Week of September 11, 2006

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National

FWS proposes ban on silver carp

Ruling posted in Sept 5 Federal Register with 60 day comment period

Importation and interstate transport of live silver and large scale silver carp would be banned under a proposed rule published in the Federal Register by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A petition to the Service signed by 25 Members of Congress outlined impacts of silver carp to humans and native species in waters of the United States.  The proposed rule – advanced under the injurious wildlife provisions of the Lacey Act –addresses these concerns.

 

Silver carp, native to Asia, were introduced in the United States in the early 1970s for use as algae control agents in sewage lagoons and fishery production ponds, but escaped into surrounding waters.  The carp have established themselves in the Mississippi River Basin but are not currently cultured in the U.S.  Silver carp are difficult to handle and transport because of their tendency to jump:  growing up to three feet long and 60 lbs, silver carp have leaped into moving boats injuring people and damaging equipment.

 

Biologists are concerned the silver carp could spread

throughout the U.S. and compete with native species for food and habitat. For example, the carp could threaten the multimillion-dollar Great Lakes fishery by competing with native fish for food.

 

Large scale silver carp, native to parts of China and Vietnam, are a distinct species related to the silver carp and warrant prohibition as well.  While not yet known to be in the U.S. large scale silver carp could compete with native species for food and habitat and may hybridize with silver and bighead carp, both of which are already in U.S. waters.

 

Public comment on the proposal will remain open for 60 days.  Comments must be submitted on or before November 6, 2006.

The best method is by e-mail to: silvercarp@fws.gov . Include ‘‘RIN number 1018–AT29’’ in the subject line of the message.

 

The Federal Register notice is available at:

www.fws.gov/contaminants/Documents/Silver_

Largescale_PR.pdf

 


Task Force advances Lacey listing of Silver carp

The House and Senate Great Lakes Task Forces, in October of 2002, petitioned the US Fish & Wildlife Service to list 3 species of Asian carp--black, bighead, and silver--as injurious under the Lacey Act.  The US Fish & Wildlife Service announced last week that it had proposed a rule to list the silver carp under the Lacey Act.  Listing a species as injurious under the Lacey Act prohibits the interstate transport of that species unless permitted in certain exception or if the species is not living. The Service proposed listing the black carp as

injurious in 2002, and no final action has been taken.

 

Asian carp can grow to six feet long and could easily devastate native fisheries in the Lakes and undo years of restoration efforts. The Task Forces have been working to construct and operate the electric dispersal barrier, and listing the carp under the Lacey Act would help to close down another route of introduction into the Great Lakes.  Public comment on the proposal will remain open for 60 days. 


Refuge Case Decision Brings Headaches for Fish & Wildlife Service

On Thursday, August 31st, a federal district court judge from the District of Columbia ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was required to examine more fully the cumulative environmental impacts of hunting on 37 National Wildlife Refuges before issuing regulations that opened or expanded hunting opportunities on these refuges.  The suit was brought back in 2003 by a number of animal rights groups who seek to thwart hunting on the refuges of the National Wildlife Refuge system.  Safari Club International, U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl, California Waterfowl Association and the Isaak Walton League intervened to defend against this challenge to hunting on the refuges.

 

Although the Court's decision could result in costly and cumbersome environmental analysis for the FWS, the ruling, for the time being, has no direct impact on hunting on the 37 refuges at issue in the case or on any of the hundreds of refuges on which hunting takes place.  In fact, the federal court judge expressly avoided the Plaintiffs' request that hunting be stopped on the 37 refuges at issue in the case.  Instead, the Judge directed all the parties to participate in briefings to help

decide the remedy to resolve the litigation.  In essence, the judge invited the parties to comment on whether the environmental analysis could be completed without the need for an interruption of hunting at these refuges.

 

Safari Club International President Ralph Cunningham remarked:  "This recent opinion is unfortunate, but we are pleased that the Court appears to be interested in hearing more about how hunting can continue while additional analysis is conducted.  We intend to make the very most of the opportunity the judge has presented to explain how beneficial and necessary hunting is to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's ability to administer the refuges and manage their wildlife." 

 

SCI Executive Director Tom Riley explained:  "We see this phase of the lawsuit as a golden opportunity for the hunting community to display the value of hunting and role of the hunting community in refuge wildlife management.  We will continue to represent all hunters who value refuge hunting opportunities in our joint effort to continue and expand hunting within our National Wildlife Refuge system."


Merger of Animal Rights Organizations Spells Trouble for Sportsmen

On September 1, the Humane Society of the United States announced that it has merged with the Doris Day Animal League. The merger results in an additional 180,000 members for the Humane Society of the United States, already the nation’s largest animal rights organization.

 

The merger comes on the heels of the 2005 merger of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the Fund for Animals.

The Doris Day Animal League (DDAL) was formed in 1987 by actress Doris Day and since that time has grown into an active

animal rights proponent which works on animal issues legislation at the federal, state and local level.

 

The HSUS website states that the merger “paves the way for increased public policy activity by the HSUS’ affiliate, The Humane Society Legislative Fund by combining the existing organization’s membership and donor support with DDAL.”

 

The merger serves as an indicator of the active growth of the HSUS under president and CEO Wayne Pacelle. The merger with the Fund for Animals in 2005 led to the creation of a campaigns department within the HSUS which focuses efforts on sport hunting among other animal use practices.


Create Family Fun with a Kids All-American Fishing Event

Register now and receive free planning materials and kit

Whether experienced or not in hosting a community fishing event, there is a free and user-friendly program available to assist organizations interested in putting on a fun activity of this kind for area kids and families.

 

Almost any group is eligible to hold a turn-key Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing Program event presented by Zebco (KAAF), and receive the fishing derby kit and planning materials through an online request process at www.kids-fishing.com . However, the materials must be ordered in advance and the deadline for doing so, January 31, 2007, is rapidly approaching.

 

Hooked On Fishing International Inc. (HOFI), the world’s largest organizer of on-water youth fishing events, provides the Derby Organizer Support Kit at no cost. Included in the package are an event planner’s handbook, banner, publicity posters, plastic goodie bags, two Zebco rods and reels, tackle box, participant souvenirs and other giveaways. HOFI provides additional free resources at its kids-fishing.com Web site, such as customizable press releases, newspaper announcements and timely e-mail planning reminders.

“In 2006, Hooked On Fishing International assisted partnering organizations in hosting nearly 1,900 youth fishing events across the country” said Daniel Johnson, HOFI president. “We look forward to working with those same groups and more in 2007, providing positive youth experiences by reconnecting kids and families through the fun of fishing and the enjoyment of the great outdoors."

 

Because the KAAF Derby Organizer Support Kits are built in advance based on approved event registrations, interested groups do need to plan ahead and sign-up by the January 31 deadline.  Everything a group needs to know about hosting a KAAF-supported event can be found on the program’s website, www.kids-fishing.com .

 

The Kids All-American Fishing event support kits are made available free of charge thanks to the support of marquee corporate partners Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Zebco.  The program receives additional support from some of the nation’s top brands including Banana Boat, Castrol, Eagle Claw, Fujifilm, Keebler, Kellogg’s, Laker Fishing, Repel and Wet Ones.

 

 


Be a part of America's Waterway Watch program

Be a part of the Shield of Freedom

The Coast Guard Auxiliary reminds those that work, live, or play on the water to become part of America’s Waterway Watch Program

The Program has toll free number (1-877-24-WATCH) to report suspicious activities and help prevent Terrorist Activities on or around our waterways

 

One the eve of the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and with a continued threat of a terrorist attack on our shores, the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is enlisting the assistance of America’s 80 million boaters and others, who work, play or live around our bays, rivers, lakes, and coastal areas for its America’s Waterway Watch program, designed to help keep America safe and secure. 

 

The program, commonly referred to as AWW, is a concept similar to the neighborhood watch program.  “It’s like neighborhood watch on the water” according to John Van Osdol, the Director of Maritime Domain Awareness for the Auxiliary.  With over 95,000 miles of shoreline and over 290,000 square miles of water, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and its parent organization – the United States Coast Guard can’t be everywhere at once.  They need all the eyes and ears of those who frequent our waterways. 

 

The main objective of America’s Waterway Watch program is to prevent acts of terrorism and other illegal activity by having members of the commercial and recreational boating industries, as well as the boating public, recognize and report suspicious activities that may be indicators of potential terrorism. The Coast Guard Auxiliary urges Waterway Watch participants to never take action themselves, other than placing a call to the toll free number, or by taking photographs at a safe distance. All they are asking is that you keep your eyes and ears open.
 

According to Van Osdol,” We’re appealing to those who live, work or boat on our waterways; they know the difference between what’s normal and what’s out of place.”  Van Osdol

urges boaters to report anything that they think is abnormal or just doesn’t look right.  Furthermore, he urges them to take notes and let the National Response Center know the “who what when and where” regarding the observation.  “If it makes you go ‘hmmmmm’, report it.”

 

The sorts of details that will be helpful include a description of the individuals, the vessel or vehicle involved and what sort of unusual activity was taking place.  Boaters and other water enthusiasts are asked to simply pass that information along using the 1-877-24-WATCH number.

 

The program has a central phone number, 1-877-24-WATCH (1-877-249-2824), where the public can report suspicious activities. This information goes to the Coast Guard’s National Response Center, which is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Some examples of what the Auxiliary is asking the public to be on the lookout for include:
•          Suspicious persons conducting unusual activities - things that are out of the ordinary

•          Unknown persons photographing, videotaping, or making sketches of commercial ports and infrastructures

•          Unknown or suspicious persons loitering around vessels and ports for extended periods

•          Unknown vendors attempting to sell or deliver merchandise around waterfront areas

•          Vessels anchored around bridges and dams, or fishing/diving in an area not typically used for fishing/diving

•          Recovering or tossing items into/onto the waterway or shoreline

•          Unusual transfer of personnel or items while vessel is moving

 

Furthermore, the Auxiliary is recommending that if anyone observes a situation which is perceived to present an immediate danger, they should contact local authorities by dialing 911, or contact the U.S. Coast Guard on Channel 16 of their VHF-FM radio. 

 

For more information on America’s Waterway Watch program: www.americaswaterwaywatch.org/


Judge Says Wildlife Refuge Hunts Illegal

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Dozens of wildlife refuges could be closed to hunters after a federal judge ruled last week that the government never considered the consequences of steadily expanding hunting rights for six years.

 

U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina has ruled that the USFWS violated federal law when it allowed or expanded hunting at 37 refuges from 1997-2003.  While the agency studied the consequences of opening each refuge to hunters, Urbina said officials had a responsibility to look at the effects systemwide.

 

Environmental groups including the Humane Society of the United States and other animal activist groups have criticized

the government for allowing hunting, fishing and other recreational activities in many refuges. While Urbina said in the September 7 ruling that wildlife officials violated the law, he stopped short of overturning the hunting rules and asked attorneys for both sides to propose solutions.

 

A Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman said the agency remains committed to allowing hunting when it is compatible with the refuge mission. "At this point there hasn't been any indication anything is going to change immediately," FWS spokesman David Eisenhauer said. "It's a little early to say what's going to happen."  The refuges at issue in the lawsuit are located primarily in the South, Virginia and the Pacific Northwest.


Coast Guard wants live firing ranges in Great Lakes – maps available

Proposing 34 zones to accommodate 57 USCG units in the region, comment period extended 60 days

Great Lakes boaters will probably soon be hearing small arms fire as part of a US Coast Guard program to hone up for military preparedness.

 

In an original 30 day Federal register announcement that expired on August 31 the Coast Guard is proposing 34 live-fire training zones on the Great Lakes to help guardsmen train in maritime defense – and public safety - on the lakes. Now, The Coast Guard, at the request of U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Holland, MI has extended by 60 days the public comment period on the proposal.

 

Uncharacteristic of the friendly relationship the angling and boating communities have had with the Coast Guard, none of us were notified that the agency had posted an "Advanced notice of Proposed Rulemaking” in the Federal Register.  Nor did the Coast Guard give adequate notice for comment, considering their original comment period was only 30 days.

 

The Ninth Coast Guard District re-opened the time for public comments concerning those proposed Great Lakes safety zones saying,  "In an effort to have full consideration of all issues prior to finalizing these zones, the public comments time period will be extended an additional 60 days once published in the federal register."

 

Basically, "the Coast Guard proposes to establish safety zones throughout the Great Lakes. These zones are intended to restrict vessels from portions of the Great Lakes during live fire gun exercises that will be conducted by Coast Guard cutters and small boats. These safety zones are necessary to protect the public from the hazards associated with the firing of weapons."

 

In their announcement, the USCG says three (3) zones will be in Lake Ontario, four (4) in Lake Erie, six (6) in Lake Huron, fourteen (14) in Lake Michigan and seven (7) in Lake Superior. The Federal Register announcement also includes coordinates of those zones.

 

The "Guard is proposing to establish these safety zones to conduct training essential to carrying out Coast Guard missions relating to military operations and national security. Accordingly, these proposed safety zones fall within the military function exception to the Administrative Procedure Act."

 

What this little known Federal law means is the Coast Guard does NOT have to give 30 days notice or a starting date when they intend to begin their firing exercises.  As part of the

Department of Homeland Security, they are not required to seek comment, hold public hearings or develop an environmental impact study.  The Coast Guard presently has no plans to hold hearings.

 

They add: "These safety zones will only be enforced during time the safety zone is actually in use. Furthermore, these safety zones are located in places known not to be heavily used by the boating public. Hence, this determination is based on the minimal amount of time that vessels will be restricted from the proposed zones and that the zones are located in areas which vessels can easily transit around."

 

An Important factor to remember is it was our elected federal officials that approved and signed into law, the Administrative Procedure Act. The Coast Guard is just following that law.

 

The USCG says they will give "notice to the public via a Broadcast on channel 16 to Mariners that the regulation is in effect."

 

In the April 3, 2006 online Weekly News segment, the GLSFC reported for the first time since 1817, U.S. Coast Guard vessels on the Great Lakes were being outfitted with weapons – machine-guns capable of firing 600 bullets a minute. Until then coast guard officers had been armed with handguns and rifles, but the vessels themselves hadn't been equipped with weapons.

 

The War of 1812 saw violent battles on Lake Erie and Lake Huron between U.S. troops and British forces, which were largely composed of militias from Britain's colonies in what is now Canada. After the war, the United States and Britain – and later Canada – agreed to demilitarize the Great Lakes waters.  Both countries recently reinterpreted the treaty to allow more modern weapons by considering them weapons of law enforcement.

 

One news agency reported the guns would be .308 caliber, but we reported in April the vessels may be outfitted with machine-guns of sizes up to .50-caliber.

 

Maps of the proposed firing zones - by lake - can be accessed at:  http://www.great-lakes.org/cg_firing_ranges.html

 

The full text can be found in the [Federal Register: August 1, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 147)], Pages 43402-43406. 

 

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?position=all&page=43402&dbname=2006_register , or:   

 

CGD 09-06-123 - Gunex Safety Zone NPRM -71 FR 43402.pdf


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Sept. 8, 2006

Lake Level Conditions: 

Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 4 and 2 inches lower, respectively, than they were a year ago at this time.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are higher than the levels of a year ago by 2, 3, and 5 inches, respectively.  All of the lakes are in their period of seasonal decline, over the next 30 days Lakes Superior and Michigan are expected to fall 2 to 3 inches while the remaining lakes are expected to fall approximately 6 inches.  Over the next few months, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are expected to remain below last year’s levels, while Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are predicted to remain near or slightly above the water levels of a year ago. 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

The Lake Superior outflow through the St. Marys River into Lake Huron is expected to be below average in September.  Flows in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are also expected to be below average during September.  Flow in the Niagara River is expected to be near average in September, while flow in the St. Lawrence River is expected to be above average in September.

Alerts:

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

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for Sept 8

601.2

577.6

574.1

571.5

245.5

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

+1

+1

+21

+27

+27

Diff last month

-3

-4

-3

-4

-7

Diff from last yr

-4

-2

+2

+3

+5


General

Male Bass in Potomac River Area found to be Bearing Eggs

Some Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass showing both male and female characteristics have been discovered in the Potomac River and in tributaries across the region, say federal scientists.

 

The cause of the abnormalities is unknown, but USGS

scientists from the Hagerstown, MD office suspect a class of

waterborne contaminants that can confuse animals' growth and reproductive systems. The results were striking, according to Vicki S. Blazer, a USGS fish pathologist. More than 80 % of all the male smallmouth bass they found were growing eggs.

 


11-year-old girl and crappie pro claim national fishing title

TULSA, Okla.- The recently held and first-ever Kids All-American Fishing Team Challenge ended in dramatic fashion when 11-year-old Analissa Merrill and her teammate, pro angler Todd Huckabee, charged from last place to first to claim the championship title.

 

The two anglers started the second and final day of the Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing Challenge and Family Fishing Festival presented by Zebco with the lowest score among the six invitational teams competing. They had 340 points coming out of the casting accuracy and casting-golf challenges on day one, compared to the leader’s score of 520. But they entered the final event - a one-hour fishing contest in a small pond on the grounds of the Oklahoma Aquarium in nearby Jenks - with confidence and a strategy.

 

The pair decided to target sunfish, although that fish species had the lowest point value in the fishing contest. Sunfish, or any type of perch, were worth 25 points each, catfish at 50 points and largemouth bass at 100 points.

 

Merrill and Huckabee, dubbed Team Zebco in honor of the sponsors they represented, caught 44 sunfish and two catfish in the allotted time, equaling 1,200 points, giving them a grand total of 1,540 points and the highest score overall. The young angler was presented the championship trophy.

 

Merrill is a sixth-grader from Lynnwood, Wash., who is active in school and community, and likes to fish. Huckabee is a full-time professional crappie angler and fishing guide. The pair is representative of how all six teams were matched - pro angler and outstanding youngster.

 

The other five teams, and how they finished: 2nd, Team Wal-Mart, comprised of 15-year-old Ian Richmond of Riverside, Ohio and George Cochran, 1,258 points; tied for 3rd, Team Castorl, 11-year-old Sean Cleland of Naples, Fla., and Carl Svebek, and Team Kellogg’s, 10-year-old Jonny Schultz of West Bend, Wis., and Sam Newby; 4th, Team Fujifilm, 14-year-old C.J. Barnhill of DeQueen, Ark., and Randy Blaukat; and 5th, Team Keebler, 10-year-old Alyssa Meyer of

Secaucus, N.J., and Mark Goines.

 

Among the pro participants were a former world bass champion, a television fishing personality and bass tour celebrities.The casting challenges and the pond fishing opportunity were also open to public participation.

 

The weekend visit to Tulsa for the six youngsters was part of a total prize package, which also included a $5,000 U.S. Savings Bond, as part of their selection to the Kids All-American Fishing Team. Each was chosen through a formal application process that included phone interviews with the finalists.

 

The Kids All-American Fishing Ambassador and Scholarship effort is part of the Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing presented by Zebco program, and is designed to recognize exemplary youngsters who like to fish, but also have contributed outstanding service to their schools and communities.

 

The six youngsters and their families collectively traveled nearly 6,000 miles to attend the weekend activities, which began with a dinner in their honor at the Oklahoma Aquarium. The inaugural event was made possible by marquee sponsors Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and Tulsa-based Zebco, along with the Oklahoma Aquarium, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Castrol, Fujifilm, Keebler, and Kellogg’s. Other sponsors included Banana Boat, Eagle Claw, Laker Fishing, Repel and Wet Ones.

 

The Kids All-American Fishing programs are the property of Tulsa-based Hooked On Fishing International, the country’s largest organizer of youth fishing events. More than eight million youngsters and their families have participated in the program over its 19-year history at events held throughout all 50 states and at U.S. military bases as far away as England, Germany, South Korea and Japan.

 

More information about the Kids All-American Fishing Team Ambassador and Scholarship program and events is available online at kids-fishing.com.


 Bass Pro Shops to open in San Antonio October 19

San Antonio, TX—Roland Castillo, named recently as the store manager of the new Bass Pro Shops opening in San Antonio, Texas, calls the store location the “jewel in the crown.” in the Bass Pro Shops retail family.  Located at the intersection of I-10 and Loop 1604, the store is situated directly across from Six Flags Fiesta Texas and is the anchor for The Rim, a 700-acre mixed use development. This is the third Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World to open in Texas.  A 4th Texas Bass Pro Shops will open in Garland in November.

 

“At more than 180,000 square feet, it will easily be one of the largest retail operations in the San Antonio area and one of the larger Bass Pro Shops stores opened to date,” said Castillo.  “This store has been specially designed to reflect some of the unique features of the Hill Country and will include large natural aquariums, a waterfall, Hill Country rock formations and area wildlife,” he said.

 

Castillo brings with him a broad base of experience in management, having previously served as both regional and district managers for several national retail operations.  From fishing area lakes and rivers to surf and bay fishing at the coast, Castillo is an avid outdoorsman who is also likely to be

seen teeing off at the local golf courses.  With that in mind,

Castillo is looking forward to another Bass Pro Shops tradition.  “Our store will be very active in promoting programs that foster outdoor education, outdoor skills workshops and programs for youth and families,” he said.  “Bass Pro Shops not only sells outdoor recreational products but is also committed to helping educate individuals on how to use them, inspiring people to love, enjoy and conserve the great outdoors for future generations,” he continued.

 

Those interested in applying for positions at Bass Pro Shops can go online at www.basspro.com  and click on Career Opportunities for more information.

 

A Special Evening for Conservation is planned as a pre-opening event Wednesday, October 18th followed by the official Grand Opening Thursday, October 19th.  More information will be available at a later date regarding those activities.

 

Bass Pro Shops, headquartered in Springfield, MO, currently has 58 retail locations either open, under construction or announced across America and Canada.  For more info go to: www.basspro.com .


 

Illinois

Lake Closing Reminders

Several IDNR-managed fisheries will close for the season in advance of the start of waterfowl seasons.  The final day for

fishing this fall will be Oct. 10 at Heidecke Lake, Oct. 15 at La Salle Lake and Oct. 17 at Braidwood Lake


Baldwin Lake Youth Hunt Sept 13

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will conduct a drawing on Sept. 13 for 26 youth to hunt antlerless deer during the Illinois Resident Youth Antlerless-Only Deer Hunt, Oct. 7-8.  The special hunt will occur on part of the Baldwin Lake rest area at Kaskaskia River State Fish and Wildlife Area between Baldwin Lake and the Doza Creek Waterfowl Management Area. 

To be eligible for the site drawing, send the applicant's name, mailing address, and indicate in which county his or her youth deer hunt permit is valid (St. Clair or Randolph) printed on a standard postcard to the site office by Sept. 11.  The site address is Kaskaskia River SFWA, 10981 Conservation Road, Baldwin IL 62217.  For more information, call 618/443-2925.

 


Illinois Youth Deer Hunt set for October 7-8

Blaze Orange required for all hunters in counties open to Youth Deer Hunt

SPRINGFIELD, IL - The annual Illinois Youth Antlerless-only Deer Hunt is Oct. 7-8 for those youth who have a valid permit issued earlier this year by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) permit office for the specific county they plan to hunt. 

 

Youth hunters must be accompanied by a non-hunting parent, guardian or responsible adult who has in his or her possession a valid Firearm Owner's Identification (FOID) card.  Both participants must wear the required blaze orange cap and upper garment with a minimum of 400 square inches of solid blaze orange material.  Shooting hours are a half-hour before sunrise to sunset.

 

Counties open to the youth hunt are Adams, Bond, Boone, Brown, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, DeKalb, Edwards, Fayette, Franklin,  Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock,  Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jersey, Jo

Daviess, Johnson, Knox, LaSalle, Lawrence, Macoupin, Madison, Marion, McDonough,  McHenry, McLean, Monroe,  Montgomery,  Morgan, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Pike, Randolph, Richland, Schuyler, Scott, St. Clair, Union, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, White, Whiteside, Williamson, and Winnebago. 

 

All residents who buy or possess firearms are required by law to have a valid FOID card.  FOID applications can be obtained from any firearms dealer, law enforcement agency, including the IDNR, or printed from the Ill State Police website at www.isp.state.il.us .  To obtain a FOID card, complete an application and forward it along with a $5.00 fee and a photograph to the Illinois State Police, Firearm Owner's Identification Unit, PO Box 19233, Springfield, IL 62794-9233.

 

Youth hunters are reminded that archery deer season will be underway and archery hunters will be afield during the Oct. 7-8 youth hunt. All other hunters are reminded that if they are hunting in a county open to youth deer hunting, they must comply with requirements to wear blaze orange.


Michigan

Menominee River Sturgeon Fishery

Fisheries managers with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources last week announced an agreement with the Wisconsin DNR regarding the Menominee River boundary water fishery that affects sturgeon fishing for the 2006 sturgeon fishing season, which began last Saturday and runs through Sept. 30.

 

The Menominee River lake sturgeon population is the largest in the Lake Michigan basin yet increased sport harvests over the past eight years have raised concerns about the future sustainability of lake sturgeon in these waters. The regulations that took effect April 1, 2006, will protect this valuable fishery from overharvest.

 

Although both agencies agreed to make the changes effective for the 2006 fishing season, administrative differences between the states do not allow the changes to take effect at identical dates. The change in Michigan regulations already has taken place but the change in Wisconsin regulations will not take place until Oct. 1. Therefore, the agencies agreed to enforce the most lenient of either state’s regulations upon anglers fishing in these waters during the 2006 Sept. 1-30 fishing season.

 

The enforcement policy on the Michigan-Wisconsin boundary waters open to sturgeon fishing in 2006 will be a one fish per season bag limit with a 60-inch size limit above the Hattie Street Dam and a 70-inch size limit below the Hattie Street Dam.

 

To fish sturgeon, residents of Michigan and Wisconsin must possess a resident fishing license from their respective states, or residents of other states may possess a valid nonresident fishing license issued by either Michigan or

Wisconsin. Michigan anglers under 17 years of age do not

need to purchase a license and Wisconsin residents under age 16 or residents born before Jan. 1, 1927 do not need to purchase or possess a fishing license.

 

Every person, regardless of their age or state of residency must obtain a locking harvest tag prior to fishing. Successful anglers must tag their fish and register it immediately (within 24 hours) at one of the designated registration stations listed below. Fish being released should not be tagged. Harvest tags are available at all of the registration stations.

 

Coleman, WI - Bobwhite Trout and Bait, Hwy 141, (920) 897-3812

Marinette, WI - MBK Sport Shop, 1509 Main St., (715) 735-5393

Menominee, MI - Holiday Service Station, 1051 10th Ave., (906) 863-4001

Menominee, MI - Martin Creek Sport N Feed, US-41, (906) 863-4868

Pembine, WI - DNR Pembine Ranger Station, Hwy 141, (715) 324-5227

Peshtigo, WI - DNR Service Center, 101 N Ogden Rd., (715) 582-5000

Stephenson, MI - BP Amoco Station, US-41, (906) 753-4455

Stephenson, MI - Camp Shakey Bait Shop, Shakey Lakes Rd., (906) 753-4977

Wallace, MI - JJ's Service, N6035 US-41, (906) 788-4255

Wausaukee, WI - Amoco Self Serve Mini Mart, Hwy 141, (715) 856-5731

Wausaukee, WI - Bear Point Yacht Club, Hwy 180, (715) 856-5092

 

For more information, contact Michael Herman, Michigan DNR at (906) 786-2351.

Minnesota

Muskie fishing regulations meetings Sept 19, 29

Tower -- The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is proposing to increase the minimum length for muskellunge on Lake Vermilion in St. Louis County.  A public input open house will be held on September 19, 2006, from 6 pm to 8 pm in the conference room at the DNR Office Bldg, 650 Hwy. 169, Tower, MN, to give people an opportunity to learn more about the proposed regulation and to comment on the proposal.  A 10-day public comment period, during which the public will be able to provide written comments will follow the open house and will terminate on September 29, 2006.

 

The following muskellunge regulation change proposal will be open for comment:

Lake Vermilion in St. Louis County - increase muskellunge minimum length limit from 40" to 48"

 

A similar public input open house will also be held in the DNR Central Office Building in St. Paul, MN, from 8 am to 4:30 pm, on September 29, 2006, for the same regulation proposal.  A

10-day public comment period, during which the public will be able to provide written comments, will follow the meeting.  The public comment period for the open house in St. Paul will terminate on October 9, 2006.

 

Comments may either be written at the Tower open house, mailed to, or emailed to (September 29 deadline):

          Tower Area Fisheries Headquarters

          650 Hwy. 169

          Tower, MN 55790

 

          Email: joe.geis@dnr.state.mn.us  

 

Comments may either be written at the St. Paul open house or mailed to (October 9 deadline):

           DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife

           Box 12

           500 Lafayette Road

           St. Paul, MN 55155-4012


Ohio

Rainbow Trout to be released in Ohio  waterways

COLUMBUS, OH - Approximately 25,000 rainbow trout, measuring 10-13", will be released into 25 Ohio waterways this October, according to the Ohio DNR.

 

"Anglers of all ages look forward to these annual stockings, which provide excellent fall fishing opportunities across Ohio," said Jim Stafford, hatcheries program administrator with the Division of Wildlife. The trout stocking program targets inland waters, including state and community park lakes, as well as other easy-access lakes throughout the state.

 

Anglers age 16 and older must have an Ohio fishing license. Fishing licenses can be purchased online at ohiodnr.com and

at any of the many license vendors around the state. Ohio residents who were born on or before December 31, 1937 may obtain a free license from any license vendor.

 

The 2006 annual resident fishing license costs $19 and is valid through the last day of February 2007. A one-day fishing license may be purchased for $11. The one-day license may also be redeemed for credit toward purchase of an annual fishing license during the same license year.

 

Additional information about fall trout releases is available from Division of Wildlife district offices in Akron, Athens, Columbus, Findlay and Xenia; or by calling toll free 1-800-WILDLIFE.


Wisconsin

Youth waterfowl hunt Sept. 16-17

MADISON – The 2006 Youth Waterfowl Hunt will take place Sept. 16 and 17 and provides an opportunity for youth aged 12 to 15 years to learn waterfowl hunting with an adult relative or mentor in a relaxed atmosphere. The regular 2006 Wisconsin waterfowl season opens in the north zone on Sept. 23.

All license and stamp requirements are waived for eligible youth duck hunters on these two days, but in order to participate, youth waterfowl hunters must have successfully completed a Wisconsin Hunter Education Course, or similar hunter education course from another state, province or country.

 

On Sept. 16-17 only persons age 12-15 may hunt ducks. All youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult chaperone age 18 years or older. The adult may not accompany more than two youth hunters. Adults in the Exterior Zone may hunt geese during the youth hunt, if they have an Exterior Zone Canada goose permit. Adults hunting in the Horicon or Collins Zones must have the appropriate goose permit for that zone and time period.

 

Youth wishing to harvest a Canada goose must be HIP

(Harvest Information Program)-registered. Information on this requirement is available on the waterfowl hunting pages of the DNR Web site.

 

They must possess the appropriate Canada goose permit, for the zone in which they are hunting. Kills must be reported at 1-800-994-6673. Youth hunting in the Exterior Zone must comply with bag limits, permit validation and harvest reporting rules. Youth taking a Canada goose in either the Horicon or Collins zone must possess a valid goose permit for that zone. Any time period for that zone is valid. Bag limits and tagging rules apply.

 

All regulations for the regular season apply. Bag limits are the same as for the regular waterfowl seasons opening a week later. Rules and bag limits are detailed in the 2006 Wisconsin Waterfowl Regulations available on the Hunting and Trapping Regulations page of the DNR Web site or at DNR service centers and license vendors.

For more info: Kent Van Horn - (608) 299-8841 or Kimberlee Benton (608) 261-6458

 


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