Week of November 10, 2008

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General
Lake Ontario

Illinois
Indiana
Michigan
New York
Ohio
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National

CDC reports ammo lead levels not harmful

Traditional ammunition poses no health risk to people

The CDC report on human lead levels of hunters in North Dakota has confirmed what hunters throughout the world have known for hundreds of years, that traditional ammunition poses no health risk to people and that the call to ban lead ammunition was nothing more than a scare tactic being pushed by anti-hunting groups.

 

In looking at the study results, the average lead level of the hunters tested was lower than that of the average American. In other words, if you were to randomly pick someone on the street, chances are they would have a higher blood lead level than the hunters in this study.

 

Also of note, the lead levels of children under 6 in the study had a mean of just 0.88, less than half the national average. Children over 6 had even lower lead levels. The CDC's level of concern for lead in children is 10.

 

A media advisory released by the North Dakota Department of Health cited the highest lead level reading of an adult study participant as still being lower than the CDC lead level threshold of concern for a child, and significantly lower than the CDC accepted threshold of concern for an adult. Furthermore, during a tele-press conference hosted by the ND Department of Health, officials stated they could not verify whether this adult even consumed game harvested with traditional ammunition. Correspondingly, the study only showed an insignificant 0.3 micrograms per deciliter difference between participants who ate wild game harvested with traditional ammunition and non-hunters in the non-random control group.

 

Also demonstrating their understanding that game harvested with traditional ammunition is safe to consume, the ND Department of Health, following the release of the CDC study results, encouraged hunters to continue donating venison to local food banks as long as processing guidelines were adhered to.

 

NSSF was critical of the ND Department of Health when earlier this year the Department overreacted to a non-peer reviewed study by a dermatologist who claimed to have collected packages of venison from food banks that contained

lead fragments. North Dakota health officials did not conduct their own study, but merely accepted the lead-contaminated meat samples from the dermatologist. The ND Department of Health then ordered all food banks to discard their venison. Serious questions were raised in a subsequent investigative journalism piece published this summer about the scientific validity of the testing of venison samples from the ND food pantries, including concerns regarding the non-random selection of the samples.

 

It has since come to light that the dermatologist's efforts were not the independent actions of a concerned hunter, as he claimed. It was an orchestrated strategy by the Peregrine Fund -- an organization dedicated to eliminating the use of lead ammunition for hunting. The dermatologist serves on the Fund's Board of Directors.

 

For more than a century, hundreds of millions of Americans have safely consumed game harvested using traditional hunting ammunition, and despite there being no scientific evidence that consuming the game is endangering the health of individuals, special interest groups like the Peregrine Fund and anti-hunting groups are continuing to press state legislatures around the country to support a ban on this common, safe and effective ammunition.

 

These politically driven groups understand that while an outright ban on hunting would be nearly impossible to achieve, dismantling the culture of hunting one step at a time is a realistic goal. Banning lead ammunition is the first step of this larger political mission. We can only hope that with the conclusive CDC results concerning the safety of traditional ammunition, legislatures across the country will listen to science and not anti-hunting radicals.

 

The notion by some, that any amount of lead is a "concern," is scientifically unfounded rhetoric that runs contrary to nationwide, long-standing standards of evaluation. The NSSF is pleased that hunters and others can now comfortably continue consuming game harvested with traditional ammunition that has been properly field dressed and butchered, yet we remain unsettled that for so many months good and safe food was taken out of the mouths of the hungry as nothing more than a political gambit by special interest groups.


Regional

Mass Marking gear for Salmon a boon for anglers

New equipment will pay benefits to states & anglers for years to come

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Great Lakes Region in the last two weeks has received the first of a series of automated fish tagging trailers - an initial step in the development of a mass marking program that will eventually mark or tag all salmon and trout stocked into U.S. waters of the Great Lakes. Once implemented, this initiative will become the largest coordinated tagging and recovery program ever envisioned for Great Lakes management agencies.

           

A similar coordinated program is planned by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources in Canadian waters of the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes program is modeled after a 20-year mass marking program for salmon in the Pacific Northwest.

           

A program long sought by our regional state DNRs, the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council and other conservation groups; the centerpiece of this approach to mass marking is the computer-operated, automated tagging and marking trailer known as the AutoFish System.  The system, designed, built and marketed by Northwest Marine Technology of Anacortes, Washington provides an alternative to manual clipping and tagging of fish ready for release to the wild.

           

This alternative is really the greatest benefit to resource management, egg collection, hatchery management and stocking regimes. It will dramatically reduce fish stocking mortality due to manual fin clipping and simultaneously offer resoundingly improved data collection on stocking, paired with declining state labor costs. The long-term benefits will also be realized by increased angler opportunities.

             

The AutoFish System is a self-contained mobile unit in a 44’ aluminum fifth wheel trailer. The system has the capability to rapidly sort by length, clip the adipose fin, and insert coded-wire tags to more than 60,000 salmon and trout per eight-hour day without anesthetic or human handling. The fish are never completely dewatered during the process, thereby reducing stress. Fin clipping rates and tag placement accuracy is superior to that of manual operations and less costly than manual clipping and tagging systems.

FWS is leading this program at the request of state and tribal fishery agencies in the eight Great Lakes States through the Council of Lake Committees of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. The Service's Green Bay National Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (NFWCO) will provide overall coordination of Basin-wide tagging and marking for 21 state hatcheries, four Service hatcheries and one tribal hatchery that stock salmon and trout. Green Bay NFWCO will also assist partner agencies with project planning, data collection, statistical analysis and laboratory services to extract and read the coded-wire tags from harvested fish.

           

The estimated cost to implement the mass marking program over a five year period will be around $12 million for equipment and $6 million per year for operational costs. Congress awarded the Service $1.2 million this year to begin the project.

 

For years the Service has fin-clipped (marked) and/or coded-wire-tagged all of the lake trout stocked into the Great Lakes for the restoration of this species. Recovery of the tagged and marked lake trout helps the Service, state and tribal fisheries agencies evaluate the performance and movement of these fish. Tagging also allows for evaluation of the survival and growth between strains, stocking locations, and sizes at stocking. With the new mass marking initiative, continued evaluation of hatchery fish is now being extended to other salmon and trout species raised by the states and tribes in U.S. waters.

           

Coded-wire tags are thin pieces of metal wire that are inserted into the snout of fish just prior to stocking and contain a numeric code that is specific to a certain group of fish. All coded-wire tagged fish also receive an adipose fin clip to identify them as having a tag. When fish are recovered from fisheries and assessment activities, they are scanned with a metal detector to locate the tag. The tag is then removed and read. When many recovered tags are analyzed over time, biologists can determine relative survival, movement, growth rates and age of the fish.

 

 


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Nov. 7, 2008

Weather Conditions

Much of the Great Lakes basin experienced record warmth this week as temperatures soared some 30 degrees above average.  Precipitation was confined to the northern reaches of the basin.  A large and potent storm system developing in the upper plains will bring an end to the unseasonably warm temperatures for the weekend.  Thunderstorms are likely Friday and some snow may fall Saturday and Sunday as temperatures fall into the 40s.

Lake Level Conditions

Lake Superior is 2 inches higher than it was at this time last year and Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 5 to 9 inches above last year's levels.  All of the Great Lakes are continuing their period of seasonal decline and are forecasted to drop 2 to 4 inches during the next month.  Through April, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are expected to be above their levels of a year ago.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are expected to be above last years levels through December and then fall below last years levels from January through April.  See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions

In October, the outflows through the St. Mary's and St. Clair Rivers were below average.  The outflows through the Detroit, 

Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers were near their respective

October averages.

Alerts

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 Nov 7

 

601.3

 

577.5

 

 

573.4

 

570.6

 

244.5

Datum, in ft

 

601.1

 

577.5

 

572.3

 

569.2

 

243.3

Diff in inches

 

 +2

 

 0

 

+13

 

+17

 

+14

Diff last month

 

-2

 

 -4

 

-6

 

 -5

 

 -5

Diff from last yr

 

+2

 

+9

 

+8

 

 +5

 

+


General

Firearms Industry Statement on Results of CDC Blood Lead

Levels in Hunters Study

NEWTOWN, Conn. -- The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) -- the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry -- issued the following statement in response to study results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), released by the North Dakota Department of Health, showing no evidence that lead or "traditional" ammunition pose any health risk to those who consume harvested game meat.

 

“Recognizing that hunters and their families may be concerned or confused by recent news reports about the study, NSSF encourages every individual who may consume harvested game meat to read the NSSF statement, and CDC report (see below) made available in this news release.

Facts Hunters Should Know from the CDC Study . . .

1. Consuming game harvested using traditional hunting ammunition does not pose a human health risk.

2. Participants in the study had readings lower than the national average and well below the level the CDC considers to be of concern.

3. Children in the study had readings that were less than half the national average and far below the level the CDC considers to be of concern.

4. The study showed a statistically insignificant difference between participants who ate game harvested using traditional hunting ammunition and the non-hunters in the control group.

5. Hunters should continue to donate venison to food pantries.

 

 


Lake Ontario

Salmon River Fish Hatchery; 2008 Annual Report                    

By Doug Fuegel

The news was definitely upbeat concerning salmon egg taking and the salmon migration in the Salmon River this fall compared to the dismal news of 2007. Salmon River Hatchery Manager Andy Greulich presented his annual report to local anglers and angler organizations at a recent hatchery gathering in Altmar, NY.

           

Salmon River anglers as well as open lake fishermen well remember the effects Mother Nature had on the 2007 fall migration of Chinooks and Coho salmon a year ago. Central New York entered into last fall with one of the driest years on record that continued well into late October. The river had little water; the Salmon River Reservoir was approximately 14 feet below normal and above normal temperatures kept the river water above 67° past peak migration around Columbus Day. Few salmon entered the river and eggs deposited failed to hatch as evident by the very poor natural reproduction assessment conducted in the spring of 2008. Many of the eggs gathered during the 2007 migration failed to "eye up" that led to less than half the normal salmon stocking in the spring of 2008.

 

This year Mother Nature did a 180 degree turn around, Central New York could boast only one above 90° date this year and rain fall has been well above normal with October measuring more than eight inches of rain. Needless to say the river was in prime condition for the salmon migration, anglers enjoyed a very successful season on Chinooks and by October 15th Greulich reported the full compliment of 2.6 million Chinooks eggs taken in just four days.

 

Greulich stated the water temperature in the river was near perfect measuring 56° by early October and dropping daily that

brought in more than 8,000 Chinooks by mid-month. According to Greulich Coho salmon follow Chinooks a bit later but at this meeting time more than half, 720,000 Coho eggs had been taken of the target 1.5 million. Greulich reported "jacks" young salmon numbers entering the hatchery was about normal indicating a very stabile salmon population in the open lake. Scott Pindell, Regions 7 fishery biologist reported salmon entering the hatchery this year averaged two to three pounds heavier than last year indicating good growth and abundant forage base.

 

Abundant water supply of the right temperature has plagued the hatchery however Gruelich reported a new deep well just 40 feet from the old existing well is capable of 475 GPM of constant cold water complimenting the shallow well warmer river water; ideal for the production of steelhead. Greulich reported a new pump designed to move all species from their holding tanks directly to the new marking trailer will greatly reduce handling mortality.

 

All the news at this annual gathering was not positive, the dismal fiscal position of New York's finances has hit the DEC and the hatchery system. The state hiring freeze has hit this hatchery; Greulich is short one technical position that will not be filled anytime soon. Additionally all repair funds have been frozen and although the states hatchery truck fleet is in deplorable condition no new hatchery trucks are in the foreseeable future. Greulich did report the state had purchased one new truck that is up for grabs and he is hopeful his Salmon River hatchery will receive it.

 

All indications point to a great 2009 Lake Ontario fishing season and those attending this annual hatchery update were amazed at the progress and production this hatchery outputs with the limited resources.


Illinois

Youth Scholarship Program Nomination Deadline Dec. 1

The Illinois Conservation Foundation Youth Achievement Scholarship program nomination deadline is Dec. 1.  Ten high school juniors or seniors – one female and one male from each of the five IDNR regions in Illinois – will be selected.

 

Students who have made significant contributions or exhibited unparalleled dedication in preserving, promoting, enhancing or supporting natural resources conservation in Illinois are eligible. Each student selected will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Applicants must be Illinois residents, a member

of the high school class of 2009 or 2010, and must be nominated by a natural resource constituency group, community leader, school administrator, teacher or adult mentor.

 

Those selected will be presented with the scholarships at the annual Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet on Feb. 28, 2009 at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles. The scholarship program is supported through funds raised at the banquet. For more information, call 217/785-2003. Nomination forms are available through the ICF web site at www.ilcf.org.


FREE Youth Pheasant Hunt Sunday, December 7

Freeport, IL - The United Sportsmen’s Youth Foundation is sponsoring a FREE Youth Pheasant Hunt on Sunday, December 7.  Kids 18 and under are encouraged to register. 

 

Reserve your spot by Wednesday, December 2nd.  Go to http://dnr.state.il.us/publicaffaris/2006/july/gov.htm  for information on the Illinois Hunter Apprentice Law. An Illinois hunting license required and Blaze orange hats and vests are also required.  Donations graciously accepted. Space is limited, so call soon! Refundable Deposit required to hold space. Call for times and to register at 815-599-5690.  Go to www.USYF.com  for additional upcoming dates and events.

The United Sportsmen’s Youth Foundation is a non-profit organization that works to purchase large tracts of habitat, provide and preserve multi-use habitat for children, teach children that personal involvement can positively impact wildlife and habitat, and work to unite sportsmen, agriculture, and communities. Donations graciously accepted.

 

Call for more info at 815-599-5690 or email usyf1931@hotmail.com.   Go to www.USYF.com for additional upcoming dates and events.

 

 


Spring Turkey First Lottery Deadline Dec 1

Resident hunters may now apply for the first lottery for 2009 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits online through DNR Direct.  Just go to the IDNR web site at

http://dnr.state.il.us  and click on the Hunting and Turkey Hunting links.  The application deadline for the first lottery for 2009 resident spring turkey permits is Dec. 1, 2008.


Indiana

Indiana Deer Harvest Outlook

Favorable weather and a few other factors could combine to produce a record harvest this deer firearm season, which opens Nov. 15.

 

"We continue to have a healthy deer herd in Indiana," said DNR deer management biologist Chad Stewart. "Hunters can expect to have a tremendous season in 2008. I wouldn't be surprised if we produced a record harvest this year."

 

Stewart noted that the weather so far this year has been cooler than in recent years past, which should increase deer movement and get more hunters in the field because the weather will be more comfortable for hunting. He said he 

expects that these two factors could lead to an increased number of deer taken this year.

 

He also emphasized that EHD (Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease), a deer disease that was detected in many parts of the state last year, will hardly be a factor this season. "The number of counties, with reports of EHD is down drastically from last year, as are the total number of reports," Stewart said. "In most of those counties, only one or two reports were received. Counties affected over the past two years should recover somewhat this year, and should contribute to more deer harvested by hunters this upcoming season. More deer 'on the hoof' in many areas compared to last year should again contribute to a successful year by hunters."


Helping the Hungry

An increased harvest this year could benefit not only hunters but also Hoosiers who need help feeding themselves and their family.

 

Harvesting more deer means a possible increase in donations of venison to organizations that help feed Indiana's needy. One such group, Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH), provided more than 200,000 individual meals last year. To donate a deer, hunters should contact a participating nearby meat processor, as listed in the 2008-09 DNR Hunting/Trapping Guide (also available at www.wildlife.IN.gov, under Hunting Guide), then take the deer to that location. FHFH pays the processing fees. It's also possible for hunters to donate only a portion of a deer.

 

Stewart said there are additional benefits besides helping feed the hungry.  "First and foremost, the meat is being used

by those who need it the most," he said. "But it also provides

hunters the opportunity to hunt longer because they can harvest more deer than they need, yet not waste the meat. This has the potential for hunters to show goodwill toward their fellow Hoosiers while effectively managing the deer population."

 

The Sportsman's Benevolence Fund is raising money to support statewide deer donation programs through partnerships with non-profit organizations like FHFH.

 

The DNR supports the fund by selling metallic pins sporting the image of a deer. This year, 25,000 pins were purchased by the DNR and are being sold for $5, which can potentially generate $125,000 to help feed the hungry. Information on where to purchase a pin is at www.dnr.IN.gov/lawenfor. To make a donation to FHFH, please contact Deb Treesh at treesh@fhfh.org.


Michigan

New Fishing Regulations Expand Opportunities, Limit Smelt Harvest

Three rods statewide approved starting April 1, 2009

Michigan anglers will have several new opportunities, but also will face a new restriction because of fishing regulation changes approved at the Nov. 6 Natural Resources Commission meeting in Lansing.

 

DNR Director Rebecca Humphries signed fisheries orders that extend the spearing season through the ice for pike and muskie in certain waters, extend the whitefish spearing season on the Great Lakes and connecting waters, allow all anglers to use three rods, and establish a two-gallon limit on smelt.

 

The spearing season for pike and muskie will now run from Dec. 1-March 15, instead of just January and February and the whitefish spearing season will now be open year-round. The new seasons are the result of legislation enabling the DNR to

set spearing regs.

 

Anglers have been allowed to use three rods when fishing for salmon on the Great Lakes for a number of years, but were restricted to two rods elsewhere and when pursuing other species in the Great Lakes. A survey of anglers showed overwhelming public support for three rods. The new regulation, which takes effect April 1, 2009, allows anglers to use three rods on all waters and in pursuit of all species, though the DNR retains the authority to reduce the rule to two rods if necessary.

 

The two-gallon limit on smelt, which historically have been unregulated, is designed to prevent waste during periods of high abundance and offer some protection to smelt as an important forage and sport species. The limit applies to both dip-net and hook-and-line anglers.  This new regulation also takes effect April 1, 2009.


Michigan AFS meets March 18-19, 2009

The Michigan Chapter of the American Fisheries Society will be holding its annual meeting March 18 and 19, 2009 at Cabela's in Dundee, MI. In conjunction with the meeting, MI

AFS will hold an aquatic plant identification workshop on March 17 and 18, also at Cabela's.  The workshop will be taught by Dr. Gary Hannan from Eastern Michigan University.


Bobcat Lawsuit Finalized

DNR Reinstates Lower Peninsula Bobcat Trapping Season

The Michigan DNR announced that the 11-day December bobcat trapping season in the Lower Peninsula is open this year.

 

Earlier this month, Ingham County Circuit Judge Thomas L. Brown ruled on the three-year-old legal battle, confirming the implementation of the private-land only bobcat trapping season in Bobcat Management Units C and D in the northern Lower Peninsula. The season, set for Dec. 10-20, has not been held since 2005, due to a legal injunction.

The ending of this long court battle supports the department’s science-based view that sharing the recreational opportunity of this resource by both hunters and trappers will not impair the bobcat population, said DNR furbearer specialist Adam Bump.

 

Hunters and trappers can now pursue bobcats in both peninsulas. Animals taken must be presented at a fur-harvest registration station where biologists will collect valuable data to maintain and enhance bobcat populations.

 


New York

Salmon River Fish Hatchery; 2008 Annual Report                    

By Doug Fuegel

The news was definitely upbeat concerning salmon egg taking and the salmon migration in the Salmon River this fall compared to the dismal news of 2007. Salmon River Hatchery Manager Andy Greulich presented his annual report to local anglers and angler organizations at a recent hatchery gathering in Altmar, NY.

           

Salmon River anglers as well as open lake fishermen well remember the effects Mother Nature had on the 2007 fall migration of Chinooks and Coho salmon a year ago. Central New York entered into last fall with one of the driest years on record that continued well into late October. The river had little water; the Salmon River Reservoir was approximately 14 feet below normal and above normal temperatures kept the river water above 67° past peak migration around Columbus Day. Few salmon entered the river and eggs deposited failed to hatch as evident by the very poor natural reproduction assessment conducted in the spring of 2008. Many of the eggs gathered during the 2007 migration failed to "eye up" that led to less than half the normal salmon stocking in the spring of 2008.

 

This year Mother Nature did a 180 degree turn around, Central New York could boast only one above 90° date this year and rain fall has been well above normal with October measuring more than eight inches of rain. Needless to say the river was in prime condition for the salmon migration, anglers enjoyed a very successful season on Chinooks and by October 15th Greulich reported the full compliment of 2.6 million Chinooks eggs taken in just four days.

 

Greulich stated the water temperature in the river was near perfect measuring 56° by early October and dropping daily that

brought in more than 8,000 Chinooks by mid-month. According to Greulich Coho salmon follow Chinooks a bit later but at this meeting time more than half, 720,000 Coho eggs had been taken of the target 1.5 million. Greulich reported "jacks" young salmon numbers entering the hatchery was about normal indicating a very stabile salmon population in the open lake. Scott Pindell, Regions 7 fishery biologist reported salmon entering the hatchery this year averaged two to three pounds heavier than last year indicating good growth and abundant forage base.

 

Abundant water supply of the right temperature has plagued the hatchery however Gruelich reported a new deep well just 40 feet from the old existing well is capable of 475 GPM of constant cold water complimenting the shallow well warmer river water; ideal for the production of steelhead. Greulich reported a new pump designed to move all species from their holding tanks directly to the new marking trailer will greatly reduce handling mortality.

 

All the news at this annual gathering was not positive, the dismal fiscal position of New York's finances has hit the DEC and the hatchery system. The state hiring freeze has hit this hatchery; Greulich is short one technical position that will not be filled anytime soon. Additionally all repair funds have been frozen and although the states hatchery truck fleet is in deplorable condition no new hatchery trucks are in the foreseeable future. Greulich did report the state had purchased one new truck that is up for grabs and he is hopeful his Salmon River hatchery will receive it.

 

All indications point to a great 2009 Lake Ontario fishing season and those attending this annual hatchery update were amazed at the progress and production this hatchery outputs with the limited resources.


Ohio

Ohio's Youth Deer-Gun Hunting Season Set For Nov 22-23 

COLUMBUS, OH - Ohio's youth deer-gun hunting season will be held Saturday and Sunday, November 22-23, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife.

 

"The youth deer-gun hunting season is a great opportunity for young hunters to experience the challenge of hunting and spend quality time with their families," said David M. Graham, chief of the division.

 

Young hunters killed 10,515 deer during last year's two-day season.  The Division of Wildlife anticipates more than 40,000 young hunters will participate in the upcoming hunt.

 

The youth deer-gun season is open statewide to hunters 17 years old and younger.  Hunters may take one deer of either sex during this season, in accordance with existing bag and deer-zone limits. Plugged shotguns, muzzleloaders,

handguns and bows are legal. All participants must wear hunter orange, possess a valid Ohio hunting license and a $12 youth-deer permit, and be accompanied by a non-hunting adult in the field.

 

All other regularly scheduled hunting seasons will continue during the two-day youth season. However, other hunters, including deer-archery hunters, are required to wear hunter orange during this period.

 

This year, Ohio's deer-gun season runs December 1 through December 7, with an additional weekend December 21-22.  Details regarding Ohio's various hunting seasons, including those exclusively for young hunters, can be found in the 2008-09 Ohio Hunting Regulations or by visiting wildohio.com.

 

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.gov .


Pennsylvania

Game Commission removes protection on Feral Swine

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe recently rescinded protection on feral swine found in the wild in Butler, Bedford and Cambria counties.

 

“In May, when we removed protection on feral swine in Pennsylvania, we maintained the protection on them in Butler, Bedford and Cambria counties to facilitate trapping by the U.S. and Pennsylvania departments of Agriculture,” Roe said.  “Trapping is viewed as the most effective way to remove feral swine from the wild, because it limits their dispersal into new areas.

 

“However, as we are now outside the time of year in which trapping is most effective, we want to afford hunters the maximum opportunity to remove feral swine that they encounter while participating in the upcoming big game seasons.”

 

The Game Commission has determined that the eradication of feral swine from Pennsylvania is necessary to prevent further harm to public and private property, threats to native wildlife and disease risks for wildlife and the state’s pork industry. 

 

“We are not seeking to establish a hunting season for feral swine, but rather we are committed to rid Pennsylvania of this invasive species,” Roe said.

 

Licensed hunters, including those who qualify for license and fee exemptions, are eligible to participate in the unlimited incidental taking of feral swine.  They may use manually-operated rifles, revolvers or shotguns, as well as and 

muzzleloaders, bows and crossbows.  All other methods and devices legal for taking feral swine must be conducted in compliance with the provisions of Section 2308 of Title 34 (Game and Wildlife Code), which can be viewed on the agency’s website www.pgc.state.pa.us in the “Laws & Regulations” section in the left-hand column of the homepage.  

 

Any person who kills a feral swine must report it to the Game Commission Region Office that serves the county in which the harvest took place within 24 hours.  Residents who witness feral swine also are urged to contact the Region Office that serves their county.  For contact information, as well as list of counties that each region office serves, visit www.pgc.state.pa.us, click on the “Contact Us” link in the left-hand column of the homepage and scroll down to “Region Offices.”

 

Nearly 25 states across the nation have persistent and possibly permanent populations of feral swine established in the wild, and Pennsylvania is one of 16 new states where introduction is more recent and may still be countered through decisive eradication efforts.

 

Feral swine have been declared to be an injurious, non-native, invasive species of concern in Pennsylvania that are suspected to have been introduced into the wilds of this Commonwealth through a variety of means, including both intentional and unintentional releases.  Feral swine also have been determined to pose a significant, imminent and unacceptable threat to this Commonwealth’s natural resources, including wildlife and its habitats; the agricultural industry, including crop and livestock production; the forest products industry; and human health and safety.


The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the GLSFC, its officers or staff. 

Reproduction of any material by paid-up members of the GLSFC is encouraged but appropriate credit must be given. 

Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.

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