Week of October 15, 2012

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes
Misc New Fishing-Boating Products
National

Regional

Illinois
Michigan
Minnesota
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Wisconsin
Other Breaking News Items

 

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Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

Billfish Conservation Act Becomes Law

The Billfish Conservation Act has been enacted into law, effectively banning the importation of all billfish into the continental U.S... Although there are no commercial fisheries targeting billfish in the US, the US has been the largest importer of billfish in the world, importing about 30,000 billfish annually.

 

With the largest buyer out of the market, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), who championed the bill, will now turn their attention to the international challenges facing these imperiled species. And with populations of three species of marlin having declined by more than 50%, their efforts come not a moment too soon.

 

The legislation prohibits the importation of all billfish (marlin, sailfish and

spearfish) in the United States, while still allowing for traditional fisheries within the State of Hawaii and the Pacific Insular Area. Swordfish are not included in the prohibition. Marlin, sailfish and spearfish, collectively called billfish, are some of the world’s most majestic marine fish. They are apex predators that play a critical role in maintaining healthy ocean ecosystems. Billfish are also highly esteemed by recreational anglers the world over, and catch-and-release fisheries for these species support many marine jobs and generate billions of dollars to the U.S. economy.

 

Unfortunately, the world’s billfish stocks are seriously imperiled from non-U.S. commercial fishing. Billfish are primarily caught as by-catch in commercial tuna and swordfish fisheries, but the by-catch is harvested and sold internationally, with the United States serving as the world’s largest importer of billfish.


Misc New Fishing-Boating Products

Triton Boats extends Aluminum Production Line
Premier Boat builder offers 7 new aluminum boats

MURFREESBORO, TN – Fishing Holdings, LLC dba
Triton Boats, a leading manufacturer of fiberglass and aluminum fishing boats, announces that it will soon begin manufacturing two new series of aluminum boats. The newest line of X Series and Utility Series aluminum boats will be manufactured in a new state of the art dedicated facility located in Flippin, Ark.
 
Triton’s Aluminum facility includes existing manufacturing space as well as office and administrative areas. The company will invest $2.5 million to transition and expand the facility and plans to create more than 50 new jobs over the next several months.
 
Known for quality and performance, Triton’s dedication to develop an extended aluminum lineup is a reflection of continued commitment to its loyal and diverse customers. Triton is continuing to build on the tradition and heritage of a company that produces quality from top to bottom. The  
 

newest members of an already successful fiberglass line up are tailored to fit every need for pursuing both angling and hunting.
 

The new aluminum boat line will initially include three Triton X Series models and four Triton Utility Series models designed to reach a wide variety of anglers and hunters with a broader line of Aluminum models to follow.  Triton Aluminum boats are scheduled to begin production during the fourth quarter of 2012.
  
www.tritonboats.com


 About Fishing Holdings
Fishing Holdings, headquartered in Flippin, AR, is owned by an affiliate of Platinum Equity.  Fishing Holdings is a premier manufacturer of fiberglass fishing boats, including the legendary Ranger, Stratos and Triton brands.  More details, product info and specific offerings can be found by visiting www.rangerboats.com,  www.stratosboats.com  and www.tritonboats.com


Problem with Mustang Inflatable PFDS

The Coast Guard has become aware of certain Mustang Survival Inflatable PFDs with Hammar MA1 hydrostatic (HIT) inflation systems which may not inflate and require a new re-arm kit to properly inflate by manual or automatic activation. This safety alert identifies which products are affected. Certain inflatable PDFs may be subject to delayed or non-inflations.

 

To determine if you are impacted please follow the instructions below.

 

USCG Approval Mustang Product

N/A                         MA7214 HIT inflatable re-arm kit

N/A                         MA7218 HIT inflatable re-arm kit for LIFT

160.076/8611/0   MD0450 Inflatable Vest PFD with LIFT

160.076/5204/0   MD0451 Inflatable Vest PFD with LIFT (no harness)

160.076/5201/0   MD3183 Deluxe Inflatable PFD with HIT

160.076/8608/0   MD3184 Deluxe Inflatable PFD with HIT (with harness)

160.076/5300/0   MD3188 Inflatable Work Vest/PFD with HIT

160.053/116/0     MD3188 Inflatable Work Vest/PFD with HIT

 

If you have a re-arm kit MA7214 or MA7218 you need only to check the lot number on the CO2 cylinder label. If your CO2 cylinder is marked with lot numbers 404121 or 404122 please contact Mustang Survival’s customer service group at 1-800-526-0532.

If you have a PFD listed above refer to the sewn-in approval label to determine if it was “Made in Canada” and the “MFG DATE” is April or May 2012. If so, you will need to check the lot numbers of the CO2 cylinder. The CO2 cylinder lot number is visible through the yellow bladder fabric. Manually unpack your PFD by opening the zippers and unfolding your PFD. Find the CO2 cylinder that is attached to the round inflator within the yellow bladder. Press the yellow bladder fabric against the cylinder to read the label to view the lot number through the fabric. If your CO2 cylinder is marked with lot numbers 404121 or 404122, please contact Mustang Survival’s customer service group for instructions and to arrange for a replacement inflator assembly.

 

All other CO2 cylinder lot numbers are satisfactory. Repack your PFD so it is ready for use per the instruction manual. Mustang Survival Customer Service Group: 1-800-526-0532 Additional information is available at www.mustangsurvival.com/HIT. Please note the following photographs.

  


National

Salazar approves massive Wyoming wind farm project

Landmark project would scar federal BLM lands, wildlife

CHEYENNE, WY. (AP) - Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Tuesday authorized what he described as potentially the largest wind energy project in the United States, if not the world: A Wyoming wind farm with up to 1,000 turbines that would provide electricity to some 1 million homes.

 

Roadwork and groundwork could begin next year for the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project. After that, turbines could go up over a three-year period within an area covering 350 square miles of the hilly sagebrush country south of Rawlins in south-central Wyoming.

 

Most of that area is among the 245 million acres nationwide overseen by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management — hence Salazar's role. Salazar highlighted the project as an example of President Barack Obama's "all of the above" strategy for renewable energy development and fossil fuel extraction onBLM and other public lands.

 

"Our strategy is getting us within grasp of energy independence in the United States," Salazar said.

 

The project is one of seven renewable energy projects Interior announced in August that it would expedite for review. Others include the 100-megawatt Quartzsite concentrating solar energy plant in Arizona, the 750-megawatt McCoy photovoltaic project in California, and the 350-megawatt Silver State South solar energy generation plant in Nevada.

 

"These are going to be landmarks in America. They are going to be what people think about when they think about the American West. And they are going to completely change the way that we think about energy production," said Neil Kornze, acting deputy director of the BLM.

The Chokecherry/Sierra Madre wind project is owned by the Power Company of Wyoming LLC, a wholly owned affiliate of Denver billionaire

Phil Anschutz's The Anschutz Corp.  The project is expected to generate up to 3,000 megawatts when completed, bringing to 10,000 megawatts the amount of public-land renewable power that the Interior Department has authorized under Obama, Salazar said. That's enough energy to power more than 3 million homes.

 

Salazar signed a record of decision for the plan and spoke at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne. The school offers technical training for jobs in wind power, and Salazar's audience in a cavernous wind energy lab included about 40 students. The project will create an estimated 1,000 construction jobs at its peak and 114 new, permanent operations and maintenance jobs, according to the BLM.

 

"One reason to be here is to celebrate jobs that are coming from wind energy throughout the United States. We know there are tens of thousands of jobs now being created by wind energy," Salazar said.  Salazar's signature means the BLM now can begin site-specific environmental analysis to help plot specific layout of the project's turbines, roads and power lines.

 

Roadwork at the site could begin in 2013, followed by installation of some turbines in 2014, said Bill Miller, president and chief executive of Power Company of Wyoming.  The project "won't be 1,000 at once" but more like 300 to 400 wind turbines installed each year over a three-year period, he said.  "We can accelerate that to some degree, or we could slow it up to some degree, depending on what the requirements are at any given point," Miller said.

 

Remaining permits still needed include one from the state Industrial Siting Council. The council reviews plans for major industrial projects proposed in Wyoming.


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Oct 12, 2012

WEATHER CONDITIONS

During the past week temperatures were well below their seasonal averages and precipitation was held to a minimum across the entire Great Lakes basin. The lack of precipitation so far this month continues the trend of below average precipitation for the Great Lakes basin. Across the entire basin, weekend temperatures can be expected to rebound to near their seasonal averages or above.  However, the warmer weather will be ushered in by a fairly strong low pressure system with a strong possibility of soaking rainfall especially across the Lake Superior basin.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

The water level of Lake Superior is 3 inches lower than the level of one year ago, while Lake Michigan-Huron is 14 inches lower than its level of a year ago.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 17, 19, and 12 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 3, 4, and 3 inches, respectively, over the next thirty days. 

FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior's outflow through the St. Marys River is projected to be below average for the month of October.  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 October. 

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 October.

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 Oct 12

600.8

576.5

572.7

570.2

243.9

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

-4

-12

+5

+12

+7

Diff last month

-4

-7

-8

-6

-7

Diff from last yr

-3

-14

-17

-19

-12


Illinois

Critics take aim at Cook County bullet tax

Won’t stop violence, will punish law-abiding residents

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle recently announced plans to penalize, through taxation, the sale of guns and ammunition sold in the City of Chicago and its suburbs.   This penalty is set to be proposed to the Cook County Board of Commissioners next week. Proposals such as this are frequently sold to the public as a way to reduce crime and increase tax revenue. However, this is nothing more than a politically motivated stunt to impose a punitive tax on a targeted group of law-abiding citizens who seek to exercise a constitutionally guaranteed right.  This proposed plan would subject purchases of any firearm or ammunition to an additional tax above and beyond the rate at which other goods and services in this area are taxed. 

 

Preckwinkle also seemed unclear on state law governing the purchase of bullets. She told reporters that "ammunition sales are not regulated, which means even ammunition used in illegal gun activity can be purchased legally." In fact, an Illinois firearm owners identification card is required for ammunition purchases.

 

There is no evidence to suggest those who would pay this tax are misusing firearms and causing violence in Cook County.  This penalty would only negatively affect law-abiding gun owners, and in this time of economic trouble would severely harm legitimate business owners inside Cook County as people look to avoid the penalties by purchasing guns and ammunition elsewhere.

 

Law-abiding gun owners in Cook County are already subjected to inequitable measures restricting their Second Amendment rights.   And now, with this so-called “violence tax,” a highly specific subset of Illinois citizens will be forced to foot the bill for the actions of violent Chicago gang members and criminals.

 

These sorts of measures constitute an attack on the wallets of those law-abiding citizens who are not the cause of this problem, while failing to address the real causes of Chicago’s escalating levels of violence.

 

There is no evidence to suggest that targeting law-abiding gun owners will solve Cook County’s crime problems.   In fact, the evidence points to the just the opposite, as a link exists between less restrictive firearm laws and lower crime rates — especially violent crime.  The percentage of the United States population in states that champion Second Amendment rights has increased, while the murder rate in this country has decreased dramatically - falling by more than half since 1991.  If Cook County were to adopt laws that target criminals instead of law-abiding citizens, the area may soon see a similar decrease in crime.

 

The intent and consequence of this measure will be to drive up the price of guns and ammunition, thereby burdening law-abiding gun owners and impeding their fundamental right to self-defense.  The 2013 spending plan that will contain this tax is set to be announced next week.

 


Crews again intensify monitoring in Chicago Area Waterway System
eDNA Results shows three consecutive eDNA rounds of positive results

CHICAGO- The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) on October 9th announced intensive monitoring action will begin in the North Shore Channel of the Chicago River on Tuesday, October 16th, after three consecutive rounds of Environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling yielded positive results for Asian carp DNA in the North Shore Channel.

 

IL DNR Aquatic Nuisance species coordinator Vic Santucci advised members of the Barrier Safety committee on October 10 that the response group will implement scheduled plans for intensive monitoring. Those plans call for a Level 1 response after three consecutive rounds of positive eDNA results in one area.  Three separate eDNA samples sets were taken at the North Shore Channel between June 11th and September 11th, revealing 17 positives for silver carp DNA out of 171 samples.

 

Biologists from the Illinois DNR, USFWS and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be on the water with contracted commercial fishermen beginning Tuesday October 16th through Friday, October 19th. The crews will lay various net types throughout the North Shore Channel and in channel areas of the Chicago River. Agency electrofishing boats will sample fish in shoreline areas and will be used to drive fish towards the nets. Gears will be attended at all times and commercial and private

vessel traffic will be able to proceed with minimal interference. A notice to

mariners will be broadcast by the U.S. Coast Guard to further inform any water traffic during this effort, and daily updates will be posted on the ACRCC website http://asiancarp.us .

 

As an extra precaution, the ACRCC also will conduct intensive monitoring in a six-mile stretch of the Chicago River beginning near the Chicago lock, after one set of samples tested positive for eDNA in that area. While the North Shore Channel is regularly monitored for the presence of Asian carp, the level 1 response intensifies efforts with additional commercial fishing crews, agency electrofishing boats, and additional deep water sampling gear during an intensive four-day fishing period.

 

“While the science still does not tell us whether eDNA is from a live fish, a dead fish, or another source, finding three consecutive sets of positive samples triggers us to use significant resources to determine whether any Asian carp are present,” said John Goss, Asian Carp Director at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “This is part of the ACRCC’s comprehensive Asian carp control strategy that includes continuing aggressive monitoring to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes, developing cutting edge control technologies, and refining the use of eDNA.”

 

"The Army Corps are conducting studies on the variability of eDNA seeking to determine what the bottom line source is" responded Santucci to a query by the GLSFC.


Michigan

DNR collecting salmon and trout eggs this fall

Michigan DNR is gathering the necessary eggs for the continued production of hatchery fish to support Michigan’s world-class fisheries. Fall egg takes are under way for wild Chinook and Coho salmon and for captive broodstocks of brown, rainbow, brook and lake trout.

Chinook salmon eggs were collected at the Little Manistee River Weir through Oct.10. Coho salmon eggs will be collected at the Platte River State Fish Hatchery Weir Oct. 15-23.

“From these wild egg sources, we expect to collect nearly 4.4 million Chinook salmon eggs and nearly 5.5 million coho salmon eggs,” said Gary Whelan, DNR fish production manager. “The number of Chinook salmon eggs is 3.4 million less than last year as a result of Lake Michigan stocking reductions.”

Michigan contributes to the collaborative efforts of neighboring states to support the Great Lakes fishery. Of the Chinook salmon eggs collected, 3 million will be used in Michigan while 600,000 will go to Indiana and 850,000 to Wisconsin. Of the coho salmon eggs collected, 2.8 million will be used in Michigan while 1.2 million will go to Indiana, 850,000 to Illinois and 600,000 to Wisconsin.

Captive broodstock egg takes for brook and lake trout are in progress until
 

mid-November at the Marquette State Fish Hatchery. Similarly at the
Oden State Fish Hatchery, egg takes for brown trout have just started and will continue until mid-November. That will be followed by rainbow trout starting in late December and continuing to early February, also at Oden. All of the captive egg takes occur on an approximately biweekly schedule.

 

Captive broodstocks will provide 250,000 brook trout eggs, 300,000 lake trout eggs, 1.8 million brown trout eggs and 1 million rainbow trout eggs. An additional 650,000 splake eggs (brook trout and lake trout hybrid) will also be collected to support Michigan’s fisheries management objectives.

The public is welcome to observe the egg takes. It is best to call ahead to get the final egg take schedule and to ensure the collection efforts will occur. Scheduling information is available for each egg take and can be obtained by contacting each facility directly:

  • Little Manistee Weir – 231-775-9727, ext. 6072 

  • Platte River State Fish Hatchery Weir – 231-325-4611

  • Marquette State Fish Hatchery – 906-249-1611  

  • Oden State Fish Hatchery – 231-347-4689 

To learn more about fish production efforts in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/hatcheries; for general fishing information, visit www.michigan.gov/fishing.


New regulation allows for spearfishing on Houghton Lake 

The Michigan DNR says new spearing regulations that will result in new fishing opportunities on Houghton Lake in Roscommon County. A nearly 75-year-old prohibition on spearing in Houghton Lake has been removed and crossbows have been added to the list of acceptable spearing gear. The changes became immediately effective on Oct. 11, 2012, when DNR Director Keith Creagh signed Fisheries Order 219, Spearing Regulations – Statewide. 

 

The Houghton Lake spearing prohibition was listed in statute and Fisheries Order 219 mimics statute. The recent passage of Public Act

301 on Sept. 27 removed the spearing ban on Houghton Lake, which had
been in effect since 1940. In July a bill was signed authorizing the DNR to regulate the use of crossbows for fishing. These two new provisions will take immediate effect.

 

Although Fisheries Order 219 may be reviewed and amended on an annual basis, a review of this order will occur no later than Aug. 1, 2016. The order may be found on the DNR website on the Fish Orders page.

For more information on spearfishing in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/fishing.


DNR shooting ranges help hunters of all ages prep for season

With more young hunters heading into the field this fall, in this first year of Michigan’s Mentored Youth Hunting program, how can parents and other mentors best prepare them for a safe and successful hunt?  Look no further than one of the Michigan DNR shooting ranges – always a great place for hunters of all ages to practice shooting or sight in their firearms. The DNR encourages families to visit its shooting ranges before taking young hunters afield.

 

The DNR recently offered Demonstration Days for mentored youth hunters at three of its shooting ranges (Pontiac Lake, Sharonville and Rose Lake), helping mentors ensure that youth hunters are properly fitted with firearms, as required by the mentored youth hunting regulations. The Demo Days events gave young hunters the chance to try a variety of firearms (rifles, shotguns and muzzleloaders), get fitted with help from gun experts and conservation officers, and try out the DNR’s hunting simulator.

 

Each young hunter got a free T-shirt for attending, and a chance for a free hat if they come back to the range to practice shooting. The project was supported by the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Range Partnership Grant Program.

 

“If youth are properly fitted with a firearm, then they will have a more successful experience during their first mentored hunt, and they’ll be more likely to continue hunting,” said Dennis Fox, DNR Recruitment and Retention manager. “The Demo Days were one way to help pass Michigan’s hunting tradition on to the next generation.”

 

The events also helped introduce participants to the DNR’s ranges as safe, affordable places for families to shoot.

 

“I think the event went really well. Kids and parents had lots of fun, and there were definitely a lot of excited faces,” said Alex Koptyev, a DNR shooting range officer who attended the Demo Days events at the Rose Lake and Sharonville ranges. “We’ve had several kids come back so far to get their hats and sight in their guns.”

 

Koptyev added that staffers are seeing an increase in kids and families shooting at the DNR ranges.  There are definitely a lot more families that enjoy a range outing and make it a family event,” he said. “Also, there is an increase in women’s participation in shooting – we see a lot more women come out and enjoy shooting as a sport and a lot more come out and sight in their guns for the deer season.”

 

Recent improvements at all four of the DNR staff-operated shooting ranges – aimed at making the ranges more user-friendly – have also helped bring more visitors out to shoot.

 

The Rose Lake shooting range in Clinton County now has a new handgun range featuring five covered, accessible stations where visitors can shoot at 10 yards.

 

In Oakland County, the Pontiac Lake range has added four stations where visitors can shoot their handguns at 10-yard targets and a 5-foot-wide crushed-limestone path to the target boards, which complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

 

The pavilion at Jackson County’s Sharonville shooting range is available for hunter education courses and as shelter for shooters and their families when the weather gets cold. The staff at Sharonville has temporarily removed the four 10-yd handgun stations to accommodate shooter

demands for the sight-in season, but the 10-yd range will return for handgun enthusiasts in January 2013.

 

A construction project at the Ortonville shooting range in Lapeer County, completed in early September, added more shooting stations to the range – the 25-yard range now sits four shooters, and both the 50-yard range and the 100-yard range can hold six shooters. The facility also has added a berm and concrete to allow for a 10-yard pistol range that accommodates four shooters and a new 200-yard range allowing for six shooters at a time, as well as all-new, ADA-compliant shooting benches along with new ADA-compliant paths to each of the target structures.

“The improvements to the Ortonville shooting range have brought out a lot of new faces to the facility,” said Charlie Brauer, DNR shooting range officer. “The general reaction by all has been more than positive. They like the 10- and 200-yard ranges, the overall look of the place, and the fact that we are a bigger facility offering less wait time.”

 

Support for shooting range renovations comes from a combination of sources, including the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, federal Pittman-Robertson Act funds and state restricted funds (shooting range program income).

“With the ongoing upgrades, our ranges are great destinations for Michigan shooters,” Fox said. “Some of them are a little out of the way, and we sometimes hear local residents say they didn’t know the range was so close, so we encourage hunters and shooters to stop by and check out the facilities.”

As firearm deer hunting season approaches, the DNR ranges expand their hours of operation to accommodate hunters. In October, the ranges are open six days a week, Wednesday through Monday; Nov. 1-15, they are open seven days a week.

In addition to the rifle/pistol and handgun facilities, the four DNR-staffed shooting ranges offer opportunities for archery practice – including a 3-D archery range at Ortonville – and for clay target shooting. They also have accessible shooting stations.

There is a fee of $4 per shooter, age 16 and older, per day at the Ortonville and Pontiac Lake ranges; guests under the age of 15 shoot free. There is no fee at the Rose Lake and Sharonville ranges.

A Recreation Passport is required for entry at the Ortonville and Pontiac Lake shooting ranges, which are located inside state recreation areas. Shooters under the age of 16 must be directly supervised by an adult. Shooters are responsible for providing their own eye and ear protection, ammunition and targets.

The DNR also contracts with Michigan Shooting Centers, Inc. (MSC, www.mishoot.com) to operate and maintain the Island Lake (Brighton) and Bald Mountain (Lake Orion) shooting ranges. MSC owner Pat Lieske, who competed in the World Sporting Clays Championship in August and finished in second place overall for the silver medal, offers shooting instruction at the ranges.

“If parents are looking for opportunities for their kids, or themselves, to learn how to shoot, Pat Lieske is one of the best trainers in the United States,” Fox said.

To learn more about DNR or other shooting ranges, or the shooting sports, visit www.michigan.gov/shootingranges


Minnesota

New winter walleye regulations for Upper Red Lake
Anglers who fish Upper Red Lake this winter will be able to keep walleye from a wider slot limit than in previous years, according to the Minnesota DNR.

The DNR is in the process of changing regulations so a 20- to 26-inch protected slot limit will remain throughout the 2012-2013 winter walleye season. The daily bag and possession limit also would remain at four fish with only one fish allowed longer than 26 inches.

“This is a significant change from previous winter seasons when the protected slot limit would revert back to 17-26 inches on Dec. 1,” said Gary Barnard, Bemidji area fisheries supervisor.

This regulation change was prompted by annual harvest estimates below the target harvest range during the past two years. DNR discussions with the Upper Red Lake Citizen Advisory Committee last March, and again in September, confirmed that current open water regulations have been popular and effective.

For the past four years, the protected slot limit on Upper Red Lake has

been 17- to 26-inches from the May walleye opener through June 14, when catch rates are high and spawning stock most vulnerable. Since 2009, there has been a mid-season slot limit adjustment to 20-26 from June 15 through Nov. 30. At its September meeting, the Advisory Committee unanimously agreed to recommend that the open water regulations remain the same and to focus on winter regulation changes to encourage additional harvest.

 

The proposed regulation change is expected to increase harvest to within the yearly target harvest range of 84,000-168,000 pounds. Increased harvest projections are based on several factors including the probability that more fish will be vulnerable to harvest, an increase in the average size of fish harvested, and the likelihood of additional angling pressure.

Walleye abundance on Upper Red Lake remains high, with new record gill net catch rates experienced in the 2012 assessment. Spawning stock also remains high, indicating excellent production of young walleye in recent years. Additional harvest of walleye from 17 to 20 inches may be beneficial to maintaining good growth rates and improving the proportion of larger fish in the population.

 


School is out, youth deer hunting season is in
Youth ages 10-15 are eligible to participate in a special deer season that runs from Thursday, Oct. 18, to Sunday, Oct. 21, in 28 permit areas of southeastern and northwestern Minnesota, plus the 601 area of the metro area, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“School is out in many communities during this long weekend,” said Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring program coordinator. “The extended break is an ideal time to put aside your gun and plan a hunt with and for a youth.”

Deer permit areas open to the hunt are 101, 105, 111, 114, 201, 203, 208, 209, 256, 257, 260, 263, 264, 267, 268, 338, 339, 341, 342, 343, 344,

345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 601 and 602 area in the Pine Island area.
 

Youth must meet all firearms safety requirements, purchase a license and use the appropriate firearm for the permit area in which they are hunting. Youth may take a deer of either sex. An adult mentor must accompany the youth but may not hunt or carry a firearm.   Public land is open as is private land, provided the youth hunter has landowner permission.

Participating in the youth deer season does not preclude the youth from participating in the regular firearms deer season, but any deer harvested do count against the youth’s season bag limit.

 


Leech Lake netting results show a strong walleye population
The results of recent fall test netting on Leech Lake conducted by the Minnesota DNR show the walleye population remains strong and anglers who visit the lake should continue to expect quality fishing. According to the results, the walleye catch rates remain above the long-term average for the sixth consecutive year.  

“September gill nets showed good numbers of both juvenile and adult walleye,” said Matt Ward, large lake specialist in Walker. “It is encouraging to have a balanced walleye population within and outside the protected slot limit of 18 and 26 inches.”

Strong 2010 and 2011 year-classes are present and the DNR expects these year-classes will start providing harvest opportunities this coming winter. Additionally, 35 percent of walleye sampled were within the slot limit, which will provide anglers the opportunity to catch a large fish.  

The number of young-of-the-year walleye (those hatched during the spring of 2012) sampled with both trawling and electrofishing were above the long-term average for each gear type. The average size for this year-class was good, at 6.1 inches during the mid-September electrofishing   

assessment. Larger sizes in the fall usually translate to higher winter survival.

 

Other game fish species targeted with test nets include yellow perch and northern pike. Yellow perch abundance declined for the fifth consecutive year, while northern pike abundance continues to remain stable. The primary species of nongame fish assessed with the test nets is cisco. Despite a minor cisco summer kill caused by warm temperatures in 2012, fall test netting indicated adequate numbers of cisco continue to be present.

Lake-wide, walleye counts in DNR test nets averaged 9.42 walleye per net lift, which was similar to results from the past four years and was above the long-term average of 7.7 walleye per net lift. Walleye numbers indicate that management actions implemented under the 2011-2015 Management Plan are succeeding. Key elements of the plan include special fishing regulations, walleye fry stocking, cormorant management and an increased emphasis on aquatic habitat protection.

For more information, contact matt.ward@state.mn.us

 


2012 whitefish-tullibee sport-netting dates and regulations
Recreational netting for whitefish-tullibee opens Friday, Oct. 12, on designated lakes that are less susceptible to sudden changes that impact water temperature, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

These lakes, known as Schedule II lakes, offer recreational netting on the following schedule:
•    Schedule II A lakes open Friday, Oct. 12, and close Sunday, Dec. 2.
•    Schedule II B lakes open Friday, Nov. 2, and close Sunday, Dec. 9.
•    Schedule II C lakes open Friday, Nov. 9, and close Sunday, Dec. 9.

Schedule I Lakes, which are more susceptible to factors that impact water temperatures, will be opened and closed on a 48-hour notice posted at lake accesses and other public places.  Netting in infested waters may be restricted or closed to sport netting of whitefish and tullibee.  

A complete list of all Schedule I and II lakes, status of the seasonal openings and closures,  as well as detailed netting regulations are available online at www.mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing  or by calling the DNR Information Center at (651) 296 6157 in the Twin Cities metro area or toll-free at 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367) in greater Minnesota.

Lakes closed to recreational netting in 2012 are:
•    Mille Lacs Lake in Aitkin, Crow Wing and Mille Lacs counties
•    Upper Red Lake in Beltrami County
•    O’Reilly Lake in Itasca County

•    Burgen Lake in Douglas County
•    East and West Fox lakes in Crow Wing County
•    Island Lake in Itasca County

•    Little Jessie Lake in Itasca County
•    Lakota Lake in Douglas County
•    Mitchell Lake in Crow Wing County
•    Nisswa Lake in Crow Wing County
•    Osakis Lake in Douglas and Todd counties
•    Roy Lake in Cass and Crow Wing counties
•    Serpent Lake in Crow Wing County
•    Victoria Lake in Douglas County
 

About 700 people obtain special permits to net for whitefish-tullibee each year. DNR bases netting schedules on expected water temperatures. As the water temperature cools, game fish head to deeper water and whitefish-tullibee come to shallow water for fall spawning. Netting is allowed when there is little chance that game fish populations would be negatively impacted by recreational netting in shallow water.

Minnesota law restricts the size of the net and its openings; requires that netting be done in water not deeper than six feet unless specifically authorized; stipulates that netted fish cannot be sold; and requires that only rough fish caught in the net may be kept. State law also limits net size to 100 feet long and 3 feet wide; allows one person to use no more than two nets; and forbids recreational netters from possessing angling equipment when netting whitefish-tullibee.


 

Court rules wolf season can continue

The Minnesota Court of Appeals rejected a request for a preliminary injunction that would have stopped the state’s inaugural wolf hunting and trapping season.  That means the planned wolf hunting and trapping seasons will go as planned this fall and winter.

 

Consistent with state law, the Minnesota DNR will issue 6,000 licenses, and the first season will start with the beginning of firearms deer hunting on Saturday, Nov. 3.  The late hunting and trapping season will begin on

Nov. 24.

 

The Court of Appeals ruled that the petitioners, the Center for Biological Diversity of Howling for Wolves, did not meet their burden of proving irreparable harm for an injunction to be issued.   The petitioner’s lawsuit to challenge the way the season was established is still before the Court of Appeals and will proceed on its merits. A decision is not expected until next year.


Ohio

DNR offers $150,000 Lake Erie Coastal Management Assistance Grants

The ODNR Office of Coastal Management is accepting applications for at least $150,000 in grants for projects that preserve, protect and enhance Ohio’s Lake Erie coastal resources.  To qualify for the available funding, applicants must provide at least 50 percent of the project’s total cost.

The Coastal Management Assistance Grants are available to communities, local governments, nonprofit organizations, state agencies, planning commissions and educational institutions. Funding priorities for this round of grants are: watershed planning to address coastal nonpoint pollution, balanced growth planning and implementation, and water quality-focused education and outreach.

Applications and guidelines for the Coastal Management Assistance Grants are online at LakeErie.ohiodnr.com/Grants or by contacting the Office of Coastal Management at 419-626-7980. Grant applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7. The grants are awarded on a

competitive basis and will be announced in the spring of 2013 for projects that begin July 1, 2013.

 

ODNR’s Office of Coastal Management annually dedicates a portion of its federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration funding to the Coastal Management Assistance Grants program. More than $3.5 million in Coastal Management Assistance Grants has been awarded since the program was federally approved in 1997. A list of all previous grant awards is available on the grants website.

For interested applicants, the 2012 grant application workshops will be held from 1-4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at the ODNR Division of Watercraft Office, located at 1150 E 49th Street, Cleveland, and on Thursday, Nov. 1 at the Hancock County Agricultural Service Center, located at 7868 County Road 140, Findlay. Participants will learn about multiple grant programs, meet the grant administrators and ask questions.


Pennsylvania

Photo Contest entry deadline extended to January 31

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Picture yourself as the winner of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s (PFBC) annual photography contest. There’s still time since the PFBC has extended its deadline for entries to January 31, 2013. Past winners have seen their works featured in Commission publications such as Pennsylvania Angler & Boater magazine and enlarged as visuals for PFBC sportshow exhibits.

 

The contest is a great way for angling and boating photographers to not only show their craft but to also show their appreciation for the Commonwealth’s fishing and boating opportunities and aquatic resources. There are three judged categories this year with highly valued top prizes.

The category “Anglers and Boaters” invites photographers to participate with submissions showing themselves and family members on the water. “Waterway Scenics” invites inspiring environmental images of your favorite Pennsylvania stream or lake. The category “Reptiles and Amphibians” encourages photographers to capture a moment when they may see a frog, toad, snake, turtle, salamander or skink in their native habitat.

 

To obtain an entry form, complete with contest rules and past winning entries, visit www.fishandboat.com/photocontest.htm.

Contact: Spring Gearhart, Editor, Pennsylvania Angler & Boate, 717-705-7844, sgearhart@pa.gov


Wisconsin

Homes, private lands not covered in proposal aimed to halt pests

The Wisconsin DNR wants to tighten the noose around the forests’ most damaging invaders by reducing to 10 miles the distance from which a state campground user may carry in firewood.

 

Paul DeLong, the state’s chief forester, says the increased presence of invasive pests such as the emerald ash borer, beech bark disease, and oak wilt is behind the recommendation to go before the Natural Resources Board on October 24.

 

The current rule states only firewood originating from 25 miles or less may be brought onto a state forest or state property or wood that comes from a vendor certified by the state as treating their wood to stop the transmission of pests or diseases. “Buying local or certified firewood is an excellent way to prevent the movement of pest and disease that can damage our forests and community trees," DeLong said.

 

If DeLong’s recommendation is supported by the board at their October

meeting, a draft rule change would be prepared and be slated for public

hearings. If ultimately approved, the new rule would take effect in roughly two years.   DeLong says slicing the allowable travel distance for firewood onto state property to 10 miles will better protect trees – a valuable state natural resource important to the state’s economy.

 

“This is the prudent step to take when it comes to the health of the state’s forests,” DeLong said. “It is important to note private homes and private property would not be affected by the suggested reduction in the distance firewood may be transported. This only pertains to state lands – notably state campgrounds.”

 

Delong also stressed the offer to reconfigure that distance limit from the current 25 miles to a new 10 mile limit is simply that – an idea. “This is up for discussion with the Natural Resources Board. It is not yet a proposed rule to be officially considered by the public or the Legislature. If the board approves us to move forward, we will develop a draft proposal and begin seeking public input on the idea.”


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

 

Shuette continues fight against Asian carp
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says his office, along with four other states and a Native American tribe, will continue to pursue a lawsuit which would protect the Great Lakes from an invasion of Asian carp.

 

New search for Asian carp as samples found close to Lake Michigan
Another search for Asian carp will take place in Chicago-area waters next week following more discoveries of their genetic material close to Lake Michigan,  said Vic Santucci

 

Cargo ships' ballast water becomes battleground
Michigan's rigorous treatment standards for ballast water have caused friction between environmental and industrial interests as legislators consider a proposal that might keep invasive aquatic animals out of the lakes without crippling the state's shipping industry.

Wind farm stirs up friction between first nations
Wind is drawing a new breed of resource seekers to the Lake Superior region and stirring up friction between some aboriginal groups. The Bow Lake Wind Farm, led by Calgary-based BluEarth Renewables, is dividing the Batchewana and Anishinabek first nations.

 

EDITORIAL: Close the lock, stop the carp
Just as a landmark report has documented a dramatically healthier upper Mississippi River, congressional inaction on Asian carp is threatening to undermine this progress, jeopardizing not only the Mississippi but the well-being of the beloved lakes and rivers in its vast Minnesota watershed.

Feds revise schedule for crafting Asian carp plan
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced a revised schedule Friday for developing a plan to prevent Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes, but members of Congress said it falls short of a deadline set by a recently enacted law.

 

Dam removal project held up by federal permit process
Two Cuyahoga River low-head dams set for removal this year may still be around in 2013 if city officials don’t soon receive a federal permit that was applied for in mid-March.

Great Lakes Restoration grants aimed at weeding out invasive species
On Oct. 2, the EPA announced 21 grants amounting to nearly $8 million to combat invasive species in the Great Lakes basin across seven states.

Pollution will feed lake algae for years
A group of international algae experts said yesterday that there are no quick or easy solutions to clear algae from lake water. In the case of Grand Lake St. Marys, it could take decades.

Lawmakers rip Army Corps for pace on carp plan
Two lawmakers are grumbling that the US Army Corps of Engineers is ignoring the demand from Congress that the agency expedite its study on how to block the spread of invasive species through the Chicago canal system.

 

 

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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