Week of September 19, 2011

Misc New Fishing-Boating Products
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
National

Regional

2nd Amendment Issues
General
Lake Ontaio

Illinois
Indiana
Michigan
New York
Wisconsin
Other Breaking News Items

 

       Weekly News Archives

                         or

       New Product  Archives

Misc New Fishing-Boating Products

Mepps Makes Squirrel Tail Recycling Easy

Mepps, manufacturer of the World's #1 Lure, the Mepps spinner, is asking squirrel hunters to save their squirrel tails.  The tails are used to dress the hooks of Mepps, the original French spinner.

Mepps has been buying fox, black, grey and red squirrel tails for more than three decades, and will pay up to 26 cents each for tails, depending on quality and quantity. The cash value is doubled if the tails are traded for Mepps lures.

 

"Hundreds of other materials, both natural and synthetic, have been tested," says Jim Martinsen, Mepps spokesman, "but few materials work as well. Mepps is only interested in recycling tails taken from squirrels that have been harvested for the table," Martinsen stresses. "We do not advocate taking squirrels strictly for their tails."

For details on the Mepps squirrel tail recycling program: www.mepps.com/squirrels  Interested hunters can also call:  800-713-3474. Mepps, 626 Center St., Antigo, WI 54409-2496


Yamaha Introduces All-New Grizzly 300

Full Featured Light Utility Vehicle has Class-Exclusive Technology

Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., has announced the all-new Grizzly 300 2WD utility ATV combining best-in-class technology with a value price at $4,099.  This new light utility ATV has a smooth and powerful engine and is the only model in its class with a fully automatic dual range transmission.

The Grizzly 300 is powered by a 287cc single overhead cam four stroke engine.  Its class-exclusive liquid cooling provides precise temperature control and long engine life even in extreme environments.  At the center of its lightweight and durable chassis is a power plant with a 32mm carburetor that delivers smooth power.

 

“This all-new Grizzly 300 is built for the farmer who needs a durable, dependable light utility vehicle or rider who wants a fun two-wheel-drive recreational ATV,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s ATV and SxS group marketing manager.  “Grizzly styling and reliability combined with all of its great features make this new 300 the best machine in its class.”

 

Feature for feature, the Grizzly 300 easily out performs any similarly priced competing model.  The durable engine and dual range transmission offers Hi range for light duty and  

 

trail riding plus Low range for tougher chores and towing. This bear can pull more than 720 pounds and carry more than 140 combined pounds on the ATV’s front and rear racks.  It features separate hydraulic front and rear disc brakes and 22-inch Maxxis® tires with a rugged lug pattern for optimum traction and durability.

 

More than five inches of clearance allows it to cover rugged ground, and its double wishbone front suspension system with 5.9 inches of travel and a rear swingarm with 6.5 inches of travel provide maximum terrainability.  All of this is wrapped around a reliable, low-maintenance shaft drive.

 

Creature comforts include a plush seat, push-button electronic start, water resistant under seat storage box, and large front and rear fenders with full floorboards for mud/splash protection.  Under seat marine grade electrical components ensure protection from the elements, and the 2.8 gallon fuel tank provides ample range for chores or trail rides.

 

The all new Grizzly 300 will be available in December 2011 and comes in Steel Blue and Hunter Green. 

 

About $ 4,099.99

 

800-962-7926

 

www.YamahaOutdoors.com  


Grill Griddles by Griddle-Q

The Griddle-Q is a heavy duty grill-top griddle that shatters all the conventional limits on cooking outside on your grill, allowing virtually anything to be cooked on any grill.  The six sizes are made of 12 or 14 gauge 430 stainless steel, and the sturdy Griddle-Q fits easily and securely on an outdoor barbecue grill providing users with a whole new range of outdoor cooking possibilities.

 

 

The Griddle-Q comes in six (6) sizes, (12x16x4, 21x13.5x4, 23.5x16x4, 30x17x8, 17x14x3.5 and 18x13x3). There is a Griddle-Q to fit any grill, large enough to cook meals like a breakfast of eggs, hash browns, bacon and pancakes, a lunch of philly cheesesteaks or a dinner of stir fry, all while leaving the remaining portion of your grill free  

to use to be cooking more things.

 

Bake your salmon filets here; there is no need to wrap them in foil.  You can even bake cookies and pizza on your grill.  It cleans up easily right on the grill, no need to wash in kitchen sink.  Other features include high sidewalls to keep food on the griddle, a full grease trough to eliminate flare-ups and vented cross-bracing to prevent twisting and bending while providing for even heating.  Lifetime warranty

 

The Griddle-Q is quality made, with stainless steel continuous weld seams and is a pleasure to use.

 

About $69.99-$449.99 - from the small to huge party size

 

586-268-2100

 

info@littlegriddle.com  

www.littlegriddle.com

 


Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

New Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic Wins Industry Recognition

On Target Magazine honors the latest Aimpoint sight

Chantilly, VA, Aimpoint, the originator and worldwide leader in electronic red-dot sighting technology, has received an Editor’s Choice award for its newest product - the Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic (PRO). The Patrol Rifle Optic was recognized by On Target magazine as part of their 2011 “Editor’s Choice Awards.” The PRO was honored due to the product’s ability to fulfill tactical performance demands while remaining within the reach of law enforcement agencies facing restricted budgets. This is the second year in a row that an Aimpoint sight has received this award.

 

 

“Aimpoint is honored to once again be recognized by On

Target magazine,” said Matt Swenson, Vice President of Government Sales, Aimpoint Inc. “It’s important because

this Editor’s Choice award recognizes Aimpoint’s purpose for bringing the PRO to the law enforcement market - to provide officers with the best technology available in a package that is both user and budget friendly.”

 

The Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic provides rapid and accurate target acquisition, and is designed to withstand hard use. The modular design allows the use of the same sight on the wide variety of law enforcement firearms. Product features include: a 2 MOA dot, hard anodized 30mm tube, 3-year constant-on battery life, QRP2 mount, and a transparent rear cover that allows the user to engage a target with the lens covers closed in an emergency situation.

 

The Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic is available exclusively through authorized Aimpoint Government Sales Dealers.

 

www.aimpoint.com


Bushnell Legend Ultra HD Compact Binoculars

Offer Outstanding Optical Quality in a Convenient Size

Bushnell Outdoor Products, an industry leader in high-performance optics for more than 60 years, has introduced two new compact models to its Legend Ultra HD binocular line. Now all of the great features that have made the Legend UHD binoculars best-in-class are available in a compact, ergonomic design. 

 

The new 8x 26mm and 10x 26mm Legend Ultra HD binoculars feature wide-angle BaK-4 porro prisms for incredible edge-to-edge sharpness and detail. Bushnell enhances each viewing experience with its fully-multi coated lenses to maximize light transmission and deliver superior brightness.

 

With a 100 percent waterproof and fog-proof construction

and a textured, non-slip rubber armored housing, the Legend UHD Compact is adventure-ready. Top that with the patented RainGuard HD permanent lens coating and this binocular is designed to withstand the toughest tests from Mother Nature.

 

Weighing less than one pound, the Legend UHD Compact is easy to carry, and its ergonomic design makes it a great option for all-day use. In addition, the large center focus knob makes it easy to focus and twist-up eye cups allow for quick eye relief adjustment.

 

The Legend UHD Compact includes a premium carry case, neckstrap and microfiber lens cloth.

 

The 10x 26mm is available for an MSRP of $182.95 and the 8x 26mm is available for $157.95

 

800-423-3537

 

www.bushnell.com

 


Ruger SP101 .22 Cal Revolver

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. announces a new SP101® revolver chambered for the .22 Long Rifle, the most popular cartridge in the world. The new .22 LR Ruger® SP101 is true to Ruger standards of rugged reliability and perfect for those seeking a quality small frame revolver. This new SP101 will appeal to firearm instructors and enthusiasts who want to practice and perfect their shooting skills, or just spend time plinking with inexpensive rimfire ammo.

 

"We were constantly receiving feedback from our customers asking us to produce the SP101 in .22 LR and, once again, we listened to those requests and have produced a very impressive package," said Chris Killoy, Ruger Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "Ruger re-engineered the SP101 to chamber eight rounds instead of

the traditional six, improved the sights, and maintained the

same classic features that SP101 owners know and appreciate," Killoy added.

 

The 30-ounce double-action revolver is made of weather resistant stainless steel with a satin finish for longevity and good looks. The walnut grip panels inset in the one-piece rubber grip are checkered and engraved. The revolver features a fully adjustable square-notch rear sight and fiber-optic, square-post front sight. The 4.2-inch barrel features a half shroud covering the ejector rod.

 

The SP101 is also available in .327 Federal Magnum, .38 Special and .357 Magnum (which also accepts the less expensive .38 Special cartridges).

 

About $625.00

 

www.Ruger.com


National

Former Senator Malcom Wallop Dies

Best known for co-creation of the Wallop-Breaux Trust Fund

Former three-term United States Senator Malcop Wallop died Wednesday at his home near Big Horn in Wyoming. 

The 78-year old former senator was a staunch conservative and Reagan supporter, but is best known in the outdoors for his 1984 co-creation of the Wallop-Breaux Trust Fund, the federal account used to finance state fisheries and boating programs.


Regional

Fish Barrier managers to crank up barrier voltage to block carp

The electric fish barrier voltage designed to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes is being cranked up in an effort to ensure that small fish do not slip through.  The move comes after lab tests indicated that very small Asian carp may not be repelled by the existing voltage level. Public opinion and congressional leaders added to the impetus that persuaded barrier managers to reverse their position on the levels needed to adequately manage barrier voltage.

 

Evenso, Army Corps officials claim the voltage is adequate to repel Asian Carp and prevent them from slipping thru the electronic barrier

 

Maj. Gen. John Peabody, commander of the corps' Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, said during last week's teleconference with the media that the corps will increase voltage in the electric fields in the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal because lab results suggest the existing voltage may not deter small, immature carp.  The barrier's voltage will be increased 15 %, the frequency will be doubled and its electric pulses will become more rapid.

 

Peabody acknowledged that if a human fell into the canal, the charge could be fatal. Safety and warning measures have been put into place to deter such incidents. The barrier channel area is fenced off and signs are posted warning people not to enter. Warning signs and flashing red lights exist on the approaches to the barrier warning boaters from either direction.

 

Kelly Baerwaldt, a fishery biologist with the Rock Island Army Corps office, said studies have not proved conclusively that the existing voltage is lethal to carp, but it does deter them.

 

Officials said that adult Asian carp have been found spawning 120 miles south of barriers and some adult carp have been found approximately 60 miles from the barrier.

 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a report by four independent scientists who analyzed the "environmental DNA" process that government and university scientists have used the past two years to search for the carp on both sides of the barrier.

 

The study concluded the means of detecting the carps' genetic material in water samples is fundamentally sound

 

but should be refined to answer questions such as whether the DNA came from live carp and, if so, how many. Research to improve the system is under way, Army Corps officials said.

 

In the report released Friday, the independent scientists said the methodology used to detect carp DNA in the water was solid. But they called for improvements, saying it "does not unequivocally indicate the physical presence of live bighead or silver carp."

 

David Lodge, the University of Notre Dame biologist whose team developed the DNA process, said he never claimed otherwise. The advantage of DNA is that it's easier to find than live fish, so it provides an early indicator that carp might be present, he said.

 

"This should bring to a closure any questions about the technical robustness or the usefulness of eDNA," Lodge said. "This also should make it possible to move quickly toward refining the tool to provide more of the kinds of information that the independent review team pointed out would be useful."

 

The news conference was held about two weeks after a federal appeals court refused to order the canal locks closed. Ohio and four other Great Lakes states had sued to force the lock closure to protect the lakes from the carp.  The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has denied requests by the attorneys general of Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin for an order requiring the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to take measures to halt the migration of Asian carp into the Great Lakes.

 

The appellate court upheld a December 2010 U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois decision rejecting the states’ motion for a preliminary injunction. The lower court concluded that the invasive species did not appear to be an imminent threat and that closing Chicago-area shipping locks might not keep the carp from reaching Lake Michigan.   

 

The appeals court held that ongoing federal efforts to prevent the fish from reaching the lakes outweigh the states’ demand for immediate relief. The court added that if the agencies’ efforts “slip into somnolence” or if new information surfaces at the permanent injunction stage, the ruling would be reconsidered.


SAF Conference slated for Chicago Sept 23-25

At Hyatt Regency Chicago O’Hare (next to Rosemont Conf Ctr)

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) will hold its Gun Rights Policy Conference in the Chicago area September 23-25. The SAF’s decision to hold the conference in Illinois underscores the importance of the battle to restore the rights of Illinois citizens to the national gun-rights movement as a whole.

 

The conference not so subtly is meant to poke a sharp stick in the eye of all the political hacks who oppose the gun rights of Illinois residents.

 

It is an excellent opportunity to hear, first hand, from

established leaders in the gun-rights movement like Sandra Froman, NRA past president; Alan M. Gottlieb, chairman, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) and founder, SAF; Larry Pratt, executive director, Gun Owners of America; Chris Knox, communications director, NRA; and still others, about the challenges gun owners face today, and the dangers that lie ahead in the future.    Registration is still open at www.saf.org.

 

You can view the agenda here: 2011 GRPC Agenda

 

The hotel address is: , 9300 Bryn Mawr Ave, Rosemont, Illinois  60018 The event is FREE - yes – FREE

 


Great Lakes Water Levels for Sept 16, 2011 

WEATHER CONDITIONS

Much of the Great Lakes basin saw cool temperatures this week and many locations recorded overnight low readings near the freezing mark.   The northern Great Lakes did receive some decent rainfall this week, while lighter rainfall totals were recorded across the southern basin.  High pressure will lead to pleasant, but cool conditions for the upcoming weekend.  To date in September, the Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron basins have seen below average precipitation, while rainfall in the Lake Erie and Lake Ontario basins has been above average. 

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior is 2 inches higher than it was last year, while Lake Michigan-Huron is similar to its level of a year ago.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 6, 11, and 3 inches, respectively, higher than they were at this time last year. Over the next thirty days, Lake Superior is projected decline 1 inch, while Lake Michigan-Huron is expected to fall 2 inches.  The water levels of Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are forecasted to decline 8, 6, and 6 inches, respectively, over the next month. 

FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior's outflow through the St. Mary's River is projected to be below average for the month of September.  The outflows from Lake Huron into the St. Clair River, and from Lake St. Clair into the Detroit River, are expected to

be below average throughout the month of September. 

Lake Erie's outflow through the Niagara River is predicted to be above average and the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River is predicted to be above average.

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 16

601.18

577.85

574.41

571.82

245.31

Datum, in ft

601.10

577.50

572.30

569.20

243.30

Diff in inches

+1

+4

+25

+31

+24

Diff last month

-1

-4

-4

-4

-7

Diff from last yr

+2

0

+6

+11

+3


2nd Amendment Issues

House Debates Bill to Legalize Gun Permits across State Lines

Legislators in Washington, D.C., are considering a House bill that would grant Americans who have gun permits from their home State the right to carry firearms across State lines, Fox News reported.

 

Though many States have previously entered into voluntary agreements with each other in regard to these permits, a national law has yet to emerge that would grant these rights. A bipartisan bill that is co-authored by Representative Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Representative Heath Shuler (D – N.C.) seeks to change that notion, according to the news outlet.

 

Advocates for the bill have argued that this type of national legislation would be the only way to ensure that their 2nd Amendment rights were protected while crossing State lines, reported Fox News.  "It cuts across Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives — even President Obama’s base is strongly in favor of this legislation," Wayne LaPierre, executive director of the National Rifle Association, said in a statement.

 

The Associated Press reported that a group of city mayors from left-leaning States are opposed to the legislation. They wish to retain control over firearms allowed in their States concerning firearms.


 

SAF Conference slated for Chicago Sept 23-25

At Hyatt Regency Chicago O’Hare (next to Rosemont Conf Ctr)

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) will hold its Gun Rights Policy Conference in the Chicago area September 23-25. The SAF’s decision to hold the conference in Illinois underscores the importance of the battle to restore the rights of Illinois citizens to the national gun-rights movement as a whole.

 

The conference not so subtly is meant to poke a sharp stick in the eye of all the political hacks who oppose the gun rights of Illinois residents.

 

It is an excellent opportunity to hear, first hand, from

 

established leaders in the gun-rights movement like Sandra Froman, NRA past president; Alan M. Gottlieb, chairman, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) and founder, SAF; Larry Pratt, executive director, Gun Owners of America; Chris Knox, communications director, NRA; and still others, about the challenges gun owners face today, and the dangers that lie ahead in the future.    Registration is still open at www.saf.org.

 

You can view the agenda here: 2011 GRPC Agenda

 

The hotel address is: , 9300 Bryn Mawr Ave, Rosemont, Illinois  60018 The event is FREE - yes – FREE


Federal Judge Rejects New York Gun Law Challenge

A Federal judge in New York has upheld the State’s law concerning an individual having to show a necessity for self-protection in order to obtain a license to carry a handgun, The Associated Press reported.

 

District Judge Cathy Seibel ruled against the challenge to the State law because of an alleged important government interest in preventing crime. While leaders on the left applauded the ruling, Alan Gura, the attorney for the plaintiff, noted that an appeal would be filed, according to the news outlet.

“The question here is whether the government gets to regulate a constitutional right or completely abolish it,” Gura said.  The five plaintiffs from Westchester County brought the suit in an effort to freeze the “proper cause” element in the permit-application process, something that they argued was a direct violation of their 2nd Amendment rights, Reuters reported.

 

Gura noted that they might take the case as high as the Supreme Court, as the plaintiffs argued that the threat of significant random violence is all too prevalent in New York City.


General

Boaters Opposed to Increased Ethanol

With the EPA recently allowing fuel companies to increase the amount of ethanol found in gasoline from 10 % to 15 %, the move could mean more damaged boat engines for unsuspecting owners who use the fuel. Ethanol increases the acidity of the fuel, which in older boats and motors can dissolve fuel tanks and lines, which can ultimately damage, clog and stall engines.

 

A recent survey conducted by www.AnglerSurvey.com 

 

found most anglers who boat were unaware of the increase in ethanol and the threat the change poses. Asked if they were aware of the increase in permissible ethanol levels, 55.9 % of respondents said “no,” while only 41.2 % reported being aware of the change.

 

Asked if they agreed with the change, nearly 60 % said “no.” Virtually the same amount of those surveyed said the amount of permissible ethanol should be reduced back to 10 %.


Mepps Makes Squirrel Tail Recycling Easy

Mepps, manufacturer of the World's #1 Lure, the Mepps spinner, is asking squirrel hunters to save their squirrel tails.  The tails are used to dress the hooks of Mepps, the original French spinner.

Mepps has been buying fox, black, grey and red squirrel tails for more than three decades, and will pay up to 26 cents each for tails, depending on quality and quantity. The cash value is doubled if the tails are traded for Mepps lures.

"Hundreds of other materials, both natural and synthetic, have been tested," says Jim Martinsen, Mepps spokesman, "but few materials work as well. Mepps is only interested in recycling tails taken from squirrels that have been harvested for the table," Martinsen stresses. "We do not advocate taking squirrels strictly for their tails."

 

For details on the Mepps squirrel tail recycling program: www.mepps.com/squirrels  Interested hunters can also call:  800-713-3474. Mepps, 626 Center St., Antigo, WI 54409-2496


Lake Ontario

Lake Ontario Fishing Boat Survey

Preliminary Summary for May - July, 1985 – 2011

NYS DEC, Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources

Bureau of Fisheries, Lake Ontario Unit

Since 1985, NYSDEC surveyed boats operating in New York waters of Lake Ontario’s main basin from April through September. The data collected from counts and interviews of fishing boats are used to manage Lake Ontario’s multimillion dollar trout and salmon fishery and provide valuable data on other fish species. As the following 2011 preliminary May-July results indicate below, Lake Ontario anglers experienced excellent trout and salmon fishing during the first portion of the open lake fishing season (i.e. highest May through July catch rates for Chinook salmon, rainbow trout, and brown trout, the 5th best catch rate for Coho salmon, and the highest lake trout catch rate since 1998).

 

Fishing Effort

Estimated 2011 fishing effort (3-month total=29,812 boat trips) was comparable to 2010, but an 11.1% decrease compared to the previous 5-year average (May-July 2006- 2010; Fig. 1). Boats targeting trout and salmon accounted for 23,266 boat trips (78.0% of all fishing trips), well within the range of estimates observed since the mid-1990s. Smallmouth bass fishing effort from June 18 through July 31, 2011 remained low (3,639 boat trips) and similar to the record low levels observed in recent years (Fig. 1). Estimated smallmouth bass effort during the pre-season catch and release period was also low (239 boat trips April 15 – June 17).

Fig 1-Estimates of total fishing effort, trout, salmon and

Smallmouth bass effort, 1985-2011

 

 

Trout and Salmon Catch, Harvest and Fishing Quality

The May-July 2011 estimated salmonine catch (140,032 fish) and harvest (62,733 fish) were 60.8% and 40.4% increases, respectively, compared to previous 5-year averages (Fig. 2). Chinook salmon dominated salmonine catch (55,576 fish, 39.7% of total catch) and was the second most commonly harvested salmonine (21,269 fish; 33.9% of total harvest). Brown trout was the second most caught (34,268 fish; 24.5% of total catch) and the most commonly harvested salmonine (23,891 fish; 38.1% of total harvest). The remaining salmonine catch consisted of rainbow trout (15.9%), lake trout (14.5%), coho salmon (4.7%), and Atlantic salmon (0.6%).

Fig 2-Total trout and salmon catch and catch rate,

1985-2011

 

Salmonine fishing quality during May-July, as measured by catch rate (6.0 fish per boat trip), was the highest observed in the 27-year data series and is attributable to above average fishing for all salmonine species (Fig. 2). Total salmonine harvest rate (2.7 fish per boat trip) was also the highest in the data series (Fig. 2).

 

From 2003 to 2010, Chinook salmon catch rates for the April–September survey period were at or near record levels for eight consecutive years. Preliminary 2011 data indicate another year of excellent Chinook salmon fishing.   The May-July catch rate (2.4 Chinook caught per boat trip) was the highest in the 27-year data series and was 3.6 times higher than the 1985-2002 average (Fig. 3).

Chinook salmon harvest rate (0.9 Chinook salmon per boat trip) was also among the highest in the data series.

 

Fig 3-Chinook salmon catch rate and harvest rate,

1985-2011

Coho salmon fishing quality was above average, with 0.3 and 0.2 Coho salmon caught per boat trip (Fig. 4). These rates were comparable to recent years, and were 1.7 and 1.4 times higher than the May-July average from 1985-2005, respectively.

 

Fig. 4-Coho Salmon catch rate and harvest rate,

1985-2011

Rainbow trout catch rate was the highest in the 27-year data series for the second consecutive year (1.0 rainbow trout caught per boat trip; Fig. 5). Harvest rate (0.4 rainbow trout harvested per boat trip) was 31.8% higher than the long-term average (1985-2010), despite the lowest percent harvest on record. Specifically, only 39.4% of rainbow trout caught during May-July 2011 were harvested (previous range 43.5% - 83.5%). This decline is due, in part, to the 21 inch minimum size limit and possibly an increase in catch-and-release fishing.

 

Fig. 5-Rainbow trout catch rate and harvest rate,

1985-2011

Brown trout fishing quality is typically highest from April through early June on the eastern half of the lake. During 2011 anglers reported above average brown trout fishing along most of the New York shoreline, and over an extended time period. May-July catch rate (1.5 brown trout caught per boat trip) and harvest rate (1.0 brown trout harvested per boat trip) were the highest observed (Fig. 6).

 

Fig 6-Brown trout catch rate and harvest rate,

July 1985-2011

Lake trout fishing quality was relatively low in recent years likely due to the combined effect of anglers selectively targeting other salmonines and relatively low adult lake trout abundance (due to more than a decade of poor juvenile lake trout survival). During May-July 2011, however, lake trout catch rate increased to 0.9 lake trout caught per boat trip, the highest since 1998 and comparable to levels observed during much of the 1990s (Fig. 7). Anglers along much of the New York shoreline reported increased lake trout catches. The cause(s) for the increase are unclear at this time but may be partially attributable to behavior of new lake trout strains in the lake and/or water temperature.

 

Fig 7-Lake trout catch rate and harvest rate,

1985-2011

While Atlantic salmon have been historically rare in angler catches, above average catches have persisted for three consecutive years (second highest catch rate in 2011). Survey data indicate increased Atlantic salmon catches along much of the New York shoreline, which persisted into August. Possible causes for increased catches are unclear, but may include New York’s transition to stocking Sebago strain salmon, recent natural reproduction in the Salmon River, and the Province of Ontario’s recent increased stocking levels.

 

Smallmouth Bass Catch, Harvest and Fishing Quality With the exception of the Eastern Basin, smallmouth bass fishing quality during the traditional open has been poor in recent years (Fig. 8). Smallmouth bass catch rate among anglers targeting bass during June 18-July 2011 (2.4 smallmouth bass per boat trip) remained well below average; however, was 55.5% higher than the 2009 record-low.

 

Fig 8-Smallmouth bass catch rate and harvest rate,

1985-2011

 

Despite the slightly increased catch rate, harvest rate of smallmouth bass declined to the lowest level in the 27-year data series (0.2 smallmouth bass harvested per bass boat trip). Declining bass catch rates coincide with increased angler catches of round goby, possibly contributing to reduced bass fishing quality. Other factors may also be affecting fishing quality, and Department personnel continue efforts to assess current bass population status on Lake Ontario’s south shore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Illinois

SAF Conference slated for Chicago Sept 23-25

At Hyatt Regency Chicago O’Hare (next to Rosemont Conf Ctr)

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) will hold its Gun Rights Policy Conference in the Chicago area September 23-25. The SAF’s decision to hold the conference in Illinois underscores the importance of the battle to restore the rights of Illinois citizens to the national gun-rights movement as a whole.

 

The conference not so subtly is meant to poke a sharp stick in the eye of all the political hacks who oppose the gun rights of Illinois residents.

 

It is an excellent opportunity to hear, first hand, from

established leaders in the gun-rights movement like Sandra Froman, NRA past president; Alan M. Gottlieb, chairman, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) and founder, SAF; Larry Pratt, executive director, Gun Owners of America; Chris Knox, communications director, NRA; and still others, about the challenges gun owners face today, and the dangers that lie ahead in the future.    Registration is still open at www.saf.org.

 

You can view the agenda here: 2011 GRPC Agenda

 

The hotel address is: , 9300 Bryn Mawr Ave, Rosemont, Illinois  60018 The event is FREE - yes – FREE


Indiana

New liability law, DNR program combine to help landowners experiencing deer damage

A new landowner liability law combined with the DNR’s Hunters Helping Farmers program can help landowners experiencing deer damage to crops, forest regeneration or landscaping get deer populations under control on their property.

 

The DNR has liberalized hunting regulations in most counties to address deer populations by strategically targeting antlerless deer, but effectiveness depends on landowner participation because 94 percent of the state is in private ownership.

 

In the Hunters Helping Farmers program, each DNR wildlife biologist maintains a county-by-county list of hunters who are looking for places to hunt and willing to harvest antlerless deer during the hunting seasons. Landowners having difficulty finding hunters for this purpose may contact the DNR district biologist in their area for a copy. Contact information for district biologists is at www.wildlife.IN.gov/2716.htm.

 

The Indiana General Assembly took steps this year to protect landowners from liability associated with allowing sportsmen and sportswomen to recreate on their land. Indiana Code 34-31-9 was created to limit liability associated with agritourism related activities such as field days, self-pick farmers, corn mazes, animal exhibitions, and agricultural fairs, but also includes natural resource based activities such as hunting, fishing, hiking and trail riding.

 

The law, which went into effect July 1, states that landowners who provide access to their land for natural resource based activities is not liable for the injury or death

of a participant resulting from the inherent risks of such activities. Also, a participant or the participant’s representative cannot make claim, maintain an action against, or recover from the landowner any loss, damage, or death resulting from the inherent risk of the natural resource based activity.

 

Inherent risks include conditions, dangers, or hazards that are an integral part of the activity, including surface and subsurface conditions and natural conditions of the land, vegetation and waters, the behavior of wild or domestic animals on the land, the ordinary dangers of structures or equipment on the land, and negligent acts of a participant that may contribute to the injury of that participant or others.

 

However, the law does not prevent or limit the liability of a landowner who has knowledge of a dangerous condition that exists on the land and does not make the danger known to the participant, who commits and act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant, or who intentionally injures the participant.

 

The new law also protects landowners who charge a participant a fee for providing natural resources based activities, as long as they provide the participant with a specific warning notice specified by the law. The warning notice can be printed on a sign, posted and maintained in a clearly visible location at the main entrance to the property where the natural resources based activity is to occur, or included as part of a signed release or written contract between the landowner and the participant. The actual language of the new law can be found at www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2011/HE/HE1133.1.html


Michigan

Asian Carp Meeting September 23

Saginaw Valley State University

There will be an Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Public Meeting September 23 at Saginaw Valley State University in Curtis Hall Conference Center, 7400 Bay Rd, University Center Michigan., scheduled for 3-5 PM, EDT

 

 John Goss Asian Carp Director from the White House Council on Environmental Quality will lead the meeting which will feature updates on the multi-tiered strategy to

combat Asian Carp.  The meeting will be opened by U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow. Tammy Newcomb MDNR will be providing Michigan's perspective.  If you cannot attend, you can listen to the meeting by dialing 888 603-8914.  For more information click this link

 

The event will be webcast at: www.mymeetings.com/tetratech/join/   Conference #: PG4559418, Dial 888-603-8914 to listen in to the conference.


Workshop reels in teachers to get kids hooked on fishing Sept 27-28

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Teach a teacher to fish and they’ll teach a kid a skill for life. Michigan State University’s (MSU’s) Project FISH (Friends Involved in Sportfishing Heritage) program is working with the Future Fisherman Foundation to present a two-day workshop devoted to sportfishing and aquatic resources education. The program, slated for Sept. 27-28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the MSU Extension Kalamazoo Office, targets teachers and volunteers, and 4-H program leaders and other MSU Extension educators.

 

Participants will learn how to start fishing programs and the importance of using Michigan’s aquatic resources for recreation.  The workshop, “Sportfishing and Aquatic Resources Education and an Introduction to HOFNOD (Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs),” will focus on hands-on learning techniques that teachers and community members can take back to their children.

 

Based on the Project FISH philosophy of hands-on, multiple-contact sportfishing and aquatic resources education, the workshop will offer activities in aquatic ecology, tackle crafting, people and fish management and angling skills. Participants will leave with curriculum activities, equipment – even a fishing rod and reel – and

access to supplies and resources to begin a successful fishing program or club with children in the classroom or in an after-school setting.

 

Coordinated through MSU’s Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies, this workshop is a partnership with MSU Extension Kalamazoo County, MSU Extension 4-H Youth Development, the Department of Natural Resources, The Bass Federation, the Future Fisherman Foundation and many others to educate young people about our natural resources through fishing. The workshop is partially funded through a grant from the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation to the Future Fisherman Foundation, The Bass Federation and donors to Project FISH.

 

The Future Fisherman Foundation will offer a $75 post-workshop stipend for participants within 60 miles of the workshop ($450.00 maximum per organization) and will offer a $150.00 post-workshop stipend to cover the workshop and travel expenses to those participants traveling more than 60 miles ($450.00 maximum per organization). Lunch will be provided each day.

 

For more info: Mark Stephens, 517-432-2700 or Mark Gintert, 580-716-4251 www.projectfish.org/fishinginstructortraining.pdf


Cormorant numbers decreasing in Michigan, Great Lakes

The number of cormorant nests in Michigan has been decreasing since population reduction actions were implemented in 2004, the DNR announced.

 

Cormorants, which were increasing in numbers throughout the 1980s and 1990s, have been blamed for declining sport fisheries in a number of areas. The breeding population in Michigan stabilized in the late 1990s and early 2000s at around 30,000 nests. Since 2004, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services Division has been oiling eggs at nesting sites and removing adults from the population to meet goals set by the DNR.

 

Additional management activities have also been performed by Tribal natural resource agencies to address concerns related to cormorant impacts to commercial and sport fisheries, as well as alleviating potential conflicts with other species of nesting birds and reduce damage to native plants.

 

Comprehensive statewide counts from 2007 and 2009 document a 38 percent decrease in breeding cormorants in Michigan, a drop from 29,509 nests in 2007 to 18,200 nests in 2009. The scheduled 2011 breeding cormorant count is underway, and a final count will be available in the fall.

 

Dr. Francesca Cuthbert of the University of Minnesota coordinates the count throughout the U.S. Great Lakes Region and has noted further decreases on breeding colonies in Michigan. “Preliminary indications are that the

 

final estimate for 2011 will be lower than that for 2009. This trend has been reported by other Michigan researchers and staff from USDA – Wildlife Services,” Cuthbert noted.

 

This mirrors the trend seen at breeding sites where USDA - Wildlife Services conducts population reduction activities; from 2007 through 2010, the nest count at these sites decreased by 37 percent, from 23,345 nests in 2007 to 14,685 nests in 2010.

 

Population control methods have not been the only contributor to declining cormorant numbers.  Food web changes including reductions in alewives and the invasion of the round goby have altered the food supply for cormorants. Declines in aquaculture farms and conversion to dry-land operations in the southern United States have removed valuable wintering habitat, and cormorant culling operations at southern aquaculture facilities reduced the number of birds surviving the winter to return to Michigan.

 

The cumulative effect has been to drive cormorant numbers down to the point where the statewide management goal of 5,000-12,500 nests may soon be reached.

 

“The DNR’s management goal seeks to balance the desires of stakeholders with the Department’s responsibility to manage for healthy populations of fish and wildlife. We don’t want to designate the double-crested cormorant as an endangered species due to declining numbers, but we also want to ensure that recreational fishing opportunities are protected,” said Russ Mason, DNR Wildlife Division chief.


State Law now allows 10-Year-Olds to hunt with a Firearm

A change in state law that took effect Sept. 1 makes it legal for 10- and 11- year olds to hunt deer, bear or elk with firearms in Michigan, the Department of Natural Resources announced.

 

The change is not reflected in the 2011 Hunting and Trapping Digest as the publication went to press before the law was changed. The regulations change was part of the Hunter Heritage Act, which creates a new mentored hunting program and eliminates the minimum age requirements for hunting in 2012.

 

This year, hunters less than 14 years of age may hunt on private land with either a firearm deer license or junior combination deer license – if they have successfully completed hunter education training – or an apprentice hunting license. In either case, the youngster must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or other adult designated by the parent or guardian.

Hunters less than 14 years of age may hunt with firearms on private land only.  A youngster hunting deer must be in possession of either a firearms deer license or an antlerless deer license. A youth hunter ages 10 and 11 may use a combination deer license. If the youth has been hunter-safety certified, the accompanying adult must be at least 18 years of age. If the youngster is hunting with an apprentice license, the accompanying adult must be at least 21 years of age.

 

Beginning in 2012, the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, currently under development by a workgroup convened by the Natural Resources Commission will provide additional hunting opportunities for youngsters less than 10 years of age.

 

For more information on hunting opportunities in Michigan, go to www.michigan.gov/hunting.

 

 


New York

Official Opening of Downtown Plattsburgh Boat Launch

Site Universally Accessible and allows for Public Fishing Access

Together with state and city officials, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens has announced the opening of the Downtown Plattsburgh Boat Launch.

 

The new boat launch will add to New York’s diverse fishing opportunities, and bringing anglers and other boaters to the area it will benefit the local economy. Residents and visitors alike will be able to utilize this new site to enjoy boating on Lake Champlain and afterwards partake in all the downtown amenities.

 

The boat launch is located off Dock Street on the shore of Lake Champlain just south of the mouth of the Saranac River. The facility includes three launching and retrieval

lanes with docks on each side of the ramp and along the

shoreline. There are 31 designated vehicle and trailer parking sites, 12 car-only parking sites and additional parking in the adjacent parking lot.

 

The ramp and docks are built in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Three accessible parking spots have been designated, two spots are for a vehicle with trailer and one is for a vehicle only. The size of the ramp, the number and location of docks, and the ample amount of parking is also ideal for fishing tournaments and boating events held by the City each year.

 

DEC staff designed the boat launch and oversaw its construction. State Capital funds were used to pay for construction of the $627,000 facility. The City of Plattsburgh will be responsible for managing and maintaining the boat launch.


Federal Judge Rejects New York Gun Law Challenge

A Federal judge in New York has upheld the State’s law concerning an individual having to show a necessity for self-protection in order to obtain a license to carry a handgun, The Associated Press reported.

 

District Judge Cathy Seibel ruled against the challenge to the State law because of an alleged important government interest in preventing crime. While leaders on the left applauded the ruling, Alan Gura, the attorney for the plaintiff, noted that an appeal would be filed, according to the news outlet.

“The question here is whether the government gets to regulate a constitutional right or completely abolish it,” Gura said.  The five plaintiffs from Westchester County brought the suit in an effort to freeze the “proper cause” element in the permit-application process, something that they argued was a direct violation of their 2nd Amendment rights, Reuters reported.

 

Gura noted that they might take the case as high as the Supreme Court, as the plaintiffs argued that the threat of significant random violence is all too prevalent in New York City.


Wisconsin

Additional walleye, musky and trout to be stocked in state waters

MADISON -- State fish hatcheries are producing bumper crops of fish for stocking this fall, leading state stocking trucks to deliver additional walleye and musky to dozens of Wisconsin lakes and streams this September and October.

 

"The fingerling production at the warm-water hatcheries has been very good this year and that's going to translate into great news for anglers down the road," says Dave Giehtbrock, statewide fish production manager for the Department of Natural Resources. "We've produced large fingerling musky and walleye above our intended goals, and we're stocking nearly every site at full quota."

 

Some stocking has already occurred and more is on tap. Tables showing how many fish were planned for stocking are now available online on DNR's fish stocking web page. Read on for short write-ups from hatchery supervisors describing where their facility is in the fall stocking process. Stocking tables from 1972-2010 are also available.

 

Giehtbrock says that cool spring temperatures helped production of musky and walleye by keeping the water quality in the ponds at optimal levels, boosting survival. As a result, there were extra fish available to be stocked out at smaller sizes -- more than 3 million walleye were stocked out in late June -- and there are surplus fish available to be stocked at the larger size.

 

Most of the fish stocked or soon to be stocked are known as "large fingerlings," and range in size from 5 to 9 inches,

depending on the species. They were produced from eggs collected from the wild this spring or from hatchery stocks this fall by DNR fish crews, were hatched at DNR hatcheries, and raised at those facilities for the intervening months.

 

How long before those fish are big enough to be legally kept by anglers depends again on the species and the regulations on the particular waterbody, Giehtbrock says. The splake being stocked in Lake Superior will likely only need a year or so to reach the 15-inch minimum length limit while it will likely be eight to 10 years before the musky reach the 40-inch minimum size limit set to go into effect in spring 2012 on most state waters.

 

The extra musky and walleye are stocked in waters where biologists have requested stocking. A formula is used that distributes the fish equitably among water bodies and makes sure the carrying capacity of the water receiving the fish is not exceeded. The vast majority of Wisconsin's lakes and rivers support naturally reproducing populations. Research has shown that stocking in these waters can hurt native fish populations, but stocking remains an important management tool for some waters.

 

DNR stocks fish to re-establish formerly self-sustaining populations, to provide research data on the effectiveness of stocking and other related practices, and to expand fishing opportunities for Wisconsin's anglers.  "It was an excellent year with excellent conditions overall, and hatchery staff made the most of the situation to produce large numbers of healthy, high quality fish for stocking," Giehtbrock says.

 


AB 176 Bill to "Remove minimum harvest requirements for commercial fishermen"

Proposed legislation would effectively create "Property Rights" for commercial fishing businesses

Opposition is mounting within the angling commumity and other conservation groups, against AB176 bill, relating to: "Minimum harvesting requirements for commercial fishing in the Great Lakes", on the basis it would create a private property right in fish belonging to the public.

 

Wisconsin Wildlife Federation submitted testimony regarding minimum harvest bill. 

 

George Meyer, Executive Director the Federation said " Wisconsin sportsmen have a great interest in Great Lakes commercial fishing for two reasons: The fish in the Great Lakes are a shared publicly-owned commercial/sports fishery and commercial fishing directly impacts our sports fishing and Secondly, and just as importantly, it is the sportsmen that are paying the freight for DNR to manage the commercial fishery in the Great Lakes through our hunting and fishing dollars. Over 90% of the DNR’s cost for management and enforcement of Great Lakes commercial fishing comes from sports hunting and fishing licenses."

 

Meyer went on, saying "The Wildlife Federation opposes Assembly Bill 176 because it removes the minimum harvest requirement for commercial fishing licenses. While we are sympathetic to the needs of commercial fishermen to have a flexible minimum harvest minimum harvest requirement because of the potential for Acts of God, illness, high gas prices and other events beyond their control that may prevent a commercial fisherman from meeting their minimum harvest limits, that flexibility is already built into DNR regulation NR.25. If  those need improvement we stand ready to work with the commercial fishermen and DNR to do that."

 

The Federation and others oppose the bill because it will either be sports anglers or the general taxpayer that will end up paying the high costs of this bill. Here is why there will be a high cost:

 

Meyer importantly added "As we know the fishery is public. DNR is required to manage the fishery to protect its long-term sustainability. As a result the DNR periodically 

needs to adjust commercial fishing seasons, quotas, gear and reporting requirements. At times, this will cost commercial fishermen money or reduce their income. If the minimum harvest level requirement is removed, the commercial fishermen will likely file a lawsuit to say that they have property rights in their license and their quota and need to be compensated by the DNR for the financial loss incurred by DNR’s management decision."

 

"You may be thinking, that this is far-fetched. No, that is in fact what the Lake Michigan commercial fishermen have been seeking for over the last 70 years. The Federation requests the Committee to review the following courts cases brought by commercial fishermen to seek what are called “compensable property rights” in their harvest levels. The cases are: Olson vs. State Conservation Commission, 235 Wis. 473 (1940), LeClair vs. Swift, 76 F. Supp. 729 (E.D.Wis. 1948) and more recently LeClair vs. Natural Resources Board, 483 NW 2d 278, (Wis. Court of Appeal 1992). Removal of the “minimum harvest” requirement will remove the most meaningful commercial  licensing requirement and will enable the commercial fishermen to successfully argue the next time DNR’s management costs them money, that there has been a “government taking” of a compensable property right. DNR will then either have to back off the proposed regulatory change or pay damages to the commercial fishermen. As sports fishermen we know that we will get stuck with that bill, either from our license dollars or our tax dollars."

 

Meyer pointed out the above-position is not just that of the Wildlife Federation, it is also the long-standing position of the Department of Natural Resources. To illustrate that the Federation has attached to this testimony.  He included information where the DNR has previously been opposed to such legislation:

 

1. The DNR memo to the Governor analyzing companion bill, SB 13;

2. DNR Board Order FH-21-08, (August 3, 2009), which is the last time that the DNR adjusted the requirements of the minimum harvest level rule;

3. LeClair vs. Swift, 76 F. Supp. 729 (E.D. Wis. 1948) and

4. LeClair vs. Natural Resources Board, 483 NW 2d 278 (Wis. Court of Appeals 1992).

 


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

 

Zoning is Coming to an Ocean or Great Lake Near You
Erie Times-News (9/14)
John M. Boehnert, a Rhode Island real estate and environmental lawyer experienced in coastal permitting and coastal property rights predicted offshore waters, including the Great Lakes, will soon be zoned like conventional land parcels to restrict and limit certain uses, and encourage others, such as alternative energy.

 

N.Y. Ballast Rule Draws Midwest Protest
Midwest governors are pushing back on New York's proposed tough rules on ballast water carried into the Great Lakes by freighters. New water quality standards will cost jobs around the Great Lakes, governors of Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana say.

 

Walker, other governors ask New York to relax ballast rules
Everyone agrees that something must be done to halt the onslaught of invasive species entering the lakes via foreign ballast tanks, but the states can't agree on just how much regulation the shipping industry should be forced to endure. New York took the lead …

 

Ill. promoting Asian carp in anti-hunger campaign

 The invasive species of fish has been added to the state's "Target Hunger Now!" program, which encourages hunters and fishermen to donate food to the needy. The state plans to promote Asian carp as a tasty food later this month with a cooking demonstration in Chicago.

 

Milwaukee wind project given go-ahead
A project to build a wind turbine adjacent to the Port of Milwaukee's administration building will move forward after a contractor agreed to increase its use of businesses owned by minorities or women.

 

Significant fishery restoration planned on St. Marys River
The Eastern U.P. Regional Planning & Development Commission (EUP) will oversee a multi-agency, interdisciplinary team to develop the engineering and design necessary to restore 70 acres of rapids habitat in the Little Rapids portion of the St. Marys River area of concern (AOC) located in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

 

Chinook stocks drop
A severe drop in plankton and bottom feeders in the Great Lakes in recent years has repercussions for local fisheries but could be a boon for natural fish populations.

Officials spend day on Lake Erie testing water quality
Officials spend day on Lake Erie testing water quality. They traveled to Gibraltar Island.

Indiana panel gives early approval to new water rules
An Indiana regulatory board has given preliminary approval to new rules aimed at protecting the quality of the state's rivers and streams.

Landowners on Lake Erie claim shore victory
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled yesterday that landowners own property until it meets water when it is without disturbance, not as the state claimed where the high tide mark is set.

 

 

The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the GLSFC, its officers or staff. 

Reproduction of any material by paid-up members of the GLSFC is encouraged but appropriate credit must be given. 

Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.

arrowUSFWS Press Releases  arrowSea Grant News

State Fish Pages

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

 

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

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