Week of October 22, 2007
Marine safety program update from Rear Adm Brian Salerno, assistant commandant for marine safety
During the commandants testimony on the challenges facing the Marine safety program before congress on August 2, 2007, Adm. Thad Allen promised to deliver a plan to improve the coast guards marine safety program. This plan has been delivered to Congress and can be viewed under The marine safety missions tab on homeport at Http://homeport.uscg.mil . I highly encourage you to review this document. Salerno is working closely with the commandant to put action behind this plan.
The commandant highlighted the marine safety plan during a recent Speech to the Washington DC propeller club. His speech is also posted under the marine safety missions tab on homeport and can be used as a guide for engagement efforts with maritime industry customers. Marine safety is a critical coast guard mission and Getting it right is vitally important to the nation.
The cornerstone of the plan is a strategy with specific actions to enhance the capacity, responsiveness, and effectiveness of the Marine safety program. Three prominent characteristics shape the current status and needs of the coast guards marine safety program.
First, the core processes, authorities and practices used in the Marine safety effort are sound and based on a culmination of more than 60 years of experience. Second, the program requires a targeted revitalization to add the resources needed to build and sustain Coast Guard capacity. Salerno added: “We must keep pace with the growth and complexity in the maritime industry by increasing our level of technical and field expertise. Third, the coast guard’s collaboration with industry requires enhancement to ensure that open, two-way communications effectively guide programmatic Improvements.
By Rdml Brian Salerno, assistant commandant for marine safety
The commandant of the Coast Guard said Wednesday, October 17 that fishermen and recreational boaters should have to pass minimum competency standards.
The Portland Press reports Adm. Thad Allen, head of the agency charged with safety and security of the nation's coastline, said in a meeting with the editorial board of the
Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram that requiring competency among pilots and requiring boats to undergo periodic safety checks would go a long way to providing for maritime safety.
Allen has sought to require competency and safety checks but the proposals have died in Congress, he said.
Agency to test
ballast treatment in Superior
A committee of the Great Ships Initiative — a collaboration of shipping industry, research, state and federal government and non-government agencies — picked the Seakleen treatment because it has been tested in saltwater and is being considered for approval by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Seakleen has been tested for more than nine years, including on passenger ocean liners and large freighters. Company literature claims the treatment is a “natural biocide’’ that has been 100 percent effective at removing all organisms larger than 50 micrometers. That’s enough to kill zebra mussel larvae, cholera and E. coli, the company claims.
The Great Ships Initiative facility is a land-based test system of tanks and pumps designed to simulate a ship’s ballast water system. The University of Minnesota Duluth and University of Wisconsin-Superior will oversee the tests. Ships use water as weight, or ballast, to balance during loading and unloading and for maneuverability.
The issue of invasive species in ballast water has lurched into the limelight over the past year with the discovery of a fish-killing virus in the Great Lakes called VHS. The issue also has gained headlines with recent lawsuits by environmental
groups demanding that state and federal governments enact immediate controls to keep additional species from entering the lakes.
Earlier this month, a federal judge upheld a Michigan state law requiring ships to empty and treat their ballast water before entering Michigan waters. And a federal judge in California has ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to begin regulating ballast water as pollution under the Clean Water Act, starting one year from now.
While both decisions probably will be appealed, they have buoyed supporters of strict new regulations to require ships to treat ballast water, even tiny amounts left in their tanks.
There are about 150 aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes, including about 45 in the Duluth-Superior harbor, not including land plants. More than one-third of the invasive species are believed to have arrived in the ballast of ships, according to Minnesota Sea Grant.
Critics say that government and industry and have stalled for too long, allowing too many new species into the lakes.
Port and shipping industry officials support a single federal ballast regulation on the Great Lakes and nationally to avoid a patchwork of state laws that could drive shipping to other areas. Industry officials, including the Great Ships Initiative, have been working for years to develop cost-effective methods to treat ballast water aboard ships.
Legislation requiring some treatment on some ships has moved in the U.S. House of Representatives. But critics say it doesn’t go far enough to stop problems such as VHS from devastating not only the Great Lakes but also inland waters.
A very strong and slow moving storm system brought more rain to the Great Lakes basin this week. The Lake Superior and Michigan-Huron basins once again received the bulk of the rainfall, keeping both basins on track for above average October precipitation. The northern third of the Great Lakes region will continue to see rain through the early weekend, while the southern two-thirds should see pleasant conditions on Saturday and Sunday. More wet weather will arrive early next week.
Lake Level Conditions
Significant precipitation in the Lake Superior basin since the beginning of the month has caused the lake to rise to just an inch below chart datum. It is 2 inches higher than it was at this time last year. Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are 5 to 7 inches lower than last year’s levels, while Lake Ontario is 13 inches below its level of one year ago. Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are expected to drop 1 and 2 inches, respectively, over the next month. Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are projected to decline 2 to 4 inches during the same period. Over the next few months, Lake Superior is predicted to remain at about the same level as last year, but the lower lakes are forecasted to remain below their water levels of a year ago.
Current Outflows/Channel Conditions
Outflow from the St. Marys River is predicted to be well below average for October. Flows through the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are also predicted to be lower than average this month.
In addition, flows in the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers are
expected to be near average.
Due to abnormally dry conditions on the Lake Superior basin up until this month, Lake Superior’s water level is still below chart datum and is expected to remain at or below datum over the next six months. Lake Michigan-Huron is also below chart datum, and is also projected to remain below datum over the next six months. 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.
It appears there will be no bear season in New Jersey this year, or for the foreseeable future
On Sept. 27, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division essentially ended bear hunting in the state when it ruled the bear management policy invalid. From the hunting program to bear research and population monitoring, the plan has been scrapped.
The court decided the case based on technical grounds. It decided that the plan is akin to a Department of Environmental Protection rule, and despite it having received approval in 2005 by then DEP Commissioner Bradley Campbell and the
New Jersey Fish and Game Council, the Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy missed a few steps in the rulemaking process.
While the Court acknowledged that notice of opportunity to comment on the plan was published in the New Jersey Register, it concluded that the publication should have described the proposed plan in detail rather than referred the reader to a website where the full plan was available. The Court also concluded that a list of all persons commenting on the plan should have been included in the subsequent publication in the New Jersey Register announcing the adoption of the plan.
The induction banquet was the highlight of an October 20 – 21 weekend of activities at the International Game Fish Association (IGFA). In the spotlight were the five member class of 2007 which included lady fly angler and instructor Joan Salvato Wulff, the dean of outdoor writers Homer Circle, along with Gary Loomis, a gentleman who revolutionized rod making and a duo of extraordinary billfishermen which include Dr. Ruben Jaén and Capt. Peter B. Wright.
Each year the honorees are selected for the important
contributions they have made to the sport of fishing throughangling achievements, literature, the arts, science, education, communications, inventions or administration of fishery resources. The five newest inductees were joined by hall of famers Stu Apte, Mark Sosin, Roland Martin and Billy Pate at an IGFA School of Sport Fishing seminar.
The weekend also paid homage to the 65 Hall of Fame members who are currently enshrined including Ernest Hemingway, Zane Grey, Curt Gowdy, Ted Williams, Michael and Helen Lerner, Philip Wylie, Johnny Morris, Don Tyson and John Rybovich.
RALEIGH, N.C. (Oct. 18) – Tree stands are among the most popular hunting equipment around. Unfortunately, most hunting accidents in North Carolina and across the nation are tree-stand related.
“Always, always wear a fall arrest system,” said Capt. Chris Huebner, hunter safety coordinator for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. “We recommend a full harness that is attached and in use before you leave the ground. That is one safety measure that wildlife officers stress to hunters.”
There have been two serious tree-stand accidents in the state already, resulting in a fatality and a broken back. Both could have been prevented if a fall-arrest system had been used, investigators said. There are several other important precautions to take while using a tree stand:
Check all bolts, belts, chains and attachment cords before
use, especially if the tree stand has been in place for any
length of time Never carry anything as you climb - use a rope to raise and lower an unloaded gun or other equipment once you are safely seated in the tree stand.
Have an emergency signal (cell phone, whistle or flare) and let someone else know where you plan to hunt and when you plan to return. You need to know how your tree stand works and practice using it beforehand at low heights Know the manufacturer’s recommendations and follow their guidelines for installation and use.”
Successful completion of Hunter Education, offered free by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission throughout the state, is required for first-time hunting license buyers. Advanced courses are available and basic hunter education is recommended to update long-time hunters. For course schedules, game regulations and additional hunting safety information, click here or call (919) 707-0031.
Evanston, IL about to loose a harbor on Lake Michigan
The western shore of Lake Michigan is about to loose another safe harbor for boaters.
The City of Evanston, just North of Chicago, is drawing up plans to revitalize their lakefront and has hired an architectural firm to present plans to the city council. Basically want to eliminate the Church St. harbor and launch ramp to boaters and fishermen. The city claims that there are fewer boaters using the facility, and it's costing too much to maintain.
They’re asking the architects to draw up an alternative plan to open a much smaller facility north to Clark St. and make it only accessible to launch non-motorized craft such as canoes and kayaks available only to Evanston citizens.
The Church St. ramp has been in place for over 40 years, but created a danger when trying to retrieve a boat in rough seas. In 1981, the fishermen who used the ramp, offered to purchase non-interest bonds to help fund the building of a harbor, with matching funds from the State of Illinois, the Federal Government, along with Evanston money. The city agreed and built a harbor to protect that launch ramp.
After all these years, Evanston now feels boaters and fishermen do not fit into their plans. In Evanston, anglers and boaters may truly be the next endangered species A safe harbor on the western shore of Lake Michigan may well be on their hit list.
For more info contact Board Member, Marv Chait, Evanston Boat Ramp Association: [email protected]
Major repair work on Jimmerson Lake dam near Nevada Mills in Steuben County is scheduled to start Oct. 23. The work is needed because both the dam and spillway system at the west end of the lake do not meet current engineering standards. To bring the dam into compliance and provide for public safety during an extreme storm event, the spillway system will be modified to safely meet the flow required by current standards.
Work to be done downstream of the spillway includes installing channel erosion protection. A safety cable with anchors and buoys will also be installed upstream.
The earthen embankment side slopes will be cleared of all trees and brush, with fill material added as needed. To prevent water from overtopping the road from erosion caused
by a heavy rain during construction, the downstream slope will be covered with concrete blocks and the upstream slope will be covered with a combination of materials.
To provide for safety of the public and those working on the dam, County Road 500 W will be closed starting Oct. 23. During closure, detours will take traffic to 300 W or 600 W.
"We understand that closing the road is a major inconvenience for some, but it is necessary due to the extent of the work on the dam," said Tom Holman, director of the Division of Engineering of the Department of Natural Resources, which owns of the dam. The dam was built in 1835, and then rebuilt in 1948-49. Emergency work was last done on the spillway, in January 2005. A spillway's purpose is to control the water level of the lake.
State Representative Paul Opsommer (R-93) has introduced legislation that seeks to repeal the required "safety inspection" for newly obtained handguns. House Bill 4490 would also require law enforcement agencies to destroy safety inspection records on file. Current Michigan law requires anyone who comes into possession of a pistol to take it to the police or sheriff’s department for a safety inspection, including ones just purchased new. The requirement of a safety inspection is
a burdensome waste of time for law-abiding gun owners and HB4490 will end that inconvenience.
HB4490 is expected to receive a hearing in the House Committee on Tourism, Outdoor Recreation, and Natural Resources soon. Michigan residents are urged to contact the members of the Committee and respectfully urge them to support passage of HB4490.
Turn In Poacher (TIP) hotline helps enforcement effort
Anglers from Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, and Florida face $14,000 in fines and restitution for more than the legal limit of fish in Minnesota.
A Sept. 20 call to the Turn In Poacher (TIP) hotline led DNR conservation officers (CO) to four fisherman in possession of 240 perch over the legal limit. The legal limit for perch in Minnesota is 20 per day and 40 in possession.
CO Tim Collette of Longville and a Cass County Boat and Water deputy visited the resort cabin the men were staying in at Woman Lake near Hackensack, where they discovered 23 packages of frozen fish. An additional 14 bags of frozen fish was found in the resort office freezer.
Peter Vandernoord, 90, Dyer, Ind.; Clarence D. Landhuis, 79, Orlando, Fla.; and Herbert V. Weele, 78 and John Templeman, 76, both of Lansing, Ill. are each charged with possessing 60 perch over the legal limit, a gross overlimit of fish. Fine and restitution could total nearly $2,000 for each man. If convicted they could lose their fishing licenses for three years. No trial date has been set.
In other incidents on Woman Lake:
● George Brinker of Roanoke, Ind. and Marc Lothamer of Fort Wayne, Ind., received a citation for fines and restitution totaling
$1,600 for being 56 sunfish over the legal limit and three perch over the legal limit. The possession limit for sunfish in Minnesota is 20.
● Loren Hackman and Mark Worman, both of Elkhart, Ind. and Richard Elliot of Goshen, Ind., face fines and restitution totaling $1,200 for being 32 perch over the legal limit.
● Francis J. Britton, 73, Estero, Fla.; Ron A. Hanson, 68, and Ernest H. Post, 80, both of Schererville, Ind., were charged with an overlimit of perch. They face fines and restitution totaling nearly $1,700.
● On Thirteen Lake near Cass Lake, a Colorado angler has been charged with a gross overlimit of sunfish. On Oct. 4, CO Mark Mathy of Cass Lake observed James B. Jahnz, 57, of Boulder, Colo., allegedly placing a large number of fish in his boat while fishing. Further investigation found Jahnz had 106 sunfish over the limit. Jahnz faces fine and restitution up to $1,600.
"We love to have people visit Minnesota and fish in our lakes, but they must obey the rules and regulations like everyone else," said DNR Chief Conservation Officer, Col. Mike Hamm. "Thirteen could prove to be both an unlucky and costly number for these 13 anglers."
Established in 1981, the TIP program allows Minnesotans to call a toll-free number from anywhere in the state to report natural resource violations. Calls regarding violations can be placed anonymously at 1-800-652-9093; cash rewards are given for tips.
Being Minnesotan means hunting, fishing, boating, camping, exploring the great outdoors, right? Well, maybe not so much anymore.
Recent surveys conducted by the Minnesota DNR, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service show troubling declines in what once were the bread and butter activities that defined people who lived in this state. These declines are also not unique to Minnesota. They are occurring across the country.
Apparently, nature based outdoor recreation does not have the priority in younger people’s lives that it once did. What’s replacing traditional outdoor recreation? While much remains unknown, likely candidates include television, computer gaming, and over-programmed lifestyles. According to the surveys, these declines appear likely to continue, given how broad-based they are.
The DNR is devoting its draft State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP), to this topic. The plan has one goal - increased participation in outdoor recreation. This document also provides guidance to outdoor recreation decision makers and managers on policy and investment matters.
The DNR is seeking ideas for addressing this troubling trend. People can review the draft and share ideas on what to do, by visiting www.mndnr.gov . Comments will be accepted through Nov. 9.
The DNR is also partnering with Twin Cities Public Television, to produce a one-hour exploration of these declines in nature-
based outdoor recreation and its impact on society. The show will air on TPT 17 on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. and it will highlight a mix of experts and citizens talking about these trends and what they might mean. Deeper exploration of the research shows the declines are most closely associated with the 16 - 44 year old age group, which includes Generations X and Y, the latter to which is also referred to as the Millennial Generation.
Additionally troubling is the 16-44 year old age bracket is the generation that traditionally passes outdoor recreation experiences on to children. Who will do this now? Anecdotal data points to the growing role grandparents are playing in sharing outdoor recreation experiences with grandchildren.
What are some of the implications of declining participation? A 2006 survey by the United Health Foundation found that while Minnesotans are generally healthier than the rest of the country, Minnesotans share the phenomenon of growing fatter. The survey indicated people who live in this state have witnessed a 132% rise in the obesity rate since 1990. Obesity is a key predictor of future health problems including diabetes. In addition to physical health, there are troubling indicators that our mental health is suffering too.
Richard Louv, in his best-selling book, "Last Child in the Woods", sites a relationship between the growing mental health problems such as anxiety and depression and the loss of connection with nature.
How should people respond to this trend? There are a lot of independent efforts going on in schools, with our health care providers, and many other places, all focused on changing these troubling trends.
COLUMBUS, OH – More than 19,500 advanced-sized muskellunge “muskie” fingerlings, averaging at least 10 inches in length, were stocked recently in nine Ohio lakes and reservoirs by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Another 680 of these difficult-to-raise fingerlings went to Illinois as part of a fish management exchange program among Midwestern states.
“I am very proud of the dedicated hatchery personnel and all the hard work they did to accomplish this great task,” said Elmer Heyob, fisheries administrator for the division’s hatchery program. “The muskie fishermen in Ohio will benefit for many years because of the high quality of these fish.”
Muskies are native to both the Ohio River and Lake Erie watersheds and are capable of reaching lengths of more than 50 inches and weights of 50 pounds. These exciting game fish are considered difficult to catch, but at certain times of the year they provide even casual anglers the thrill of a lifetime, since muskies routinely strike smaller lures and baits not intended for them.
The lakes (and number of fingerlings) stocked included Alum Creek (3,192), Caesar Creek (2,897), Clearfork Reservoir (2,069), Cowan Lake (757), Leesville Lake (1,068), Lake Milton (1,684), Piedmont Lake (2,273), Salt Fork Reservoir (3,106), and West Branch Reservoir (2,616).
Milleson of Harrison County appointed assistant director of ODNR
COLUMBUS, OH – Sean D. Logan, director of the Ohio DNR, last week named Rich Milleson of Piedmont in Harrison County as the agency’s assistant director and Michael D. Taylor of Lancaster as chief of the ODNR Office of Law Enforcement.
Milleson currently owns and operates Milleson Insurance Agency with two locations in Harrison County. Previously, he worked in a variety of mining operations in eastern Ohio. He started his career in mining as a laborer and steadily progressed to Mine Supervisor. He has extensive experience working with federal, state and local safety and regulatory agencies. In both his mining and insurance business practices he has a proven record of efficiency, improvement and profitability. He is married to wife Lori, and has two children, Megan and Dan.
Milleson’s family has a long history of public service in eastern
Ohio. His father, R. Kinsey Milleson, was a state senator from the 30th district that currently encompasses Jefferson, Harrison, Belmont, Columbiana and part of Tuscarawas counties. His grandfather, the late Arthur H. “Brady” Milleson, was a state representative from the area and clerk of the Ohio House of Representatives.
Taylor joined the ODNR Division of Wildlife as a state wildlife officer in 1983. He has since served as a program manager and law enforcement supervisor, in the division’s District 4 office in Athens. There he coordinated undercover poaching investigations throughout the state. Most recently, he administered day-to-day operations for the division’s law enforcement program in Columbus, focusing on officer training, as well as incidents of waterway pollution and related fish kills.
Taylor holds an associate’s degree in applied science from Hocking College and a variety of law enforcement and public safety certifications.
HARRISBURG - Dr. Walter Cottrell, Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife veterinarian, on
September 28 announced that test results of dead deer from the southwestern part of the state have confirmed that epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) has been found in Cambria County. Results released involved a juvenile male that was found dead in Westmont, Cambria County. However, there have been no other reports of sick or dead deer in Cambria County.
Other counties in which EHD has been confirmed in wild, free-ranging deer are Allegheny, Beaver, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties. The Game Commission has received reports of EHD affected deer in other counties as well, but still is awaiting laboratory results.
On Oct. 11, the state Agriculture Department announced that it had confirmed EHD in farmed deer in Franklin County. EHD has been confirmed in cattle in Franklin, Somerset and Washington counties, but no mortalities were reported in these cases. As of today, there have been no reports of EHD in wild, free-roaming deer in Franklin or Somerset counties.
To provide the public with more information about EHD, the agency has posted an "EHD Update" page at: www.pgc.state.pa.us . The website also chronicles the agency's news releases issued about this outbreak since Aug. 27.
EHD is a common but sporadic disease in white-tailed deer populations of the United States, and is contracted by the bite of insects called "biting midges." In more northern states, such as Pennsylvania, EHD occurs less often and the deer are less able to mount an effective immune response. The virus usually kills the naïve animal within five to 10 days. It is not spread from deer to deer by contact. While EHD is not infectious to humans, deer displaying severe symptoms of EHD are usually not suitable for consumption because of the rapid deterioration of the meat and secondary bacterial infection.
Dr. Cottrell reminded hunters that EHD cannot be contracted by humans and it is rare for this virus to cause clinical signs in traditional livestock, such as cattle, sheep or goats. However, as has been the case occasionally in the past, there is
evidence of an EHD outbreak in domestic cattle, both dairy and beef, in southwestern Ohio, while sheep on one of the two farms affected do not seem to be ill. However, farmed deer and elk are susceptible. Anyone who suspects EHD in their livestock should contact their private veterinary practitioner.
"While there is no evidence that humans are at risk from EHD, other diseases may be transmitted by careless hygiene when processing deer. As a routine precaution, all hunters are encouraged to wear rubber or latex gloves when handling or field-dressing any animal, and wash their hands and tools thoroughly after field dressing," Dr. Cottrell said. "As with any wild game, meat should always be thoroughly cooked."
Dr. Cottrell stressed that even though some EHD symptoms are similar to those of chronic wasting disease (CWD) - such as excessive drooling, weakness and a loss of fear of humans - there is no relationship between EHD and CWD.
"However, because these diseases coexist, as many of the deer as possible that are submitted for EHD testing also are being tested for CWD," Dr. Cottrell said. "It also is worth noting that like CWD, EHD is one of those diseases whose mortality rate can be amplified by anything that serves to congregate deer, such as supplemental feeding, and placement of salt or mineral blocks. While the disease is not spread through deer to deer contact, congregating animals through feeding does make transmission easier by allowing midges that carry the virus greater access to a larger number of animals in a more confined area. Therefore, such feeding activities should be discontinued immediately.
EHD was first confirmed in Pennsylvania in 2002, when an outbreak caused the death of 70 deer in Greene and Washington counties. That same year, EHD was confirmed in Maryland, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.
In 1996, EHD was suspected to be the cause of death in nearly 25 deer in Adams County, but test results in that case were inconclusive.
This year, numerous other states also are finding EHD-related mortality, including: Alabama; Colorado; Georgia; Tennessee; Kansas; Kentucky; Illinois; Indiana; Maryland; Mississippi; Missouri; New Jersey; North Carolina; South Carolina; Texas; Virginia; Ohio; Pennsylvania; and West Virginia.
MADISON – Hunters and others interested in the white-tailed deer will want to tune in to Deer Hunt 2007 on public television stations statewide at 7 p.m. on Nov. 8. Familiar deer show and Outdoor Wisconsin television host, Dan Small, will interview new Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank, along with other experts on deer management, hunting history, traditions and culture.
The show will feature segments on youth hunting and offer tips on deer behavior, movement and response to changes in their “neck of the woods” to hunters who come home with the lament, “I didn’t see any deer.”
In a companion segment, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison will review and update the audience on the results of a review of the way deer populations are estimated, what deer population estimates mean to hunters and comments from a citizen hunter and member of the committee that reviewed the experts’ work.
Of special interest to viewers with interests in forest ecology and forest management is a segment that will examine some
of the herd’s impacts on things other than motorists’ vehicles in a segment that looks at how the herd’s browsing habits and population numbers affect farmers, foresters and other forest species.
CWD project manager Alan Crossley, will update Dan on efforts of a newly formed CWD advisory committee composed of citizen volunteers who have offered up a bunch of their weekends during the year to study, listen and question a variety of experts in wildlife health, wildlife management, human dynamics, epidemiology and population biology with the goal of advising the Department of Natural Resources on future CWD management policy.
And who wouldn’t like some tasty recipes and tips on processing and preparing venison at home? Culinary whizzes will guide viewers through the various cuts of meat and ways of processing venison, and prepare some dishes that are sure to be a hit around the table.
As in the past, viewers will be able to call in toll-free during the broadcast with their questions about deer hunting regulations and management.
Plan to reduce cormorant population along Lake Michigan and Green Bay
MADISON – Breeding populations of double-crested cormorants – a once rare colonial nesting water bird that is now common along the Great Lakes and other costal areas – would be reduced by half along Green Bay and Lake Michigan, under a proposed management plan that will be the subject of three upcoming public meetings.
Staffs from the DNR wildlife, Endangered resources, and Fisheries programs have prepared a management plan to reduce breeding populations of cormorants on islands of Green Bay and Lake Michigan, which currently are home to more than 12,000 nesting pairs. The colonies account for about 90 % of the state’s breeding populations of cormorants.
“Double-crested cormorant numbers have expanded tremendously across the North American continent over the past 20 years,” says Jeff Pritzl, regional DNR wildlife supervisor at Green Bay.
The population growth has raised concerns among commercial fishermen and recreational anglers that cormorants are excessively preying on yellow perch and other fish in Green Bay and Lake Michigan. Biologists are also concerned that the large cormorant colonies may have a negative affect on the vegetation and other water bird populations on the islands where the colonies are located.
Cormorants historically occupied large, isolated lakes and wetlands in northern Wisconsin, but by the mid 1960s, pesticide contamination, habitat loss and human persecution had reduced their numbers statewide to about 30 in four colonies. In 1972 the double-crested cormorant joined the bald eagle and osprey as the state’s first officially listed endangered birds. With the banning of the pesticide DDT in 1970 and efforts to restore the species by establishing nesting platforms, the species began increasing significantly. Cormorants were taken off the state endangered species list when the population reached nearly 3,000 nests in 1986.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allows federal, state, and tribal agencies to take action to control cormorants where
public resource damage can be documented and cormorant
management can be shown to abate damage to the resource. Pritzl says most other states in the region have conducted Environmental Assessments of cormorant management that have demonstrated a need to take action to control populations.
“Wisconsin has not conducted this Environmental Assessment, and in order to do so, we must first establish management objectives for cormorants in Wisconsin,” he says.
The management plan is directed at reducing cormorant breeding numbers without causing the birds to abandon the colonies, which may increase the likelihood that cormorants would pioneer new breeding sites. It recommends that the population objective for four distinct colonies with 10,000 nests on Northern Door County Islands be reduced to 5,000 nests, with no less than 500 nests at any one of the colonies, and that the current colony of about 2,100 nests at Cat Island on Lower Green Bay be reduced to 1,000 nests.
Cormorant numbers in the remainder of the state are stable to declining, so recommended management objectives are directed only at the Lake Michigan breeding colonies. Management techniques may include egg oiling, nest destruction, and shooting cormorants.
At the public meetings, DNR staff will present information on the history of cormorant breeding numbers in Wisconsin, potential impacts to public resources due to cormorant population expansion, and Wisconsin's role in the Great Lakes regional management of cormorants. The public will be invited to comment on the proposed population objectives after several short presentations. There will also be the opportunity to submit written comments.
The meetings will all begin at 7 p.m. on the following dates at the locations listed:
October 30, Sturgeon Bay - Crossroads at Big Creek, 2041 Michigan St
November 1, Madison - Lussier Family Heritage Center, 3101 Lake Farm Rd
November 5, Green Bay - UW-Extension Service Center, 1150 Bellevue St
CHATHAM — An ERIEAU commercial fisher has been fined $45,000 for exceeding his yellow perch limit by 7,650 kilograms. Allen McCormack, 47 pleaded guilty to exceeding his assigned yellow perch limit for 2006. McCormack is the holder of a commercial fishing licence on Lake Erie.
Court was told that Ministry of Natural Resources data management staff reported the exceeded limits to a conservation officer. The conservation officer’s investigation found that during the fall of 2006, yellow perch were caught on
19 occasions after the assigned licence limit had been reached. Judge B Thomas heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Chatham, on October 12, 2007.
Lake Erie management staff and conservation officers routinely monitor the commercial fishing industry to protect Ontario’s fishery resources. To report a natural resource violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
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.
USFWS Press Releases Sea Grant News
Home | Great Lakes States | Membership | Exotics Update | Great Links
Pending Issues | Regional News | Great Lakes Basin Report | Weekly News / Archives
Site maintained by JJ Consulting