Week of December 1, 2008
Port and Knight & Carver continue testing alternative hull coatings
SAN DIEGO -- In an effort to pinpoint which environmentally friendly antifouling hull paints are most effective in real-life conditions, Knight and Carver YachtCenter has partnered with the Port of San Diego to test a wide variety of these coatings in local waters -- and initial results are expected by the end of the year.
The San Diego Unified Port District’s Alternative Hull Paint Project is examining various antifouling coatings and their effectiveness over a two-year period. Effectiveness will be evaluated, based on application efficiency, cleaning and maintenance needs, antifouling efficiency, cost and longevity.
The first phase of the project consisted of applying more than 200 different kinds of antifouling paint on fiberglass panels, placed underwater at marinas and yacht clubs along San Diego’s Shelter Island, over the course of two months. The second phase will include testing of coatings on boat hulls.
Knight and Carver’s project manager and past paint department supervisor, George Vehanen, has been assisting in the paint application since the project’s inception. He reports to the University of California, San Diego Extension Program on the types of antifouling paints he uses on boat hulls -- and which ones work properly.
“What is happening now is those samples are in the process of being tested,” Vehanen explained. “Periodically, those samples will be pulled from the water -- and then, one half side will be wiped with a towel and will be dunked back into the water. “After the antifouling paint testing takes place, they are going to do some lab testing,” Vehanen said.
The panels are being suspended from dockside and placed underwater. The applications are being tested during varying water temperatures, to determine how the paint reacts to both warm and cold conditions. “I think it (the study) was planned quite well. I like the way they are executing it,” Vehanen said.
“In the past, we had to try and ask customers to volunteer and put the product on their boats -- and that’s risky, because some (coatings) are incredibly ineffective,” he explained. “I like the idea that they decided to use fiberglass panels.”
The port launched the antifouling paint study after the area was cited for higher-than-acceptable levels of copper trace amounts in the marine sediment. Once the port discovered copper was causing water quality problems in many marina basins within San Diego Bay, the port formed a partnership with the Institute for Research and Technical Assistance (IRTA).
Copper dissipating from hull paint can cause levels of copper in marina basins to become elevated, which can be potentially toxic to marine organisms, researchers said. Much of the release of copper into San Diego Bay has been directly linked to copper-based antifouling paints, the port claims -- although it is not yet clear how much paint residue came from recreational vessels, commercial ships or Navy vessels.
The port will receive $190,000 in funding for the project through an EPA Pollution Prevention Grant, and is matching that amount. The project aims to reduce copper levels in San Diego Bay as boaters replace their existing copper-based hull paints with environmentally safer alternative products.
The Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame (The Hall) in Hayward, Wisconsin recently unveiled their new web site. The Hall is the international headquarters for education, recognition and promotion of fresh water sportfishing. While The Hall maintains a museum for the preservation and display of historical artifacts of fresh water sportfishing, they also have a program for the recognition of persons, organizations and institutions who have made significant and lasting contributions to the sport and heritage of fresh water fishing. Many know The Hall for their program for qualifying, compiling and publishing all fresh water sportfishing records but they also maintain a library that disseminates information and acts as the clearing house for historical and contemporary
publications for the fresh water sportfishing industry.
When you visit The Hall’s new web site you will find the history of the institution and how it evolved into the renowned facility it is today. There are links to articles by anglers that have been inducted into The Hall of Fame as well as the ability to download current editions of The Splash for members. The Splash is the quarterly newsletter of The Hall. Those wishing to become members of The Hall to take advantage of the benefits offered need only click the Become a Member link on the left of the home page to discover the rewards a membership offers.
The new web site can be found at www.freshwater-fishing.org. It’s worth a visit.
Standing aboard the research vessel Neeskay in Lake Michigan, UW–Milwaukee Associate Professor Craig Sandgren oversees an oceanographic-sized net being pulled up from 100 meters. Considering the enormous size of the net and the large volume of water that is being collected, it’s surprising that what he and fellow biology professor John Berges are anxiously looking for are tiny water fleas barely visible to the naked eye. What’s more, these tiny species have the capability of significantly changing the existing food web.
The critters are the carnivorous zooplankton Bythotrephes cederstroemi (spiny water flea) and Cercopagis pengoi (fishhook water flea). Like the zebra and quagga mussels, both are invaders from Eastern Europe that have hitched their way into the Great Lakes through ballast water on ships.
Every other week this summer, the two researchers collected samples off the coast of Milwaukee and several miles out in the open water. “In their native environment, there are all kinds of checks and balances so the zooplankton are not a problem,” said Sandgren during a research cruise in August. “But when they come to a new place, they may become superabundant because they have left behind their natural enemies.”
What concerns these scientists is the fact that the two invasive species occupy the same critical spot in the middle of the food web. While two similar species might compete against each other, these tiny fleas may in fact divide and conquer, each devouring separate types of zooplankton. That would leave less food for fish to eat during their critical initial growth periods. Additionally, if they eat zooplankton that normally consume algae, prolific algae blooms may increase in frequency.
“Adding invasives changes the dynamics of the food web in very unpredictable ways,” John Berges said. “The more invasive species there are, the greater the problems become.”
The scientists are able to make comparisons with the data Sandgren collected in the 1990s when only the spiny water flea was on the scene, but before the fishhook water flea and zebra and quagga mussels were introduced to Lake Michigan, further complicating the system. Sandgren and Berges are also conducting hundreds of experiments in their labs under controlled conditions. The two can manipulate light, temperature, and nutrients to see how the primary producers, zooplankton grazers, and invasive species respond.
The researchers are developing a basic understanding of what the two water fleas eat to better predict their impacts on the food web. Unlike fish, which can be cut open to examine the contents of their stomachs, these carnivorous water fleas feed like spiders, sucking out the contents of their prey and leaving the hard parts behind.
“If you imagine the tiny animal they eat is a can of soup, they squeeze out the soup and leave the can behind,” explained Sandgren. “We’re trying to read the label without having the can.” Berges reports that thus far they have developed specific antibodies for six prey species that will allow them to identify those species in the “soupy” gut contents of the invasive water fleas.
Next summer, the two biologists will examine the spatial distribution of the zooplankton to see if the nearshore and offshore environments that they have already sampled are representative of all of Lake Michigan.
As Sandgren examined the water sample raised from the depths of Lake Michigan, he observed the tiny creatures swimming around. “This isn’t the mixture of species I had expected to see at all,” he said, shaking his head and chuckling. “It’s really exciting. We keep realizing that whenever we think we know what’s going on, we find something different. It’s just such a complicated system.”
A slow moving storm system brought numerous snow showers to the Great Lakes basin this week. The heaviest snow fell across the northern portion of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. To date in November precipitation across the Great Lakes basin is near average. Look for snow showers and seasonable temperatures across the region through the weekend.
Lake Level Conditions
Currently, Lake Superior is 3 inches higher than it was at this time last year, while Lakes Michigan-Huron and St. Clair are 8 to 9 inches above their levels of a year ago. Lakes Erie and Ontario are 4 and 9 inches, respectively, higher than last year's levels. All of the Great Lakes are in the midst of their seasonal declines and are projected to drop 1 to 3 inches during the next month. Through April, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are expected to remain above last year's levels. Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario, however, are forecasted to remain above their levels of a year ago into December and then fall below them in January.
Current Outflows/Channel Conditions
In October, the outflows through the St. Mary's and St. Clair Rivers were below average. The outflows through the Detroit,
Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers were near their respective
Lake Michigan-Huron's water level is currently below chart datum and is expected to remain below datum through April. 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.
By Curt Johnson Minnesota Tourism
The winter's first ice is already skimming Minnesota lakes and ponds and, unfortunately, with it comes the ice tragedy season. Every year we hear of people drowning because they broke through ice they thought was safe.
We think to ourselves, "If I fell through, I'd just climb back onto the solid ice and be just fine." Unfortunately, this is much easier said than done. First, when you fall through the ice, you're taken by surprise (if you knew you were going to break through, you wouldn't have walked there in the first place, right?) The sudden shock to your body plunging into freezing water adds to the confusion and panic. Cold water saps body heat 25 times faster than air of the same temperature. Just try holding your hand in a sink full of ice water for more than a few seconds and you'll see what I mean.
And, should you accidentally fall through thin ice, then comes the difficult task of pulling oneself out of the cold water onto the surface of the wet and slippery ice. Unless you have a plan of action for just such emergencies, your chances of getting out safely can be pretty slim.
Should the need arise, here is a plan that can help increase your chances for surviving a sudden icy dip, you can purchase a set of commercially made ice rescue picks or "claws" or, if you have a few simple tools and a little skill in the workshop, you can make a set for a couple of dollars for materials.
1) Get two 4" pieces of wooden doweling the size of a broom handle or a little larger. Whatever material you select, it should float in case you drop the claws while struggling.
2) Drive a stout nail into one end of each dowel.
3) Use a file or grinder to sharpen the nail heads to a point.
4) Drill a hole into the dowels (in the end opposite the nail) and tie a length of strong cord through the hole so a pick is on each end..."jump-rope" fashion. Keep the picks in your pocket for quick emergency access if you or a companion do break through.
If you do break through, try to remain calm. Turn in the water towards the direction you came from - that is probably the strongest ice. Dig the points of the picks into the ice and while vigorously kicking your feet, pull yourself onto the surface by sliding forward on the ice. Roll away from the area of weak ice. Rolling on the ice will distribute your weight to help avoid breaking through again. Get to shelter, heat, warm dry clothing and warm, non-alcoholic, and non-caffeinated drinks. Call
911 and seek medical attention if you feel disoriented, have uncontrollable shivering, or have any other ill effects that may be symptoms of hypothermia (the life-threatening drop in the body's core temperature).
What If your buddy breaks through?
First tell them to "Stay calm" and that "We'll get you out of there."
Then throw them the picks and explain how to use them. Remember that by kicking their feet, the thrust of the kicks can help push them back onto the solid ice.
I hope you never have to use “ice claws” on your ice fishing, snowmobiling, cross country skiing or hiking adventures on frozen waters this winter. But, just having a pair of these items with you may offer you a welcome “comfort factor”
Hunters prepare for second firearm season December 4-7
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 71,894 deer during the opening weekend of the 2008 Illinois Firearm Deer season, Nov. 21-23, Illinois DNR announced. The second portion of the firearm season will be Dec. 4-7.
The preliminary total for the first three days of the 2008 firearm season compares with the first weekend harvest of 85,490 deer during the 2007 deer season. The top county harvest total was in Pike with 2,194 deer, followed by Adams (1,900), Fulton (1,878), Randolph (1,770), and Jefferson (1,650). The preliminary first-season figures reported for each county include those deer taken on special hunt areas within that county as well as on private land.
Illinois has issued approximately 350,000 firearm deer hunting permits for the 2008 season. Most hunters register their deer harvest online through the IDNR web site or by phoning 1-866-ILCHECK (1-866-452-4325) by 10 p.m. on the day of harvest.
“The weather was unseasonably cold to start the season on
Friday, but it appears many hunters were in the field enjoying some success on that day and throughout the first weekend of the firearm deer season,” said IDNR Forest Wildlife Program Manager Paul Shelton. “Most corn had been harvested, although 10 to 12 percent remained in the fields in the northern part of the state.
“The good news for managers and for deer hunters with permits remaining for the second season is that most of the decline in harvest was a drop in buck harvest,” Shelton added. “This means that our doe harvest was fairly comparable to last year and that there are plenty of both bucks and does still out there for second season hunters.”
Approximately 59 % of the deer taken this past weekend were bucks, compared with 62 % bucks taken during the first weekend of the firearm season in 2007.
The Illinois firearm deer season concludes Dec. 4-7. The muzzleloader-only deer season is Dec. 12-14. The Late-Winter Antlerless-only firearm deer season and the Special CWD deer season are Jan. 16-18, 2009. The state’s 2008-09 archery deer season continues through Jan. 15 (except closed in firearm counties during the second firearm season Dec. 4-7).
Women seeking to improve their outdoor skills are encouraged to participate in the DNRs’ Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program’s Winter Weekend Feb. 27-March 1 in the Upper Peninsula. The annual winter program will be held at the Bay Cliff Health Camp in Big Bay, 30 miles north of Marquette in the Upper Peninsula.
Participants can select instruction from a list of over a dozen outdoor-related activities including cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, winter shelter building, ice fishing, outdoor cooking and reading the winter woods. Some indoor activities also will be offered, such as archery, fly tying and journaling. Professional instructors will offer basic and advanced instruction tailored to the participant's individual abilities.
The $175 registration fee includes all food and lodging for the
weekend, as well as most equipment and supplies. Participants will be housed in comfortable, dorm-style facilities. The fee also includes many extra evening activities including the camp's group sauna, bonfire/marshmallow roast and other programs.
BOW workshops are for women 18 years of age and older who wish to learn outdoor skills in a relaxed atmosphere. Those interested in participating are urged to register soon as classes fill quickly. Registration materials and course descriptions are available on the DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr. Click on Education and Outreach to access the BOW page.
The bays on the east side had one to three inches of ice as of Tuesday morning, but there is open water on the main lake. On the west side, the lake is capping overnight but opening during the day. You will find skim ice in the harbors and along the shorelines on the west end.
LAKE OF THE WOODS
Bays with no current have been ice capped for more than a week. The main lake also has quite a bit of ice so the ice fishing season is not that far away. The key is going to be more cold and no wind over the next week.
LEECH LAKE AREA
The small bays and small lakes are ice covered. Start looking for some opportunities to fish via foot travel on these small bodies of water soon. Much of the main lake including Walker Bay remained open as of Tuesday morning. Some of these areas skimmed with ice and opened during the day.
LAKE MINNETONKA AREA
The small bays tend to skim over each night and then open during the day. The same is true with most small lakes and large bays in the area. It’s going to take a few more nights of cold weather before its safe to walk on anything in this area.
Ice has started to form in the smaller bays and slack water areas of the river. Although the main lake remains open, there are encouraging signs that the ice fishing season will get off to an early start. It was cold early this week so look to the small bays to be the first areas with foot traffic.
The entire lake capped on Monday night and there was some ice that had formed prior to that. As of this writing, there was no way to determine exact ice depths throughout the lake, but many resort owners will be checking it this week.
Twin Cities Metro
A few “diehard” anglers continue to fish open water on the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers with moderate walleye success. There is ice forming in the bays and on small lakes, but the wind continues to blow most of it away during the day.
Open-water walleye action is still an option on the Minnesota River with jigs and fatheads. The lakes are skimming with ice but continue to open during midday hours. Mallard hunting has improved in the fields and pheasant hunters are finding “spooky” roosters.
A few anglers have begun to walk on the area’s small lakes. Many of the big lakes just froze on Monday night so ice depths really vary from spot to spot and one lake to the next. Although there is some ice fishing taking place, extreme caution is advised.
Ice depths vary from open water on some lakes to three inches on others. There is some ice fishing taking place on the area’s small lakes, but caution is advised. This just started on Monday so reports are limited.
You’ll find three to four inches of ice on many small lakes, but the big lakes remain open. There is some fishing taking place on a few sloughs although it’s not advised due to varying ice depths.
You’ll find three to five inches of ice on several small lakes and open water on the bigger ones. Some people have begun to fish, but the bite has been slow. Ice fishing is an option, but watch where you’re going.
Everything seems to be covered with ice and there is quite a bit of activity on the lakes. Walking out is the only option, but three to five inches of ice are common on most small lakes and bays. Early fishing reports are limited, but most people just began fishing early this week.
Some people have started venturing onto the small lakes in the area where three inches of ice has taken hold. There’s still plenty of open water in the area as well so caution is advised. Look to the shallow bays for pike in six to 18 feet of water with tip-ups and sucker minnows.
A handful of open-water anglers continues to work the deep holes of the Mississippi River for walleyes. Ice anglers are finding enough ice to walk on at some of the small, shallow lakes where as much as five inches of ice is reported. Early returns indicate a few small pike being caught and more cold weather is needed to get on many of the popular fisheries.
All the lakes are ice covered and a few anglers have started fishing. You’ll find three to five inches of ice on most lakes with the thickest ice found close to shore. Kamloops anglers are catching a few more fish along the shorelines of Lake Superior with Looper Bugs and waxworms.
You’ll find four to six inches of ice on the small lakes and bays. These areas have seen some foot travel by anglers who report limited success. There’s open water on most big lakes, but the small fisheries look favorable for fishing at this point.
Ice fishermen have started walking on some of the small, shallow lakes and there is open water on the big, deep lakes in this area. As of Tuesday morning, three to four inches of ice was being reported on the small lakes.
GRAND MARAIS AREA
There is quite a bit of ice, as much as four to six inches on many of the small lakes. Anglers were just starting to hit the ice early this week so fishing reports are limited. The good news is that the ice is shaping up very nicely on all lakes.
The small lakes and bays are in good shape with some of them offering ice thick enough to walk on. A handful of anglers is fishing and reporting three to four inches of ice in these areas. The big lakes remain open in spots so extreme caution is advised.
LAKE OSAKIS AREA
You’ll find four to six inches of ice on some small lakes and there is some limited fishing taking place on them. The bigger lakes still have some open water and Lake Osakis is covered with a thin layer of ice, but it was not close to walkable as of Tuesday morning.
The small bays have up to four inches of ice and by this weekend there should be limited opportunities to fish through it. Ice depths vary, but it looks encouraging for an early start to the season. Look to bays first and other parts of the lake as it gets colder.
There’s still open water on the big lakes, but most small- to medium-sized lakes have covered with ice. You’ll find “about 3" of ice” on some of the bays and a few fishermen have started walking out to fish. Early reports indicate varying ice depths and not much of a bite.
A few guys have started “sneaking out” on the bays and small lakes where three to five inches of ice is being reported. Although there is quite a bit of thin ice on the big lakes, everything capped over on Monday night. If it stays cold, everything looks favorable for an early start to the ice season.
All the area lakes have been ice covered since late last weekend. While the big bodies of water aren’t yet safe, there are some anglers starting to venture on the small lakes and bays. Three to four inches of ice seems to be the norm on these locations, but check it before heading out. The bigger lakes are a few more cold nights away from being safe for foot travel.
PARK RAPIDS AREA
Ice conditions are looking good. Some bays and small lakes are starting to offer enough ice to walk on and there has been a few anglers on these areas already. With the exception of some deep spots on a few big lakes, everything was covered with a layer of ice as of Tuesday morning.
Upper Red Lake appeared to be completely ice covered as of Monday afternoon. Some anglers are fishing close to shore where as much as five inches of ice is reported. A few walleyes had been caught in five to eight feet early this week on minnows or bright-colored jigging spoons and minnows.
RED WING AREA
Open-water fishing remains an option on the Mississippi River. Walleyes and sauger continue to be taken below the dam in 15 to 25 feet of water. Hair jigs tipped with minnows or Sonars are producing the majority of fish. Ice has started to form in the bays and on Lake Pepin making fishing these areas difficult.
ST. CLOUD/EDEN VALLEY AREA
Anglers have started fishing on the small lakes and bays where three to four inches of ice has taken hold. Ice depths vary and fishing reports are limited, but there is ice to walk on and what’s in place seems to be solid ice.
SAUK CENTRE AREA
There’s people fishing through the ice on many small lakes and bays. Early reports indicate a few walleyes and northern pike caught, but specific lake information is sketchy due to varying ice depths. You can find a spot to fish, but caution is advised.
The ice is in good shape with three to five inches reported on many small lakes. Anglers are checking the ice as they go and there is quite a bit of ice fishing taking place. Fishing reports have been limited and call ahead for current ice depths and use caution as you go.
Most of the lakes are covered with ice and a few anglers have started checking ice depths and fishing. You really have to watch the ice because most reports indicated that three inches is the most anyone was finding early this week. There’s also some open water and skim ice on a handful of lakes so call before heading out.
You’ll find two to four inches of ice on the shallow, prairie lakes. For the most part, everything is ice capped with the exception of the big, deep lakes. There is some ice fishing opportunities in this region, but you really have to watch ice conditions. Limited walleye, crappie, and pike action was reported early this week. Four inches was the maximum ice depth as of Tuesday morning on all lakes.
Thanks to Outdoor News for compiling this report for Explore Minnesota Tourism
DEC will unveil proposals at a public meeting on December 10
ALBANY, NY - The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will unveil proposals to clean up contaminated soils in two Onondaga Lake tributaries at a public meeting on December 10. The meeting will be held to present the plans, to elaborate on the reasons for recommending the preferred remedies, and to receive public comments.
Developed with the USEPA, and in consultation with the New York State Health Department, the proposals center on excavating contaminated soil and restoring streambeds, banks and wetlands to achieve a long-term solution for pollution at Ninemile Creek and Geddes Brook.
Located northwest of the city of Syracuse and south of Lake Ontario, Onondaga Lake has been described as one of the most polluted lakes in the United States, primarily due to industrial dumping. The state Health Department has issued warnings against consumption of walleye and bass due mercury and PCB contamination.
The lake in the summer is covered in many areas with algae that creates a vile odor that can be smelled for miles. Onondaga County is spending $500 million on a 15-year project to stop polluting the lake with sewage by 2012. The county is under a federal court order to make the lake safe for swimming and fishing and comply with the federal Clean Water Act. Contaminants at the two sites covered by the DEC plans include mercury, arsenic, lead, PCBs, hexachlorobenzene, phenol and other contaminants.
At Ninemile Creek - which has been a source of contamination to Onondaga Lake - the preferred remedy proposed by the federal and state agencies includes the dredging/excavation and removal of approximately 64,000 cubic yards of contaminated soils over approximately 15 acres.
Clean materials would then be placed throughout the site,
including a habitat layer, backfill and, where needed, an isolation cap. Contaminated soils removed from the creek and floodplains would be disposed of at Honeywell's LCP Bridge Street sub-site containment system.
Restoration of the streambed and banks, wetlands and habitats would include placement of a habitat layer as well as the plantings of appropriate species of vegetation. It is estimated that this project will take two years to complete and will cost approximately $20.2 million.
The plan for an interim remedial measure at Geddes Brook focuses on disposal of contaminated soil excavated from a section of the brook and in its adjacent floodplain, and includes actions to manage the contaminated soil. Work proposed at the site includes full bank-to-bank removal of an estimated 4,200 cubic yards of sediments. In addition, floodplain soil would be excavated and removed to a depth of approximately two to four feet. Approximately one foot of vegetated cover would be placed in certain areas to establish an emergent wetland.
The DEC encourages the public to provide input on the proposed remedies at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/49129.html The public comment period concludes on January 2, 2009.
Comments on both plans can be made in writing, via e-mail or in person at the public meeting scheduled for 7 pm, December 10, 2008, at the Martha Eddy Room at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. Comments on the Ninemile Creek plan should be sent to: Timothy Larson, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, 12th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-7013 or email@example.com.
Comments on the interim remedial measure at Geddes Brook should be sent to Tracy Smith, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, 12th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-7016 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bear exceeding 700 lbs taken in Monroe County on second day
HARRISBURG - Two days of bear hunting have produced a preliminary harvest of 2,518 bears, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission reports. In 2007, 1,638 bears passed through check stations the first two days. In 2006, 2,185 bears were taken. In 2005, when the state record bear harvest was set, agency personnel processed 2,875 bears through the first two days of season; 2,262 in 2004; 2,299 in 2003; and 2,022 in 2002.
“The statewide two-day bear harvest has the 2008 season on a pace to be one of our best,” said Mark Ternent, Game Commission bear biologist. “Bear hunters across the state are really having a great season.” So far, the top 10 bears processed at check stations through Tuesday all had estimated live weights exceeding 600 pounds. Morgan C. Neipert, of Tobyhanna, harvested the largest bear, which was a male that weighed in at 716 pounds (estimated live weight). The bear was taken in Tobyhanna Township, Monroe County, at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 25.
MADISON – In conditions that varied from sub-zero to chilly and overcast on opening morning, hunters participating in the traditional November 9-day gun deer hunt registered a preliminary tally of 133,828 deer over the first two days of the hunt a 22 percent decrease from 2007. Buck harvest statewide was down 25 percent and antlerless harvest declined 20 percent. A preliminary count for the two-day opening weekend in 2007 counted 171,584 deer registered. Department of Natural Resources officials stress that this is a preliminary call-around tally that will change when all registration stubs are submitted by registration stations and entered into the department's registration data base.
Wildlife officials say several factors likely contributed to the lower count including lower deer numbers after several years
of herd reduction strategies, very cold hunting conditions on opening morning in northern units, a late opening weekend that missed the peak of the rutting season, poor fawn recruitment this year, and tough winter conditions last year after a string of mild winters.
“Although this is a preliminary count, we may be seeing the result of a tough winter and several seasons designed bring deer numbers down. DNR staff across the state reported that hunters were seeing fewer deer and hearing fewer shots this year,” said DNR deer biologist Keith Warnke. “Hunters’ efforts appear to be having a positive effect on lowering overpopulations of deer in many areas.”
Herd control season structures provide extra days of hunting and target antlerless, or mostly female, deer as a means of reducing high populations.
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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