Week of August 25 , 2003

National

General

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2nd Amendment issues

Lake Michigan

Indiana

Minnesota

Pennsylvania

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Fishing – The Great Lakes  

Fishing – The Great Lakes

Tournament fishing on Lake Michigan 

Tournament fishing  for the recreational fishing community is a fun part of fishing – and there are hundreds of tournaments from New York to Minnesota and across the Province of Ontario. Most all of them are open to the public for a small fee, and Take a look at some of them that are still available yet this year at http://www.great-lakes.org/lk_tourn.html

 

Racine’s Salmon-A-Rama is over, but it was a big one for the community on Lake Michigan’s shoreline just north of Milwaukee. In fact it’s probably the festival of the year for Racine – fishing for salmon and trout in the cool blue waters of Lake Michigan.

 

And fish they did! The overall winner of the 9-day derby was Jeff Nelson with a 30.02 lb. brown trout. The grand prize was $10,000, but overall derby officials had over $100,00 in prize money and gifts to give away. There were other contests inside of Salmon-A-Rama including two-in-a-boat, Cal Marines super sweepstakes, and the Great Lakes angler silver challenge.

 

The tournament was managed by Salmon Unlimited Wisconsin and hosted by the Tuesday Optimist Club of Racine in cooperation with the Racine County Convention and Visitors Bureau.  Major sponsors included Bombardier’s Evinrude Outboard Motors, Miller Light, and the Racine Journal-Times. There was a host of major donors from tackle manufacturers, marinas, restaurants, and local businesses.

 

Some tournament trivia: There were 1476 registered contestants from 14 states who brought in 1452 fish weighing 13,576 pounds. That’s an average of 9.35 pounds per fish. Some photos include the Winner’s Circle and their trophies; and Jeff Nelson, the overall winner, with his 30.02 lb. brown trout.

 

Some of the festivities included, the Navy band Horizon

 

  

was on the main stage with the other four bands playing on other nights,  Harley (Davidson) Day on the 17th, Family Day was on the 18th , and the major festivities on Saturday the 19th.   There were food and beverage stands every day and evening.

 

Food fare included steak and chicken, gyros, Italian sausage, popcorn in different flavors, brats, hot dogs, hamburgers, and corn-on-the-cob, tacos tostados, burritos and tamales, fish dinners, pizzas, and the list went on … The list of desserts was almost as lengthy including root beer floats, snow cones and cotton candy.

  

The tournament included an off shore division, an on-shore division and a youth division. Everyone was eligible to participate.  The off-shore division had awards for the largest chinook, coho, lake trout, brown trout and rainbow trout. The on-shore division had awards for chinook, coho, brown and rainbow trout, and the youth division had an award for the largest fish. That was won by Max Hynek with a 22.64 lb. chinook. Other notable awards in the youth division: for second place was Colin Pollesch with a 22.44 lb. chinook, and Chris Stroeh, a close third, with a 22.42 chinook.

 

To get a flavor of the tournament we were aboard the Reel Fun with Capt. Pete Mauer, to see for ourselves what the lake had to offer and see if we were running the right lures, too. We didn’t do too badly. Capt. Pete put us on to fish all day. Mauer’s Charter Service is one of the oldest charter businesses operating out of the Port of Racine. Capt. Pete has been at it for over 30 years and his knowledge of the lake is reflected in his daily catches. For all his guests, he has a gift of a favorite recipe booklet for trout and salmon.

 

 A member of Fishing Charters of Racine Association, www.fishracine.com , Capt. Pete can be reached at reelfun@wi.net

 

Next year’s Salmon-A-Rama is scheduled for July 10-18, 2004, again guaranteeing fun, food and lots of fish.

Photos: Credit Marv Chait Associates and Salmon-A-Rama

National

USFWS Selects Rule for  Resident Canada Geese Management

Seeks Further Comment on Draft Environmental Impact Statement

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed providing State wildlife agencies more flexibility in controlling resident Canada goose populations. Under a proposed rule published in the Federal Register, the Service would hand over much of the day-to-day management responsibility to States while maintaining primary authority to manage these populations.

 

The proposed rule, based on the preferred alternative outlined in a Draft Environmental Impact Statement released March 1, 2002, would authorize population control strategies such as aggressive harassment, nest destruction, gosling and adult trapping and culling programs, increased hunter harvest, or other general population reduction strategies.  The rule will also offer guidelines for other activities such as special take authorization during a portion of the closed hunting season; control for the protection of airport safety, agriculture, and public health; and the take of nests and eggs without permits.

 

Presently, State Fish and Wildlife agencies or their authorized agents, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services division, need a Federal permit issued by the Service to control resident Canada geese.  This rule would provide for opportunities to eliminate the need for most individual permits for resident Canada goose control activities.

 

"Since this bird's population is increasing and they have been shown to cause local impacts to natural and economic resources, we believe local management with national oversight is the best approach to reduce conflicts," said Service Director Steve Williams.

 

To accommodate new information that may have become available since publication of the 2002 draft EIS, the

Service is also re-opening the public comment period for 60 days.

 

Generally resident Canada geese stay in the same area, and no evidence documents breeding between resident Canada geese and migratory Canada geese that nest in northern Canada and Alaska.

 

The Service and the States estimate the current resident Canada goose spring population at 3.2 million in the United States, about 30 percent to 35 percent above the number States believe to be acceptable based on their need to manage conflicts and problems caused by excessive numbers of resident Canada geese.  Resident Canada goose populations will be monitored annually by the States and the Service.  The estimated take of birds must be provided by participating States.

 

The rapid rise of resident Canada goose populations has been attributed to a number of factors. Most resident Canada geese live in temperate climates with relatively stable breeding habitat conditions and low numbers of predators.  They tolerate human and other disturbances, have a relative abundance of preferred habitat (such as mowed grass in urban/suburban areas), and fly relatively short distances for winter compared with other Canada goose populations.  The virtual absence of waterfowl hunting in urban areas provides additional protection to those portions of the resident Canada goose population.

 

Overabundant populations of resident Canada geese can affect or damage several types of resources, including property, agriculture, and natural resources.  In parks and other open areas near water, large goose flocks create local problems with their droppings.

 

Comments should be sent by October 20, 2003, to Chief, Div of Migratory Bird Management, USFWS, DOI, 4401 North Fairfax Dr, MBSP-4107, Arlington, VA 22203 canada_goose_eis@fws.gov .


General

Hooking mortality an angling reality

Circle hooks hooked fewer fish

C.B. Bylander, MN DNR Information office

I was walleye fishing the other night when my partner began to strip line from his reel and carefully feed it out the end of his rod. We were backtrolling. Dragging leeches. He’d had a hit. And now, as we waited for the fish to swallow the bait, we wondered aloud what it might be. Walleye? Another rock bass? Maybe nothing?  Time passed.

 

After thirty seconds, Bob tightened the line, lifted his rod and set the hook. It was a 17" walleye. This particular fish was destined to die because we intended to dine on one of nature’s culinary perfections - a pan-fried fillet, wild rice and the sour drippings from a wedge of lemon. Still, the fish may have died even if released. That’s because hooking mortality is a reality.

 

How many fish die as a result of catch-and-release?

 

That’s hard to say because so many variables come into play. Mortality factors, include species type, whether the fish was caught on live bait or artificial lure, water depth and temperature, hooking location, fish size, angler experience and more.  Clearly, no angler wants to see a fish go to waste. Yet even when mortality rates are fairly high – say 15 % – 85 % remain alive to be caught again and perhaps produce future generations of fish.

 

These benefits aside, hooking mortality is atop a wave of attention for a number of reasons. On the international level, it is a cause within the animal welfare movement. Nationally, fish survival is an important component of high profile catch and release fishing tournaments. And in Minnesota, mortality is a major management issue because anglers release so many fish either voluntarily or to comply with conservation regulations. Moreover, hooking mortality snagged a fair amount of media attention last year when the walleye bite on Mille Lacs was ten times above average. This fantastic fishing resulted in hooking mortality estimated at 228,000 pounds of the 382,000-pound total kill.

 

Was mortality really that high? Is there anything an angler can do to decrease it? Those questions are the subject of research currently under way by Department of Natural Resources fisheries staff at Aitkin. Though a formal report is many months away, preliminary findings from data collected this spring and summer suggest that walleye mortality at Mille Lacs – previously set at 6 % for walleye more than 13" and 10 % for walleye less than 13 " – is potentially less than that. In May, for example, none of the 145 walleye that were collected died within the first five days after being released. In June, the number was five of 244. In July, mortality was 14 % based on a total sample of 181 fish.

 

These finding are based on a study in which DNR staff immediately collect walleye caught by anglers and then observe the fish for a number of days by placing them in a holding pen that extends to the lake’s bottom. This research will continue into October. Research that results in a lower overall mortality estimate – especially lower mortality in May and June when the highest proportion of walleye are caught - would translate into less fish dying from catch-and-release and more live to be caught again.

 

Another DNR research project under way at Lake Mille Lacs aims to determine the difference in the rate of gut-hooked walleye caught and released with a standard fishing hook and those caught and released on a circle hook. A circle hook points inward. This design tends to increase hook sets in the jaw and decrease hook sets in the gut.  Tom Jones, the DNR’s Mille Lacs large lake specialist, has been catching walleye on both kinds of hooks the past two years and this is what he’s learned.

He says 45 % of walleye caught with a leech and circle hook are hooked deep in the mouth compared to 53 % with a standard hook. Both percentages are based on waiting 20 seconds after the bite to set the hook. The difference in percentages, based on about 75 fish, suggests a switch to circle hooks would not result in any great saving of walleye. Regular hooks, Jones noted, did injure fish more frequently than circle hooks but circle hooks slipped out of the fish’s mouth more frequently. Circle hooks, therefore, did reduce internal injuries to walleye but largely because circle hooks hooked fewer fish.

 

What are the practical applications of this and other DNR hooking mortality research for anglers? One, most hooking mortality is the result of puncture wounds to organs inside the fish. Therefore, the longer an angler waits between the bite and the hook set the greater the likelihood the fish will swallow the bait deep and potentially suffer life threatening injury.

 

Two, the jury is still out on barbless hooks. Research findings are mixed. Barbless hooks allow anglers to handle fish more quickly yet study results vary as to the hook’s effect on short-term mortality.

 

Three, infections kill fish, be they viral, fungal or bacterial. Frequently these infections are related to puncture wounds or the removal of the fish’s protective slime. Like fish, humans are unlikely to die from a small puncture wound. On the other hand, you and I could die from an infection that results from stepping on a nail or some other small, deep wound. Similarly, a walleye that loses its protective slime while flopping around on the carpet of a boat could die from a fungal infection even though it was healthy when released.

 

Four, fighting a fish quickly is better than fighting it slowly. That’s because the longer a fish fights the greater the lactic acid build-up and the greater the oxygen debt of the fish. Ironically, big fish are more likely to die from oxygen debt than small- or medium-sized fish because the ratio of their smaller gill size to body mass ratio. This ratio is why anglers who catch a big fish sometimes have a hard time reviving it to the point that it successfully swims away.

 

Finally, we all share a personal responsibility for fish mortality. Catch-and-release is great. It is natural resource conservation.

 

Still, we anglers must accept the fact that healthy-looking fish sometimes die. And more importantly, we have a responsibility to minimize that loss so other anglers can gain from our good intentions. For in the end, the angler who catches and releases many fish may kill more than the angler who simply harvests a few for supper, stows the rod and motors back to shore.

 

To reduce mortality, your local DNR fisheries managers ask that you remember the following:

Set the hook quickly. A quick hook-set usually puts the hook in the fish’s mouth, where it does little damage. Don’t tear hooks from a fish’s mouth.

Wet hands before handling the fish. This will minimize the loss of the fish’s protective mucous.

Cut the line if you cannot easily remove the hook without damaging the gills or throat.  A fish has a good chance of surviving if released quickly. Leave at least an inch of line hanging out the mouth. This helps the hook to lay flush when the fish takes in food.

Don’t keep the fish out of water for long periods. If possible, unhook the fish without placing it in a net or lifting it from the water.

Don’t place fish you plan to release on a stringer or in a live well. Confinement adds significant stress to the fish and decreases their chance of survival upon release.


Regional

Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council Annual meeting Oct 17-18-19 at Stone Lab on Lake Erie's Gibraltar Island

What's going on in Lake Erie ?   What about the decline in catches on Lake Ontario? Or the possible declining health of Lakes Michigan and Huron?   Come to GLSFC's  annual meeting – which is being partially sponsored by Ohio Sea Grant.

 

It's going to be held at Ohio State University's Stone Lab on Gibraltar Island in Lake Erie - just off Port Clinton.  The dates are  October 17-19:  Friday evening  -  reception, Saturday -meeting with meals, speakers, and tours on Stone Lab's research vessel, and Sunday - meeting continued - w/breakfast

- to 12 noon.

For agenda, registration and fees for lodging and meals on the island click here

 

Because of limited space pre-registration & pre-payment will be necessary. 

 

Issues to be addressed include Lake Erie resource levels, as well as the status of Lakes Ontario, Michigan and Huron.  More details will be posted here next week and in the Great Lakes Basin Report 

 

Contact: Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council Office for more info 630-941-1351, Fax 630-941-1196  E-mail GLSFC click here

 


State of the Great Lakes Report  -

Bald eagle recovery a plus, non-native species threat a minus

CHICAGO (Aug. 20, 2003)   The State of the Great Lakes 2003 report, released by USEPA and Environment Canada, reveals information on over half of the 80 Great Lakes indicators originally proposed in 1998.

 

Indicator data, collected over the past four years, are being applied in an effort to get a deeper, more comprehensive understanding of the environmental condition of the Great Lakes ecosystem.  Decision-makers from federal governments, states, provinces, First Nations, tribes, non-governmental organizations, academics, industry, recreational groups, sport fishers, commercial fishers and health professionals participated in indicator development and assessment.

 

"The information from the indicators gives Great Lakes managers a clearer picture of how our existing programs are working and provides a direction for future environmental restoration and protection activities," said Thomas V. Skinner, Great Lakes National Program manager.

 

The State of the Great Lakes 2003 report finds the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Great Lakes basin ecosystem mixed, based on lake-by-lake and basin-wide assessments of 43 indicators.

 

Positive signs of recovery include:

-     Lake trout in Lake Superior remain self-sustaining;

-     Some Lake Ontario lake trout are reproducing;

-     Bald eagles nesting and reproducing along the shoreline are recovering;

-     Persistent toxic substances are declining in fish;

-     Phosphorus targets have been met in all lakes except Lake Erie.

 

Negative signs of degradation include:

-     Phosphorus levels appear to be increasing in Lake Erie;

-     Long-range atmospheric transport is a continuing source of contaminants to the basin;

-     Continuing entry of non-native species is a significant threat to the ecosystem;

-     Scud (Diporeia, bottom-dwelling organisms that are critically important to the aquatic food chain) are seriously declining in Lakes Ontario and Michigan;

-     Type E botulism outbreaks are occurring in Lake Erie, resulting in deaths of fish and aquatic birds;

-     Urbanization threatens habitat in Lakes Ontario, Erie and Huron, as well as the Lake St. Clair-St. Clair River-Detroit River ecosystems;

-     Numerous fish advisories exist on all five Great Lakes.

 

The State of the Great Lakes 2003 report and supporting documentation on the indicators are available online at www.binational.net .


$572,000 in Fish and Wildlife Restoration Projects Announced by FWS

Ten Great Lakes fish and wildlife restoration projects totaling $572,000 were approved August 19 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for tribal governments, five states and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, promoting partnership efforts to help replenish habitat and improve natural resource management in the Great Lakes Basin.

 

The projects will be funded under authority of the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act, which launched the program in 1998.

 

"I'm very proud that the Fish and Wildlife Service is able to be a catalyst in this vital international program that is so critical to the Great Lakes area," said Steve Williams, the Service Director.

 

The 10 approved projects focus primarily on the rehabilitation of sustainable fish populations and include the study of various species of fish, their reproduction, distribution, movement, diet and habitat within the Great Lakes ecosystem.  One project will develop a Great Lakes-wide geographic information system to

help drive future habitat restoration efforts.  Another will map lake trout spawning reefs in Lake Michigan and study spawning of fish stocked by National Fish Hatcheries.  A third will attempt to determine if steel-hulled barges actually help fish move past obstructions like the electric barrier designed to stop the Asian carp from moving to Lake Michigan through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.

 

Funds will go to the University of Michigan, the U.S. Geological Survey, the State University of New York in Freedonia, the University of Illinois, the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.   This year's proposals represent a wide range of needs related directly to resource conservation issues identified in the 1995 Great Lakes Fishery Resources Restoration Study Report to Congress and by the Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries.

 

The Service's Great Lakes program includes Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York and 46 Service field stations in the Great Lakes Basin.


2nd Amendment issues

Study finds 'forgotten' high-court gun cases

Shows personal right to bear arms recognized over 2 centuries

A six-year study of Supreme Court cases has found scores of "forgotten decisions" affecting the "highly contested" constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

 

Titled "Supreme Court Gun Cases," the study examines 92 cases – 44 of them unedited – and concludes without a doubt "the Supreme Court has recognized an individual right to arms for most of the past two centuries." The study is "the most important set of words written about your constitutional guarantees," said Alan Korwin, a firearms and legal researcher and co-author of the report.

 

Korwin, along with co-authors David B. Kopel and Dr. Stephen

P. Halbrook, show the nation's highest court "has not been quiet on this subject as previously thought." Kopel and Halbrook are attorneys. The authors say justices use some form of the word gun 2,910 times in the nearly 100 cases involving gun rights.

 

"Three dozen of the cases quote or mention the Second Amendment directly," says a statement by Bloomfield Press, publisher of the study. The authors also show how the Supreme Court has recognized and supported armed self defense "with personally owned firearms" and that "an ancient 'duty to retreat'" from a threat "is not obligatory."

 

Also, the study shows "the oft-cited Miller case from 1939 is inconclusive, which is why gun-rights and gun-control advocates both claim it supports their position."


Lake Michigan

Unresponsive Boater, 4 kids found safe

3 day Search Cost to US Coast Guard, $250,000

LAKE MICHIGAN -- The U.S. Coast Guard found an Oak Lawn man and his four children Tuesday on Lake Michigan after a massive search that was launched when the family did not return home last weekend as expected from Mackinac Island, Mich.

The children's mother, who is the man's former wife, reported Jay Rzechula, 43, and their four children, ranging from age 8 to 13, missing Monday, said Petty Officer 1st Class Paul Roszkowski, who is based in Wilmette.

Two Coast Guard lifeboats spotted Rzechula's 32-foot sailboat about 12 1/2 nautical miles off the shore of St. Joseph, Mich. It was unclear Tuesday why Rzechula did not respond to calls over the radio, and the area where Rzechula's boat was found is known to have spotty cell-phone reception, Roszkowski said.

Rzechula and the children were sailing back to Chicago on Tuesday. Along with five boats, the Coast Guard used three helicopters and two C-130 search planes, including one based in Florida, in the operation, which cost more than $250,000.

 


Indiana

IN - Tailwater trout fishing at Mississinewa

Due to an unusually wet summer, anglers will have a unique opportunity to catch rainbow trout in the tailwaters of Mississinewa Reservoir this Labor Day weekend. DNR fisheries biologists will release 400 rainbow trout the morning of Aug. 30.

 

Trout are typically released at Salamonie Reservoir, but this year the rainbows will be released into the tailwaters of nearby Mississinewa Reservoir due to Salamonie's high

water levels. If heavy rains raise water levels at Mississinewa, the trout will be stocked into Brookville Reservoir.  Check on stocking plans by calling (765) 473-6528 or by visiting Mississinewa's online fishing report at: http://www.fishing.IN.gov

 

The Mississinewa fishing site is located west of Wabash, Ind., south of highway 124 off of Miami County Road 675 East.  Information on Indiana reservoirs is available at: http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/reservoirs/index.html


Indiana's 2003-04 waterfowl hunting seasons

Using results of waterfowl migration research and hunter surveys, Indiana DNR biologists have established the following waterfowl hunting season dates for 2003-04:

 

Duck Season*

North Zone

Oct. 11 - Oct. 13 & Oct. 25 - Dec. 20

South Zone

Oct. 25 - Oct. 31 & Nov. 22 - Jan. 13

Ohio River Zone

Oct. 25 - Oct. 26 & Nov. 22 - Jan. 18

 

* More restrictive seasons are in place for canvasback and pintail ducks.

 

Canvasback and Pintail

North Zone Oct. 25 - Nov. 23

South Zone Nov. 22 - Dec. 21

Ohio River Zone Nov. 22 - Dec. 21

Canada Goose Season

North Zone

Oct. 11 - Oct. 13 & Oct. 25 - Dec. 30

SJBP Zone

Oct. 11 - Oct. 13 & Oct. 25 - Dec. 10

South Zone

Nov. 8 - Nov. 11 & Nov. 27 - Jan. 31

Ohio River Zone  Nov. 23 - Jan. 31

 

Snow Goose Season - Statewide

Oct. 11 - Oct. 13 & Oct. 20 - Jan. 31

 

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekends

Three weekends (one in each zone) are set outside the regular hunting season dates to provide a quality hunting experience for young hunters. Hunting weekends are:

North Zone  Oct. 4-5

South Zone Nov. 1-2

Ohio River Zone  Nov. 8-9

Waterfowl hunters must register with the Harvest Information Program (HIP). Call 1-800-WETLAND or register online at:  http://www.wetland.net


IN - fish and wildlife rule review

Every few years, DNR officials review wildlife, hunting and fishing regulations. To kick off the process, the DNR solicits ideas and comments from citizens, state biologists and conservation officers. This year, thousands of Hoosiers have already contributed ideas and thoughts for managing wildlife resources.

 

In early June, more than 580 Hoosiers attended one of the 19 DNR open house meetings to make comments and suggest future changes to wildlife-associated regulations. About 1,000 emails or letters have also been received.

 

"With this input, we can develop a preliminary rule package that protects wildlife while addressing social concerns and allowing for better enforcement," said Linnea Petercheff, operations staff specialist for the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife.

The three topics receiving the most comments were turkey hunting, deer hunting and muskellunge size limits. Many turkey hunters have suggested changing the wild turkey season dates, plus adding a fall turkey hunting season. Many deer hunters suggested increasing the bag limit for bucks. And a bunch of anglers would like the muskellunge size limit increased to more than 40".

 

DNR-proposed rule changes will be announced in October, and Hoosiers will again be asked their opinions. Fish and Wildlife managers will then review proposed rules based on the new public input.

 

Public comments and information about the rule review process available online at: http://www.IN.gov/dnr/fishwild/about/rules.htm

 


Minnesota

MN - Minnesota fishing report - Aug 20

ALEXANDRIA -

Hot days have kept the day fishermen off the water. Walleye action best on Miltona and Ida in about 25 feet of water on leeches and crawlers, and crankbaits in less than 15 during low light. Panfish hitting off the weedlines in 15-18 feet of water. Some of the bigger sunfish coming from 20 feet of water. Northern pike going good off the cabbages on spinnerbaits or spoons for numbers of fish, anglers using live suckers for bigger fish.

 

ANNANDALE -

Sunfish still hitting on Cedar and Clearwater 10-12 feet on the weedline. Bass and northerns going on local lakes. Walleye bite has been best on Clearwater off the weed edges by the narrows, start in 18 and work deeper near the steeper drops. Leeches and crawlers best. Shad raps will work when the fish move into the shallower water during the morning and evening bite.

 

BEMIDJI -

Extreme hot has kept angling to early a.m. or evening bites. Bemidji has put out a few walleyes on jig and minnow combos. The bass bite remains strong on most local lakes. Muskie and northern pike anglers expect the heat to turn the muskie bite on.

BIG STONE -

Perch bite by Idlewild decent in about 6 feet of water, jig and minnow combo the best producer. A few walleyes being caught off Madison Reef on spinner rigs and crawlers.

 

BLACKDUCK -

Best bite has been in the mornings, Blackduck has started to put out some fish for the first time. Northern fishing is day to day on Red, crappies showing up on the cribs, evening seems to be the best time for the bite there.

 

BOWSTRING LAKE AREA -

The walleye fishing has slowed a bit with the hot weather but some can still be found on the north shore in about 11-12 feet of water. Spinners tipped with leeches or crawlers still work the best. Crappies continue to bite along the north shore as well as at the rock pile on the east shore. Small jigs tipped with a minnow work best. Northerns can be caught trolling near the weedlines with spoons.

 

BRAINERD LAKES AREA -

The walleye fishing improved dramatically this last week in the Brainerd Lakes area. Gull Lake kicked it up a notch with excellent walleye numbers and the occasional trophy fish. Other good walleye options have been Upper Whitefish and North Long Lake. Key locations have been wind blown points. The walleyes have been holding just off the weeds in 16-20 feet of water. Creek chubs on Lindy rigs have been producing the majority of the fish. The large pike continue to bite. A 19.8-pound northern was caught and released on Gull Lake. The fish came out of 25 feet of water. Key locations have the deep water humps that top out in 20-25 feet of water.

 

Other good pike options have been Edwards, North Long and Bertha Lake. The bass bite continued to produce action. Good numbers and size have been reported on many of the area lakes. A 6.3-pound bass was caught and released on Gull Lake. Other good bass options include Lower Cullen, Rush and Pelican Lake. The key locations continue to be the deep weed edge and the slop. A pig-n-jig in 18-20 feet of water has been an excellent big bass bait. The nicer sunfish continue to inhabit the classic walleye structures. A small black/white jig has been very effective for taking these nicer 'gills off the tops of these sunken islands.

 

CHISAGO CITY -

Don't forget about Frankies Bass tourney on Sept 12-13 on North and South Center and Big and Little Green. Panfish and bass bite is on. Bass seem to be anywhere from 2-12 feet of water. Walleye bite has been slow but when they do catch fish it is on the transition from sand to silt at South Lindstrom.

 

CROSSLAKE -

Walleye action has slowed in the Crosslake area due to the higher temps pushing fish deeper. Reports from area anglers have some active fish in 20-24 feet hitting on Lindy or spinner rigs tipped with redtails or leeches. This is an evening or early morning bite. Bass and northern fishermen are having a field day working the weedlines for big bass and pike. Jigs and worms are bringing in bass and large sucker minnows on spinner rigs are producing large northern pike. Crappie action has continued at an even pace with anglers finding fish suspended along weedlines and submerged structures. Panfish are hitting in 10-16 feet of water. Try small jigs with worms or waxies.

 

DETROIT LAKES -

Big Detroit, Melissa, Island and Sallie are kicking out a few walleyes. Jigs and leeches being your best bet. Northern pike and bass remain active on most area lakes. Muskie anglers reporting many follows. A few hooked fish off Big Detroit and Sallie.

 

GRAND RAPIDS -

Trout Lake producing walleye and bluegill, with the bluegill caught down as deep 30 feet of water. Leeches being the best bait. Bigger fish have been pushed to the deeper water due to the extreme temps. Sand Lake near Bowstring was also producing some walleyes in 18-20 feet of water. Crappie bite good on Sand, Balsam and Spider with most fish relating to the bottom near the weed break. Good bass bite reported locally with a 5-pound 11-ounce coming out of Winnie near the dam.

 

HACKENSACK -

Reports of muskies being caught on Leech Lake. Call us for an up-to-the-minute report.

 

KABETOGAMA-NAMAKAN -

Hot, hot weather has prolonged the slow bite for walleye action. Fishing is expected to pick up as fall moves closer. Sauger and perch are dominating the activity in place of walleye. Smallmouth and northern pike are hitting on lures with pike taking in sucker minnows near weedlines. Sauger and jumbo perch are near reefs and showing up on the flats. Best bait choices seems to be crawlers or minnows with Lindy rigs. Some success for walleyes on jig and minnow at 28-34 feet. East Kabetogama and Namakan providing the best action. Look towards windswept reefs and bays early mornings or late afternoons. Crayfish baits and crayfish colored lures attracting the most bass. Hike into Locator Lake off Kabetogama for good largemouth action.

 

LAKE OF THE WOODS -

At Northwest Angle and the Islands, fishermen report catching an abundance of walleye in the 23- to 24-inch range using bottom bouncers on the rocks and on the reefs. Also consistent reports of catching and releasing muskies in this area. South Shore anglers report excellent fishing near the Gap in 20 feet of water and in 24-28 feet of water three to four miles out. Crawlers dropped over the side and bounced off the bottom, or trolling crankbaits were the most successful methods. The North American Sturgeon Championship took place on the Rainy River this past week. The intense temps and lack of breeze didn't stop the 229 participants from competing for the $1,145 cash prize! Fishermen reported that catching fish was tricky this past week and their fishing skills were really put to the test. The winning sturgeon was 46 inches and was caught and released by Debbie Spry of International Falls.

LEECH LAKE -

Walleye action is average. The reefs are giving up an occasional walleye during early morning and evening hours. Live bait rigs or crankbaits are your best option. Muskie anglers are catching fish on the rocks.

 

MANKATO - The Bobber Shop, North Riverfront Drive (507-625-8228)

 

MILLE LACS -

Although the mid summer bite has been spotty at best, it is showing some signs of improvement. We continue to mark a lot of fish on the flats, and had some good reports of mixed slot fish and larger walleyes hitting on 9 mile and the Boot using crawlers and spinners. The reefs are also showing some action on walleyes, again with a somewhat better ratio of slot fish showing up. Most of these fish are going on leeches/slip bobbers/angle jigs. The advantage goes to those willing to move around a little, as the reefs have few anglers on them and the opportunities are definitely there. The water clarity has diminished over the last two weeks which should help the shallow rock bite further.

 

Another interesting development is the return of the perch "tap tap tap" on crawlers being pulled in the deeper water - this has been nonexistent in the last two years, and is a positive indication that the perch base is established once again. Smallmouth fishing remains good - numbers might be down just a little, but the average size has actually improved. As for the muskie fishing, this is the time all you feather-flippers and wood whippershave been waiting for - seize the moment!

 

PARK RAPIDS -

Fish Hook Lake walleyes are in 18-22 feet of water early and late in the day. Northern pike in the 14- to 16-foot weed edges of Big Mantrap Lake. Also try for some muskies in 8-14 feet on Big Mantrap.

 

RAINY LAKE -

The magic depth for catching walleye is 25-26 feet right on top of reefs.

Leeches have cooled, and minnows seem to be the ticket. Nightcrawlers are producing some results. Local guide Mike Williams recommends using a small hook, with a bit of color on it, or a jig. No hot colors are being recommended - just take your pick. Chances are you will pick up a few large northern pike on top of the reefs as well. The fishing methods have remained the same over the past month. If it's windy, you may want to anchor your boat vs. trolling. On calm days, trolling is a must.

 

For smallmouth bass fishing action it is recommended you use tube jigs or jerk baits, and cast toward rocky, "clean bottom" shorelines. Bass anglers report catching a few hungry northern pike in these areas as well. The Minnesota side of Rainy Lake will be host to the MN Pro/Am Tournament on August 22-23. Bass anglers have been pre-fishing the area for a couple weeks. We will attend the weigh-ins on both days and share as much information with you as possible.

 

SAINT CLOUD -

Horseshoe and Cedar Island are producing crappies and sunfish in 4-8 feet of water. Pearl and Pleasant are giving up numbers of big bass. Walleye reports are slow, due to the hot weather. Channel catfish action is good throughout the Sauk River Chain.

 

SAINT CROIX -

St. Croix River fishing south of Stillwater to Prescott has been dominated by saugers. The saugers are running in the 14- to 16-inch range with smaller fish also mixed in. Walleyes are also being caught but the river could easily be nicknamed the St. Sauger instead of the St. Croix at the present. Saugers are holding in 17-24 feet depth range where trolled hammered bronze bladed spinners with nightcrawlers and trolled wide wobble action crankbaits continue to produce fish. Silver and dark-colored hair jigs tipped with a nightcrawler and vertically jigged with a fast snap are also catching fish. Catfish are active and hitting on chicken livers, stinkbaits, and nightcrawlers. White bass schools remain submerged except during early mornings and later in the day towards dusk. The above sea level mark is 675.28 feet, water clarity is good, and surface water temperature is 79 degrees.

 

STARBUCK

A few walleye biting on Lake Minnewaska, an evening bite. Sunfish also coming from Minnewaska in 10-12 feet of water. The bass and northern pike action is consistent along the weedlines of Minnewaska.

 

UPPER RED LAKE -

The northern pike action is slow, but many big fish are being caught.

 

LAKE VERMILION AREA -

Walleyes are starting to pick up and many anglers are returning from the lake with nice limits of fish in the 14- to 18-inch class. Doug recommends using a 4-foot leader with a red or pink #6 hook with a nightcrawler. Fish the edges of rock reefs in about 13-25 feet of water. Muskies are dominating the tops of those reefs and causing the walleyes and other fish to hang around the edges. Don't overlook the mud flats in big bay on the Tower-Soudan end of the lake. This time of year the walleyes like to school on the mud flats in about 20 feet of water and the same technique using long leaders and crawlers can be applied. Muskies have also turned it up a notch with nice fish in the high 40¹s lower 50¹s being reported on a daily basis.

 

Night fishing seems to be producing the biggest muskie and topwater baits such as the Creepers and Annihilators, a good choice. The best time for day-fishing muskies is with a good wind and overcast. There are still plenty of muskies in the weed beds and around rocky shorelines but the money fish are on the rock piles. Big pike in the low 40¹s are also in the weed beds and using smaller muskie lures will produce fish. Pit fishing for rainbow trout has been producing nice fish early in the morning and late afternoon through evening. Fish from 18-40 feet for the nicer average size fish. Cowbells with crawlers or small spoons, #5&7 Rapalas or similar crankbaits will do the trick. The warm weather has finally brought the lake trout to their summer haunts. Many anglers are reporting good catches. Look for rocky reefs that border deep water where fish can hide and deep rocky shorelines or rocky points to catch summer time lake trout. Trolling is your best bet to fish for lake trout this time of year.

 

WACONIA -

Muskies are active on Anderson's Reef on the southeast side of the lake. Topwater baits and bucktails working best. For big bass, work the deep milfoil edges off Cemetery Reef and North Reef. Crappies and walleyes are off the milfoil edges of Kegg's Reef in 14-20 feet of water.

 

WILLMAR -

Bass and pike are in the 12- to 14-foot weed edges of Florida, Andrew, North Long and Nest lakes. For walleye try Green Lake in 30-40 feet of water. Leeches and nightcrawlers still your best option. Crankbaits and live bait are producing bigger smallies in 12-16 feet of water during the day. Topwater baits are best early morning.

 

Minnesota fishn's always great. It's the catchn' we've got to work on!

 


MN - DNR requests comments on proposed lake sturgeon regs changes

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will host three public meetings and take public comments in October on a proposal to reduce lake sturgeon harvest on Minnesota’s border waters with Canada.

           

“The proposed regulation is based on a single principle,” said Ron Payer, DNR Fisheries Division director. “We want to continue to provide sturgeon anglers with a quality experience without jeopardizing the recovery and long-term health of lake sturgeon stocks on border waters.”

           

The current lake sturgeon regulation on Minnesota-Canada border waters allows possession of one fish per license year. Only lake sturgeon from 45 to 55 inches may be harvested, all fish smaller than 45 inches or greater than 55 inches must be returned to the water immediately. The season is closed from May 1 – June 30 to protect spawning fish.

           

The proposed regulation would reduce the fishing season length and limit harvest to fish between 45 and 50 inches in length or greater than 75 inches. The limit will remain at one fish per year.

           

A registration system is also being developed, similar to that required to register big game animals. The proposal includes a spring harvest season from April 24 – May 7 and a summer harvest season from July 1 – Aug. 31. The season would be closed from May 8 – June 30 to protect

spawning fish. Anglers would be allowed to practice catch and release fishing for sturgeon the remainder of the year.

 

The following public meetings have been scheduled to gather input on this or other ideas:

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 7 - 9 p.m., Lake of the Woods School choir room (Room E139) in Baudette. DNR representatives will be on hand to provide information, answer questions and take input.

 

► Wednesday, Oct. 22, from 7 - 9 p.m., Room SC115 (next to Student Commons) at Rainy River Community College in International Falls.  The meeting will begin with an informational session, followed by an opportunity to ask the DNR questions and provide input on the proposals.

 

► Thursday, Oct. 23, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., DNR Central Office, 2nd Floor, 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul.  This event will be an open house where citizens will have an opportunity to review background information and comment on the proposal.

           

Written or telephone comments will be accepted at the DNR Area Fisheries Office at 204 Main Street East, Baudette, MN 56623, (218) 634-2522, or DNR Area Fisheries Office at 392 East Highway 11, International Falls, MN 56649; (218) 286-5220. Comments can be e-mailed to mike.larson@dnr.state.mn.us  or kevin.peterson@dnr.state.mn.us  

All comments must be received by Nov. 3, 2003.


MN - DNR seeks input on Experimental Regs for Leech Lake

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will gather input at two public meetings next month on potential experimental walleye and northern pike regulations for Leech Lake. The regulations could take effect during the 2004 open-water fishing season.

           

The DNR Division of Fisheries’ preferred option is a protected slot limit of 17 to 21 inches for walleye and a protected slot limit of 24 to 36 inches for northern pike. However, the DNR will consider alternatives, including maintaining the lake’s current regulations.

 

Meetings are scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Walker/Hackensack/Akeley school cafeteria and  Sept. 25 at DNR headquarters in St. Paul.

           

Twenty Minnesota lakes currently have walleye regulations that are different from the statewide limit of six fish in possession, with one over 24 inches. The intent of experimental regulations is to increase numbers and size of fish by requiring anglers to release a greater portion of their catch.

 

While Leech Lake and its walleye population are considered healthy, there have been indications that some negative trends may be developing. One recent biological concern, according to Harlan Fierstine, the DNR area fisheries manager at Walker, is an apparent decline in the number of walleye larger than 15 inches in deep portions of the lake. Other concerns include subtle changes in fish growth rates and age of maturity that are typically found in populations that have high harvest rates. The safe harvest level of walleye from Leech Lake is estimated to be 209,000 pounds, a number anglers typically approach near the end of the fishing season, Fierstine said.

“We are uncertain if these changes are due to normal population cycling or perhaps we have detected the early signs of a problem,” Fierstine said. “We want to share our information with the public so that an informed decision can be made.”

           

Also under consideration, is an experimental regulation that would help increase an angler’s chance of catching larger northern pike. The goal, Fierstine said, is to increase the chances of catching “quality-sized” fish. The proposed regulation has been implemented in a number of lakes around the state.

           

“We’d like to see Leech Lake anglers have a better chance of catching 10- to 12-pound northern pike,” he said. Leech Lake has the capability to grow far more large northern pike than it currently has because of its size, structure and abundant prey base,” Fierstine added.

 

"It is my hope that anglers and those economically invested in Leech Lake give serious thought to what’s being proposed and provide comment,” Fierstine said. “Though Leech Lake’s fish population is healthy, this is an opportunity to be proactive and ensure that it stays that way into the future.”

           

Written comments on proposals for both the walleye and northern pike regulations will be accepted until Oct. 6. They may be mailed to DNR Fisheries, 07316 State 371 NW, Walker, MN 56484. Questions or comments may be submitted by calling (218) 547-1683 or by e-mail to harlan.fierstine@dnr.state.mn.us

 

Anglers will also be able to provide comment on the proposal at an open house Sept. 25 from 8 a. m. to 4:30 p.m. at the DNR Headquarters, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul.


MN - Funding available for shoreland projects

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is making $600,000 available during the next two years to local conservation organizations, private citizens and local governments that are interested in protecting or restoring native Minnesota shoreland habitat.

           

The funds, available through the DNR Shoreland Habitat Program, will allow work on projects that stabilize shoreline and restores or protects native shoreland vegetation, including native aquatic plants.

           

“There is money available for large and small projects, so we’re encouraging proposals from all sizes of organizations,” said Kevin Bigalke, shoreland habitat

coordinator specialist for the DNR Division of Fisheries. “The main requirement is that the funds are used for habitat work that benefits or restores native shoreland.”

 

The Shoreland Habitat Program provides reimbursement funding for shoreland habitat work. The grants are funded from state lottery proceeds deposited in the Heritage Enhancements. Grants are administered through the DNR Division of Fisheries and designed with guidance from local DNR fisheries managers.

           

Grant applications and information packages are available by calling Kevin Bigalke at (651) 296-2548 or via e-mail at kevin.bigalke@dnr.state.mn.us . Information will also available on the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us  Completed grant applications are due Sept. 30, 2003.


Pennsylvania

PA -  Fishing and Boating Report

New report service offered

(This report is a new feature being offered by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission as a service to boaters and anglers.  The briefs included in these reports are provided by the PFBC's field staff - Waterways Conservation Officers, Area Fisheries Managers and Aquatic Education Specialists - from across the Commonwealth.  Reports will be compiled and distributed on a regular basis.  Pennsylvania has 83,000 miles of rivers and streams and more than 4,000 lakes and ponds; obviously, there will not be reports for all waters all the time.   Instead, the reports will highlight areas of particular interest such as spots where anglers are having success, underutilized waters with lots of fish, or tips for enjoying recreation boating.  These reports are believed accurate as of the time of posting.  Remember, however, that water conditions and fishing action can change dramatically without notice.  Boat and fish safely and smartly.)

 

NORTHWEST REGION

Crawford/Mercer counties

Area lakes still have water levels above normal but all are dropping.

 

Fishing on Conneaut Lake is producing bass on rubber worms in weeds near drop offs.  Bowfin and catfish are being caught in Conneaut Marsh at the bridges on night crawlers.

 

At Lake Wilhelm, use minnows and fish near the drop offs for panfish. Try for bass near the shoreline.

 

Canadohta Lake anglers are catching a few crappie and walleye although it's spotty.

Sugar Lake is producing some crappies and bass.

 

Forest/Clarion counties

 A recent bass tournament on the Clarion River around Piney Dam turned up good small mouth bass. The upper portion of the Clarion River around Cook Forest showed similar smallmouth results on night crawlers.

 

Trout streams were producing some trout at the mouths in the Forest county area, while crappies and muskies were being caught at Nebraska Bridge on Tionesta Creek. Pictures were taken of 32-inch gar caught at the outflow of Tionesta Dam.

 

Water levels on the Allegheny and Clarion rivers in this area are coming down and canoeists have been seen navigating them.  If you plan to boat on these rivers, exercise extreme caution and don't exceed your skill limit.

 

Warren County

Allegheny River area: water conditions should improve this week. A report on boating conditions in this area can be obtained by calling: 814-726-0164.

 

Because of high water levels, fishing has been poor on the Allegheny River, but should improve by mid-week.  Some white bass are being caught with live minnows in the Kinzua tailrace area. What few fish are being caught are biting on night crawlers.

 

NORTHCENTRAL REGION

Northumberland County

 On Lake Augusta, consistent rains, high water and strong currents have hampered boating. The high water has had some effect also on the fishing on Lake Augusta, but catfishing is still producing using catfish bites, nightcrawlers and bloodbait.  Some bass are being caught using topwater lures.

 

Snyder County

 Bass fishing with good success has been reported on Faylor Lake.  Try Zoom salted tubes with gold flake and artificial worms in green pumpkin.

 

Tioga County

Hybrid striper fishing on Hammond Lake is improving.  Cruise the shoreline watching for gizzard shad being chased by hybrid stripers, then cast a jerk bait past the rising fish and work it through.

Fishing has been slow at Cowanesque Lake, but boating is picking up.  Due to the debris on the lake, boaters should exercise caution and keep a sharp lookout.

 

Union County

 At Halfway Lake, trout are being caught on power bait in nymph, purple, white and yellow.

 

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION

Bedford County

Nice pike in the 30-inch range have been taken from Shawnee Lake recently on shiners.  Bass fishing has been a bit slow. 

 

Good bass fishing has been reported at the Cumberland Dam. 

 

The Raystown branch of the Juniata has been plagued by high water.  When the water is down, good numbers of smallmouth bass are being caught.

Adams/York Counties

Panfishing at Lake Marburg has been fairly good with white and yellow perch being caught.  Trout can be caught near the dam in 20 to 40 feet of water.  The best time to fish is at night with a light. 

 

The Susquehanna River at Lake Aldred is producing some

good channel cat fishing from shore and in boats.  Chicken livers and night crawlers are good choices for catfish.  Successful anglers are using the Otter Creek and York Furnace accesses. 

 

Smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing has been light and spotty.  Boaters must avoid the area of the river immediately below the Holtwood Dam.

 

Cumberland County

Anglers at Opossum Lake are reporting success with northern pike with fish in the 20- to 26-inch range.  One hot spot is an area approximately 25 feet from shore, directly in front of the gravel boat ramp.  Shore fishing may also be successful. Try minnow imitations that are silver and red in color.

 

Dauphin County

 The Susquehanna River has been high and swift the last week, with the east and west shore both showing sediment discoloration.  Fishing has been poor, although some catfish have been pulled from the mouth of inlet streams.  Boating has been difficult because of the higher then normal water levels.

 

 

NORTHEAST REGION

Carbon County

Striped bass are being caught at Beltzville Lake.  One was 46 inches, 39.5 pounds and was taken on a live minnow.  A 7-pound catfish was also caught at Beltzville this past weekend.  Live baits and especially minnows are working well.  Bass anglers are doing well with plastic worms.  Walleye are occasionally being caught.

 

A nice 19-inch, 4-pound smallmouth bass was caught at Mauch Chunk Lake, Carbon County over the past weekend.  Plastic worms also seem to be productive here.  There are even some decent perch catches, up to 12 inches from this lake.

 

Wayne/Pike Counties

 

Not much going on in usually busy Lake Wallenpaupack, Pike & Wayne Counties.  This great fishing and boating resource seems underutilized this summer because of the poor weather. It's quiet and now might be a good time to find a spot all to yourself. 

 

Fly anglers are having sporadic luck with brown trout on Wallenpaupack Creek, below

Lake Wallenpaupack.  Try wet flies and fish at night.  The brownies will start heading upstream in the coming weeks.

 

On a promising note, the lakes at Promised Land State Park, Pike County have been decent.  Some anglers have had mixed catches. Evenings are best.

 

Lackawanna County

 

Anglers may want to consider their luck with crappie at Lackawanna Lake, Lackawanna County.  Use light line and jig.  Focus on cover in the coves or around docks and bridges.  Access Lackawanna State Park just north of Scranton off of Route 524 or 438 from Interstate 81.

 

Monroe County

 Stream and river fishing has been slow due to high water.  The Lehigh River has been unproductive.  But, some streams are producing trout catches.  Consider Broadhead Creek in Monroe County, which is still loaded with trout and quite fishable. Focus on the section between Analomink to the High Bridge. 

 

Bradford County

The Susquehanna River has been high, muddy and sediment-loaded - fewer anglers means less competition.  Target transition zones were tributaries enter the river.  Fish congregate near those spots. Give river around Wysox, Bradford County a try.  Walleye and bass should pick up if the weather stays dry.  Try hellgrammites or nightcrawlers.

 

 

SOUTHEAST REGION

Schuylkill County

On August 10 fish structure was added to Tuscarora Lake in Tuscarora State Park.

 

Philadelphia County

Boating activity is light and fishing activity has been extremely light due to high water and poor weather.  Channel catfish are being caught in the Schuylkill River.

 

Berks County

Blue Marsh Lake fishing is very good.  Nice crappie are being caught at lake structure on live bait and jigs.  Minnows are very effective.  Smallmouth bass fishing has also picked up with fish being caught on artificials.

 

Lehigh County

 Trout fishing in Jordan Creek, Ontelaunee Creek and Little Lehigh River has been productive for the few trout anglers that are taking advantage of the good flows in trout streams.  There are still plenty of stocked trout still available.  The morning Trico hatch in the Heritage Area of the Little Lehigh in Allentown has been excellent. 

 

The boating pool on the Lehigh River above Hamilton Street Dam has been high and muddy recently with floating debris.


PA - Game Commission to hold drawing for 570 bobcat permits

HARRISBURG - With a limited bobcat season slated for the upcoming hunting and trapping seasons, nearly 3,170 individuals have submitted an application for one of the 570 permits that will be selected by the Pennsylvania Game Commission at a public drawing on Friday, Sept. 12.  The computerized drawing will be held at 10 a.m. in the auditorium of the agency's Harrisburg headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Ave.

 

Applications from holders of resident furtaker licenses or junior or senior combination licenses, along with a non-refundable $5 fee, had to be postmarked no later than Aug. 15, or submitted via the agency's website www.pgc.state.pa.us .  Those selected in the random drawing will receive one permit for no additional charge to either hunt or trap one bobcat.  The hunting season will run from Oct. 18- Feb. 21.  The trapping season will run from Oct. 19- Feb. 21.

Hunting and trapping bobcats is restricted to Wildlife Management Units 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D.  A statewide map of the WMUs, as well as a series of maps of each WMU, appears on pages 48 through 52 of the 2003-2004 PA Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations.

 

In 2000-2001, when the first bobcat hunting and trapping seasons in 30 years was held, hunters and trappers harvested 58 bobcats.  In 2001-2002, hunters and trappers harvested 146 bobcats.  In 2002-2003, hunters and trappers harvested 135 bobcats.

 

"Based on the harvest success rate of these three seasons and our survey of unsuccessful bobcat permit holders, we conservatively increased the number of permits allocated in order to move closer to our harvest objective of 175 bobcats," said Vern Ross, Game Commission executive director.

 


PA - Online Elk application deadline is Sept 12

Hunters planning to participate in Pennsylvania's elk hunt have until Friday, Sept. 12, to submit an application and $10 non-refundable fee via "The Outdoor Shop" on the Pennsylvania Game Commission's website www.pgc.state.pa.us  .  Information on the upcoming elk hunt appears on pages 110-115 in the 2003-2004 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which is provided to license buyers.

 

A $10 non-refundable fee must be submitted with the application, and may be charged to VISA, MasterCard, Discover or American Express.  No Game Commission office will accept hand-delivered applications.  "Only one application is permitted per person," said Vern Ross, Game Commission executive director. 

 

Because the application period opened before the 2003-2004 hunting licenses went on sale in July, individuals are not required to purchase a resident or nonresident general hunting license to apply for the drawing.  However, if they are drawn for one of the elk licenses, hunters then will be required to purchase the appropriate resident or nonresident general hunting license and attend a mandatory orientation program sponsored by the Game Commission before being permitted to purchase the elk license.  The elk license fees are $25 for residents and $250 for nonresidents. 

 

The public drawing will be held at 6 p.m. on Sept. 27, as part of the Elk Expo.  The Northwest Pennsylvania Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau will sponsor the 3rd Annual Elk Expo - a two-day festival all about elk and enjoying the great outdoors - on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27-28, at the Elk County Fairgrounds in Kersey.  For more information about the Expo, visit the Northwest Pennsylvania Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau website www.elkexpo.com , or use the link from the Game Commission's "PA Elk Hunting HQ" www.pgc.state.pa.us .   

 

"All applications will be put into one container for the public drawing," Ross said.  "We then will draw enough applications to award 100 elk licenses.  The first 20 will be awarded antlered elk licenses, and the next 80 will be awarded antlerless elk licenses."

 

New this year is the establishment of a preference system for the elk license drawing, which is something that

previous applicants supported.  Beginning with the applications submitted for this year's drawing, individuals who are not awarded either an antlered or antlerless elk license in 2003 will be granted preference in future drawings.

 

Another change this year is that there is no limit to the number of licenses that may be awarded to nonresidents. In the 2001 and 2002 elk hunts, based on nonresident license sales of previous years, nonresidents were limited to receiving up to 2 and 5 elk licenses, respectively.  However, in the 2001 elk hunt, only one nonresident application was drawn and in the 2002 elk hunt only four nonresidents applications were drawn.

 

Those applying for an elk license will have the option to indicate their preference for either an antlered or antlerless elk license, or they may select "either."  For those who select  "antlered only," if they are drawn after the antlered licenses are allocated, they will not receive an elk license.  For those who do receive an antlered elk license, they will not be permitted to re-apply for future elk hunting opportunities for five years. 

 

Applicants also will be given the opportunity to identify their preference of an elk management area, or they may select "any."  If drawn and their preference for hunting area is already filled, applicants will be assigned a specific area by the Game Commission.  To assist applicants in making this decision, information about the elk management areas is posted on the website www.pgc.state.pa.us  along with the application.  This information also is in the 2003-2004 Digest.

 

Those who received one of the 51 antlered elk licenses for the 2001 or 2002 elk seasons are not eligible for five years from the year in which they received a license.  However, those who received an antlerless elk license may submit an application this year.

 

Ross noted that fees collected from the first 10,000 applicants will go directly to improving habitat on public lands within the elk range, as part of a three-year partnership announced in 2001.  The Game Commission and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) pledged a total of $600,000 from their two agencies to fund habitat improvements for elk and other wildlife throughout the elk range in north-central Pennsylvania.


PA - Boop to be sworn-in as Commissioner

On Aug. 27, at 11 a.m., Thomas E. Boop of Sunbury, Northumberland County, will be sworn-in as a member of the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners.  The ceremony will take place in the Northumberland County Courthouse, Court Room No. 1, Second and Market streets, Sunbury.

 

Boop was nominated by Gov. Edward G. Rendell on July 1, and confirmed by the Pennsylvania State Senate on July 28.  He will serve an eight-year term.

As one of the eight Board members, Boop will be a part of the quarterly meetings at which the Board approves seasons and bag limits, approves the acquisition of property to be added to the State Game Lands system and establishes other policies governing hunting and trapping and wildlife management of the state's wild birds and mammals.

 

Boop fills the vacant seat for District 5, which is comprised of: Bradford; Columbia; Lycoming; Montour; Northumberland; Sullivan; Tioga; and Union counties.


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