Week of November 12, 2007

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Beyond the Great Lakes

South Dakota…Still the Pheasant Capital of the world

PIERRE, S.D. – Two weeks into this year’s pheasant season and things couldn’t be better in South Dakota.  A large population of birds, coupled with great weather, is providing some of the best pheasant hunting in the country.   

 

“We were fortunate to have good weather on opening weekend,” said Tony Leif, director, Wildlife Division of Game, Fish and Parks. “We were worried that the weather was going to put a damper on opening weekend, but the moisture we did receive didn’t have much of an impact on the hunting.” 

 

The weather isn’t the only factor that will play a part in determining the number of birds in the fields. Another, and one that seems to be on the  minds of hunters and conservationists from around the country, is the upcoming Farm Bill, which could drastically decrease the amount of  acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program CRP) around the country.     

 

“This will undoubtedly have an impact on the pheasant

population in South Dakota,” said Leif. “Without those acres enrolled in CRP, we will lose valuable habitat for pheasants and other wildlife in South Dakota.” 

 

It remains to be seen, however, how immediate this impact will be on the pheasant population in our state.

“The pheasant population will always bounce around,” stated Leif. “If the habitat does decline, we will see a lower pheasant population long-term. Of course, in addition to the loss of habitat, the weather will still play a large part in determining the pheasant population in South Dakota.” 

 

Don’t let the potential decline in habitat fool you. South Dakota is among the top ten in the nation in CRP acreage at just over 1.5 million acres enrolled in the program. Any loss of acreage will be detrimental to our wildlife population, but South Dakota will continue to work toward developing the best habitat around.  While the future is hard to predict, it is safe to say that South Dakota will still reign as the pheasant capital of the world.


World

Noted Scientist skeptical about Global Warming

Dr. William Gray, professor emeritus of the atmospheric department at Colorado State University, who has become known as America's most reliable hurricane forecaster is skeptical that man is responsible for global warming, and is unswayed by political pressure. Meantime, said Gray, "We're brainwashing our children. They're going to the Gore movie and being fed all this. It's ridiculous." Not schooled as a politician or showman like Gore, he told the group of 300, including meteorology students, that "the human impact on the atmosphere is simply too small to have a major impact on global temperatures."

 

Gray said that a natural cycle of ocean temperatures related to the amount of salt in ocean water was responsible for global warming, which he acknowledges has taken place. As part of this natural cycle, global temperatures will eventually cool again.  Not schooled as a politician or showman like Gore, he told the group of 300, including meteorology students, that "the human impact on the atmosphere is simply too small to have a major impact on global temperatures."

 

Gray said that a natural cycle of ocean temperatures related to

the amount of salt in ocean water was responsible for global warming, which he acknowledges has taken place. As part of this natural cycle, global temperatures will eventually cool again. 

 

He says that fluctuations in hurricane intensity and frequency, Exhibit A in Gore's inquisition, have nothing to do with carbon dioxide levels or human activity, but with changing ocean currents. He noted that there were 101 hurricanes from 1900 to 1949, in a period of cooler global temperatures, compared with 83 from 1957 to 2006, when the earth warmed.

 

At 78, Gray stands on his record as a pioneer in seasonal hurricane forecasts and no longer fears the career death that many of his like-minded  peers risk if they dare to stray from the politically popular climate orthodoxy that gave Gore his Nobel Prize for activities that have nothing to  do with world peace.

 

 "It bothers me that my fellow scientists are not speaking out against something they know is wrong," Gray said. "But they also know that they'd never get any grants if they spoke out. I don't care about grants."


Weather Channel Founder slams Global Warming

John Coleman says it's the ‘Greatest Scam in History’

"It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; It is a SCAM. Some dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long term scientific data to create in [sic] allusion of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental whacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the "research" to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus."

 

This is what John Coleman wrote an article published at ICECAP on November 7, 2007 about Global Warming.

 

Coleman goes on to say "Environmental extremists, notable politicians among them, then teamed up with movie, media and other liberal,  environmentalist journalists to create this

wild "scientific" scenario of the civilization threatening environmental consequences from Global  Warming unless

we adhere to their radical agenda. Now their ridiculous manipulated science has been accepted as fact and become a cornerstone issue for CNN, CBS, NBC, the Democratic Political Party, the Governor of California, school teachers and, in many cases, well informed but very gullible environmental conscientious citizens. Only one reporter at ABC has been allowed to counter the Global Warming frenzy with one 15 minutes documentary segment. "

 

"I have read dozens of scientific papers. I have talked with numerous scientists. I have studied. I have thought about it. I know I am correct.  There is no run away climate change. The impact of humans on climate is not catastrophic. Our planet is not in peril. I am incensed by the incredible media glamour, the politically correct silliness and rude dismissal of counter arguments by the high priest of Global Warming. In time, a decade or two, the outrageous scam will be obvious."


National

Water Bill approved by Congress!!

Override of Bush Veto assures new life for water projects

WASHINGTON -- President Bush suffered the first veto override of his seven-year-old presidency on November 8 as the Senate enacted a $23 billion water resources bill despite his protest that it was filled with unnecessary projects. The 79-14 vote included 34 Republicans who defied the president. Enactment was a foregone conclusion, but it still marked a milestone for a president who spent his first six years with a much friendlier Congress controlled by his Republican Party.

 

A majority of House Republicans joined Democrats on November 6 to override President Bush's Water Bill veto. The vote was 361 to 54, far more than needed to reject the veto. Both votes easily exceeded the two-thirds majority needed in each chamber to negate a presidential veto.  Late last week the President had vetoed the Water Resources Development Act, a bill which contained the much-needed authorization for the Asian carp dispersal barrier. 

 

The Water Bill  funds hundreds of Army Corps of Engineers projects, such as dams, sewage plants and beach restoration, that are important to  local communities and includes important Great Lakes projects including new and bigger locks on the St. Marys River in Sault Ste. Marie; and 

water quality improvements for Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River. 

 

The bill authorizes billions of dollars in coastal restoration, river navigation and dredging projects, levee construction and other Army Corps of Engineers public-works efforts. Seven years in the making, the measure took on particular political resonance in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, as Gulf Coast lawmakers secured nearly $2 billion in restoration and levee construction projects for the region. The bill would also continue projects such as the restoration of the Everglades and the dredging of the upper Mississippi River, while expanding oversight of the Army Corps.

 

Most importantly for the region and the nation is the completion of the all-important electronic barrier on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal to keep Asian carp and other foreign critters out of the Great Lakes, and regional invasives from moving downstream to Mississippi watershed states.

 

The $23 Billion bill is loaded with regional and national water improvements - and pork, but the bill only authorizes the projects, it does not pay for them.  That's another battle legislators and conservationists will face now that this one is racked up in the win column.


Angling/Hunting big business, survey

More than 87 million U.S. citizens age 16 or older fished, hunted or watched wildlife in 2006, a 6% increase from 2001, spending more than $120  billion, according to the federal survey of wildlife-associated recreation conducted every five years. While these figures represent a still robust  hunting industry making a profound impact on the economy, the total number of hunters nationwide has slid from a peak of 19.1 million in 1975  to 12.5 million.

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife on November 6, released the complete 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation. The report serves as the baseline for examining how Americans are spending their time and money outdoors.

 

The National Survey has been conducted every five years

since 1955 and the nation's most important wildlife-related recreation databases. It is considered to be the definitive source of information concerning participation and expenditures associated with hunting, fishing and other forms of wildlife-related recreation nationwide.

 

The number of hunters and anglers fell from 37.8 million in 2001 to 33.9 million in 2006. The most recent survey also showed an 8% increase in the number of wildlife-watchers since 2001 but little change in total expenditures for that activity. This report provides a broader and more in-depth look at the data than the Preliminary Findings report issued in May 2007.

 

For the full Survey - and additional reports and earlier Surveys: http://federalasst.fws.gov/surveys/surveys.html


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Nov. 9, 2007

Weather Conditions

A major storm roared through the Great Lakes basin this week, bringing the first significant snowfall of the season to northern locations.  Fierce winds also wreaked havoc as gusts up to 70 mph were recorded.  Slightly warmer temperatures are on tap for the weekend. Rain showers are possible Saturday through Monday as a weak system pushes through the region.

Lake Level Conditions

Currently, Lake Superior is 5 inches higher than it was at this time last year. Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are 6 to 11 inches below their levels of one year ago, while Lake Ontario is 17 inches lower than last year's levels.  Lake Superior is forecasted to decline 2 inches over the next month.  Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are all in their periods of seasonal decline and are forecasted to fall 2 to 3 inches over the next month.  Over the next few months, Lake Superior is predicted to remain above last year's water levels, but the remaining lakes are forecasted to stay below their levels of a year ago.    See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions

Outflow from the St. Marys River is predicted to be well below average for November. 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 below average. 

Alerts

Due to abnormally dry conditions on the Lake Michigan-Huron basin prior to last month, its water level is below chart datum and is expected 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. 

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for Aug 4

601.0

576.7

572.7

570.2

243.9

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

  -1

-10

+5

+13

+7

Diff last month

 +1

-5

-6

-7

-5

Diff from last yr

+5

-6

-10

-11

-17

 


2008 Marine Community Day & Admiral's Dinner

Marine Community Day will again be commemorated in Cleveland at the Crowne Plaza, on February 20-21, 2008.

On-line registration will be available November 15, 2007 at: www.greatlakes-seawayreview.com  

Details and agenda to follow in upcoming weeks.


General

Store-bought freshwater fish contain elevated levels of mercury, arsenic and selenium

WASHINGTON, D.C. – White bass wild-caught and sold commercially contained significantly higher levels of mercury, arsenic and selenium than fish caught near former industrial areas. A University of Pittsburgh study, presented at a special session on “Contaminants in Freshwater Fish: Toxicity, Sources and Risk Communication,” expressed study results that mercury levels in freshwater fish were 2.2 to 4.8 times higher in fish caught in the Canadian Lake Erie than in those caught near former iron and steel mills on the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers in Pittsburgh.

 

According to study results, mercury levels were 2.2 to 4.8 times higher in fish caught in the Canadian Lake Erie and available commercially than in fish caught near former iron and steel mills on the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers in Pittsburgh. While several of these mills have been closed for many years, the nearby rivers continue to contain high levels of pollution from sewer overflows and active industrial operations.

 

For the study, researchers used local anglers to catch 45 white bass at two locations in Pittsburgh and bought 10 white bass locally that were caught in the Canadian Lake Erie. They analyzed the fish for levels of mercury, arsenic and selenium. 

In addition to higher levels of mercury, the store-bought fish had levels that were 1.7 times higher for arsenic and 1.9 times higher for selenium.

 

“We were surprised by our results since we had hypothesized that levels of contaminants in fish would be higher in specimens caught near  once heavily polluted sites,” said Conrad D. Volz, Dr. P.H., M.P.H., principal investigator, department of environmental and occupational health,  University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. “These results indicate to us that purchasing fish from a local market cannot guarantee food safety. We recommend a more rigorous testing program for commercial freshwater fish with particular attention to fish entering the U.S. from other countries.”

 

According to Dr. Volz, the results also may indicate that sediments in Lake Erie remain contaminated because of only relatively recent reductions in industrial pollution and active coal-fired power plant air emissions from facilities located around and to the southwest of Lake Erie, as well as wastewater from plants located on the lake. Mercury, arsenic and selenium are markers for coal-burning pollution through air emissions and water pollution and from fly ash piles that are absorbed into surrounding soil. Fly ash is the residue left after coal burning that is often stored at the plant site.


New Youth Shooting Organization Formed

Industry Execs form alliance to benefit growth of youth involvement

Several of the Hunting and Shooting industry’s most respected executives joined forces to create the Youth Shooting Sports Alliance or the YSSA.   The YSSA was created to facilitate fund raising and create grants that help keep the industry active in the involvement in all youth shooting sports.  The Board Members of the YSSA were all former Board Members of the 4-H Shooting Sports Foundation, which has been dissolved.

 

"The creation of the Youth Shooting Sports Alliance allows the industry a greater flexibility to REACH and RETAIN more youth and get them involved in the shooting sports" stated David Baron, President of Baron Technology. David accepted the Board of Directors nomination as President of the newly formed Youth Shooting Sports Alliance at the first meeting hosted by Leupold & Stevens in Beaverton, OR.

 

Also accepting nominations from the board, Cyndi Flannigan, Sales Manager Leupold & Stevens will serve as Vice President. Curt  Borcherding, CFO/VP Finance and Administration of Boyt Harness Company who will serve as Treasurer and Beth Olson, Sales Manager for  Bill Hicks & Co. who will serve as Secretary.

 

The remainder of this distinguished Board is comprised of:

Margaret Hornady, Vice President, Hornady Manufacturing; Doug Painter,  President, NSSF; Patrick McDonald, Vice President Sales & Marketing Beretta USA; John Anton, President GATCO; Ron Coburn, Chairman  and CEO, Savage Arms Corp.; Jay Scholes, President of Outtech, Inc and Joe Murfin, Vice President of Marketing, Daisy Outdoor Products.

 

Youth Shooting Sports Alliance or YSSA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to identify and support the needs of successful and safe youth programs that create measurable improvements in youth participation in the shooting sports.

 

The Board of Directors have adopted the following vision statement; An independent alliance that provides leadership, guidance and funding  support which coordinates the shooting sports industry and existing programs to ensure the safe, responsible and positive exposure to youth  and families to retain and grow their involvement in all shooting sports.

 

Youth groups interested in learning more about the grant programs of the YSSA or industry partners interested in becoming involved in the YSSA should contact Steve Miller, Executive Director of the Youth Shooting Sports Alliance, at (703) 743-2308,  Shootforthefuture@comcast.net . For more info: www.youthshootingsa.com .

 


Illinois

Youth Goose Hunt Application Deadline Dec. 7

Youngsters are encouraged to register for the 7th annual Central Illinois Youth Goose Hunt, scheduled for Dec. 26-27. Sponsored by the IDNR, the youth goose hunt will be held at private waterfowl hunting clubs in Peoria, Fulton and Knox Counties.  Participation will be limited. Youth hunters will be selected by a lottery drawing from all interested youth who phone in to register by Dec. 7. 

 

First-time applicants will be given a priority over previous participants in the drawing.  Youth hunters selected will be

notified by mail.  The hunt is open to youngsters ages 10-15 at the time of the hunt.  All applicants must have successfully completed a hunter safety education course, possess a valid Illinois hunting or sportsman's license, have a Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration number and have a 20 gauge or larger shotgun. Youth hunt participants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who must possess a valid firearm owner's identification (FOID) card. 

 

To register for the hunt or for more info, call Joe Robinson at 217-785-8060 8-5 p.m. weekdays.


2008 Chicagoland Outdoors Show Jan 16-20

The 2008 Chicagoland Outdoors Show® returns to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill., near Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Jan. 16 through Jan.

20.  Chicagoland’s Largest Consumer Fishing Event Offers DockDogs Competition, The Great Lakes Timber Show, Kids Day, Archery and more at Stephens Convention Center. For more info: www.chicagolandsportshow.com 


Indiana

Archery participation may make for better students

Indiana is one of nine states participating in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) to determine how the program affects student grades, behavior and school attendance. A total of 56 Indiana schools participate, with 15 others planning to join soon.

      

“This is one the most innovative and engaging programs that encourages students to be involved with the shooting sports, said Rob Carter  Jr., DNR director. “Regardless of the student’s athletic abilities, archery can be enjoyed by all and provides additional life skills that will be retained by these students the rest of their life.”

       

According to Tim Beck of the DNR Division of Law Enforcement, who leads the Indiana program, 211 teachers/instructors have been trained as Basic Archery Instructors (BAI) to deliver the NASP message to students.

      

Beck said there are 45 Basic Archery Instructor Trainer (BAIT) in Indiana who are qualified to conduct the trainings that the teachers must complete to be eligible for the program. Of those 45, 25 conservation officers and two civilian staff members of DLE have earned this level of training. An

additional nine conservation officers are BAIs and one DLE instructor is a BAI –Specialist).

 

The research will further investigate results of a 2004 study by Responsive Management of Harrisonburg, Va., that indicated that students who participated in NASP in their physical education classes liked school better. Results also showed improvements in behavior and attendance at school by participants.

       

NASP has long been recognized as the most prolific shooter-recruitment program in history, but if the research findings support initial  indications, the program not only helps develop future archers, it motivates students to succeed in their overall studies. NASP has grown from humble beginnings in 22 Kentucky pilot schools in 2002 to more than 4,000 schools in 44 states, Canada and Australia. More than 2.3 million school children in grades 4-12 have received archery instruction from their physical education teachers through the program.

           

Other participating states include Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio. NASP plans to be operating in every state by the end of 2008.


Michigan

Judge OKs Michigan Indian Hunting Deal

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - A federal judge signed an agreement between the state of Michigan and five Indian groups on November 5,  2007 giving the tribes the power to issue their own hunting and fishing licenses and write their own regulations.  U.S. District Judge Richard Enslen's decree was the final step resolving a four-year-old lawsuit rooted in decades of debate over the meaning of tribal rights in modern  times. It acknowledges the tribes' rights under an 1836 treaty.

 

The document says tribal members can hunt, fish and gather plants for subsistence and medicinal purposes on public lands and waters  covered by the treaty. They will need owners' permission to use private property.  The proposal affects much of Michigan's western and  northern Lower Peninsula and the eastern Upper Peninsula. It establishes a framework for the tribes to regulate members' activities and  cooperate with the state to protect resources from overuse.

 

"We've really got to start earning our keep now," said Jimmie Mitchell, natural resources director for the Little River Band of

Ottawa Indians.

 

Other tribes involved in the agreement are the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa  Indians, the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and the Bay Mills Indian Community. Altogether, they have about 45,000 members.  The Little River, Grand Traverse and Little Traverse Bay tribes have been operating under the same rules, Mitchell said. The Sault tribe has  mostly tracked state rules, while the Bay Mills tribe has its own rules for hunting and is developing fishing regulations.

 

All five tribes must change their policies to conform with the consent decree, with the goal being a uniform code, Mitchell said.

 

Many of the regulations will parallel state policies for protecting resources from over-harvesting and abuse, limiting size, numbers and species  taken. But the tribes will have longer deer hunting seasons and different policies on fishing methods such as spearing and netting.


DNR Offers Safety Tips for Upcoming Firearm Deer Season

Hunting in Michigan is among the safest outdoor recreational activities, and the Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters to think safety first during the upcoming firearm deer season that opens on Nov. 15.

 

“There is nothing more important than safety to make hunting an enjoyable and rewarding experience,” said DNR Director Rebecca Humphries.  “Michigan has a long, proud outdoor heritage, and hunting is one of the main activities that drives conservation efforts in our state.”

 

In order to enjoy hunting, particularly during the upcoming firearm deer season, the DNR would like to remind both visitors and residents about some of the important safety rules before going afield for the firearm season.

 

All hunters during the firearm deer season must wear “hunter orange” (hat, cap, vest, and jacket or rain gear). It must be the outermost garment and be visible from all sides.

Hunters should treat every firearm as if it were loaded and be careful where they point the muzzle.

Hunters should be sure of their target and the area beyond it.

Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

Don’t take any chances with a loaded firearm.

Know where your hunting partners are at all times and never assume you are alone in the woods.

It is illegal to drink alcohol or use intoxicating drugs before or while hunting.

Hunters using tree-stands or other raised platforms should wear a safety harness at all times when climbing, hunting from and descending from the platform. Hunters using raised platforms should use a haul line to bring gear and unloaded firearms to and from the platform.

 

The 2006 firearm deer season in Michigan had 12 reported hunting accidents, two of which were fatal.

 

“If hunters wear hunter orange and are sure of their target and what is beyond it, they will have a significantly safer hunting season this year,” said Sgt. Kevin Davis, DNR northern hunter education field coordinator. “It is terrible to see a hunting tradition turn tragic when carelessness enters a hunt.”


Minnesota

3,000 Scaup found dead on Minnesota Lake

Parasite carried by snails likely culprit

An estimated 3,000 scaup and several hundred coot were found dead last week on Minnesota’s lake Winnibigoshish. Waterfowl hunters and officials from the Minnesota DNR first spotted the dead and dying birds on the west shore of the lake on October 28. Initial reports indicate the birds died of a trematode, or small intestinal parasite. The parasite is not a threat to humans, but experts recommend that hunters do not consume sick waterfowl.

 

“The parasite requires intermediate hosts to complete a complex life cycle before it infects the final host, in this case scaup,” explains Dale Humburg, Chief Biologist of Ducks Unlimited. “When waterfowl eat an infected snail, the trematodes attack the birds’ lower intestines causing ulcers and hemorrhage and resulting in severe blood loss.  The birds can be infected in less than a day and die in three to eight days.”

The scaup die-off is another indication of problems facing scaup populations in recent years. Average breeding populations exceeded 6 million during the 1970s and early 1980s but have declined to less than 4 million for most of the last decade. 

 

“There is no single cause implicated in the decline,” says Humburg. “Ducks Unlimited, along with the rest of the waterfowl management community, has been aware for some time of the scaup decline and is actively involved in the research needed to determine the causes.” 

 

Wetland losses and degradation, lower hen survival and nest success, the impact of contaminants and parasites, poor body condition during migration, and harvest impacts all have been studied. Humburg says a comprehensive solution is required to reverse the downward trend in scaup numbers.

 


Trailer impounded in Minnesota infested with zebra mussels

A North Dakota company hauling a piece of pumping equipment from a reservoir in Vermont had its trailer impounded in Minnesota, when it  was found the pump contained an estimated 5,000 - 10,000 zebra mussels.

 

"Zebra mussels can live out of the water for a long time, and it doesn't take many to start a large-scale infestation," said Lt. John Hunt, a DNR  conservation officer.

 

The trailer hauling the pump was impounded on Saturday, Oct. 27, at the St. Croix weigh station, west of Hudson, Wis.  Weigh station  personnel said the semi-trailer was too small for the load and ordered it held until a larger vehicle arrived. The zebra mussels were soon  discovered during a routine inspection of the trailer, and a conservation officer was called for assistance.

 

Invasive species such as the zebra mussel, Eurasian watermilfoil, purple loosestrife, gypsy moth, and garlic mustard can cause ecological or  economic problems threatening Minnesota's natural resources. These species, along with new invasive species, could be easily spread within  the state if citizens, businesses and visitors don't take necessary steps to contain them. It is illegal (a misdemeanor)

to transport zebra mussels in Minnesota.

 

"Think of how many bridges they potentially drove across where small items can fall into the water below," Hunt said. "The vibration from the road or bridge surface could have caused zebra mussels to fall off into who knows how many bodies of water across the country." The driver was charged with transporting zebra mussels.

 

Hunt said every two years the North Dakota company goes to Vermont to retrieve the pump for decontaminating and retrofitting. Once that's completed, the pump is hauled back to Vermont and reinstalled in the reservoir. "We don't know where the company was going to clean the trailer off," Hunt said. "They could have easily decided to clean it near their shop.  The water runs into a storm sewer, infesting waterways in North Dakota. The possibilities are endless." The trailer was scraped and a high-pressure hose was used before it was returned it to the company. The zebra mussels were collected and properly disposed of.

 

"We can charge someone with being 30 sunfish over the limit, and you save 30 sunfish. That's important," Hunt said, “but there's no way to  say what amount of our natural resources we protected and saved by pulling that trailer off the road."


Ohio

Youth Deer-gun hunting season set for Nov 17-18

COLUMBUS, OH - Ohio’s youth deer-gun hunting season will be held Saturday and Sunday, November 17-18, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

 

“This is a great opportunity to get our young hunters outdoors and spending quality time with their families,” said David M. Graham, chief of the division.  Young hunters killed 8,315 deer during the 2006 two-day season.  More than 40,000 young hunters are expected to participate in the upcoming hunt.

 

More than 8,000 young hunters have taken advantage of Ohio’s new apprentice hunting license. This new license allows novice hunters, both adults and youth, to sample the experience of hunting under the mentorship of a licensed adult, prior to completing a hunter education course.  The apprentice license was developed as part of a nationwide effort called “Families Afield,” designed to remove barriers that prevent hunters from passing along the hunting heritage.

 

Hunters who wish to share their success can submit a photo 

of themselves and the deer they killed on this year’s hunt. Go to wildohio.com on the Internet and click on Photo Gallery. The photo submission process is easy and posted photos may be e-mailed to a friend.

 

The youth deer-gun season is open statewide. 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 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 November 26 through December 2, with an additional weekend December 15-16.  Details regarding Ohio’s various hunting seasons, including those exclusively for young hunters, can be found in the 2007-08 Ohio Hunting Regulations or by  visiting www.wildohio.com


Wisconsin

Musky anglers reminded of bait restrictions when fishing with suckers

MADISON – Because of statewide restrictions now in place to prevent the spread of a deadly fish disease, anglers who use suckers for fall  musky fishing are encouraged to buy only the amount of these bait fish they need for each outing before heading out onto the water for the  remainder of the season, which closes Nov. 30. The same holds true for other anglers using live minnows or other bait fish.

 

Under emergency rules aimed at preventing the spread of VHS that took effect statewide on Nov. 2, anglers are prohibited from taking live fish away from any water in Wisconsin, including leftover bait minnows, suckers and other fish.  These requirements reflect concerns that bait fish could possibly be exposed to the fish disease while anglers are fishing if the anglers change the water in which the minnows are kept. Using leftover bait on other waters could potentially spread VHS, says Mike Staggs, fisheries director for the Department of Natural Resources.

 

“If we knew exactly where VHS was in the state, we could tell anglers where it was safe to take home bait minnows,” he says. “But with 15,000 lakes and 44,000 miles of flowing 

rivers, we can’t test every water for VHS so an angler doesn’t know whether the water they are fishing has VHS or not.

 

Minnows distributed by licensed wild bait harvesters, raised by fish farmers, or imported from other states must meet Department of  Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection fish health inspection and testing standards, but after the minnows leave the a licensed bait  dealer, there is no way to track their fish health status.

 

Muskies, walleye, bluegill, freshwater drum, and yellow perch are all very susceptible to VHS – they are all in the federal government’s “Tier 1” category of species that have been documented to have suffered fish kills, according to Tim Simonson, the fisheries biologist leading DNR musky team.

 

Muskies in particular are one of the species that has suffered major fish kills in the lower Great Lakes as a result of VHS. In spring 2006, large die-offs of musky in the Detroit River and St. Lawrence River were related to VHS. And there are signs now that the musky population in the St.  Lawrence River in New York is dropping significantly as a result of VHS, which has already killed thousands of fish in the river.


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