at 847-856-1229 or via email at [email protected].


Free Upland Permits Available Online

All applications for the 2007 Illinois Free Upland Game Hunt Permit program must now be made online through the IDNR web site (paper applications are no longer available).  The

online application can be found at http://dnr.state.il.us/Uplandgame/index.html .  An information sheet with complete details is available on the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us/admin/systems/pdfs/422-9001.pdf.

State announces recommendations to improve safety at Illinois dams

Input will be sought on report recommendations from communities near dams                

SPRINGFIELD - IL Gov Rod Blagojevich released a new state-funded report by a private engineering firm that examines the current condition of 25 publicly owned dams on Illinois Rivers and makes recommendations on specific safety improvements.    


The dam safety report presents options and recommendations to improve the safety of boaters, fishermen and other recreational river users near 25 low-head or run-of-the-river dams on publicly navigable waterways. Not all of the options apply to each of the dams surveyed.  Preliminary cost estimates are included with each option.   The range of options includes:


 ► Installing temporary rock fill,

 ► Dam removal,

 ► Constructing a bypass channel either beside the dam or in the river.

 ► Installing a riffle pool, a series of boulders that help reduce the dangerous current below the dam.

*Modifying the face of the dam.


Blagojevich included $10.3 million in his proposed FY08 capital budget for improving safety at dams, the first step in an initiative that is expected to take several years.  This includes $2 million for short-term improvements such as signage, buoys, fencing, and temporary rock fill.  The remainder of the proposed capital funds, $8.3 million, is suggested for major repairs, improvements or removal at state-owned dams.  The introduced operating budget for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) also includes $143,400 for

maintenance and engineering at dams. The General Assembly must pass a budget for these funds to available.


The study builds on IDNR's ongoing dam safety efforts, such as buoys, signs, fencing, markings and clear zones.  So far during 2007, the IDNR has performed the following dam safety work:

► Installed or upgraded more than 100 warning and marker buoys, including the addition of lighting on buoys for increased night time visibility at some locations

 ► Installed four new warning signs at the Kankakee Dam on the Kankakee River, four at the St. Charles Dam on the Fox River, and plans more new signs at the Oregon Dam and St. Charles Dam on the Fox River

 ► Completed a four-step, $2.27 million spillway safety modification at the Glen Palmer Dam as part of a larger dam modification project in Yorkville

 ► Distributed warning materials highlighting the dangers at dams including safety brochures, posters and radio public service announcements to educate the public about hazards near dams.      


The IDNR identified 25 publicly owned dams on the Fox, Rock, Kankakee, Des Plaines, Sangamon, and Vermilion rivers that are considered "run of the river" or "low-head" dams to be the subject of the dam safety report.  The water flow passes directly over the entire dam structure of a "low-head" dam to a natural channel down stream.  These dams may produce a pleasing visual image; however, the flow of water over the dams can produce a dangerous and possibly deadly undercurrent for anyone coming too close to the structure.  


An Executive Summary of the dam safety report is available at: http://www.cdb.state.il.us.


DNR Basic Archery Instructor Course Aug 29

The Michigan DNR is offering a free basic archery instructor (BAI) course, Wednesday, Aug. 29, at the Owosso High School in Owosso, located in Shiawassee County. The eight-hour session begins at 8 AM and is for physical education teachers who wish to join the DNR’s Archery in the Schools program.  Teachers attending the session will receive 7 SB-CEU's from the Michigan Department of Education.


Archery in the Schools introduces international-style target archery to students in 4th through 12th grade physical

education classes. The in-school curriculum’s core content covers archery history, safety, technique, equipment, mental concentration and self-improvement. To date, more than 160 schools across Michigan have implemented the program.


To register or more information, contact Mary Emmons at (517) 241-9477; e-mail [email protected], or visit the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnrarchery.  The DNR also is offering archery equipment grants to schools, both public and private, that enroll in the Archery in the Schools program.

Coast Guard searches for man off Lake Erie Metropark Marina

DETROIT - U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian Coast Guard assets continue to search for a person who was spotted in the water the evening of August 1st in the vicinity of Lake Erie Metropark Marine. A recreational boater attempted to rescue the individual but was unable to.


U.S. Coast Guard Sector Detroit was contacted by a recreational boater who spotted the individual in the water at approximately 6:30 p.m.

U.S. Coast Guard Station Belle Isle responded with a 41-foot rescue boat; U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Detroit responded with an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter; and the Canadian Coast Guard responded with a boat to search the area throughout the evening.  The Canadian Coast Guard located an unoccupied vessel aground at Bar Point, south of Amherstburg, Ontario.  Further investigation determined the grounded vessel owner failed to return from a boating trip the previous evening.


Boating Access Permits Now Required at Torch River and Torch River Bridge

DNR park and recreation officials announced that the Torch River Bridge and the Torch River Boating Access Sites (BAS) located in Antrim and Kalkaska counties have become user fee sites to better manage their use. A BAS permit will now be required to enter these sites.

BAS permits may be obtained at Young State Park in Boyne City, at the e-store on-line at www.michigan.gov/dnr, or by using the self-registration station at the entrance to the sites.  An annual boating permit is $24, daily permit is $6. Revenues pay the cost of maintenance and improvements to BAS. For more information, contact Sue Rose, supervisor at Young State Park, 231-582-7523


Start planning 2008 fishing tournaments

High fees may impact fishing in areas

Anglers and others who want to host fishing tournaments in 2008 can submit applications Aug. 1. The Minnesota DNR, which limits the size and frequency of tournaments on certain waters, will give preference to applications received by Sept. 28.


But they will be facing the highest fees in the nation.  Permit fees will range from $120 to $1,000 depending on the number of participants and whether fish are removed from the area to be weighed. Permits had been free.  Either way, it will impact the way tournaments are run and the ultimate cost to entrees.

The application is available at www.mndnr.gov.

Unlike previous years, a fee is now required for fishing tournament permits. The fee is designed to recover administrative costs, which will free-up dollars for fish management programs. The citizen oversight committee that monitors the DNR’s Game and Fish Fund recommended the change. It was passed into law by the 2007 Legislature.

Under the new system, small open-water contests (31-100 participants, 50 or fewer boats) will pay $120, large open-water contests (more than 100 participants or 50 boats) will pay $400, small open-water contests with off-site weigh-ins will pay $500, large open-water contests with off-site weigh-ins will pay $1,000, and ice fishing contests (more than 150 participants) will pay $120.

The fee, required at the time of application, is nonrefundable except for applications denied following a drawing or withdrawn by the applicant prior to issuance of the permit.

Fees may be waived for charitable organizations. Those wishing to have the fee waived should send proof of their charitable status and justification for the waiver.

The DNR limits the size and frequency of tournaments on lakes smaller than 55,000 acres, and on rivers and streams. Any open-water tournament that has more than 30 participants or an entry fee more than $25 requires a permit from the DNR. Permits for ice fishing contests are required for contests exceeding 150 participants.

However, tournaments for youth age 18 and younger do not require a DNR permit. In 2007, DNR issued nearly 600 permits statewide for fishing contests.

The number of tournaments allowed each month on lakes is based on lake size. For example, on lakes smaller than 2,000 acres, two tournaments per month are allowed, each limited to no more than 50 boats or 100 participants. Lakes from 15,000 to 55,000 acres can have five contests per month, three of which may exceed 50 boats or 100 participants. There are no limits for lakes larger than 55,000 acres.

If the number of applications exceeds monthly limits, the DNR uses a lottery to allocate available permits. Applications received from Aug. 1 through Sept. 28 will be eligible for any necessary lottery drawing. Tournaments with a history established prior to 2001 for a particular lake and time period will have preference.

Applications received after Sept. 28 will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis through the 2008 tournament season.


Study shows OH recreational boating generates $3.5 Billion to economy

Numbers show marked increase over similar data from 1999

 COLUMBUS, OH – The recreational boating industry generates an estimated $3.5 billion for Ohio’s economy and supports more than 26,000 jobs, according to a new study by the Great Lakes Commission and the Recreational Marine Research Center of Michigan State University.


The new study shows a significant increase in recreational boating’s impact, as compared to similar data compiled in 1999 by The Ohio State University. That year, recreational boating’s impact was set at $1.4 billion in Ohio, with support for 19,500 jobs.


Titled as “Great Lakes Recreational Boating’s Economic Punch,” the study uses 2003 watercraft registration data compiled by the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as economic data from individual states. Ohio had a near record 418,300 registered watercraft in 2003.


The study details the primary and secondary economic impacts generated by boaters and the boating industry. Primary impacts in Ohio included $1.96 billion in direct sales of boats, equipment, repairs, insurance and trip-related expenses such as gasoline, lodging, restaurants and marina fees. Additionally, researchers added $656 million in personal income from salaries related to the boating industry and $939 million in value-added expenditures such as restaurant suppliers, repair workers and service station employees.  

Overall, the recreational boating industry in the eight-state Great Lakes region directly supported 107,000 jobs and generated a regional primary economic impact estimated at nearly $16 billion. Adding in secondary spending effects, the study concluded the recreational boating industry actually produced a total economic impact estimated at $34.6 billion and supported 244,000 jobs throughout the Great Lakes region.


Other key findings of the “Great Lakes Recreational Boating’s Impact Economic Punch” study include:

• Of the 4.3 million registered watercraft in the eight-state Great Lakes region, an estimated 911,000 boats are operated primarily on the five Great Lakes and its incumbent waterways such as Sandusky Bay, Maumee Bay and Lake St. Clair.

• Types of boats most frequently used on the Great Lakes include fiberglass runabouts measuring 16 to 24 feet long, aluminum powerboats less than 16 feet long and aluminum fishing boats 16 to 24 feet long.

• Among the top primary expenditure items were boats, equipment and repairs, insurance, marine fuel, restaurants, groceries, motor vehicle fuel and lodging.

• Marinas and shoreline communities serving Great Lakes boaters enjoy the greatest economic benefits in the region.

The top 10 states in numbers of registered watercraft last year were: Florida, California, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Texas, New York, South Carolina, Ohio and Illinois.


A copy of the report is available online at http://www.glc.org/recboat/.


Young named new Fish Chief

Leroy M. Young, Jr., a 26-year employee of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has been named as the agency’s Director of the Bureau of Fisheries.


In announcing the appointment, PFBC Executive Director Doug Austen said, “Leroy will bring to the bureau director position a wealth of experience and the ability to work with a wide variety of interest groups. I am confident that he will strive to make the Bureau of Fisheries even more successful in its efforts on behalf of the aquatic resources as well as the citizens of the Commonwealth and our many visitors.”


Young has served as the Commission’s Chief of the

Fisheries Management Division since April 2005. He spent

the previous 18 years working in the Division of Environmental Services, and from May 1997 to April 2005 he served as Chief of the Aquatic Resources Section in that Division. The Aquatic Resources Section is responsible for permit and license application reviews related to hydropower development, water withdrawals, coal mining, thermal discharge variances to permits, aquatic herbicide use, and lake drawdowns. The section also coordinates agency involvement in Superfund cases where there have been impacts to aquatic life.


He and Jane, his wife of 26 years, live in Coburn. They have four children and two grandchildren.


Public hearing set on yellow perch harvest in Green Bay Aug 13

MADISON -- Commercial fishers of yellow perch in Green Bay could be looking forward to larger harvest limits in 2008. A rule change allowing the increased harvest will be the topic of Aug. 13 public hearings in Green Bay and Peshtigo. The public will have the opportunity to review and comment on the proposed rule, which would increase the total allowable commercial harvest of yellow perch in Green Bay (zone 1), from 60,000 lbs to 100,000 lbs.


“After a decade or so of the numbers of yellow perch declining, we’ve had a good run of excellent reproduction,” says Bill Horns, a DNR Great Lakes fisheries specialist. “The fish are growing and thriving, which means we can allocate more to our loyal fishermen.”


A 90 % decrease in yellow perch between 1988 and 2000 was the result of poor reproduction, mostly due to weather and biological factors such as predators and an increase in zebra mussels, white perch, gobies and cormorants.


Because commercial and recreational harvests can further deplete a population and inhibit recovery when numbers are low, the DNR reduced sport bag and commercial harvest limits on Green Bay in 2001, Horns says. The daily sport fishing bag limit was reduced from 25 to 10 and the total allowable annual commercial harvest limit was reduced from 200,000 pounds to 20,000 pounds.


These measures paid off in 2006, when survey results

showed improved survival rates and strong year-classes, and allowed sport limits to increase to 15 from 10 and commercial harvest limits to increase to 60,000 pounds, partially returning to levels in the waning years of the 20th century.


In 2006, the total recreational harvest exceeded 200,000 pounds and the commercial harvest totaled 90,000 pounds. Similar results are expected for 2007. In the attempt to split the allowable harvest equally between sport and commercial fishers, the DNR is recommending an increase in the total allowable commercial harvest from 60,000 to 100,000 pounds, which would take effect in 2008. Because recreational harvests have already been increasing significantly under the existing rules, no changes are being proposed to the sport fishing regulations.


Written comments on the proposed rule may be submitted until Aug. 23, 2007, via U.S. mail to Bill Horns, Bureau of Fisheries Management, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707 or by e-mail to [email protected]


Written comments, whether submitted electronically or by U.S. mail, will have the same weight and effect as oral statements presented at the public hearings. For information call Bill Horns at (608) 266-8782.


The hearings will all be held on Monday, August 13, 2007 at:

Peshtigo - Council Chambers, Peshtigo Municipal Bldg., 331 French St - 1 PM

Green Bay - Estuary Room, Green Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, 1660 East Shore Dr - 4:30 PM

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

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