Week of December 3, 2007

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National

Coast Guard plans to hire civilians to boost its troubled Marine Safety role

The Coast Guard hopes to hire hundreds of civilian inspectors and retired Coast Guard officers to bolster its beleaguered Marine Safety program. Commandant Adm. Thad Allen proposed the idea of a "blended workforce" during testimony before a congressional panel in August.

 

Members of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation -- and several mariners who testified -- stated that the Coast Guard's focus on homeland security since 9/11 has diverted attention and resources away from the inspection of vessels and lifesaving gear, and the credentialing of mariners.

 

The shift has harmed the Marine Safety program, critics say, causing mariners to lose faith in the inspectors' level of expertise, professionalism and customer service. The Coast Guard realizes that post-9/11 responsibilities have made it harder to perform its traditional maritime functions.

 

"Both commerce and security requirements have grown since then, placing greater challenges on both industry and the Coast Guard," Allen said. "The Coast Guard acknowledges the concerns of industry and others that our operations in the wake of these events have placed greater emphasis on our security missions, sometimes at the expense of Marine Safety activities."

 

The subcommittee is considering Rep. James Oberstar's measure that would move the Marine Safety function to the Department of Transportation. Oberstar, a Minnesota Democrat, is chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The roots of the Coast Guard's Marine Safety program go back to the very first Congress, which created the Lighthouse Establishment in 1789 (which later became commonly known as the Lighthouse Service); and to the 19th-century Steamboat Inspection Service. The Coast Guard formally took over broad marine safety duties in 1946.

 

Peter Lauridsen, regulatory affairs consultant with the Passenger Vessel Association, said the Coast Guard recently broke from its longstanding tradition of working in cooperation with mariners.

 

"The face that we see in the waterfront is now distinctly a military one, with guns, boots and the aura of martial law," Lauridsen said. "Prior to Sept. 11, the Coast Guard's proud military heritage was softened because it was seen first as an organization of seasoned marine safety professionals. Today's Coast Guard, in many ways, is a stranger on the working waterfront."

 

Ken Wells, president of the Offshore Marine Services views marine safety as a high priority. His industry had been accustomed to working in close partnership with the Coast Guard. "Today we see that relationship as being at some risk," Wells said. "It is getting harder to know where Marine Safety sits on the organizational chart, from top to bottom."

 

B.W. "Tom" Thompson, executive director of the U.S. Marine Safety Association, said some lifesaving-equipment servicing facilities haven't seen a Coast Guard inspector in over a decade. Thompson said, by default, the industry has become "self-policing."

 

Oberstar and other members of Congress suggested that the Marine Safety program shouldn't be staffed by uniformed Coast Guard personnel who rotate in and out of the program every couple of years. Instead, the inspectors should be permanent civilian employees, who would amass years of experience and expertise -- similar to the professional staff at the Federal Aviation Administration or Army Corps of

Engineers.

 

The fleet of Coast Guard-inspected vessels now numbers about 11,800. While the number of vessels is growing, Rep. Timothy Bishop, a New York Democrat, noted that the experience level of the safety inspectors is not. "It seems to me as if we're constantly replacing semi-experienced people with inexperienced people, who then become semi-experienced, and then they move on to their next assignment," Bishop said.

 

William Doyle, director of government affairs with the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, said the Coast Guard needs to hire civilians for these Marine Safety jobs. MEBA also believes the tours of duty are too short under the current system. "This does not allow for uniformed personnel to obtain the necessary on-the-job expertise that they need to effectively fulfill the mission. Many of the actual vessel inspection teams are led by younger Coast Guard officers, many of whom have spent little time at sea and have little

experience with commercial vessels," Doyle said.

 

"Yet they are often responsible for ensuring the safety and regulatory compliance of hundreds of vessels within their sectors. And, by the time they are comfortable with their responsibilities, they are rotated out to their next duty assignments," he said. "We feel that extending these tours of duty will ensure stability and consistency across sectors and allow for greater expertise and experience for the Coast Guard officers assigned to those billets."

 

Allen said the Coast Guard believes in the concept of a "broadened specialist" who attains a familiarity with several Coast Guard functions, better qualifying that person for promotion to top-brass administrative ranks. Still, the Coast Guard could consider lengthening the Marine Safety assignments, the commandant said. The culture and hierarchy of maritime life can be an important factor in how professional mariners perceive the government inspectors who board their ships. The United States is one of the few maritime nations that doesn't appoint veteran mariners as full-time safety inspectors.

 

An inexperienced U.S. Coast Guard-enlisted person usually isn't qualified to judge the work habits of a seasoned ship officer, said George Quick, vice president of the International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots. "That's an insult to the master and chief engineer," Quick said, "that they send a second class petty officer down to make a determination of whether he's doing things right or wrong or investigating his actions. That's not acceptable to us. They do it, but most of us rankle at it...The foreign masters -- the Germans and the British -- take offense that they haven't sent an officer down or a civilian with a maritime background."

 

Capt. Richard Block, secretary of the Gulf Coast Mariners Association, said the military structure of the Coast Guard intimidates mariners who nowadays don't have as much armed-services experience as previous generations did. This stifles the voices of mariners, especially lower-level ones who may not have even a high-school diploma. These mariners feel powerless if the Coast Guard doesn't process their license applications or investigate their casualties properly -- and it imperils their very livelihoods.

 

"The Coast Guard gained control over the merchant marine during World War II at a time of national emergency as a temporary expedient. However, after the end of the war, a postwar reorganization act did not return it to civilian control," Block said. "We believe the time has come to consider (returning control of) a number of merchant marine functions to merchant marine officers."

 

Allen said the Coast Guard is making technological improvements to its mariner licensing system, has increased cooperation with maritime industry stakeholders and intends to smooth customer service at the ports. The commandant said "we lack capacity" in the Coast Guard safety rule-making function, and that the new Transportation Worker Identification Credential "presents a challenge" to document processing.

 

The Coast Guard believes it's not practical to create an all-civilian Marine Safety inspection division anytime soon. As its array of duties becomes stretched, the Coast Guard instead envisions a combination of the existing uniformed inspection corps and new civilian hires who can bolster those ranks. The trick, Allen emphasized to the congressional members, is to provide enough funding. "That takes a blended workforce," Allen said. "I think we are competent to do this mission. I think there are resource issues involved." Allen also announced the appointment of Rear Adm. Brian Salerno to the new position of assistant commandant for marine safety, security and stewardship.

 

Oberstar said he sees no relation between the Coast Guard's homeland security functions and marine safety. "Put (Marine Safety) in the Department of Transportation where you can have longtime career professionals doing that job," Oberstar said.

 

At least two of the congressmen rejected the idea of stripping the Coast Guard of the Marine Safety responsibility. "You don't fix a problem by transferring the problem to another agency," said Republican Rep. Don Young of Alaska. Rep. Howard Coble, a North Carolina Republican and former member of the Coast Guard, said Congress shouldn't create "a second Coast Guard."

 

Allen rejected the argument that homeland security and marine safety are unrelated. "You get a benefit to security when you improve safety," the commandant said. "You get a benefit to safety when you improve security."

 


Report Shows National Wildlife Refuges Provide Economic Boost

Recreational use on national wildlife refuges generated almost $1.7 billion in total economic activity during fiscal year 2006, according to a   new report released last month by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The report, titled Banking on Nature 2006: The Economic Benefits to local communities of National Wildlife Refuge Visitation was compiled by Service economists.

 

According to the study, nearly 35 million people visited national wildlife refuges in 2006, supporting almost 27,000 private sector jobs and   producing about $543 million in employment income.  In addition, recreational spending on refuges generated nearly $185.3 million in tax   revenue at the local, county, state and federal level.  About 87% of refuge visitors travel from outside the local area.

 

“We’ve always known that national wildlife refuges enrich Americans’ lives,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director H. Dale Hall.  “This report reveals that the Refuge System, while admirably fulfilling its conservation mission, also repays us in dollars and cents.  Those economic benefits go far beyond the system’s mandated mission to ensure wild creatures will always have a place on the American landscape.”

 

Using findings from 80 national wildlife refuges considered typical in terms of the nation’s recreational interests and spending habits, the   report analyzed recreational participation in and expenditures for freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing, migratory bird hunting, small game   hunting, big game hunting and non-consumptive activities, including wildlife observation. Calculation of the total economic activity included money spent for food and refreshments, lodging at motels, cabins, lodges or campgrounds, and transportation.

 

In making its calculations, Banking on Nature 2006 used the Service’s “2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation” and the visitation numbers from the individual refuges. Units with fewer than 1,500 visitors per year and those in Hawaii and Alaska (because travel there is so expensive) were excluded from the final calculations. Therefore, the Banking on Nature study estimates that 34.8 million people visited wildlife refuges—a tally smaller than the actual visitation figure of more than 37 million reported by all refuges.

The National Wildlife Refuge System encompasses 97 million  acres and 548 national wildlife refuges. While the primary purpose of the Refuge System is to conserve native fish and wildlife and their habitat, priority is given to hunting, fishing, wildlife photography, wildlife observation, environmental education, and interpretation.

 

Among significant other findings:

About 82 % of total expenditures came from non-consumptive recreation (recreation other than hunting and fishing) on national wildlife refuges. Fishing accounted for 12 % of total expenditures,   while hunting accounted for 6 %.

 

The National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, published every five years by the Service, found that more than 87 million Americans, or 38 % of the United States' population age 16 and older, pursued outdoor recreation in 2006. They spent $120 billion that year pursuing those activities.  About 71 million people observed wildlife, while 30 million fished and 12.5 million hunted.

 

► The Southeast Region—with such popular attractions as Okefenokee, J.N. “Ding” Darling and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuges—had the most visitors in fiscal year 2006 with 9.4 million.  Spending in the region   also supported the highest number of jobs, at 7,381

 

► Of the report’s 80 national wildlife refuges, Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia reported the most recreational visits (about 7.5 million) as well as the most jobs, at 3,766, and generated the most economic return, at $315.4 million.  It also showed the greatest economic   benefit, with $155.42 returned for every $1 in budgeted expenditures

 

► Many other national wildlife refuges also had marked returns for their budgets.  Don Edwards San Francisco National Wildlife Refuge, for example, had more than 1.5 million visits in 2006 and returned $43.55 for every $1 in federal budget expenditures.  Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Delaware—with 271,000 visitors in 2006—returned $23.38 for every $1 in budgeted expenditures and was responsible for 198 private sector jobs.  Muscatatuck in south central Indiana—spanning just 7,800 acres—returned $21.56 for every $1 in budgeted expenditures and supported 48 private sector jobs.

 

 For a copy of the report: http://www.fws.gov/refuges/


To license boaters or not

America's Waterway Watch program (877-24WATCH)

Before the US Congress decides to license every boater or require the purchase of expensive AIS equipment in order to gather information on  law-abiding users of waterways, the Coast Guard should focus on enlisting the support of the boating public.

 

America's Waterway Watch needs to be expanded well beyond the Coast Guard Auxiliary and Reserve to include tens of

thousands of  ordinary Americans. A serious intelligence-

gathering program of this magnitude would require Coast guard brass to make Waterway Watch a  priority and provide the command and control necessary to enable it to succeed.

 

But, given the Coast Guard's modest support and backing for the program over the past few years, whether they are up to the task is  questionable. Nonetheless, the concept needs to be explored as an alternative to the more bureaucratic and expensive approaches now being  considered.


Regional

The Great Lakes - At a Crossroads

The International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) has produced a fact sheet concerning the Great Lakes importance as an  economic engine and freshwater source as well as concerns, priorities, strategies and solutions. This 3-page information piece was edited by  Joan Chadde, Michigan Tech U. with assistance from IAGLR Outreach Committee members John Gannon, IJC; Rochelle Sturtevant, NOAA/Great Lakes Sea Grant Network; Mary Ginnebaugh, Wisconsin DNR  and Frank Lichtkoppler, Ohio Sea Grant 

 

IAGLR is a 40 year old, nearly 1000 member international association of scientists and researchers most of whom are focused on the Great  Lakes that lie between Canada and the US.  All disciplines are covered within this organization. IAGLR’s membership consists of researchers  from universities as well as local, state, federal and provincial

agencies.  We support the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy to  Restore and Protect the Great Lakes as well as the Canada-Ontario Agreement Respecting the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem.

 

Some of the priorities included in the fact sheet are; aquatic invasive species, coastal health, contaminated sediment, loss of Great Lakes  wetlands and shoreline habitat, toxic pollutants and sustainable land use development.  Multiple website citations are included for each issue  for further information.  IAGLR scientists recommend that the public inform themselves about the science behind the issues and to include  scientific perspectives in public meetings. 

 

For a copy of the 3 page document: http://www.mtcws.mtu.edu/pdf/Chadde_IAGLR_factsheet_GL_

Crossroads_10-19-07.pdf


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Nov. 30, 2007

Weather Conditions

A series of fast moving clipper systems brought snow and much colder temperatures to the Great Lakes basin this week.  Locations in the  snowbelts of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan received the most snowfall.  A major winter storm is taking aim on the region for the weekend.   Low pressure is forecasted to track through the middle of the Great Lakes on Saturday.   Locales to the north of the storm track may see several  inches of snow.  Rain is expected to the south.

Lake Level Conditions

Lake Superior's water level is 5 inches higher than it was at this time last year. Lake Michigan-Huron is 8 inches below its level of one year ago,  while Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 12 to 19 inches lower than last year's levels.  All of the Great Lakes are in their period of seasonal  decline and are forecasted to fall 1 to 2 inches over the next month.  Lake Superior is predicted to remain above last year's water levels through  April, but the remaining lakes are forecasted to stay below their levels of a year ago.  See our Daily Levels web page for more water level  information.

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions

Outflow from the St. Marys River is predicted to be well below average for November. Flows through the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are also  predicted to be lower than average this 

month. Flows in the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers are expected to be below average.

Alerts

Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron are below chart datum and forecasted 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. Ice information  can be found at the National Ice Center's webpage.

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for Nov 30

600.9

576.6

572.6

570.3

243.8

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

-3

-11

+4

+13

+6

Diff last month

-2

-4

-3

-2

-3

Diff from last yr

+5

-8

-12

-12

-19


Lake Huron

Estimating Seasonal Movements of Chinook Salmon in Lake Huron

Estimating Seasonal Movements of Chinook Salmon in Lake Huron from Efficiency Analysis of Coded Wire Tag Recoveries in Recreational Fisheries. Courtesy, American Fisheries Society

 

The decline of hatchery-reared Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha stocks in Lakes Huron and Michigan during the 1980s prompted mass-tagging programs to investigate reproduction, post-stocking survival, and movements. In Lake Huron, millions of smolts implanted with coded wire tags (CWTs) were released in Michigan waters and recovered from charter and non-charter fisheries, surveys, and weirs. Using generalized linear models (GLMs), we investigated Chinook salmon seasonal movements based on the spatial and temporal distributions of recoveries by fishing trips in U.S. recreational fisheries and recovery efficiency. We used models incorporating area, month, year, and recovery source; creel-clerk and “headhunter” (CWT collection specialist) samples; and charter captain reports. We implemented models for recoveries regardless of release area and from one particular area.

 

All model predictors and interactions between month and area were significant. The variation in recovery levels among recovery sources was larger than temporal or spatial variation.

Headhunters were 7 times more efficient than captains in recovering CWTs from charter-boat catch and 11 times more efficient than clerks in recovering CWTs from non-charter-boat catch; this was due to the higher catches experienced in charter than in non-charter trips and to different recovery program goals. The spatial and temporal distribution of GLM-standardized recovery levels suggested that Chinook salmon released along the western coast of Lake Huron moved near shore during early spring and north during summer, returning mostly to nearby stocking areas in summer and fall.

 

To complement our GLM analysis, we evaluated the distributions of CWT salmon released and recovered in U.S. and Canadian waters by all sources. Data supported previous conclusions on longitudinal movements and indicated that in spring fish moved from eastern locations to near shore in western Lake Huron then back to overwinter locations in autumn. These movement patterns coincided with seasonal prey species concentrations and favorable temperatures. The implications of our results for salmon fisheries management and the design of future tagging studies are discussed.

 

The full text is available here: http://afs.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-pdf&doi=10.1577%2FM06-204.1

North American Journal of Fisheries Management 2007;27:792–803


Illinois

Ice Fishing Weekend Dec 8-9

GURNEE, IL – Ice fishing is another season to enjoy the great outdoors. There is no better place to experience ice fishing than at during Bass  Pro Shops Ice Fishing Weekend on December 8 and 9, 2007.

 

Join Bass Pro Shops for family ice fishing fun. Any one who catches a fish from our ice fishing pond will be entered into a drawing for great ice  fishing gear and other prizes. Hear seminars on ice fishing and see demonstrations on the latest gear and accessories. Meet with ice fishing  guides from Wolf Pack Adventures and find out the secret spots to catch fish through hard water.

 

Finseekers Guide Service, Steve Everetts will show you the latest in ice fishing rods from St. Croix. Visit with Dale Stroschein, Bass Pro Shops and Tracker boats pro staff member and guide. Dale can tell you all about the prospects of ice fishing in Door County, Wisconsin.

Kids will have the opportunity to bob for live minnows on December 8 and 9 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Don’t worry  moms, the kids will try to catch as many minnows as they can with their hands in 30 seconds. The kids will then register for great prizes.

 

Saturday Meet

Guide and Jiffy Pro Staff Member Jim O’Brien

Ice Team Power Stick Member, Adam Johnson

John Gillespie, host of Wisconsin’s Waters and Woods TV Show from 12 - 3

 

Join the ice fishing fun at Bass Pro Shops, located at 6112 Grand Avenue, Gurnee Mills Mall.  For more information on Ice Fishing Weekend or other events and promotions at Bass Pro Shops, Gurnee Mills Mall, please contact Tisma  Juett, Promotions Manager at 847-856-1229 or via email at TEJuett@basspro.com.


Savanna Army Depot now Lost Mound

The Illinois DNR recently sent out an update on the exciting progress of the partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Illinois Department  of Natural Resources (IDNR) and several conservation groups at the Lost Mound Unit of the Upper Mississippi River National  Wildlife and Fish Refuge. Lost Mound is the new name for the old Savanna Army Depot in northwestern Illinois.

 

The 13,062 acres of the Lost Mound Area include the largest contiguous remnant of sand prairie/sand savanna in Illinois. The U.S. Fish &  Wildlife Service and IDNR have entered into a Cooperative Agreement to jointly restore and manage this land. The USFWS will manage 9,827  acres as the Lost Mound Unit of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. The IDNR is slated to receive 270 acres and  has received 183 of those so far. Last summer, IDNR purchased an additional 103 acres of savannah. Some 2,829 acres will be redeveloped by  the Local Redevelopment Authority.

 

Lost Mound is recognized as a natural area of national significance for a number of reasons:  It provides habitat for 47 state and federal listed species including several plants that are found only here in Illinois. Bald eagles alone have nine active nests here, nearly 10% of the Illinois total. The Illinois Wildlife Action Plan identified Lost Mound as a Conservation Opportunity Area with at least 110 Species of Greatest Need of  Conservation Concern.

 

In 1998 the IDNR and USFWS established the Lost Mound Field Station in a cooperative venture. Illinois Natural History Survey staff  conducts basic and applied research to guide habitat management and restoration. The Lost Mound Field Station is intended to be a  full-fledged biological research station where graduate students, university staff, and independent scientists can conduct research. Efforts are  currently underway to expand and improve our facilities to provide college-level courses in ornithology, wildlife research techniques, and  prairie ecology offered through Highland 

Community College and the University of Illinois. Expansion will also provide a nature center and  classrooms to expand field trip opportunities for local schools and housing for graduate students, visiting researchers, and summer field  assistants.

 

Issues resulting from the Army’s mission at the Depot limit not only public access, but also how the habitats and rare species can be managed.  At the present time, prescribed fire cannot be used because of the potential presence of unexploded ordinance; dilapidated buildings can’t be  easily removed because of asbestos cleanup; and, land use restrictions have resulted in the spread of invasive species like crown vetch.

 

On August 14, 2007 at the invitation of the USFWS and Congressman Don Manzullo, more than 60 leaders of local and statewide conservation  groups and several area citizens met to celebrate the accomplishments of this diverse partnership on the Savanna Army Depot, which is truly a  unique part of the Illinois landscape. Among the statewide groups present were the Illinois Audubon, the Illinois chapter of The Nature  Conservancy, National Audubon, Illinois Ornithological Society and the Environmental Law and Policy Center. Local conservation partners  were represented by the JoDaviess Conservation Foundation, Northwest Prairie Enthusiasts, JoDaviess County Natural Areas Guardians, Lost  Mound Corp of Discovery, and the Natural Land Institute. Geoffery Haskett, USFWS Director of the National Wildlife Refuge System, came to  show his support and enthusiasm for the partnership that started more than 10 years ago.

 

Dr. David Thomas, Chief of the Illinois Natural History Survey, remarked at the celebration event that even with all the positive  accomplishments behind them, there are even larger goals ahead for this group to tackle. Without the partnership, the people of Illinois would  lose a one-of-kind landscape that has been here for thousands of years.

 

For more info:  www.inhs.uiuc.edu/cwpe/research/fieldstations/lostmound.htm


Michigan

Michigan State to build $3.5 million shooting sports facility

Michigan State University's board of trustees has approved

plans to build a $3.5 million shooting sports facility. The 23,000-square-foot building will feature indoor archery and small-bore rifle ranges and three outdoor archery ranges.


Minnesota

DNR warns of thin ice danger

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is warning winter outdoor enthusiasts to stay off any ice less than four

inches thick - which is pretty rare in much of Minnesota for this time of the year.


 

New York

New Poetic Justice

Judge who jailed 46 in ring rage gets removed

November 29, 2007 NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) -- A judge who jailed 46 people who were in his courtroom when a cell phone call interrupted proceedings was removed from the bench

Tuesday by a state commission. A phone rang while Judge Robert Restaino was hearing domestic violence cases. ''Every single person is going to jail in this courtroom unless I get that instrument now," he said.


Moose Population near 500

Numbers Grow Nearly Tenfold in Last Decade

Moose numbers are growing exponentially in New York, with roughly 500 moose in the northern part of the state, the state Department of Environmental Conservation(DEC) projects this fall. That*s up from the estimated 50-100 moose a decade earlier and a handful of sporadic sightings in the 1980s.

 

"It's wonderful to see this marvelous animal make its way back to New York," said DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis, noting that moose had vanished from the state for roughly 120 years, from roughly the end of the Civil War until the 1980s.  As their population has grown in New England and Canada, the North American Moose has moved into New York, firmly establishing a base in the north country.

 

And its advancement has come as a revelation to scientists such as Chuck Dente, a DEC Big Game Biologist. When the state began documenting sightings in the 1980s, there was no certainty that the moose would stay  much less grow in numbers. Even if they did stay, it was thought it would take decades to reach such a large population.

 

Moose numbers in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Canada have been steadily rising; and many moose (usually younger ones) have migrated across the border into New York, Dente said. So much so that it's possible that the increase in New York*s moose count in recent years is now mainly due to the birth of calves in the state, rather than migration.

 

Once here, there have been few predation issues. Researchers had once thought that white-tailed deer and moose could not share the same habitat due to "brainworm," a parasite that is one of the greatest mortality factors of

moose. But, so far, the disease has not had a

significant impact.

 

Moose are most active at dawn and dusk. They are also especially difficult to see at night because of their dark brown-to-black coloring and their height * which puts their head and much of their body above vehicle headlights. 

 

FAST FACTS:   Moose may stand 6’ tall -- at their shoulder. Bulls may weigh as much as 1,400 lbs; cows are smaller. Calves, sometimes born in pairs, are born id-May - early June, weighing 28-35 lbs. They grow to more than 300 lb in five months.

*    Breeding season is in the fall, the peak running from late September - mid-October. Bulls are unpredictable during this time.

*    In the wild, the average life span is about seven to eight years; they rarely live more than 16 years.

*    A bull*s antlers average 4-5 feet wide and weigh about 40 pounds.

*    Moose will eat 40-60 lbs of vegetation a day, typically eating leaves, twigs and buds of hardwood and softwood trees.

*    In summer, they might eat aquatic vegetation.

*    Range’s varies 5 - 50 miles; range can hinge on several factors, including sex, age, season, weather and habitat quality.     

*    Other mortality factors include winter ticks and liver flukes, and, for calves younger than nine weeks, coyotes and bears.

*    Moose were common in New York centuries ago, when forests covered 95 % of the landscape.

 

They seemed to have disappeared in the 1860s largely due to agricultural habitat change and unregulated hunting. They did not appear again in the state until the 1980s.


Ohio

Trout Fishing Opportunities await Anglers

Controlled trout-fishing opportunities on Cold Creek, one of Ohio’s most unique streams, again await fishing enthusiasts who enter a special lottery conducted by the Ohio DNR.

 

A half-mile section of the creek, located at the Castalia State Fish Hatchery in Erie County, will again be open to a limited number of anglers on selected dates between March 31 and October 31 next year. Anglers interested in fishing the stream must submit an application form and a non-refundable $5 application fee to the Division of Wildlife, 2054 Morse Rd, G-1, Columbus, Ohio 43229-6693 between December 1, 2007 and January 31, 2008 in order to be eligible for the random drawing. The online application fee is $3.

Only one application is allowed per person. Application information can be obtained from the ODNR Division of Wildlife Web site wildohio.com or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.

 

There will be two seasons: one for adults (March 31 through June 6 and August 25 through October 31), and one for youths age 16 and under (June 9 through August 22). Approximately 90 adult and 50 youth permits will be issued. Individuals selected to participate will be allowed to bring two other adults and three youths under the age of 16 (no more than six people total). Participation is determined by a computer-generated random drawing, which is held in early March. Successful applicants will be notified by mail of their fishing dates.


Wisconsin

WI to vote on gun ownership during emergencies

Vote Scheduled for Critical Emergency Powers Legislation

Assembly Bill 581 is likely to be voted on Tuesday, December 4.   Sponsored by Assemblyman Scott Gunderson (R-83), AB

681 would prevent the state of Wisconsin from restricting the possession, transfer,  sale, transport, storage, display, or use of firearms or ammunition during a declared state of emergency.


 

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. 

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