Week of November 16, 2009

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes
Misc New Fishing-Boating Products
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
National

Regional

Veterans Issues
General

Illinois
Indiana
Michigan
Wisconsin
Other Breaking News Items
  •  Professors find clue to dead zone in lake

    For decades a portion of Lake Erie's central basin has been so depleted of oxygen that it has not supported life.

    Two Bowling Green State University researchers believe they have uncovered cold-weather diatoms, or microscopic pieces…

  • Beware the climate change alarmists

    In the next few weeks we'll be relentlessly scrubbed with eyewash, brainwash and hogwash, all designed to cleanse us of any doubts that global warming is a proven menace to mother Earth. First, there's the Democratic global warming legislation rushing through Congress with…

  • Lake Erie - Shoring up walleye stocks is daunting task

    When it comes to shoring up Lake Erie's highly valued walleye stocks, which currently are foundering as badly as the world economy, the elusive search is on for magic bullets. Fisheries biologists and managers have looked at most if not all of the proposals -

  • '09 walleye hatch, economy dive

     So, the walleye catching wasn't all that good on Lake Erie this year and everyone knows the walleye population is cycling low. The anxiety mostly would go away if the lake just would produce a couple of average hatches, back to back, but that's a mighty big "if."

 

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Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

Fishing/Boating Community denounces South Coast Decision

Los Angeles, CA – November 10, 2009 – The Partnership for Sustainable Oceans (PSO), which represents recreational fishing and boating interests in California, today denounced a decision that could have a devastating effect on California’s economy and the public’s right to access the state’s coastal waters.

 

Under the California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), California’s South Coast Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF), appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger voted to send its own preferred alternative proposal to the state’s Fish and Game Commission (FGC) that will close vast areas of the South Coast to public access, ignoring the impact this decision will have on the state’s economy and budget. Particularly hard hit will be the Malibu, Orange County and San Diego County fishing communities. The recreational fishing and boating community supported Proposal 2, a proposal drafted in part by recreational and commercial fishermen and that provided significant additional conservation for California’s ocean resources while minimizing the economic impact of lost fishing opportunity.

 

“By making this decision, the BRTF passed over the three proposals it earlier voted to send to the Fish and Game Commission that were created by 64 stakeholders who worked 14 months to create these three proposals under an ever changing set of guidelines,” said Bob Fletcher, former president, Sportfishing Association of California, a regional stakeholder group member and PSO member. “Proposal 2 has a high conservation value that is relatively the same as other proposals but would have the least economic impact on Southern California particularly San Diego where fishing and boating is an integral component of the local economy. The BRTF choose to ignore Proposal 2 in favor of its own version.”

 

“Recreational fishermen are the first and best ocean stewards who strongly believe in conserving ocean resources and will be the first to step forward when conservation action is required,” said Patty Doerr, Ocean Resource Policy, American Sportfishing Association and PSO member. “In a sound public policy process, the conservation effort must also be balanced with responsibly regulated fishing, economic considerations and access to the fishery resource. The BRTF, in creating its own alternative, failed to meet these basic objectives.”

 

The South Coast BRTF met October 20-22, 2009, to review three marine protected area (MPA) proposals, including Proposal 2, to be forwarded to the FGC for consideration during its December meeting in Los Angeles. At that meeting, the BRTF voted to advance all three proposals to the FGC. The BRTF met again on November 10 to finalize the development of an integrated preferred alternative that would include elements from the other three proposals. Proposal 2 is one of

the original three proposals forwarded to the FGC. Proposal 2 placed MPAs in locations with a high level of conservation while minimizing the economic impact on local communities and allowing recreational anglers maximum access to fishing.

 

“The action of the BRTF flies in the face of California residents’ ability to access our state’s coastal waters and prime fishing grounds,” said Paul Lebowitz, director, Kayak Fishing Association of California, regional stakeholder group member and PSO member. “In four surveys conducted during the last two years by Field Research and Research Analytics & Strategy, Californians have clearly demonstrated they strongly support maintaining recreational fishing as an activity to be enjoyed by everyone. From a Field Research poll in mid-2007 to a recent poll of Laguna Beach residents, Californians have repeatedly said they support recreational fishing, want it to continue, and favor recreational fishing over marine reserves.”

 

“This is a dark day for California’s recreational anglers”, said Steve Fukuto, president, United Anglers of Southern California and PSO member. “Most disappointing is the fact that anglers provide approximately $70 million each year to California for marine fisheries management and countless hours of volunteer time to support fisheries in the state. For example, United Anglers of Southern California were instrumental in creating the white sea bass hatchery program. No other user group even comes close to this level of investment – certainly not the people who support closing our state waters to California’s residents.”

 

As this BRTF creation moves to the FGC, the PSO will continue to support Proposal 2. Fletcher further said, “It is simply the most balanced alternative and represents the least negative economic and social impact. It chooses the heritage of recreational fishing in Southern California over symbolic gestures that are not necessary for the protection of our ocean resources. As a community, our goal from the very beginning has been to maximize the conservation of our oceans with the least impact on the economy. Proposal 2 does just that.”

 

The PSO encourages recreational anglers and boaters to attend the December 9, 2009 FGC meeting in Los Angeles where the BRTF will present its preferred alternative to the FGC. Lebowitz said, “Anglers should attend and voice their support for Proposal 2 and against the preferred alternative.”

 

The PSO includes the American Sportfishing Association, Berkley Conservation Institute, Coastside Fishing Club, Contributing Members of the Avalon Tuna Club, International Game Fish Association, Kayak Fishing Association of California, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Nor-Cal Kayak Anglers, Shimano Sport Fisheries Initiative, Southern California Marine Association, the Sportfishing Association of California, United Anglers of Southern California and the Watermen’s Alliance.


Misc New Fishing-Boating Products

Shimano Xtreme Fishing Takes the Fight to the Fish
High-energy Wi game featuring rod & reel, bowfishing, spearfishing in stores now

SAN FRANCISCO, CA- Mastiff LLC, a leading publisher of video games, announced that Shimano Xtreme Fishing for Wii™ is now shipping to retailers throughout North America.

 

Shimano Xtreme Fishing lets you take the fight to the fish either traditionally with rod and reel, or up close and personal with spear gun and SCUBA, or bow and arrow. Fast play makes Shimano Xtreme Fishing a wild ride from the start, and robust multiplayer options make it an ideal party game or way to spend time with your fishing buddies.

 

Players will be well-equipped with cutting-edge fishing gear like Shimano Voltaeus fishing rods, Hoyt bows, AMS Bowfishing reels and accessories, and Muzzy arrow points. Armed with the very best in extreme fishing gear, players will navigate massive environments filled with more than 50 varieties of fish and dangerous predators like sharks, piranhas, and alligators. 

 

Shimano Xtreme Fishing guides players, by boat or SCUBA,

through exotic environments ranging from the cold, dark waters of a North American reservoir to a roaring Amazon waterfall, eerie submerged Mayan ruins, the hidden lagoons of a southern island, and the shark-infested shipwrecks of a tropical sea. Whether it's a vigorous fish fight with traditional rod-and-reel tackle, aiming a bow and arrow at fast moving fish, or venturing into the dangerous depths with SCUBA gear and a spear gun, there's never a dull moment in Shimano Xtreme Fishing.

 

Shimano Xtreme Fishing includes a series of challenging tournaments, each with beautiful scenery and unique weather conditions. As players progress through the levels, they will unlock new tackle, clothing and sporting accessories. With three careers, 12 tournaments and more than 65 stages, Shimano Xtreme Fishing gives players hours of non-stop fishing action. Players looking for a more open-ended fishing trip can roam the vast environments in search of new hot spots while mastering their gear of choice in Free Fish mode. Multiplayer mode allows up to four players to compete against another kind of predator--humans--on their way to fish-hunting glory.  For more info:  http://www.sxf-game.com.  

 About $29.99   

 


Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Crimson Trace Modular Vertical Foregrip Now with Green Laser

Crimson Trace announces an addition to the revolutionary modular vertical foregrip, the MVF-515 Green that now utilizes both a green laser and a white light in one unit. Both light sources follow the Crimson Trace mantra of instinctive activation for ease of use. Given the popularity and usefulness of green lasers, Crimson Trace has waited until the Crimson Trace engineering team was able to solve the two banes of green laser technology: The first one, heat, which shortens the laser diode life and second, high power draw, rendering green lasers useless in a matter of minutes. The engineers at Crimson Trace have overcome both of these detriments by utilizing the latest technologies into the new MVF-515 Green.

 

The MVF-515 Green brings speed, accuracy and effectiveness of heads-up sighting to those that require the tactical advantage available with this new product. The MVF-515 Green provides three tools in one. A laser, white-light, and a robust vertical foregrip in a single, modular package. The

 

polymer grip panels are mounted onto an aircraft grade, 6061-T6 aluminum, hard-anodized tang and contain activation switches on each side that control the light and the laser independently. (The MVF-515 Green can be programmed in seconds for momentary laser or light, strobe white light, or constant-on. The white light is adjustable from 150 to 200 lumens.) Two CR-123 batteries provide over 4 hours of light illumination and over 6 hours of green laser illumination. The MVF-515 Green is anchored in place by a two-screw rail mount that fits most standard Picatinny rails. All electrical components fit into the vertical foregrip, which is ergonomically designed for comfort and built for hard use. The texture of the MVF-515 Green is aggressive and can be used with or without gloves. Batteries and electronics are kept dry and functional by a water resistant O-ring built into the grip panels of the foregrip.

 

All Crimson Trace laser sights have both windage and elevation adjustments for shooters to make adjustments on their own. All Crimson Trace laser sighting systems come with an accessory pack that contains batteries, hex wrenches for laser adjustments and several cleaning swabs. A limited three-year warranty is standard.   About $649.00


The New Winchester Model 70 Wins Top Award

Morgan, Utah - The Winchester Model 70 Super Grade has been given the 2009-2010 Guns and Shooting Online Rifle Award. Chuck Hawks, the owner and managing editor of Guns and Shooting Online, announced the award on November 11. "Kudos to Browning/Winchester for finding a way to keep the new Model 70 rifle production in the USA," said Hawks. "We regard it as the finest Model 70 production rifle ever made."

 

The new Winchester Model 70 bolt-action rifles are made in Columbia, South Carolina, at the same manufacturing plant where rifles and machine guns used by America's Armed Forces around the world are built. They are made to the exact ISO 9001 standard of quality that Uncle Sam insists upon for military firearms.

 

 


WI - Deer hunters urged to help eliminate feral pigs

MADISON – State wildlife officials are encouraging hunters who have small game licenses heading out for Wisconsin’s traditional nine-day gun deer hunting season to keep an eye out for feral pigs. Since 1997 feral pigs have been found in at least 39 Wisconsin counties.

 

“Each year we receive reports of feral pig sightings and harvests from around the state,” says Brad Koele, wildlife damage specialist for Department of Natural Resources. “Most of these reports are of 1 or 2 pigs. However, any report of feral pigs is of interest and concern given the negative impacts they can have on the environment, Wisconsin’s agriculture production and our domestic swine industry.”

 

Feral pigs have been defined as “existing in an untamed or wild, unconfined state, having returned to such a state from domestication.” Feral pigs can be found across a wide variety of habitats and are highly destructive because of the rooting they do in search of food. They’re also efficient predators preying on many species including white-tailed deer fawns and ground nesting birds like grouse, woodcock, turkeys, and songbirds.

 

Feral pigs are known to carry a number of diseases of danger to humans and the domestic swine industry, including swine brucellosis, pseudorabies and leptospirosis. In 2008 a feral pig shot during the gun deer hunting season in Crawford County initially tested “positive” for pseudorabies however because of the poor sample quality test results could not be labeled definitive.

 

For removal purposes, feral pigs are currently considered unprotected wild animals and may be hunted year-round. The only day they cannot be hunted with a gun is the Friday before the nine-day gun deer hunting season. Also, feral pig hunting hours are the same as for deer during the nine-day season. During the rest of the year, there are no hunting hour restrictions for feral pigs.

 

There is no bag limit on feral pigs. Landowners may shoot feral pigs on their own property without a hunting license. Anyone else can shoot a feral pig as long as they possess a valid small game license, sport license, or patron license and have landowner permission if they are on private land.

 

While the Department encourages the removal of feral pigs when ever possible, Koele cautions that before shooting “hunters need to be sure the pigs are feral and they are not someone’s domestic pigs that may have just escaped. Hunters could be liable for the replacement cost of the pig if they are domestic.”

 

Information on feral pig hunting, including a list of counties where feral pigs have been sighted or killed, is available on the Department of Natural Resources Web site.  State officials request that anyone shooting a feral pig call a DNR service center or contact a DNR wildlife biologist so that blood and tissue samples can be collected for disease testing in collaboration with USDA and the State veterinarians office.

 

Feral pig sightings can be reported through the DNR Web site or by calling Brad Koele, Wildlife Damage Specialist at 608-266-2151.

 


WI General Assembly votes to support Second Amendment

Grants AG authority to appear as amicus curiae in McDonald, v. City of Chicago

MADISON - Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen released the following statement on today's Wisconsin State Assembly action as it relates to Assembly Resolution 15 which grants the Attorney General authority to appear as amicus curiae in Otis McDonald, et al. v. City of Chicago, Illinois, which is currently pending before the United States Supreme Court. 

 

"The McDonald case will determine whether the Second Amendment right to bear arms under the Federal Constitution limits the ability of states and local governments to regulate firearms.  Today, at my request, the State Assembly took prompt action to pass a resolution that authorizes me to file a brief with the Supreme Court to advocate for a broad reading of the Second Amendment that will guarantee the right to keep and bear arms and prevent states and/or local governments from unwarranted intrusion into these rights.  The United  

 

States Supreme Court announced on September 30, 2009, it would hear the McDonald case.”

 

"Last year, after granted permission by the State Assembly, I filed an amicus brief in the landmark case of District of Columbia v. Heller.  This case recognized the rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment.  However, the case revolved around the actions of the government of the District of Columbia, a federal entity.  The Supreme Court did not decide on whether this right would apply to states and local governments.  McDonald v. City of Chicago focuses on the rights of the people as it relates to intrusions by state and local governments.”

 

"The Second Amendment protects a critical and fundamental individual right.  Our founders recognized this essential freedom when they adopted the Bill of Rights.  The people of Wisconsin recognize this essential freedom.  Today, the Wisconsin State Assembly has allowed me to make sure the citizens of Wisconsin are heard.”


IN DNR to collect deer heads for bovine TB testing

State biologists plan to collect 650 deer heads from cooperating hunters during the opening weekend of the firearms season on Nov. 14 and 15 in order to test for the presence of bovine tuberculosis.

 

“This effort should go a long way in helping us find out if the disease has jumped the fence,” DNR deer management biologist Chad Stewart said. “Thankfully, we have not seen signs of the disease in our wild deer, and we hope that we don’t find it. This testing effort is a critical next step.”

               

Collection sites will be at the following deer check stations:

– Fayette County: Mustins Taxidermy, 1660 W. Fayette County Road 350 S, Connersville

– Franklin County: 52 Pik Up, 11183 U.S. 52, Brookville

 

– Franklin County: Lakeside Sunoco, 9193 Indiana 101, Brookville

– Harrison County: Gun World, 1548 Indiana 62 NW, Corydon

– Wayne County: Mendenhall True Value, 125 S W 5th St., Richmond

 

The biologists will be looking for heads from yearling and older deer. The target is 300 samples from both Franklin and Harrison counties, and 50 from Wayne County.  Hunters are not required to participate, but anyone hunting in those counties is encouraged to cooperate in order to ensure a comprehensive surveillance effort. Those who submit heads will be able to remove antlers from the sample.

 

The DNR received a $100,000 federal grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to fund the bovine TB testing.


IN - Hunting safely is no accident

With Indiana's deer firearms season opening Saturday, the state's conservation officers remind hunters of these safety tips to prevent hunting accidents.

 

► Treat every firearm with the same respect due a loaded firearm.

► Control the direction of your firearm’s muzzle. Carry your firearm safely, keeping the safety on until ready to shoot. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.

► Identify your target and what’s beyond it. Know the identifying features of the game you hunt.

► Be sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions and that you have only ammunition of the proper size for the firearms you are carrying

► Unload firearms when not in use; leave the actions open. Firearms should be carried unloaded when traveling to and from shooting areas

► Never point a firearm at anything you do not want to shoot; avoid all horseplay with a firearm

► Never climb a fence or tree, or jump a ditch or log with a 

 

loaded firearm. Never pull a firearm toward you by the muzzle.

► Never shoot a bullet at a flat, hard surface or water. During target practice, be sure your backstop is adequate

► Store firearms and ammunition separately, beyond the reach of children and careless adults

► Avoid alcoholic beverages or other mood-altering drugs before and while hunting or shooting

 

These tips form a basic foundation for good firearms safety. Following them significantly increases the chances for an accident-free hunt. In addition, to following the tips about firearms,  hunters using elevated tree stands or platforms should use a full-body safety harness to  protect themselves in case of a fall. Falling from an elevated stand or platform is the most common hunting accident in Indiana.

 

During the 2008 hunting season, 24 hunting accidents were reported to conservation officers. Falls from tree stands led to 15 injuries, resulting in two deaths. For information about taking a Hunter Safety Course go to www.dnrlaw@dnr.IN.gov.


PA - Elk Hunters Harvest 44 Elk In 2009

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe announced that 44 of the 60 licensed elk hunters were successful during the 2009 elk season.  Of that total, 20 were antlered elk and 24 were antlerless elk. 

 

“This year’s overall success rate was 73 percent, which is down slightly from the past year, which I believe that this can be attributed to the improved food conditions this year throughout the elk range, thanks in large part to the decline in gypsy moth defoliation.”

Along with extracting samples needed for disease testing, the

agency also collected samples necessary to examine food preferences and habitat use by elk.  Also, hunters collected liver samples that will be evaluated for mineral contents.

 

The largest antlered elk was taken by Reed Bamburger, of Graysville, Greene County.  He took a 652 lb (dressed weight), 8x9 on Nov. 2, in Covington Township, Clearfield County.  The heaviest antlerless elk was taken by Larry Davis, of Fairborn, Ohio, who harvested a 474 lb (dressed weight) antlerless elk on Nov. 3, in Benezette Township, Elk County. 


Winchester Receives 2nd Consecutive Ammunition Manufacturer of the Year Award

For the second consecutive year, Winchester has been awarded the Ammunition Manufacturer of the Year award by the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers (NASGW).

 

Each year, the NASGW honors industry excellence with award winners selected by the wholesaler members of the association. The members nominate and vote for outstanding manufacturers that truly embrace partnership with wholesalers and support the two-step distribution system. Winchester Ammunition received the honor during the NASGW's 36th annual meeting & expo in Reno, NV.

 

For more information about Winchester and its complete line of products visit www.winchester.com

 

NILO Farms, established by John M. Olin in 1952, is Winchester's prestigious hunting preserve providing guests with quality hunting on more than 640 acres of natural habitat. As one of the finest hunting and shooting facilities in the country, NILO Farms represents the best in game management and safety. Many of the land management practices developed at NILO Farms have proven to be an example for other waterfowl and upland game bird preserves to follow. For more information about NILO Farms visit www.nilofarms.com.


MI - Delayed Corn Harvest Could Impact Deer Harvest

As firearms deer season approaches, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources wants hunters to know that the corn harvest is further behind schedule this fall than at any time in the last 20 years.

 

As of Nov. 8, only 16 percent of the field corn crop has been harvested statewide. Although the corn harvest can proceed rapidly if the weather allows, the moisture content in the corn is still very high and some farmers have suggested they do  

not intend to harvest until after firearm season begins. The

last five years, an average of 80 percent of the corn harvest has occurred by Nov. 15.

 

“If substantial amounts of standing corn remain as of opening day of firearms season, the bulk of Michigan hunters in areas with corn production, particularly in southern Michigan, can expect to see fewer deer,” said DNR deer research biologist Brent Rudolph. “Where there is standing corn, deer will not be restricted to seeking cover in brushy or forested areas."


IN - Waterfowl hunting at Kankakee FWA

Waterfowl hunting will begin in the corn units at Kankakee Fish and Wildlife Area on Nov. 17. The draw will be held at 4:30 a.m. CST. Only the corn units will be hunted, which means that 19 blinds will be available to hunt. Maps of the blind locations will be provided.

 

Other areas (K’s and Y’s) will be hunted sometime around 

Thanksgiving. Managers at Kankakee FWA will be designatinga volunteer day to help brush blinds and haul boats once they start flowing water into those areas. The channel blinds (9, 10, 11, 12Y) will be hunted when the rest of the K and Y blinds open and they will be hunted every day this year. This will allow four more parties to hunt every day. 

 

For more info: KankakeeFWAHunterInfo@dnr.IN.gov.


 

National

NOAA Administrator discusses Recreational Fishing Concerns at Sportfishing Summit

Jane Lubchenco voices commitment to the sportfishing industry

Alexandria, VA – November 3, 2009 – Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator, Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., met with sportfishing industry leaders during the American Sportfishing Association’s (ASA) 2009 Sportfishing Summit on October 27. ASA was encouraged by Lubchenco’s words and looks forward to working with her to ensure that recreational fishing’s voice is heard at NOAA.

 

“As NOAA’s Administrator I am committed to adopting policies that will ensure that current and future generations have the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful activity,” Lubchenco said in her remarks. “We are responding to the concerns expressed by your leaders that we don’t pay enough attention to recreational fishing. I’m here to tell you that we do think you are important, that we will pay attention and that we will work with you. It is my intention to improve our relationship. I look forward to a new era of cooperative relations between NOAA and anglers across this country.”

 

“We are encouraged by the remarks that Under Secretary

Lubchenco gave at the 2009 Sportfishing Summit,” ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman said. “Dr. Lubchenco told us that she will be our champion. We look forward to seeing actions come from those words and look forward to working with her and NOAA staff.”

 

In September the Obama administration issued a draft policy, Interim Report of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force.  ASA has significant concerns  with the direction the Obama administration is going in managing the United States’ marine and freshwater public resources, choosing a tone of preservation over conservation. At the Summit, Lubchenco spoke about this concern.

 

“As an active participant in the task force process, I want to assure the recreational fishing community that this concern has been heard. The task force has now received significant input from anglers across the country. I am confident that when the task force releases its final report, your interests will be recognized,” Lubchenco said. “I believe that recreational fishing is both an important pastime, which brings families and friends together, and an important economic activity. I am personally committed to a national policy which recognizes the importance of recreational fishing and ensures that it can continue to thrive.”


Draft Mercury Emission Reduction Strategy

The Great Lakes Regional Collaboration announces a sixty-day public comment period for a Draft Great Lakes Mercury Emission       Reduction Strategy.  In April 2008 representatives from the Great Lakes states and U.S. EPA commenced development of a basin-wide Strategy for the reduction of mercury emissions.

 

A draft Strategy is now available at http://glrc.us/initiatives/toxics/drafthgemissionreductionstrategy1109.html for public comment through January 12, 2010. We invite comments on the Strategy itself and on how best to move forward with implementation, as well as commitments from stakeholders to implement components of the Strategy.

 

A copy of the initial draft document was first distributed to stakeholders for a 30-day review and comment period to

 

provide input on the structure of the report and the emission

sources to be covered in detail in the final document. The draft report reflects recommendations based on feedback received. A summary of comments that were received and incorporated can also be found at the above web link.

 

Please send comments electronically to the Strategy Team Coordinator, Debra Jacobson at djacobson@istc.illinois.edu and copy Alexis Cain at Cain.Alexis@epa.gov.  When sending comments by e-mail be sure to put the words "Great Lakes Mercury Strategy Comments" in the subject line of your e-mail.

 

If you have questions or have problems accessing the draft document please contact Debra Jacobson at djacobson@istc.illinois.edu  or 630-472-5019.  Deadline for Comments is January 12, 2010.   http://glrc.us


USFWS seeks input on management of Lake Huron islands

 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking input from the public in developing a comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) for islands in the Great Lakes that are managed as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

 

Four islands in Lake Huron that are managed by the staff at the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge located in Saginaw include Big Charity, Little Charity, Scarecrow and Thunder Bay.

 

The CCP is a 15-year plan that identifies issues, goals,

 

objectives and a strategy for refuge management. Additionally,

the plan provides the public with an idea of what the Wildlife Service intends to do in terms of managing habitat, protecting wildlife, and providing a place where people can enjoy wildlife-dependent activities.

 

Written comments can be sent to Steve Kahl, Refuge Manager, Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, 6975 Mower Road, Saginaw, MI 48601-9783 by Dec. 4. Comments may also be sent through the service’s planning website at www.fws.gov/midwest/planning/GreatLakesIslands.


Regional

Chicago Sanitary/Ship Canal to Close Dec 2 for Fish Barrier Maintenance

Rotenone to be used to prevent Asian carp from moving into Lake Michigan

Barrier area will be closed to all traffic for 4-5 days

CHICAGO – A section of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) is planned to be closed to all traffic, weather permitting, beginning December 2 for a period of four to five days.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is planning to perform scheduled maintenance on Barrier IIA, one of two electric barriers in operation on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal constructed to prevent the movement of the destructive Asian carp into Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes. Performing scheduled maintenance is required in order to maintain reliability of the structures and minimize the risk of unplanned outages due to inadequate maintenance.

During the maintenance shutdown, Barrier I will remain active. However, because of late summer detection of Asian carp near the barrier system and concern that Barrier I may not be effective in deterring juvenile fish, rotenone will be applied to the canal between the barrier and the Lockport Lock and Dam, a section approximately 5 miles long.  The application will allow for the removal of Asian carp and other fish to keep them from advancing past the barrier toward Lake Michigan.  Illinois EPA water quality experts will be monitoring downstream of the application zone to ensure that the waters of the state are protected, and the chemicals do not move beyond the designated application area.

 

“The barrier is currently the only protection against Asian carp for the Great Lakes and the maintenance shutdown may present an opportunity for the destructive fish to advance up the canal toward Lake Michigan,” said DNR Assistant Director John Rogner.

 

During this process, the U.S. Coast Guard will be enforcing a safety zone and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) will be closed to all commercial and recreational vessel traffic between CSSC Mile marker 291 and CSSC Mile Marker 298.  The waterway is planned to be closed beginning December 2 and last for the duration of operations.  The waterway will reopen as soon as operations permit.

 

Asian carp have been detected using environmental DNA testing in the canal below the barrier, and there is consensus among federal, state, and local agencies along with other partners that actions must be taken to prevent these invasive species from reaching Lake Michigan while Barrier IIA is shut down.

 

The Illinois DNR), in coordination with the multi-agency Asian

 

Carp Rapid Response Workgroup along with the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force, will manage the application of rotenone in the CSSC.  While the toxicant will eradicate Asian carp and other fish in the canal, rotenone does not present a risk to people or other wildlife when used properly.

 

The application of rotenone is planned for December 3, and crews from the IDNR and other agencies will remove fish from the canal and dispose of them in a landfill.  The fish habitat in the section of the canal scheduled for treatment is made up of mostly non-sport fish with the most common species being common carp, goldfish, and gizzard shad.  Before the application of rotenone, an electro-fishing operation will be conducted to relocate as many sport fish as possible. Rotenone dissipates quickly on its own, but to accelerate that process a neutralizing agent known as potassium permanganate will be used following the application. 

 

If Asian carp become established in the Great Lakes, they could cause a catastrophic decline in native fish species and severely damage the Great Lakes sport fishing industry, valued at $7 billion.

 

The Asian Carp Rapid Response Workgroup includes many state and federal agencies including Illinois DNR, USACE, USEPA, USFWS, USCG, USDA, Chicago and regional agencies and commissions, and Wisconsin Sea Grant.   All eight Great Lakes State Fisheries management agencies are providing support for the project.

 

However the process will not be without interruptions and negative economic impacts. While most all of recreational boaters heading south will have already passed thru the barrier area, some 35 commercial carriers and their crews will be idled for four to five days. The Rapid Response Workgoup is requiring suspension of all boat traffic in a five mile area to prevent colliding with the many vessels involved in the Rotenone dispersal/monitoring process. That means commodity products to coal burning power plants and sand and gravel products to Material Service will be impacted during this time and over 300 folks will be out of work for that time period. Some 7,000 boats were idled this past August when the Coast Guard temporarily closed down the barrier while increased voltage testing took place.

 

With Barrier IIB not scheduled for completion until the fall of 2010, the six month periodic maintenance requirement of our new electronic barriers means this shut down could occur again next summer. That is just one more reason to light a fire under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to expedite the construction process.


USFWS seeks input on management of Lake Huron islands

 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking input from the public in developing a comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) for islands in the Great Lakes that are managed as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System.

 

Four islands in Lake Huron that are managed by the staff at the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge located in Saginaw include Big Charity, Little Charity, Scarecrow and Thunder Bay.

 

The CCP is a 15-year plan that identifies issues, goals,

 

objectives and a strategy for refuge management. Additionally, the plan provides the public with an idea of what the Wildlife Service intends to do in terms of managing habitat, protecting wildlife, and providing a place where people can enjoy wildlife-dependent activities.

 

Written comments can be sent to Steve Kahl, Refuge Manager, Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, 6975 Mower Road, Saginaw, MI 48601-9783 by Dec. 4. Comments may also be sent through the service’s planning website at www.fws.gov/midwest/planning/GreatLakesIslands.


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Nov. 13, 2009

Weather Conditions

High pressure leads to mild sunny days and clear cool nights across the Great Lakes basin this week.  Only trace amounts of precipitation were recorded in the basin.  A weak cold front will bring a slight chance for rain and cooler temperatures to the region for the weekend, with milder weather slated to return early next week.

Lake Level Conditions

All of the Great Lakes except for Lake Ontario remain several inches higher than their levels of a year ago.  Lake Ontario's level is the same as it was last year at this time.  Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St. Clair and Erie are 2, 11, 8, and 6 inches, respectively, higher than their levels last year at this time.  The water levels of Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron and St. Clair are expected to decline by 2 inches over the next month.  Lake Erie and Ontario are expected to decline 1 and 2 inches, respectively, over the next 30 days.  Over the next several months, Lake Superior, Lake Michigan-Huron and Lake St. Clair are forecasted to be above their water levels of a year ago. Lakes Erie and Ontario are forecasted to remain near or below last year's levels over the same time period.

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions

In October, the outflow from Lake Superior through the St. Mary's River and the outflow from Lake Michigan-Huron through the St. Clair River were below average. The flow in the

Detroit River was also below average. The Niagara River

carried near average flows during October, while the outflow from Lake Ontario through the St. Lawrence River was above average in October. 

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 13

 

601.51

 

578.35

 

 

573.98

 

571.13

 

244.46

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

 

 +5

 

   +10

 

+20

 

+23

 

+14

Diff last month

 

-1

 

0

            

 

-3

 

-2

 

-5

Diff from last yr

 

+2

 

+11

 

+8

 

+6

 

0


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General

Cabela’s Introduces Angler Cash Contingency Program

 SIDNEY, Neb. – The tournament fishing circuit will be this coming season with the introduction of the new Cabela’s Angler Cash contingency program. Cabela’s Angler Cash program rewards eligible, top-finishing anglers in the following participating tournaments with cash and/or Cabela’s Gift Cards worth up to $5,000.

•  Inshore Fishing Association

•  FLW Tour

•  FLW Series

•  Masters Walleye Circuit

•  Boat US Collegiate Bass Fishing

•  Texas Bass-N-Bucks Tournament Trail

•  Monterey Bass Company Tournament Circuit

•  Cabela’s National Team Championship

 

An extra bonus of a $500 Cabela’s Gift Card will be awarded

to the Cabela’s Angler’s Cash participant winner that has purchased their boat from a Cabela’s retail location.  To qualify for Cabela’s Angler Cash, anglers must register at www.cabelas.com or via e-mail at anglercash@cabelas.com and complete the following contingency requirements:

► Angler must wear a Cabela’s Angler Cash patch during the event if allowed by the rules of the circuit they are fishing. Patch is provided by Cabela’s upon successful registration.

► Cabela’s Angler Cash logo must be at least four inches in length and sewn or monogrammed on the upper right side of the shirt.

► Cabela’s Angler’s Cash logo must be worn from take-offs through weigh-ins during all days of qualifying tournaments.

►  Angler must place Cabela’s Angler Cash windshield decal on the driver’s side of their boat.

 

For more information regarding Cabela’s Angler Cash contingency program, e-mail anglercash@cabelas.com.


Jacobs resigns as Genmar CEO

Irwin Jacobs has stepped down as CEO of Genmar Holdings to avoid a potential conflict of interest as he pursues a purchase of the company.   In a letter dated Monday, Nov. 9, company president Roger Cloutier says the change was effective Nov. 6.  "Given the circumstances surrounding

 

Genmar as it moves forward in the sale of the company's business and non-core assets, this change in Mr. Jacobs' role was made in the best interest of all constituents," Cloutier said.  Cloutier adds that the direction of the company should become clearer in the next few weeks.


State Fish/Wildlife Agencies are the Most Trusted Source for Conservation  Information

In an October 2009 survey, Southwick Associates asked anglers and hunters which type of organization they trust the most for accurate information regarding fish and wildlife conservation. The results of the monthly www.AnglerSurvey.com  and www.HunterSurvey.com poll show that state fish and wildlife agencies are considered the most trustworthy source of conservation information among hunters and anglers.  Of the 2,771 anglers surveyed, 54.4 % reported state fish and wildlife agencies were their most trusted source. Of the 3,378 hunters surveyed, 50.7 % agreed.  The second most trusted source, with 25.1 % of anglers and 29.5 % of hunters, was sport-fishing and hunting non-profit conservation groups.

 

Other sources of conservation information were presented to hunters and anglers. Non-profit conservation groups not focused towards fishing or hunting were preferred by 5.3 % of

anglers and 7.4 % of hunters. Federal fish and wildlife

agencies were rated as the most trusted source by 5.0 % of anglers and 4.3 percent of hunters. Non-outdoor television programming and magazines ranked even lower. ”The results indicate that sportsmen and women want to hear from their state fish and wildlife agency when it comes to fish and wildlife conservation issues,” reported Donna Leonard.  “Efforts to increase conservation awareness or behavior will have better success if state fish and wildlife agencies are involved.” 

 

Launched in 2006, www.AnglerSurvey.com and www.HunterSurvey.com help the outdoor equipment industry, government fisheries and wildlife officials, and conservation organizations track consumer activities and expenditure trends. The information above represents only a small sample of the vast amount of data that is available from the complete survey results. The results are scientifically analyzed to reflect all U.S. anglers.


Collegiate Bass Fishing catches on

Association of Collegiate Anglers 2010 Tournament TV Schedule Grows

ALEXANDRIA, VA -- In college athletics football and basketball reign supreme in televised competition. However, there’s a new sport in town that has begun to crown champions on a field of play far removed from the grid iron or field house – collegiate bass fishing.  The sport’s governing body, the Association of College Anglers (ACA), has announced its 2010 tournament season has now grown to five televised events.

 

Today, there are over 200 clubs, with the ACA leading the effort to grow bass fishing at the collegiate level.  We have also now witnessed the first college in the nation – Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee – to officially classify their fishing team

 

an ‘athletic sport,’ putting it on par with other team sports for recruitment and athletic scholarships.  We hope that trend continues.

 

The ACA reports that nearly 40 more schools are currently in the process of organizing a sanctioned team. The organization has been made possible by a joint effort among The Bass Federation Inc. (TBF), Careco Multimedia, and a host of supporting companies. The ACA is a "federation" under the TBF umbrella, having its own board of directors, by-laws, and benefits.

 

The 2010 ACA schedule now includes five televised events produced by Careco Multimedia which will air on the Versus network next year.


Fish/Wildlife Agencies most Trusted Source for Conservation Information

In an October 2009 survey, Southwick Associates asked anglers and hunters which type of organization they trust the most for accurate information regarding fish and wildlife conservation. The results of the monthly AnglerSurvey.com and HunterSurvey.com poll show that state fish and wildlife agencies are considered the most trustworthy source of conservation information among hunters and anglers.  Of the 2,771 anglers surveyed, 54.4 percent reported state fish and wildlife agencies were their most trusted source. Of the 3,378 hunters surveyed, 50.7 % agreed.  The second most trusted source, with 25.1 percent of anglers and 29.5 percent of hunters, was sport-fishing and hunting non-profit conservation groups.

 

Other sources of conservation information were presented to hunters and anglers. Non-profit conservation groups not focused towards fishing or hunting were preferred by 5.3 % of

anglers and 7.4 % of hunters. Federal fish and wildlife agencies were rated as the most trusted source by 5.0 % of

anglers and 4.3 % of hunters. Non-outdoor television programming and magazines ranked even lower. ”The  results indicate that sportsmen and women want to hear from their state fish and wildlife agency when it comes to fish and wildlife conservation  issues,” reported Donna Leonard.  “Efforts to increase conservation awareness or behavior will have better success if state fish and wildlife agencies are involved.” 

 

Launched in 2006, AnglerSurvey.com and HunterSurvey.com help the outdoor equipment industry, government fisheries and wildlife officials, and conservation organizations track consumer activities and expenditure trends. The information above represents only a small sample of the vast amount of data that is available from the complete survey results. The results are scientifically analyzed to reflect all U.S. anglers.


Illinois

Clean Vessel Grants

The Illinois DNR is soliciting applications for grants to be awarded through the federal Clean Vessel Act grant program. Local governments and operators of private marinas, boat yards and yacht clubs may apply for the grants to build or upgrade marine sewage disposal systems and renovate pumpout stations used by recreational boaters.  Applications must be sent to the IDNR, which will forward proposals to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for consideration. Applicants

whose projects are approved will be reimbursed for up to 75 % of allowable expenses to construct or renovate stations and waste reception facilities. Grant funds are generated from excise taxes on fishing equipment, import duties on tackle and boats, and motorboat fuel taxes. 

 

For more info call: 217/782-2602, or by write the IDNR Federal Aid and Special Funds Section, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271.


Indiana

DNR to collect deer heads for bovine TB testing

State biologists plan to collect 650 deer heads from cooperating hunters during the opening weekend of the firearms season on Nov. 14 and 15 in order to test for the presence of bovine tuberculosis.

 

“This effort should go a long way in helping us find out if the disease has jumped the fence,” DNR deer management biologist Chad Stewart said. “Thankfully, we have not seen signs of the disease in our wild deer, and we hope that we don’t find it. This testing effort is a critical next step.”

               

Collection sites will be at the following deer check stations:

– Fayette County: Mustins Taxidermy, 1660 W. Fayette County Road 350 S, Connersville

– Franklin County: 52 Pik Up, 11183 U.S. 52, Brookville

– Franklin County: Lakeside Sunoco, 9193 Indiana 101,

Brookville

– Harrison County: Gun World, 1548 Indiana 62 NW, Corydon

– Wayne County: Mendenhall True Value, 125 S W 5th St., Richmond

 

The biologists will be looking for heads from yearling and older deer. The target is 300 samples from both Franklin and Harrison counties, and 50 from Wayne County.  Hunters are not required to participate, but anyone hunting in those counties is encouraged to cooperate in order to ensure a comprehensive surveillance effort. Those who submit heads will be able to remove antlers from the sample.

 

The DNR received a $100,000 federal grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to fund the bovine TB testing.


Michigan

MI License Sale Update

As of September 21, 2009, 4,700 people have signed up for 8,900 chances for the Pure Michigan hunt. DNR spokesmen

say about  the same number of hunting licenses have been

sold in comparison to other years, at this time of year, so the program apparently is a plus for the state and the DNR.


DNR Verifies Cougar Tracks

Confirms Location  in Eastern Upper Peninsula

The Department of Natural Resources last week announced it has verified two sets of cougar tracks and confirmed the location of a cougar photo in the eastern Upper Peninsula. The tracks were discovered in the DeTour and Gulliver areas, while the photo was taken near Bruce Township.

 

On Oct. 26, DNR Wildlife Biologist Dave Jentoft received a call late in the day at the Shingleton Field Office reporting tracks that looked like cougar prints near DeTour, and on Nov. 2, DNR Wildlife Biologist Terry Minzey was contacted by a private landowner near Gulliver who reported finding large tracks that he thought may be from a cougar. DNR biologists investigated the sites, took measurements, photos and plaster casts of the tracks and determined that the tracks are from cougars.

 

"These are the first confirmed cougar tracks in the eastern Upper Peninsula, and we appreciate the cooperation of the callers who reported the tracks and worked to keep them covered until we could respond to the scene," said Sitar, who is a member of the DNR’s cougar team. "Other landowners who believe they have evidence of a cougar on their property, such as tracks or a kill site, are encouraged to contact their local DNR field office as soon as possible, which allows staff to investigate before the evidence is compromised. Without good evidence, like what we had in these two cases, verification becomes increasingly difficult."

 

Cougars, also known as mountain lions, originally were native to Michigan but were thought to have been extirpated around the turn of the last century. The last known wild cougar taken in Michigan was killed near Newberry in 1906. However, sightings are regularly reported and although verification is often difficult, the DNR was able to verify several sets of cougar tracks in Marquette and Delta counties in 2008.

Established cougar populations are found as close to Michigan as North and South Dakota, and transient cougars dispersing from these areas have been known to travel hundreds of miles in search of new territory. Characteristic evidence of cougars include tracks, which are about three inches long by three and a half inches wide and typically show no claw marks, or suspicious kill sites, such as deer carcasses that are largely intact and have been buried with sticks and debris.

 

Reports of cougar tracks and other evidence should be made to a local DNR office or by calling the department's 24-hour Report All Poaching line at 800-292-7800.

 

If  someone comes into contact with a cougar:

► Stop, stand tall, pick up small children and do not run. A cougar's instinct is to chase

► Do not approach the animal

► Try to appear larger than the cougar. Never take your eyes off the animal or turn your back. Do not crouch down or try to hide

► If the animal displays aggressive behavior, shout, wave your arms and throw rocks. The idea is to convince the cougar that you are not prey but a potential danger

► If a cougar attacks, fight back aggressively and try to stay on your feet. Do not play dead. Cougars have been driven away by people who have fought back

 

Cougars are classified as an endangered species in Michigan. It is unlawful to kill, harass or otherwise harm a cougar except in the

immediate defense of human life. For more information about the recent cougar tracks and photo, call Sitar at 906-293-5131. To learn more about cougars and how to identify their tracks, go online to www.michigan.gov/dnr and click on Wildlife and Habitat.


Wisconsin

Utica energy settles state lawsuit over Water pollution

Violations cost them $480,000 in penalties and connection costs

UTICA – Utica Energy, LLC, which owns and operates an ethanol production facility in the Town of Utica, Winnebago County, has agreed to pay $280,000 in penalties, plus at least $200,000 to connect to the City of Oshkosh wastewater treatment system, to settle state claims under Wisconsin's water pollution laws.  The judgment resolves charges that Utica Energy failed to comply with state laws governing wastewater discharges and drinking water supplies.

 

Utica Energy produces fuel grade ethanol at its Utica facility.  Wastewater from the production process is treated at the facility and either discharged directly to a tributary of Sawyer Creek, which is a tributary to the Fox River, or land applied in the Lake Butte des Mortes Watershed. 

 

According to the stipulation settling the lawsuit, Utica Energy will pay $280,000 in forfeitures, assessments and costs, for the past violations.  In addition, Utica Energy will pay at least

$200,000 to connect its wastewater discharges to the City of Oshkosh wastewater treatment system.  Utica Energy will also

pay stipulated forfeitures of $25-$1,000 for each day that its wastewater discharge exceeds permit limits, until it completes the connection with the city sewer system.  If Utica Energy does not connect to the city sewer system by September 2010, it shall promptly take all steps necessary to come into complete compliance with its current permit conditions.

 

Utica Energy also operates a drinking water supply system at its Utica facility.  In 2004, the Department of Natural Resources issued Utica a Conditional High Capacity Well Approval to increase the pumping capacity of one well and to construct a second well.  The complaint charges Utica with constructing its high capacity well system by improperly placing the check valves and failing to install sample faucets.  Utica Energy has corrected both deficiencies.

 

Assistant Attorney General JoAnne F. Kloppenburg prosecuted the case.  Winnebago County Circuit Court Judge Barbara Key approved the settlement on November 5, 2009.


 

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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