Week of August 29, 2005

Galley Cuisine

World

National

 

Canada

Regional

 

General

2nd Amendment issues

Lake Michigan

Illinois

Michigan

Minnesota

Pennsylvania

Wisconsin

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Gallery Cuisine

Gallery Cuisine

Salmon St. Jacques

Serves 2

1 cup cooked, flaked Salmon

2 Tbs. butter

2 whole shallots finely diced

1 garlic clove minced

1 tsp. thyme

½ tsp. Basil

1 cup white wine

1 cup sliced button mushrooms

1 quart heavy whipping cream

1 ½ cups finely grated parmesan cheese

2 cups mashed potatoes

Salt and Pepper

 

In a sauté pan melt 1 Tbs. of butter, saute the mushrooms until tender, remove from the pan leaving any juices. Add the other Tbs. of butter to the saute pan, add the shallots, garlic, thyme and basil. Saute the shallots and garlic until very tender. Add the wine and let reduce until almost gone from the pan,

add the mushrooms back to the pan. In a separate pan add the cream and on a SLOW heat bring up to almost boiling temp.

 

(Very important, at any time do not boil the cream or it will separate) Once the cream is hot slowly stir in the grated parmesan cheese until all of it has been combined in the cream. If the pan with the mushroom/wine mixture has liquid in it turn the heat back on under the pan and cook it down until it is almost gone. Combine the mushroom/wine mixture into the cream and stir together.

 

In individual baking dishes (sides 2 to 3 inches) or in one larger baking dish cover the inside walls of the baking dishes with an inch to ½ inch of the mashed potatoes. Place ½ cup of the salmon (salmon should be warm when it is placed in the dish) in each dish and pour the cream mixture over the top until the dish is filled. Place under the broiler until the top starts to bubble. It only takes 5 to 10 minutes as the entire dish is already warm.

(By Chef Jim Bucko, Radisson Hotel, Merrillville, IN )


World

Staggering Economic Losses Caused by Invasives

Estimated at 5% of the World’s Combined GNP!!

It has been estimated that economic losses caused by invasive alien species account for almost 5% of the world’s combined gross national product, or some $1.4-trillion a year.

This situation is expected to worsen, with increased movement of species around the globe through trade, transport, travel and tourism; and as existing invasives spread and grows, exacerbated by climate change and habitat destruction.

 


Japanese Maritime Company to Treat Ballast

TOKYO – Corporate giant Sumitomo Corp. announced plans last week for a new venture to safely dispose of ballast water discharged from ships.

 

Ballast water is seawater that is used to stabilize ships when they are not carrying cargo. It contains bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause environmental damage when the water is jettisoned into the sea.

 

Sumitomo expects the business to grow in light of an international convention to regulate ballast water adopted last year by the International Maritime Organization.  Together with Canadian marine transport company Fednav Ltd., Sumitomo has invested in Norwegian ballast water treatment equipment development company, MetaFil AS.

 

Its subsidiary, Sumisho Marine Co., has also secured sales

rights for the Far East from MetaFil's manufacturing and sales subsidiary, Ocean Saver AS. Sumitomo plans to sell the equipment to shipbuilders and shipping companies. The treatment uses filters and nitrogen to remove or kill microorganisms when ballast water is loaded.

 

The equipment will be installed on bulk carriers owned by Sumisho Marine and other shipping companies. Tests will be conducted for six months. The equipment is designed to treat 3,000 tons of ballast water per hour, which makes it effective even for large tankers.

 

In addition, development of a vacuum process that destroys cell membranes of bacteria is scheduled to be completed in about a year. Environmental damage from ballast water is serious in the Great Lakes of the United States and Canada, as well as in the waters around Tasmania and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.


National

Federal/State Agencies Collaborate in Rusty Crayfish Reduction Experiment

In cooperation with the Michigan DNR, USFWS' Ashland FRO assisted the U.S. Forest Service-Ottawa National Forest and the University Of Notre Dame (UND) in conducting in an experiment to assess the effectiveness of bottom trawling in reducing a population of rusty crayfish. The experiment took place on Lake Ottawa, a 551 acre lake in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

 

Lake Ottawa is virtually void of aquatic vegetation, and all native crayfish have been extirpated since the infestation of rusty crayfish. Reducing the abundance of rusty crayfish will allow natural predators such as the smallmouth bass to assume control of the crayfish population, and return the lake to a more balanced ecosystem.

FWS biologist Gary Czypinski, project leader and 3 UND graduate students removed approximately 10,000 rusty crayfish from two designated areas of the lake in a one day/night exercise. A chase boat crewed by FS biologist Jerry Edde and technician John Pagel transported the crayfish from the trawler to shore where the crayfish were counted, sexed, and destroyed.

 

The University of Notre Dame conducted pre-trawl and post-trawl samplings to estimate crayfish densities. These densities will be compared to the catch per unit effort of the trawler in order to assess the effectiveness of the trawling effort. The calculation and analysis of these data is in progress. A future accomplishment report will describe the results and analysis of the data.

 


Off-Duty and Retired Officers Can Now Carry Firearms

House Bill 218, recently signed by President George W. Bush, permits officers throughout the country to carry weapons while not on duty and even after they retire. Also known as the "Law Enforcement Officers' Safety Act," the legislation exempts qualified active and retired law enforcement officers from state and local prohibitions on the carrying of concealed firearms.

 

Those active and retired police officers that qualify can carry their firearms virtually anywhere in the United States without having to worry about violating any local or state gun laws. Previously, it was up to the state to determine if its off-duty and

retired officers could be armed.

 

"The FBI will be training their people, and so will the Secret Service and the DEA. You're talking about thousands of people that didn't have weapons before. Actually, it may be hundreds of thousands carrying weapons legally" said one official.

 

However, there are limitations and safeguards to House Bill 218. Firearms cannot be taken onto airplanes, and retirees have to meet weapons requirements. The retirees' former department also must provide them with a photo ID, and the former officer must be certified each year. Burgoyne said the certification requirements will ensure the public's safety.


State Attorneys General urge Supreme Court Review

Last week a dozen state attorneys general, led by Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in support of firearm manufacturers' recent petition asking the United States Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of a District of Columbia Court of Appeals decision that permits lawsuits against manufacturers under the District's Assault Weapon Manufacturing Strict Liability Act.

 

The law automatically imposes liability on any manufacturer whose firearm is misused in a crime. Also filing an amicus curiae brief were the National Association of Manufacturers

and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The onerous D.C. law is an example of why Congress must pass the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act to prevent law-abiding companies from being sued for the actions of criminals.  

 

We encourage you to support the measure by e-mailing your legislator today.

 

To get the address of your member of Congress, visit:  http://www.house.gov  and enter your zip code in the space at the top.  To get your Senators’ addresses, go to: http://www.senate.gov  and use the “find your senators” tab.

 


Scientists challenge Snakehead Myths

BOCA RATON—Recent press accounts of the Asian snakehead fish ‘invading’ New York City continue to perpetuate the distorted doomsday image earlier media accounts fostered when this story first broke following the discovery of a few Northern Snakehead in a small Maryland pond in 2002. 

           

Such stories often contain far more Hollywood-like hype than science according to a group of learned scientists in Florida who collectively have more than 100 years of professional experience working with exotic freshwater fishes.  Unfortunately, accuracy has frequently been abandoned in pursuit of sensational headlines and quotations.  Even the highly respected New York Times referred to snakeheads in an August 9, 2005 story as “devilish” and “nightmarish creatures from Asia,” playing off of earlier accounts, such as the Washington Post’s July 3, 2002 story that describes snakeheads as “something like killer bees that swim” and “diminutive whiskered land sharks, gobbling up every fish snack in sight.”

           

In reality, the name ‘snakehead’ refers to a group of 29 freshwater fishes that are native to China, Thailand, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, India, and parts of tropical Africa.  Although snakeheads have recently been illegally introduced into several States, only two species are reproducing in the continental United States.  These are the Northern Snakehead, which is reproducing in the Potomac River and a South Philadelphia pond, and the Bullseye Snakehead, which is reproducing in a southeast Florida urban canal system.

 

“Unfortunately, the public is reading, hearing, and seeing reports describing these fishes as ‘Frankenfish’ or the ‘fish from hell,’ said Paul Shafland, a fisheries scientist who has spent more than 30 years studying exotic fish at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Non-Native Fish Laboratory in Boca Raton.  But Shafland urges the public to be skeptical about some of the things they have heard and read about these fishes, and most notably the Northern Snakehead.

           

According to some accounts “This alleged monster eats anything in its path, can walk on land, survive up to three days out of water, and will even attack and kill people when guarding its young!”  “That’s great story lines for Hollywood movies, but it is not accurate news” Shafland said.

           

Dr. Walter R. Courtenay (Professor Emeritus and leading federal expert on snakeheads) agrees, and tells everyone who will listen that “I assure you that the Northern and Bullseye snakeheads are incapable of overland movements.”  Moreover, Courtenay adds that any such ‘land’ movements by any snakehead “must occur during the monsoon season so snakeheads can keep their bodies and breathing organ moist or else these fish will die in a matter of hours, not days!”

           

Dr. Jeffrey Hill (Lead Fish Researcher at the University of Florida’s Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory) agrees, adding that “Snakeheads cannot survive drying out nor can they make extended overland migrations across dry ground, although that seems to be the message popularized in media accounts.”  Remember, he said “Snakeheads are fish, fish need water, and even though snakeheads can use atmospheric oxygen unlike most other fishes, they must remain moist to do so.”

           

“The appearance of any illegally introduced exotic fish is cause for concern, but not the recent hysteria we’ve been reading about with the snakehead.   This is not a short-term crisis, but a long-term problem with less than catastrophic but no less real and unpredictable consequences” said Jon R. Fury, FWC Senior Fisheries Scientist for the South Florida Region.

           

The legend of snakehead voraciousness is built upon very few, if any hard facts, many of which have in turn been taken out of context and grossly exaggerated.  Trying to debunk some of these snakehead myths Courtenay, Fury, Hill, and Shafland all agree that:

   ► Yes, snakeheads can ‘breathe’ air and live out-of-water longer than most fish can, but suggestions that these fish can live without water for up to three days is a gross exaggeration.

  ► Yes, snakeheads can move through shallow water, swampy conditions, and even semi-fluid mud that would immobilize many native fishes.  But on dry land they only flop, wriggle, and squirm their way along for short distances, after which they will die in a matter of hours, not days.

  ► While there have been some local reports of snakeheads being found alive on land in their native ranges, none of the 29 Snakehead species possess the ‘land-walking’ attributes and abilities of the Walking Catfish, which has been in Florida since 1967.  And even the Walking Catfish cannot live unless kept in a moist environment.

  ► Neither the infamous Northern Snakehead nor its cousin the Bullseye Snakehead are capable of making overland migrations or land movements of any kind.

  ► Yes, snakeheads are predators with small sharp teeth that are very similar to the native Bowfin but, NO, it is not some finned tiger waiting to pounce upon every living thing, nor is it able to single-handedly wipe out native fish communities.

  ► Another truth is that the illegal introduction and presence of reproducing snakeheads in Florida, the Potomac River, and a South Philadelphia pond is a serious concern, one that should be dealt with in a commensurately serious manner.

 

“Let me assure you that the discovery of the Bullseye Snakehead in Florida waters is not something to dismiss lightly,” Fury said.  “In some cases, the presence of an exotic species can alter the ecosystem to the detriment of native species.”

 

“In such cases as this, we follow our well-established protocol for dealing with these matters rather than running about shouting: ‘The sky is falling! The sky is falling!’” Shafland said.  “And this is not the first time that an exotic fish has stimulated such an end-of-the-ecosystem-as-we-know-it type of hysteria; in fact, it is very reminiscent of the same distorted coverage the Walking Catfish received back in the late 1960s and 70s.”

“Now we know that all the gloom and doom predictions about the Walking Catfish in 60s and 70s were unfounded,” Courtenay said.  “Do we still have Walking Catfish in Florida?  Yes.  Are they a problem?  Yes, but their documented negative impact on native freshwater species has been negligible compared to the catastrophe they were projected to be in media accounts.”

 

“These stories never seem to die; they just seem to lie dormant until a new species is reported that has an especially unusual appearance, behavior, and/or even just a strange name” Hill said.  A few years ago similar stories surfaced about the Asian Swamp Eel that generated similar concerns by the public.

 

The real story here is that numerous unwanted exotic animals continue to be released into North America and elsewhere by well-meaning but misinformed individuals.  Not only is this illegal, it is ecologically irresponsible, and often harmful to the animal itself.

 

“How would you like to be dumped in the Antarctic or in the middle of a rain forest far from anything you were familiar with, to fend for yourself” Shafland rhetorically asks.  Most of these illegally released animals die premature deaths because they are unable to adjust to their new surroundings.  But those that do survive and reproduce can create serious problems for species and wildlife managers.

 

Shafland points out that 32 exotic fish species have been found reproducing in Florida’s freshwaters, and 22 of these are considered permanent residents.  In few cases, FWC has been able to quickly eliminate new exotic species, but because most are found in open and interconnected waterways, eradication is not generally feasible.

 

“Preventing exotic species from gaining a foothold is the only sensible approach, it’s our first and most important line of defense,” Shafland said.  “During the past 40 years, the FWC has developed comprehensive and multifaceted programs to deal with this problem which includes specialized law enforcement personnel who enforce the various prohibitions and controls governing exotic fish and wildlife in the State.”

 

Once the wall of prevention is breached by a new exotic, the options are limited, he admits.  The Bullseye Snakehead, for instance, cannot be eradicated or trapped out of existence.  “It’s here to stay, unless they somehow disappear on their own, something no one is expecting them to do” Shafland said.

 

“In the meantime, we are trying to learn as much as we can about the Bullseye Snakehead by studying its life history, environmental limiting factors, and associations with other fish species,” he said.  These studies started immediately after the discovery of this fish in October of 2000, “but this process is a long way from being completed,” he added.

 

Shafland explains the FWC continuously looks for management approaches that minimize the risks snakeheads and other exotic fishes might have, while at the same time developing methods to utilize these unwelcome resources.  He points out that Oscar and Mayan cichlid, exotic fishes native to Central and South America, are now targeted by some anglers fishing in the Everglades, and wild tilapia are commercially harvested for food from many central Florida lakes.  Although none of these exotic species are considered desirable by Shafland, he adds that “the idea here is to get the public involved in helping us to reduce their numbers by using them for recreational and/or food purposes.”

 

Bullseye Snakehead were first documented in Florida on October 5, 2000 when an angler brought his catch to Shafland for identification.  The Bullseye Snakehead is very similar in appearance and behavior to our native Bowfin, but just different enough to make this alert angler suspicious.  There are actually 29 different species of African and Asian snakeheads currently recognized by scientists, all of which are air-breathing fish, but only two—the Northern and Bullseye—are known to be reproducing in North America.

 

Florida scientists have collected and observed thousands of Bullseye Snakehead during the last few years, with the largest of these weighing just over nine pounds and measuring up to 33.5 inches long, according to Shafland.  Interestingly, the heaviest Bullseye ever collected in Florida was collected more than two years ago.  One reference indicates Bullseye Snakehead grow to four feet in length and weigh more than 60 pounds, but again Shafland responds by saying “show me the data,” then adding that if they truly grew this large, surely we would have seen fish larger than nine pounds by now.

 

Adult Bullseye Snakehead typically have red eyes and the body is a gold-tinted brown in contrast to younger fish that are pale gray.  Older fish sometimes have a two-toned pattern with a lighter more orange-colored lower body and several large black blotches in front of small groupings of silver-edged scales called rosettes. In Florida Bullseye Snakehead occur only in eastern Broward County, but they are expected to spread and could eventually occupy much of south Florida.

 

 “Bullseye Snakehead are easily recognized by their torpedo-shaped body, toothy jaws, and long dorsal and anal fins that don’t have any spines,” Fury said.  The most distinctive marking on the Bullseye is its prominent eyespot or ocellus, which is a black spot rimmed with orange near the base of the tailfin.  The long anal fin that runs from the anus to the tail of the Bullseye Snakehead readily distinguishes it from the native Bowfin.

 

All four of these experienced scientists emphasized that Florida and the rest of the United States has a serious and continuing problem with illegally introduced freshwater exotic fishes.  But, after more than a hundred years of collective professional experience, Courtenay, Fury, Hill, and Shafland all agree that while there is a big need to educate the public about these fishes, there is no need to sensationalize or exaggerate their effect, especially in the manner that has become so commonly associated with Asian snakeheads.


Regional

Lake Michigan Stocking conference Sept 24

The long anticipated Lake Michigan Stocking Conference has been scheduled for Sept 24 in Kenosha. WI. 

 

The Lake Michigan management agencies are considering reduced stocking to meet ecosystem objectives, and would like to know the opinions of the interested public.  This conference will provide a scientific review of the status of predator and prey communities, and present options for future stocking designed to meet prescribed objectives.

 

Growth rates of Chinook salmon have declined over the past several years and forage abundance is down.  Regional fisheries scientists say community dynamics in Lake Huron have shifted drastically and could impact Lake Michigan’s balance. 

 

Hosted by the Wisconsin DNR, and sponsored by the four Lake Michigan states and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, the conference will be held at the University of Wisconsin - Parkside, 900 Wood Rd, Kenosha, WI  53141, 8:30-3 PM Central Time. Pre-registration, is required, and cost

is $10 covering lunch and breaks.

 

The draft agenda plan is for agencies to present information in the morning with breakout sessions right after lunch, and a wrap-up session winding down the meeting.

 

Suggested lodging: Baymont Inn; 7540 118th Avenue; Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158.    www.baymontinns.com   262-857-7911 (Reserve by Sept 9, ask for Salmon Conference.  Room rate is $58/night plus tax)

 

For more information:  contact Phil Moy, UW Sea Grant, at 920-683-4697 or pmoy@uwc.edu . For directions, see www.seagrant.wisc.edu/Fisheries/  and click on "Salmon Stocking Conference"

 

The registration form is posted at http://www.great-lakes.org/fall05LkMichSC-Annoucement.html. Register by Sept 19.  

 

Your input into the decision making process is important!


Ohio - AG Asks Federal Judge to Throw Out Tribe's Lawsuit

TOLEDO (AP) -- The state's attorney general asked a federal judge on August 24 to throw out a lawsuit filed by the Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma seeking commercial fishing rights on Lake Erie without government restrictions.

 

The lawsuit, filed in June against the Ohio DNR, says the state should not be allowed to regulate or limit the tribe's fishing rights based on a 200-year-old treaty.  The tribe told the state that it wanted Ohio to recognize its fishing rights and that it intended to use gill net fishing in Lake Erie, a practice that's illegal in Ohio. But Attorney General Jim Petro said the tribe is asserting fishing rights under an 1805 treaty that doesn't even

 cover Lake Erie.

The tribe signed the Treaty of Fort Industry on July 4, 1805. They agreed to give up land in Ohio and received fishing rights in Lake Erie, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court.

 

Petro earlier this year rejected the tribe's claim for at least part of the North Bass Island. He said professors at two Ohio universities found no credible evidence the tribe had inhabited, used or controlled the island. The state bought much of the island in 2003.

 

There are no federally-recognized native American tribes or lands in Ohio.

 

 


New - Search engine for GLSFC web site

Need help Cruising our web site? Researching for info from our archives? 

We have over 10 years of  records of "Weekly News", five years of "New Product Reviews" , reams of files and web pages regarding all kinds of recreation, conservation and Aquatic Invasives Species.  Use our search engine, compliments of Google, to find what you're looking for on our web site. 

 

As a federally recognized non-profit organization, the GLSFC  has been donated this search engine by Google as an

important tool in your searches. No advertising or clutter, but a great tool for browsers…” Google does NOT clutter any search efforts with any advertising or pop-up ads.

 

With over 5,000 pages, 450,000 links and over ten years of information inventory, a search engine for www.great-lakes.org  will prove to be a great asset for our many visitors. 

 

Thanks to our Vice President Bob Mitchell and the research by our webmaster Bob James for this new resource


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for August 26, 2005

Lake Level Conditions:

Lake Superior is currently 3 inches lower than last year, while the remaining lakes are 5 to 8 inches below the levels of a year ago.  Dry conditions this spring and summer are the main reason that water levels on the lower Great Lakes are below last year’s levels.   Looking ahead, Lake Superior is expected to fall 1 inch over the next month.  Lake Michigan-Huron should fall 2 inches while the remaining lakes are expected to fall 5 inches over the next month, as the lakes continue their seasonal declines.  Levels over the next few months on all the Great Lakes are expected to remain lower than 2004.

 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

The Lake Superior outflow through the St. Marys River into Lake Huron is projected to be above average during the month of August.  Flows in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are anticipated to be below average during August.  Flows in the Niagara River are expected to be near average while St. Lawrence River flow should be below average in August.

 

Alerts:

Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by

changing water levels.  Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.

 

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels Data Summary

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Expected water level for Aug 26 in ft

601.6

577.9

574.0

571.2

245.2

Chart datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff from chart datum, in inches

+6

+5

+20

+24

+23

Diff from last month, in inches

-2

-2

-3

-5

-7

Diff from last year in inches

-3

-6

-5

-5

-8


Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy Released
The Great Lakes Regional Collaboration has released its draft strategy to protect and restore the Great Lakes. The public is invited to submit comments on the draft report until September

9, 2005. The collaboration's leadership will consider the draft

recommendations and public comments as they develop a final strategy for approval by the collaboration membership.

 

The final strategy is due to be released in Chicago in December 2005.


Canada

Canada Blames Us for rising murder rate

Gun-control folly here, up north, across the pond...

By John R. Lott Jr.

If you have a problem, it's often easier to blame someone else rather than deal with it. And with Canada's murder rate rising 12% last year and a recent rash of murders by gangs in Toronto and other cities, it's understandable that Canadian politicians want a scapegoat. That at least was the strategy Canada's premiers took when they met August 11 with the new U.S. ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins, and spent much of their time blaming their crime problems on guns smuggled in from the United States.

 

Of course, there is a minor problem with attacking the U.S. Canadians really don't know what the facts are, and the reason is simple: Despite billions of dollars spent on the Canada's gun-registration program and the program's inability to solve crime, the government does not how many crime-guns were seized in Canada, let alone where those guns came from. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police reported in late July that they "do not know if [the guns] were traceable or where they might have been traced." Thus, even if smuggled guns were an important problem, the Canadian government doesn't know if it is worse now than in the past.

 

Even in Toronto, which keeps loose track of these numbers, Paul Culver, a senior Toronto Crown Attorney, claims that guns from the U.S. are a "small part" of the problem.

 

There is another more serious difficulty: You don't have to live next to the United States to see how hard it is to stop criminals from getting guns. The easy part is getting law-abiding citizens to disarm; the hard part is getting the guns from criminals. Drug gangs that are firing guns in places like Toronto seem to have little trouble getting the drugs that they sell and it should not be surprising that they can get the weapons they need as well.

 

The experiences in the U.K. and Australia, two island nations whose borders are much easier to monitor, should also give Canadian gun controllers some pause. The British government banned handguns in 1997 but recently reported that gun crime in England and Wales nearly doubled in the four years from 1998-99 to 2002-03.

 

Crime was not supposed to rise after handguns were banned. Yet, since 1996 the serious-violent-crime rate has soared by 69%; robbery is up 45%, and murders up 54%. Before the law, armed robberies had fallen 50% from 1993 to 1997, but as

soon as handguns were banned the robbery rate shot back up, almost to its 1993 level.

 

The 2000 International Crime Victimization Survey, the last survey completed, shows the violent-crime rate in England and Wales was twice the rate of that in the U.S. When the new survey for 2004 comes out later this year, that gap will undoubtedly have widened even further as crimes reported to British police have since soared by 35%, while those in the U.S. have declined 6%.

 

Australia has also seen its violent-crime rates soar immediately after its 1996 Port Arthur gun-control measures. Violent crime rates averaged 32 % higher in the six years after the law was passed (from 1997 to 2002) than they did in 1995. The same comparisons for armed-robbery rates showed increases of 74%.

 

During the 1990s, just as Britain and Australia were more severely regulating guns, the U.S. was greatly liberalizing individuals' abilities to carry firearms. Thirty seven of the fifty states now have so-called right-to-carry laws that let law-abiding adults carry concealed handguns after passing a criminal background check and paying a fee. Only half the states require some training, usually around three to five hours. Yet crime has fallen even faster in these states than the national average. Overall, the states in the U.S. that have experienced the fastest growth rates in gun ownership during the 1990s have experienced the biggest drops in murders and other violent crimes.

 

Many things affect crime: The rise of drug-gang violence in Canada and Britain is an important part of the story, just as it has long been important in explaining the U.S.'s rates. (Few Canadians appreciate that 70 % of American murders take place in just 3.5 % of our counties, and that a large percentage of those are drug-gang related.) Just as these gangs can smuggle drugs into the country, they can smuggle in weapons to defend their turf.

 

With Canada's reported violent-crime rate of 963 per 100,000 in 2003, a rate about twice the U.S.'s (which is 475), Canada's politicians are understandably nervous. While it is always easier to blame another for your problems, the solution to crime is often homegrown.

John Lott, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of More Guns, Less Crime (University of Chicago Press, 2000) and The Bias Against Guns" (Regnery 2003).


General

Buck Perry, 90, “Spoonplug” died August 12, 2005

 Elwood L. (Buck) Perry, 90, owner and retired President of Bucks Baits of Hickory, NC died at his residence in Taylorsville, NC, August 12, 2005 after a period of declining health. 

 

From an early age, he grew up hunting, and fishing with his father on Lake James.  It was there he made the observations that would lay the groundwork for his pioneering theories on fishing.  Over the years he came to believe that the “home” of the fish was deep water, and that once or twice a day, they became active and may move to shallower water.  That they did not move in a haphazard manner, but the route they take has bottom features that show them the way.  

 

Perry designed a “tool” that would allow him to fish all depths, to find the fish and make them strike. His innovative lure had the combined action of a spoon and a plug. It was patented as the “Spoonplug”, and in 1946 he and wife Marjorie, began manufacturing them in their garage on 9th Street.  For the next 11 years, he worked all over the south, trying to sell his lures and the knowledge of how to find the fish and make them strike.  He found few takers, as he was told, “we just don’t fish that way!”  He was featured in True and Sports Afield magazines, and became a friend to Ray Bergman and other well known outdoor writers of the day.

 

 In 1954, airline pilot Don Nichols, discovered Spoonplugs while vacationing in Florida.   He eventually talked Buck into coming to the Chicago area to promote them.  In June 1957,  Tom McNalley, outdoor writer for the Chicago Tribune and Ray Gray for the Chicago American did feature stories in their Sunday Edition on Buck’s exploits fishing Lake Marie, a supposedly “fished out” lake near Chicago, which set the fishing world on its ear.  Then Tom McNalley edited the first Fisherman’s Digest which featured the story of Spoonplugging. 

 

Thus began a number of years of promotions in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan, teaching others to use his method of fishing.  Later he would also work in Florida and California. 

In 1955, he built a new plant on US 64-70 which was enlarged over the years as he expanded into other endeavors.  At one time he was manufacturing golf clubs, sleeping bags, fire alarms, and specialty furniture parts, in addition to his tackle items.  He developed a non-stretch fishing line for casting and trolling, color-coded every 10 yards to show much line you were running.  He worked on the first depth meter with Harry Lowrance and later built his own. 

 

In 1971 his plant was gutted by fire from a lightening strike, destroying many of his films and papers.  When he decided to rebuild, he only made the Spoonplug and related tackle items.  The Spoonplug is still made today in 7 sizes and 35 colors. 

 

He served as Education Editor for Fishing Facts Magazine for many years. The publisher, George Pazik, wrote in 1984 " He started the whole modern era of freshwater sport fishing.  He is known as the Father of Structure Fishing.  His discoveries and teachings have brought pleasure and success to millions of fishermen who never even heard his name."  

   

Buck published “Spoonplugging, Your Guide to Lunker Catches” in 1973, acclaimed as “the only true textbook on fishing” and published his 9 Volume Home Study Series in 1981.  His bi-monthly newsletter “The National Spoonplugger” is still being published today.  

 

Over the years, he received many honors, a few being participation in President Eisenhower’s “ People to People” fishing tournament in 1966, the Honorary title of Kentucky Colonel in 1974, a 1979 Lenoir Rhyne Distinguished Alumnus in business. In April of 1984, he was inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, Wisconsin for his contributions to the sport of fishing and in October 1984, he was inducted into the Lenoir Rhyne Football Hall of Fame.  In 1989, the Largemouth Bass in the Garden of Fishes at the Hayward museum was dedicated to Buck by friends and Spoonpluggers of America.

 

To check out the Buck Perry website: www.buckperry.com


Trailering: It’s a skill that needs to be practiced

By Wayne Spivak

Ever spend some time at the boat ramp?  It can evoke all the emotions of the theatre.  Pathos, humor, drama, action, and a whole lot of the “Worlds funniest video’s” thrown in for good measure.

 

Why do many people make the boat ramp a day’s entertainment, at rock bottom prices?  Because many boaters just don’t practice, don’t plan, and don’t expect the unexpected.

 

Practice

To do something well, you need to practice.  Whether it’s playing the piano, using your jig saw to cut a straight line or backing up a boat on a trailer, you need to practice the skills that will make you an impresario. 

 

And, if you took piano lessons as I did, I’m sure you heard your teacher say, “It takes more than one time.”  This of course was in response to your emphatic statement that you played it once!

 

Pick a large parking lot and set-up cones or empty plastic garbage pails and practice backing into a “spot”.  This spot could be a parking spot or the side of a boat ramp.  In either case, you need to be able to control your vehicle and trailer to make an effortless entry into the ramp, and then releasing your boat.

 

Planning

Plan each step of your boat launch, before you leave your driveway.  Do you have new crew with you?  If so, spend some time with them so they know exactly what will happen at the boat ramp, and what is required of each of them.  It is s a great idea to perform this in an out of the way place (not on the ramp itself) , so your tires and bearings cool down before entering the water. 

 

Make sure you’ve prepared the boat before you head down the 

ramp, by removing the tie-downs, placing lines in the appropriate places, and double-checking your sea-cock and drain plug.  Make sure your crew knows exactly where they will walk the boat, and remember to secure the boat to the dock, so it doesn’t float away.

 

Safety

Every step of the way, during planning, during practice, and especially during execution, you need to be ever mindful of safety.  Remember the safety chain (making sure it’s either secured when trailering or unsecured at the bottom of the launch ramp, as determined by what you are doing).  And don’t let your crew get behind the boat and trailer, or between the boat and the dock. 

 

Before you leave home, make sure you check your tires, and hubs/bearings.  Make sure they are greased, filled and in good working condition.  Also make sure to check your lights and  your breaks.  Remember, a safe trip is the best trip.

 

Courtesy and Common Sense

It never hurts to be courteous to your fellow boaters.  These people are a great resource while you and your boat are in the water or at the ramp.  You’ve heard of road rage.  There is also “ramp rage.”  Don’t hog the ramp.  Don’t hog the parking lot.  Don’t tie up the wash station.  If everyone shows a little courtesy, the process of unloading and loading of all the boats will go smoothly and safely.

 

Last and certainly not least, use common sense.  Don’t use your hands and feet, or life jackets, to fend the boat off from the dock – use high quality fenders instead.  You’re your cool, even if someone cuts in line.  Any confrontation isn’t worth the trouble. 

 

To learn more about trailering and boating safety, why not take a boating safety course?  For more information about

safe boating courses, why not contact the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary at www.cgaux.org  or call 1-877-875-6296.


 

2nd Amendment issues

Stop endangering employees

Boycott ConocoPhillips and Weyerhauser

By John R. Lott

Banning guns from the workplace seems like the obvious way to prevent workplace violence. At least that is the policy at ConocoPhillips and many other companies. The nation's largest oil refiner bans employees from storing locked guns in their cars while parked in company parking lots. The issue erupted this month when the NRA announced a boycott of Conoco and Phillips 66 gasoline stations.

   

Two-and-a-half years ago, 12 employees at a Weyerhauser plant in Oklahoma were fired when they were caught unawares of a change in the company's ban on guns policy that was extended to the parking lot. The company had used trained dogs to find guns in employees' vehicles. Oklahoma's legislature overwhelmingly passed a law letting employees keep locked guns in their cars, but two firms, ConocoPhillips and the Williams Co., are challenging the law in court on the grounds that it endangers worker "safety."

The real question is why the two firms bringing the case, ConocoPhillips and the Williams Co., are doing so. States supersede company decisions all the time on safety issues, and the legislature is clearly on record saying they believe that employees having access to their guns on net make them safer. The companies seem to have no more chance of winning this case than they do saying that they object to requirements that smoke alarms be installed.

 

Given the NRA's belief that "The right-to-carry saves lives," it is hard to fault them for boycotting firms they think are endangering worker safety. Good intentions do not necessarily make good policy. What counts is whether the rules ultimately save lives.

 

The new rules that prohibit lawful gun-owners from having guns on company property look more likely to actually wind up costing more lives, rather than saving them.

 


 

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan Stocking conference Sept 24

The long anticipated Lake Michigan Stocking Conference has been scheduled for Sept 24 in Kenosha. WI. 

 

The Lake Michigan management agencies are considering reduced stocking to meet ecosystem objectives, and would like to know the opinions of the interested public.  This conference will provide a scientific review of the status of predator and prey communities, and present options for future stocking designed to meet prescribed objectives.

 

Growth rates of Chinook salmon have declined over the past several years and forage abundance is down.  Regional fisheries scientists say community dynamics in Lake Huron have shifted drastically and could impact Lake Michigan’s balance. 

 

Hosted by the Wisconsin DNR, and sponsored by the four Lake Michigan states and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, the conference will be held at the University of Wisconsin - Parkside, 900 Wood Rd, Kenosha, WI  53141, 8:30-3 PM Central Time. Pre-registration, is required, and cost

is $10 covering lunch and breaks.

 

The draft agenda plan is for agencies to present information in the morning with breakout sessions right after lunch, and a wrap-up session winding down the meeting.

 

Suggested lodging: Baymont Inn; 7540 118th Avenue; Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158.    www.baymontinns.com   262-857-7911 (Reserve by Sept 9, ask for Salmon Conference.  Room rate is $58/night plus tax)

 

For more information:  contact Phil Moy, UW Sea Grant, at 920-683-4697 or pmoy@uwc.edu . For directions, see www.seagrant.wisc.edu/Fisheries/  and click on "Salmon Stocking Conference"

 

The registration form is posted at http://www.great-lakes.org/fall05LkMichSC-Annoucement.html . Register by Sept 19.  

 

Your input into the decision making process is important!


Illinois

Bighead carp found in Rock River

ROCKFORD -- For the first time an Asian bighead carp has been found in the Rock River, and more of the invasive species may have moved into the area.

 

Dan Sallee of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources confirmed last week that a fish caught August 21 by a local angler below the Fordam Dam in downtown Rockford was a bighead carp, which weighed about 7 lbs and measured 22

inches.   The discovery could have a long-term effect on the river's food chain as bighead carp multiply quickly, compete with native species for food supplies, and can damage habitat.

 

The Mississippi and Illinois rivers have established bighead populations. They entered those waterways after escaping fish farms during flooding.


Trapping Bill Vetoed by Governor

Illinois sportsmen need to contact state lawmakers to override the veto of a pro-trapping bill.

House Bill 1486, introduced by Rep. Frank Mautino, D-Spring Valley, would have allowed the use of snares for trapping, benefiting Illinois sportsmen and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  Despite the legislature’s overwhelming support, Gov. Rod Blagojevich vetoed the measure. 

 

“The legislature will convene for a veto override session on October 25,” said Tony Celebrezze, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance director of state services.  “Sportsmen should ask their legislators to bring this bill up for consideration at that time.”

House Bill 1486 passed both houses of the legislature by substantial margins.  The House of Representatives approved the bill by a vote of 87 to 27. The Senate passed it by a margin of 49 to 2.  Gov. Blagojevich subverted the legislature’s will by vetoing the bill on August 12.

 

Take Action!  Illinois sportsmen should contact their state representatives and senators and ask them to override the governor’s veto of HB 1486.  Remind them that the bill had overwhelming support in the legislature and that the veto throws up a road block for sportsmen and the DNR. To contact your legislator, call (217) 782-4141 or use the Legislative Action Center at www.ussportsmen.org


Michigan

DNR Sets Meetings for Lake Trout Regs August 29 In Grand Traverse Bay, Frankfort Areas

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will host two public meetings on Monday, Aug. 29, to discuss lake trout regulations in Lake Michigan, specifically for Grand Traverse Bay and the Frankfort area, fisheries officials said.

 

The first meeting will be at 2:30 p.m. at the DNR's Traverse City Field Office located at 970 Emerson Road in Traverse City. The second meeting will start at 6 p.m. at the Northstar Marina located at 212 Frankfort Avenue in Elberta, which is across the lake from Frankfort.

 

Research and creel surveys show few lake trout of legal size, under current regulations, are being caught by sport anglers in

these areas of Lake Michigan. Modeling shows with alternative regulations, anglers could harvest more fish, while meeting the long-term goal of lake trout rehabilitation.

 

The meetings will present different regulation options and provide information on the current status of the fishery. Interested anglers are encouraged to attend, provide comments and be a part of the fishery management of Lake Michigan.

 

Persons with disabilities needing accommodations for the meeting should contact Tom Rozich at (231) 775-9727, ext. 6070, a minimum of five working days before the event.  Requests made less than five days before this meeting may not be accommodated.


Awarded $655,000 to Support Program for Improvement of Wildlife Habitat

Michigan has been awarded a total of $655,000 to support a program to create and improve habitat for rare and declining wildlife on privately-owned land. To date, the Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) has funded 135 projects on over 5,500 acres. The program also has provided 200 landowners technical assistance covering 16,000 acres.

 

In the current round of funding from the federal Fish and Wildlife Service, Michigan competed with 43 other states and the U.S. Virgin Islands for its portion of $21.7 million. The funds are awarded on a competitive basis. Michigan received $180,000 for Tier 1 grants that emphasize program

infrastructure. The state also received $475,000 for Tier 2 grants that focus on program implementation. The funds will be combined with state matching funds to create more opportunities for LIP activities around the state.

 

Any private landowner can request assistance from LIP, but priority is given to sites containing or adjacent to target species, such as the Karner blue butterfly, smallmouth salamander, Blanding's turtle, and a host of other species. Priority projects also are based on specific habitats in each region of the state that the DNR is working to restore, such as the jack pine barrens in the northern Lower Peninsula, wetlands and grasslands in the southern Lower Peninsula, and mesic conifers in the Upper Peninsula.


Women Can Learn All About Elk Sept 10-11

The Department of Natural Resources Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program is offering a Beyond BOW workshop on Michigan's elk herd Sept. 10-11 at Canada Creek Ranch in Montmorency County.

 

"We are very pleased to sponsor this exciting new program that offers women the opportunity to learn about these majestic animals and perhaps see them in the wild," said Lynn Marla, DNR BOW coordinator. "There will be plenty of time for elk viewing, and the bulls may even be bugling at that time."

 

During the workshop, participants will learn about elk in Michigan; their history, reintroduction, habits, telemetry and tracking methods used to study elk movements and what

state wildlife managers are doing to ensure a healthy elk herd. A special guest speaker is Maggie Engler, the women's representative for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

 

The $95 registration cost includes lodging and meals. Accommodations are private rooms with two beds and private bath facilities. An optional activity following the workshop includes an afternoon of shooting at an archery range (equipment provided). Participants also may bring a firearm to shoot at the range as well.

 

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshops are for women 18 years and older who wish to learn outdoor skills in a non-threatening, educational setting. For more information, contact Lynn Marla at (517) 241-2225; marlal@michigan.gov .

 


Minnesota

Zebra Mussels found in Mille Lacs

Although divers found only two zebra mussels in Mille Lacs among the 20 sites they checked, the news is cause for concern on both sides of the Red River, and the news should serve as a wakeup call

 

It means the pesky mollusks, which can cover lake bottoms, destroy spawning habitat and clog water intakes, are moving closer to North Dakota. In Minnesota, zebra mussels first showed up in 1989 in Duluth Superior Harbor and since have spread to the Mississippi River, Lake Zumbro near Rochester, Minn., Lake Ossawinnamakee near Brainerd, Minn., and now Mille Lacs.

 

It's nothing for an angler to be fishing the Mississippi River or

Mille Lacs one day and Lake of the Woods, Devils Lake or Lake Sakakawea the next. With the abundance of fishing tournaments, it happens all the time.

 

Tournaments draw boatloads of out-of-state anglers and who knows where those boats have been.

 

The potential for zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil or numerous other unwanted critters hitching a ride on a boat or trailer is very real if anglers, boaters and even waterfowl hunters don't take the time to keep their rigs clean. If that sounds like a big job, consider the alternative of trying to eradicate unwanted species once they infiltrate a body of water.


DNR sets 60-day, four-duck season

Minnesota waterfowl hunters will have a 60-day duck season and four-duck daily bag limit, including one hen mallard, the DNR announced. The duck harvest in the Mississippi Flyway dropped by about 1 million birds last year from 2003. Minnesota's harvest declined 23% while Missouri declined 30%, Illinois was down 32% Louisiana was down 39%.

 

Minnesota's breeding duck population was the lowest since the drought years of the 1980s, according to annual aerial survey data. Mallards, down 37 percent from 2004, and blue-winged teal, down 45 percent, comprise about two-thirds of the state's duck population.

 

"We expect the restriction on hen mallards will make hunters 

more cautious about identifying ducks before they shoot, especially in the early season when ducks are in their summer plumage and harder to identify," said John Guenther, DNR Fish and Wildlife Division director. Wisconsin and Michigan have limited hunters to one hen mallard daily for a number of years.

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which allows states to set up to a six-bird daily limit, lowered the scaup limit from three to two this year for all flyways in response to continued decline in the continental scaup breeding population. Better nesting success for Eastern Prairie Population (EPP) Canada geese enabled the DNR to add 15 days to the West-Central Goose Zone, extending the season through Thanksgiving. Ten days were added to the statewide goose season.


Pennsylvania

Lawsuit filed over deer management

HARRISBURG -- A hunters' organization has sued the state over its deer management, saying the whitetail population is being reduced to increase timber sales by improving the health of forests.  The Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania's lawsuit said the number of deer across the state has fallen in the past five years from 1.5 million to fewer than 750,000.  It warns that current hunting regulations "might lead to the irreparable decimation of the state’s deer herd."

 

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday against the state Game Commission, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Gov. Ed Rendell. It is part of a campaign by some hunters to increase deer numbers, pitting them against the wildlife officials, foresters, farmers and conservationists who warn of the environmental dangers of overpopulation.

 

"It was kind of a long time in coming," said the association's chairman, Gregory Levengood, of Boyertown. "We've got to let a court decide whether we're going in the right direction here, because they're not listening to sportsmen."

 

The total number of deer killed by Pennsylvania's 1 million

hunters hit a record level of 518,000 in 2002; then fell to 409,000 last year, according to the Game Commission.

 

The lawsuit alleges the Game Commission has violated a state law requiring it to maintain certain levels of game species, and seeks an order directing the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to provide the information it uses to set policies.

 

Game Commission spokesman Jerry Feaser said the agency used scientific evidence to make its deer management decisions and questioned the claim that the total population has dropped by 50% in five years. "We are revising our population model," he said. "That being said, it's important to understand that population estimates are only one measure of the Game Commission's goals in implementing its deer-management program.  "We're managing deer in a manner to try and improve the habitat that deer depend on, as do all other wildlife."

 

The Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania says it has 50,000 members -- representing 1,200 dues-paying members and 100 dues-paying clubs.


Wisconsin

Bark River Fish Passage Project Completed

Fish access to prime habitat in the headwaters of the Bark River in Bayfield County (WI) was restored this month, and native brook trout immediately took advantage of this new access. In its monthly report the USFWS Ashland Fishery Resources Office said within 30 minutes of opening flows through the new culvert, a 12” brook trout was seen powering up through the structure! 

 

Bark River is a Class A trout stream tributary to Lake Superior. It provides habitat for native brook trout and was historically a coaster brook trout producer.  In addition, naturalized populations of steelhead and Coho salmon inhabit the lower

stream reaches.  Access to about 0.7 miles of prime spawning and nursery habitat in the headwaters was totally blocked by a 30 year old culvert that was installed improperly and badly damaged. 

 

The Region 3 Fish Passage Program provided $15,000.  This was combined with partnership contributions by the Township of Clover and Bayfield County.  The new 8’ X 100’ culvert is now embedded at the natural stream slope and all banks were re-contoured to stable configurations, seeded and mulched. A natural substrate bottom that provides fish habitat and easy upstream accessibility for fish has also been established.


Asian Carp seen in Upper Mississippi

People have spotted three species of Asian carp on the Upper Mississippi and Wisconsin's DNR say that's a cause for concern.

 

While most have been seen closer to the Illinois River, the 

carp are now appearing up near Wabasha, Minn. about 65 air miles southeast of Minneapolis. That's almost two-thirds of the way up into Wisconsin, north of the Illinois state line. Many of the fish are caught by a dam near Keokuk, Iowa but numerous carp are now flying over it.


Governor urges protection against invasive species

Seeks ballast legislation similar to that passed in Michigan

To protect against invasive aquatic species, such as zebra mussels, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle wants lawmakers to regulate the discharge of ballast water from ocean-going ships that ply the Great Lakes. Doyle's proposed legislation is modeled on a similar law in Michigan; Doyle said the bill would provide for uniformity among Great Lakes states.

 

The plan would require ocean-going ships that reach

Wisconsin waters to obtain a permit from the Department of Natural Resources. In order to receive the permit, ships would have to certify that they will not discharge aquatic nuisance species or that they have approved treatment technologies for ballast water.

 

Doyle also wants lawmakers to give the DNR the power to inspect boats as they come out of the water to make sure the boats don't transport invasive species from one lake to another.


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