Week of September 22 , 2003

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National

USGS Warns of Landslide Dangers with Isabel

 The U.S. Geological Survey warned state and federal agencies about the increased potential for landslides in the mountainous regions of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York due to rainfall from Hurricane Isabel.

 

 "Given the wet soil conditions we already have in many of these areas, the risk of fast-moving landslides is significant," Wieczorek said. "Residents in landslide-prone areas and anyone in mountainous areas should be aware of the warning signs and be prepared to move quickly."

 

 USGS geologist and landslide expert Gerald Wieczorek said that intense rains have triggered landslides in the area before.

 

  "In August 1969, the remnants of Hurricane Camille, moving eastward  across the Appalachian Mountains from the Gulf Coast, dumped at least 28  inches of rain within an 8-hour  period," he said. "Landslides and severe floods claimed 150 lives.  Property damage was estimated at more than $116 million in Nelson County, Va.   This catastrophic storm caused extensive damage to roads, bridges, communication systems, houses, farms, and livestock."

 

1.   Stay alert and stay awake. Many landslide fatalities occur when people are sleeping. Listen to a radio for warnings of intense rainfall. Be aware that intense short bursts of rain may be particularly dangerous, especially after longer periods of heavy rainfall and damp weather.

 2.   If you are in areas susceptible to landslides, consider leaving if it is safe to do so. Remember that driving during an intense storm can itself Be hazardous.

 3.   Listen for any unusual sounds that might indicate moving debris, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together. A trickle of flowing or falling mud or debris may precede larger flows. If you are near a stream or channel, be alert for any sudden increase or decrease in

water flow and for a change from clear to muddy water. Such changes may indicate landslide activity upstream, so be prepared to move quickly. Don't delay. Save yourself, not your belongings.

 

 4.   Be especially alert when driving. Embankments along roadsides are particularly susceptible to landslides. Watch the road for collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks, and other indications of possible debris flows. Never drive across a flooded road.

 

The slope of the land, the type of geology, ground saturation and rainfall intensity all play major roles in landslide formation. As a rule of thumb, Wieczorek said, more than 2.75 inches of rain per hour for 2 hours; more than 2 inches of rain per hour for 4 hours; or more than 1.5 inches of rain per hour for 6 hours could trigger landslides in mountainous areas.

 

In the summer of 1995, a major landslide occurred in Madison County, Va., during an intense storm in which 30 inches of rain fell in 16 hours. Scientists from USGS identified hundreds of individual debris flows, some traveling as far as 2 miles.  Although some landslides are gradual, debris flows are fast-moving landslides that often occur suddenly and cost lives.  Rivers throughout the county turned to torrents of mud, cutting off farms and even towns from the outside.

 

"Landslides are powerful," Wieczorek said. "People living in these areas should be aware of the danger during severe weather and be ready to act if the situation warrants."

 

 For more info: visit the following websites:

 Debris-Flow Hazards in the United States:

 http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs-176-97/fs-176-97.html

 

 Landslide Hazards: http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs-0071-00/

 

 Debris-Flow Hazards in the Blue Ridge of Virginia:

 http://landslides.usgs.gov/html_files/nlic/blueridge.htm


USFWS Seeks Info on Bighead Carp

A Potential Federal Injurious Species Candidate

The USFWS served notice that it will begin to collect scientific and economic information on bighead carp to help determine if the fish should be placed on the list of injurious species, which would prohibit their importation into the United States and their shipment across State lines.

 

Part of the Service action is in response to appeals from 25 Members of Congress who represent districts near the Great Lakes, which has a $4 billion fishery at stake, and 10 state conservation and other organizations that favor the bighead carp's listing.  The same inquiry was initiated  for the silver carp on July 23, 2003.

 

Bighead carp are already established in the Mississippi River basin. Biologists are concerned that the fish could slip through a manmade canal into the Great Lakes, where these voracious eaters would threaten the food supply available to native fish.  Great Lakes fisheries already are struggling against other invasive species, including the sea lamprey,  round goby and Zebra mussel, among others.

If the bighead carp were placed on the injurious species list, it would be illegal to move them across state lines or to import them into the US without a permit from the FWS.

 

Bighead carp have been used by catfish farmers because they feed on phytoplankton, zooplankton and detritus that they filter out of the water.  Bighead carp were imported into the U.S. in 1973 and stocked for phytoplankton control and as a food fish.  By the mid-1970s, carp were being raised at six Federal, State and private facilities and had been stocked in municipal sewage lagoons.  Silver carp have been recorded in  12 states.

 

Comments on the notice of inquiry, published  in the Sept 17 Federal Register, must be submitted within 60 days by mail, to: Chief, Division of Environmental Quality, USFWS, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 322, Arlington, VA, 22203; or by fax at 703-358-1800; or comments may be sent by Email to: bigheadcarp@fws.gov .

 

Public comment will be evaluated after the 60-day cutoff and biologists will determine if bighead carp warrant listing as injurious wildlife.


Alien species hurt lakes, and feds sell out

Shipping industry has bought off Congress

BY ERIC SHARP, Detroit Free Press

In a fascinating book called "A Plague of Rats and Rubbervines," Yvonne Baskin cites estimates that the United States spends more than $137 billion a year to combat exotic plant and animal species from other countries.

 

That's $50 billion more than President George W. Bush wants to spend on rebuilding Iraq. But unlike the Iraq War, the bill for the war on harmful exotics will continue to grow and come due every year as far into the future as we can see, and we can't ask other nations to share the cost.

 

That's why you should be outraged about the Environmental Protection Agency's recent decision to allow ocean-going ships to dump ballast in the Great Lakes and other American waters without obtaining a permit.

 

It guarantees that the 140 or so imported plants and animals already in the Great Lakes will be augmented by others. And the rate will increase in an era when the lakes draw ships from parts of the world that weren't part of the shipping pattern only a decade ago.

 

Even if you don't care about potential threats to native species, you should be concerned about what this is doing to your pocketbook.

 

Combating zebra mussels alone has cost the state an estimated $1 billion in the past 10 years. Most of that came straight from the pockets of state residents, and if you want to put it in perspective, ask Gov. Jennifer Granholm if another $1 billion would help her solve Michigan's fiscal problems.

 

Thousands of foreign ships come into the Great Lakes each year to deliver and pick up cargo, and many arrive with water in their ballast tanks that they took on at overseas ports. That water often contains living organisms. When the ships dump the ballast water to provide buoyancy, those creatures sometimes make new homes in the lakes.

 

The zebra mussel is probably the best-known to the public, and anglers are well aware of others, like the round goby and spiny water flea. But dozens more are less well known, and most of those colonized the lakes at the expense of similar native species, which have been drastically reduced in numbers. Valuable species of fish have depended on the disappearing native species for food.

The EPA said it decided against requiring ballast discharge permits because it would be impractical with so many ships entering American waters, and the Coast Guard oversees a voluntary program that requires ships to dump ballast. Of course, no one enforces that program, and since stopping to dump ballast costs shippers money, how many do you think comply?

 

But those aren't the real reasons the government refuses to impose rigid rules that would force ships to dump their ballast at sea, or take other measures to reduce the danger from alien invaders, such as heating the ballast.

 

The real reason is that shipping companies and industries that depend on them have bought enough members of Congress to make sure the EPA does what the industry wants. The companies also block legislation that would force shippers to take effective action to protect the Great Lakes from invaders.

 

I once wrote that every foreign ship that enters the Great Lakes is a potential Typhoid Mary on a gigantic scale, one that might harbor in its bowels the seeds of an ecological or health disaster. That's even more dangerous now. While bigger creatures like mussels and fish catch the public eye, the ships also carry microorganisms that could carry diseases to native plant and animal species and even people.

 

Baskin's book notes that in 1991, when Peru experienced the first cholera epidemic in a century in the Western Hemisphere, scientists thought the disease arrived in the ballast water of ships from Asia. Cholera bacteria also have been found in the ballast of ships arriving in Chesapeake Bay.

 

Another worry is that the threat could come from a disease we're not familiar with -- yet. Even if you don't think there is a great risk to people, how many of you are willing to take a chance that pure luck will prevent the introduction of a disease that could decimate walleyes, bass or salmon.

 

Think it couldn't happen? Then how do you explain Piscirickettsia, the muskie pox that showed up in Lake St. Clair muskellunge a year ago? It previously had been seen only in saltwater fish farms in South America, Europe and Canada, and our outbreak is the first known in wild fish.

 

The most critical issue for today's anglers and hunters is preventing the further degradation of the resources we have and doing whatever we can to repair the damage. If we don't, people three or four generations down the road won't have much to hunt or fish for.


NOAA uses Satellite Technology And Modeling To Locate Marine Debris

Project is First Successful Demonstration of High Tech Search Capabilities

A team of scientists from the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), along with industry and university partners have successfully completed the first aerial search for marine debris guided by satellites and sophisticated computer modeling.

 

The ability to locate and remove ocean-borne debris is becoming more important in areas of the U.S. coasts that are cluttered with debris from fishing and shipping operations.  Lost or abandoned fishing gear that drifts in the ocean (known as ghost-nets) pose a significant hazard not only to coral reefs, but to whales, fish, seals, turtles and sea birds.  The synthetic materials used in these nets decay at a very slow rate and can drift intact for years.

Identifying the likely location for this debris was the primary goal of the research. 

 

The model, developed by NOAA Fisheries, identified several locations along the coast of Alaska and along the Alaskan continental shelf where eddies and convergences are common.  The satellite data located a number of specific areas, both near the shore and farther off shore, where debris was expected to collect.

 

In the future the researchers hope to survey the North Pacific Sub Tropical Convergence Zone, an area north of the Hawaiian Islands.  Most of the coral reefs in the U.S. lie in the waters around Hawaii.  If we can spot debris, especially the ghost-nets that drift in the ocean, we can remove them before they damage the reefs," said one scientist.

 


Lawmakers slam Endangered Species Act
House members: Law must be fixed to benefit communities over animals

BELEN, N.M. – In a field hearing here to discuss the effects of a recent 10th Circuit Court decision decreeing that under the Endangered Species Act the Rio Grande endangered silvery minnow has a higher priority for water than any other user – including farmers, ranchers and municipalities – members of the U.S. House Committee on Resources pulled no punches in declaring the law was harming the American way of life in the West and had to be "fixed."

 

The Sept. 6 hearing was conducted so committee members could hear firsthand what the ruling would mean to the economy of Albuquerque, downstream communities, recreation and agriculture. But as the hearing unfolded, to an audience of about 250 attendees from several states, it became apparent by statements from the members of Congress that, in a larger sense, the committee was examining the impact of the Endangered Species Act on communities and states across America.

 

Committee Chairman Richard Pombo, R-Calif., set the theme for the hearing when he said for the record, "The Endangered Species Act has become a tool used by vocal and well-funded special interest groups, and needs to be fixed."

 

Pombo's fellow California congressman and Resources Subcommittee chairman, Ken Calvert, R-Calif., concurred: "The silvery minnow ruling sent a shockwave of uncertainty through Western states. The ruling essentially ignores the nation's fundamental notion of private-property freedoms by exerting federal control over locally controlled water resources. The ruling primarily means that the Endangered Species Act, for the first time, takes precedence over urban water supplies. When court decisions put our communities second, we need to take a hard look at the purpose and balance of the Endangered Species Act."

 

Continued Calvert, "More money is being spent on litigation than saving species. No one ever intended this law to become the full employment act for lawyers and

environmentalist extremists, but I'm concerned it's going in that direction. It is time for a fresh look at the ESA."

 

Committee member Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., noted, "I witnessed the 10th Circuit release 50 years' worth of water in one year. That's like saving up your whole life for nothing." Pearce added, "The minnow is not more important than our families, our land, our communities or our way of life. The ESA has … gone though a series of bureaucratic and legal changes that have caused it to become an enormous problem for our communities, counties, local leaders, families and agriculture producers. We cannot let the ESA control the rights of our state or those of our farmers and ranchers."

 

Pearce's comments were seconded by New Mexico Rep. Heather Wilson, who noted, "The court's (silvery minnow) decision has enormous consequences for all Western states, where water is such a valuable resource and critical part of the economy." This decision sets a precedent we can't allow to stand. If the federal government) can take water from the Rio Grande, they can take water from anybody."

 

The views of the Committee on Resources members were echoed by placard-carrying demonstrators in the parking lot of Belen High School, location of the hearing.

 

All but one witness – Letty Beli, an environmental attorney – agreed the silvery minnow ruling is a calamity for this nation and must be reversed or blocked by Congress.

 

The U.S. House Committee on Resources carries considerable weight and regulatory authority. Among the federal agencies under the Committee's jurisdiction are the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency that listed the silvery minnow as an endangered species.  Further, the Endangered Species Act is a statute under the jurisdiction of the committee.

Just one Democrat on the committee, Rep. Joe Baca of California, attended the field hearing.


Canada

CA - Gun Registry surviving on deceit, cover-up and taxpayers' millions

Documents reveal the Minister has broken his promises to be "open and transparent".

Ottawa - Justice Department documents obtained by Garry Breitkreuz, Official Opposition Critic for Firearms and Property Rights, reveal that the Justice Minister has repeatedly broken his promise to be "open and transparent" with Parliament about the cost and administration of the billion-dollar gun registry.  "The Minister promised Parliament seven times that he would be more open and transparent, but Parliamentarians are just as much in the dark now as they were last December," declared Breitkreuz.  "For example, the government still refuses to answer our key questions: How much will it cost to fully implement the gun registry, and how much will it cost to maintain?"

 

"Breitkreuz's office has filed 376 Access to Information Act requests since 1999 and claims it has been more difficult to get information in the last nine months.  Breitkreuz offered the following evidence from just the past month: 

(1) I asked for the up-to-date cost spreadsheets - this vital information should have been delivered to my office a month and a half ago. 

(2) I asked for the licencing and registration compliance statistics for each province and territory - the department claims the statistics are not available. 

(3) I asked for copies of all the cost-benefit analyses conducted on the gun registry - Justice sent two reports, neither of which includes a cost-benefit analysis. 

(4) I asked for the report documenting a quote from the Auditor General's December 2002 report on the gun   

registry - there were 7 complete pages and 8 partial pages blanked-out because they declared the contents a Cabinet secret.

(5) I asked for the number of charges laid as a result of NWEST's enforcement and support activities - departmental officials sent a report with 181 exemptions and without the key statistics requested. 

 

"Is this what the Minister means by being more open and accountable to Parliament?" asked Breitkreuz.  "Since February 2003, my office has filed 40 Access to Information Act requests with the Department of Justice.  So far, we have had to file a total of 26 complaints with the Office of the Information Commissioner.  These were comprised of 13 delay complaints and 13 complaints about missing information.  The department has advised us of extension deadlines for 11 of our requests," reported Breitkreuz. 

 

"Nothing has actually changed since the Auditor General blew the whistle on this billion-dollar boondoggle last December.  Sure, the Solicitor General is now in charge of the mess, but the Justice Department is still answering the Solicitor General's Access to Information Act requests about the gun registry," stated Breitkreuz.  "The gun registry program was built on deceit and cover-up and only survives because of them.  Canadians will only learn the truth when the Liberals are no longer in charge.  Voters can only make a proper decision at election time if they have the information they need.  By hiding information from a parliamentarian, they are undermining democracy because Canadians can't find out what's happening in Ottawa," concluded Breitkreuz.


Canada won't say what gun registry will cost

It has been nine months since the Auditor General blew the whistle on the billion dollar gun registry.  The minister promised that he would be more open and transparent and

that he would provide a full accounting of the costs, but he has not done either.   To date, the federal firearms register has cost the people of Canada more than $1 billion.

 

Regional

Annual Meeting – Oct. 18, (Revised)
Port Clinton - Ottawa County CVB, Pt. Clinton, OH
The GLSFC is holding its annual meeting at the Port Clinton - Ottawa County Convention & Visitors Bureau, in Port Clinton, OH.

 

We've changed the meeting location because of serious financial constraints and travel restrictions being encountered by all state resource biologists and managers as well as "iffy" weather on Lake Erie – especially in October.

 

Location:

Meeting at the Ottawa County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), just North of Rte 2 on Rte 53 N, Catawba Exit, 770 S.E. Catawba Rd, Port Clinton, Ohio 43452. It's just south of the intersection of SR 163 and US 53, and about a block north of US 2, that's Perry and Catawba Roads.

 

CVB contact info: http://www.lake-erie.com/   800-441-1271

 

Agenda
*Lake Erie walleye and perch issues 
*Decline of catches on Lake Ontario
*Status of Lake Huron
*Health of Lake Michigan
*Creel/size limits, invasive species,

 

Invited Speakers include:

 

Hon. Dennis Schornack, Chair, U.S. Section, IJC

Chris Goddard, Secretary, Great Lakes Fishery Commission

Dr. Jeff Reuter, Director, Ohio Sea Grant

Bob O'Gorman, Station Chief, USGS, Oswego, NY

Gary Isbell, Fish Chief, Ohio DNR

Roger Knight, Lake Erie Administrator, Ohio DNR

Jerry McClain, Station Chief, USFWS, Alpena, MI

Dr. Mohamed Faisal, Fish Health Committee, GLFC-MSU

 

Accommodations: 

On your own, but we will list some on our web site – with price breaks. The Ottawa Cty CVB can help you also.  800-441-1271

 

Cost:

There is no cost for the meeting, but please register as space is limited.

 

Registration:

The registration form is available at: http://www.great-lakes.org/glsfc-meeting.html

Complete form: mail, e-mail or fax completed registration form to:

GLSFC, P.O. Box 297, Elmhurst, IL

 

Info??

meeting@great-lakes.org

630-941-1196  fax

630-941-1196  Ph

 

Deadline:  October 15


USGS sponsors new Great Lakes Web Site

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is releasing a Web site dedicated to providing information on the USGS Great Lakes Program, a program consisting of USGS sponsored research and monitoring projects in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region. A special feature of the Web site will be its focus on interdisciplinary science involving the biology, geology, geography, and hydrology disciplines.

The Web site will feature information on USGS programs, projects, and publications covering a wide range of science and natural resource issues. The content of the Web site may be of general interest to all levels of government, industry, academia, nongovernmental agencies, and the public.

 

The URL is:  http://water.usgs.gov/orh/nrwww/greatlakes/index.htm


Regional - State Lawmakers Form Great Lakes Caucus
Forty lawmakers from the eight Great Lakes states have launched the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus to create uniform laws in their respective states to curb water pollution, regulate water diversion projects and control the spread of non-native plants and animals accidentally introduced into the largest system of fresh surface water on earth.

 

The bipartisan caucus, which first met at the Council of State Governments’ Midwestern Legislative Conference in Milwaukee last month, is made up of lawmakers from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin It also includes representatives from the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario.

 

Federal, state and Canadian governments regulate the Great Lakes, and U.S. law prohibits diversion or export of water outside the basin unless all eight Great Lakes governors 

consent. But each state has a different process for approving withdrawals used for golf course irrigation or Perrier drinking water plants.

 

Organizers said the caucus is also needed because state laws lack consistency in regulating non-native zebra mussels and Asian carp that have invaded the Great Lakes and disturbed the balance of natural ecosystems.

Caucus members will hold a second meeting on the sidelines of CSG’s annual national conference in Pittsburgh Oct. 23.

 

The caucus is unique to the region: other legislative groups from the same states have studied issues such as election reform and high-speed rail, but organizers said this is the first caucus to address Great Lakes water management.

Governors have been making regional agreements about the Great Lakes since 1983 through the Council of Great Lakes Governors, and legislators want input.


General

Bowhunters urged to practice safety afield

Safety is always a mandatory consideration for bowhunters because they scale trees, use tree-stands, hunt in remote areas and hunt with razor-sharp broadheads.

 

"There probably hasn't been a year in the past 20 where someone hasn't fallen out of a tree or tree-stand, or cut themselves with a broadhead while afield in the archery season," said Keith Snyder, Pennsylvania Game Commission hunter-trapper education chief. "But most of these accidents can be avoided if bowhunters use proper fall-restraint devices and carefully handle broadheads."

 

Many of the dangers bowhunters face can be eliminated or reduced considerably with common sense and foresight. It's also a huge plus to be in shape, to get plenty of sleep before you hunt, and to move slowly with firm footing when afield.  There are a variety of safety tips all bowhunters should consider before they head afield. They include:

 

■ Make sure someone knows where you're hunting and when you expect to return home. Leave a note or topographic map with your family or a friend. Pack a cellular telephone for emergencies.

 

■ Always use a fall-restraint device - preferably a full-body harness - when hunting from a tree stand. Wear the device from the moment you leave the ground until you return. Don't climb dead, wet or icy trees. Stay on the ground on blustery days.

■ Get in good physical condition before the season starts. Fatigue can impact judgment, coordination and reaction time. Staying physically fit makes a difference.

 

■ Always carry a whistle to signal passersby in case you become immobile. A compass and matches or lighter also are essential survival gear items to have along. An extra flashlight bulb also can be helpful.

 

■ Use a hoist rope to lift your bow and backpack to your tree stand. Trying to climb with either will place you at unnecessary risk.

 

■ Don't sleep in a tree stand! If you can't stay awake, return to the ground.

 

■ Always carry broadhead-tipped arrows in a protective quiver.

 

■ If you use a mechanical release, always keep your index finger away from the trigger when drawing.

 

■ Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for all equipment and check your equipment before each use.

 

■ Practice climbing with your tree stand before dawn on the opening day of the season. Consider placing non-slip material on the deck of your tree-stand if it's not already there.

 


Illinois

Manning returning to Illinois

To direct DuPage County Forest Preserve dist

Brent Manning, director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department since March, said this past week that he will leave the post at the end of the month to take a job in Illinois. Manning, 50, has been hired as the executive director of the DuPage County Forest District. The district's commission approved Manning's contract Tuesday morning.

 

Manning, an Illinois native, was the head of the Illinois DNR for seven years and the DOC for four years before he was tapped for the Wyoming job. Earlier, he spent six years as director of operations at Ducks Unlimited. The job at the Forest Preserve

District reportedly pays $127,000 to $190,000 a year, more than the $90,000 salary that Manning gets from Wyoming.

 

DuPage County, a suburb of Chicago, is one of the fastest-growing counties in the Midwest.  The headquarters of the GLSFC and the residence of this editor are located in the county. The Forest Preserve District, which deals with land acquisition and conservation, has a $209 million annual budget.

 

Manning, who administered the DNR with a rare skill and expertise rarely seen in Illinois' appointed politicians, will be warmly welcomed back to Illinois and especially DuPage County.


Indiana

IN - Hoosier Riverwatch to hold workshops Sept 25 -26

The old song calls for us to go "down by the riverside" and this year more Hoosiers will be heeding that message. Hoosier Riverwatch, a DNR/Purdue University sponsored education program, are continuing to hold workshops around the state.

 

The next volunteer stream monitoring workshops will be held at the Elkhart County Conservation Club on September 25 and 26, 2003. The training is free, but class sizes are limited to 24 participants for level one, and 16 participants for level two. Persons interested in participating must make a prior reservation.

 

"Education is an important mission of the DNR," said John Goss, DNR director. "These local stream monitor volunteers will take home knowledge and a commitment that they will pass on to others who will, in turn, bring more people into the circle of those committed to protecting and improving our resources. When we accomplish widening that circle we are successful."

 

A level one training workshop will be held Thursday, September 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The workshop will provide general

education in water quality issues and introductory-level training in monitoring the health of rivers and streams through physical, chemical, and biological testing. After completion of this training, volunteers can perform stream testing, submit data to the statewide volunteer stream-monitoring database (www.HoosierRiverwatch.com), and teach students how to monitor.

 

A Level II training workshop will be held Friday, September 26, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Level II training includes a complete review of Level I training, hands-on practice using the Hach Stream Survey chemical testing kit, learning advanced water quality monitoring techniques, and training in quality assurance procedures to ensure the validity of collected data. Level II certification is available only to those who have completed a full-day level one introductory workshop.

 

For reservations and directions, call Nancy Brown at the Elkhart County Soil and Water Conservation District at 574/533-4383 ext.3.

 

 People interested in learning more about the Riverwatch program can point their Web browsers to www.in.gov/dnr/soilcons/riverwatch


Michigan

MI -  Volunteers needed for fall salmon program

State conservation officials announced they are seeking residents to assist DNR conservation officers in monitoring fall salmon runs on the Manistee River, near Tippy Dam in Manistee County. 

 

The Citizens Assisting in Resource Enforcement program invites anglers and other concerned residents to help deter illegal activity during the peak period of the salmon runs. Formerly known as the Riverwatch program, this popular volunteer opportunity has been expanding throughout Michigan for several years.

 

"Resident volunteers provide a good, visible presence on

 

the rivers, and this program helps reduce illegal activities like snagging, littering and other violations," said Sgt. Nick Heary. "By serving as additional eyes and ears on the waterways, these volunteers are helping to ensure that fair and ethical behavior prevails during the fall salmon runs. We look forward to seeing the CARE program continue expanding."

 

CARE program volunteers are asked to attend a brief training session, held immediately prior to the patrols. The scheduled patrol weekends are Sept. 27-28, and Oct. 4-5.

 

For additional information, or to enroll in the program, contact the DNR Operations Service Center in Cadillac at 231-775-9727.


MI - Volunteers needed to collect native seeds in State Parks

State stewardship officials invite volunteers to harvest native prairie seeds at 10 state parks and recreation areas for October weekends. The seeds collected by volunteers will be used to re-establish and restore tallgrass prairie, lakeplain prairie, oak savanna and dune ecosystems.

 

The collections will take place in state parks and recreation areas throughout southern Michigan. A complete schedule of collection dates is available on the DNR web site: www.michigan.gov/dnr .

 

The prairie and oak savanna ecosystems, nearly eliminated during European settlement, exist today in

small remnants, many in Michigan's state parks. Seed collection is a key step in restoring these lost landscapes, but a step that requires many hands.

 

"This is an important opportunity to expand and restore these natural ecosystems and preserve them for future generations," said Ray Fahlsing, Stewardship Program manager. Volunteers are asked to bring a clean, empty milk jug to collect seeds, wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring drinking water and sunscreen. Children between the ages of 5 and 15 must be accompanied by an adult.

 

To sign up for a time or to bring a group, contact Lisa Gamero at 517-241-4789 or via e-mail at gamerol@michigan.gov


MI - Tahquamenon Natural Area tour

Michigan DNR officials announced a Sept. 27 walking tour of the Tahquamenon Natural Area in Tahquamenon Falls State Park.

 

This family-oriented tour, starting at 9 a.m. at the Tahquamenon Falls State Park Headquarters (41382 West M-123, Paradise, MI), explores one of Michigan’s “gems,” in the beauty of its fall colors. The tour will last 2½ to 3½ hours and will remain in reasonably level areas, although not necessarily on established trails. It is the fifth of six tours planned in this year’s Natural Areas Tour Series.

 

The Tahquamenon Natural Area, proposed for legal protection under state law, incorporates one of Michigan’s largest old-growth northern hardwood forests. It includes land in the Upper and Lower Falls areas, but also a large portion of the park is dominated by wetlands in the vicinity of Betsy, Sheephead and Clark Lakes. The area is undeveloped, for the most part, without roads, buildings or power lines.

 

The tour will focus on the Clark Lake area, going on, over, and down ancient sand dunes and into muskegs, with an opportunity to view some open bogs. This area is within

one of the largest northern peatland complexes in the eastern Upper Peninsula. Other highlights will include carnivorous plants and Michigan's deciduous conifer trees (tamarack trees lose their needles every fall), as well as hiking along grown over logging roads. Wildlife known to the area include osprey, spruce grouse, sandhill cranes, beaver and many other species.

 

The natural areas movement in Michigan began in 1925, when State Parks Chief P.J. Hoffmaster recommended the acquisition and preservation of the Porcupine Mountains in the western Upper Peninsula. In 1972, Michigan passed into law the Wilderness and Natural Areas Act, which finally provided legally binding protection for natural areas. Today, more than 130,000 acres statewide are managed as natural areas under this program.

 

More information about natural areas in Michigan and this year’s Natural Areas Tour Series can be found on the DNR web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr . The Natural Areas Program is supported in part by Nongame Fish and Wildlife Funds. Michigan residents can support these efforts by purchasing a wildlife habitat license plate for their vehicles


MI - Special deer season planned for youth – Sept 27-28

The Michigan DNR is encouraging all young hunters age 12-16 to participate in the special youth firearm deer season scheduled statewide Sept. 27-28. A youth, properly licensed to take a white-tailed deer with a firearm, is allowed to take one deer during this two-day hunt.

 

This is the fourth year for the youth-only hunt in Michigan. Last year over 17,000 youngsters participated in the youth firearm deer season, harvesting over 5,000 deer, about one percent of the total 2002 white-tailed deer harvest.

 

Youth-only hunts have been established across the U.S. in recent years in response to concerns about the declining national trend in hunter numbers. Such hunts are an opportunity to provide beginning hunters with training and mentoring, helping them develop interest, skills and firearm safety awareness.

"Mentoring is a vital component of the youth hunting program," said DNR Wildlife Chief Rebecca Humphries.

"This special weekend hunt provides mentors the opportunity to teach, share experiences, and help instill in our young people a respect for animals and their habitat."

 

Young hunters, age 12 and 13, are restricted to using archery equipment to participate in the weekend hunt. Hunters age 14 to 16 may use a firearm or archery equipment to take a deer. Both public and private lands are open to the youth firearm season.

 

All young hunters participating in this special hunt must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age. The accompanying adult does not need a deer hunting license and is prohibited from carrying a firearm or bow during the special youth firearm deer season. Hunters may not use bait during this season. All youth hunters are required to wear hunter orange.

 

There's also an electronic form on the State of Michigan home page at http://www.state.mi.us/listserv/subscribe.html


MI – Cox wants tribes to comply by state hunting & fishing rules

Resolution needed before conflict escalates into confrontation or violence

Michigan's attorney general Mike Cox asked a federal judge last week to make several tribes in northern Michigan play by the same hunting and fishing rules as non-Indians -- before someone gets hurt. If the judge agrees, it would end a system that has developed in recent years under which the tribes set their own game and fish regulations on the land and waters in question in the northwestern Lower Peninsula and eastern Upper Peninsula.

 

Cox  told U.S. District Court Judge Richard Enslen in Kalamazoo he wants the tribes to comply with the same rules issued by the state's Natural Resources Commission for non-Indians. A spokesman for Cox said a resolution is needed before conflict between Indian and non-Indian hunters or anglers escalates into confrontation or violence. "There is just way too much confusion," said Cox spokesman Sage Eastman. "How long can we wait . . . before there is an ugly confrontation or mass arrests?"

 

The potential for conflict is greatest when the tribes' bag limits, seasons and rules are more liberal than those set by the state.

An attorney for one of the five tribes covered by the 1836

treaty said the state's action would be "perceived as a direct threat to tribal sovereignty." "The tribes are convinced these rights have survived, and they will vigorously oppose" the state's attempt to quash them, said Traverse City lawyer William Rastetter.

 

The five tribes are the Bay Mills Indian Community, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians and Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.

 

James Ekdahl, a tribal affairs specialist with the Department of Natural Resources, said tension over the issue has been growing. His office receives 20 to 30 reports a year from conservation officers who report actions by tribal members that would be violations of state game laws if committed by non-Indians. Ekdahl said the most potentially explosive conflict comes because of assertions by some tribal members that the treaty gives them access to private as well as public lands.

 

Rastetter, who represents the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa, said at least three of the tribes have renounced rights to private lands, and try to maintain regulations that are consistent with state guidelines. Nor have tribal members used treaty rights to practice commercial hunting or fishing inland and on inland waters, he said.


MI - "Living Farm" to be restored at Maybury State Park

The Michigan DNR announced the successful conclusion of negotiations with the Northville Community Foundation to restore a working farm at Maybury State Park.  

 

The farm was operated by the DNR for nearly 25 years before a February, 2003 fire destroyed the barn and nearly 50 animals. It provided interpretive programs for school groups and families where children could interact with animals and learn about life on a farm in the 1800s.     

 

The DNR will lease the site to the NCF, which will be responsible for restoring and maintaining all farm operations. The lease is for an initial period of 15 years, with additional 15-year renewal options. It also establishes an Advisory Committee to include representatives from DNR, NCF, and other community groups supportive of the Maybury Farm, to obtain valuable input and additional expertise.

 

"In the cooperation between the Northville community and the Department of Natural Resources, the entire state is reminded that the truest definition of community is the ability to join forces for the greater good, even in the face of the gravest circumstances," said Governor Jennifer M. Granholm. "Kudos to Director Cool and the Northville Community Foundation for preserving this gem for our state and our children."

Northville Community Foundation President Shari Peters said the first goal is to raise $1 million.

 

"I am confident that corporations and individuals will step up to the challenge and donate to this great cause.  We hope to have the farm restored to working order in the next two years, depending on donations.  Nearly $45,000 has already been contributed. After the initial fundraising goal is met, the barn will be rebuilt and programs very similar to those previously in place at Maybury Farm will resume," Peters pledged. "We are doing this so that the children can have their farm back as soon as possible."

 

In addition to financial contributions, donations of paint, lumber, tractors, farm equipment, roofing, seed, feed, a windmill, picket fencing, split rail fencing, wheelbarrows,  incubators, gravel, hitches, horse trailers, horse plows, a gravity box wagon, 8-foot wooden tables, sheep, dairy cows, beef cows, calves, sows, an observation hive of bees, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are needed. 

 

The Northville Community Foundation has created the Maybury Farm Fund to accept donations.  It has established an initial goal of raising $1 million, and an overall goal of $3 million.  Donations may be sent to: Northville Community Foundation, 321 N. Center, Suite 130, Northville MI, 48167.

 


Minnesota

Minnesota Fishing Report

September 17, 2003

ALEXANDRIA -

Bass bite is the best and fastest, chain is a good place to start with many fish on the outside weedlines. Catch or troll a crankbait and you'll catch bass or northern pike. Once the fish are located, slow down and throw a plastic worm. Walleye action in 28-35 on Ida and Miltona, jig and minnow or Lindy rigs with minnows or crawlers. Bluegills are still biting for anglers with a few crappies thrown in. The inside and outside edges of the deep weedline, in around 15 of water.

 

ANNANDALE -

Northern and bass off the deep weedline on Clearwater, start in 14-15 feet. Walleye bite best off the weedlines near the south side of the narrows, as well as the bars down the middle of the lake. Sylvia walleyes also hitting, look in 18-20 feet of water with a jig and minnow. Cedar Lake sunfish biting in 10-12 feet out from the public access and the south end flats. Goose hunting has been good in the area. Archery registrations has seen about half a dozen deer so far.

 

BEMIDJI -

Muskie bite is on for most area lakes. The bite has moved from hair to crankbaits and jerkbaits. Bemidji and Cass have been the top two mentioned. Walleye action on Winnibigoshish has been good with catches of good numbers reported off the bars on top in 8 feet of water down the sides to 24. Jigs and minnows has been the top bait with rigs and crawlers second. Jumbo perch bite has been good on both Winni and Bemidji, with perch mixed in with the walleyes. No word on the panfish action, but crappie

minnow sales have been slow.

 

BIG STONE -

Big Stone walleye and perch bite has been good. Mainly down by the Christmas trees on the south end in 10-11 feet of water. The evening walleye bite has been good on crankbaits in 6-7 feet of water around the islands. Some big bluegills are also coming out of 10-11 feet by the Christmas trees. Early goose reports have been good with some hunters filling out. A few archery registrations have come in from the opener on Saturday.

 

BOWSTRING LAKE AREA -

Walleye action continues to be slow but the crappie action is good. They are being caught on the north shore using jigs and a minnow. Northerns continue to bite along the weedlines using spoons and Rapalas.

 

BRAINED LAKE AREA -

The walleyes can be found in 12-32 feet of water this week in the Brainerd Lakes area. This wide depth range has made finding fish a little more difficult. But once the walleyes are located, the good news is that they're biters. River shiners on jigs, redtails, or a creek chub on a Lindy rig continue to be the best choice for daytime walleye fishing. The local shore fishermen are reporting some success in 4-6 feet of water well after dark. Trolling shad raps just off the breakline both early in the morning and just at sunset has also been producing fish. The best walleye options are Round, Gull, Whitefish Chain and Pelican. The bass action remains strong on the shallow water flats. A white spinnerbait, or a Slug-go is an effective way to catch good numbers of these aggressive bass. Good bass action can be found on Upper Mission, North Long and Lower Cullen.

 

CHISAGO CITY -

Panfish going good on area lakes. A few walleyes coming out of Big Green on Lindberg Point. Also North Center Lake near Nelson's Bar. Both areas have produced on leeches (Frankie's is one of the few shops that still has leeches) or a rig or jig and minnows right off the weedlines. Bass action has been awesome, the recent tournament saw 54 pounds come in for 12 fish off Center and Green lakes.

 

CROSS LAKE -

Whitefish and Crosslake are continuing to give up some nice walleye in 14-18 feet. Try Lindy rigs with redtails, river chubs or shiners worked along the outer weedline or drop-offs during the day, and jigs worked shallower during the evening hours. Bass and northern action continues to be good with a lot of action taking place at the weedline. Spinnerbaits and surface baits continue to work for bass. Northerns continue to hit spinner rigs ripped with pike minnows along the drop-offs. Crappies are hitting on small jigs with waxies or small minnows.

 

DETROIT LAKES -

The fall walleye bite has finally started to kick in here in the Detroit Lakes area. Jigs and minnows are the way to go. Pelican, Big Cormorant, Island, Round, Elbow, Big and Little Pine, Lizzie, Big Floyd and Cotton are all starting to kick out decent numbers of fish. Bluegills are going on the deepwater humps along with crappies. The largemouth bass bite continues going strong using tube jigs. Northern pike fishing is also

starting to pick up and muskie fishermen are seeing lots of fish follow their baits to the boats. The bite should only get better as we continue to

cool down the water temperatures.

 

GRAND RAPIDS -

Angling action has improved, Bowstring walleye have been hitting on a jig and minnow in 15-18 feet. The crappies have been shallow, as high up as 3 feet on jig and minnows on the north side of the lake. Pokegama bass have been hitting good off the deep weedline in 12-15 feet of water. Spider also putting out crappies off the weedline in 10 feet of water, jig and minnow or twister tail best. A few bluegill coming out of Gile Lake south of Cohasset. Bass and Graves Lake also producing some fish. Small leeches or waxies best (Don still has a decent supply of hard to get leeches). A few muskies showing up at Moose and Deer lakes, no info on the baits but bucktail sales has been good. No archery deer registrations as of yet. No bear success reports from the weekend.

 

KABETOGAMA-NAMAKAN -

Fall fishing isn't quite here yet with the recent heat wave. Water temps still in the mid 70's on surface. Northern pike are quite active in deeper weed edges and slammin' spoons, spinners and sucker minnows. Smallmouth chasing artificial baits on rock piles and edges down to 18-20 feet. Shiner imitations or crayfish colored lures working the best. Anglers report walleye fishing still slow with an occasional eye coming out of the weeds or on reef edges at 26-30 feet. Sauger action still strong at 12-18 feet with an occasional jumbo perch. Jig and minnow or lindy rig still the most productive baits. Beginning to hear a few success stories on crappies they started moving in until the weather warmed up and that action slowed again.

 

LAKE OF THE WOODS -

Rainy River walleye are still biting, despite drizzling rain and chilly winds. Walleyes are now feeding on natural shiner bait and tullibies. The fish are getting fat, but are still taking the bait. Northwest Angle and the Islands saw lots of fishing action this past week. Cooler temps also reported in the area, with anglers catching limits of eating size walleye. On the South Shore, fishermen also report cooler, fall-like temps. Hot spots include right out in front of the Gap in 28-31 feet of water, with a trolling or jigging bite.

 

LEECH LAKE -

As the weather begins to transition into fall, the fish are moving too. For anglers fishing Leech Lake this means you will find fish in many places. The good news is you will find fish! Walleye anglers can find walleyes on the humps in Walker Bay, main lake points and some of the cabbage beds around  the lake. Most particularly the movement of walleyes to rocky points such as Pine and Stoney indicate the fall transition. Target these points with Northland Fire-Ball jigs tipped with a minnow. The Rattlin Fire-Ball has been a good producer this past week. Drifted or casting jigs has been one of the more successful ways to put fish in the boat. Fish the 7- to 11-foot depths in these areas. Muskie fishermen are catching fish from the rocks of

Pelican Island to the weedbeds of Portage Bay. Walker and Kabekona Bay have been good too during the prime time of twilight. Most anglers choosing to throw topwater baits and/or bucktails. Both lure choices are working. Look for fishing to get better and better over the next few weeks as water temps cool.

 

MAPLE LAKE -

Bluegill action on Ramsey and Clearwater has been good, look in 8-10 feet of water for the larger fish. Walleye bite good on Clearwater once again, best reports near evening on crankbaits. Northern action good on area lakes. Close to a dozen deer registered so far. Goose hunt has been good for hunters that have been going out and doing it.

 

MILLE LACS -

Steady winds and cool evening temperatures have sparked the walleye bite on Mille Lacs - the lake is still receiving relatively little angling pressure compared to past Septembers. Each day (for the past week or so) we bump into someone who just came off the lake and slammed 'em. Most of the bite is geared toward evening and after dark. Leech/jig/slipbobber combos are working well. Some folks are trolling Rogues and Rapalas around the shallow reefs too. We've even seen a few guys casting shallow runners (SSR Raps, ³F² series Raps) into 3 and 4 feet and retrieving them SLOWLY for some of the bigger fish. Whatever you choose to do, stick to 12 feet of water or less around the various rock reefs for the most consistent action. A few of the better reefs include Indian Point, Agate, Doe Island and Rocky Reef. Look to blue, perch, trout and black for your color patterns. Muskie and northern action is still decent too. Report of two guys who pulled a 52-inch, 45-pound, 2-1/2-ounce muskie out of Vineland. Various smaller fish and lots of follows have kept anglers interested all week.

 

NISSWA -

Walleye bite has been good on Gull and Pelican, 24-28 feet of water on Lindy rigs with a redtail or jig and fathead. Try east shore and Squaw Point areas on Gull. South end of Pelican on the humps in 20-22 feet best bet there. Sunfish going on Hubert and Edwards with fish still hanging deeper in 15 feet of water. Cool weather should bring them shallower. Bass action good on area lakes, bigger fish reported in 20-25 feet of water, some accidental catches while trolling for walleyes.

 

RAINY LAKE -

Walleye are still hanging in small pockets around structure, (submerged reefs). Most successful anglers are reporting success at 32-36 feet. The most effective bait has been minnows - medium sized. A colored hook or jig is still being recommended - as is trolling on calm days, and anchoring on windy days. There are a lot of northern pike near walleye dwellings. When you find walleye, don't be surprised if every other fish you catch is a feisty, big northern. For smallmouth bass fishing action it is recommended you use tube jigs or jerk baits, and cast toward rocky, "clean bottom", shorelines. Bass anglers report catching a few hungry northern pike in these areas as well.

 

SAINT CLOUD -

Walleye and panfish reports have slowed. The majority of active walleye have been small. Look to Horseshoe, Cedar Island, Brown's, and Pearl lakes for a few sunfish and crappies.

 

SAINT CROIX -

Lower St. Croix River fishing is difficult for limits of walleye but larger fish are not uncommon. Saugers continue to remain active and compose much of the take; these saugers are good sized as well. Trolled three way rigged crankbaits and spinners with crawlers continue catch fish, snap jigging is also a potent presentation, finger sized sucker minnows slowly livebait rigged is another potent presentation for larger walleye. Best depths are from 20-26 feet. Baitfish marks are not difficult to find on the depthfinder, and the many marks indicate plenty of forage at the present time. White bass are semi active in the day and turning on strong in the last hours of day light near the shore. Smallmouth fishing is still good and 8-foot depths with rock are holding fish. Off set hooked plastic worms are catching smallmouth as well as casted topwater plugs in the early morning, and late evening.

 

STARBUCK -

Fall walleye bite has started, fish coming on jigs and minnows off the points in 12-15 feet of water. Evening bite shallow next to the bulrushes with floating Rapalas. Sunfish bite has been hit or miss, the perch have mixed in with the sunfish in 12-14 feet of water along the north side of the lake off the Starbuck Marina. Deer registrations trickling in. Goose hunting has been slow with the numbers of geese just not there.

 

UPPER RED LAKE -

Crappie action remains slow. Bigger northern pike have been active on spoons and bucktails.

 

LAKE VERMILION AREA -

Time to switch to minnows if you want to catch walleyes on Lake Vermilion. Jigs or spinners in 13-22 feet off of rock piles and shorelines, 18-24 feet on the flats and up to 44 feet in deep holes. Gold spinners and white jigs are the preference with anglers at the present time. Downrigging has also turned on and nice walleyes in 18- to 22-inch class are common. Muskies are becoming active and every rock pile has fish. Many big muskies in the low to middle 50¹s have been reported and bucktails are producing the most fish. Anglers are finding crappies in their fall and winter haunts on small area lakes and nice size fish in the 10- to 12-inch range are reported. Burntside and Snowbank lakes near Ely are producing lake trout with downriggers. The fish are starting to move up on the reefs and finding lake trout suspended around 30-40 feet in about 65-80 feet is the ticket for success.

 

WABASHA -

Walleye bite has slowed somewhat, but the panfish has been hot in the main channel and along the main channel structure, both sunfish and crappies. Bass fishing good off the wingdams. Surface baits have been good as well as a jig and crawler combo. White bass are spotty, but the best baits have been chrome zips or shad raps. Goose hunting has been good with field hunting producing many limits of birds.

 

WACONIA -

Muskie action has been good over the weekend with good results on the outside weed edges on trolled crankbaits or jig and plastics by bass anglers. The bass bite has been good with many big fish reported off the inside weed edges. Cooler temps have moved fish shallower. Sunfish

numbers have been consistent when anglers move along the milfoil edges. Walleye bite is starting to pick up with a good year class of 18- to 20-inch fish reported. Again shallower will be better on trolled crankbaits.

 

WAYZATA -

Walleye anglers catching fish along weedlines on jig and minnow combos. These fish are the "stocker" that the DNR has put into the lake. Larger fish coming off the deeper rocks down to 28 feet. Muskie bite has been steady on bucktails off the points in shallow (6-8 feet) water. Sunfish scattered and catchable but sorting is necessary. Best baits small leeches.

 

WILLMAR -

Try Green Lake for some walleyes in 20-25 feet of water during the day with crankbaits. Green also producing numbers of smallmouth bass. Florida and Andrew have been decent for walleyes in 12-20 feet of water. The panfish bite remains strong on North Long, Norway, and Florida lakes in 10-12 feet of water.

 

C-J Johnson - Outdoor Media Relations

Minnesota Office of Tourism

 

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


MN - Wildfire threat remains high despite recent rain

Most of Minnesota continues to experience a prolonged drought that began in mid-July. Although much needed, the rain that fell over much of the state last week had minimal impact on the potential for wildfires, according to Ron Stoffel, wildfire suppression supervisor at the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center. Most areas need a half to one inch of rain each week to curtail wildfire risk. If rains don't continue, caution will still be needed in outdoor activities until more significant moisture is received.

           

"The rain we got definitely helped, but we need more," Stoffel said. "It is still really dry out there, which means the fire danger could be back at very high to extreme in just a couple days."

 

The Minnesota DNR urges hunters and other recreational users to use caution with any outdoor open flames such as campfires and other heating sources. Stoffel said exhaust systems from vehicles parked on dry grass, and equipment used to harvest crops and trees, can also unintentionally spark a wildfire.

The DNR offers simple steps to help protect homes and property from wildfire:

 

■ mow grass short, especially along roadsides and under evergreen trees where branches reach near the ground

■ remove dead dry leaves and grasses for at least three feet around the house

■ clean leaves and needles from gutters, roof and decks, and also clear leaves and debris from under decks

■ moving firewood piles to a distance of at least 30 feet away from buildings

■ keep house numbers and fire numbers visible from the road.

 

Homeowners can learn more about safeguarding their property against wildfires by visiting the DNR's Firewise Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us/firewise .

 

For the latest info regarding Minnesota fire danger levels:  www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire

 

 


MN - Waterfowl hunters reminded to have license and tags, follow rules

The Minnesota DNR asks hunters to be safe, ethical and responsible when the state's waterfowl season gets underway Saturday, Sept. 27.

           

"The most common violations are not buying a license or not having waterfowl stamps," said DNR Chief Conservation Officer Mike Hamm. He noted that most waterfowl hunting questions can be answered by reading the 2003 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook and the Waterfowl Hunting Regulations Supplement both available where DNR licenses are sold and on-line at www.dnr.state.mn.us .

 

Waterfowl hunters must have a Minnesota Small Game License in their possession while hunting unless they are exempt from a license requirement. A license can be acquired at any of the 1,800 Electronic Licensing System (ELS) agents located throughout Minnesota, by calling the DNR License Center at 888-665-4236, or through Internet licensing on the DNR Web site www.dnr.state.mn.us . Hunters who have lost their license may obtain a duplicate license at any ELS license agent or from the DNR License Center.

 

The daily bag limit is six ducks, and may not include more than four mallards (only two of which may be females), three scaup, two wood ducks, two redheads, and one black duck. The daily limit will also include one pintail and one canvasback during the limited 30-day open seasons for those species. One pintail may be taken during the 30-day open season from Saturday, Sept. 27, through Oct. 26. One canvasback may be taken for the 30-day season from Saturday, Oct. 11, through Sunday, Nov. 9. Possession limits are twice the daily bag limits.

           

Both state and federal stamps are required during waterfowl season. A State Migratory Waterfowl Stamp is required by all resident hunters except those under age 18 or age 65 and over, and all nonresident hunters. Exceptions to the requirement are outlined on page 87 of the 2003 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations handbook. A Federal Migratory Waterfowl Stamp is required for waterfowl hunters aged 16 and older.

Among the restrictions is taking migratory game birds by the aid of baiting or on or over a baited area when a person

knows, or reasonably should know, that the area is or has been baited. A baited area is considered to be baited for 10 days after complete removal of any bait.

 

Baiting includes placing, exposing, depositing, distributing or scattering of salt, grain or other feed that could serve as a lure or attraction for migratory game birds to, on, or over areas where hunters are attempting to take them. It is a separate offense to place or direct placement of bait on or adjacent to an area that causes, induces or allows another to hunt by the aid of bait or over a baited area.

           

"Hunters are responsible for ensuring that an area has not been baited and should verify its legality prior to hunting," Hamm said. The maximum federal baiting penalties for hunting over bait are $15,000 and/or six months in jail, and for placing bait $100,000 and/or one year in jail.

           

It is unlawful to take geese, ducks, mergansers, coots or moorhens with lead shot or while having any lead shot in possession. The only shot that may be used is steel shot, copper-plated, nickel-plated or zinc-plated steel shot, bismuth shot, tungsten-iron shot, tungsten-nickel-iron shot, tungsten-polymer shot, tungsten-matrix shot, or other shot approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

 

Tagging waterfowl is also important. Tagging is required if the birds are being transported by another person for the hunter, or if the birds have been left for cleaning, storage (including temporary storage), shipment or taxidermy services. Hamm noted no person shall give, put or leave any migratory game birds at any place or in the custody of another person unless the birds are tagged by the hunter with the following information:

            ■ hunter's signature

            ■ hunter's address

            ■ total number of birds involved, by species, and

            ■ dates such birds were killed.

           

"Minnesota's abundance of wildlife is no accident. It is the direct product of habitat management and compliance with the law," Hamm said. "When you follow the regulations you are on the trail to a safe, rewarding and successful hunt."

           

To report a violation to a conservation officer, contact the nearest Minnesota State Patrol Office or Turn in Poachers at 800-652-9093.


MN - DNR urges duckboat discretion

Most duck hunters are already packing their gear for the Sept. 27 Minnesota opener. The boat has been repainted, missing decoy anchors replaced and the piquant bouquet of Hoppe's Number 9 wafts up from the basement.

 

"I wonder how many hunters have forgotten to pack their life jackets," mused Tim Smalley, Minnesota DNR boating safety specialist and life-long duck hunter. "Ever since 1988, when life jackets were first required on board duck boats, the lack of flotation devices is one of the most common violations DNR conservation officers find while checking waterfowlers," Smalley added.

 

DNR records indicate that although some hunters still forget to carry life vests, the law is working. In the 15 years since life jackets were first required, seven hunters have drowned in boating accidents.

 

"That's seven too many, but in the bad old days before duck hunters were required to have life vests, sometimes seven hunters would drown in boating accidents in a single season," Smalley noted.             Last year two duck hunters drowned in separate boat accidents. One hunter, who fell out of his boat while placing decoys, wasn't able to stay afloat without a life vest. In the other mishap, three hunters in a 10-foot boat, equipped with a small outboard motor and loaded with gear, capsized in choppy conditions with water temperatures in the high 30s. They all wore life vests, but one died from hypothermia after being immersed in the frigid water for over two hours.

The law requires that there be a readily accessible U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable life vest for every person on board duck boats. For boats 16 feet and longer, there also has to be one Coast Guard approved throwable device (seat cushion) in the boat. Seat cushions are no longer 

approved as primary flotation devices, so everyone aboard needs a wearable personal floatation device of the proper size and type.

           

The most common fatal duck hunting accident is a capsizing or fall overboard from a small overloaded boat. Cold and rough water conditions often figure into the death-dealing mix.

            

"There is an old saying in water safety that you only have a 50-50 chance of being able to swim 50 yards in 50 degree water," Smalley noted. "Just try holding your hand in a bucket of ice water for three minutes. It just about can't be done. Now imagine having your whole body immersed in water that cold."

 

Contrary to common belief, waders and hip boots will not flip a practiced wearer upside down. By bending knees to keep the air trapped in the boots' shins, a hunter can trap enough air to stay afloat long enough to return to the boat.

 

"We have heard from hunters who survived by simply following that simple procedure," Smalley said. "Bodies of drowned duck hunters have been recovered with waders pulled half way down. When the waders are pulled down, all the air trapped inside is released and you have a more difficult time staying afloat."

Another problem with taking off waders in the water is that it requires the hunter to immerse the face and head, which can induce what drowning experts call the torso reflex.

           

"The torso reflex is the automatic gasp for air that happens when your face is suddenly immersed in cold water," Smalley said. "If your mouth and nose are under water when the gasp occurs, drowning is the probable outcome." Smalley advised hunters who have to wear waders in the boat, to practice floating in them in warm, shallow water.


New York

NY - Governor Vetoes Bill That Would Protect Trappers’ Privacy

Gov. George Pataki has vetoed legislation that would allow traps to show identification numbers assigned to a trapper rather than the sportsman’s name and address.  The bill was intended to protect the privacy of trappers in New York by keeping personal information out of anti-hunters’ hands. In the past, these groups have harassed sportsmen and vandalized their personal property. 

 

Senate Bill 1068, sponsored by Sen. James Wright, R-Watertown, would have permitted the Dept of Environmental Conservation to determine what information must be labeled on traps.

 

The governor stated that he is sympathetic towards these concerns, but

the solution to the unlawful behavior of anti-hunting groups is "to vigorously respond to their illegal acts, not to eliminate an important safeguard that allows the public to quickly contact trap operators in case of emergencies."

 

Gov. Pataki believes names and addresses on traps are necessary for prompt identification and contact of trappers in emergency situations.  The governor’s office has expressed the possibility of working with Sen. Wright to improve similar legislation that may be introduced next year.

 


Ohio

OH - Fall clean up Darby Creek Days

It is time once again for our annual fall clean up and participation with Darby Creek Days on Sunday October 5th.

We will have a group from Westland High School as well as the general public participating.

 

We need volunteers to assist with the various phases of the days events including:

Clean Up (morning/early afternoon)

  a.. canoe unloading, launch, recovery and reloading

  b.. debris transfer from canoes to truck to dumpster

Darby Creek Day (early/mid afternoon)

  a.. Public "Hands On" Fly Fishing demonstration

  b.. TOSA Booth- talk to the public 1 on 1 about conservation, fishing, TOSA

If you can help out with a portion (or all day) please let me know. This is always a great time & place to be streamside at the Darby.

 

Thanks,

 

Michael Utt

President

The Ohio Smallmouth Alliance

(937) 592-5360

muttxl@charter.net

 

 

 


Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Fishing and Boating Report

September 17, 2003

The briefs included in these reports are provided by the PFBC's field staff - Waterways Conservation Officers, Area Fisheries Managers and Aquatic Education Specialists - from across the Commonwealth.  As we enter fall, reports will continue to be offered on a weekly basis.   However, reports from the Commission's six regions will now be issued on an alternating, bi-weekly schedule.  Three regions will be covered in each report, with the other three reporting the following week.)

 

Northeast Region

Luzerne County

Anglers at Francis Slocum State Park feel that their lake is turning over right now and fishing is kind of slow, but the regulars are still getting some crappies on small minnows. Most are in the 8" range but a few bigger ones, up to 14", have been caught. Fishing should pick up once the turnover stops and the lake cools down some more.  The park manager reports  that a big walleye washed up on shore last month. An angler supposedly measured it at 41".  Could be a mistake, but also not impossible.  Even a walleye close to that size holds lots of promise for this lake as a walleye hotspot.

 

Monroe County

Some anglers have mistakenly overlooked Mud Run because it takes a little work to access it.  You can get there either from Hickory Run State Park campsite areas along Route 534 or from the gas line trail right off of Route T 903. Trout fishing there is managed under special regulations (artificial lures only), and there is still a great deal of trout present.

 

Hickory Run off of Hickory Run Lake is also an untapped resource for trout fishing because everyone basically fishes the lake.

 

Wayne & Pike Counties

Some luck has been reported by those targeting smallmouth bass in Lake Wallenpaupack using crankbaits.  Mid-level divers fished off of the points and shallow divers (2-6 ft.) around the docks and marinas are making up the bulk of the catch.

 

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION

Cumberland County

As rain continues to fall across central PA on a regular basis, the limestone trout streams of the Cumberland Valley are among the few places that offer consistently clear water.  Check out the Run at Boiling Springs, the Letort, and Big Spring if rain blows all of your other local hotspots out.  Using bait at these second two streams, in the sections where it is permitted, can bring fantastic results when the rains come.

 

York County

The Susquehanna River is currently at a fishable level, and fishing has been good below the York Haven Dam.  Both walleyes and smallmouth bass are being caught with some consistency in the first few miles below the dam.  Watch the forecast carefully in the next few days to determine if your local water will be safe to boat, as heavy rain is in the forecast.

 

Pinchot Lake at Gifford Pinchot State Park has been producing nice sized largemouth bass for those anglers willing to work plastic worms during the mornings and evenings.  Motor oil has been a popular color for these baits.  Smaller bluegill sunfish also continue to bite voraciously for anyone willing to cast in a line at Pinchot Lake.

Perry/Juniata Counties

The Susquehanna and Juniata Rivers have been fishing well, with bait and larger crankbaits bringing in some nice bass in the slightly off-color water.  Keep tuned to the river levels as rain comes soon.  High water can mean danger on our larger rivers, so remember your safety gear if you decide to head near the water. 

 

Holman Lake in Little Buffalo State Park should offer good opportunities for toothy critters, including muskellunge, if our streams and rivers become too high to fish.

 

NORTHWEST REGION

Butler County

Lake Arthur: Yellow perch averaging 8 inches are being caught on worms slow jigging around the riprap of the marina entrance at the mouth of Davis Hollow in 2-3 feet of water.

 

Crawford County

Canadohta Lake:  Anglers are catching some crappies and there are reports of walleye being caught.

 

Conneaut Lake: Boat traffic has slowed significantly here but so has fishing pressure.  This would be a great time to hit the water.

 

Pymatuning Lake: Some fish are being caught from boats, but shore activity has slowed down greatly. This could be in part to the weather we have been having and are expected to get in the next couple of days.

 

Tamarack Lake: Water level normal. Musky catches still being reported. A few bass are being caught. Overall fishing successes improving.

 

Woodcock Creek Lake: Water levels normal. Anglers are starting to catch a few walleye.                                                                

 

Erie County

Lake Erie: Perch fishing is still good, although the schools north of the Walnut Creek Access have moved a bit; 47 feet of water due north of the access has been the hot spot. Walleye fishing has slowed down with few limits being brought in. Off shore steelhead fishing has been good with boaters picking up steelhead trolling close to shore near the mouths of Walnut and Elk Creeks, as well as near the mouth of Trout Run.

 

Venango County

Allegheny River: Good-size walleyes are being caught with some regularity, particularly south of Belmar. Smallmouth fishing is excellent. Concentrate on structure in deeper water to catch the big ones.

Trout streams: Some trout being caught on spinners and live bait in streams around the county.

 

Warren County

 Allegheny River: White bass fishing is excellent in the Kinzua Dam tailrace area. The best bait is night crawlers. Near the city of Warren, fishing has been good for musky and northern pike using large shiners that are native to the area. In the Tidioute area, smallmouth bass and walleye are hitting on natural river baits.

 

Allegheny Reservoir: The fishing for smallmouth, rock, and white bass has been fair using night crawlers. Fishing for walleye in the Pennsylvania portion of the reservoir has been poor.

 

 


PA -  Fish Sampling on the Monongahela and Ohio Rivers

Biologists with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission directed a multi-agency state and federal work force performing fisheries sampling on the Monongahela and Ohio Rivers last week.  Sampling took place in the US Army Corps of Engineers lock chambers on the Monongahela River at Braddock Lock and Dam, Maxwell Lock and Dam,  Grays Landing Lock and Dam, and on the Ohio River at Montgomery Lock and Dam.

 

A fish toxicant was used to collect all fish in the lock chamber to determine total fish species present, their lengths, and their weights. The data will be used to document current conditions and then link them to

 historical sampling data from numerous years collected  back as far as 1968. This work, along with fish sampling by electrofishing in Spring 2003, will be used to document the quantity and quality of the fish populations in the Monongahela River.

 

The sampling work is part of a larger Monongahela River Watershed study.  Agencies involved in the fisheries work will include the PFBC, PA Dept of Environmental Protection, W VA DNR, Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, USEPA, and the USACE.

 

For more info ?PFBC, Fisheries Management Area 8 Office at 814-445-3454, E-mail  rlorson@state.pa.us


PA - Fall Trout Stocking  details released

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will stock 143 bodies of water in 60 counties across the state as part of the 2003 Fall Trout Stocking Program. The Commission will release 110,100 legal-sized trout to provide anglers with expanded fishing opportunities during the autumn months.

 

The stockings will be held during the weeks of September 29, October 6 and October 13.  During that time, the Commission intends to stock 86 river and stream sections as well as 57 lakes. A total of 66,755 rainbow trout make up the biggest portion of the stocked fish, with 31,870 brown trout and 12,475 brook trout rounding out the allotment.

 

The Fall Trout Stocking Program features two different components. Anglers who wish to harvest trout may take advantage of the stream sections or lakes regulated by the Extended Trout Season Rules. The Extended Trout Season, which began September 2 and runs through the

end of February 2004, permits anglers to creel up to three trout of seven inches or greater daily.

 

The second component of the program is the stocking of stream sections managed under Delayed Harvest Regulations. Delayed Harvest allows for year-round fishing. However, no trout may be creeled the day after Labor Day until the following June 15. Anglers should consult the 2003 Summary of Fishing Regulations and Laws issued with each license for a complete list of rules governing Delayed Harvest waters.

 

A complete list of waters included in the PFBC's Fall Stocking Program, can be found on the Commission's web site at http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/Fish_Boat/stockfall.htm

 

Dan Tredinnick

Press Secretary

PA Fish & Boat Commission


PA - Buck-laden population awaits bowhunters

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania's bowhunters are gearing up for an unprecedented opportunity to hunt big bucks when they head afield for the start of Pennsylvania's six-week archery deer season, which begins Saturday, Oct. 4.

 

"It should be a pleasant surprise for many hunters when they see what is out there," noted Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Vern Ross. "But there are more big bucks in the woods than there has been in some time, and it's directly related to the sacrifices hunters made last year with antler restrictions.

 

"Antler restrictions saved more bucks this past season than at any other time in the past 60 years. It's a phenomenal accomplishment, one for which all Pennsylvania hunters should be proud. Buck hunting is just starting to get better, and the best is yet to come."

 

The Game Commission implemented antler restrictions and continues to increase hunting pressure on adult antlerless deer to rectify long-standing imbalances within the state's deer populations and on the habitat that supports them. The effort began in 1999, when Dr. Gary Alt was appointed to supervise the agency's new Deer Management Section, and continues under his guidance today.

 

Alt is pleased with the deer program's progress to date and the continuing support of hunters, but is quick to point out there's still plenty of work ahead to bring the state's deer populations to more manageable levels.

To give landowners the ability to crank up the pressure on excessive local deer populations, the Game Commission implemented a new program called the Deer Management

Assistance Program, which directs additional hunter pressure to properties where landowners would like to reduce the number of antlerless deer in their local population because they are causing property damage. This year, landowners participating in DMAP will provide interested hunters the opportunity to apply for more than 31,000 antlerless deer permits.

 

Combined with a statewide allocation of 973,000 antlerless licenses, the DMAP permits and antlerless deer licenses should stall statewide deer herd growth and direct additional hunting pressure to specific areas where excessive deer populations require thinning.

 

For the second time in the last three years, archers also shot more antlerless deer than antlered bucks - 36,172 antlerless deer to 33,476 antlered deer - and the overall archery season harvest dropped below 70,000 for the first time in four years.  The protection afforded bucks during the 2002-2003 hunting seasons has had a profound effect on what hunters are seeing afield.

 

Bowhunters heading out for the opener should expect to find field conditions that will vary greatly from the drought-impacted conditions they experienced the past two years. The availability and quantity of fall foods will vary from location to location and may cause deer to change the travel patterns they've been using in previous archery deer seasons.

 

Archers also are reminded of regulatory changes in tackle requirements that took effect in 2002. All bows must have a peak draw weight of at least 35 lbs. In addition, broadheads must have an outside diameter of at least 7/8th-inch with no less than two cutting edges in the same plane throughout the length of the cutting surface.


PA - Isabella sworn-in as new Game Commissioner

PHILADELPHIA -- Joined by family and friends, Gregory J. Isabella of Philadelphia was officially sworn-in Sept 10 as a member of the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners by Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Frank T. Brady.  The ceremony took place at the Pennsylvania Masonic Temple.

 

Gov. Edward G. Rendell nominated Isabella to the Board of Game Commissioners on July 1, 2003.  He was confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate on July 28, 2003.

 

A native of Philadelphia, and a hunter for 30 years, Isabella is a co-owner of Firing Line Inc., a military and police

equipment distributor.

 

Isabella is a life member of the National Rifle Association; and a member of the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, Pennsylvania Game and Fish, the Philadelphia Federation of Sportmen's Clubs and the Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania.  He also is a member of Rising Sun Lodge #126, where he served as Worshipful Master.

 

Isabella fills the vacant seat for District 8, which is comprised of: Berks; Bucks; Chester; Delaware; Lehigh; Montgomery; Northampton; Philadelphia; and Schuylkill counties.


Wisconsin

WI - Reactivation of The Apostle Islands Sportfishermen’s Association(A.I.S.A.).

As a result of recent efforts by an interested group of Northern Wisconsin citizens, The Apostle Islands Sportfishermen’s Association , The A.I.S.A.- is being reactivated.  Originally formed in 1980 to serve as the voice of the sportfishermen of the Apostle Islands, the A.I.S.A.’s mission remains the same.  The A.I.S.A. is an organization of men and women who have an interest in maintaining and improving the quality of sport fishing in the Apostle Island/Chequamagon Bay area of Lake Superior and the bays, rivers, and streams which are important to maintaining a quality fishery.

    

It is planned to have speakers on issues that affect sport fishing in this area.  We hope to create a unified voice to speak to the DNR in Madison as well as to our elected officials.  Subjects to be addressed will include the Perch Fishery, Lamprey Control, Control of Exotic Species, net placement, and fish planting/stocking issues among

 

others.

 

Current plans call for development of a Web site and establishment of an E-Mail address in the very near future.

 

If you fish this region of Lake Superior or would like to learn more about fishing these waters please join us.  Meetings are held the Last Tuesday of every month.  This months meeting will be held September 30 at 7:00 pm at the Washburn Public Library Basement meeting room, Washburn, WI. 

 

Memberships can be obtained by mailing $15.00 with name, address and E-mail address to: A.I.S.A.PO Box 794, Ashland WI. 54806

 

For more info:  contact Al House: Alfred.House@aventis.com  or 715-373-2943 or Kurt Nelson at 715-373-0335


 

 

Ontario

ON - Lake Erie anglers fined $3450 for over limit of bass

CAYUGA, ON - Three Ontario anglers have been fined $1150 each for catching 26 bass over their daily limit at Nanticoke in eastern Lake Erie.

 

Samir Mansour, 57, and Farouk Kamel, 66, both of Brantford, and Georges Zakarian, 34, of Downsview, were caught with too many smallmouth bass.  The court ordered their fish, fishing rods, tackle boxes and cooler permanently seized. The three men plead guilty.

 

On July 30, 2003, two Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) Lake Erie Management Unit conservation officers and one MNR Aylmer District conservation officer were watching anglers in Nanticoke harbour, near Port Dover.  They saw the three men catch their limit of six bass each and then hide them in a cooler.  An hour later, the three

men resumed fishing and were subsequently found with another 26 bass in their boat.

 

The catch limit is the number of fish that can be caught and kept in one day. The possession limit is the number of fish you are allowed to have, including fish already at home.  Possession limits are the same as one day's catch limit except where otherwise specified in the ministry's 2003 Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary.

 

Justice of the Peace MacDonald heard the case in Cayuga Provincial Court on September 12, 2003.

 

The public is encouraged to help protect its natural resources by reporting violations to the local Ministry of Natural Resources office or to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).


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