Week of October 21, 2013

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

2nd Amendment Issues

Illinois
Wisconsin
Other Breaking News Items

 

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Misc New Fishing-Boating Products

Plano and Synergy Outdoors merge to form Leading Outdoor Sports Group

Will be a market leader across multiple hunting and fishing product categories

October 14, 2013 – Plano Molding Company (Plano) and Synergy Outdoors are pleased to announce a newly formed strategic merger called Plano Synergy Holdings.  Plano is a leading brand in the fishing accessories market, and is the premier supplier of outdoor sports storage systems.  Synergy Outdoors is a market leader in hunting-related products, and is home to a portfolio of market leading brands, including Wildgame Innovations, Barnett Outdoors, Ameristep Hunting Products, Flextone Game Calls, Halo Optics and Evolved Harvest & Habitats.  Together, the companies will form one of the leading platforms in the outdoor products industry and will be ideally positioned to accelerate growth both organically and via acquisition. 

 

Based in Plano, Illinois, and founded in 1932, Plano is recognized as the leading brand in fishing and fall sports markets where it proudly supplies tackle boxes, bait storage, gun cases, archery cases, and Frabill branded ice fishing, landing nets and live bait storage products. It also produces cases for cosmetics, tools and crafts, as well as storage containers and shelving for home and office.  Plano is currently owned by management and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

 

Synergy Outdoors, based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and founded in 2002 by Ryan Busbice, has grown rapidly since inception by developing industry leading brands, focusing on product innovation, and reliably delivering for

its retail customers.  Ryan, along with his brother Matt and father Bill, star in the hit television show “Wildgame Nation” which airs on the Outdoor Channel.  Ryan and Matt will assume senior management positions with the combined company, and will join as significant shareholders in Plano Synergy Holdings.

 

“The Plano management team and I are extremely excited to be partnering with Ryan and Matt Busbice along with the wide range of talented personnel across Plano Synergy Holdings” stated Tom Hurt, the Company’s President and CEO. Hurt added, “We look forward to working together to grow both the exciting Synergy portfolio of brands and Plano’s heritage brands to their full potential.  We plan to continue our dedication to exceeding our customer expectations in product innovation, market leadership and world-class customer service.  An exciting new journey has just begun for our companies, our valued associates and the many market leading brands under the Plano Synergy umbrella.”

 

Ryan Busbice said “Over the last decade we have sought to bring our passion for hunting to the marketplace by developing innovative products that make hunters more successful in the field.  This combination will allow us to move towards our long-term vision of becoming a true year-round leader in the broader outdoor industry.  Plano Synergy Holdings will be well positioned with leading brands across both hunting and fishing product categories.  I am thankful for the true dedication of the Synergy team over the years, and I now look forward to also working with Tom Hurt and the rest of the Plano team to continue to serve our dedicated consumers and valued retail partners.”

 

www.planomolding.comn

www.synergyod.com

 


 

Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Plano and Synergy Outdoors merge to form Leading Outdoor Sports Group

Will be a market leader across multiple hunting and fishing product categories

October 14, 2013 – Plano Molding Company (Plano) and Synergy Outdoors are pleased to announce a newly formed strategic merger called Plano Synergy Holdings.  Plano is a leading brand in the fishing accessories market, and is the premier supplier of outdoor sports storage systems.  Synergy Outdoors is a market leader in hunting-related products, and is home to a portfolio of market leading brands, including Wildgame Innovations, Barnett Outdoors, Ameristep Hunting Products, Flextone Game Calls, Halo Optics and Evolved Harvest & Habitats.  Together, the companies will form one of the leading platforms in the outdoor products industry and will be ideally positioned to accelerate growth both organically and via acquisition. 

 

Based in Plano, Illinois, and founded in 1932, Plano is recognized as the leading brand in fishing and fall sports markets where it proudly supplies tackle boxes, bait storage, gun cases, archery cases, and Frabill branded ice fishing, landing nets and live bait storage products. It also produces cases for cosmetics, tools and crafts, as well as storage containers and shelving for home and office.  Plano is currently owned by management and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

 

Synergy Outdoors, based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and founded in 2002 by Ryan Busbice, has grown rapidly since inception by developing industry leading brands, focusing on product innovation, and reliably delivering for

its retail customers.  Ryan, along with his brother Matt and father Bill, star in the hit television show “Wildgame Nation” which airs on the Outdoor Channel.  Ryan and Matt will assume senior management positions with the combined company, and will join as significant shareholders in Plano Synergy Holdings.

 

“The Plano management team and I are extremely excited to be partnering with Ryan and Matt Busbice along with the wide range of talented personnel across Plano Synergy Holdings” stated Tom Hurt, the Company’s President and CEO. Hurt added, “We look forward to working together to grow both the exciting Synergy portfolio of brands and Plano’s heritage brands to their full potential.  We plan to continue our dedication to exceeding our customer expectations in product innovation, market leadership and world-class customer service.  An exciting new journey has just begun for our companies, our valued associates and the many market leading brands under the Plano Synergy umbrella.”

 

Ryan Busbice said “Over the last decade we have sought to bring our passion for hunting to the marketplace by developing innovative products that make hunters more successful in the field.  This combination will allow us to move towards our long-term vision of becoming a true year-round leader in the broader outdoor industry.  Plano Synergy Holdings will be well positioned with leading brands across both hunting and fishing product categories.  I am thankful for the true dedication of the Synergy team over the years, and I now look forward to also working with Tom Hurt and the rest of the Plano team to continue to serve our dedicated consumers and valued retail partners.”

 

www.planomolding.comn

www.synergyod.com

 


 

Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Oct 18

WEATHER CONDITIONS

The Great Lakes Basin enjoyed well above average temperatures last Friday and Saturday.  However, on Sunday temperatures fell to seasonal average levels and they generally remained average throughout the entire region through Wednesday. In addition, most of the basin experienced considerable precipitation on Tuesday. Temperatures will be near average at the beginning of this weekend, but will fall to below average on Saturday and will continue to be below average into the start of the workweek. There is a strong probability of rain on Friday and Saturday, and the northernmost portion of the basin could experience snow on Monday.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 15 and 11 inches, respectively, above what they were a year ago.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are all 12 to 13 inches above their levels of a year ago. Over the next month, the levels of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron are predicted to fall 3 and 2 inches, respectively.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are all projected to decline 4 inches over the next 30 days. 

FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior’s outflow through the St. Marys River is projected to be above average for the month of October.  Lake Huron’s outflow into the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair’s outflow into the Detroit River are both

expected to be below average throughout the month of October.  The outflow of Lake Erie into the Niagara River and the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River are predicted to be near average in October.

ALERTS

Official records are based on monthly average water levels and not daily water levels.  Lake Michigan-Huron is near 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 18

601.90

577.49

573.69

571.13

244.88

Datum, in ft

601.10

577.50

572.30

569.20

243.30

Diff in inches

+10

0

+17

+23

+19

Diff last month

0

0

-3

-2

-4

Diff from last yr

+15

+11

+12

+13

+13


 

2nd Amendment Issues

Supreme Court declines to hear case on Md.’s gun law

The U.S. Supreme Court will not review a Maryland law requiring applicants to provide a “good and substantial reason” to carry a weapon in public — passing again on an opportunity to clarify the limitations of the Second Amendment.

The case of Raymond Woollard, a Baltimore County man who sued after renewal of his concealed-carry handgun permit was denied, was among the dozens the court announced Tuesday that it would not hear. For more info; Supreme Court Decision


 

Illinois

Illinois Concealed Carry classes

Are you planning to take a concealed carry class in or around Chicago or in the northern Illinois area?

 

We are sponsoring an approved curriculum for the 8- or 16-hour concealed carry class authorized by the new Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act HB 183. Classes are $125 a day plus range fees; and if you show your current fishing or hunting license, you will get a $10 discount. 

 

If you have a class of 10 or more, we will travel to your hall or meeting location and give the class in your neighborhood.  The criteria for an Illinois law to determine whether you take 16 or just the 8 hour class is determined with the following Illinois schedule.

 

The credit list of instruction classes authorized by the Act is here: Illinois CCW Prior Training Credit

Also, veterans with an honorable discharge and a DD214 or active service

military members will only be required to take the one-day class.

 

The full law can be read here - Illinois Concealed Carry Act

 

Questions? Contact Mike Slevnik:  pdslevnik@ameritech.net , 708-212-3067, www.privatedetectivechicagoillinois.com

 

ISRA Success in securing Concealed Carry Law

Are you a member of the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA)?

The ISRA was diligent and instrumental in working with the state legislature to secure our Concealed Carry law. Join now

For online individual memberships and renewals: Click Here!

For online family memberships and renewals: Click Here!

Download ISRA Membership Application

 


 

DNR seeks Input on Illinois Lake Michigan Plan
Three public meetings scheduled in October

CHICAGO – The Illinois DNR is asking the public to comment on a draft plan that will help guide priorities for Illinois’ 63 miles of Lake Michigan coastline.

 

The Illinois Lake Michigan Implementation Plan (ILMIP) is the product of an innovative effort to identify program priorities for the new Illinois Coastal Management Program (ICMP). This project, funded by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), uses new technologies to gather broad stakeholder input through an open, outreach-driven process to establish program priorities.

 

“Lake Michigan is one of the most important natural resources, not just in Illinois, but in the United States.  The priorities we establish for our piece of this amazing and iconic ecosystem will ensure that future generations can enjoy it and rely on it for decades to come,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller.

 

These priorities will help guide Illinois’ overall Coastal Management Program direction for the next 3-5 years and be incorporated into funding priorities for Illinois’ Coastal Grants Program.

 

The public is encouraged to review the plan and then register to attend one of three Chicago area public meetings below and provide feedback.

  • Waukegan Public Library, 128 N. County St., Waukegan, Octr 22, 5:30-7 p.m.

  • James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St., 9th Floor, Room 9-040, Chicago, Oct 23, 1:30-3 p.m. (Photo ID required for security)

  • Pullman State Historic Site, 11057 S. Cottage Grove, Chicago, Oct 24, 5:30-7 p.m.

 

To review the Illinois Lake Michigan Plan and register for a public meeting,: www.dnr.illinois.gov/cmp/Pages/ILMIP.aspx

 


Illinois DNR Newsbits

ICF Raffle Nov 1

Tickets are available now for the 2013 Illinois Conservation Foundation Raffle, supporting youth programs at the Torstenson Youth Conservation Education Center in Pecatonica, IL. Raffle tickets are $100 each or three for $250. Raffle prizes – including a grand prize of up to $100,000 – will be presented at a drawing in Sangamon County on Nov. 1, 2013. The raffle is being conducted in accordance with the Raffles Act.  All business operations of the raffle take place exclusively in Sangamon County. Raffle tickets are available online at www.ilcf.org and by mail at:  ICF, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271.

 

ICF Wall Calendar available Nov 1

Order the beautiful 2014 Illinois Conservation Foundation wall calendar

today.  The calendar will be available by Nov. 1, 2013.  If you relied on the

former OutdoorIllinois wall calendar, you’ll definitely want to pick up a copy of this calendar. Proceeds from the sale of the 2014 ICF wall calendar will support youth conservation education programs in Illinois.  The 9” x 12” calendar contains stunning photography of Illinois wildlife and natural resources and can be purchased for $15, or two for $29, or three for $41.25. 

 

Order online at www.ilcf.org or by phone at 217-785-2003. Checks and money orders can be mailed to Illinois Conservation Foundation, ATTN Wall Calendar, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271.

 

 


 

Wisconsin

Winnebago systems sturgeon spearing license deadline

Oct. 31

Big fish on tap for season

OSHKOSH – The deadline to buy sturgeon spearing licenses for the 2014 Lake Winnebago System seasons is Oct. 31, with the seasons shaping up to provide ample opportunity to land the fish of a lifetime as well as enjoy a tradition that brings together family and friends.

 

“We have been seeing a record number of big fish in the harvest over the last decade and expect more of the same for the 2014 seasons,” says Ryan Koenigs, Department of Natural Resources Winnebago System sturgeon biologist. “Nine of the top 10 fish on record have been harvested since 2004 and a record high 9.5 percent of the fish harvested last year exceeded 100 pounds.”

 

For the second year, 12-year-olds can participate in the lake sturgeon spearing season if they buy a license. Also, adults whose names were drawn in the Upriver Lakes sturgeon spearing lottery can transfer their 2014 tags to youngsters, allowing youngsters a chance to spear on the lakes, where success rates have historically been higher.

 

There are separate seasons for Lake Winnebago and for the Upriver Lakes that begin at the same time, with participation in the Upriver Lakes season determined by lottery. The 2014 season open on Saturday, Feb. 8.

 

Spearers of all ages will find a healthy fishery that boasts a record number of big fish, including the 87.5 inch, 240-pound sturgeon DNR fish crews captured and tagged on April 10, 2012, below the Shawano Dam and not among the fish harvested in the 2013 seasons.

 

The trend in trophy-size fish has been increasing significantly over the last

 

decade due to the distribution of age classes currently in the population

and the impact of harvest regulations implemented over the last 20 years to increase survival of these larger fish, Koenigs says. “The fish are starting to show us their true growth potential, and I expect to continue to see larger fish in our harvest and population assessments.”

 

The harvest caps are the same as they have been the last two years -- 400 juvenile females, 828 adult females and 1,200 males.

 

How and where to get spearing licenses

Licenses are $20 for residents and $65 for non-residents and can be purchased at any license sales location; over the Internet by going to DNR’s home page dnr.wi.gov and clicking on the online license center or by calling toll-free 1-877-WI LICENSE (1-877-945-4236.)

The minimum spearing age is 12 years, and youth who turn 12 between Nov. 1, 2013, and the last day of the 2014 spearing season can still buy a spearing license after Oct. 31. Military personnel home on leave can also purchase a license after Oct. 31.

 

There are unlimited license sales on Lake Winnebago, while the Upriver Lakes fishery is managed by a lottery and limited to 500 permitted spearers. Once a person is authorized to buy an Upriver Lakes license for a season, they are not able to buy a license for Lake Winnebago.

 

Spearers are now able to transfer Upriver Lakes spear licenses to youth spearers (age 12-17), and can do so by filling a transfer of license form at least 15 days before the 2014 sturgeon spear fishery. Spearers who applied for an Upriver Lakes license in the lottery but were not authorized received a preference point and can still buy a Lake Winnebago license before Oct. 31.

For more info:Ryan Koenigs, Ryan.koenigs@wisconsin.gov, 920-303-5450


Hearing on revised fishing tournament rules

MADISON – Draft changes to fishing tournament rules aimed at increasing tournament angler satisfaction while addressing concerns about crowding at boat ramps and fish mortality potentially associated with tournaments are the topic of public hearings in late October and early November.

 

The current fishing tournament rules have been in effect for more than three years and the Department of Natural Resources has taken a critical look at the rule to identify areas for improvement, says DNR Fisheries Director Mike Staggs.

 

“The rules have generally worked well since they went into effect in 2011, but we’ve learned that some aren’t needed and found ways we can streamline others to make them work even better in the future,” he says. “We thank the various tournament organizers who have provided input the past several years.”

 

Jonathan Hansen, the DNR tournament program coordinator, says the changes include defining new permit exceptions and participant limits, streamlining tournament permit application procedures, and clarifying boat and live well requirements.

 

“Many resorts and bars have season-long tournaments where fishing is dispersed over many weeks. The new rule would allow these tournaments without a permit because they have little chance of adding to typical tournament crowding or fish mortality,” he says.

 

Kate Strom Hiorns, DNR fisheries policy specialist, says the rule also

 

would replace the current permit application open period with a first-come first-serve application process. “Overall, the rule should make the permit process more transparent and less confusing for tournament organizers,” she says.

 

In addition, DNR worked with tournament anglers to develop a standard approach for when and where bag limits will be reduced in hot summer months and to standardize boundaries on Green Bay to help prevent fish dying after tournaments with a catch-hold-release format, she says.

 

Public hearings will be held in three locations around the state that typically hold large numbers of fishing tournaments:

  • Oct. 30, La Crosse - 6:30 p.m. at the South Side Neighborhood Center, 1300 S. 6th St.

  • Nov.4, Fitchburg - 6 p.m., Fitchburg Public Library, 5530 Lacy Road, Meeting Room A&B.

  • Nov. 6, Oshkosh - 6 p.m., at the James P. Coughlin Center/DNR Service Center, 625 E. County Rd Y, Main Conference Rm

 

To view a copy of the proposed rules, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov and search for “proposed administrative rules" and click on the button for "View proposed permanent natural resources rules.” The fishing tournament rule can be found under FH-01-12.

For more information or to submit written comments, contact Kate Strom Hiorns, DNR Headquarters, 101 S. Webster, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921, or via email at: kathryn.stromhiorns@wisconsin.gov.

 

 


Hearing set on rules defining placement of Lake Superior trap nets

BAYFIELD – A proposed rule defining the number and placement of commercial fishing trap nets in a restricted use area on Lake Superior is the topic of a public hearing Nov. 7 in Bayfield.

 

The proposed rule is aimed at improving safety for recreational anglers and boaters and reducing conflicts with commercial fishers.

It would define the number and placement of commercial fishing trap nets placed in the Restricted Use Area of Lake Superior, bounded by the Bayfield Ferry line, a line between Houghton Point and Long Island Point, and a line between Long Island Point and the southernmost point on Madeleine Island, according to Peter Stevens, Department of Natural Resources Lake Superior fisheries supervisor.

 

Commercial fishers may currently place trap nets in the Restricted Use Area for the taking of whitefish or herring from June 1 to August 15. “Commercial use of this area can create confusion about the exact placement and orientation of individual nets, raising safety concerns for recreational boaters and anglers,” Stevens says.

 

In addition, commercial fishers have experienced suspected acts of

vandalism to their nets in this area, resulting in expensive repair costs, he

says.

 

To address these issues, DNR is proposing a rule that includes three changes:

  • commercial fishers would be limited to using a single trap net per commercial license in the Restricted Use Area;

  • trap nets would be excluded from a new “zone of safe passage” within the Restricted Use Area;

  • trap nets would need to be physically removed from the Restricted Use Area within three days of the close of the fishing season.

  •  

A public hearing on the proposed rules is set for 6 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Bayfield Ranger Station, 141 S. Third St.

To view a copy of the proposed rules, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov for “proposed administrative rules” and click on the button for View proposed permanent rules. The Lake Superior trap net rule can be found under FH-25-12.

 

For more information or to submit written comments, contact Kate Strom Hiorns, DNR Headquarters, 101 S. Webster, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921 kathryn.stromhiorns@wisconsin.gov , 608-266-0828


 

Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

 

How to beat the sea lamprey with its own pheromones, bile salts
The silver lamprey, a cousin to the sea lamprey but a native to the Great Lakes, doesn't shares the sea lamprey's predilection for bile salts. That’s a find that could help researchers develop traps sparing the native lamprey species.

 

 

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