Week of August 7, 2006

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World

Teen Wins Silver to lead team to Shooting Gold

ZAGREB, Croatia - Eighteen-year-old Hunter Wise (Coleman, Tx) won the silver medal and led the U.S. Team to a new World Record and the gold medal in the junior men's skeet event held on the Luze shooting range at the 49th ISSF World Shooting Championships.

 

Wise finished with a total score of 120 to find himself in second place in junior men's skeet, while other U.S. team members, Troy Kensinger (College Station, Texas) and Jesse Musser (College Station, Texas) shot a 116 and 112, respectively. Together, the three Texas junior's led the U.S. to the gold medal in the team event, hitting a 348 combined score. This performance also set a new World Record in this team event, beating the previous World Record of 343 set by Great Britain in 2005.

 

"I feel good about how I shot," Wise said. "This is my best 

score overseas, and I felt loose and I could see the targets well." As for the team, since we are all from Texas, we have trained together a lot and we know each other pretty well," Wise added. "I think that makes it easier to keep each other pumped up and focused until the end."

 

All three junior team members came out of the Texas 4-H shooting program, and just two weeks before they left for this competition, spent time training together at Hill Country Shooting Sports Center, in Kerrville, Texas.

 

In the open men's skeet competition, the U.S. Team didn't fare quite as well, finishing 11th overall with a 354 combined score. 2004 Olympian Sgt. First Class Shawn Dulohery, of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), led the U.S. Team, shooting a 121 and placing 10th. Sean McClelland (Bremerton, WA) followed, hitting a 118, while Allen Treadwell (Seligman, Mo.) finished with a 115.


National

Recent trends in the homicide-rates for Canada and the US Since 1998, start of Canadian firearms registry; Canada up 9 %, U.S. down 9%

Since 1998 -- the year the Canadian firearm registry began -- the homicide rate in Canada has increased by 9 %. Specifically, the Canadian homicide rate rose from 1.84 per 100,000 population in 1998 to 2.00 in 2005.  The homicide rate had been dropping in Canada since 1994, but that trend ended in 2003. The homicide rate has now increased for two consecutive years (2004 and 2005).

 

During this same 7-year time period, the American homicide rate dropped by 9 %. The homicide rate in the United States fell from 6.30 in 1998 to just 5.76 in 2005.

 

The brief analysis presented here by the Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies from Simon Fraser University says this provides additional evidence that the new Conservative government is on the right track in its efforts to abandon the ineffective policies of the past. The former government’s policy of licensing firearm owners and registering firearms has clearly failed to reduce homicide rates. Despite an outrageous expenditure of over one billion dollars on this effort since 1997, there has been no demonstrable improvement in public safety.

 

Some paid lobbyists defend the former government’s focus on firearms by arguing that the registry should be thought of as successful because firearm-related deaths have decreased. This argument is rather weak since Statistics Canada reports that total numbers of both homicides and suicides have increased since the registry was adopted. It would appear to 

be a hollow victory to claim that the registry is a success when no lives are saved.

 

It is sometimes argued that the proper date for evaluating the firearm registry should be the year when registration and licensing became mandatory for all firearms owners (i.e., 2001), not the date that owners were first required to get a firearm licence and to register their firearms (1998). If we calculate the changes in homicide rates using 2001 instead of 1998, the failure of this approach is even more striking.

 

Between 2001 and 2005, the Canadian homicide rate increased by 12 %.  This is particularly shocking because the increase is even greater despite the shorter time period.  The increase in homicide rates for two successive years undermines the claim that the firearm registry is actually effective but that it just takes awhile to see the effects. The longer one waits, the greater the increase in homicide rate.

 

It is important to note that the failure of the Canadian firearm registry to reduce the homicide rate is not unique. The even more stringent firearm laws of the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and Jamaica, inter alia, have also failed to reduce homicide rates in those countries.  Another example is Belgium where, despite strict firearm regulations, homicide has increased more than 40% since 2000.

 

The study urged the House of Commons to consider that public safety might be better improved by focusing on violent criminals rather than on law-abiding people who happen to own firearms.


Gun sales up 10.7 % nationally

Jump driven by strong ammo sales

The National Shooting Sports Foundation reports the firearm industry's best economic indicator shows that first-quarter 2006 gun and ammunition sales grew by 10.7 % over the same period last year. Ammo sales drove the overall gain with a 32 % increase. The statistics are taken from the latest Pittman-Robertson federal excise tax collection report.

 

Excise taxes are calculated as a percentage of wholesale receipts, paid quarterly by firearm and ammunition manufacturers, and earmarked for state wildlife conservation and habitat restoration programs. In the first quarter of 2006, $61.3 million was generated for conservation, compared to $55.4 million in 2005. The latest tax collections suggest overall sales of $570.6 million from January through March

2006, not including retail markup or final retail sales.

 

Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax Collections

1st Quarter 2006 (January - March)

Handguns
Long Guns
Ammunition

$14,474,018.18
$26,763,118.85
$20,088,599.72

Total

$61,325,736.75

 

1st Quarter 2005 (January - March)

Handguns
Long Guns
Ammunition

$13,935,789.55
$26,258,799.04
$15,213,641.72

Total

$55,408,230.31


Synthetic fragrances perfume lake sediments

Production of these persistent compounds has doubled since the 1990s, and scientists are concerned about sub-lethal effects.

 

The scent of perfume behind the ears has timeless allure, but perfume raises scientific eyebrows when it persists in the environment. Research published last week in the July 26 issue of Science News documents, for the first time, a historical profile of synthetic-fragrance concentrations in lake sediment. The results show a dramatic rise in environmental exposure over the past 15 years - a potential concern if these persistent contaminants turn out to have biological effects, experts say.

 

 Researchers sampled Lake Erie and Lake Ontario Sediment Cores for synthetic fragrances, which are virtually non-biodegradable and are accumulating in this portion of the ecosystem. Synthetic musk fragrances, far cheaper than and chemically dissimilar to the natural fragrance obtained from musk deer and musk ox, are found in common household detergents, soaps, shampoos, and cosmetics, says Keri Hornbuckle, an environmental engineer at the University of Iowa and a coauthor of the study. They have also been detected in human fat and breast milk.

 

U.S. manufacturers used 6500 t of synthetic musks in 2000, the last year for which data are available. The U.S. EPA lists HHCB (Galaxolide), the most common fragrance compound, as a high-production-volume chemical—>1 million lb/year are imported or produced. In addition, synthetic fragrances persist in the environment, accumulate in animals, and have an affinity for fat—all traits of persistent organic pollutants. These properties, combined with the sheer volume used, worry

researchers, who have begun to track the environmental fate and biological impacts of synthetic fragrances, Hornbuckle says.

 

Hornbuckle and her colleagues dated the two sediment cores and analyzed the concentrations of five polycyclic and two nitro musk fragrances. They found that HHCB concentrations actually declined slightly from 1979 to 1990; however, from 1990 to 2003, levels of HHCB doubled in only 8 years. The dry weight concentrations of fragrances in sediment are in the parts-per-million range.

 

The concentration of HHCB over time mirrored the trends in U.S. consumption of all fragrances, including synthetic musks, terpenes, and other compounds, levels of which have also risen significantly in the past decade, Hornbuckle says. Industry would not provide the researchers with consumption data for individual fragrances.

 

Research on Lake Michigan shows that sewers serve as the primary conduit for fragrances, which wash down the drain after being applied to skin, hair, and clothing, Hornbuckle says. She has also detected fragrances in rural air at levels higher than those of the most commonly used pesticides.

 

“Thus far, the European Chemicals Bureau has concluded that HHCB and AHTN [Tonalide, a polycyclic musk] are not PBTs [persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic substances], and the European Scientific Committee for Cosmetics and Non-Food Products has affirmed their continued safe use in consumer products,” says Dan Salvito, an environmental scientist at the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials, an industry association.


Regional

Minnesota & region is swarming with fleas

They're also spreading in Ontario & other states and inland lakes

Lake Superior is swarming with fleas; at least 36 species of cladocerans, or waterfleas, reproduce in the lake.

 

Now, federal officials say Spiny water fleas were found recently in Voyageurs National Park on the Minnesota-Ontario border. The National Park Service reports Matt Gunderson (18), a Duluth teenager vacationing on Rainy Lake found more than a dozen of them on his fishing line July 18 while trolling for walleyes off Blueberry Island in Voyageurs National Park.

 

Gunderson immediately recognized the mass of tiny animals because he's been educated to watch for invasive species most of his life. His father works for the Minnesota Sea Grant Program, which funds research and conducts public education programs about aquatic invasive species. National Park Service officials confirmed them at seven sites on the U.S. side of the lake.

 

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources first report Oct. 7, 2003 that spiny water fleas had invaded the Gile Flowage, a lake in Iron County near Lake Superior. This is the first time the invasive water fleas had been found in an inland Wisconsin lake, according to the DNR.

Spiny water fleas - a type of crustacean measuring up to one-half inch long - had invaded Lake Huron by 1984 and spread to every Great Lake by 1987. To date, they have moved to inland lakes in Michigan, Minnesota and southern Ontario in Canada. Scientists suspect that the critter - whose spiny, sharp tail makes up half its body length - first arrived in North America in water carried aboard freighters from European ports. They were discovered in the United States in Lake Ontario in 1982 and in Lake Superior in 1987 - likely arriving in the ballast of ships from Eastern Europe.

 

The discovery also has international implications as more than 75 percent of Rainy Lake is in Ontario, Canada, and will impact how the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources operates in that area. The waterfleas now have the potential to spread downstream to Lake of the Woods (Minnesota's largest lake) or upstream to Kabetogama, Namakan, Sand Point, and Crane lakes. The finding brings the number of infested lakes in Minnesota to ten (excluding Lake Superior).

 

Spiny Water Fleas reproduce rapidly. During warm summer conditions each female can produce up to 10 offspring every two weeks. As temperatures drop in the fall, eggs are produced that can lie dormant all winter.

 


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for August 4, 2006

Lake Level Conditions: 

The water level on Lake Superior is 2 inches below the level of a year ago, while Lake Michigan-Huron is similar to last year’s level.  Helped by recent heavy rainfall, Lake St. Clair is 2 inches above last year’s water level, while Lakes Erie and Ontario are 4 and 6 inches above 2005 levels.  The water levels on Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are expected to remain steady over the next month.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are forecasted to fall 4 to 6 inches over the next month.  Over the next few months, all of the Great Lakes are predicted to remain near or above the water levels of 2005

 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

The Lake Superior outflow through the St. Marys River into Lake Huron is expected to be near average in August.  Flows in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are expected to be below average during August.  Flows in the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers are expected to be near average in August.

 

Alerts:  

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

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for Aug 4

601.5

578.1

574.3

571.9

246.2

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

+5

+7

+24

+33

+35

Diff last month

+1

+2

+2

+1

+4

Diff from last yr

-2

0

+2

+4

+6

 


General

Outdoor Channel and Mustang Survival Ink Boating Safety Agreement

Temecula, Calif.—Management of The Outdoor Channel (TOC) and Mustang Survival, Inc. signed a precedent-setting agreement at ICAST in Las Vegas to provide all TOC program producers who do shows in or on the water with life saving personal flotation devices (PFDs). TOC and Mustang are providing the PFDs at no charge to the producers. TOC is the first and only national outdoor television network to promote PFDs being worn on all future shows (beginning fall 2007).

 

The PFD program is part of a larger “Safe Recreational Boating Practices Partnership” established earlier this year between TOC and the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA). The overall partnership created a working relationship between TOC, NMMA and its member companies that will establish TOC outdoor programming producers and hosts as role models for wearing PFDs and

demonstrating safe boating practices to a national audience.

 

In concert with the original TOC/NMMA memorandum of understanding, Mustang Survival, Inc. committed their resources to partner with TOC in providing top quality PFDs from their industry-leading line of products. “Personal safety on the water and saving lives is the ultimate goal at Mustang. We are proud to partner with The Outdoor Channel as they take the lead in encouraging the outdoor community to be safer and more responsible. We believe our products provide the best unrestrictive, protective personal safety equipment hunters, anglers and boaters need and demand,” said Bob Askew, Mustang Survival CEO.

 

For more information on the agreement, contact Chris Chaffin, The Outdoor Channel, cchaffin@outdoorchannel.com or Frank Leffelaar, Mustang Survival, Fleffelaar@Mustangsurvival.com.


 

Illinois

Illinois waterfowl hunting seasons announced

September Canada goose, Teal seasons set

SPRINGFIELD, IL - Illinois DNR proposals for a 60-day duck hunting season statewide, along with 79-day Canada goose seasons in the North and Central zones and a 57-day Canada goose season in the South Zone for the 2006-2007 waterfowl season, have been forwarded to the USFWS for concurrence later this summer.  The proposals were endorsed last week by the USFWS Regulations Committee.

 

The proposals include an end to Canada goose hunting harvest quotas in Illinois beginning this fall.  As a result, waterfowl hunters will no longer receive Canada goose permits when they purchase their annual state waterfowl stamps.  With Illinois eliminating Canada goose quota zones, hunters will no longer be required to phone in their Canada goose harvest as they have in the past.  The elimination of goose quotas is part of a five-year experiment that other Mississippi Valley states will join in 2007.  Illinois was approved to begin the experiment this season.  It is subject to annual review, and harvest and population conditions may require that quotas be reestablished if a significant decline in the Mississippi Valley Population (MVP) of Canada geese occurs.    

 

"We are very pleased with the response from waterfowl hunters to our plan to experiment with eliminating goose quotas and quota zones," said IDNR Acting Director Sam Flood.  "Hunters buying Illinois waterfowl stamps will no longer receive goose permits, since marking those permits and calling in their goose harvest are no longer required.  Hunters who have already purchased waterfowl stamps with goose permits won't need to mark them this hunting season."

 

Hunters are still required to register with the federal Harvest Information Program (HIP).  The program is designed to produce more accurate federal waterfowl harvest estimates.  Hunters should receive their HIP certification when they purchase their hunting license or sportsmen's combination license.  Hunters can also register for HIP online at www.wetland.net  or by phone 888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648).  Registration each year with HIP is mandatory.

 

Illinois Duck Season Recommendations for 2006-07

The USFWS this year is allowing a 60-day duck season with a daily bag limit of six ducks.  This marks the tenth consecutive year in which hunters in Illinois have been offered a 60-day duck season.  Federal regulations will allow pintails and canvasbacks to be hunted during the regular 60-day duck seasons.

 

The proposed Illinois duck season dates are as follows:

North Zone - Saturday, Oct. 21 - Tuesday, Dec. 19

Central Zone - Saturday, Oct. 28 - Tuesday, Dec. 26

South Zone - Thursday, Nov. 23 - Sunday, Jan. 21

                       

The daily limit is six ducks, which may include no more than four mallards (two hens), two wood ducks, two redheads, two scaup, one pintail, one canvasback and one black duck.  In addition, hunters may harvest up to five mergansers per day, of which two can be hooded mergansers.  Possession limits are twice the daily bag limit.

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service annual survey of key nesting areas indicated a total population of 36.2 million breeding ducks, an increase of 14 percent compared with last

year and up 9 percent compared with the 1956-2005 long-term average.  The mid-continent mallard fall flight forecast is 9.8 million, compared to 9.3 million last year. 

 

Teal Season for 2006

The statewide nine-day teal season is Sept. 9-24 from sunrise to sunset. The daily bag limit is four teal with a possession limit of eight.

 

The proposed Canada goose season dates in Illinois are:

North Zone (79 days) - Saturday, Oct. 21 - Sunday, Nov. 12 and Monday, Nov. 20 - Sunday, Jan. 14

Central Zone (79 days) - Saturday, Oct. 28 - Sunday, Nov. 5 and Thursday, Nov. 23 - Wednesday, Jan. 31

South Zone (57 days) - Thursday, Nov. 23 - Sunday, Nov. 26 and Sunday, Dec. 10 - Wednesday, Jan. 31

 

The Mississippi Valley Population (MVP) of Canada geese spring population estimate was 704,954, a 9 percent increase compared with the 1989-2006 average.  Early spring conditions in MVP breeding grounds should have resulted in an excellent production year for MVP geese.

 

During the regular Canada goose season in Illinois, the statewide daily bag limit will be two geese with a possession limit of four geese.  Because Illinois is eliminating quota zones and Canada goose harvest quotas, Illinois must adhere to the federally mandated daily Canada goose harvest possession limit of twice the daily bag limit for geese.

 

September Canada goose season for 2006

The statewide September Canada goose season in all zones will be Sept. 1-15.  During the September season only, Illinois will retain a Northeast Illinois Canada Goose Zone.  That zone includes Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.  During the September season only, the daily harvest bag limit for the Northeast Zone will be five geese (possession limit is 10 for the Northeast Zone only), with a daily bag limit of two geese (possession limit of four geese) for the North, Central and South zones.

 

White-fronted Goose Season - 2006-07

(Bag limit is one in the North and Central zones and two in the South Zone.  By Federal rules, zones that are open more than 72 days must reduce the bag limit to one.  Possession limit is twice the daily bag limit)

 

North Zone - Saturday, Oct. 21 - Sunday, Jan. 14

Central Zone - Saturday, Oct. 28 - Sunday, Nov. 5 and Thursday, Nov. 23 - Wednesday, Jan. 31

South Zone - Thursday, Nov. 23 - Wednesday, Jan. 31

 

Snow Goose and Brant Season - 2006-07

(Bag limit 20 snow geese with no possession limit; one brant in all zones, possession limit is two)

 

North Zone - Saturday, Oct. 21 - Sunday, Jan. 14

Central Zone - Saturday, Oct. 28 - Wednesday, Jan. 31

South Zone - Thursday, Nov. 23 - Wednesday, Jan. 31

 

For more information on Illinois waterfowl hunting seasons, prospects, zone line details and other information, pick up a copy of the Illinois Digest of Waterfowl Hunting Regulations available in print or online at http://dnr.state.il.us  beginning in September.


Indiana

Plant pathogen found in state for the first time at Portage store

Phytophthora ramorum, the fungus-like micro-organism that causes the plant disease Ramorum blight on landscape ornamentals and Sudden Oak Death on tanoaks and susceptible species of oak on the West Coast, has been confirmed in the garden section of a hardware store in Portage, according to state entomologist Bob Waltz.

 

The infected sample was found two weeks ago from a species of Viburnum (a common shrub) that was shipped to

the store from an Oregon-based supplier.

 

Information on the shipment was provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection Quarantine (USDA APHIS PPQ). Samples taken from the plants by DNR inspectors were first screened for the presence of Phytophthora species by the Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab, then forwarded to the USDA APHIS PPQ laboratory in Beltsville, Md., where P. ramorum was confirmed.


Michigan

Reduced Rate Seasonal Slips Available at Presque Isle State Harbor

State recreation officials have announced Presque Isle State Harbor is offering seasonal boat slips at reduced rates for the remainder of the 2006 boating season. Reduced rates for seasonal slips are:

 

30 ft. and under $360/month

31-38 ft. $480/month

39-45 ft. $660/month

46-60 ft. $900/month

 

These reduced rates are for a 30-day period and are available only at Presque Isle State Harbor. Any stay less than 30 days will be charged the standard transient rate. The short-term seasonal rental opportunity is a pilot program that will be evaluated at the end of 2006 boating season.

Presque Isle State Harbor is located on Lake Huron and offers easy access to Great Lakes trout and salmon fishing, the Presque Isle lighthouses (both old and new), and is the site of the annual Presque Isle wooden boat show held in June. Amenities at the harbor include fuel (gasoline and diesel), showers, pump-out, launch and a fishing pier. A convenience store is located across the road and a restaurant is adjacent to the parking lot.

 

For more information about Presque Isle State Harbor, including an aerial view of the harbor, visit the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov.dnr . Click on the Michigan Recreational Boating Information System listed under Online Services and use the Find a Harbor search button. Contact the DNR Cheboygan Field Office at (231) 627-9578 to make arrangements for one of these slips.


Minnesota

Start planning 2007 fishing tournaments 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will begin accepting applications for 2007 fishing tournaments on Aug. 1. Applications received by Sept. 29 will be given preference under rules adopted to redistribute tournament traffic on busy lakes.

 

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. Permits are free. In 2006, DNR issued nearly 600 permits statewide for both open water and ice fishing contests. The 2006 Minnesota Legislature moved up the application period by one month at the request of tournament organizers. 

 

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 are allowed, limited to 50 boats or 100 participants per month. Lakes from 15,000 to 55,000 acres can have five contests per month, three of which may

exceed 100 participants. There are no limits for lakes larger

than 55,000 acres. 

 

Tournament organizers should check for new limits on rivers established by the 2006 Legislature.  Tournaments on rivers are limited to two per month, except limits on the Minnesota-Wisconsin boundary waters of the Mississippi River and Lake St. Croix are slightly higher.

 

If the number of applications exceeds monthly limits, the DNR uses a lottery to allocate available permits. Applications received from Aug. 1 through Sept. 29 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. 29 will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis through the 2007 tournament season.

 

For a complete summary of the tournament regulations, call the DNR Information Center at  (651) 296-6157 or toll free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367) or view the summary and a tournament application on the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us


Muskie fishing regulations meeting Sept 14 & 29

BRAINERD - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is proposing a special fishing regulation for muskellunge on the Mississippi River in Crow Wing County.  An open house will be held on September 14, 2006, from 6 pm to 8 PM in the lunchroom of the DNR Office Building, 1601 Minnesota Drive, Brainerd to give people an opportunity to learn more about the proposed regulation and to comment.   A 10-day public comment period (through September 24) will follow the open house.

 

A similar public input open house will be held in the DNR          

Central Office Building in St. Paul, MN, from 8 am to 4:30 PM, on September 29, 2006, for the same regulation proposal.  A 10-day public comment period will follow the meeting.  The public comment period for the open house in St. Paul will terminate on October 9, 2006. 

 

Comments may either be written at the open house or mailed to:  Area Fisheries Hdqtrs, tim.brastrup@dnr.state.mn.us or mailed to:

DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife Box 12, 500 Lafayette Rd, St. Paul, MN 55155-4012.


New York

DEC Advises Anglers About Moving Fish Between Water Bodies

Non-Native Fish Species Can Harm Aquatic Ecosystems

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is advising anglers of the negative effects of moving fish from one body of water to another. Whether purposely or accidentally done, stocking of fish is illegal without a DEC permit. Introduced fish species can negatively affect the fishery and aquatic ecosystem of the waters they are released into by preying on fish already present, out-competing native species for food, spreading diseases and changing the amount, size, and type of microscopic organisms in the water.

 

Many of the waters throughout New York State cannot support a wide array of fish species, and this is especially true in the Adirondacks. Most Adirondack waters contained populations of three or fewer fish species until the late 1800s when human activities introduced non-native fish species into the area.

 

Historically, approximately 17,870 acres (94 percent) of lakes and ponds in the Saranac Lake Wild Forest contained brook trout, today only 570 acres (3 percent) of the lakes and ponds contain brook trout. Only 86 acres of ponds contain self-sustaining brook trout populations.

 

Now non-native fish species dominate the region's lakes and ponds. Native fish, such as Adirondack heritage strain brook trout and the endangered round whitefish, only inhabit a small fraction of the waters they had 150 years ago.

 

Non-native fish, like largemouth and smallmouth bass, yellow

perch, northern pike, golden shiners, rock bass, black crappie, and others - prey on native Adirondack fish eggs and young and out compete them for limited food resources. Non-native fish also consume large quantities of zooplankton (very small aquatic animals) and other prey food that the native fish feed upon. This results in a decrease in the amount, size, and types of zooplankton populations in the waters. Reduced amounts of zooplankton, which feed on algae, means less food available to native fish and more algae and algal blooms in that body of water.

 

Moving fish from one water body to another can also transfer harmful fish diseases and limit recreational fishing opportunities.

 

DEC advises anglers to take the following steps to prevent the spread of non-native fish:

► Do not move fish from one water body to another: All such stockings are illegal and can damage the aquatic ecosystem as well as fishing opportunities;

 

► Do not use bait fish on Adirondack waters where it is prohibited: Check the Special Regulations section of the New York State Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide to determine the waters where the use of bait fish is prohibited. Most waters will have the sign posted as well; and

 

► Do not release unused bait fish even where using them is allowed: Many fish species sold as bait are not native to the Adirondacks. Your bait bucket could be the source of new, non-native species or spread fish diseases to the water you are fishing


Wisconsin

Public comments sought on outdoor recreation plan update

MADISON – Wisconsin residents love outdoor pastimes, according to a new report on outdoor recreation that finds participation rates in Wisconsin higher than most other regions of the country.

 

The Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) presents an up-to-date view of Wisconsin citizens’ current outdoor recreation participation rates and preferences. The report also presents recommendations in eight areas important to outdoor recreation including resource protection, recreation facilities, recreation conflicts, recreation programming, access to lands and waters, urbanization and population growth, funding, and wellness.

 

The report notes that continued protection of water resources and renewal of publicly funded access programs, such as Stewardship 2000, are vital factors in encouraging outdoor recreation as a healthy, active pastime.

 

The 2005-2010 SCORP report is available for public review and comment through Aug. 30, 2006. The report is available on the Department of Natural Resources Web site.

 

The report is updated and completed every five years to fulfill requirements of the 1965 federal Land and Water Conservation Fund Act. The fund distributes federal dollars to states for recreation purposes. Wisconsin has received more than $70 million through the fund since 1965.

 

The draft report estimates that there are 5,781,102 acres of recreational lands managed by state, county, city, village, town and federal governments in Wisconsin.

 

“Many factors affect the supply, demand and participation in outdoor recreation in Wisconsin,” said Jeff Prey, senior planner with the Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Parks and Recreation. “The SCORP report takes a look at the changing nature of Wisconsin’s population, recreation trends and preferences in a number of areas important to recreation and public planners and provides a framework for development of recreation options and needs.”

 

In addition to information on participation in 95 outdoor activities, the report also looks at the effects of changing

demographics on outdoor recreation. During the years 1950 to 2000, Wisconsin gained 2,098,380 residents – a 61 percent increase. According to the report, populations are projected to hit 5,751,470 by the year 2010 and 6,110,878 by 2020. The majority of the population, or about 68 percent, live in a relatively small number of urban and suburban areas.

 

“As the state’s population demographics change, so do recreation demands,” Prey said. “The data indicates that urban residents often prefer developed facilities such as dog parks and outdoor water parks, while rural residents prefer more open-space activities such as ATV riding.”

 

Age structure across the populations also impacts demand, according to trends suggested in the report. As in many parts of the country, the average age of the population is increasing with aging of the baby boom generation. Certain activities once popular among baby boomers such as downhill skiing, jet skiing and mountain biking, are declining in popularity while more passive recreation pursuits such as walking for pleasure, bird watching and gardening are becoming more popular.

 

In contrast to older residents, says the report, younger generations are participating in several newer, more active forms of recreation. Geocaching, disc golfing, kayaking, snowboarding and paintball have all become more popular.

 

“With more than 60 % of Wisconsin residents overweight or obese according to data from the Centers for Disease Control, outdoor recreation opportunities in Wisconsin’s parks, forests and trails can be a means to better health and wellness for this state,” Prey said.

 

The report also looks at conflicts between different kinds of outdoor recreation noting that although some people participating in different activities interact with few problems, many experience at least some level of conflict. Often these conflicts involve competition over available land or resources or value disagreements between different sectors of the recreating public.

People may comment on the draft report by e-mail through a link on the SCORP Web page or by U.S. mail by sending written comments to Jeff Prey, Wisconsin State Parks, P.O. Box 7921, Madison WI 53707-7921.


Ontario

Province expands deer & moose hunting opportunities

Help to Control Population; Easier Access for Disabled Hunters

TORONTO — Ontario is expanding deer and moose hunting opportunities as part of a sustainable wildlife management program, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced last week.

 

"Expanding deer hunting opportunities will keep deer populations under control and also provide an economic boost to communities," said Ramsay. "The moose regulation changes will improve access to hunting opportunities for disabled hunters and ensure greater consistency in moose seasons across the northwest."

 

The ministry has expanded or modified deer hunts in some parts of the province to control increasing deer populations and associated problems, such as deer-vehicle collisions, crop damage and habitat degradation.

Moose hunting opportunities for archery hunters have been enhanced and a consistent date for the opening of the moose season in eight Wildlife Management Units in northwestern Ontario is now in place. It will be easier for mobility-impaired hunters to take advantage of hunting opportunities.

 

These changes are just one way the McGuinty government is managing fish and wildlife resources to ensure their long-term sustainability.

 

Others include:

►Investing $13.2 million over three years in the Dorion Fish Culture Station - the only ministry hatchery serving northwestern Ontario and western Lake Superior

►Supporting the Ontario Stewardship program which protects Ontario’s rich variety of plants, animals and ecosystems while supporting the sustainable use of resources.

►Developing a strategy for wolf conservation in Ontario to ensure the long-term sustainability of the species.

The changes take effect September 2, 2006.


Ontario Regulation changes for 2007

 

Map of Fisheries Management Zones in Ontario

Fisheries Management Zones in Ontario
 

Walleye is the preferred fish of most Ontario anglers and accounts for 25 % of the catch.  More than 25 million walleye were caught in 2000, with an estimated 6.5 million kept by anglers.

 

The interim changes for 2007 were developed following extensive consultation with anglers and stakeholder groups over the past year.  The consultations confirmed the need to move forward to protect and rebuild walleye populations in southern Ontario, particularly in inland waters.  In other areas where the walleye populations are considered healthy, there will be little or no change to the regulations.

 

To facilitate public input on walleye regulations and other fisheries management programs, the ministry will be establishing Fisheries Management Councils for each of the new Fisheries Management Zones.  The ministry will work with the councils to examine walleye management in each zone.   The ministry also plans to undertake a comprehensive review of walleye management in southern Ontario, including stocking, habitat protection, invasive species and recreational angling regulations.

 

Summary of Changes

The following changes will come into effect in 2007.  More details will be available on the ministry website and in the Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary for 2007.

 

An interim limit of four walleye, one of which can be over 45.7 cm (18"), will apply to all inland fisheries management zones, while conservation fishing licence holders will be restricted to two walleye, one of which can be over 45.7 cm (18").  There have been minor winter season closure adjustments in some of the zones as a result of amalgamating the old fishing

divisions into the new fisheries management zones, and public input received during the consultation on the proposed regulations for 2007 and the southern Ontario walleye review (see table below for details).

 

In Lake Huron and Lake Ontario, the regulations remain unchanged.  On Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair, where populations are very healthy, the season will be open year-round, with a six walleye limit for holders of sport fishing licenses.

 

In the Ottawa River and Lake Timiskaming, the limit is five walleye for sport fishing, and two for a conservation licence, with a maximum size limit of 40 cm (15.7") from March 1 to June 15.  The walleye season will open one week later in May.  This makes Ontario’s regulations consistent with those in Quebec. 

 

Fisheries Mgmt Zone

Limits - (sport fishing/conservation licence)

Season

12 (Ottawa River,
 Lake Timiskaming)

Limit of 5/2 with zero over 40 cm from March 1 – 31 and the Friday before the third Saturday in May to June 15, no size limit for rest of year

Friday before the third Saturday in May to March 31

13 (Lake Huron)

Limit of 6/2 with no size limit – no change

Open all year

14 (Georgian Bay)

Limit of 2/1 and possession of 4/2 – no change

January 1 to March 1 and May 1 to December 31

15 (Central Ontario)
16 (Southwest Ontario)*
17 (Peterborough)
18 (E. Ontario)

Limit of 4/2 walleye with one over 45.7 cm

15 (third Saturday in May to March 15)
16 (second Saturday in May to March 15)
17 (second Saturday in May to Nov. 15)
18 (second Saturday in May to March 1)

19 (Lakes Erie, St. Clair)

Limit of 6/2, no size limit, no closed season – expansion of season and limit

Open all year.

20 (Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence)

Lake Ontario - Limit of 4/2 and one over 63 cm
St. Lawrence – Limit of 4/2 (no size limit)

January 1 to March 1 and first Saturday in May to December 31

* No size limit and no closed season on Thames, Sydenham River tributaries to Lake Erie.  Limit of 4/2 and no size limit on lower Grand River with an open season from January 1 to last day in February and second Saturday in May to December 31.


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. 

Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.

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