Week of October 4, 2010
|Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues|
|Other Breaking News Items|
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
The 2010-2011 Indiana Hunting & Trapping Guide is now in online format. You can pick up a smaller printed format at your local retailer or download the PDF from the link below. The Indiana Hunting & Trapping Guide is a summary of Indiana hunting regulations. It is designed as a service to hunters and is not intended to be a complete digest of all hunting and trapping regulations. Most regulations are subject to change by administrative rule.
Washington, DC - Seventy-eight members of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus (CSC) signed a letter delivered September 23 to Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the U.S. EPA, urging the agency to dismiss the petition to ban the use of lead in fishing products.
The CSC members state in the letter, "There are 60 million recreational anglers in America that contribute $125 billion to our economy annually, and penalizing these men, women and children that are the best stewards of our environment, as well as the financial backbone to fish and wildlife conservation in our country, would be a terrible and unnecessary injustice."
The CSC letter comes on the heels of a similar letter to Administrator Jackson requesting dismissal of the petition, sent on September 15, from the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) and its partner members of the American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP) and sportfishing communities.
"This issue is about protecting America's 60 million
recreational anglers, and this attempt to ban lead based fishing tackle could potentially drive up cost and serve as a disincentive for Americans to fish," said CSF President Jeff Crane.
The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), representing the 50 state fish and wildlife agencies, also sent a letter the EPA on September 2nd urging them to dismiss the petition.
State fish and wildlife agencies are authorized to manage most of a state's fish and wildlife, and therefore, closely monitor and address any local concerns about lead based fishing tackle and any potential impacts on local species. A federal ban on lead fishing tackle is not only unnecessary, but intrudes upon these traditional state agencies jurisdiction.
No scientific basis has been established to warrant any such ban on traditional fishing equipment. A similar proposal to ban lead fishing tackle was dismissed by the EPA in the mid-1990s because there was insufficient data to support such a ban at that time.
Help Fight Unreasonable Bans on Fishing Tackle
Send a letter to your Senators urging them to support S. 3850
On Wednesday, September 28, Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) introduced S.3850, which seeks to prevent an overarching federal ban on lead in recreational fishing tackle. If enacted, this ban will have a significant economic impact on anglers and the recreational fishing industry.
How You Can Help
To ensure support for this crucial legislation, please contact your Senators urging them to co-sponsor Senator Lincoln’s bill. Please click here to contact your Senators.
On August 23, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was petitioned by the Center for Biological Diversity and four other organizations to ban all lead in fishing tackle and ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). On August 27, the EPA denied the petition for ammunition because it is exempted from EPA regulation under TSCA, but has not acted on the petition to ban lead in fishing tackle. If accepted as presented, this would result in a ban on all lead in all fishing tackle, including sinkers, jigs, weighted fly line, and components that contain lead such as brass and ballast in a wide variety of lures, including spinner baits, stick baits and more.
A less restrictive ban was proposed in 1992, but the EPA later abandoned it after finding that there was no significant impact of lead on waterbird populations; that the economic impact would be significant; and that the proposed rule was socially unacceptable. This issue keeps being raised but the facts do not change. A national ban on fishing tackle is unwarranted.
Senator Lincoln introduced legislation that will help to ensure that future regulations on fishing tackle are established based on scientific data instead of unjustified petitions. This bill will amend TSCA so that fishing tackle will be exempt from EPA regulations, the same as ammunition used in hunting and the shooting sports.
The reasons to support this legislation are:
Please click here to be directed to a letter that you can send to your Senators asking them to support S.3850.
The complex network of predators and prey that inhabit Lake Michigan has changed so drastically in recent decades that future trends for the food web are murky, according to scientists at the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (GLERL), the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research (CILER), and other academic partners. These trends are documented in a special issue of the Journal of Great Lakes Research.
The changes in this network, a system that biologists call the food web, pose an uncertain future for both water quality and fisheries management. Several of their studies show that these trends are driven by non-native mussels that invaded Lake Michigan beginning in the late 1980s. The studies are online now and coming out in print this month.
Muskegon Lake Field Station of NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab
“We do not know what the future holds,” said Gary Fahnenstiel, Ph.D., of GLERL, located in Ann Arbor. “We need to continue monitoring mussel populations, particularly in the cold, offshore regions of the lake, in order to develop realistic and sustainable management goals.”
Among the research findings:
►A paper by GLERL researchers Thomas Nalepa, Steven Pothoven and David Fanslow compares trends of zebra and quagga mussel populations from the 1990s through 2008.
Zebra mussels reached a peak in the early 2000s and then declined. Quagga mussels were first found in the southern portion of Lake Michigan in 2001 and have continued to increase ever since.
►In another study, GLERL researchers found that the spring diatom bloom has declined 87 percent since 1983 in the southeastern portion of Lake Michigan. Diatoms are a calorie-rich phytoplankton group that serves as an important food resource for many invertebrates in the lake. Researchers attributed the steep decline to invasive mussels that consume this phytoplankton as they filter water. GLERL researchers Henry Vanderploeg, Fahnenstiel, Pothoven and Nalepa worked with David Klarer of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Don Scavia of CILER at the University of Michigan on this study.
►Researchers calculated the rates at which quagga mussels consume phytoplankton at different depths. They conclude that the 2003-2004 expansion of quagga mussels into deeper water explains the disappearance of the spring phytoplankton bloom. GLERL researchers James Liebig, Vanderploeg, Fahnenstiel, Nalepa and Pothoven conducted this study.
►A study by Pothoven, Fahnenstiel and Vanderploeg measured declines of up to 81 percent in the abundance of a tiny freshwater shrimp. The scientists noted that the observed decrease in the shrimp population size could be influenced by declining phytoplankton populations that reduce the shrimp’s food supply. They also noted that fish may be grazing on shrimp at higher rates due to declining zooplankton, which are typically a staple of the fish diet.
The future of the Lake Michigan ecosystem will ultimately depend on the eventual stabilization of the invasive quagga mussel population. These mussels are rapidly expanding into deeper colder waters, but are expected to decline and reach a stable level in the future.
“The Lake Michigan analyses, carefully documented in this special issue, should make people sit up and take notice, once the ecosystem impacts of the invasive mussels are seen together in this comprehensive sense,” said Marie Colton, Ph.D., director of GLERL.
With much unknown about how quickly and how far the mussels will expand their range, the scientists say they need to continue long-term monitoring and research efforts, coupled with active involvement of resource managers to develop appropriate management actions.
CHICAGO – The Coast Guard has announced temporary waterway restrictions for vessel traffic on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal Oct. 4-11, with the possible need for additional temporary restrictions Oct. 13-15.
These vessel traffic restrictions are necessary to facilitate the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ work on an electrical barrier, which is designed to prevent the passage of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. The temporary restrictions on Oct. 13-15 are only necessary if the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is unable to complete all work planned during Oct. 4-11.
These temporary restrictions to vessel traffic will allow the Army Corps of Engineers to safely install underwater structures designed to limit the spread of electric current in the waterway from the Army Corps' Barrier IIB. During these times, electric barriers I and IIA will continue to operate.
To support these actions, the U.S. Coast Guard will activate a
safety zone on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. Vessel traffic will not be permitted to transit through the zone during periods of work. However, every effort will be made to allow vessels to transit when work is no longer taking place.
WHERE: Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in the vicinity of Barrier IIB, from mile 296.1 (450 feet south of the Romeo Road Bridge) to mile 296.7 (0.51 miles northeast of Romeo Road Bridge).
WHEN: From 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on each of the following days: Oct. 4-11 and Oct. 13-15.
Questions regarding the waterway closure can be directed to U.S. Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan at 414-747-7182 or to U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago at 630-986-2155. Questions on the construction project can be directed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at 312-846-5330.
The Great Lakes basin started the week with cool temperatures which rose briefly in the middle of the week. Temperatures will continue dropping for the rest of the week with Saturday's low temperatures reaching down into the 30's in many areas. Some locations of the basin received rain on Tuesday and Wednesday, and most of the basin will have chances of scattered showers through Saturday. The start of next week should be mostly sunny with temperatures slowly rising back to near seasonal averages.
Lake Level Conditions
Each of the Great Lakes continues to be below its level of a year ago. Currently, the lakes range from 2 to 7 inches below last year's levels. Over the next 30 days, Lake Superior is expected to remain at its current level, while Lake Michigan-Huron is forecasted to decline 3 inches. It is predicted that Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario will decline 7, 4, and 5 inches, respectively, during the next month. See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.
Forecasted October Outflows/Channel Conditions
The outflows from Lake Superior into the St. Mary's River, from Lake Huron into the St. Clair River, and from Lake St. Clair into the Detroit River are expected to be below average in October.
The Niagara River's flow from Lake Erie is also predicted to be below average, and the flow in the St. Lawrence River is forecasted to be near average throughout October.
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.
Facilities offer open houses, tours to watch egg collection
STURGEON BAY, Wis. -- Lake Michigan trout and salmon soon will start their spawning runs, offering "eggscellent" opportunities to see state fish crews collect the fish eggs needed to produce the next generation of salmonids to test anglers on the big pond.
The eggs are collected at three facilities open to the public whenever Department of Natural Resources staff are processing fish, and two of the facilities along Lake Michigan have open houses set for Saturday, Oct. 9, for demonstrations, fishing skills instruction, and other fun.
The C.D. “Buzz” Besadny Anadromous Fisheries Facility located along the Kewaunee River in Kewaunee County offers food, fish and fun at their annual open house, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. with guided tours of the facility at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The Root River Steelhead Facility located along the Root River in Racine, also holds its event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will include guided tours of the facility, hands-on demonstrations of fish spawning procedures by fisheries staff, fishing rod casting lessons, knot tying, and fly-tying.
The third egg collection facility, Strawberry Creek Weir outside Sturgeon Bay, does not have an open house per se but all three facilities are open to the public during times when DNR crews are processing fish. Frequent heavy rains over the summer and into fall have Mike Baumgartner, who supervises the Kewaunee facility, looking for good runs of fish.
"I would expect an above-average return just for the fact we've had more water this year than we probably had in the last 10 years, especially leading in to the run," Baumgartner says.
The pumps that supplement river water flows into the facilities are expected to be turned on Oct. 1 for the Strawberry Creek facility, Oct. 4 at the Root River facility, and Oct. 5 or 6 at the Kewaunee facility.
The fall egg collection marks the start of DNR's propagation
process. The eggs will be hatched at DNR hatcheries and
raised there until they are stocked into Lake Michigan, at about 4-months old for chinook, and at 1 1/2 years for coho, steelhead and brown trout. The different species are stocked according to the stage in their lifecycle at which naturally reproducing fish would normally leave the tributaries to live in Lake Michigan. That stage is much earlier for chinook.
The vast majority of fish populations in Wisconsin are naturally self-sustaining, but Lake Michigan chinook and coho salmon and steelhead trout (all three fact sheets in PDF format) are not. These Pacific coast fish are not native to Wisconsin, but were stocked starting in the late 1960s to control alewives, an exotic species whose populations were exploding because sea lampreys had killed off their main predators.
Wisconsin's tributaries to Lake Michigan lack the clear, cold, well-oxygenated streams needed for successful reproduction by chinook, coho and steelhead. As a result, the egg collection and stocking program is critical to keeping the salmon as a predator and sport fish.
"Great fishing on Lake Michigan starts here," says John Komassa, supervisor of the Root River facility.
Chinook and coho make their spawning runs in the fall, with chinook first. Different steelhead strains run at different times -- some in the spring and some starting in the mid-summer and running well into the fall -- and the Seeforellen strain of brown trout run from October through December.
The fish start congregating in the mouths of the tributary rivers in fall, with the decreasing amounts of daylight and dropping temperatures triggering the fish to start their runs, Komassa says. Rain increasing the water flow is also an important factor in starting the run.
Strawberry Creek is the state’s primary collection facility for chinook eggs, with the C.D. Besadny facility on the Kewaunee River and the Root River Steelhead Facility near Racine providing backup. Those facilities are the leading sites for collecting Coho, steelhead and Seeforellen brown trout eggs.
to be stocked in Milwaukee River
day operation of the facility. Without their involvement we would not have any fish to stock.”
A streamside rearing facility is basically a mini-hatchery. Water is drawn from the Milwaukee River, pumped into sand filters and then into an 8-by-20-foot trailer. In this trailer are four fish raceways capable of holding a total of 1,000 lake sturgeon when full. Prior to 2006, stockings in the Milwaukee River were from lake sturgeon raised at the Wild Rose Fish Hatchery.
“The primary benefit of using a streamside rearing facility for lake sturgeon is that they will be raised on a native water source throughout their entire early life. This will maximize their ability to imprint to this water source and greatly improve the odds that, at maturity, the sturgeon will return to the Milwaukee River to spawn, which is the ultimate goal.”
The Milwaukee River sturgeon stocking project is funded through a cooperative effort among agencies and public partners. Wisconsin DNR, the Great Lakes Fishery Trust and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife provide the majority of the funding.
Lake sturgeon can grow to 200 pounds and live 100 years. Female sturgeon don’t start spawning until they are 20 to 25 years old, and males start at about 15 years old.
Getting to adulthood will be a challenge for the sturgeon, Eggold said. DNR surveys of the river reveal good habitat for young fish, overwintering and spawning areas, but the lake sturgeon must first survive these initial months, and then subsequent years of eluding predators and finding sufficient food.
Even then, as the survivors begin their spawning runs, they’ll still encounter some obstacles: namely, remaining dams on the Milwaukee River. Eggold hopes DNR can work with dam owners in coming years so they operate the dams or remove or change the structures to allow the fish to migrate.
Road fill was placed in wetlands and on lakebed, and 336' pier built without a permit
RHINELANDER – Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that the Wisconsin Department of Justice has been granted a default judgment concluding its lawsuit against Zbigniew and Dorota Kretowicz, Illinois residents who violated Wisconsin's waterway and wetland protection laws at their Oneida County property.
According to the complaint filed at the request of the Department of Natural Resources, Mr. and Mrs. Kretowicz purchased land on Neptune Lake that they knew could not be accessed by the easement recorded to serve it because the easement crossed wetland and lakebed. DNR advised Kretowiczes to acquire an upland easement, but they did not. Town of Monico resident Rudy Pederson placed approximately 80 yards of gravel fill in the wetland to create a 16 by 200-foot road for the Kretowiczes.
Kretowiczes then constructed a cabin and a 4 by 336 foot pier
crossing the wetland and vegetated lakebed to reach the lake
from their building site. The pier extends 40 feet into Neptune Lake, and ends with a 18 by 32 foot platform in the lake. Since Neptune Lake is classified as an Area of Special Natural Resource Interest, an individual permit is required for piers. A permit was also required for the wetland and lakebed fill. No permits were sought or obtained.
After the DNR learned of the violations, Mr. Pederson cooperated by promptly removing the roadway fill. The Kretowiczes, on the other hand, failed to work with DNR or the Department of Justice, and they failed to respond when the lawsuit was filed.
Oneida County Circuit Court Judge Mark A. Mangerson found that the State's request for $25,425 in forfeitures was reasonable and proportional to the violations. Mandatory court costs and surcharges bring the total judgment to $34,959.75. Judge Mangerson also ordered Kretowiczes to either obtain a permit for their pier and platform within 30 days, or remove the structures within 60 days.
Other Breaking News Items
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Try small changes in fishing flap
SAULT STE. MARIE -- Andrew Gale has caught a lot of fish in a lot of places, including a 200-pound striped marlin off Mexico that he fought for 4 hours in tropical heat. After 4 hours of catching and releasing 60 pink salmon on a fly rod in the St. Marys River rapids, the Naperville, Ill., angler said, "This is almost as tiring.
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