Week of August 24, 2009

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes
World News
Beyond the Great Lakes


New York


       Weekly News Archives


       New Product  Archives

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

Monster Flathead Caught on Georgia's Ocmulgee River

A 76-year old Warner Robins man caught a monster flathead catfish weighing more than 103 lb The 57" long, 41" girth fish broke the state flathead record by more than 20 lbs, but

is ineligible for the records because it was landed using "jug fishing" methods, not traditional sport fishing tackle.




England's 64 lb carp is dead

TANSOR, England – Benson the giant carp is dead. Caught and released more than 60 times, the body of the 64 lb., 2 oz 

carp was found on the bank of its home lake in Cambridgeshire. She was about 25 years old. In 2005 readers of Angler's Mail voted her "Britain's Favourite Carp." 

World news

World record Largemouth Bass?

A Japanese angler, Manabu Kurita, caught a largemouth bass in Japan that if certified could tie the world record of 22-lb, 5-oz; the weight of the bass caught by Georgian George Perry 77

years ago. However, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) reports that the catch has not yet been submitted for world record status.

Beyond the Great Lakes

Zebra Mussels Spreading In Texas

Invasive zebra mussels have been confirmed to have spread from Lake Texoma into the head waters of Lake Lavon, and

experts fear they could eventually spread throughout the Red River and Trinity River watersheds.

Forrest, Nina Wood Enshrined in Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame

Forrest and Nina Wood, founders of Ranger Boats, have long been an integral part of the fishing and boating community -

both in the Natural State and beyond. In recognition of their achievements and contributions, they have been enshrined in the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for August 21, 2009

Weather Conditions

After a humid week in the Great Lakes Basin, this weekend is predicted to have a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Most of the basin could encounter winds from 10 to 20 mph with temperatures that are close to average for the month of August. The Great Lakes Basin may also experience scattered showers throughout the first half of next week. To date in August, the Great Lakes Basin as a whole has received 5% more precipitation than average.

Lake Level Conditions

Lake Superior is at the same level it was a year ago while Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair and Erie are 9, 7 and 5 inches, respectively, higher than their levels of a year ago.  Lake Ontario is 2 inches below last year's level.  Lake Superior is expected to remain steady over the next month. Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are predicted to decline 2, 5, 4, and 8 inches respectively over the next 30 days. Over the next several months, Lake Superior is predicted to be near its level of a year ago. Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are forecasted to remain at or above last year's levels during the same time period. Lake Ontario is forecasted to be near or below its levels of a year ago over the next six months. 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions

In July, the outflows from Lake Superior through the St. Mary's River and the outflow from Lake Michigan-Huron through the

St. Clair River were below average.  The Detroit and Niagara

Rivers carried near average flows during July. The outflow from Lake Ontario through the St. Lawrence River was above average in July. 


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 21







Datum, in ft






Diff in inches











Diff last month











Diff from last yr












What's your favorite plastic worm color?

TULSA, OK – Watermelon Red leads Green Pumpkin and June Bug in online polling by Snap Tail Lures. Bringing up the rear are Watermelon Seed, Watermelon Candy, Black Neon, Red Shad, White, Bubble Gum and Tomato Orange. Snap Tail

Lures' Robb Line said the national vote percentages help his company decide on new product colors and also help tackle stores know which items to order and put on shelves. Vote at www.snaptaillures.com.

A father-son fishing epic

Jeff Turner and his college-bound son Taylor, 17, have completed their epic Father-Son Adventure, returning home to Warrenton, Virginia after fishing 50 trophy waters in all 50

states in 50 days. Turner said he hoped their expedition,

sponsored by Wrangler Rugged Wear, would encourage others to rediscover their desire for adventure and "rekindle the most important things in life – your relationships."

Cabela’s and Visa to send one customer on the Outdoor Adventure of a Lifetime

Cabela’s Fall Great Outdoor Days kicks off fall hunting and fishing season

SIDNEY, Neb. – Cabela’s and Visa are teaming up to make the 2009 fall season a memorable one. The Cabela’s CLUB Outdoor Adventure of a Lifetime sweepstakes will give one Cabela’s customer the opportunity to fulfill their outdoor dream. The prize package is highlighted by a $25,000 gift certificate from Cabela’s Outdoor Adventures, allowing the winner to choose their dream trip of a lifetime! Whether they choose an African safari, Alaskan moose hunt, trout fishing adventure in Argentina or anything in the Outdoor Adventures catalog, the winner will have the assistance of Cabela’s worldwide hunting and fishing travel consultants to guide them in their planning.


The prize package also includes a $5,000 Cabela’s gift card to allow the winner to get all the gear needed for their adventure, as well as a $500 Visa debit card to use wherever Visa debit cards are accepted. To enter, simply use any Visa card for your Cabela’s purchases between August 20 and September 7, 2009, and you’re automatically entered. Use your Cabela’s CLUB Visa and receive a bonus entry.

No purchase or obligation necessary to enter or win. Void where prohibited. It’s open to legal U.S. residents, 18 years and older as of 8/20/09. Sweepstakes ends 9/7/09. For complete Official Rules, including details on Non-Purchase Entries, visit cabelas.com.


The Cabela’s CLUB Outdoor Adventure of a Lifetime Sweepstakes is part of Cabela’s Fall Great Outdoor Days, the premier kickoff event of the fall hunting and fishing season taking place at all Cabela’s stores August 20-September 7. In addition to the latest and greatest gear, you’ll also find:


Free seminars from Cabela’s pro-staff and industry experts will be offered; with all the latest information and tips for a successful fall, August 22 and 23. Four-hour hot buys on Saturday, August 22. Exclusive Fall Great Outdoor Days t-shirt and hat combos will be passed out to the first 100 visitors on Sunday, August 23.


For more information about the Cabela’s CLUB Outdoor Adventure of a Lifetime or Cabela’s Fall Great Outdoor Days, visit www.cabelas.com/stores.


Boating Recovery? Not yet

Some boating industry analysts say the turnaround is still a year away and that there will be many more bankruptcies. Tim Condor with Wachovia Capital Markets predicts more summer bankruptcies as family enterprises are denied family-wealth

rescues. Rochdale Research analyst Hayley Wolff said most boats being sold now were those taken back by floor-plan lenders. She predicts more repossessed boats flooding the marketplace.


Lake shoreline/seawall workshop, Aug. 28 

The rules that regulate seawall construction projects on Indiana lakes can be confusing. A workshop designed to help lake residents, lake leaders, realtors, attorneys, and developers understand is scheduled, Aug. 28 at Skinner Lake in Noble County.


The event is hosted by the Skinner Lake Homeowners Association (SLHOA), Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Indiana Lakes Management Society (ILMS). The goal is to provide information on various shoreline classifications and how those classifications determine the type of seawall that may legally be installed.


The workshop begins at 6 p.m., and should last approximately two hours. After a brief presentation on factors used to classify shorelines, workshop participants will tour Skinner Lake on pontoon boats to examine various sites and discuss seawall options.


“There is a general lack of knowledge and widespread misunderstanding of the rules that regulate seawalls,” said Jeremy Price, DNR compliance biologist who handles cases involving illegal seawalls. “This workshop gives folks the 

opportunity to find out what type of seawall might be permitted along their lakefront property.”


According to Indiana law (IC 14-26-2-3), anyone who constructs seawall along the shoreline of a public freshwater lake must first get a permit from the DNR. When reviewing seawall permit applications, the DNR must follow certain standards under administrative rule 312 IAC 11-1-1, based on one of four shoreline categories. The categories function much the same way as local zoning designations and restrictions.


Concrete, steel or other “bulkhead” seawalls may only be constructed in “developed areas,”  already impacted by extensive shoreline alterations. Glacial rock seawalls may be permitted within less-impacted “areas of special concern.” In sensitive areas, those classified as “natural shorelines” or “significant wetlands," only bio-engineered seawalls that incorporate native plants into their design may be allowed.


Please contact Ed Sprague of the SLHOA and board member of ILMS at (260) 636-7336 or [email protected] if you plan to attend. Sweet Lake Church is located east of Albion at the intersection of Noble County 300E and 415N.


Fish Decoy World Championship Sept. 12-13

Event Featured at Pointe Mouillee Waterfowl Festival

The Michigan DNR will co-host the 62nd Annual Pointe Mouillee Waterfowl Festival Sept. 12-13 at Pointe Mouillee State Game Area (PMSGA). Activities begin at 8 a.m. Saturday and run through 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.


The Great Lakes Fish Decoy Collectors and Carvers Association will hold the Fish Decoy World Championships at the festival this year. The association also will hold contests for fish carving and jigging stick. Registration for all carvings begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, with judging starting at 10 a.m. The public is welcome to view the registered decoys during the judging period, which ends in the early afternoon.


“Fish decoys are judged in the water, and it is amazing to see 

how some of the decoys act or swim with just a slight twitch of the jigging stick,” said Dick Whitwam, executive director of the festival.  Members of the association will be on hand Sunday, Sept. 13, to demonstrate fish decoy swimming techniques.


Located at the mouth of the Huron River at Lake Erie, the PMSGA is the largest freshwater marsh restoration project in North America and one of Michigan’s premier waterfowl hunting areas. All proceeds from the festival benefit wetland restorations and wildlife habitat improvements at Pointe Mouillee.


For more information about the festival, contact Pointe Mouillee Waterfowl Festival Executive Director Dick Whitwam at 734-379-4292 or online at: www.miwaterfowlfest.org.

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Backpacking Class Oct 2-4

At Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Women interested in backcountry camping and hiking can sign up now for a three-day, two-night  backpacking class at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula, Oct. 2-4.


Sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources, this Becoming an Outdoors-Woman “Beyond BOW” event is designed for women with previous backpacking experience.


Participants will hike approximately three to five miles per day, taking in the breathtaking scenery of Pictured Rocks from trails that follow the Lake Superior shoreline and offer unparalleled views of the famous limestone cliffs, waterfalls, pristine forest and lakeshore. Each participant will also help out with various backcountry duties, such as camp set-up and tear-down, meal preparation, water filtering and orienteering, with instruction from the trip leaders.


Cost per participant is $100, which includes breakfast, dinner and dessert each day, plus group gear, such as tents and cooking utensils. Each participant must provide their own

personal gear (sleeping bag, hiking boots, backpack, etc.) and

should pack their own lunches and snacks. Enrollment is limited to nine and early applications are encouraged.


“October is an amazing time to hike the backcountry of Pictured Rocks and take in the best of our fall color,” said DNR Upper Peninsula BOW chairperson Sharon Pitz. “Come along to hone your existing backpacking skills and learn new ones from our instructors, while experiencing one of Michigan’s preeminent backpacking destinations.”


The backpacking trip will begin at noon Friday with a gear check and trip orientation in Munising. The group will then travel to the Little Beaver Lake trailhead and begin hiking before setting up camp and enjoying the evening. Saturday morning after breakfast and breaking camp, the group will spend the day hiking before setting up camp in a new location. Hiking will continue on Sunday, with an ending time of 3 p.m. in Munising. Participants should be prepared to hike on trails with varying terrain and to proceed rain or shine.


For more information about this Beyond BOW event, contact Pitz at 906-228-6561. Registration packets and additional information can be found online at www.michigan.gov/bow.  

New York

Wild Atlantic Salmon in New York’s Salmon River

First in More than a Century...

Scientists recently discovered wild young Atlantic salmon in New York’s Salmon River. This is the first time in more than a century that salmon produced naturally in the wild have been found in what was once New York’s premier salmon stream. Forty-one wild Atlantic salmon were collected in June and July. All of the salmon were under one year old and ranged in length from about 2 – 2.5 inches.


“This discovery suggests that, after many years of reproductive failure, restoration is starting to work for this species,” said Jim Johnson, Station Chief for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Tunison Lab of Aquatic Science in Cortland, NY. “This finding should provide real excitement and impetus for biologists and sport groups interested in bringing this species back to the area,” said Johnson, whose lab made the discovery.


Lake Ontario once supported the largest freshwater population of Atlantic salmon in the world and the Salmon River, one of the lake’s tributaries, helped supply the lake with it namesake species. But by the late 1800’s, Atlantic salmon had vanished from the lake due to damming of tributaries, overfishing, deforestation, and pollution.


Salmon have not reproduced naturally for many years, in part due to low levels of thiamine in their bodies.  One of the salmon’s primary prey is the alewife, an invasive fish species that entered the Great Lakes more than 50 years ago. 

Alewives contain thiaminase, an enzyme that destroys thiamine. When lake trout or salmon eat alewife, they take in this enzyme, which reduces thiamine in adult salmon and their eggs and causes early death of newly hatched fish.  Recent reductions in alewife populations in Lake Ontario, coinciding with an increase in native preyfish, may be having some positive effects on Atlantic salmon populations.


“This provides some hope that we can get natural reproduction of Atlantic salmon despite the thiaminase issue,” said Dan Bishop, fishery manager for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Region 7 Fisheries Unit. “Our thinking was that the reproductive impairment would be very difficult to overcome.”


State, federal and Canadian natural resource agencies have a keen interest in the potential for Atlantic salmon restoration in Lake Ontario.  The NYSDEC currently stocks 30,000 yearling Atlantic salmon in the Salmon River and was pleased to hear of the discovery of the wild salmon.


Identifying and overcoming obstacles to the possible restoration of Atlantic salmon in Lake Ontario is a high priority and NYSDEC and USGS scientists will continue to monitor tributaries to track populations of this important native fish.  In addition, the implementation of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative may help facilitate these restoration efforts and contribute to the broader goal of a healthier Great Lakes ecosystem.


Ohio Wildlife Council Hears Proposed Fishing Regs Changes

The Ohio Wildlife Council is considering proposals that will affect Lake Erie walleye and yellow perch, crappies in 44 inland lakes, and Ohio River catfish. A statewide hearing on all the proposed rules will be held on Thursday, September 10 at the wildlife division's District One Office in Columbus.


A proposed change to the timing of when bag limits are set for Lake Erie walleye and yellow perch will be discussed. This proposal would make new bag limits effective on May 1 instead of March 1. Changing this effective date allows for the walleye and yellow perch quotas set by the Lake Erie Committee to be considered prior to setting the bag limits.


The Lake Erie Committee comprises fishery managers from Michigan, New York, Ohio, Ontario and Pennsylvania. The committee's work is facilitated by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, a Canadian and U.S. agency on the Great Lakes. Each year the committee sets the total allowable catch for walleye and yellow perch from Lake Erie. Total allowable catch represents the number of fish that can be caught by sport and commercial fishers without putting the stocks at risk. From the total allowable catch for the lake, individual state quotas are calculated.


A proposal to add 38 lakes to the current list of six lakes that have 9" minimum size limits on crappies is being considered. The proposal will also include setting a bag limit of 30 for crappies on all lakes with 9" size limits, which would now equal 44 lakes.


Alum Creek, Caesar Creek, Deer Creek, Seneca, and Tappan Lakes have had the 9" minimum regulations since 2001, with

Delaware Reservoir having the limit since 1997. Catches from these lakes indicate the numbers of large crappies have increased and both black and white crappies have maintained good growth rates.


A 2008 on-line angler survey indicates 81% of crappie anglers favor the 9" length limits. An on-the-water creel survey from the spring of 2009 lends solid support for daily crappie limits, with 80 percent of the anglers favoring a daily bag restriction.


An extension of the statewide catfish regulations to the Ohio River is being proposed. Ohio River anglers would be allowed only one channel catfish 28" or longer with no limit for channel catfish under 28". In addition, only one flathead and one blue catfish 35" or longer may be possessed with no limit for flathead and blue catfish under 35".


Open houses will be held at the same day and time in Akron, Athens, Columbus, Findlay, Port Clinton and Xenia on Saturday, August 29, 2009; from 12:00 noon until 3:00 p.m. Information recorded at these open houses is forwarded to the division's central office in Columbus, where proposed rule changes to the Ohio Administrative Code are considered.


For more information or directions to the open house, please call 1-800-WILDLIFE (945-3543). Proposals and directions can also be accessed via the Internet at www.wildohio.com.


A statewide hearing on all the proposed rules will be held at 9 a.m. on Thursday, September 10 at the wildlife division's District One Office, located at 1500 Dublin Road in Columbus. After considering public input, the Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on the proposed rules during its October 7 meeting.

Kincaid Hatchery Renovation to Begin

COLUMBUS, OHIO - Renovation at the Kincaid State Fish Hatchery will get underway August 25, according to the Ohio DNR. Kincaid Hatchery has the responsibility for raising muskie, hybrid striped bass and rainbow trout that are stocked in public lakes across Ohio.


The building improvements will allow for egg hatching capabilities and will include fry and fingerling troughs. This will

allow staff at Kincaid to hatch more than 100,000 muskellunge eggs and raise 25,000 fry until they reach the four-inch fingerling stage. Additionally, 27,000 catchable rainbow trout will be grown out in the new facility annually.


During the construction phase of this project, visitation and tours of the facility will be temporarily discontinued for public safety. Closure will run from August 25 through April 1, 2010.


2009-10 Migratory Game Bird Seasons And Bag Limits Selected

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today announced that the agency has made its selections for the 2009-10 migratory game bird hunting seasons and bag limits. 


Annual waterfowl seasons are selected by states from a framework established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Game Commission selections were made after reviewing last year’s season results, waterfowl survey data, and input gathered from waterfowl hunters and the public.  Final approval from the USFWS is expected by late September.


The Game Commission again has posted the waterfowl season brochure and maps on its website www.pgc.state.pa.us .  The agency currently is mass-producing brochures to be distributed to U.S. Post Offices within the next two weeks.


In contrast to other eastern Arctic nesting goose species, snow goose breeding populations reached an all-time high of 1.4 million birds and, with higher-than-normal nest densities and good nest success, should result in a record fall flight of snow geese. To help reduce this overabundant population, Pennsylvania will again offer liberal seasons and bag limits, including expanded dates during the Snow Goose Conservation Season, first implemented in 2009.


Specifics about the Snow Goose Conservation Season in 2010 will be published later this year.


Once again, young hunters will be provided with a special day of waterfowl hunting on Saturday, Sept. 19. The Youth Waterfowl Day will be open to those 12-15 years of age. To participate, a youngster must hold a junior hunting license and migratory game bird license, and be accompanied by an adult, who may assist the youth in calling, duck identification and other aspects of the hunt.  During this special day-long hunt, youth can harvest ducks, mergansers, coots and moorhens, as well as Canada geese, depending upon the zones that they are hunting in. Youth Waterfowl Day bag limits for ducks,

mergansers and coots will be consistent with the limit for the regular season.


Also, this agency again will hold a special youth-only waterfowl hunting day at the controlled hunting blinds at both Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area and Pymatuning Wildlife Management Area. The youth day for Middle Creek is Nov. 21, for Pymatuning, Nov. 28.  A special drawing of applications submitted by junior license holders will be held immediately before the regular drawing for goose blinds.  Interested youth should use the same application on page 26 of the 2009-10 Digest.  Only one application will be accepted per junior hunter.


2009-10 Waterfowl seasons and bag limits


Lake Erie Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 26-Jan. 2.


North Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 10-24 and Nov. 17-Jan. 9. 


Northwest Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 10-Nov. 28 and Dec. 14-Jan. 1. 


South Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 10-17 and Nov. 16-Jan. 15.


Total Duck Bag Limits: 6 daily, 12 in possession of any species, except for the following restrictions: daily limit may not include more than 4 mallards, including 2 hen mallards; 1 black duck; 1 pintail; 1 mottled duck; 1 fulvous tree duck; 3 wood ducks; 2 redheads; 1 canvasback; 4 scoters; and 2 scaup. Possession limit may not include more than 8 mallards, including 4 hens; 2 black ducks; 2 pintails; 2 mottled ducks; 2 fulvous tree ducks; 6 wood ducks; 4 redheads; 2 canvasback; 8 scoters; and 4 scaup.


Mergansers: 5 daily, 10 in possession (not more than 2 hooded mergansers daily, 4 hooded in possession).


Coots: 15 daily, 30 in possession.


Hook and line sturgeon season opens Sept. 5

MADISON – The statewide hook and line lake sturgeon season opens on Saturday, Sept. 5 on those waters open for the season, and closes Sept. 30, providing anglers with an opportunity to land the state’s largest and longest lived fish.

The 2009 season marks the third year that the minimum length for harvesting sturgeon is set at 60 inches, with a one-fish limit per season. There is catch and release only fishing on a stretch of the Menominee River in northeastern Wisconsin, downstream from the Hattie Street dam to Green Bay.


Lake sturgeon are slow-growing, late maturing fish, with females spawning for the first time when they are 20 to 25 years old and then only every three to five years thereafter. Because females are larger than males, they are often targeted by anglers, and their overharvest can cause population declines that may take years to recover.  So to protect these vulnerable fish, the state’s sturgeon management program seeks to limit harvest to 5 percent of the adults in a particular population. On some waters, harvest rates were significantly exceeding that rate.


The state Natural Resources Board adopted the permanent rules shortening the season length and setting the minimum length limit at 60 inches in 2008 to reduce the sturgeon harvest on several popular fisheries to provide additional protection to spawning females. The same season structure was in place in 2007 under emergency rules, according to 

Karl Scheidegger, who leads the Department of Natural Resources sturgeon management team.


“Increasing angler pressure and harvest trends prompted the rule change to protect the fisheries and sustain fishing opportunities into the future,” Scheidegger says. “The reduced harvest totals in 2007 and 2008 showed that the rule is working: interested anglers got the chance to participate in the season while many vulnerable, reproductive females were protected.”


For example, the fishery on the Wisconsin River below the Prairie Du Sac Dam was being harvested at 30 percent during the 2005 season, when a 50-inch minimum size limit was in place. With the 60 minimum length limit in place, harvest below the dam dropped to nine fish in 2007 and two in 2008. Those numbers are projected to be at or below 5 percent exploitation rate and within management guidance, according Michael Rennicke, DNR fish technician.


Statewide, the total harvest of lake sturgeon for 2008 was 39 fish.  The state’s more protective regulations, dedicated funding, and robust research are helping restore lake sturgeon to more of their native range in Wisconsin, with the ultimate goal of increasing the chance that anglers and other Wisconsinites will get a chance to see or land one of the state's largest, longest-lived fish, Scheidegger says. Read more about these efforts and the angling trends in “A Strong Base for a Broad Recovery”.

Last casts for inland trout season

MADISON - Kicking yourself that you haven’t yet wet a line after trout? Don’t despair! There is still about a month left until the season ends on Sept. 30, and here are four good reasons to get out.


►Opportunity: With lower, cleaner water, trout can be a little easier to find, pattern, and catch. This is a great time to learn more about your favorite water too – where that mid-channel rock really is or how the current sweeps that willow root.


►Diversity: The bounty of summer in stream food choices are waning. Now is the time to mix it up by fishing hoppers, large streamers or spinners; get outside your usual method and try something new to get that bite.


►Aesthetics: Our landscape is rich. The lush green of summer soon yields to the gold and crimson of autumn. The  

views from the stream corridors are pleasant moments in time for the eye and the soul. Take time to enjoy just how beautiful these places are as fall approaches and changes the colors and texture of the landscape.


►Completing the circle: Face it – you have to go. It’s who you are and why you work. You can’t deny the inner voice that whispers go, go go. Take that mental health day you’ve promised yourself. Connect with that friend you’ve been meaning to call.


And don’t be afraid to take a fish home along with the pictures. A wonderful fall meal of fresh trout, sweet corn, red potatoes and your favorite beverage is the reward for taking that day. Enjoy.

Find fishing regulations and places to fish on the DNR Web site.

Test results show VHS fish disease hasn’t spread

Disease found in Green Bay in 2009 but no new waters

MADISON – Results are in from several dozen waters tested in 2009 for VHS fish disease and the news is good.  No new waters have been found with this year the deadly fish virus. VHS has also been ruled out as the cause of a large fish kill of carp in June on Chequamegon Bay on Lake Superior. The fish disease was detected in smallmouth bass from Green Bay], but the virus had previously been identified as being at that location.


VHS is a deadly fish virus and an invasive species that has caused large fish kills in lakes Huron, St. Clair, Erie, Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River. It's not a threat to people who handle infected fish or want to eat their catch, but it can kill more than 25 fish species. It was first documented in Wisconsin in May 2007 in the Lake Winnebago system, and was also detected in June of that year, and in 2008, in fish from Green Bay and other parts of northern Lake Michigan.


“It appears that the efforts we’ve taken to contain the VHS fish disease are working,” said DNR Secretary Matt Frank “We’re very grateful for the cooperation we’ve gotten from people in protecting our waters.”  “Anglers, boaters, bait harvesters, fish farmers and our own fisheries management staff have done a great job in keeping this disease from spreading,” he says.


In 2009, the DNR conducted “surveillance” testing on more than two dozen waters to continue to assess the prevalence of

VHS. In addition, four hatchery water supplies and all wild fish DNR uses for brood stock for its hatcheries were tested for VHS to make sure fish stocked from state fish hatcheries are VHS-free


None of the fish or water supplies tested as part of these surveillance or hatchery programs were found to have VHS, according to Mike Staggs, DNR fisheries management director. “All clear,” he says.  The only positive VHS results in 2009 were in three smallmouth bass from Green Bay that were tested after anglers and DNR staff observed and reported skin lesions, one symptom of VHS.


The waters tested are popular and highly trafficked waters by anglers and boaters, increasing the chances of VHS being spread by the movement of water and live fish, Staggs says. Mendota Lake in Dane County, Geneva Lake in Walworth County, Castle Rock Lake in Juneau and Adams counties, and Butternut Lake in Price County were among those tested.


While fisheries officials are relieved no new waters tested positive for VHS, they say the results showed that the virus is still active in Wisconsin and that anglers need to remain vigilant in following rules to prevent the spread of VHS fish disease and other aquatic invasive species.  “VHS remains a serious fish health threat and there are other invasive species and fish diseases already in the Great Lakes that we want to keep out of Wisconsin and our inland lakes,” Staggs says

Hunters: stay legal and ask to hunt private lands

MADISON – Got your eye on a prime hunting spot resting on choice Wisconsin private lands for your fall hunting expedition?

That’s a solid, smart first step to a successful hunt, says the Department of Natural Resources hunter education administrator. Forgetting the next step could cost you.


“‘Where am I going to go hunting?’ is one of the most important questions you need to be asking yourself now,” Conservation Warden and Administrator Tim Lawhern says. “If you want to hunt private land, you need to be seeking permission now if you haven’t already done so.”


The state of Wisconsin owns more than 450,000 acres, and leases about 17,000 more acres, of lands open to public hunting. State and federal forests provide 2 million acres, and county forests another 2 million acres open to hunting and fishing. In addition, property owners who participate in the damage and abatement and the Forest Tax Law programs must allow access to their lands, adding more public access.


Hunters who want to use private lands need to have

landowner permission to avoid trespassing, and they need to

behave courteously and considerately to be invited back the next year. “It all comes down to hunter etiquette,” Lawhern said.


When hunters contact the landowner to seek permission, Lawhern urges hunters introduce themselves by telling where they’re from, what they wish to hunt, and display your hunter education certificate.


“Regardless of the landowner’s answer, your response should simple be the same – thank you,” Lawhern said.  He also suggests hunters offer to help the landowner on his or her land before the hunting season, whether it’s with daily chores, haying, or some other need. “You might be surprised how far your willingness to shovel manure for a whole day will get you,” he said


After the hunt, Lawhern says, hunters should share their game with the landowner, and remember the landowner outside the hunting season. “Give them a Christmas card, a small gift, a thank you card,” he said. “Landowners always appreciate being remembered outside the hunting season.”


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.

arrowUSFWS Press Releases  arrowSea Grant News

State Fish Pages

Illinois - Indiana - Michigan - Minnesota - Ohio - Pennsylvania - New York - Wisconsin - Ontario


Home | Great Lakes States | Membership | Exotics Update | Great Links

Pending Issues | Regional News | Great Lakes Basin Report | Weekly News / Archives 

All contents Copyright © 1995 - 2009, GLSFC All Rights Reserved.

Site maintained by JJ Consulting