November 25 , 2002

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DNR posts Whitefish-Tullibee sport-netting dates, regs

   The Minnesota DNR has announced the 2002 dates for the start of the whitefish-tullibee sport-netting season.

 

   As in past years, Schedule I lakes will be opened and closed on a 48-hour notice posted at lake accesses and other public places. These lakes are opened based on weather conditions that affect the vulnerability of game fish to accidental harvest and presence of whitefish or tullibees in shallow water. Upper Red Lake in Beltrami County; Mille Lacs Lake in Aitkin, Crow Wing and Mille Lacs counties; Burgen, Latoka and Victoria lakes in Douglas County; and Osakis Lake in Douglas and Todd counties will not be opened to whitefish-tullibee netting in 2002.

   Schedule II lakes will be opened and closed as follows: Schedule A lakes will be open from Friday, Oct. 11, through Sunday, Dec. 1, 2002; Schedule B lakes will be open from Friday, Nov. 1, through Sunday, Dec. 8, 2002; and Schedule C lakes will be open from Friday, Nov. 8, through Sunday, Dec. 8, 2002.

           

   Call the DNR Info Center for your copy of the regs at 651-296-6157 or toll free 888-646-6367. Information is also available on the DNR Web site at: www.dnr.state.mn.us . Click on "Regulations, Licenses & Permits," then click on "fishing regulations" and then on "whitefish and ciscoes."

New invasive plant found

   IRONWOOD - Two sites with giant hogweed have been found in residential neighborhoods in Ironwood, MI according to Joyce Price, of the Michigan State U-Extension office here.

           

   The plant was introduced to North America from Europe,

The stems of the plants, circled by green leaves, are 6-7' high and would grow much larger in a more forgiving

climate. It's the clear, watery sap the plants exude which does its damage. It sensitizes skin to ultraviolet radiation, which can result in severe burns to affected areas, resulting in severe blistering and painful dermatitis. These blisters can develop into purplish or blackened scars.

MN DNR snowmobile safety course

Adults born after 1976 must complete

   Minnesota DNR officials are reminding adult snowmobilers to take the DNR snowmobile safety course, which is now being offered across the state. The training will help keep riders safe and legal this winter and should reduce the number of people killed or injured on Minnesota trails.

 

   Residents born after Dec. 31, 1976, must have a snowmobile safety certificate to operate a snowmobile anywhere in Minnesota. This requirement was passed by the Legislature in 1997 following the winter of 1996-97 in which 32 snowmobile fatalities were recorded.

   The adult snowmobile safety course is available to people 16 years of age and older. The four-hour course is usually taught in one evening. The course takes a close look at the causes of accidents, speed and reaction times, stopping distances, group riding, and the effects of long-term injuries and death on family and friends. In addition to the materials received in the youth and young adult course, the student receives the adult snowmobile safety manual.

 

   A fee will be charged to cover the costs of materials and certification. For more info on dates & locations, visit the DNR Web site  www.dnr.state.mn.us  or call 1-800-366-8917.

DNR plants trees in AuSable, Manistee Rivers

Last month about 400 trees were lifted by helicopter to the AuSable and Manistee Rivers and lowered and anchored where they will provide prime trout habitat.  Oaks were preferred, because they last longer, but most of the trees were pines, and they were anchored in the river, singly and in bundles.

           

In the AuSable, trees were planted for the second time, and the third for the lower Manistee, where about 500 trees have now been planted. Call it new home construction for trout.

Club stocking Bluegills

The Green Bay Area GLSF has stocked bluegills in the bay of Green Bay again this year. With matching funds from the Brown County Conservation Alliance they purchased 2900 fish and released them on Sunday, Oct. 6. This brings the total fish stocked to close to 7500 fish. This has been an annual stocking. Thanks guys.

Latest Editions, Nautical Charts, and Miscellaneous Maps

The Dates of Latest Editions, Nautical Charts and Miscellaneous Maps, dated Oct. 1, 2002, published by the National Ocean Service, is now available for issue. It may be obtained free by mail from the National Aeronautical Charting Office, AVN-530, Federal Aviation Adm, 6303 Ivy Lane, Suite 400, Greenbelt MD, 20770-1479, by phone at 800-638-8972 or from your local authorized nautical chart sales agent.

 

This is a quarterly publication listing the most recent editions of nautical charts, miscellaneous maps and publications relating to navigation, weather, etc. with brief descriptions and up-to-date prices for most of the publications listed.

New York News

Doug Fuegel tells us Gerald Barnhart, DEC’s Director of Fish and Wildlife, has announced that the statewide hiring freeze has been lifted and that they are working on filling hatchery positions. 'We will fill the positions as soon as possible. Filling these positions will allow us to proceed as normal with rearing and stocking the current inventory of fish in the hatcheries."

           

According to Steve Lapan, Lake Ontario Unit Leader, there has been no movement on the two positions at the Cape Vincent Fisheries Station. The waiver for the statewide hiring freeze was only for the hatchery positions.

Time Running Out on Canadian Gun Registration

Under Bill C-68, the controversial Firearms Act, the Canadian government will consider all gun owners who do not register their firearms by the end of this year to be criminals.

 

Federal officials are expecting to receive a mountain of gun registration applications by Jan. 1. The tidal wave of paperwork is expected to create more chaos at the already overwhelmed Canadian Firearms Centre. Garry Breitkreuz, Member of Parliament from Yorkton-Melville, says:

 

● The RCMP reports a 312 % error rate in gun registry as of July 2001. Most of the errors are in the description of the firearms.

 

● The Department of Justice reports there are 222,911 guns in the registry with the same make and serial number. They have also lost track of 38,629 firearm license holders.

 

● To date, registering just more than 4 million firearms have cost the Canadian taxpayer $978,260,000. There are 12 million more guns yet to go.

 

Canadian gun Facts:

Eight Provinces and Territories are NOT Administering the Firearms Act, including Newfoundland, Yukon, Alberta, NW Territories, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. The Federal govt – Justice or RCMP is running the program in these opt-out provinces.

 

● British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Is. are opt-in provinces.

 

● On April 24, 1995, the Justice Minister promised the public and Parliament that the Canadian Firearms Program would run a deficit of only $2.2 million over the first five years. The actual deficit over the first five years was $321,761,005.

 

Total spent as of Nov 21, 2001 = $689,760,000. Est. expenditures for 2002-03 = $113,500,000, est. expenditures for 2003-04 = $ 95,000,000, est. expenditures for 2004-05 = $ 80,000,000. (Paul H. Macklin (Parliamentary Sec'y to the Minister of Justice & Atty. General of Canada).  Total est. expenditures $978,260,000

● The Criminal Code has required the mandatory registration of handguns since 1934

 

● Of the 554 homicides in Canada in 2001, 31% were stabbed to death, 31% were shot to death and 22% were beaten to death.  “Trying to register all the firearms in Canada doesn’t make any more sense than trying to register all the knives and baseball bats,” said Breitkreuz.

 

● Of the 171 firearms homicides in 2001, 64% were committed with handguns that the RCMP have been registering for the last 68 years, 6% were committed with firearms that are completely prohibited, and 27% were committed with a rifle or shotgun (Page 9).  

 

● Since 1991, handgun use in homicides has steadily increased from 49.8% to 64.3% in 2001. 

 

The cost to fully implement the gun registry will exceed $1 billion and that the government estimates it will cost $60 million a year to operate the system;

 

● The government has broken their promise that registry would cost only $85 million to implement the registry and that user fees would cover the entire cost of the program;

Liberal MP speaks out on "shambles & joke"

"The federal government's gun registry is a shambles. It is a good example of unchecked policy nonsense becoming the law of the land, a piece of legislation I today regrettably supported", said Roger Gallaway, Liberal MP, on Oct 23.  Gallaway charged his government's gun-control legislation "a shambles, a joke" and an "expensive, dismal failure" in a speech to public-sector financial managers. He called the firearms legislation "another expensive dismal failure from a top-down expert-driven process" and said the checks and balances of Canada's parliamentary system utterly failed because Parliament has become an adjunct of the Prime Minister's Office.

 

"Members have little input on policy and virtually no impact on legislation," said Gallaway. "Most government members have little idea how to oppose bad legislation."

 

As of October 5, 2002, the Justice Department's website claimed to have issued firearms licenses to just 1.9 million gun owners - leaving 1.4 million gun owners without a license," reported Garry Breitkreuz, MP, Canadian Alliance.

 

"Other government documents show that more than 300,000 owners of registered, restricted and prohibited firearms have failed to obtain licenses necessary to own the firearms already registered to them."  Since 1995, the government has repeatedly refused to resolve the conflict between a comprehensive 1974 Statistics Canada survey and the government's own import and export records that show there are now more than 16 million guns in Canada - not the 7.9 million the Justice Department currently claims.

 

Edmonton Journal columnist Lorne Gunter claims that computer crashes have wiped out thousands of records and that "hundreds or even thousands" of gun owners "received letters this summer asking them to re-register firearms they had already registered."

 

NWT premier refuses to give territorial support

Calling the firearms act draconian, NWT premier Stephen Kakfwi refused to give territorial support to helping residents register their firearms before the Jan. 1, 2003 deadline. Kakfwi responded with a categorical no, saying this government is not spending any money or any resources to assist the federal government in getting people to comply with their legislation.

 

Although Kakfwi did pledge to petition the federal government to upgrade its firearms services to the North, he slammed the firearms act, calling it a bad piece of legislation.  People in 95 % of NWT communities don't have access to firearms certificate training. Without that access it's impossible to get a firearms acquisitions certificate, and without an FAC it's impossible to register firearms and, Kakfwi says, a majority of NWT residents will not.

 

Canadian Firearms Centre offices in Hay River and Yellowknife closed earlier this year, leaving the NWT and Nunavut completely without CFC representation.  Residents have to either register online or via the centre's toll-free phone number.

           

Complicating matters, a number of aboriginal peoples are refusing to register firearms. Archie Catholique, chief of the Lutsel K'e First Nation, won't register his rifles because he says treaty peoples have a right to own a weapon.

 

IJC Commissioners alert governments to Asian carp threat

   The IJC recently wrote to the U.S. and Canadian governments alerting them to a critical threat to the Great Lakes posed by species of an invasive fish, the Asian carp. Two species of Asian carp, the bighead carp and the silver carp are on the verge of entering Lake Michigan through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.

 

   They have been found in abundance in the Illinois River and caught as far north as the confluence with the Kankakee River. Three species of carp, native to Siberia and China, were imported in the early 1970s for use in the aquaculture industry in Arkansas. The bighead and silver carp are used to control algae and the black carp is used to control snails in aquaculture ponds. During floods in the early 1990s, the silver and bighead carp escaped from aquaculture ponds and have rapidly multiplied in the Mississippi River watershed.

 

   Asian carp are highly prolific; large adult females may each lay as many as a million eggs. They feed on plankton, consuming as much as 40% of their body weight in food each day, and grow extremely fast, reaching weights of 12 lbs their first year. Adults can grow to 4' long and reach maximum weights of 50 to 110 lbs. All are well suited to Great Lakes water temperatures and are highly likely to thrive in that environment. They compete directly with native plankton feeders and with virtually all species of young fish for food, quickly growing too large for native predators. In certain sections of the Mississippi River they have become the most common species of fish. 

 

   The fish's unusual behavior of unexpectedly leaping six to eight feet into the air -- and at times landing in boats -- has

attracted much attention; however the biggest threat from

these fish is the disruption of the Great Lakes food chain and crowding out of native species.

The major barrier to invasive fish, such as Asian carp, entering the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River Basin is an electrical dispersal barrier located in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal near Romeoville, Illinois. This barrier uses a micro-pulsed DC electric field. Barriers of this type have been used at power plants to deter fish from entering intakes and in irrigation canals to contain plant-eating grass carp. It became operational in April 2002 and preliminary tests show that the barrier is effective at stopping fish from crossing through.

 

   However, the existing barrier array is a temporary arrangement with electrode cables that are expected to last no longer than two or three years. At that time, the barrier will have to be shut off to replace the cables. There is also no emergency back-up power source to use in case of a power failure, so the risk of failure and fish getting through at this point is unacceptably high.

The IJC is urging the U.S. government to fund improvements to the existing barrier and for construction of a second barrier. In addition, the Commissioners stress the importance of public education to reduce the threat of introduction by other means such as intentional release of live fish imported for food and dumping of bait buckets.

           

   The IJC and the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission hosted a discussion in Chicago on Oct 31, 2002 with experts from different municipal, state and federal agencies and the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council to examine possible funding sources for barrier enhancement.

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