Week of October 24 , 2011

Beyond the Great Lakes
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues


Other Breaking News Items


       Weekly News Archives


       New Product  Archives

Beyond the Great Lakes

Bass Pro Shops to open in Harlingen, Texas

Beginning November 16th, outdoor enthusiasts will discover their next great South Texas adventure begins at the new Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Harlingen.  The 145,000-square foot Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, Texas’ sixth, is the signature anchor for the Cameron Crossing retail development located at the intersection of U.S. Expressways 83 and 77.


The Grand Opening is set for Thursday, November 17th but a special “Evening for Conservation” to help benefit area conservation groups will be held Wednesday night, November 16th beginning at 6 PM.  This exciting,

celebrity-packed event is free and open to the public.The entire store is a tribute to the beautiful landscape of the South Texas countryside—from the hill country to the Rio Grande and the subtropical region of the Gulf coast--its history and the culture of its people. 


Like other Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World stores, it takes on the flavor and atmosphere of the region in which it is located.  Using more than 3,500 area artifacts, antiques, period pictures, state and record wildlife mounts and memorabilia, the store becomes a living museum of Texas’ hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor legacies. 


Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Federal Ammo introduces Top Gun Shotshells to Support Wounded Warriors

Shooters will soon have another reason to hit the range. Federal Ammunition’s Top Gun Target loads now support the Wounded Warriors. Each special box contains a random mix of red, white, and blue hulls. These patriotic hulls are great for everything from backyard shooting to the highest levels of clay target competitions. A portion of the sales for this product will assist injured service members transitioning back to civilian life. The 12-gauge 2-3/4-inch #8 shotshells deliver consistent performance for all types of clay target shooting.


An on-box royalty program sends proceeds from every sale

of the patriotic Top Gun product directly to support

Wounded Warriors. The Wounded Warrior Project honors and aids individuals who suffered service-related injuries on or after the events that occurred September 11, 2001. Family, friends and shooters of all levels can all help to meet the needs of injured troops by purchasing this product—one box at a time.


Top Gun Target loads are designed for high-volume shooters. They are made to provide consistent performance at reasonable prices. These red, white and blue shells not only support a good cause but they ensure reliability shot after shot.


Crimson Trace Lightguard Platform

For distinctive Illumination

The new Lightguard line, featuring the same instinctive activation Crimson Trace laser sights made famous now extends to a sleek 100-Lumen fast activation white light that doesn't extend past the barrel.



Lightguard pairs perfectly with Crimson Trace Lasergrips.  Activate the light.  Identify the threat.  Simultaneously activate the laser to acquire the target.  All while keeping one hand free for steadier aim.  Instant activation, speed, accuracy, and safety in self-defense situations.  Its called Lightguard.  You just might call it the ultimate in empowerment and convenience.


The Lightguard has been recognized by the prestigious Firearms Industry Academy of Excellence as the 2011 Self-Defense Product of the Year - the seventh consecutive year that a Crimson Trace product has won this award.


The Crimson Trace Lightguard for Smith & Wesson M&P, Glock and the Springfield XDM &XD,  features a highly compact and slim design specifically for ease of holstering. Its 100 lumen tactical white light seamlessly attaches to your defensive pistol, much like Crimson Trace’s Laserguard.

Compatible with Crimson Trace laser sights, Lightguard also uses the same instinctive activation that Crimson Trace laser sights are famous for. Lightguard removes the need for a flashlight separate from the pistol – giving you a free hand. Both of these low-light tools can be operated separately or simultaneously with a single hand.


Technical specs:


Trigger Guard Attachment


Instinctive front Activation


Polymer/Rubber Combination


User Installed, No Gunsmithing

Battery Life

Two Hours

Battery Type

CR2 Lithium Battery (1)

On/Off Switch


Light Output

100 Lumen LED Maximum


3 Years Complete

Fits Models

S&W M&P, 9mm, .40, .45

Glock 17, 19, 22, 23

Springfield full size XDM & XD


About $149.00






Trijicon introduces solar-powered combat optic

While the national debate rages on about alternative sources of energy, at least one company well-known to shooters is doing something about it. Last weekend, at the Association of the U.S. Army show, Trijicon, maker of the Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight, unveiled a solar-powered combat optic.


The Sealed Reflex Sight (SRS) harnesses the power of the sun to put its 1.75 minute-of-angle dot on target. This improved 1X reflex sight employs an innovative glass design that results in no tube effect, has user-adjustable brightness settings, is parallax free and can be used with night-vision devices. The sealed unit has a short rail footprint and runs off a single AA battery, but not in the

way you might think. The SRS is solar assisted, and batteries will last for at least two years, but maybe up to six, due to the photovoltaic—there’s a word you don’t come across every day—cell on its top.


The cell transforms collected solar energy into electric current that is used to project the reticle. When exposed to light, the unit is powered by the photovoltaic cell, but draws off the battery when no light source is available—such as in the dark or inside—while keeping the brightness at the same level.


The SRS is fast to acquire, bright, tough and easy to use. The Trijicon SRS will be available February 2012


About $850.00




Bushnell adds new Features to Trophy Cam Series

Helping hunters more effectively pattern game

Bushnell Outdoor Products, an industry-leader in high performance sports optics and outdoor accessories for more than 60 years, has improved its 2011 Trophy Cam series with a variety of new features. The Trophy Cam has quickly become one of the most popular trail cameras on the market by leading the way with an impressive one-year battery life and one-second trigger speed.


Equipped with a 45-foot motion-activated sensor, 32 low-glow LEDs standard and the new Field Scan feature, the Trophy Cam allows users to record game activity around the clock. The Field Scan time-lapse technology automatically captures images at pre-set intervals, from one minute to 60 minutes, allowing users to pattern game and expand coverage beyond the sensor range. In addition, the day/night auto sensor allows the user to monitor game any time of day. The Trophy Cam is the only camera in the industry with the ability to capture live trigger and time lapse images simultaneously.

The Trophy Cam features an enhanced full color resolution of 8 MP and a new audio record feature that enhances the camera's impressive video functionality. To ensure the user never misses an image, the 32 GB memory capacity allows user to capture more than 20,000 photos on a single memory card.


In addition, Bushnell has introduced two new high-definition video Trophy Cams, giving users the ability to capture unprecedented video footage from a trail camera. Another optional feature available on two select models is a built-in color viewer with enhanced zoom, allowing users to conduct a more thorough, in-the-field review.


With all the new advancements, Bushnell continues to improve the most reliable trail camera in the woods. The Bushnell Trophy Cam is available in five different models and includes an adjustable web belt for quick and easy setup in the field.


Click here to view chart.


For more information about the Bushnell Trophy Cam, visit the product section online.






National Ocean Policy Update

U.S. House Committee announces Second Oversight Hearing on National Ocean Policy

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 19, 2011--The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources announced it will hold a second oversight hearing on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 to address “The President’s New National Ocean Policy – A Plan for Further Restrictions on Ocean, Coastal and Inland Activities.”


According to the announcement, the hearing “will feature testimony from Administration officials and impacted industries on President Obama’s Executive Order 13547 that established a new National Ocean Policy and Council that could severely restrict the recreational and commercial uses of our oceans.”  Confirmed witnesses include the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and National Ocean Council Co-Chair and the Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans & Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.


The hearing will also examine the job, energy and economic impacts of President Obama’s Executive Order.


Last Tuesday, the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee held its first congressional oversight hearing on “The President’s New National Ocean Policy – A Plan for Further Restrictions on Ocean, Coastal and Inland Activities.”  House members clashed over a White House plan that essentially calls for zoning the oceans, with Republicans charging that it already has created more job-killing bureaucracy and Democrats saying it could give Americans more certainty on how they can use busy public waters.


At the invitation of the Committee, Jack Coleman, Co-Managing Director of the National Ocean Policy Coalition, testified on behalf of the Coalition.  Following opening statements by Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) and Ranking Member Ed Markey (D-MA) and an appearance by Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), Coleman discussed the Coalition’s concerns about the policy’s potential impacts on jobs and the economy through ocean and inland zoning and the creation of a new federal regulatory overlay, the lack of adequate scientific and nonscientific justification for the policy, the tremendous uncertainty that continues to accompany this initiative, the unprecedented geographic scale under which the policy is being established, and the lack of user group representation on regional planning bodies that will be established.


On July 19, 2010 President Obama signed Executive Order 13547 to unilaterally implement a new National Ocean Policy without Congressional approval or specific statutory authority. This policy is a new regulatory layer that could significantly impact the way we use and manage our oceans and is another example of the Obama Administration imposing burdensome federal regulations and policies that could hinder economic growth and harm job creation. In addition, the Administration is implementing a mandatory Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning initiative to “zone” the oceans.


NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service announced that the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee will hold an open public meeting in Washington, DC on October 25-27 to discuss and provide advice on issues including climate adaptation, recreational fisheries regional action plans, and implementation of the Department of Commerce and NOAA national aquaculture policies.  In addition, updates will be presented on (1) National Ocean Policy implementation, coastal and marine spatial planning, and use of the Multipurpose Marine Cadastre; (2) NOAA budgets; and (3) outlooks for 2012 regulatory and science activities.


The House National Resources Committee put together a list of concerns about the the President’s Executive Order and ‘Ocean Zoning’. Those concerns include:


1. Lacks Congressional Authorization. In four separate Congresses, legislation has been introduced to implement

similar far-reaching ocean policies, and to-date NO bill has passed the House or been reported out of a Committee.


2.Unilateral Action. The Obama Administration has failed to cite any specific statutory authority for the Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning initiative. Instead, it throws up a smokescreen list of all statutes that impact the oceans and claims that is their authority.


3. Imposes ‘Ocean Zoning.’ The Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning initiative is entirely new, mandatory ocean zoning that involves up to 27 Federal agencies and will cost the taxpayers millions, if not billions, in Federal spending. This initiative could place huge portions of the ocean off limits to all types of recreational and commercial activities.


4. Threatens American Jobs. ‘Ocean zoning’ has the potential to damage sectors such as agriculture, commercial and recreational fishing, construction, manufacturing, marine commerce, mining, oil and natural gas, renewable energy, recreational boating, and waterborne transportation, among others. These industries support tens of millions of jobs and contribute trillions of dollars to the U.S. economy.


5. Far-Reaching Impacts Not Limited to the Ocean. This new ‘ocean zoning’ authority would allow Federally-dominated Regional Planning Bodies to reach as far inland as it deems necessary to protect ocean ecosystem health. It specifically mentions the Great Lakes and could potentially impact all activities that occur on lands adjacent to rivers, tributaries or watersheds that drain into the ocean.


6. Creates More Bureaucracy. The Executive Order creates: 10 National Policies; a 27-member National Ocean Council; an 18-member Governance Coordinating Committee; and 9 Regional Planning Bodies. This has led to an additional: 9 National Priority Objectives; 9 Strategic Action Plans; 7 National Goals for Coastal Marine Spatial Planning; and 12 Guiding Principles for Coastal Marine Spatial Planning to be created.


7.Tool for Litigation. The ‘ocean zoning’ initiative involves vague and undefined objectives, goals, and policies that can be used as fodder for lawsuits to stop or delay Federally-permitted activities. This initiative is poised to become a litigation nightmare.


8. New Cost to Taxpayers. This new policy will affect already budget-strapped agencies such as NOAA, Department of Commerce, Department of the Interior, EPA, Department of Transportation, USDA, Homeland Security, and the Army Corps of Engineers. As Federal budgets are further reduced, it is unclear how much funding the agencies are taking from existing programs to develop and implement this new initiative.


9. Those Impacted by Regulations Need Not Apply. The Regional Planning Bodies, created by the ‘ocean zoning’ initiative, will have no representation by the people, communities and businesses that will actually be impacted by the regulations. These heavily Federal bodies will create zoning plans without any stakeholders yet all Federal agencies, the States, and the regulated communities will be bound by the plan.


10. New Regulatory Uncertainty. The impacts of this new regulatory layer and ‘ocean zoning’ initiative contribute to an uncertain regulatory climate that is hindering economic activity and job creation. Even the Interagency Task Force recognized this potential in their report stating, “The Task Force is mindful that these recommendations may create a level of uncertainty and anxiety among those who rely on these resources and may generate questions about how they align with existing processes, authorities, and budget challenges. The NOC (National Ocean Council) will address questions and specifics as implementation progresses.” In other words…don’t worry, trust us.


For more info: National Ocean Policy Coalition


Lindner Inducted into IGFA Hall of Fame

Recognizing a 50 year career that has spanned the most revolutionary years in sportfishing history, Al Lindner is among the fishing luminaries being inducted into the International Fishing Hall of Fame. Lindner joins John Chibnail Allen, Buddy Merritt, Frank O'Brien, Jr. and Paxson Offeld in the thirteenth class of inductees on October 26 at the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame in Dania Beach, FL.


During a 50-year career spanning the most revolutionary years in sportfishing history, Al Lindner ranks among the most renowned leaders in the sport fishing industry.


Al remains immensely popular as one of the best-recognized angling authorities in North America. Al, however, has always worn many hats, and even his most avid fans may not realize the extent of his past and present involvement with all aspects of the fishing 

business. Besides finding new and better ways to catch fish, he has worked as a fishing guide, tackle designer and manufacturer, tournament fishing champion, book author, lecturer, radio host, magazine publisher, video producer, television host and a pioneer of professional walleye tournament fishing.


Of all his titles, Al prefers that of "Angling Educator," a lifelong obsession he tirelessly pursues. His continuing dedication to teaching youth to fish reached a high point when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service used his Camp Fish formula as a nationwide teaching.


Al's deep and abiding faith has led him to share not only his fishing knowledge, but more importantly, tell his Christian life story in many venues. He frequently speaks of his life journey, and his deep spiritual convictions to both young and old alike.



Toxic algae, dead zones threaten Great Lakes

Lake Erie, declared “dead” in the 1960s and brought back to life in the ’70s, may now be on the critical list again. The worst toxic algae bloom in recorded history is plaguing Lake Erie. For weeks now, the current, smelly bloom has virtually covered the western basin of Erie and is moving eastward, where it’s expected to create larger dead zones.


The culprit is mainly fertilizer runoff from farms, especially phosphorus that drains into rivers that flow into Lake Erie. Rivers that feed western Lake Erie have been determined to have particularly high phosphorus levels. This triggers algae blooms that begin with the spring rains and last until fall. Once the algae dies, it sinks to the bottom, but it sucks up oxygen there and creates a dead zone in which fish and plant life cannot be sustained.


The ramifications for boaters and anglers are huge. Lake Erie is the largest producer of fish, both commercial and recreational, of the five Great Lakes. It’s a multi-billion-dollar annual economic boost to Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York and Ontario. Lake Erie has the largest number of registered boats on the Great Lakes. Moreover, the smelly algae covers shorelines and beaches, is as thick as 2 feet in some places, and can sicken or even kill people.


Between the algae blooms and invasive species like zebra mussels and, especially, quagga mussels, we’re seeing a collapse of the base of the food web resulting in declines in desirable sport fish populations, such as lake whitefish and 

salmon in Lake Huron.  Between the mid-1960s and 1990, phosphorus levels dropped after efforts to change farming practices and a ban on phosphorus in detergents. But in 1995, levels began going up again, leading to huge blooms in Lake Erie starting in 2003.


“It’s now out of control,” says Ken Alvey, president of the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association. “We can’t even begin to calculate the potential damage to our industry if action isn’t taken to change allowable farming practices on lands adjacent to our lakes and rivers.”  Lake Erie may be the problem’s poster child right now, but it’s not the only problem area. Grand Lake St. Marys in central Ohio, surrounded by farmland, has so much toxic algae in it that the state is prohibiting swimming, and boaters are being advised to find another lake.


Other blooms that could be in the news include Saginaw Bay (Michigan), Green Bay (Wisconsin), and along Lake Michigan’s coastline, among others. Federal agencies rate near-shore areas in all lakes but Lake Superior as “poor” for nutrient phosphorus concentrations. Isn’t all this enough of a wake up call?’


The damage can be reversed, but it will take mandated changes in farming practices, and that must become a priority to protect the lakes, the fisheries, the water supplies and the economic benefits. The Great Lakes represent one-third of the nation’s recreational fleet. The boating and fishing industries should move this issue up on the priority list.

Great Lakes Water Levels for October 21, 2011 


A powerful fall storm impacted the Great Lakes this week bringing heavy rain and strong winds. Many locations across southern Michigan received between 2 and 3 inches of rain, while wind gusts of 60 plus mph caused significant waves on Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. To date in October, the Great Lakes basin as a whole has seen above average precipitation. Quieter weather is on tap for the weekend, as the strong storm pulls away from the region.


Currently, Lake Superior is 3 inches above its level of a year ago, while Lake Michigan is 1 inch above last year's level. Lakes St. Clair and Erie are 11 and 13 inches, respectively higher than they were at this time last year, and Lake Ontario is 2 inches above last year's level. Over the next thirty days, Lake Superior is projected to drop 1 inch from its current level, and Lake Michigan-Huron is expected to fall 2 inches. The water levels of Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are forecasted to decline 8, 5, and 4 inches, respectively, over the next month.


Lake Superior's outflow through the St. Mary's River is projected to be below average for the month of October. The outflows from Lake Huron into the St. Clair River, and

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 both predicted to be above average in October.


Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels. Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.




St. Clair



Level for Oct 21






Datum, in ft






Diff in inches






Diff last month






Diff from last yr







2012 Spring Turkey Applications

Residents may start applying Tuesday October 18, and non-residents may start applying Tuesday December 6.


Resident Fees

Shotgun Application - $15.00

Non-Resident Fees

Shotgun Application - $125.00

Youth Fees

Shotgun Application - $10.00


Public meeting on proposed Michigan City boat ramp project, Nov. 2

A public meeting to discuss building a world-class public boat-launching facility in Michigan City will be held Nov. 2 at City Hall in Michigan City.


The City of Michigan City, Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will host the meeting, which runs from 2 to 4 p.m., at 100 E. Michigan Ave. Michigan City consultants, Michigan City Port Authority, IDEM, and DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife personnel will be on hand to address questions and concerns.


The City of Michigan City and the Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) have entered into an agreement allowing the City of Michigan City to develop

and build the project. In addition to local funding, federal funds from the Boating Infrastructure Grant program and the Sport Fish Restoration program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would be used.


The facility would be built on NIPSCO property that abuts Trail Creek and would be accessed directly from Wabash Street. The project includes building road access to the new boat ramp, providing parking for boat trailers, and adding a fish-cleaning station, sidewalks and light poles to create a promenade, as well as adding transient boat slips.


Public comments will be accepted during the meeting. Written comments will be accepted through noon on Nov. 19. Such comments can be directed to Tony Sullivan, 100 N. Senate Ave., IGCS W041, Indianapolis, IN 46204.



DNR Approves Online Snowmobile Safety Course for Youth Operators

An online snowmobile safety course aimed at youth operators has received the endorsement of the Michigan DNR. It is the first online course for snowmobile safety endorsed by the DNR.


Successful completion of the online course would satisfy Michigan’s snowmobile safety education requirement for youth operators. Under Michigan law, snowmobile operators at least 12 years of age, but less than 17, are required to successfully complete an approved safety training program. Youth operators are also required to 

carry the safety training certificate with them whenever they are operating a snowmobile in Michigan.


The online course, offered by Fresh Air Educators Inc., provides another option for those interested in taking an approved safety course. Traditional in-person classroom courses are still offered throughout Michigan. There is a $29.95 fee to take the online course. More information on the online course can be found at www.snowmobilecourse.com/usa/michigan/. There is also a quick link on the DNR website under Education and Outreach when searching for available Recreational Safety classes in your area.

DNR Snowshoe Making Classes Ludington State Park Oct. 28-29

Ludington State Park is offering daytime and evening snowshoe-making classes in October, November and December, the Department of Natural Resources announced today. Participants will learn to weave a pair of traditional wooden snowshoes, similar to the ones Native Americans made for generations. 


The cost for making a pair of snowshoes is $180 and includes the pre-formed wooden frames, lacing, high-quality bindings and personal instruction. Classes are designed to be fun, informative and interesting. Because this is an activity that requires concentration over long periods of time, it is suggested for ages 16 and older. 


These hand-made snowshoes can be used for hiking throughout the winter, given as holiday gifts, or used as a decoration in your home. Snowshoeing is an easy,

inexpensive way to get outside and burn some calories

during the winter months.


All classes are held at the Ludington State Park’s Warming Shelter. The park is located at 8800 West M-116 in Ludington. Note that the Oct. 28 and 29 is one class split over two days.


Classes are scheduled for:

Oct. 28, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Part 1)

Oct. 29, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Part 2)

Nov. 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (All day class)

Dec. 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (All day class)

Dec. 18, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (All day class)


Class size is limited to a maximum of 10 participants, and reservations are required. To make a reservation, please call Ludington State Park at 231-843-9261 or email Alan Wernette at [email protected].


Understanding Nutrients in the Great Lakes

Jeffrey M. Reutter, Ohio State University

Nutrients are essential to the growth of algae in the Great Lakes.  Just as adding fertilizer to our lawns causes our grass to grow, nutrients entering the Great Lakes cause algae to grow.  The nutrients we typically add to our lawns are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).  On your bag of fertilizer you will find the N:P:K ratio.   These are all essential nutrients for plant and algae growth.  Because they are essential, the loss of any of them can cause plant growth to stop.  The nutrient in the shortest supply is called the “limiting nutrient.”  As algae reproduce and grow, they consume nutrients.  When the limiting nutrient is completely consumed, algal growth stops.  Therefore, we can control algal growth by controlling the amount of the limiting nutrient.  In freshwater, P is typically the limiting nutrient, and it is also ecologically and economically the easiest to control.  Nutrients enter Lakes and tributaries in effluent from sewage treatment plants, combined sewer overflow (CSO) from sewage treatment plants during storms, septic tanks, lawn runoff, and runoff from agricultural fields.


Algae is near the base of the food chain and therefore some algal production is desirable and needed to promote fish production.  Consequently nutrients can be good for the ecosystem, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing.  Excessive nutrient loads lead to excessive algal growth.   The dominant algal group varies by season.  Excessive P concentrations during cold weather lead to large growths of diatoms, during warm weather they lead to large growths, or blooms, of blue-green algae (also called cyanobacteria), and when temperatures are intermediate we see excessive growths of nuisance algae like Cladophora, a form we often find attached to rocks, docks, and boat hulls. 


In the 1970’s Lake Erie became the poster child for pollution problems in the world because excessive nutrient loading led to huge blooms of Cladophora and blue-greens.  Through the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, Canada and the United States worked together to reduce the loading of P to solve the problem. 

Loading to Lake Erie was reduced from 29,000 metric tons in 1969 to the target of 11,000 tons by the mid-1980s. 

Improving sewage treatment was the primary focus because sewage treatment plants were estimated to be putting in about 2/3 of the total load.  Lake Erie went from being the poster child for pollution problems to one of the best examples in the world of ecosystem recovery and the “Walleye Capital of the World.”  This ecosystem improvement was also a great stimulus to the economy.


Monitoring P loading and P concentrations in the water is one of the ways we monitor the status of the Great Lakes.  Symptoms of excessive P loading to the Great Lakes typically show up first in the Western Basin of Lake Erie through excessive algal blooms and the Central Basin of Lake Erie through the formation of the “Dead Zone.”  The Western Basin with an average depth of less than 8 meters, seldom stratifies with a warm layer on top and a cold layer on the bottom during the summer.  The Central Basin with an average depth of less than 20 meters creates the “perfect storm” for the formation of a dead zone when it stratifies, i.e., a cold bottom layer that is very thin (about 3 meters thick).  The dead zone occurs when algal production is very high.  As the algae die and sink to the bottom, bacterial decomposition of the algae consumes all of the oxygen in the cold bottom layer and the area is referred to as the “dead zone,” because fish and many other organisms cannot live there.  Because of their physical characteristics and nutrient loads, the next most likely problem spots in the Great Lakes are Saginaw Bay and Green Bay.


Changes in agricultural practices, population shifts, warmer weather, and more frequent severe storms have led to a steady increase in the loads of bioavailable P coming into Lake Erie since the mid-1990s.  Zebra and quagga mussels tend to hold these nutrients in the nearshore zone.  Concentrations of P are back to 1970 levels, blue-green blooms have returned, and the dead zone is growing, starting earlier, and lasting longer.  Determining how to rapidly reduce P loading to solve the problem in Lake Erie and prevent the same thing from happening in the other lakes, is our challenge.

Anglers Can Purchase Fishing License with their Phones

Last minute" One and Three-day fishing licenses can be purchased over the telephone for a small fee

COLUMBUS, OH – Anglers can now purchase One-day and Three-day fishing licenses over the telephone thanks to the newly implemented license system by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.


Customers have two telephone options to purchase a “last-minute” fishing license using a credit card:

1. Calling 1-866-703-1928 between 5 a.m. and midnight to reach a live operator who will walk the customer through the transaction; a $5.50 convenience fee is included with this option.

2. Calling 1-855-765-3474 any time for an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. Callers should be sure and have their nine-digit customer identification number, which can be obtained at no cost from the Wild Ohio Customer Center at www.wildohio.com. The IVR option includes a $3.25 convenience fee.


In both cases, the customer is issued a 10-digit license number then instructed to carry it along with a picture ID as proof that the angler is properly licensed. A printed

copy of the license is not included. Convenience fees in

either option can be avoided by purchasing licenses early at license agent outlets or over the Internet at www.wildohio.com. Customers should note $10 of the One-Day Fishing License can be exchanged for credit toward the purchase of an Annual Fishing License at any time within the license year.


Also new this year, anglers have the option of buying in advance an $11 “Lake Erie Charter 1-Day Fishing License” allowing them to wait and validate the license at the dock the day of the trip. Waiting to sign and date the license allows for its future use in case the original fishing trip is cancelled due to weather or other circumstances. This license is not available for purchase over the telephone.


All license purchases include a $1.00 writing fee.

Customers should be aware that Social Security Numbers (SSN) will be required of all individuals, youth and adult, who plan to buy licenses and permits. United States Federal Statute 42 requires the collection of SSN of any individual to whom the state issues a recreational hunting or fishing license. When buying a license, customers are also required by law to give their full name, date of birth, gender, declaration of residency, mailing address, height, weight, hair and eye color.


Survey looks at why anglers stopped fishing for trout

Mail survey part of ongoing review of trout program

MADISON -- More than 800 anglers who haven't fished for inland trout the past three years will have a chance to tell the state why they've hung up their fly rods and spin casting rods and are no longer seeking the wily trout in Wisconsin.


The Department of Natural Resources mailed out surveys earlier this month to more than 800 randomly picked fishing license holders who had once been trout anglers but who had not bought a trout stamp that would allow them to fish for trout in Wisconsin's inland waters since 2008.


"What we're trying to find out is what are the reasons that people are no longer fishing and is there anything we can do about that," says Marty Engel, a DNR fisheries biologist stationed in Baldwin.  "Obviously, angler retention is as important to us as any business. We want to know what the reasons are, and if there is anything we can do to address things like access or regulations, or anything else under our control."


The survey is part of Wisconsin's ongoing review of inland trout fishing. Participants at public meetings last spring got to tell DNR fish biologists what they like about trout fishing now and what they think could be improved. Meeting participants also filled out a survey to give more specific feedback on all aspects of trout fishing and management in Wisconsin, and nearly 2,000 completed the same survey online.

A second mail survey will go out later this fall to randomly selected trout anglers. DNR researchers are using results from the previous surveys available at the public meetings and online to help fine-tune the questions for the mail survey, which also will ask about angler effort, catch and harvest.


Jordan Petchenik, a DNR social researcher, is working with trout researchers, on the survey that seeks to find out why once avid anglers quit.

Petchenik worked with DNR's licensing staff to run a query of the automated licensing system to see how many people bought a trout stamp for every year 2004-2008 but stopped buying the stamp after 2008. That total was 2, 268. Those people received a letter to verify their address was still current. The survey design called for 800 of them to get a survey in the mail to fill out and return. The surveys were mailed out the second week of October.


"We know that the people who dropped out for the last three years had been dedicated trout anglers at one time because they had purchased trout stamps for five consecutive years," Petchenik says.


Results from the mail survey of anglers who have fallen away from the sport in Wisconsin's won't be available until the end of the year, he says.  Engel hopes the results will offer DNR important insights into trout fishing and trout management, and how DNR can work to improve both. "It's been more than 20 years since we surveyed trout anglers, and I don't think we've ever surveyed people who hung it up to find out why they did or what we can do to get them back."

Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)


Current efforts to stop Asian carp not sustainable, experts say
Amid concerns that current efforts to stop the influx of Asian carp in Illinois may not be sustainable, a coalition of Great Lakes states and cities on Thursday proposed a controversial plan to install metal and concrete barriers to separate the Mississippi River from Lake Michigan, effectively re-reversing the flow of the Chicago River.


EDITORIAL: Shocking number of boating mishaps should remind all that safety comes first
The number of capsized boats, disabled boats — missing boaters on the Great Lakes State’s Lake Michigan Coast — is shocking for this time of the year or any open-water season.


Reversal of Great Lakes invasive species rules feared

Just a month before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is set to release new rules to protect the Great Lakes from overseas ships carrying in invasive species, legislation is moving through Congress that conservation groups say might roll back those protections.

The Commercial Vessel Discharge Reform Act of 2011

Army Corps reduces power on Asian carp barrier
Power is being reduced on an electric barrier network designed to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes because it might be interfering with operations on a nearby railroad, federal authorities said Wednesday.


House bill would hurt state's efforts with Great Lakes
A bill moving quickly through the House would undermine New York’s tough new regulations aimed at preventing invasive species from entering the Great Lakes


Lamprey repellent may help control Great Lakes pest
Great Lakes biologists might have found a new weapon in the never-ending fight to control the devastating sea lamprey - the stench of death itself


River freed from dams prison
For the first time in a century water is flowing unimpeded in the span thought to be the Paw Paw River's original, natural channel after a contractor removed a pair of crumbing concrete dams.



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