Week of September 24, 2012

National

Regional

Lake Michigan

Michigan

New York
Pennsylvania
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National

Coast Guard requires dockside exam on commercial fishing vessels

If operating more than 3 nautical miles offshore, required after Oct. 16

 CLEVELAND -- The 9th Coast Guard District announced Sept 21that a commercial fishing vessel safety exam will be required for all commercial fishing vessels operating beyond three nautical miles offshore.  The dockside exam - which has been administered for more than a decade on a voluntary basis - will be required after Oct. 16. It affects commercial fishing vessels nationwide.

 

The examination is free of charge and covers regulatory topics including: lifesaving equipment, communications, firefighting and various other operational readiness measures. Vessels that pass the exam are awarded a decal noting compliance with applicable regulations, which remains valid for up to two years. Currently, no fines are assessed if discrepancies are noted when a vessel receives a voluntary dockside safety exam. However, after Oct. 16, a vessel found operating beyond three nautical miles offshore without a valid decal may be subject to enforcement action.

 

"Fortunately, many commercial fishermen have sought to receive the Coast Guard exams on a voluntary basis," said Lt. Michael Collet, the 9th Coast Guard District's commercial fishing vessel coordinator."Maintaining compliance with these regulations will help improve safety throughout the

U.S. fishing community, which statistically, has been one of the most

dangerous occupations in the country."

 

Recently, Coast Guard Headquarters released a letter to the commercial fishing industry to explain the dockside safety exam requirements.  The notification letter and other helpful information are available at www.FishSafe.info.

 

Contact a commercial fishing vessel examiner at one of the following Coast Guard units to schedule a complimentary dockside exam:

 Cleveland

216-937-0127

Detroit

313-568-9505

Toledo, OH

419-418-6030

Sault Ste Marie, MI

906-635-3341

Duluth, MN

218-720-5286, ext. 109

 Milwaukee

414-474-7127

Chicago

630-986-2131

 Sturgeon Bay         

920-743-9448

Grand Haven, MI

616-850-2583

 

The safety examination requirement is one of several mandates established by the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010.  Existing fishing industry vessel safety regulations may be found in 46 CFR, Part 28.

 

Any questions or concerns can be directed to Lt. Michael Collet, 9th Coast Guard District commercial fishing vessel coordinator, at 216-902-6051 or Michael.J.Collet@uscg.mil.


A Dam Success: National Fish Passage Program Helps Restore Streams

Benefits people and local economies

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and community partners across the nation worked together to remove or bypass 158 dams, culverts and other structures in 2011, opening more than 2,180 miles of streams to native fish populations. These efforts, coordinated through the National Fish Passage Program, have also contributed to improved water quality, provided additional recreational and economic opportunities, and even addressed serious threats to human health and safety. 

 

“The National Fish Passage Program serves as a vital catalyst for grass-roots community action that not only benefits native species and habitat, but also contributes to local economies and addresses aging and sometimes dangerous infrastructure,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “Everyone wins when rivers and streams are allowed to flow freely again – that’s why this program is so popular and successful.” 

Documenting these successful efforts, the Service released its 2011 Annual Report for the National Fish Passage program this week. The report, which can be viewed at http://www.fws.gov/fisheries/facilities/nfpp.html, provides dozens of stories and examples of projects completed in the past year that have provided tremendous benefits to fish, wildlife and local communities. 

 

The National Fish Passage Program, administered by the Service, is a voluntary initiative active in all 50 states. The non-regulatory program addresses barriers that limit fish movement vital for their survival. Fish passage is gained by removing dams, replacing poorly designed culverts, constructing low-water crossings, and installing fishways. These projects are done in close cooperation with state and federal agencies, non-government organizations, universities and supporting individuals. Program staff identifies, prioritizes, funds, designs and reviews these conservation projects, while working closely with a wide variety of programs and partners to provide technical support to local communities. 

 

Since the program’s creation in 1999, the Service and more than 700 project partners have removed 1,118 barriers to fish passage, reopening 17,683 stream miles to access by more than 90 native species of fish and freshwater mussels and reconnecting nearly 120,000 acres of wetlands to their historic water sources. In turn, these projects have contributed an estimated $9.7 billion to local economies and supported nearly 220,000 jobs. 

 

From the earliest days of the American colonies, people have sought to

harness streams and redirect them to provide valuable services such as irrigation, power production, drinking water, flood control and transportation. As a result, millions of culverts, dikes, water diversions,

 

dams, and other artificial barriers have been constructed to impound and redirect water flowing through every river system and watershed in the nation. While many of these structures continue to serve a purpose, thousands of them are obsolete, abandoned or deteriorating. 

 

An estimated 74,000 dams alone dot the American landscape, thousands of which are small dams built decades ago that no longer serve a purpose. These structures impede the passage of native fish and destroy spawning habitat, as well as degrading water quality by preventing stream flow that flushes sediment and pollutants out of river systems. They also reduce fishing and other river-based recreational and economic opportunities for people. And in some cases, aging dams threaten downstream communities should they fail, or otherwise endanger human life and safety by creating dangerous drowning conditions. 

 

For example, the town of Front Royal, Virginia worked with National Fish Passage Program staff to remove an abandoned low head dam on the Shenandoah River that was the site of multiple drownings. This “drowning machine,” as it was called locally, was removed in October, 2011, enabling residents and visitors to enjoy fishing, canoeing and swimming on a safer river. 

 

And in the Klamath Basin of Northern California, the Service worked with the Karuk Tribe, the Forest Service and local watershed and salmon restoration councils to restore fish passage on ten miles of the Klamath River. Completed in 2011, the project identified and addressed 48 barriers to fish passage in this stretch of the river. And by using tribal youth to do much of the work, it provided summer jobs to dozens of young men and women and introduced them to potential careers in fisheries science. 

 

“As this project and many others like it demonstrate, the National Fish Passage Program is also an avenue for young adults to develop skills and confidence that will help them throughout life, whether they pursue a career in conservation or not,” said Director Ashe. “We are very grateful to the Service employees, partners and communities who have done so much to make the Program a monumental success for both people and wildlife.” 

For more information on the National Fish Passage Program and its accomplishments, or for how to apply for funding and technical assistance, visit http://www.fws.gov/fisheries/facilities/nfpp.html


Hunter and Angler Numbers Up

Expenditures Rival Some of America's Biggest Companies

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A coalition of hunting and angling groups and the outdoor industry briefed members of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus yesterday on the rise in hunting and fishing participation in this country. The groups, led by the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Cabela's, Safari Club International, American Sportfishing Association and National Marine Manufacturers Association, used recently released data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (Service) 2011 National Survey on Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation to compare hunting and fishing participation and expenditures to mainstream industries.

 

"To put it in perspective, the 37 million sportsmen and women over the age of 16 in America is the same as the population of the state of California, and the $90 billion they spent in 2011 is the same as the global sales of Apple's iPad™ and iPhone™ in the same year," commented Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation. "Hunting and fishing have been, and clearly continue to be, important elements of our country's outdoor heritage and they are critically important to our nation's economy - particularly the small local economies that support quality hunting and fishing opportunities."

 

The participation and economic data, released in August by the Service shows a 9 percent increase in hunters and an 11 percent increase in anglers compared to the 2006 survey. The important thing to note is that these numbers are just accounting for sportsmen and women age 16 and older so actual participation is likely higher when adding in youth. Most notable, however, is that hunters and anglers continued their strong spending habits. From equipment expenditures ($8.2 billion for hunters, $6.2 billion for anglers) to special equipment ($25 billion towards boats, RVs, ATVs and other such vehicles) to trip-related expenses totaling over $32 billion, sportsmen and women continue to direct their discretionary income toward their outdoor pursuits.

 

"Our industry has continued to have strong returns, even during this lagging economy, and the reason is the commitment of hunters and shooters to their outdoor activities," said Steve Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. "With National Hunting and Fishing Day taking place on Sept. 22, this new information should make the millions going afield this fall proud."

 

"The economic impact of hunting and fishing is profound in South Dakota

and across the country," noted Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), Republican

Senate Co-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, at the briefing. "It's important that we have policies that promote hunting and fishing and support the outdoor industries."

 

"People don't think about hunting and fishing in terms of economic growth," stated Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Democratic Senate Co-Chair of the CSC, to the participants. "The statistics in the new economic impact report are great and will go a long way to telling the public just how important hunting and fishing are in this country."

 

"One of the statistics I learned today is that the $6 billion that hunters spent in 2011 on guns, ammunition and archery equipment is comparable to the sales of bicycles in the United States. This is particularly important because most of those gun and ammunition companies are based right here in this country meaning sportsmen's dollars support American jobs and American workers," said Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio), Republican House Vice-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus.

 

"In today's world, we are talking about economics and jobs -- those are the main drivers in most policy discussions. It is so important to see how strong the sportsmen's community is and what they are doing to support the American economy so they have a voice in those discussions," commented Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Republican Senate Vice Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus.

 

Beyond the impact to businesses and local economies, sportsmen and women have played an essential and unmatched role in conserving fish and wildlife and their habitats. Sportsmen and women are the nation's most ardent conservationists, putting money toward state fish and wildlife management. When you combine license and stamp fees, excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment, the tax from small engine fuel and membership contributions to conservation organizations, hunters and anglers directed $3 billion towards on-the-ground conservation and restoration efforts in 2011 -- that is over $95 every second. This does not include their own habitat acquisition and restoration work for lands owned or leased for the purpose of hunting and fishing, which would add another $11 billion to the mix.

 

The comparisons released during Wednesday's congressional briefing are the beginning of what will include more detailed economic and participation data and comparisons to more industries. A full report that will include state-by-state information will be released in late November.


Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 coming up for a vote

Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 ultimately was ruled non-germane to the Farm Bill and was not included. Fortunately, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), along with eight co-sponsors, has introduced the bill as a standalone bill, with a vote expected before the current session ends next week.

Individual bills of particular importance to the sportfishing community in the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 include:

Making Public Lands Public Act – Increases access for angling, hunting and recreational shooting on federal lands by directing 1.5 percent of the Land and Water Conservation Fund to ensure access to fishing, hunting and other recreational activities.

The Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act – Blocks ongoing attempts to federally ban lead in recreational fishing equipment

and ammunition by amending the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Billfish Conservation Act – Conserves declining billfish populations by prohibiting the commercial sale and importation of billfish throughout the U.S., with exceptions for Hawaii and the Pacific Insular Area islands to preserve traditional fishing practices.

National Fish Habitat Conservation Act – Authorizes the National Fish Habitat Partnership, the most comprehensive effort ever attempted to conserve, restore and enhance fish habitat on a range-wide scale.

Artificial Reefs in the Gulf of Mexico – Requires the Department of the Interior to coordinate federal and state efforts in order to maintain idle drilling platforms as valuable artificial fish reefs.

 


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Sept 21, 2012 

WEATHER CONDITIONS

The Great Lakes basin experienced some heavy precipitation this past week, with all of the lakes recording near a half inch of precipitation over the last several days. Temperatures have begun to cool off in the Great Lakes basin this past week. Showers and thunderstorms are possible this weekend, especially in the Superior and Erie basins which are forecasted to receive over an inch of precipitation in some areas. Temperatures are expected to remain cooler than average over the next several days.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

The water level of Lake Superior is 1 inch lower than the level of one year ago, while Lake Michigan-Huron is 10 inches lower than its level of a year ago. Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 12, 13, and 8 inches, respectively, lower than their levels of a year ago. Over the next month, Lake Superior is forecasted to drop 2 inches from its current level, while Lake Michigan-Huron is expected to fall 3 inches. The water levels of Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are forecasted to fall 4, 5, and 3 inches, respectively, over the next thirty days. See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.

FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS

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

also expected to be below average throughout the month of September. Lake Erie's outflow through the Niagara River and the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River are predicted to be below average in September.

ALERTS

Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron are below chart datum. 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 21

601.0

576.9

573.3

570.7

244.4

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

-1

-7

+12

+18

+13

Diff last month

-3

-4

-4

-3

-5

Diff from last yr

-1

-10

-12

-13

-8


Lake Michigan

Special Report - MI DNR to reduce Chinook stocking 67% in Lake Michigan  

The Michigan DNR announced on Monday, September 24, 2012 that following more than a year of deliberations with constituents, scientists and fishery managers, it agrees with an inter-jurisdictional recommendation by the Lake Michigan Committee to reduce Chinook salmon stocking by 50 % lake-wide.

Under the lake-wide plan, the 3.3 million Chinook salmon annually stocked in total in Lake Michigan by the four states would be reduced to 1.7 million starting in 2013.  Because of the significant natural reproduction occurring in Michigan, the Michigan DNR will shoulder the majority of the stocking reduction, reducing stocking by 1.13 million spring fingerlings, or 67 % of the 1.69 million chinook salmon recently stocked by the state. Wisconsin will reduce by 440,000; Indiana will reduce by 25,000; and Illinois will reduce by 20,000.


A key factor to Lake Michigan’s current and potentially precarious ecosystem balance is an increasing presence of wild Chinook salmon in Lake Michigan. Streams in Michigan continue to produce significant numbers of naturally reproduced Chinook salmon and lake-wide estimates show more than half of the lake’s Chinook population is of wild origin.  

This marks the third time in recent history that stocking in Lake Michigan has been reduced by the agencies. Previous decisions to reduce stocking

in 1999 and 2006 resulted in maintaining and improving catch rates.
Fisheries managers believe this is because natural reproduction continues to fill any available predatory space.

 

The decision to reduce stocking is part of an adaptive management strategy that includes a feedback loop that will monitor certain indicators in the lake – such as Chinook salmon growth. If conditions improve or get worse, stocking will be increased or decreased accordingly, and more quickly.

“This will give the DNR more flexibility to adaptively manage the lake,” said Jay Wesley, Southern Lake Michigan Unit manager. “Traditionally, we have made changes in stocking and waited five years to evaluate it, and another two years to implement changes. Now we have the ability, through a defined and accepted process, to make changes as they are needed.”

The DNR’s Fisheries Division will discuss with constituents this fall how each stocking location will be affected by the stocking reductions. Future site-specific stocking levels will be based on natural reproduction, net pen partnerships, broodstock needs and hatchery logistics. Every existing stocking location should expect a reduction.   

For more info go to the Michigan Sea Grant web site on the reduction plan. 


Michigan

DNR to reduce Chinook stocking 67% in Lake Michigan  

The Michigan DNR announced on Monday, September 24, 2012 that following more than a year of deliberations with constituents, scientists and fishery managers, it agrees with an inter-jurisdictional recommendation by the Lake Michigan Committee to reduce Chinook salmon stocking by 50 % lake-wide.

Under the lake-wide plan, the 3.3 million Chinook salmon annually stocked in total in Lake Michigan by the four states would be reduced to 1.7 million starting in 2013.  Because of the significant natural reproduction occurring in Michigan, the Michigan DNR will shoulder the majority of the stocking reduction, reducing stocking by 1.13 million spring fingerlings, or 67 % of the 1.69 million chinook salmon recently stocked by the state. Wisconsin will reduce by 440,000; Indiana will reduce by 25,000; and Illinois will reduce by 20,000.


A key factor to Lake Michigan’s current and potentially precarious ecosystem balance is an increasing presence of wild Chinook salmon in Lake Michigan. Streams in Michigan continue to produce significant numbers of naturally reproduced Chinook salmon and lake-wide estimates show more than half of the lake’s Chinook population is of wild origin.  

This marks the third time in recent history that stocking in Lake Michigan has been reduced by the agencies. Previous decisions to reduce stocking in 1999 and 2006 resulted in maintaining and improving catch rates.
 

Fisheries managers believe this is because natural reproduction continues to fill any available predatory space.

 

The decision to reduce stocking is part of an adaptive management strategy that includes a feedback loop that will monitor certain indicators in the lake – such as Chinook salmon growth. If conditions improve or get worse, stocking will be increased or decreased accordingly, and more quickly.

“This will give the DNR more flexibility to adaptively manage the lake,” said Jay Wesley, Southern Lake Michigan Unit manager. “Traditionally, we have made changes in stocking and waited five years to evaluate it, and another two years to implement changes. Now we have the ability, through a defined and accepted process, to make changes as they are needed.”

The DNR’s Fisheries Division will discuss with constituents this fall how each stocking location will be affected by the stocking reductions. Future site-specific stocking levels will be based on natural reproduction, net pen partnerships, broodstock needs and hatchery logistics. Every existing stocking location should expect a reduction.   

For more info go to the Michigan Sea Grant web site on the reduction plan. 


DNR Recommends changes for Muskie & Northern Pike

Michigan DNR announced details for proposed changes to statewide muskellunge and northern pike fishing regulations. Regulation changes were developed after public survey results showed anglers were open to new regulations designed to improve fishing opportunities for northern pike and muskellunge.

Fisheries Division staff conducted an internal review of current regulations starting in 2007 and after that solicited broad public input regarding potential changes via separate online and telephone surveys. More than 1,900 responses were received from the public. The proposed changes to current regulations were developed and based upon survey responses and discussions with the Fisheries Division's Warmwater Resources Steering Committee.

Statewide muskellunge regulations are proposed to remain as they currently are except the possession limit would be changed to allow anglers to keep only one muskellunge per season instead of one per day. Muskellunge anglers would also be required to obtain a free harvest tag, similar to a lake sturgeon tag, from any license dealer and would be required to affix it to the muskellunge they intend to keep.

The statewide northern pike regulations proposal reflects angler responses to manage and provide for more diverse fishing opportunities compared to muskellunge. The existing regulation, a 24-inch minimum size limit and possession of no more than two per day, would remain on a majority of Michigan's lakes. The existing regulation of no minimum size limit and a bag limit of five fish per day would be adjusted slightly for lakes with stunted pike populations. The proposal would allow for anglers to still keep five fish per day on selected waters, but only one fish could be 24 inches or longer.

Fisheries Division also proposes to eliminate the existing 30-inch northern pike minimum size limit, which has been in place since 2002, on a handful of lakes. Instead a 24- to 34-inch protected slot limit (PSL) is recommended, which means anglers would be required to release any fish measuring from 24 to 34 inches. The PSL would be used on a limited number of lakes across the state.

Fisheries Division is recommending adjusting northern pike regulations for a handful of lakes, based on their current population structures.

 

Proposals for the 2013 fishing season, which would go into effect April 1, include:

Waters changing from 24" minimum size to No Minimum Size Limit:
Nawakwa Lake (Alger County)
Trout (Carp) Lake (Chippewa County)
Eight Point Lake (Clare County)
Lyman Lake (Delta County)
Millecoquins Lake (Mackinac County)
South Manistique Lake (Mackinac County)
Bass (East) Lake (Marquette County)
Shag (Big) Lake (Marquette County)
Pug Lakes (Montmorency County)
Diamond Lake (Osceola County)
Ocqueoc Lake (Presque Isle County)
Tomahawk Flooding (Presque Isle County)


Waters changing from 30" minimum Size to 24" Minimum Size Limit
Fish Lake (Barry County)
Porter Lake (Iron County)
Cable Lake (Iron County)
Gratiot Lake (Keweenaw County)
Fish Lake (Marquette County)
Grassy Lake (Schoolcraft County)
McKeever Lake (Schoolcraft County)
Big Bass Lake (Schoolcraft County)


Waters changing from no Minimum Size to 24 - 34" Protected Slot Limit
Pine Creek Flooding (Allegan County)
Bass Lake (Kent County)


Waters changing from 24" Minimum Size to 24 - 34" Protected Slot Limit
Long Lake (Kalamazoo County, Pavilion Township)
Blind Sucker Flooding (Luce County)
Bodi Lake (Luce County)
Townline Lake (Montcalm County)


The final decision regarding the proposed northern pike and muskellunge regulations will be announced at the Oct. 11 Natural Resources Commission meeting in Ontonagon, MI.

For additional information on how these recommendations were developed, including full data from the public surveys, please read the Northern Pike Fishing Regulations Statewide Opinion Survey Review and Muskellunge Fishing Regulations Statewide Opinion Survey Review available at www.michigan.gov/fishing.


New York

DEC takes measures to control disease outbreak at Rome fish hatchery

A portion of the fish being reared at New York’s Rome State Fish Hatchery have been suffering from a severe outbreak of furunculosis, a bacterial fish disease, for the past several months, the state DEC announced September 13. In an effort to eliminate the disease from the hatchery, 131,000 brown trout and brook trout were destroyed earlier this week.

 

Fish health concerns at the hatchery began in November of 2011, when large numbers of brown trout fry succumbed to a number of diseases. The loss left DEC facing a shortage of brown trout that would be stocked in the spring of 2013 as catchable-size yearlings. Neighboring states were contacted to see if surplus fish were available to help alleviate DEC’s shortage, and 175,000 fingerling brown trout were imported from the State of Virginia to the Rome Hatchery in the spring of 2012. These fish had been tested before being brought into the hatchery and were determined to be disease-free.

 

Furunculosis was first diagnosed at the Rome Hatchery in late June 2012, when samples from the Virginia brown trout tested positive. Within a month, the furunculosis infection was severe and had spread to Adirondack and mixed-strain brook trout – both known to be susceptible to this disease. It is not known if the disease came in with the Virginia fish or had some other origin. The disease, combined with a number of secondary infections, led to high mortality despite repeated therapeutic treatments. Most of the Virginia brown trout did not survive, and by early September only 47,000 remained. Heavy mortality was also seen in brook

trout, which numbered 84,000 by early September. These brook trout were intended for stocking this fall in the Adirondacks, constituting almost 25 percent of DEC normal stocking into Adirondack lakes and ponds.

 

In early September, hatchery personnel removed heavily infected lots of fish from the Rome Hatchery. Brook trout intended for fall stocking would not be able to be stocked in accordance with sound management practice and DEC regulations. Given their disease status and the long-term best interest of the state’s hatchery program, it was decided to eradicate the disease from the hatchery as soon as possible. Targeted lots included the Adirondack and mixed-strain brook trout and the Virginia brown trout – roughly 131,000 fish in total. The fish were humanely destroyed using carbon dioxide on September 10 and September 11.

 

A hatchery mitigation plan has been drafted outlining measures to be taken to clean up the hatchery, including restrictions on transfers of fish in and out of Rome Hatchery, biosecurity measures, and a testing plan to determine if and when remaining lots are free of infection.

 

Due to pre-existing shortages and the furunculosis outbreak, it is expected that 224 lakes and ponds in the Adirondacks will be stocked with brook trout – 102 less than originally planned. Many of the ponds not stocked will still have holdover fish from previous years’ stockings and continue to provide excellent angling. There will also be fewer brown trout yearlings to stock in the spring of 2013 than usual, but final inventories will not be conducted until early next year.


Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania FBC Slates Public Meeting on Musky Fisheries

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) will host an evening meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 2, in Allegheny County to preview its draft Muskellunge Fisheries Management Plan and receive comments from the public. The meeting will be held on Oct. 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Rose Barn facility in North Park, located on Pearce Mill Road in Allison Park.

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) will host an evening meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 2, in Allegheny County to preview its draft Muskellunge Fisheries Management Plan and receive comments from the public.

The meeting will be held on Oct. 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Rose Barn facility in North Park, located on Pearce Mill Road in Allison Park. The meeting is free and the public is encouraged to attend and share their comments with PFBC staff.

"The plan focuses on recent management changes made to enhance muskellunge and tiger muskellunge fishing," said Dave Miko, chief of the PFBC Division of Fisheries Management. "Biologists will also discuss changes that are being proposed, including increasing the length of muskellunge which are stocked and eliminating stocking at some of the less popular waters."

 

Following the staff's presentation, the public will have an opportunity to provide comments. Interested individuals can register online to provide comments at this link. During the meeting, individuals who have signed up online will have the opportunity to provide comments first.

The draft fisheries management plan will be available on September 20 on the PFBC website at www.fishandboat.com/musky-plan.htm. If someone cannot attend the meeting, written comments can be submitted online.

 


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

 

New flash points added in Ohio's battle to keep Asian carp out of Erie
While the barge canal near Chicago is widely viewed as the area most likely to be breached in the war being waged to stop the movement of Asian carp toward the Great Lakes, other potential flash points have been identified.

 

Fast, Furious and Foolish

What was the Justice Department thinking in steering guns into Mexico?  The recklessness of federal officials in their harebrained scheme to assist in illegal gunrunning to Mexican drug cartels was laid bare in a scathing report by the Justice Department’s inspector general.

 

Fish hunters use pitchforks, water skis to hunt asian carp
Eric Young cruised the Illinois River hunting the high-jumping Asian carp, while armed with a pitchfork and wearing a protective football helmet.

 

Where are all the carp?
Wildlife agencies have yet to find an Asian carp in the Sandusky Bay or Sandusky River, leaving how the invasive fishes genetic material got there a mystery.

 

New buoy offers real-time Lake Michigan data in Indiana
Boaters and beach-goers visiting the Indiana shoreline of Lake Michigan now can learn current conditions such as water temperature, wind speeds and other information provided by a new environmental sensing buoy.

 

Climate change may supersize lamprey
The life-sucking sea lamprey may grow bigger in size and numbers in Lake Superior because of global warming.

EDITORIAL: Attack Lake Erie's problems to save the rest
As the shallowest of the five lakes, Lake Erie is often considered the bellwether for problems that eventually affect the rest.

 

Should_we_bring_the_rapids_back to Grand Rapids

Should we bring the rapids back to Grand Rapids? Should we remove the downtown dams and put back the shoals and boulders our forefathers removed so the Grand River can once again flow naturally?  It’s a $27.5 million question. The answer depends on who you ask.

 

Betsie River fishing closure raises more questions than answers
A portion of Michigan’s lower Betsie River and the eastern end of Betsie Bay will be closed to fishing from Oct. 10 until further notice to protect the fall salmon run. Are these salmon being protected from low water levels, or fishermen using illegal techniques such as snagging?

 

No high-risk Great Lakes Asian carp paths
A study of 18 canals, ditches and other waterways that could link the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds found none were likely pathways to the lakes for Asian carp, federal officials said Friday.

Asian Carp & the Great Lakes: Investing in carp (Part 5)
As the nation’s civic leaders search for a permanent solution to keep invasive Asian carp from spreading, other parts of the country are betting on the carp’s future.

 

High phosphorus levels are changing the face of Lake Erie fishing
Lake Erie's phosphorus overload over the last decade is changing Lake Erie into a eutrophic lake that is more favorable to those species of fish we usually catch and throw back.

 

 

 

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.

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