Week of December 1 , 2003
300,000 kids participate in Kids All American Fishing Derby
KETCHUM, Okla. Producers of the Wal-Mart Kids All American Fishing Derby announced that Riley Horgan, 12, of Minnetrista, MN, and Rio Kadake, 10, of Kake, AK, have been named freshwater and saltwater national grand prize winners of the Fujifilm "Big Fish" Contest.
Horgan caught a 7-lb, 5-oz carp, earning a $500 U.S. Savings Bond and the freshwater title from Fujifilm USA. Kadake caught a 62 lb halibut, earning a $500 U.S. Savings Bond and the title for the largest saltwater fish. The young anglers caught their fish while participating in local youth fishing events produced by Hooked on Fishing International, Ketchum, Okla., with the help of local adult volunteers and corporate sponsors.
Horgan and Kadake were state winners as well and their names are included in a list of all winners on www.kids-fishing.com, the official website of the "World's Largest Kids' Fishing Program." In 2003, approximately 300,000 anglers aged 5 to 16 participated in 1,822 fishing events in all 50 states.
HOFI also announced national winners for two other sponsored categories. Joshua Sponaugle, 9, Salem, NJ, won the Zebco Kids Casting Contest, winning a $1,000 U. S. Savings Bond. Sponaugle and other participants qualified by taking part in the casting event. The winner was selected in a drawing of entries from all the young anglers who cast at targets during local derbies.
Scott Corsi, 11, Aurora, OH, won Kellogg's "I Caught a Fish"
contest, earning a $500 Wal-Mart Shopping Card. Corsi's catch qualified him and others who caught fish during the youth fishing events for the "I Caught a Fish" drawing. Tommy Joe Nickell, Jr., age 6, of Parker, KS, won second place and a $250 Wal-Mart Shopping Card. Phoebe Hobson, age 6, of Graham, WA won third place and a $100 Wal-Mart Shopping Card.
The awards signaled the end of the 2003 derby program, its seventeenth year. In addition to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the Kids All-American Fishing Derby program benefits from its partnerships with Bar-S foods Company, Berkley PowerBait, Berkley Trilene, ConAgra Foods, Dubble Bubble Bubble Gum, Eagle Claw, EverStart Batteries, FishingWorld.com, Fujifilm, Johnson & Johnson First Aid Pocket Pals, Kellogg's, Kraft Foods, Laker Fishing Tackle, and Zebco.
HOFI predicts the number of events will jump from to more than 2,000 events in 2004. Organizations interested in hosting an event in 2004 can apply online at www.kids-fishing.com for a free derby kit which contains all of the items necessary to put on a local derby, including, an organizer handbook, prizes and goodies for each derby participant.
The organization currently receives strong support from state fish and game departments, the U.S. Forest Service, parks and recreation departments, chambers of commerce, YMCAs, fishing clubs, scouting groups, and civic and service organizations such as the Optimists, Lions, Kiwanis, and Elks.
A new, high-tech climate monitoring network designed by NOAA scientists to keep tabs on the nation's temperature and precipitation trends is set to debut nationwide in January 2004. The U.S. Climate Reference Network (CRN) will improve the ability of America's decision-makers to form policies about programs impacted by climate variability and change. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The CRN currently plans to include 100 automated observing stations throughout the United States that will monitor temperature, precipitation, solar radiation and wind speed. NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites will transmit the data received from these ground based stations in near real-time to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, N.C. NCDC will make the
observations available online in near real-time to users around the world. NOAA is currently fine-tuning the network, software and data calibration checks.
"The CRN will give America a first-class observing network for the next 50 to 100 years, and serve as a benchmark for climate monitoring," said Gregory W. Withee, assistant administrator for NOAA's Satellite and Information Service.
NOAA's Satellites and Information Service is the nation's primary source of space-based meteorological and climate data. It operates the nation's environmental satellites, which are used for weather and ocean observation and forecasting, climate monitoring and other environmental applications, including sea-surface temperature, fire detection and ozone monitoring. NOAA's commercial licensing program draws on NOAA's heritage in satellite operations and remote sensing applications.
Disney’s most recent animated feature, “Brother Bear,” is following in the anti-hunting footsteps of "Bambi" as it hits theatres in time for the holidays – and hunting seasons.
The movie is about a young Native American hunter, Kenai, who is transformed into a bear. He becomes the adoptive father of a cub, only to find that another hunter is stalking him. Daniel Neman, a writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia notes, “the film makes an anti-hunting statement that is out of place for American Indians.”
In sportsmen’s eyes, the Disney flick could not come at a poorer time. This year, sportsmen have been forced to defend bear hunting across the country. The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance’s National Bear Hunting Defense Task Force and other conservation groups rallied hunters to prevent Congress from banning the use of bait to hunt black bears. It is currently working to protect a recently established bear hunt in New Jersey. The Alliance is preparing for campaigns in Maine and
Alaska to protect bear hunting from anti-hunting attacks that promise to be on the 2004 ballot.
PETA has modified a film poster from the Disney blockbuster Finding Nemo to promote its anti-fishing campaign. Disney’s cartoon fish, Nemo and Marlin, appear on PETA’s website and leaflets that read, "Fish are friends, not food!"
Take Action! Sportsmen should flood The Walt Disney Company with contacts telling it that allowing PETA use of its Finding Nemo characters is aiding an organization that has spent tens of thousands of dollars paying legal fees for convicted terrorists. Inform the company that PETA is also being investigated for sending $1,500 to the Animal Liberation Front, an underground group identified by the FBI as a domestic terrorist organization. Contact Mr. Michael Eisner, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company, 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA, 91521-9722. Phone (818) 560-1000. Fax (818) 560-1930
Program will hit billion mark by March 2004, MP Breitkreuz says
OTTAWA -- The cost of the problem-plagued federal gun control program will hit the $1-billion mark by 2005, the head of the firearms centre admitted yesterday. "Sometime in '04-05 the costs of the program will hit the $1 billion, as projected," David Austin said yesterday.
It's the first time the government has confirmed the controversial price tag will become a reality. Auditor General Sheila Fraser predicted the huge expenditure in a scathing report issue last December. But Austin disputed suggestions by Alliance MP Garry Breitkreuz that the program would reach the $1-billion mark by the end of March 2004 -- a year earlier than expected.
Breitkreuz said he based his claim on new figures outlined in the Justice Department's performance report, which was released earlier this month. The report shows there has been $47.2 million in "indirect" costs for the firearms program during the last seven years -- costs picked up by other government departments.
Breitkreuz has been riding the gun registry file hard from the outset. And despite Liberal efforts to play shell games with the program's soaring costs, Breitkreuz is almost never been wrong. The 58-year-old former school teacher from Yorkton, Sask., has filed more than 400 Access to Information requests concerning the registry's inner workings. That may seem like obsessive behavior. But sadly, these requests are the only way to make the federal government come clean on this boondoggle.
It is quite possible the Alliance's deputy whip now knows more
about the registry than the justice ministers and solicitors-general who have been in nominal charge of it during his watch.
Breitkreuz was the first to expose the registry's massive cost overruns, the ridiculously high error rates and delays in applicant screening, the numerous licenses issued to the wrong applicants, the $200-million-plus computer system that still does not work properly despite a series of costly retrofits, and the multiple snafus in which registry staff have approved the transfer of guns known by police to be stolen.
The indirect costs have never been publicly reported, one of Fraser's criticisms. Breitkreuz argues there are still future costs that haven't been estimated that will easily bring up the overall tally. "This tells us the thing is out of control beyond what the government even led us to believe originally. The spending on this thing is considerably worse than the auditor general found."
But Breitkreuz argues there are still future costs that haven't been estimated that will easily bring up the overall tally.
"This tells us the thing is out of control beyond what the government even led us to believe originally. The spending on this thing is considerably worse than the auditor general found."
If anything, $1-billion may prove to be a conservative figure. The Library of Parliament has estimated the total cost of enforcing Ottawa's firearms law -- including the cost of taking police officers off the streets to check the authenticity of registry certificates, and having Crown prosecutors try alleged violators of the mandatory licensing provisions -- will contain hundreds of millions in indirect costs.
Says Firearm control program costly, counter-productive
The federal government's much-maligned gun registry has been slammed yet again, this time by a Fraser Institute study released yesterday that concludes the costly firearm control program is becoming an international "farce."
The new study -- The Failed Experiment: Gun Control and Public Safety in Canada, Australia, England and Wales -- found Canada's national gun registry has been a shockingly expensive, unmitigated failure.
"Disarming the public has not reduced criminal violence in any country examined in this study," the study concludes. "In all these cases it has been ineffective, expensive and often counter-productive. In all cases, the effort meant setting up expensive bureaucracies that produce no noticeable improvement to public safety or have made the situation worse."
David Austin, head of the Canadian Firearms Centre, disagreed with the report, saying the registry helps public safety in general, not just crime. The rate of homicides
involving guns in Canada has decreased since the introduction of gun registration, he said. But earlier this week, Austin did admit the costs of the program will hit $1 billion sometime in 2004 or 2005.
The paper, authored by Simon Fraser University professor Gary Mauser, examines crime trends in Commonwealth countries that recently introduced firearm regulations by evaluating trends in total crime, not just firearm crime. The United States, where qualified citizens can carry concealed handguns, is used as the key point for comparison. The research found the homicide rate in the U.S. has fallen 42% since 1991.
"Over the past decade, the rate of violent crime in Canada has increased while in the United States the violent crime rate has plummeted," the study said. The study concluded it was an illusion that gun bans protect the public.
News Release - Gun Laws do Not Reduce Criminal Violence According to New Study
Used to help enforce wildlife laws - lets poachers off the hook
The RCMP cut nearly $500,000 this fall from its overworked forensic laboratory services to help the force meet budget reductions ordered by Finance Minister John Manley, confidential documents show. Mountie commanders imposed the cuts only a year after RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli came under fire for spending $180,000 on office redecorating and $1,064 for a pair of custom-made riding boots.
When the force chopped $446,000 in forensic lab services, it brought an end to firearms forensic work the RCMP had previously done for wildlife law enforcement agencies prosecuting poachers, according to the documents obtained by Canadian Alliance MP Garry Breitkreuz.
The National Post reported earlier that RCMP cuts and staffing shortages also reduced other areas of criminal investigations involving forensic labs.
The cuts were part of $15 million in spending reductions the RCMP had to impose as a result of Mr. Manley's budget earlier in the year. "For the sake of $446,000, or 0.3 per cent of this year's gun registry budget of $128 million, the Liberals decided to let hundreds of Wildlife Act offenders get off scot-free," said Mr. Breitkreuz.
The documents appear to contradict claims by the RCMP and Solicitor General Wayne Easter that the RCMP ended firearms forensic work for the wildlife agencies because of increasing demand on the RCMP firearms forensic services for criminal cases.
An internal RCMP memo dated Sept. 18 and approved by Joe Buckle, assistant commissioner in charge of the forensic laboratory services, said program managers were asked to review their services to develop "strategic priorities" in response to the need to cut spending. "The strategy chosen for the firearms program was to eliminate non-criminal casework related to wildlife investigations," the memo said.
The documents obtained by Mr. Breitkreuz show the RCMP forensics lab services handled 193 wildlife cases in 2001 and 2002, and 29 wildlife cases in the first six months of 2003.
In a Nov. 25 letter to a hunting group, Mr. Easter attributed the elimination of the forensic work for poaching to the growing workload on criminal cases, not budget-trimming. "I am advised that, while the RCMP recognizes the importance of wildlife cases, increased demands and current workloads are such that the services of the forensic laboratories have been reviewed to ensure that priorities are aligned to the core mandate," Mr. Easter wrote to Tony Rodgers, executive director of the Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers and Hunters.
Fish populations region-wide being affected
One of the basic building blocks of the Great Lakes food chain is disappearing. A tiny bottom dwelling crustacean that used to be found by the thousands in a square yard of sediment, have been in decline since the introduction of zebra mussels, quagga mussels and spiny water fleas. Their numbers are declining and in wide stretches they're gone.
Recreational fish are being affected with loss of body mass, and alewives while still plentiful, are not as robust as in previous years. Their food source is also dwindling. Commercials too, are seeing the effect on fish. Just about every fish at some time in its life relies on Diporeia for food. Those that don't, eat the fish that eat Diporeia. We're seeing skinny fish out there and they are all being affected;
lake trout, white fish, salmon and alewives.
Tom Nalepa, a research biologist at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab, says "the zebra mussel is probably eating most of the Diporeia's food. It lives on the bottom, and that's where the Diporeia shrimp are" Nalepa, a frequent speaker at the GLSFC's annual meeting, first broke this phenomenon at the 1995 annual meeting in Chicago.
The long-term damage to the environment of the Great Lakes and our nation's other waterways while not yet clear, is showing signs of significant cause for concern. One thing is clear - savings realized from the sale of cheap goods imported on that cargo ship, won't offset the cost to the economy because of the invasive species that ship carried in its ballast water.
Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, and St. Clair are 11, 20, and 11 inches, respectively, below their long-term average. Lake Erie is 5 inches below its long-term average while Lake Ontario is 5 inches above its long-term average. Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are currently 4 and 3 inches respectively, below last year’s levels. Lake St. Clair is at is level of a year ago. Lake Erie is 1 inch above its level of a year ago, while Lake Ontario is up 13 inches from last year.
Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:
The Lake Superior outflow through the St. Marys River into Lake Huron is expected to be below average during the month of November. Flows in the St. Clair, Detroit, and Niagara Rivers are
also expected to be below average, while flow in the St. Lawrence River is expected to be near average in November.
Forecasted Water Levels:
All of the Great Lakes are into their seasonal declines. Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are expected to decline 3 and 2 inches, respectively. Lakes St. Clair and Erie are expected to decline 1 and 2 inches, respectively. Lake Ontario is expected to decline 4 inches over the next four weeks.
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.
WASHINGTON — The Army Corps of Engineers will receive $1.45 million to continue the fight to prevent the Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes, U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert said. The funding was included in the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill that passed both the House and Senate last week.
The corps will receive $500,000 to continue operating a temporary electric barrier designed to prevent Asian carp from swimming into
Lake Michigan. The corps will receive an additional $200,000 for
upgrades and design work that will turn the existing barrier into a permanent one. The remaining $750,000 will be used to construct a second permanent barrier near the current site in Romeoville.
The corps has indicated that it is willing to commit additional funding from its Section 1135 Continuing Authorities Program to the project, if necessary. Construction on the second barrier is set to begin in the spring and be completed by October.
Part of $100 million for environmental projects
WASHINGTON -- President Bush is expected to sign into law a bill giving Great Lakes states $763,000 to save native fish that foreign invaders such as Asian carp are driving to extinction.
in fishery restoration money is the first part of $100 million Congress
authorized for Great Lakes environmental projects in 2000, " said Marc Gaden,
communications director for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.
Now is the time to begin planning your summer camping trips. The DNR's year-old campground reservation allows campers to reserve their favorite campsite up to six months in advance.
That means now is the time to reserve a 2004 Memorial Day weekend campsite. Log on to www.camp.IN.gov or call toll-free 1-866-6campIN (1-866-622-6746) to reserve your campsite. And this year there's an added bonus for those who visit DNR campgrounds - lower prices.
Next spring, campground fees at all of Indiana's state parks, state reservoirs, state forests and recreation areas will be discounted Sunday through Wednesday. In addition, campgrounds at seven specially selected areas will be discounted even further during the week and on weekends.
DNR Director John Goss said that weekday camping at an Indiana state park, forest or reservoir is one of Indiana's best kept secrets. "Hiking, fishing or camping at a state park or reservoir during the week is a whole different experience. There are no crowds. It's quieter. Sometimes you feel like the trails are there just for you," Goss said. "We hope this new discount pricing will encourage
campers to enjoy these places Sunday through Wednesday as well as the weekend," Goss said.
Beginning April 1, 2004 through Oct. 31, 2004, class "A" campsites (those with electrical and water hook-up) at most parks, reservoirs, forests and recreation areas will be discounted to $19 per night Sunday through Wednesday. Rates are $23 per night for class "A" sites on holidays and Thursday to Saturday. State sales taxes are included in all camping rates.
The price for a night of camping at a class "A" site at one of the seven jewels is lowered to $16 per night from Sunday through Wednesday and to $21 per night for the weekend and holidays. Prices at these facilities this past year were $23.10 per night.
The campground reservation system, now a year old, helps campers reserve a campsite six months in advance. This week marks the beginning of the time to start reserving favorite spring and summer campsites. The system guarantees, that if mom and dad pack up the kids and the camping gear and drive an extra hour to try out a new campground, their site is reserved and will be available when they get there.
Perrier Must stop pumping ground water
A circuit court judge ruled on Nov 25 that Nestle must stop pumping ground water in Mecosta County, MI.
Mecosta County Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Root released his sixty-seven page opinion in a lawsuit brought by Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation and plaintiffs R.J. and Barbara Doyle and Jeff and Shelly Sapp vs. Nestle Waters North America, Inc, formerly the Perrier Group.
The suit challenges Nestlé's claim that it can take 400 gallons per minute, or 2.1 millions gallons a year, of spring water that feeds a stream that is a tributary to the Little Muskegon River that flows to Lake Michigan, for its own usage.
Root’s ruling sets a precedent and clarifies many critical facets of Michigan water law, including important protections for the State’s lakes, streams, and wetlands, which form an essential role in Michigan’s natural resources, recreation, tourism, and economy. The ruling confined itself to the specific relationship between the pumping and diversion of water from the shallow unconfined aquifer that is part of nearby wetlands, two lakes, and the Dead Stream, a stream that Judge Root said "s not dead" but "complex and beautiful ecosystem."
Root ruled that riparian rights in our state’s lakes and streams are superior to an extraction and diversion of groundwater that feeds them, like Nestle’s out of watershed sale of bottled water. "I hereby hold that riparian interests are superior to conflicting groundwater interests, and that the latter must yield to the former". Any diversion of water that diminishes the
riparian waters system is unlawful. The Judge’s painstakingly detailed findings concluded that Nestle’s water operation unlawfully diminishes the lakes, streams, and wetlands at issue in the lawsuit. He also found that the diminishment of these waters resources violated Michigan environmental laws.
While he did not expressly rule on broader issues concerning the Great
Lakes, the opinion acknowledged the importance of Michigan’s water
resources and that bottled water derived from shallow aquifers that is
diverted from lakes and streams is suspect, noting that “if water is the
product,” distinguishing this from other Michigan industries, such as
farming or other beverages like beer or carbonated drinks, "I believe the
state has a rational basis on which to limit its removal as water from the
state and/or Great Lakes basin."
In reaching his opinion, the Judge carefully noted the competing forces in
this lengthy and intense dispute, but also was careful to dispel any
notion that he was persuaded by those forces. Rather the Court chose to
reach his findings on the evidence over nineteen days of trial and the
applicable Michigan law concerning groundwater and riparian rights and the
Michigan Environmental Protection Act, a citizen suit law that prohibits
the likely impairment of Michigan’s water and other natural resources.
The Great Lakes lake sturgeon -- a monster-sized fish with prehistoric lineage, and a long life span may have some new spawning grounds in the Detroit area. Two projects are expected to enhance Belle Isle, MI with State and federal funds to be used to clean the lagoon and create a spawning reef.
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and the Detroit Recreation Department recently announced two new projects at Belle Isle Park totaling nearly $850,000. One project will restore a natural area on the banks of Blue Heron Lagoon; the second project will create a sturgeon spawning reef in the waters just
off the island. Both projects are important components of the City of Detroit's Belle Isle Master Plan.
Although sturgeon formerly reproduced abundantly in the Detroit River, recent studies have found few places where they currently reproduce. To provide such a habitat, this project will construct a lake sturgeon spawning reef off Belle Isle. The project will also develop educational displays in the Belle Isle Aquarium, where visitors can also see live sturgeon. Visual presentations about the sturgeon reef project will also be on display at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum and the Belle Isle Nature Zoo.
The Minnesota DNR has appointed Laurie Martinson as Director of its Trails and Waterways Division.
Martinson, who has served in senior management operations and legislative positions, will lead a staff of about 150 full-time and seasonal employees whose mission is to create recreational opportunities through a system of trails and water
The Trails and Waterways Division manages state trails, grant-in-aid trail programs, canoe and boating routes, water access sites and several other programs. The division manages more than 1,500 boat-launching sites, 275 fishing piers and more than a 1,000 miles of paved and unpaved trails.
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania's hunters got off to a great start when they took more than 1,400 black bears on the opening day of the state's three-day statewide bear season. Pennsylvania Game Commission employees processed 1,454 black bears at the agency's 26 check stations on the season's first day.
It compares with an opening day figure of 1,348 in 2002, and
2001, when hunters logged the state's second best bear harvest. In 2000,
when the state's best bear harvest was recorded, hunters took 1,691 on the
opening day. Depending on weather, the state could see a harvest of between
2,600 and 3,000 during the state's three-day bear season.
The top five bears all exceeded estimated live weights of 600 lbs, and were males. The top bear - a 725-pounder - was taken by Benjamin Long of Coudersport.
Statewide Sportsmen's Organization Hunting for a Youth Hunter
HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, the state's largest, and one of the oldest sportsmen's organization, is teaming-up with River Valley Outfitters, River Valley Calls and ASAT Camo to get kids involved in the new Youth Spring Turkey hunt with an essay contest.
"The youth hold in their hands the future of our Outdoor Heritage," said Melody Zullinger, executive director of the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs (PFSC). "That's why we want to get them involved early on; so they can develop a deep love and appreciation of our natural resources."
One winning essay will be selected. The author will receive a one-day, guided, spring turkey hunt, and overnight accommodations at the lodge from River Valley Outfitters in Hughesville, PA, a VanishPro Ultimate 3-D system camouflage outfit from ASAT Camo, and a Turkey Call Package from River Valley Calls in Hughesville, PA.
Children between the ages of 12 and 16 are encouraged to take part in the essay contest. All participants must be graduates of the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Hunter/Trapper Education course and hold a valid hunting license. Essays must be received by March 28, 2004. Essays must be sent to PFSC's state headquarters, 2426 North Second Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110. To be considered, all
essays must address the topic: How Does Hunting Benefit the Resource?
The winner must provide his or her own transportation to the hunt and may bring along one adult. The guided hunt will take place on April 24, 2004. By submitting an essay, the author agrees to take part in any and all publicity surrounding the contest; including, but not limited to: photography, news coverage, and videography.
The Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs is a statewide, grassroots organization that has over 66,000 members and gets its direction from every one of its members. At two conventions each year, PFSC's leaders listen to the needs and wishes of sportsmen and women and conservationists. Then, with those goals in mind, they work alongside Pennsylvania's decision makers. The Federation has over 70 years of experience fighting for your rights and privileges to hunt, fish, and trap.
For more info on the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs: http://www.pfsc.org
2426 North Second St, Harrisburg, PA 17110 Renae Kluk 717-232-3480 Fax: 717-232-3480 [email protected]
For more info about River Valley Outfitters & River Valley Game Calls: www.rivervalleygamecalls.com
For more info about ASAT Camo: www.asatcamo.com
Hearings and listening sessions on December 1, 3, 4, 5, 9 and 11
"Radical State Assembly/Senate bills...with little review and creating numerous exemptions to water protection provisions" is how the Wisconsin Association of Lakes is describing legislation recently introduced in the Wisconsin legislature. "Shoreland Rule modifications will allow changes that could lead to less protection of waters from development, with little review and creating numerous exemptions to water protection provisions."
Original shoreland rules (NR-115) were set up over 35 years ago, but a DNR Advisory Committee has been working over the last year on revisions to take into account increased lake development and new research. Recommended committee changes speak to contentious issues including treatment of grandfathered structures, setback standards and protection of shoreland habitat.
Addressing the potential damage: "It will impact over 99% of Wisconsin's lakes! Not even Big Green Lake, Lake Geneva, Tomahawk Lake, Big Cedar Lake, Spooner Lake, Lake Winnebago, Pewaukee Lake, and popular lake chains in Madison, Eagle River and Waupaca are exempt! Smaller lakes would be especially harmed because their ecosystems are more sensitive. “This legislation stands to harm fisheries, degrade water quality and decrease waterfront property values in every county in this state," said WAL Executive Director Peter Murray.
Murray added: "The public is being short-circuited; the proposed bills introduced very late in the session, are blindsiding concerned citizens, and giving other legislators only one day to read a 114-page bill. The goal was to rush this bill to a vote before destructive and embarrassing provisions became known."
It will impact over 99% of Wisconsin's lakes! Not even Big
Green Lake, Lake Geneva, Tomahawk Lake, Big Cedar Lake, Spooner Lake, Lake Winnebago, Pewaukee Lake, and popular lake chains in Madison, Eagle River and Waupaca are exempt! Smaller lakes would be especially harmed because their ecosystems are more sensitive. “This legislation stands to harm fisheries, degrade water quality and decrease waterfront property values in every county in this state,” said Murray.
Public input was short circuited. Proposed bills were introduced very late in the session blindsiding concerned citizens, giving other legislators only one day to read a 114-page bill. The goal was to rush this bill to a vote before destructive and embarrassing provisions became known.
Dec 1 - Onalaska City Hall, 415 Main St.
Dec 4 - Grand Chute Town Hall, 1900 Grand Chute Blvd.
Dec 5 - Crivitz Village Hall, 800 Henriette Ave.
Dec 9 - Madison, Dept of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection Central Office, the Board Room, 2811 Agriculture Dr.
Dec 11 - Waukesha County Courthouse, Rm 350, 515 West Moreland Blvd.
What you can do
1. Attend one of the listen sessions listed above.
2. Complete one of the comment forms
3. If you have questions, contact Toni Herkert at the DNR at 608-266-0161 or [email protected]
4. Support for maintaining protective rules is important
Wisconsin Association of Lakes - WAL
One Point Place
Madison, WI 53719
800-542-5253 (in WI)
Biologists have discovered a grass carp, a dangerous invasive fish originally from Eastern Asia, living in Lake Ontario at the mouth of the Don River in Toronto. The grass carp was caught inadvertently a few weeks ago by staff at Toronto and Region Conservation during an assessment of the size of fish communities in the Lower Don River, one of the city's most polluted waterways.
Grass carp are feared because they are voracious feeders of aquatic vegetation, an attribute that causes serious disruption of any environment in which they become well established. Their most destructive practice is ripping underwater vegetation out by the roots, leading to increased turbidity and poor water quality. They have become a major pest in some areas of the United States, harming the commercial and recreational fishing industry.
The pale grey fish, related to the common goldfish and also known as the white amur, can become uncommonly large, growing up to a metre (39")in length and weighing up to 50 kilograms (approx 112 lbs). It is something of a plant eating machine, consuming up to its own body weight in vegetation each day, giving it huge potential for disrupting underwater plant communities.
Researchers from the Toronto conservation authority made the discovery on Oct. 30 while they were electrofishing -- passing an electric current through water -- to determine the size and composition of the fish community in the Lower Don.
Scientists do not know yet whether the carp they caught is a single fish released into the wild by someone in the city, or if it is part of a previously unknown breeding population around Toronto.
Live carp can be bought in fish markets, through the aquarium trade and even over the Internet.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans are conducting what they call an "aggressive" surveillance program on rivers that lead into Lake Ontario to determine if there are any more of the fish.
There have been only four known previous sightings of grass carp in Ontario, and all of these were presumed to be solitary individuals and not part of an established breeding population. One fish was caught in Lake Erie in 1985 and three more in commercial fishing nets in southern Lake Huron during 1989 and 1998.
Grass carp were first brought to the U.S. in the 1960s for research on the control of water plants, but they subsequently escaped the research ponds. They were introduced in Alberta in 1987 to see whether they could keep irrigation canals clear of vegetation, but they have since escaped into the wild. Many areas in the U.S. and Alberta require that only sterile grass carp be released, but despite this precaution, breeding populations have become established in the U.S.
USFWS Press Releases Sea Grant News
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