Week of September 16, 2013

National

Regional

General
Lake Michigan

Illinois
Minnesota
Other Breaking News Items

 

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National

Is USFWS still planning to close National Fish Hatcheries?

USFWS officials told to "Stand Down" but…

Federal budget cuts are threatening to close the 117-year-old D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery in Spearfish, a non-profit group that supports the hatchery has said.

 

But in recent conference calls with other Assistant regional Fisheries directors throughout the country and a subsequent call to us we were told agency officials were instructed to "Stand Down". Admittedly, the

USFWS, largely due to tremendous pressure from the angling community to their elected federal officials, were forced to back down – at least temporarily.

 

The Booth hatchery in Missouri is one of multiple fish hatcheries across the country targeted by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which is prioritizing other programs over the National Fisheries Program, according to the Booth Society Inc. The USFWS has not confirmed that a decision to close the hatchery has been made.


 

Regional

Kenosha group needs new pond fence

The Kenosha Sport Fishing Conservation Association (KSFCA) needs a new fence around the entire pond, estimated to be $9,000. They also had had a contractor come in to see what the cost would be to build a roof over the pond itself not the entire facility and that is estimated $90,000.00.

 

Located just North of Kenosha Harbor, the KSFCA pond has been in the business of raising salmon for decades. Active participation in the rearing of fish has been a great adventure for the group, and the club was actually founded in 1960 to build the Kenosha Salmon Rearing Pond. They raise between 40,000 to 60,000 fingerlings annually, for about 6 weeks at the pond, which are then released into the Pike River and Lake Michigan. The feeding and care of the fingerlings and maintenance of the pond are all made possible from membership dues and sponsoring member contributions.

 

If you can donate to this group and pass the word to other fishing clubs and anglers, this would be great because the KSFCA is looking for donations.  The really important thing for the community and Lake Michigan is the fencing and the life ring kiosk as they would have an immediate impact for the safety of anglers, and aide in the continuous sustainability

 

Active participation in the rearing of fish has been a great adventure for the Kenosha Sport Fishing and Conservation Association, and the club was actually founded to build the Kenosha Salmon Rearing Pond. We raise

 

 between 40,000 to 60,000 fingerlings (baby
fish) for about 6 weeks at the pond, which are then released into the Pike River and Lake Michigan. The feeding and care of the fingerlings and maintenance of the pond are all made possible from membership dues and sponsoring member contributions.

 

Also, Life Ring Kiosks for the north pier in the Kenosha harbor are another program being undertaken by the KSFCA. There has been many lives taken from the pier and a club member presented this to the membership and we said YES. We are looking at 3 kiosks; each one would have a 200 ft of rope with a ring attached.  The cost is $1000/ sponsorship and this is a life time sponsorship or we can do $500/ sponsorship for each Kiosk to total $1000.


Many club activities are closely related to the pond and, a very good working relationship exists between the KSFCA and the Wisconsin DNR, which supplies the fingerlings, provides technical services and also assists in the release of the fish.

 

Please mail a check to:
KSFCA
P.O. Box 746
Kenosha, WI  53144

 

board@kenoshasportfishing.com

 

www.kenoshasportfishing.com

 


Match the Migration for More Walleyes

By Nathan Shore

The most important factor in any walleye presentation isn’t the lure, technique, trolling speed or line size. All those things can be as important as the color of your boat. Like the way to a man’s heart, the way to walleyes is through their stomachs, and that means that your knowledge of the local baitfish can be the most important factor to catching lots of walleyes.

 

Jonny Petrowske is one man who knows baitfish better than you. He’s a Jack-of –all-trades, carving a life out of the Northwoods by running resorts, renting fish houses and plowing roads. He’s a fishing guide, too, and a darn good one, but he might say he wears his most important hat when gathering bait for clients and local shops. Baitfish habits, Petrowske claims, comprise the most important information a fisherman can own.

 

In Petrowske’s holistic angling world, everything is connected. A look at the lake, the season, the water temperature, and the conditions will suggest a crazy-quilt pattern of baitfish movements on any given day. Some minnows are moving inshore while some are moving out. Part of the walleye population will be close behind in every case. How much of the walleye population might be involved depends on abundance, so Petrowske keeps a finger on the pulse of baitfish populations in the waters he works.

 

Angling success in every season of the year, Petrowske says, is tied directly to the movements of baitfish. He considers the kaleidoscopic movements of spottail shiners, ciscoes, perch, chubs, dace, emerald shiners and whitefish, tries to picture the most prolific and concentrated scenario, and sets about tracking down those minnows to see what’s hunting them. Lure choice is anything but random. Petrowske matches the hatch with lures that imitate that particular baitfish in size, shape and color.


“Everybody gets so hung up on one run of baitfish,” Petrowske said. “Every walleye angler in the North knows about the ice-out spottail shiner run. Anglers beat that shallow shiner bite until July when spottails head to deeper water.”

 

Spottails are working their way out in early summer and for every 5-degree increase in water temperature they head 2-feet deeper, and while following them Petrowske is pulling size #5 Lindy Shadlings in Yellow Perch or Rainbow Smelt color patterns. Spottails have a green-brown back to them, and color selection is critical.

 

“Your bait should look like another sheep in the flock, but you want it to be a wounded sheep—the one with a limp,” he said. “Those big schools of spottails begin to dissipate out deep as water temperatures on top rise to 70-degrees and above, so why chase them all summer and into fall like the rest of the crowd?  Let the migrations come to you.”

 

After all, there are plenty of fish in the sea. As surface temperatures cool toward the 60-degree mark in September, Petrowske changes his baitfish focus to emerald shiners, which come back out of open water.

 

“Some say it’s a feed thing, but when the emeralds run back into shore, I go to a size #5 Shadling in Tullibee or Alewife,” he said.

 

Identifying areas full of emeralds is easy by looking for minnows jumping out of the water. When the maple leaves start turning red and you have to put the sandals away, you can bet they’re shallow and walleyes aren’t far behind.

 

When water temperatures drop a little more and approach the 50-degree mark, giants come in to play.

 

“Now you’re seeing big, fat walleyes because tulibees, ciscoes, and whitefish are coming in to spawn. These are large baitfish, and you have to match the hatch to get the big girls to bite shallow.”

 

Emerald shiners are already in the shallows, and these bigger baitfish prefer rock and gravel in 10- to 15-feet of water. Petrowske trolls #7 Shadlings in Purple Smelt or Shiner to match the size and colors of these big-meal baitfish.

 

Ciscoes, tullibees and whitefish range over wider areas, but eventually coalesce into tight groups over very specific rock-gravel spots where spawning substrates are optimum. Casting and trolling defines the larger area, but when he finds heavy concentrations of bait, Petrowske pitches jigs.

 

“Hard breaks are where it’s at,” he said. “Sharp, rocky breaks down to 15-feet where rocks are too heavy to get a crank through is perfect for jigging.”

 

He prefers 1/4-ounce to ½-ounce Lindy Watsit jigs bulked up with the big 2-inch ‘Fat’ Watsit body, and subtle isn’t in his vocabulary. He twitches them sharply using a 7-foot, medium-power rod with 8-pound braided line tied directly to the jig. Sometimes he tips the jig with dead shiners toughened up with a salt brine.

 

“Rip-jigging tears off the bait off sometimes, but the big Watsit has tentacles that undulate, so if you lose your bait you’ve still got something to trigger strikes with,” he said. “It has a great, slow drop like a hair jig—a classic parachute effect. I rip the Watsit Spins, too, to add more vibration and flash to the jig in dark water.”

 

Tulibees and ciscoes reflect a lot of light in the blue-purple part of the spectrum, but also have darker accents. In clear water and on bright days, Petrowske imitates them with blue/white Watsit Jigs and bodies, but on dark days he prefers metallic gold. “If you know when that first shallow movement begins in fall you’ll be in position and geared up in advance for the tulibee run and a parade of monster walleyes.”

 

Petrowske says walleye anglers make the mistake of chasing baitfish migrations instead of anticipating their movements and waiting for them to arrive.   “It’s like deer hunting. It’s easier to shoot one if you’re where it wants to be and it comes in calm, and a lot harder to hit one on the run.”


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Sept 13 

WEATHER CONDITIONS

Seasonally normal temperatures gave way to above average temperatures throughout the region the past week. The change in temperature spurred numerous thunderstorms providing the entire Great Lakes basin with moderate precipitation, with the upper lakes receiving an average of just under 1 inch.  High pressure and below seasonal average temperatures will take over the region this weekend.  Temperatures are expected to climb along with the chance for precipitation to start the new week.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron water levels are 11 and 7 inches, respectively, above their levels of a year ago.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 7, 8, and 12 inches, respectively, above what they were at this time last year.  Over the next month, Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron are each expected to fall 1 inch.  The levels of Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are expected to drop 3, 5, and 6 inches, respectively, over the next 30 days.

FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior’s outflow through the St. Marys River is projected to be above average for the month of September.  Lake Huron’s outflow into the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair’s outflow into the Detroit River are both expected to be below average throughout the month of September.  Lake Erie’s outflow through the Niagara River is predicted to be near average

and the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River is expected to be above average in September.

ALERTS

Official records are based on monthly average water levels and not daily water levels.  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 13

602.03

577.62

573.95

571.39

245.51

Datum, in ft

601.10

577.50

572.30

569.20

243.30

Diff in inches

+11

+1

+20

+26

+27

Diff last month

+2

-1

-4

-5

-7

Diff from last yr

+11

+7

+7

+8

+12

 


 

General

Flip and Pitch for Fall Walleyes

By Nathan Shore

All summer walleyes have been in deep water following baitfish around, but come September and the start of cooler weather many those baitfish head back to shallower water to spawn. Walleyes follow, and flipping and pitching a jig in shallow water becomes the No. 1 tactic for boating a big limit.

 

“Baitfish like ciscoes come back out of open water to spawn in fall,” said tournament pro Jon Thelen. “That’s why walleyes make that shallow movement when water temperatures start cooling off.  I begin looking at the same spots I fished in spring, when other species were spawning. Prime locations are rockpiles and anywhere the bottom gets harder beyond a weed edge.”

Ciscoes (also called tulibees) spawn above gravel or rock, generally in depths of 10 to 15 feet. Actual spawning occurs as water temperatures dip to about 50°F, but ciscoes come in prior to that to stage. And, ciscoes aren’t the only baitfish busting shallow moves in fall.

 

“Other baitfish that come in during fall are spottail and emerald shiners,” Thelen said. “And you’re trying to match all the other shiner species that stay shallow all year, too.”

 

The arrival of ciscoes, spottails, and emeralds to shoreline areas can draw the majority of the walleye population out of deep water. Silvers are black-silver, goldens are black-gold, emeralds are green-pearl and ciscoes have blue or gray backs with pearl to gray bellies. Thelen matches those basic color patterns most of the time, but notes that at times the fish want bright colors or glow patterns, especially in dark water or during low-light periods.

 

For fall shallow jigging, Thelen goes to a Lindy Watsit or Fuzz-E Grub, but there’s no long-line trolling or long-distance casting in his bag of tricks for fall walleyes.

 

“When walleyes are on the chew this time of year, they don’t mind a jig passing by several feet over their head, so I often pitch and swim the jig back to the boat,” he said “You can get away with vertical jigging and moving the boat around when fish are staging out on deeper transitions between the basin and the structures these baitfish spawn on, but when you’re seeing ciscoes dimpling the surface over depths of 10 to 17 feet, I like to make little flips of about 30 feet. With a short cast, the retrieve stays close to vertical, but you add a little horizontal to the package as

 

you bring it back.”

 

Tipping jigs with a 3-inch rainbow shiner or a 4-inch redtail chub is the way to go in fall. “The boat is moving slowly and I’m flicking the jig out with soft casts to keep the bait secured on the hook,” Thelen said. “Sometimes I hop it aggressively, but I generally start slow.”

 

He may simply swim the jig slowly just off the bottom, making short flips and allowing the jig to sink. The short flips allow him to cover every depth more precisely than with a long cast. A short flip gives him better accuracy in knowing the depth a fish came from, allowing him to refine his pattern for the day, as well as more precisely re-target that depth. 

 

During daytime hours, Thelen looks for spots on the deep side of rockpiles, reefs and gravel bars. “Ciscoes spawn around the end of September in most areas,” he said. “They begin to come in during the first full moon in September. By the full moon in October, action is phenomenal. Good fishing continues in shallow water right through November and you can begin sight fishing those same fish at first ice.”

 

Thelen prefers color combos of blue-white, black with gold flake, metallic gold, and green pumpkin, natural colors that represent the shiners and ciscoes walleyes expect to see in shallow water.  “Crayfish are always a backup option, so brown-orange works, too,” he said. “Fish can decipher colors really well in water less than 15-feet deep, however, a bright gold, bright orange or flashy metal-flake pattern can be natural, especially in the evening, under heavy cloud cover and on windy days.”

 

Thelen determines jig weight and size depending on the body of water he’s fishing, but most of the time he sticks to 1/8- to ¼-ounce jigs. A 3/16-ounce Watsit can be an important size this time of year, too.

 

“Drop speed is critical,” he said. “Aggressive walleyes will accept faster drop speeds, but wary, finicky fish won’t. Try to match the depth to jig weight so the jig swims just above a walleye’s head, right in his wheelhouse, You don’t want the jig to fall out of that zone very quickly.”  Thelen uses a medium-action, 6-foot, 6-inch spinning rod with 10-pound braid and a short, 2- to 3-foot leader of Silver Thread Fluorocarbon. He prefers a braid that’s easy to see and sensitive. Walleyes bite on the drop a lot during fall and it’s generally an aggressive ‘thunk,” and he sets the hook the moment he feels the second bite.

 

“Minnows are bigger in fall, and bulked-up jigs with plastic bodies like the Fuzz-E Grub and Watsit match those sizes better and slow the drop of the jig, but can interfere with hooksets unless you make sure the fish have a firm grip on the whole package.”


Top Tactics for Fall Muskies

by Daniel Quade

Muskies are fabled as fish of 1,000 casts, but fall is a great time to cut that imposing figure down to size. In fact, anglers keying on high-percentage hotspots with the right tactics can enjoy the best muskie fishing of the year.

 

Veteran muskie guide Bill Rosner might not be a math whiz, but he’s an expert at subtracting sizeable sums from the mythical 1,000-cast mark. He follows environmental clues to craft a milk run of prime locations where he can consistently put clients on toothsome trophies, then deploys proven presentations to tempt these freshwater monsters into striking.

“In late summer, muskies are scattered all over the place,” begins the jovial yet hard-fishing guide, who cut his teeth in northern Wisconsin but now calls Minnesota’s legendary Lake Vermillion his home waters. “You find them on rock reefs, rocky points, deep weed edges—here, there and everywhere—wherever forage is available. Find food, and you find muskies.”

 

As the water temperature begins to drop in September, however, some of the more fragile varieties of aquatic vegetation start to wither away, pushing muskies to the last remaining stands of greens. On Vermillion, that’s cabbage beds.

 

Also known as broad-leafed pondweed, cabbage is hearty, often remaining healthy long after other plants have expired. Its leafy stalks offer shelter for a number of forage species, which also flock to the season’s last stands. The abundance of forage does not go unnoticed by a lake’s predatory population—including behemoth muskies.

 

On Vermillion, Rosner typically targets beds in 6 to 12 feet of water, though he notes that the depth of vegetation varies from lake to lake depending on water quality. In clear lakes it’s not uncommon for cabbage to take root in depths of 20 feet. Other top late-season greenery includes northern milfoil, but the important thing is finding the best remaining weedbeds after other stands have fallen.

 

Rosner raids these fish-holding sunken gardens by slinging blades—specifically, a Lindy M/G Muskie Tandem. The 1-ounce, 9½-inch double-bladed spinnerbait sports size 5 and size 8 Colorado blades that churn and flash, attracting hungry muskies and triggering strikes the likes of which are hard to match in freshwater. Color selection is simple.

 

“Bright day, bright lure; dark day, dark lure,” Rosner said. “There’s nothing wrong with downsizing, either.”   He sometimes throws a ½-ounce spinnerbait like Booyah’s Pikee with a soft-plastic trailer, either the YUM Boogee Tail or Houdini Shad. His standard tackle for taking on giant

muskies consists of an 8-foot, medium-heavy casting rod loaded with 80-

pound-test superbraid and a 130-pound test, 12-inch fluorocarbon leader.

 

Casts are long, and retrieves varied. “Cast and burn it along weedlines, then slow down and let the bait helicopter, then pull it back to break the surface—in other words, experiment with speed and cadence,” he says.

 

As good as green weeds can be, Rosner notes that a percentage of muskies also patrol rocky structure during early to mid-fall. Some top spots include bottlenecks between islands and channels connecting lakes or basins. The latter areas are often brushed with current and serve as underwater highways that muskies and baitfish follow as they jockey positions before winter’s arrival.

 

Trolling gets the nod in such areas, which may lie in 20 to 25 feet of water. Rosner relies on large, deep-diving crankbaits such as a CD25 from Bomber Saltwater Grade’s Certified Depth lineup. Tackle choices remain similar, though he may bump up leader length to 36 inches.

 

Trolling speeds run from 3 to 4 mph, which is fast enough to cover water and trigger strikes without zipping past predators too quickly. To speed the search for fish, Rosner often cruises likely areas before deploying his lines, watching his sonar for signs of baitfish and muskies.

 

“Sometimes you see schools of tullibees or other bait breaking the surface,” he says. “When you do, you can be sure there’s a muskie or two hanging around.”  Toward the end of October—around Oct. 20 on Lake Vermillion—another deadly pattern takes shape that is tied to baitfish spawning migrations.

 

“Tullibees and whitefish are fall spawners,” Rosner explains. “Muskies follow the spawning run, and when it all comes together over rocky points and along rocky islands, it’s absolute mayhem.”  To join the fray, Rosner trolls big crankbaits such as an 11-inch Creek Chub Jointed Wooden Pikie. His top color choices in tannin-stained Lake Vermillion include Pikie and Perch, but he notes that in clear lakes, a black-backed, purple pattern that mimics the iridescent flashes of rolling baitfish is also hot.

 

“I longline baits behind the boat, banging the rocks at speeds of about 3½ mph,” he says. Since these shallow-running lures typically only reach 4 feet on the troll, he adds 1- to 4-ounces of ballast in the form of a bead-chain keel sinker to pull the plugs down to the strike zone. The key is to tailor the amount of weight to keep the bait close to bottom without constantly dragging.

 

Properly weighted, the same spinnerbaits that slayed ‘skis in salad back in September also work for tapping the late-October bite. In fact, blades have accounted some of Rosner’s best fall catches in a variety of situations, and are always worth a shot whenever you hope to trim the time between strikes from these incredible freshwater monsters.


 

Lake Michigan

Huge Asian carp found close to Lake Michigan

 A 53", 82 lb carp was recently caught near a Chicago lake that connects to Lake Michigan.

 

Asian carp director for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, John Goss told the Great Lakes Week conference in Milwaukee the carp

 

was hauled in a month ago “from Flatfoot Lake right on the Illinois-Indiana state line, and literally right across a railroad track from Lake

Calumet.”  Lake Calumet connects with Lake Michigan.   Goss said wildlife officials aren’t just trying to keep the big carp from entering the Great Lakes; the Illinois DNR is also trying to get human-placed carp out of ponds and smaller lakes that don't connect to Lake Michigan.


 

Illinois

Court rules for right to carry outside home for self-defense
In People v. Aguilar, the IL Supreme Court agreed with the U.S. 7th Circuit Court in Moore v. Madigan that there is a Constitutional right to carry a firearm outside the home for self-defense. In the case of a seventeen year old youth who was in possession of a handgun while in a friend's yard, the Court held that there is a Constitutional right to carry a firearm outside the home for self-defense and therefore found that AUUW, for simply having a loaded, uncased firearm when not on your own property or place of business was unconstitutional and reversed Aguilar's conviction.  

 

However, Aguilar being seventeen at the time of the conviction, the Illinois  

Supreme Court found that it is constitutional to ban minors from possessing firearms and upheld Aguilar's conviction under the minor in possession of a firearm statute.

 

From the ruling:  "In other words, section 24-1.6(a)(1),(a)(3)(A) amounts to a wholesale statutory ban on the exercise of a personal right that is specifically named in and guaranteed by the United States Constitution, as construed by the United States Supreme Court. In no other context would we permit this, and we will not permit it here either."

 

 


Gun Rights Restored After Misdemeanor Domestic Battery Conviction

In Coram v. The State of Illinois, the plaintiff was previously convicted of misdemeanor domestic battery, and therefore, was barred by federal law from possessing a firearm.  The plaintiff sued in state court seeking to force Illinois State Police to issue him a FOID based on the argument that the federal ban was unconstitutional.  

 

The downstate judge ruled in plaintiff's favor finding that the federal ban was unconstitutional and ordering ISP to issue the plaintiff a FOID.  ISP appealed and the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's order forcing the ISP to give a FOID to the plaintiff, but the Supreme Court also found that it was unnecessary for the trial court to reach the constitutional question so the Supreme Court overruled that part of the judge's order that found the federal ban unconstitutional.  

 

The take away from this case is that a person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic battery charge has the opportunity to convince a judge that they are not a danger and should be entitled to regain their right to possess a firearm.  If the judge is persuaded, the judge can revest the plaintiff with the right to possess a firearm and order the ISP to issue a FOID card.

 

Under federal law, if a state has restored the civil rights of a person convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, then that person is no longer banned by federal law from possessing firearms.  So the state judge's order should be treated under federal law as a restoration of the person's civil rights, and the federal ban would no longer apply to that person.

 


Controlled Pheasant Permit

Information is now available online for hunters to apply for 2013-14 Illinois controlled pheasant hunting opportunities available at 19 IDNR sites. 

Fifteen of the sites are operated by the IDNR, while four other sites are managed by concessionaire T. Miller, Inc.  For application information, check the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov or www.tmillerinc.com.


Illinois State Parks Guide

The latest edition of the Illinois State Parks guide is available in print and online.  The booklet is a useful guide to an eventful day in a state park picnic area, a weekend at a state park lodge or campground, a hike in a state forest, a ride on a state trail, or hunting and fishing trips to a state

 

 fish and wildlife area.  The Illinois State Parks guide is posted on the IDNR website in PDF format at http://dnr.state.il.us/publications/pdf/00000715.pdf

 

To order a free copy of the booklet: www.dnr.illinois.gov/publications


Youth Deer Permits

Resident and non-resident Illinois Youth Firearm Deer permits are available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit

vendors.  The Youth Deer Hunt is now a three-day season -- Oct. 12-14 during the Columbus Day weekend.


 

Minnesota

New Maps for Colorado and Minnesota

Newly designed USGS Topo maps now available online for free download

In keeping with rapid demand, the USGS has posted new US Topo quadrangles covering Colorado (1,794 maps) and Minnesota (1,689). These new quads replace the first edition US Topo maps for those states. The replaced maps will be added to the USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection and are also available for free download from The National Map and the USGS Map Locator & Downloader website.

 

The new design for US Topo maps improves readability of maps for online and printed use, while retaining the look and feel of the traditional USGS Topo map. Also, map symbols are now easier to read over the digital aerial photograph layer whether the imagery is turned on or off. 

 Other re-design enhancements and new features:

§ New shaded relief layer for enhanced view of the terrain

§ Military installation boundaries, post offices and cemeteries

§ New road classification

§ A slight screening (transparency) has been applied to some features to enhance visibility of multiple competing layers

§ New PDF legend attachment

§ Metadata formatted to support multiple browsers

In addition, the new Colorado US Topo quads include recreational trails in National Forests, provided by the U.S. Forest Service. Although this first test of trails was successful, the Forest Service does not yet have comparable data in other states, and schedules for adding trails in all

 

National Forests have not been set.

 

"We are excited to about these two updates that are part of our continual effort to improve US Topo maps for our users," said Vicki Lukas, USGS Chief of Partner and User Engagement. "First, the new design makes US Topo maps even easier to use, and the new Colorado maps include Forest Service trails as a new feature."

 

US Topo maps are updated every three years. The initial round of 48 conterminous state coverage was completed last September. Hawaii and Puerto Rico maps are being completed this year. New US Topo maps for Alaska have started, but will take several years to complete.

 

US Topo maps are created from geographic datasets in The National Map, and deliver visible content such as high-resolution aerial photography, which was not available on older paper-based topographic maps. The new US Topo maps provide modern technical advantages that support wider and faster public distribution and on-screen geographic analysis tools for users.

The new digital electronic topographic maps are delivered in GeoPDF image software format and may be viewed using Adobe Reader, available as a no-cost download.  For more info: http://nationalmap.gov/ustopo/


DNR confiscated firearms auction Sept. 28

The Minnesota DNR will hold a public auction of its inventory of confiscated hunting and fishing equipment Sept. 28 at the Hiller Auction Barn in Zimmerman. Hiller Auction is located 2 miles east of the Highway 169 and the County Road 4 intersection in Zimmerman.

 

Inspection of items runs 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 27 and at 8 a.m. Saturday. The auction starts at 10 a.m.  Items for sale include: firearms, bows, tree stands, fishing rods and reels, tip ups, traps, trail cameras, spotlights, ground blinds and a hand ice auger. There are more than 200 firearms and 40 bows available. Once auction begins there will not be access to the firearms. In addition, there are 200 hunting and fishing items including deer antlers (sold in lots), an ATV, a jet ski, snowmobiles and a boat/motor/trailer combination. A complete inventory list will be posted on the Hiller Auction website at www.hillerauction.com.

 

All property will be sold "as is," and all sales will be final. Payment may be by credit card or check to Hiller Auction. Items cannot be returned once purchased.  Hiller Auction will conduct a background check of bidders on sight before releasing the gun(s). Following the approved background check, buyers can take possession of their property

immediately. Buyers may bring their own cases or there will be cases

available for purchase to transport firearms.

 

Proceeds from the auction will be deposited in the Game and Fish Fund. Revenues from the fund are dedicated to fish and wildlife management in the state. All proceeds from vehicles sold at the DNR auction as a result of a Driving While Impaired (DWI) related offense go into the DWI forfeiture account.  For more info: Hiller Auction at 763-856-2453 or 800-889-3458.

 

Minnesota’s pheasant index down 29 percent from 2012

A long winter followed by a cold, wet spring contributed to a significant decrease in Minnesota’s pheasant count, which declined 29 percent from 2012, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“Minnesota’s results reflect what we’re seeing in other states,” said Rachel Curtis, DNR wildlife research biologist. “South Dakota had a 64 percent decrease in its brood survey. North Dakota’s most-recent rooster crowing count is down 11 percent from last year. And Iowa reported a 19 percent decrease in its August roadside count.”

Minnesota’s 2013 pheasant index is 64 percent below the ten-year average and 72 percent below the long-term average.


 

Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

 

Feds monitoring 4 of 5 credit card transactions

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau officials are seeking to monitor four out of every five U.S. consumer credit card transactions this year — up to 42 billion transactions – through a controversial data-mining program. Rep. Spencer Bachus said he believes CFPB violated at least two federal laws by using the impartial U.S. Trustee Program to gather…

 

Are terrorists setting U.S. wildfires?

William Scott, a former NSA official said terrorists are using fire as a tactical weapon of war. "The most simple form of economic warfare is wild land arson, that’s just setting fires in U.S. forests”  After U.S. Navy SEALs killed al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden, they “captured a treasure trove of material that provided some unprecedented insight into the al-Qaida plans. And one of those was a detailed campaign for starting fires throughout the [American] West.”

 

Bill Cosby Was Right: ‘Very Strong’ Statistical Link Between Fatherlessness, Gun Homicides

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data, the top three factors that correlate most strongly with gun homicides are growing up in a black community without a father present and dropping out of high school – “the very factors that Bill Cosby has been discussing,” he pointed out.

 

The Epic Meltdown of the Gun-Grabbers

After failing to stave off two historic recall bids recently, two delusional state legislators and their national party bosses, all Democrats, just can't help but double-down and trash voters as dumb, sick, criminal and profligate. The problem for the gun-grabbers wasn't that the voters were uninformed. It was that they were too informed.

 

 

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