Week of November 14, 2005

National

 

Canada

Regional

General

2nd Amendment issues

Illinois

Indiana

Michigan

Ohio

Wisconsin

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National

Ice Fishing Championship Dec 17-18

Ice fishing’s version of the World Series is on tap for December 17-18, 2005 in Alexandria, MN. 100 of the greatest ice anglers (75 teams) on the planet will compete in the 5th Annual North American Ice Fishing Championship (NAIFC). Each team qualified at one or more regional Super Trap Attack tournament last winter. 9 different states are represented in the field.   

The photo shows competitors preparing to launch at Ice Team’s North American Ice Fishing Championship in Alexandria, Minnesota. Go to www.iceteam.com for complete details on the NAIFC and list of Super Trap Attack qualifying tournaments in 2006.

 


Young Anglers Named To First Kids All-American Fishing Team

Receive $5,000 Scholarships and Other Prizes

TULSA, Okla. (Nov. 7, 2005) -- Six outstanding young anglers, four boys and two girls, from across the country are the first to be named to the newly created Kids All-American Fishing Team Scholarship and Ambassador program (KAAFT).

 

The honorees – C.J. Barnhill, 13, De Queen, Ark.; Sean Cleland, 11, Naples, Fla.; Analissa Merrill, 11, Lynwood, Wash.; Alyssa Meyer, 10, Secaucus, N.J.; Ian Richmond, 15, Riverside, Ohio; and Jonny Schultz, 10, West Bend, Wis. – were chosen from hundreds of applications through a formal selection process.  Each receives a $5,000 U.S. Savings Bond for use in current or future education, a pro angler-style fishing shirt, a team-member trophy and prize packages from the program’s corporate sponsors.

 

KAAFT is an official program of Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing presented by Zebco. Hooked On Fishing International, Inc. (HOFI), the largest organizer of youth-family fishing partnerships in the county, produces the program.

 

Kids, 8-14 years are eligible to apply for team consideration, and all who complete the application process receive a free, colorful Kids All-American Fishing t-shirt featuring Sebastian T. Bobber, the “Official Spokesbobber for Youth Fishing.”

 

According to HOFI president Daniel Johnson, the purpose of KAAFT is to reward fishing kids for all the great non-fishing things they do.   “America has a rich resource of youngsters who begin contributing to their communities early on,” Johnson said. “They are special kids who make an impact on old and young alike by what they do. Our intentions are to let these youngsters, who happen to have a passion for fishing, know that they are making a difference in the lives of others, and to encourage their continued involvement.”

 

All are outstanding youngsters with long lists of accomplishments. Yet what has brought them together is their genuine passion for fishing with family and friends – that’s how HOFI discovers them.     

 

“The fact that that these kids like to fish puts them under a magnifying glass for us to see who they are and what they’re doing,” Johnson explained. “Working with community organizations, we produced nearly 2,000 Kids All-American

Fishing derbies nationwide this year involving more than 350,000 youngsters and their families.”

 

“Most of our applicants learned about the new Kids Team while participating in these fishing derbies,” he added.   

 

John Kushnerick of Zebco, a leading rod and reel manufacturer and longtime sponsor of Kids All-American Fishing, says his company believes that kids can learn a great deal about being responsible, contributing citizens through the recreation of fishing. 

 

“Even in its simplest form, fishing brings out the best in people,” Kushnerick said. “Fishing is a relationship-based activity most often enjoyed with family and friends, and it provides a positive experience for today’s youth that helps instill confidence, compassion, trust and respect.”

 

Each of the 2005 KAAFT appointees will be honored in individual recognition ceremonies at their respective nearest Wal-Mart stores during the month of November. There are also plans for the team to appear as a group at the annual summer meeting of the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST) expo held in Las Vegas.        

 

Scholarship Program Administrators (SPA), an independent review committee begins accepting applications for the 2006 Kids All-American Fishing Team in April.  Information will be available at Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing presented by Zebco events beginning again nationwide in the spring.  Information and applications are also available at the program’s website, www.kids-fishing.com.        

 

The Kids All-American Fishing Team receives corporate support from a select group of companies committed to enriching America’s youth including Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Zebco, Fujifilm, Kellogg’s, Nabisco, Oscar Mayer, and Nestle Waters North America (marketers of the natural spring water brands of Arrowhead, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Ozarka, Poland Spring, Zephyrhills and Nestle Pure Life).          

 

HOFI is a Tulsa, Okla., company. More than eight million youngsters and their families have participated in the program over its 19-year history at events held throughout all 50 states and at U.S. military bases as far away as England, Germany, South Korea and Japan.


Regional

Lake Michigan Salmon Stocking Reduction agreement

Ill-IN have no streams reproducing Chinooks but will take a 30% cut in stocking

State fisheries management agencies for Lake Michigan have agreed to implement a 25 % stocking reduction of Chinook salmon in Lake Michigan beginning with reduced stockings in 2006, according to Michigan Department of Natural Resources fisheries officials. Next spring, 3.2 million Chinook salmon fingerlings will be stocked by Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana, a reduction of just over 1 million fish from 2005.

 

The Chippewa-Ottawa Resource Authority (CORA) is also a partner management agency but does not stock any salmon. CORA does not object to the stocking reductions proposed by the state agencies, but has voiced concerns that such reductions may allow abundance of alewife to increase, potentially impeding rehabilitation of lake trout and other native species.

 

"This action has strong support of the angling community, which recognized the need to be pro-active in order to meet most of our objectives," said DNR Lake Michigan Basin Coordinator James Dexter, who represents Michigan on and chairs the Lake Michigan Committee. "By reducing predator abundance to better balance the fish community, especially available prey, the agencies anticipate better results for ecosystem management, including rehabilitation of native species."

 

The agencies provided several opportunities for public input throughout the year beginning with a full scientific review of lake-wide data at a spring conference in Benton Harbor. Other opportunities for public involvement were provided by agency-held meetings, print, radio and web-based media, with a final conference on Sept. 24 in Kenosha, Wis. Throughout the public review process, several key concerns by anglers were brought forward.

 

Anglers suggested increasing the bag limit for Chinook salmon as a way to reduce the number of predators in the

lake and possibly allow for a smaller reduction in stocking. Managers, however, pointed out that bag limits for this type of fishery are relatively ineffective at having an impact on the population. Most fisheries biologists do not believe higher bag limits would substantially reduce predation on alewives, so it was not embraced as an alternative to reduced stocking, Dexter said. Bag limits differ among states, and, in contrast to stocking levels, have not usually been considered subject to inter-state negotiations.

 

Other anglers' concerns included where stocking reductions would actually occur, noting that certain areas in the basin have good natural reproduction of Chinook salmon. Anglers also placed a high premium on maintaining diverse fisheries, including fall fisheries when salmon return to sites where they were stocked. Agencies will be considering these concerns as they develop site-specific reduction targets. Many anglers also called for increased stocking efforts of other salmon and trout species that do not impact alewife populations nearly to the same extent as Chinook salmon. Dexter commented that while this is a reasonable request, agencies are limited in their ability to rear additional coho, brown trout or steelhead. These other species have much longer rearing cycles in a hatchery compared to Chinook salmon, and thus the agencies' abilities to produce additional fish are constrained by hatchery capacity issues.

 

In general, the public agreed with a 25 percent lake-wide reduction in stocking of Chinook salmon and the agencies are now taking this strategic stocking direction to the implementation phase, Dexter said. This will involve development by each state of specific tactics for meeting the stocking reduction goal and achieving desired objectives. In order to meet the 25 % lake-wide reduction, the agencies have agreed to jurisdictional reductions in the amount of 30% for Michigan, 21% for Wisconsin, 17% for Illinois and 12 % for Indiana. Michigan is taking a larger portion of the lake-wide cut because its rivers provide the bulk of the naturally produced salmon found in Lake Michigan. It is expected that all agencies will have tactical plans in place by early winter, Dexter added.

 


Congress fails to fund the Electric Asian Carp barrier

Electric power loss may shut off the last line of defense of the Great Lakes

Designed to keep Asian Carp and other nasty invasive critters from traveling up the Mississippi River to the Great Lakes, two electric barriers, one still under construction, will run out of money and be forced to shut down if Congress doesn't own up to its responsibilities.

 

Members of the House-Senate budget committee, a few days ago, zero-funded the last line of defense that protects the Great Lakes from Asian Carp and other Invasive species.  The committee last week opted not to authorize and fund the estimated annual  $250,000 it will cost to keep the electricity turned on for the invasive species dispersal barriers on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.  Even so, the subcommittee has got to be well aware of the threat Asian carp pose to the Great Lakes and beyond.

 

The panel did, however, agree to continue to fund a controversial Army Corps study to improve the St. Lawrence Seaway, another pathway for foreign species to invade the Great Lakes. It doesn't make sense to further develop pathways for the introduction of more destructive foreign critters, then deny the funding to control them.  That is irresponsible.

 

Wisconsin's Governor Doyle as co-chair of the Council of Great Lakes Governors said, "The fact that the federal government couldn't come up with $250,000 in a $2 trillion budget to protect the Great Lakes is an embarrassment.”  The decision compounds their stonewalling of ballast water management these past ten years.

 

Currently, the existing barrier is failing and needs to be made permanent, a second barrier needs completion, and funding is needed to operate and maintain the barrier system on the canal. Since the dispersal barriers are the only things standing between the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes to prevent carp migration, we must take immediate action to ensure that the barriers are authorized, completed, and operated.

 

If Congress doesn't set aside money for the barriers, the Army Corps of Engineers is expected to run out of money to keep them operating by May. It then would be up to the State of Illinois to pick up the tab, something state officials say they aren't able to do, either.

 

Asian carp are so feared because, according to the Illinois DNR and other national biologists,  these voracious filter feeders can grow up to 100 lbs and consume 40% of their body weight a day in plankton, a food source

that provides the very foundation of the food chain for Great Lakes and Nation's fish populations.

 

With the approval of the USFWS, southern fish farmers imported Asian carp decades ago, to help clear algae and snails from their ponds. Flooding allowed the fish to escape and they have been steadily migrating up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers and have been found within 40 miles of the shores of Lake Michigan 

 

Now it has become a national problem and it won't go away.   If the carp get into Lake Michigan, scientists and

conservationists fear they could end up causing more ecological and economic damage than other invasive species that have spread throughout the lakes

 

It's not an Illinois problem, it's not a regional problem, it's a national problem; one with devastating effects and repercussions if it's not addressed and dealt with at the national level.

 

Your help will be important here and we need everyone to contact their legislators.  Urge Congress  to reconsider this decision, and live up to their obligations to protecting our national treasure - the Great Lakes. 

 

Here are the conferees who wrote the report and voted not to fund the barrier. Contact them:

 

For information on House of Representatives:  www.house.gov/    or http://clerk.house.gov/members/index.html

 

For information on US Senators:  www.senate.gov/   or 

www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

 

House:

 

David L. Hobson (OH)

Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (NJ)

Tom Latham (IA)

Zach Wamp (TN)

Jo Ann Emerson (MO)

John Doolittle (CA)

Michael K. Simpson (ID)

Dennis R. Rehberg (MT)

Peter J. Visclosky (IN)

Chet Edwards (TX)

Ed Pastor (AZ)

James E. Clyburn (SC)

Marion Berry (AR)

 

Senate:

 

Pete V. Domenici (NM)

Thad Cochran (MS)

Mitch McConnell (KY)

Robert F. Bennett (UT)

Conrad Burns (MT)

Larry E. Craig (ID)

Christopher S. Bond (MO)

Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX)

Wayne Allard (CO)

Harry Reid (NV)

Robert C. Byrd (WV)

Patty Murray (WA)

Byron L. Dorgan (ND)

Dianne Feinstein (CA)

Tim Johnson (SD)

Mary L. Landrieu (LA)

 

We urge you to contact as many congressmen as possible and let them know they need to reverse their funding decision!!

 

Dan Thomas, President

Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council

 


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for November 11, 2005

Lake Level Conditions:

All of the Great Lakes, except Lake Ontario, are 5 to 7 inches below the levels of a year ago.  Dry conditions this spring and summer are the main reason that water levels of these Great Lakes are below last year's levels. Lake Ontario is 2 inches higher than it was a year ago.  Looking ahead, Lake Superior is expected to fall 3 inches over the next month, but will remain above chart datum in December.  Lake Michigan-Huron is below chart datum and should decline 2 inches over the next 30 days.  Lake St. Clair is projected to drop by an inch in the next month.  Lakes Erie and Ontario are expected to fall 2 and 3 inches, respectively, over the next 30 days.  Levels over the next few months on all the Great Lakes, with the exception of Lake Ontario, are expected to remain lower than 2004/2005.   Evaporation rates during the fall may be higher than average due to warmer surface water temperatures. See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.

 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

The Lake Superior outflow through the St. Marys River into Lake Huron is projected to be near average during the month of November.  Flow in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are anticipated to be below average during November.  Flow in the Niagara River is predicted to be near average during this month.  St. Lawrence River outflow is projected to be below average in November.

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.

 

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels Data Summary

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Expected water level for Nov 11 in ft

601.4

577.2

573.0

570.5

244.7

Chart datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff from chart datum, in inches

+4

-4

+8

+16

+17

Diff from last month, in inches

-3

-4

-9

-6

-2

Diff from last year in inches

-6

-7

-7

-5

+2

 


Canada

Canada - Tembec pays $1 million for polluting

Pleads guilty on 36 charges related to exceeding allowable limits for effluent

Forest products firm Tembec Inc. has agreed to pay a $1million fine for polluting the Ottawa River, the largest penalty ever slapped on any company under Quebec's environment laws. One environment ministry official warned more fines just as big could be parceled out to other companies soon.

 

Tembec said it struck a deal with the government to plead guilty on 36 charges related to exceeding allowable limits for effluent from its Temiscaming industrial site. The site, as well as Tembec's corporate head office, is located in the town of the same name.

 

A Quebec Court judge approved the settlement last week. Tembec said the government put forward 155 violations in all against the company but that a plea bargain was struck on a reduced number of charges.

Government investigations over several months found Tembec repeatedly discharged waste over legal limits into the Ottawa River. The infractions occurred between January 2001 and February 2003.

Employing 1,000 people, the site contains two pulp mills, a paperboard mill and two chemical plants. The waste from these plants, in addition to waste water from the town of Temiscaming, is all treated by one system.  Tembec admits it failed to properly process the effluent. They insist the site is now completely compliant with regulations. Tembec has spent more than $100 million during the last 15 years to improve the site's emission treatment system as well as its infrastructure, he said.

 

For many companies, the court-ordered investments they have to make to meet environmental standards far outweighs any fines leveled against them, said John Steele, spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. He said Ontario has leveled at least three fines against companies and their owners that compare in size to Quebec's $1-million penalty.

 

Most recently, Maple Leafs Foods Inc. was fined $682,500 plus a special 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge Nov. 1 for non-compliance at a facility in Hamilton, Ont.

 

 


General

Top Ten Ways to Store Your Boat Ashore - from BoatU.S

The safest way to store a boat over winter is to bring it ashore.  But accidents can occur when boats are stored ashore and BoatUS has ten tips on how to prevent them:

 

1.         The best way to store your boat is in a steel or wooden cradle specifically designed for your boat.  Never use a cradle designed for another vessel because it may not support critical load points.

 

2.         If you're using jack stands, there should be no less than three pairs of jack stands placed under boats larger than 26-feet, and additional support at long over hangs.

 

3.         Jack stand pads should always be placed as far out from the keel as possible to provide the most stability.  A boat that is resting on the ground or loose gravel should have plywood placed under the base of the stands.  Without this, rain and frost could cause the stand to settle into the earth causing the boat to tip over.

 

4.         When positioned correctly, jack stands will not depress the hull or "point load," where excessive weight at a single area can cause laminate failure.

5.         Always use safety chains - never rope or wire - to tie pairs of jack stands together.  Never tie a tarp to the stands as the tarp's rope can pull the stands out.

 

6.         Keels must be supported by wide, thick timbers. Never use cinder blocks as they are prone to failure. Engines and outboards may require additional support.

 

7.         Boat covers must be supported underneath to prevent water from pooling, which can add considerable weight and put additional pressure on keel supports.

 

8.         Boats should be stored in the level position to allow scuppers and bilge drains to be effective.  Drains should also be left open and kept clear of debris.

 

9.         Fixed-keel sailboats such as club racers stored on trailers are prone to being knocked over when wind is on the beam.  Use jack stands to provide additional support.

 

10.       Check your boat on a regular basis as damage often could have been prevented by an occasional visit.

 

 


Oyster Harvesting Returns to Louisiana

HOPEDALE, La. - Oystermen have returned to the bays of southeast Louisiana. The hurricane-ravaged industry celebrated a victory Friday, November 11 when two boats arrived at the Old Hopedale Seafood Plant and unloaded hundreds of sacks of oysters. Harvesting had been off-limits

because of contamination fears in the wake of the storm.

 

State health officials reopened waters east of the Mississippi River on Oct. 22 to oyster harvesting on private grounds. Public grounds remain closed in those areas.


Alewives found in Lake Champlain

GRAND ISLE, Vt. (AP) - Biologists from Vermont and Quebec have discovered alewives living in Lake Champlain that threatens to change the lake's ecosystem.

 

Alewives, a member of the herring or "shad" family, could displace smelt as the primary forage fish in the lake and could reduce the populations of other lake fish. "An alewife invasion could potentially cause significant ecological and economic disruption in Lake Champlain," said Dave Tilton, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Lake Champlain complex.

 

Alewives have been found over the past three years in samples taken throughout Lake Champlain done by state, provincial and federal agencies. The first alewife was found in 

2003 by biologists from the Quebec Ministry of Wildlife and Parks. A single adult alewife was found in northern Lake Champlain in 2004 by Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department biologists.

 

Vermont fisheries biologist Bernie Pientka said he believed the catches indicated a new population may be forming in Lake Champlain. "The collection of both juvenile and adult individuals from different areas of Champlain suggests that alewives are now reproducing in the lake," said Pientka.

 

Alewives are native to the Atlantic Ocean but migrate to freshwater rivers and lakes to spawn. They are able to adapt to live their entire lives in freshwater and have done so in the Great Lakes and many other inland waters across the country.


 

2nd Amendment issues

San Francisco Approves Gun ban

Joins Chicago and Washington in ignoring Nation’s Bill of Rights

Voters on Tuesday, November 8, approved a ballot measure to ban handguns in San Francisco. They also approved a measure to urge the city's public high schools and college campuses to keep out military recruiters.

 

The gun ban prohibits the manufacture and sale of all firearms and ammunition in the city, and makes it illegal for residents to keep handguns in their homes or businesses. Only two other major U.S. cities - Washington and Chicago - have implemented such sweeping handgun bans.

Although law enforcement, security guards and others who require weapons for work are exempt from the measure, current handgun owners would have to surrender their firearms by April For weeks prior to the election law enforcement officials spoke out in opposition to the ban, acknowledging they could not protect the citizens of San Francisco as well as armed individuals could protect themselves.

 

 A coalition led by the National Rifle Association has said it plans to challenge the initiative in court, arguing that cities do not have the authority to regulate firearms under California law.


NRA sues San Francisco over Gun Ban

In response to the passage of Proposition H--a citywide gun ban--in San Francisco, the NRA, on Wednesday November 9

filed suit to formally challenge the city's authority to regulate the possession and transfer of firearms by law-abiding residents of the city and county of San Francisco.


 

Illinois

ILL group has plans for Asian carp

Gets $100,000 grant, to study feasibility of harvesting 20 million pounds of the fish yearly from Illinois rivers

HAVANA, IL - More than 20 million pounds of Asian carp could be harvested from Illinois rivers each year if Havana Carp Protein Products succeeds in developing and marketing products made from the invasive exotic species.

 

Jim Sneed of Hollywood, S.C., president of Havana-based Carp Protein Products LLC, said his company is completing a feasibility study on turning the Asian carp problem into a viable business.  Carp Protein recently received a $100,000 Opportunity Returns grant to conduct the research, Gov. Rod Blagojevich's office announced last week.

 

Asian carp is a nuisance fish that has become highly disruptive to the Illinois River's ecosystem. A female can produce 2.2 million eggs a year, and the growing rate of the species is unbelievably fast, said Sneed, the son of one of the leading fisheries biologists in the United States who studied the Asian carp in the early 1970s.

 

Sneed's company has been researching the quantities and

locations of Asian carp populations, developing harvest techniques and assessing the viability in using the unwanted species of Asian carp for commercial purposes.

 

Illinois DNR estimates put the Asian carp population just in the Illinois River at 50 million to 60 million lbs. Sneed has estimates from other rivers in the state that are comparable, "so we probably have access to 100 million to 200 million lbs of Asian carp easily."

 

Sneed anticipates production to get under way within a year, and depending on demand and development of future products, the amount of Asian carp harvested each year could well surpass the initial estimates of 20 million pounds.  "We are trying to use the whole fish, not waste anything," he said. "We want sort of a stable of products."

 

The grant funding came from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, while the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is providing additional in-kind services.

 


Indiana

DNR administers over $1 million in federal grants for trails

The Indiana DNR will administer $1,025,103 in federal grants on six trail projects in six different counties around the state. 

 

"We're following Gov. Daniels' directive to offer healthful outdoor opportunities within a reasonable driving distance of each Hoosier," said Kyle Hupfer, DNR director. "We hope the people of Indiana will enjoy hiking,

wildlife watching, cycling and other outdoor activities with the new facilities made possible with these grants."

 

The grants come from the federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP). Every year a portion of the federal transportation bill is apportioned to each of the 50 states through the Federal Highway Administration to fund

recreational trails. The amount distributed to each state is based on the total of federal motor fuel excise tax paid by users of off-road recreational vehicles such as snowmobiles, off-road motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, and off-road light trucks in that state. 

 

The program stipulates that 30% of the funds are spent on

motorized trails; 30% go to trails for non-motorized sports; and 40% are spent on diverse-use trails.  The RTP funds can be used for acquisition and development of public trails and can include, but are not limited to, development of trailhead facilities, maintenance and restoration of existing trails and trailhead facilities, stream and riveraccess sites, bridges, boardwalks, crossings, signage, equestrian facilities, safety and educational programs, sanitary facilities, and other support facilities and administrative costs.

 

In order to be eligible for this federal funding, states must establish a trails advisory board composed of  different trail interest groups including: hikers, sportsmen and women, motorcyclists, bicyclists, mountain bicyclists, ATV riders, four wheel drive riders, snowmobilers, equestrians, trail users with disabilities, water trail users, park and recreation agencies, environmental groups, soil and water conservation districts, and trail support groups.     

 

The DNR was authorized to use $20,000 to help defray the cost of administering the grants.

 


Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area opens Nov. 14

New 8,000-acre area is to be managed for angling, hunting, viewing and trapping

Hunters, anglers and wildlife watchers will have new territory to explore in Greene County, Gov. Mitch Daniels announced last week. Daniels said the Goose Pond and Beehunter Marsh will draw thousands of people to the area to view the wildlife and to fish and hunt.

 

Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area, a new 8,000-acre property located between the towns of Linton and Sanborn, will open to the public on Nov. 14. Entrance is free of charge.

 

The DNR has preliminary plans to build a boat ramp, improve access, and to manage habitat for ground-nesting birds. The agency will meet with area residents to develop a more detailed management plan for the property.

 

With the addition of Goose Pond, 140,000 acres across Indiana now are open as fish and wildlife areas and available for hunting and fishing. Fees from the purchase of hunting and fishing licenses and associated sporting equipment fund fish and wildlife area management.

Just under $2 million of the $8 million Goose Pond purchase price came from state coffers, and half a million of that was funded through the Indiana Heritage Trust by sales of the Environmental License Plate. Other state money included gamebird habitat stamp and duck stamp receipts and the state Fish and Wildlife Fund.

 

Approximately $4.7 million came from federal sources - the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the North American Waterfowl Conservation Act, and the Federal Highway Administration. Major contributors besides the DNR and the Indiana Heritage Trust Program were The Nature Conservancy and Ducks Unlimited. The rest came from private conservation partners.

 

Prior to the DNR's acquisition, Ducks Unlimited worked with the USDA-NRCS through the Wetlands Reserve Program to design and restore Beehunter Marsh and portions of Goose Pond. More than 2,200 acres of restoration work has been completed by Ducks Unlimited, including wetland restoration, bottomland hardwood reforestation and native prairie establishment.

 

More Goose Pond information: www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/goosepond/


Michigan

2005 Michigan Deer Hunting Prospects

The Michigan DNR has released its 2005 Michigan Deer Hunting Prospects report.

 

The report, compiled and released annually, provides hunters a Wildlife Management Unit analysis of what they can expect from the state deer herd. The assessments in the report are compiled by local DNR biologists based on a variety of biological evaluations including estimated previous winter losses, weather conditions and field observations throughout the year.

 

Biologists estimate that, weather permitting; the deer harvest will be similar to last year's estimated harvest of 450,000 deer

for the hunting seasons combined. The statewide harvest is expected to include an approximately equal number of antlered and antlerless deer.

 

The full text of the 2005 Michigan Deer Hunting Prospects is available on the DNR Web site, www.michigan.gov/dnr

Hunters throughout Michigan who plan to travel for hunting opportunities this year are reminded of the state's continued fight against Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive species that destroys ash trees. Hunters can make an important contribution to stop the spread of EAB by leaving firewood at home and purchasing it after reaching their destination. For more information on EAB, please visit www.michigan.gov/eab


Ohio

State boosts limits on perch, walleye

The Ohio Wildlife Council approved an increase in the Lake Erie walleye and yellow perch bag limits for sport anglers in 2006.  The daily bag limit on yellow perch is increased from 30 to 40, and the spring walleye limit from March 1 through April 30 was increased from three to four fish. The regular season

limit is six walleye per day.

 

The OWC also voted to allow anglers to keep only one channel catfish larger than 28” and a single flathead catfish larger than 35” per day.


Ohioans encouraged to report wildlife violations

Ohioans are encouraged to help enforce state wildlife laws by reporting wildlife violations to the division's Turn-in-a-Poacher (TIP) hotline at 1-800-POACHER (762-2437). The TIP hotline will also be open extended hours during the upcoming hunting seasons. Established in 1982, the TIP program allows individuals to anonymously call toll free from anywhere in the state to report wildlife violations.

 

The 1-800-POACHER hotline is now open from 8 a.m. to 9

p.m. every day through December 30, with the exception of Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

 

Callers may be eligible to receive a cash award for information and are encouraged to leave a message during closed hours with as much information about the suspected violation as can be provided. Tips can also be submitted online at the division's web page at www.ohiodnr.com/wildlife/contact/TIPform.htm


Wisconsin

State Lawmakers oppose DNR's new regs on piers

Rules protect lakes, won't affect 94% of property owners, agency says

Republican legislative leaders said they will introduce a bill that would protect piers on Wisconsin lakes from what they view as heavy-handed regulation by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  The Milwaukee Journal-

Sentinel reports Wisconsin Fish Chief Mike Staggs emphasized that his agency has spent months working with interest groups to balance the needs of property owners and the environment.

 

The DNR says its principal aim is to control the construction of large so-called "party docks" of up to 1,000 square feet that have been erected by some property owners.


Cormorant Bill passes Assembly

Madison… State Rep. Karl Van Roy reports his Cormorant Bill, Assembly Bill 486 has passed the State Assembly.  Van Roy’s bill requires the DNR to work with federal agencies to control the overpopulating nuisance species that has been devastating fish populations and island habitats in Green Bay.

 

Assembly Bill 486 is another step closer to Gov. Jim Doyle's desk after the State Assembly voted in favor of it last Wednesday, 77-18

 

“These Cormorants are destroying the environment on several of Green Bay’s islands and are wiping out our yellow perch populations throughout the Bay,” said Van Roy.  “It’s been a long process but I’m pleased that my colleagues agree that we need to take action on this growing environmental problem.”  Van Roy says that his bill passed on a voice vote with tremendous support from the majority of members from both parties.  After passage, AB 486 was immediately

messaged to State Senate where Van Roy hopes to see it pass soon.

 

AB 486 would require the Department of Natural Resources to work with federal agencies to control double-crested cormorants, which Van Roy said have been devastating fish populations and island habitats in Green Bay. "The DNR says it's going to cost so much, but there are a lot of sportsmen's groups that are willing and able to help in any way they can," Van Roy said. "If they can train them, they'd get plenty of volunteers."

 

“The Departments of Natural Resources in New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Vermont, and the Canadian Great Lakes Provinces are already doing what we’re asking our own DNR to do in this bill,” said Van Roy.  “The Wisconsin DNR needs to listen to what my constituents and the experts have been saying and start solving the problem.”


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