Week of August 6, 2012

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Beyond the Great Lakes

American Eels return to mountain streams after dam removal

Shenandoah National Park, VA. – American eels are declining across their range but are showing indications of a population revival following the removal of a large dam in Virginia.

 

The removal of Embrey Dam on the Rappahannock River increased American eel numbers in headwater streams nearly 100 miles away, according to research just published by U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service researchers.

American eels undergo long-distance migrations from their ocean spawning grounds in the Sargasso Sea to freshwater streams along the Atlantic coast from northern South America to Greenland. Dams may slow or even stop upstream eel migrations.  However, prior to this research, little was known about American eel responses to dam removal.

 

The new study evaluated eel abundances in Shenandoah National Park streams before and after the removal of the large dam in 2004.  The researchers found significant increases in eel numbers beginning 2 years after dam removal and continued increases nearly every year since.  The rebounding eel populations in Shenandoah National Park present a stark contrast to decreasing numbers elsewhere throughout their range.

 

"Our study shows that the benefits of dam removal can extend far upstream," said Dr. Nathaniel Hitt, a USGS biologist and lead author of the study.  "American eels have been in decline for decades and so we’re delighted to see them begin to return in abundance to their native streams."

 

The American eel is currently being considered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for listing as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.  Migration barriers such as dams have been recognized as a contributing cause to range-wide decreases over the last 50 years.  The authors hypothesize that dam removal could have long-term benefits for

eel conservation by increasing the reproductive success of females, which are typically found in headwater streams.

 

"This research shows the direct benefits of dam removal for American eel populations and demonstrates the importance of continued stream restoration work for east coast rivers," said Sheila Eyler, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist and co-author of the study.

 

American eel recovery in Shenandoah National Park also represents an important achievement for management of Park resources.  Additional fish population surveys from Shenandoah National Park in 2012 provide further support for the findings of the study.

 

"Eel populations in the Park continue to show recovery," said Jeb Wofford, a biologist at Shenandoah National Park and co-author of the study.  "This research highlights the fact that ecosystems in the Park extend far outside Park boundaries and that downstream conservation can have important upstream benefits."

 

Embrey Dam was built in 1910 on the Rappahannock River near the city of Fredericksburg, Virginia.  The dam measured 22 feet high by nearly 800 feet wide.  Until the 1960s, the dam provided hydroelectric power for Fredericksburg.  Recognizing the hazards presented by the dam and the potential for fish restoration, a coalition of state, federal, and non-governmental partners coordinated the removal of the dam in 2004.

 

"This study demonstrates that multiple benefits can be realized by removing obsolete dams such as Embrey," said Alan Weaver, fish passage coordinator for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  "Shad, herring and striped bass are also using reopened habitat on the Rappahannock River, so it’s exciting to see a growing number of species benefitting from dam removal in Virginia."


National

Rhode Makes Olympic History

London, England -- On Sunday, July 29th, Kim Rhode captured the gold medal in skeet shooting at the 2012 London Olympics.  She broke an impressive 99/100 clays.  Not only did Rhode win the gold, but she tied the world record, broke the Olympic record of 93/100, (held by her and two others) and made Olympic history by becoming the first American in an individual sport to win a medal in five consecutive Olympics.

Rhode’s Olympic debut was back in 1996 in Atlanta, starting off her Olympic career with a gold.  She also became the youngest female gold medalist in the history of Olympic shooting.  In Sydney 2000 she took home a bronze followed by a gold in Athens 2004 and a silver in Beijing 2008.

 

 


USFDA grants authorization for the immediate release of Fish Sedation

AQUI-S 20E is the first FDA-recognized sedative available to fishery researchers and biologists to use in the field

Washington, DC (August 3, 2012)—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted amended authorization for the use of AQUI-S®20E, a sedative drug, to allow for the immediate release of freshwater finfish sedated as part of field-based fisheries management activities. The amended authorization comes under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Aquatic Animal Drug Approval Partnership (USFWS-AADAP) Investigational New Animal Drug (INAD) 11-741. 

 

Prior to the amended INAD authorization, all freshwater fish sedated with AQUI-S® 20E were required to be held for 72 hours—a withdrawal period impractical for field use. The immediate-release provision is for field-use only, the withdrawal period remains at 72 hours for hatchery use.

 

FDA approval of an immediate-release sedative for use in fisheries management has been a high priority for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), whose ongoing activities are coordinated by its Fisheries and Water Resources Policy (FWRP) Committee’s Drug Approval Working Group (DAWG).  Recent DAWG efforts have focused on the generation of data to support the full approval of AQUI-S® 20E, and progress to date has largely been the result of a collaborative effort between member agencies including AFWA, USFWS-AADAP, U.S. Geological Survey Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center and the drug sponsor AQUI-S New Zealand, Ltd.

 

“The collaborative efforts of federal natural resource and science agencies, state fish and wildlife agencies and drug sponsors are critical to increasing the number of approved drugs available to protect fish health and thereby enhance our nation’s fishery resources,” said Virgil Moore, Idaho Department of Fish and Game Director and chair of AFWA’s FWRP

Committee. “This amended INAD authorization represents an enormous

leap forward in our ability to effectively and safely sedate fish as part of field-based fishery management activities; activities that state and federal agencies and their partners use to restore, recover, protect, and manage fish populations that are important to the 48 million recreational anglers in the U.S., as well as to many others who depend on fish for sustenance and commerce.”

 

The Fish Culture Section of the American Fisheries Society also provided valuable assistance in bringing the DAWG’s “Sedative Challenge” to the forefront through recent adoption of the AFS Immediate Release Sedative Policy.  Similarly, the FDA’s Aquaculture Drugs and Human Food Safety Teams were instrumental in advancing the amended authorization.

 

“The immediate-release authorization for AQUI-S® 20E represents one step in the entire approval process for the sedative, but it is an extremely positive step forward,” said Steve Sharon, Fish Culture Supervisor from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and DAWG chair.  “Not only will it have an immediate, positive impact on field-based fisheries management activities throughout the country, but it is a clear indication that we are indeed on the track to full approval.”

 

Fishery professionals may sign-up immediately to participate in USFWS-AADAP INAD 11-741 for the use AQUI-S® 20E as an immediate release sedative in freshwater finfish when used as part of field-based management activities.  All participants must comply with the requirements as set forth in the INAD Study Protocol for AQUI-S® 20E.   For more information about aquatic animal drugs, AQUI-S® 20E, or to apply to participate in USFWS-AADAP INAD 11-741, go to www.fws.gov/fisheries/aadap or contact the USFWS-AADAP INAD Administrator, Bonnie Johnson, at Bonnie_Johnson@fws.gov or 406-994-9905.


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Aug 3, 2012 

WEATHER CONDITIONS

The persistently dry conditions through much of July caused monthly precipitation totals to be below average across all of the Great Lakes last month. So far this week, temperatures have again been warmer than seasonal averages and some scattered precipitation has fallen across the region. Temperatures are forecasted to remain relatively steady through the weekend and into next week. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible in most locations through the weekend followed by partly sunny conditions in the early part of next week.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

The water level of Lake Superior is near the same level as one year ago, while Lake Michigan-Huron is 10 inches lower than its level of a year ago. Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 12, 14, and 12 inches, respectively, lower than their levels of a year ago. Over the next month, Lake Superior is forecasted to rise 1 inch, while Lake Michigan-Huron is expected to fall 1 inch. The water levels of Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are forecasted to fall 4, 4, and 3 inches, respectively, over the next thirty days.

FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior's outflow through the St. Marys River is projected to be below average for the month of August. Lake Huron's outflow into the St. Clair River and the outflow from Lake St. Clair into the Detroit River are

also expected to be below average throughout the month of August. Lake Erie's outflow through the Niagara River and the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River are predicted to be below average in August.

ALERTS

Lake Michigan-Huron is near chart datum. Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels. Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for Aug 3

601.35

577.46

573.79

571.13

245.14

Datum, in ft

601.10

577.50

572.30

569.20

243.30

Diff in inches

+3

0

+18

+23

+22

Diff last month

0

-2

-4

-4

-5

Diff from last yr

0

-10

-12

-14

-12


 

Further assessment planned of Asian carp in Lake Erie 

The Ohio DNR, Michigan DNR and USFWS are collaborating to assess the current status of bighead and silver carp within western Lake Erie bays and select tributaries.

 

Laboratory results received earlier this month indicated the presence of Asian carp environmental DNA (eDNA) in 6 of the 417 water samples collected in August 2011. Four samples from Sandusky Bay, in Ohio waters, tested positive for bighead carp eDNA, while two samples from north Maumee Bay, in Michigan waters, were positive for silver carp eDNA. The findings indicate the presence of genetic material left behind by the species, such as scales, excrement or mucous, but not the establishment of Asian carp in Lake Erie.

 

Initial surveys began this week and are focusing on the collection of water samples for eDNA analysis. Electroshocking and netting survey efforts will also be conducted starting next week. The eDNA surveys will occur in the Sandusky River and Bay, and the Maumee River and Bay. Samples will be collected in the areas where positive eDNA samples were collected in 2011 and at additional locations believed to provide suitable bighead and silver carp habitat.

 

“Our coordinated sampling efforts with partner agencies are very important in order to revisit areas where positive samples were collected last year, and to expand sampling to areas that may be reproductively favorable for bighead or silver carp,” said MDNR Research Program Manager Tammy Newcomb. “These are the areas where we can be most effective in preventing expansion of these species should they be present.”

 

MDNR and ODNR requested assistance from the USFWS to develop and implement this assessment effort. The USFWS is contributing significant technical and logistical expertise, as well as personnel, survey equipment and vessels. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will analyze the collected eDNA water samples.

 

"At the state’s request, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service is assisting the states with all the resources we can bring to the table," said U.S. Fish

and Wildlife Service Deputy Regional Director Charlie Wooley. "The

Service is committed to working in a coordinated effort, using all available resources and skills, to prevent the movement of self-sustaining populations of Asian carp into the Great Lakes."

 

“We are very appreciative of the assistance and efforts contributed by diverse partners in the development and implementation of a comprehensive assessment plan to determine the status of bighead and silver carp in western Lake Erie” said Rich Carter, ODNR Executive Administrator for Fish Management and Research. "The results of these efforts will provide critical information that will inform and guide future assessment and management actions.”

 

Since 2010, MDNR, ODNR, USFWS, University of Notre Dame, Central Michigan University and the Nature Conservancy have partnered to collect water samples from Great Lakes basin waters, including southern Lake Michigan, western Lake Erie and tributary streams of lakes Michigan and Erie. The collaborative early-detection Asian carp surveillance program is funded by the USFWS with a federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant.

 

Asian carp, including bighead and silver carp, pose a significant threat to the Great Lakes ecosystem, the $7 billion fishery, and other economic interests dependent on the Great Lakes and its tributaries. Silver and bighead carp are likely to compete with native and recreational fish species and are known to quickly reproduce. Anglers are urged to become familiar with the identification of Asian carp, including both adults and juveniles, as the spread of juvenile Asian carp through the use of live bait buckets has been identified as a potential point of entry into Great Lakes waters.

 

A video demonstrating how to identify bighead and silver carp: http://youtu.be/B49OWrCRs38?source=govdelivery. Identification guides, frequently asked questions, management plans and an online reporting form are available online at michigan.gov/asiancarp and wildohio.com or by calling 800-WILDLIFE.


Asian Carp Sampling Summary

The Illinois DNR issued the following sampling summary for the week of July 16, 2012.

 

Bottom Line:

Monitoring occurred in the CAWS and upper Illinois Waterway upstream and downstream of the Dispersal Barrier. NO BIGHEAD or SILVER CARP were reported captured or observed upstream of the Barrier, nor were any found in new locations downstream of the Barrier.

 

Random Site Sampling Upstream of the Dispersal Barrier Area 1:

Lake Calumet Connecting Channel and Calumet River above O’Brien Lock

Area 2: Calumet-Sag Channel

Area 3: Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, Western Ave. to Dispersal Barrier

Area 4: North Shore Channel, North Branch Chicago River and Chicago River

A crew from the IDNR completed 3 15-minute electrofishing runs at

randomly selected locations in Areas 2, 3, and 4 (2.25 hours total). No

bighead or silver carp were reported captured or observed.

 

Fixed Sites Downstream of the Dispersal Barrier Site A: Lockport Pool – Lockport Lock and Dam to Electric Barrier

Site B: Brandon Road Pool – Brandon Road Lock and Dam to Lockport Lock and Dam

Site C: Dresden Island Pool – I-55 Bridge to Brandon Road Lock and Dam

Site D: Marseilles Pool – Rt. 47 Bridge (Morris) to Dresden Lock and Dam

 

Crews from the IDNR completed four 15-min electrofishing transects at each downstream fixed site (4.0 hours total). No bighead or silver carp were reported captured or seen at Sites A, B and C nor were any captured at new locations at Site D. Contracted commercial net sampling at downstream fixed sites occurred during the week of July 23 and will be included in the next weekly summary.


Illinois

IDNR Recommends Caution at Fishing Tournaments Due to Hot Weather

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois IDNR is recommending fishing tournament organizers implement additional precautions regarding the catch and handling of fish during upcoming tournaments on Illinois lakes and waterways due to continued hot weather and drought-related water conditions. 

 

“We thank organizers and anglers involved in bass fishing tournaments here in Illinois this summer for considering reducing the number of tournaments and taking extra care at the tournaments that are held to reduce the stress and mortality of bass brought to weigh in,” said Debbie Bruce, chief of the IDNR Division of Fisheries.  “Every effort should be made to ensure the survival of fish caught in tournaments since survival of those fish is important to maintaining the quality of bass fishing in Illinois.”

 

Research has demonstrated that the water quality conditions in even the best boat live-wells can reach near-lethal or lethal conditions during the heat of summer.  Although most research indicates that survival of bass caught in fishing tournaments is usually good, the mortality of bass brought to tournament weigh-ins is highest during the heat of the summer.   With Illinois’ record-setting heat this summer, lethal conditions for tournament-caught fish can develop rapidly.

 

When considering ways to protect fish caught during tournaments this summer, the IDNR Division of Fisheries recommends that tournament organizers consider:

 

Reducing the length of the tournament and lowering the number of fish that can be brought to the weigh-in:

Reducing the length of the tournament reduces the amount of time that bass caught are exposed to the stress of declining water quality. Also, by shortening the length of the tournament, both the fish and anglers reduce time spent at tournament weigh-ins during what may be the hottest part of the day.  By reducing the number of fish brought to the scales, the

demand for oxygen and live-well crowding is reduced.   In addition, fewer

fish in the live-well will help fish maintain the condition of the slime coat that is essential to reduce susceptibility to infections after release back into the water.

 

Maintaining conditions in the live well: 

Tournament anglers should ensure aeration is continuous in their live-well, with occasional water changes made through the day.  Although bottles of ice may be considered as a way to cool the water in live-wells, recent research indicates there is little benefit to bass survival of using ice bottles since wide variations in water temperature appears to be more stressful than warm, steady water temperatures for bass.

 

Limiting the number of bags used to bring fish from live-wells to tournament scales: 

Water quality conditions in transport bags deteriorate even more rapidly than in live-wells due to crowding and lack of aeration.   Lines at the scales during fishing tournaments should be avoided, especially in excessive heat.  If photographs are to be taken of tournament fish, photographers should be ready so the fish can be released back into the lake or waterway or into the release-boat tank with only a minimum delay.  Time out of water should be minimized as much as possible to enhance bass survival.

 

“The IDNR appreciates the efforts tournament organizers and anglers are taking during this brutally hot and dry summer in Illinois,” Bruce said.  “The bottom line for all of us who enjoy fishing in Illinois is that adult bass are a precious resource that deserves the utmost care in ensuring their survival to be caught again.  Research biologists have determined that a little effort goes a long way to ensure the survival of bass released during tournaments, hopefully to be caught again in the future and contribute to higher quality fishing.”

 

For more information on fishing in Illinois, go online to www.ifishillinois.org or www.dnr.illinois.gov.


Quinn Declares War on Illinois Gun Owners

Seeks to ban commonly owned, commonly used firearms

 Tries to force Cook County’s failed "assault" weapons ban on the rest of the state!

 Not happy that a so-called "assault" weapons ban cannot get enough votes to pass in either chamber of the IL General Assembly, Gov. Quinn went out on his own Tuesday and used a questionable amendatory tactic to hijack a legitimate ammunition bill that had already passed both

chambers, gutted it, and turned it into his own personal statewide ban on commonly used, commonly owned firearms and magazines. 

 

Quinn is using SB0681 as his personal vehicle to infringe on the rights of lawful gun owners. He has returned the bill  to the General Assembly for approval.  Call your state representative and state senator and voice your opposition to this infringement on your Second Amendment rights.


Michigan

Testing shows grass carp found in St. Joseph River was reproductively viable  

The Department of Natural Resources is concerned about a recent grass carp finding in the St. Joseph River in Berrien County.

On Saturday, July 7 a bow angler harvested a 33-pound grass carp near the Buchannan Dam. Tissue samples from the fish were submitted to a laboratory at Southern Illinois University to determine its reproductive status. Although grass carp findings are not unusual in this river, the lab results confirmed the fish was a reproductively-viable grass carp, which is cause for concern.

Grass carp are considered an Asian carp species, and while they do not pose the same risk to Michigan’s waters as the much talked about bighead or silver carp, they are of concern as they eat beneficial types of aquatic plants and alter good fish habitat. Grass carp are rarely found in

Michigan waters. Previous cases were usually the result of illegal stocking in ponds or movement from other states where stocking genetically altered triploid fish for aquatic vegetation control is allowed.

 

Other states allow the stocking of triploid fish because they believe the fish have a low probability of reproduction, but the sterilization process is not 100 percent effective. Given their potential negative effects on fish habitat, the DNR strongly opposes the use of triploid fish and reminds the public that live grass carp are illegal to possess, transport or stock in both public and private waters.

In response to this finding, the DNR’s Fisheries Division will continue to assess the distribution of grass carp in the lower St. Joseph River through electrofishing surveys this fall, monitoring movement through fish ladders and angler harvest reports. Potential points of entry will also be assessed to prevent further releases in Michigan waters.

For more information on grass carp, visit www.michigan.gov/asiancarp


Minnesota

Construction begins at Minnesota's newest state park

A 70-site campground, tree houses, and an "adventure trail" with a ropes course are part of the first phase of construction that started Aug. 3 at Lake Vermilion State Park near Ely in northeastern Minnesota, the DNR announced. It's the first major state park being built in Minnesota in more than 30 years.

 

DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr and Parks and Trails Division Director Courtland Nelson participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking of the "next generation" state park. They were joined by elected officials and local and regional partners who have contributed ideas and support for the park.

 

Boat docks, fishing platforms, picnic shelters, roads, parking areas and a paved bike route that will connect to the Mesabi Trail will be among the features developed in the next two years. Plans also call for four camper cabins to be built as early as this fall in the adjacent Soudan Underground Mine State Park.

 

Future phases of construction, pending funding, will include a visitor center, trail system and group camp, as well as hike-in and boat-in campsites. A Heritage Center, featuring the history of mining in the area, is planned at Soudan Underground Mine State Park.

In 2008, the Minnesota Legislature authorized Lake Vermilion State Park and set aside $20 million in bonding to purchase, plan and develop it. The purchase agreement for the 3,000-acre property was signed in May 2010,

and a master plan for the park was developed with much public input.

 

Some funding for the new park facilities will come from the Parks and Trails Fund, created after voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in November 2008. The Parks and Trails Fund receives 14.25 percent of the sales tax revenue and may only be spent to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance.

 

Additional funding sources will include the Legislative–Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR), the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund and the State Park Road Account or State Highway funding. Dedicated snowmobile funding will also be used to establish and maintain the current snowmobile trail through the park.

 

The park has been open since 2010 for recreation opportunities such as hiking, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and geocaching. Staff at Soudan Underground Mine State Park has offered occasional programs at Lake Vermilion State Park, including a BioBlitz that involved citizens in the identification of plants, animals and insects at the park.

 

For more information about the park, or to see a copy of the master plan, visit www.mndnr.gov or call the DNR Information Center, 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.


New York

DEC adopts new freshwater fishing regulations for 2012-2014

Changes to Become Effective October 1, 2012

Changes to freshwater fishing regulations will be in effect starting Oct. 1, 2012, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced. 

 

The new regulations are a result of a two-year process which included DEC assessment and evaluation of biological and ecological data, discussions with anglers, and a formal public review and comment period. Some of the adopted changes apply to all waters in New York, while many others apply only to specific waters.

 

Highlights of the final changes include:

 

Regulation changes that pertain to walleye:

Prohibit fishing in the following stream sections from March 16 until the first Saturday in May (opening day for walleye) to protect spawning walleye: Lake Pleasant outlet to the mouth of the Kunjamuk River (Hamilton County); and Little Sandy Creek (Oswego County) from the intersection of the channelized area next to Koster Drive downstream of the State Route 3 bridge to the lower boundary of the public fishing rights section located upstream of the State Route 3 bridge.

 

Remove special walleye regulations (18-inch minimum size and three per day) and apply the statewide regulation (15-inch minimum size and five per day) for Lime Lake (Cattaraugus County) and Bear and Findley lakes (Chautauqua County). 

Change the walleye daily limit for Lake Erie and the Upper Niagara River to six per day.

 

Regulation changes that pertain to black bass:

Eliminate the special black bass closed season for Oneida Lake and implement statewide regulations

Apply statewide black bass regulations for Allen Lake (Allegany County) and Cassadaga Lake (Chautauqua County)

 

Regulations that pertain to trout and salmon:

Extend the catch and release-only regulation for brook trout into tidal streams in Suffolk County

Eliminate Suffolk County tidal trout regulations and apply freshwater stream trout regulations to these sections

Change minimum length for salmonids in the Upper Niagara River to any size

Change the trout regulations for the Titicus Outlet (Westchester County) and Esopus Creek, Shandaken tunnel outlet to Ashokan Reservoir (Ulster County) to a daily limit of five fish with no more than two trout longer than 12"  

Delete the 12-inch size and three fish per day limit for kokanee salmon in Glass Lake (Rensselaer County). 

Open Lake Kushaqua and Rollins Pond (Franklin County) to ice fishing for lake trout

Open Blue Mountain Lake, Eagle Lake, Forked Lake, Gilman Lake, South Pond and Utowana Lake (Hamilton County) to ice fishing for landlocked salmon and reduce the daily limit for lake trout in these waters from three per day to two per day.

Delete the catch and release trout regulation for Jordan River from Carry Falls Reservoir upstream to Franklin County line (St. Lawrence County). 

Implement a 12-inch minimum size for brown trout in Otisco Lake (Onondaga County)

Reduce the limit of rainbow trout from five to one in the western Finger Lakes and three to one in the tributaries

Remove the restriction of no more than three lake trout as part of the five trout limit in the western Finger Lakes

Eliminate trout catch and release section for Ischua Creek (Cattaraugus County) in the village of Franklinville  

Change the minimum size limit for rainbow trout in Skaneateles Lake (Onondaga, Cayuga and Cortland Counties) and Owasco Lake (Cayuga County) from 9" to 15"

Add the tributaries of Beaverdam Brook (Oswego County) from their mouths to the upstream boundary of the Salmon River Hatchery property to the current Beaverdam Brook fishing closure (which also currently prohibits fishing within 100 yards of any DEC fish collection device)

Delete the special trout regulation for Palmer Lake (Saratoga County) to match the statewide regulation

 

Regulations that pertain to pickerel, muskellunge and tiger muskellunge:

Institute a catch and release only regulation for chain pickerel in Deep Pond (Suffolk County). 

Implement a 40-inch size limit for muskellunge and tiger muskellunge in the Chenango, Tioughnioga, Tioga and Susquehanna rivers (Chenango, Cortland, Broome and Tioga counties) and a 36-inch size limit at Otisco Lake (Onondaga County). 

 

Regulations that pertain to ice fishing and baitfish:

Delete special ice fishing regulation for Square Pond (Franklin County)

Eliminate the existing ban on the use of tip-ups in Crumhorn Lake (Otsego County)

Allow ice fishing on stocked trout lakes in Allegany, Niagara, Wyoming, Chautauqua, Erie and Cattaraugus counties unless otherwise stated. 

Allow ice fishing on specific waters currently deemed as trout waters in the counties of Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida and St. Lawrence Counties

Provide for ice fishing at privately managed water in Hamilton County (Salmon Pond)

Include Cayuta Lake (Schuyler County) as a designated water from which baitfish may be commercially harvested

Regulations that pertain to gear and angling methods:

More clearly specify that attempting to take fish by snagging is prohibited

Permit the use of multiple hooks with multiple points on Lake Erie tributaries

For the Salmon River (Oswego County) allow a bead chain to be attached to floating lures. The distance between a floating lure and hook point may not exceed three-and-a-half inches when a bead chain configuration is used

For the Salmon River (Oswego County) implement a “no weight” restriction (i.e., only floating line and unweighted leaders and flies allowed) from May 1 – 15 for the Lower Fly Area and from May 1 – August 31 for the Upper Fly Area

Explicitly and clearly indicate that the catch and release requirement for New York City waters does not apply to snakeheads and that any snakeheads caught while angling are not to be returned to the water

 

The complete list of freshwater sportfish regulation changes can be viewed under 'Recently Adopted Regulations (Previous Twelve Months)’ on DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/propregulations.html. All comments received from the public were categorized and reviewed for substance, and staff responses were compiled. A summary of the “Assessment of Public Comment is available on the Department of State website at www.dos.state.ny.us/info/register.htm.   

 


Ohio

More Than 24 Million Fish to be stocked in Ohio Waterways for 2012

Muskie, channel catfish, blue catfish and brown trout yet to be stocked this year

COLUMBUS, OH - The 2012 production season for the Division of Wildlife’s six state fish hatcheries is off to a great start, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

More than 23 million sport fish have been stocked statewide thus far with late summer and fall stockings yet to be completed. Unusually warm temperatures in early spring accelerated egg take and required fish management personnel to adapt quickly to the unexpected weather.  

 

“Our hatchery staff has been really busy this year, and we are very happy with our production so far,” said Tim Parrett, fish hatchery program administrator with the Division of Wildlife. “The ultimate goal at the end of the day is for our anglers to have success.”

Hatchery crews began the stocking season in early March with catchable rainbow trout that kicked off the fishing season for many outdoor enthusiasts. These trout stockings continued through April with many of the stockings coinciding with youth or other special events, providing opportunities for beginning or novice anglers.

 

Walleye and saugeye were distributed statewide in April and May. Ohio’s saugeye program is very popular with inland anglers. This hybrid, a cross between female walleye and male sauger, has been stocked in many of Ohio’s inland lakes since the late 1970s. Saugeye have created a fishery in lakes where walleye stockings proved unsuccessful. Both saugeye and walleye are excellent table fare.

 

Steelhead are stocked in select tributaries of Lake Erie in April and May,

and they were raised at the newly renovated Castalia State Fish

Hatchery. This facility is the only steelhead hatchery operated by the Division of Wildlife. Ohio’s steelhead fishery is among the best in the Great Lakes region, attracting anglers from across the country.

 

Hybrid striped bass and yellow perch finished off this spring’s stockings. Late summer and fall plans include muskellunge, channel catfish, blue catfish and brown trout, further adding to the diversity of opportunities available for anglers.

 

Sales of fishing licenses along with the Sport Fish Restoration (SFR) program continue to fund the operation of the Division of Wildlife’s fish hatcheries. No state tax dollars are used for this activity. This is a user-pay, user-benefit program.

 

The SFR is a partnership between federal and state government, industry, and anglers/boaters. When anglers purchase rods, reels, fishing tackle, fish finders and motor boat fuel, they pay an excise tax.  The federal government collects these taxes and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers and disburses these funds to the state fish and wildlife agencies. These funds are used to acquire habitat, produce and stock fish, conduct research and surveys, provide aquatic education to youth and acquire and develop boat accesses.

 

Sport fish reared at state fish hatcheries provide opportunities for anglers, old and young alike, novice or expert. Whether people are looking for ways to spend leisure time with family or friends, pursue a trophy fish like the muskellunge, or wanting healthy, nutritious food for the table, Ohio offers it all.


Other Breaking News Items

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Great Lakes trout serve as barometer for global pollutants
Whenever chemicals have been found in lake trout, they have also been found in people throughout North America as far as the Arctic.

 

Crews to search western Lake Erie for Asian carp
State and federal agencies are focusing on sections of the Sandusky River and Bay and the Maumee River and Bay, where samples taken a year ago turned up DNA from silver and bighead carp.


Leahy to NY: Close canal to block invasive species
U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont called Monday for the state of New York to close parts of the Champlain Canal, saying the step was needed to prevent the spread of another invasive species north into the lake. The canal is located entirely in New York state and links the Hudson River with Lake Champlain.

 

Erie's last commercial fishermen fined for nets
A father and son team long considered the last commercial Pennsylvania fishermen on Lake Erie have been ordered to pay fines and restitution after being convicted of using illegal nets to snare their catches.

 

 

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