Week of December4, 2006

 

 

National

Regional

General

Minnesota

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National

Coast Guard seeks comments on ballast water reporting requirements

The Coast Guard is seeking comments on current ballast water management reporting regulations. Within these regulations, there are requirements for reporting ballast water management conducted by vessels operating exclusively with the Economic Exclusion Zone.

 

Comments are due on or before March 16, 2007.

 

The ballast water management reporting requirements are currently being reviewed to determine if any appropriate revisions are required by the Coast Guard. During this review process, the Coast Guard is interested in receiving comments on current reporting and

record-keeping requirements contained in the mandatory ballast water management regulations in 33 C.F.R. part 151, subparts C and D. Specifically, they are seeking comments on the current ballast water management reporting submission requirements, including comments on vessel types currently required to submit ballast water management reporting forms. They are also seeking comments on the ballast water reporting form itself to determine whether or not the form should be updated.

 

Basically, the Coast Guard is looking for comments on their current ballast water management (BWM) reporting

requirements, vessel types currently required to report using BWM forms, and the style of the form itself.

 

The Coast Guard will hold two public meetings during the week of March 12; one each in the Great Lakes and Gulf of Mexico regions, respectively. Dates and locations will be announced in the Federal Register. All stakeholders and interested parties are encouraged to submit comments to the docket and to attend a public meeting in or near their region.

 

Comments are due on or before March 16, 2007. They may be submitted by:

1. Web Site: http://dms.dot.gov, and enter #26136 – without the # sign

2. Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. DOT, 400 Seventh St, SW., Washington, DC 20590–0001, or

3. Fax: 202–493–2251.

 

For further info contact: LT Heather St. Pierre, Project Mgr, Coast Guard - 202–372–1432, or Heather.J.St.Pierre@uscg.mil

 

The Notice can be found by visiting the Federal Register at: http://dmses.dot.gov/docimages/p88/427044.pdf or viewed by visiting the Docket Management System at http://dms.dot.gov  # 26136.


Regional

Suburban Chicago Sportshow to Debut Feb 14-18, 2007

Schaumburg Boat & Sportshow to Focus on Boating, Fishing & Travel Outfitters

CHICAGO – The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) will launch a new outdoors show to be unveiled in February 2007 in Chicago’s northwest suburbs. The Schaumburg Boat & Sportshow will be an annual event held in the newly constructed Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center. The inaugural show will take place February 14 – 18, 2007.

 

The show will focus on outdoor sports-related equipment, including smaller sport boats, fishing tackle and vacation destinations. Organizers anticipate the event to feature more than 200 boats and 100 marine, fishing and travel outfitter booths, in addition to informational seminars and entertainment.

 

"The Schaumburg Boat & Sportshow will offer local boating, fishing and travel enthusiasts everything needed for their outdoor adventures,” says Bonnie Schuenemann, show coordinator for the Schaumburg Boat & Sportshow. “We are designing this show to feature the boats and gear that are ideal for use on local waterways.”

 

Show details include:

When:  Wednesday through Sunday, February 14 - 18, 2007

                        Wednesday (3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.)

                        Thursday & Friday (1:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.)

                        Saturday (10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.)

                        Sunday (10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.)

Where: Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center

1601 Thoreau Drive

Schaumburg, IL 60173

 

Admission:      $8.00 – Adults

$4.00 – Youth (13 – 15 years)

FREE – Kids (under 12 years)

 

Show features include:

• Fishing Seminars: Professional anglers, including Ted Takasaki and Bob Mehsikomer, will provide fishing and casting tips

• Trout Pond: Opportunity for children under 12 to drop a line in a family-friendly fishing pond

• Discover Boating Resource Center: Special display designed for visitors to ask questions and receive expert advice before hitting the show floor 

 

For further information on the Schaumburg Boat & Sportshow, please visit www.SchaumburgBoatShow.com  or contact Bonnie Shuenemann (312-946-6279, bonnie@nmma.org ). Those interested in exhibiting at the 2007 show should contact Sherri Cuvala (312-946-6240, scuvala@nmma.org ).

 

The Schaumburg Boat & Sportshow is produced by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the world’s largest producer of boat and sports shows. NMMA is the principle trade association representing a $37 billion a year recreational boating industry. For more information, visit www.NMMA.org .

 


General

Winter is here -- almost

Ice conditions changing quickly

There is nothing more fascinating to kids than checking ice at the edges of lakes, ponds, rivers and creeks.  But, this activity can be dangerous.

           

The Minnesota DNR urges parents to be especially careful of kids playing near water and ice, even the water and ice in ditches.  What was safe yesterday may not be safe today.  “Ice freezes and thaws quickly when the temperature hovers around the freezing point”, said Ken Soring, DNR Enforcement.   Ice may seem thick enough to support a

person, but it is not strong ice at this time of the year.  

 

The DNR recommends the following ice depths - 8" of new clear ice for small to medium sized cars, SUVs and pickup trucks, 5" for ATVs, and 4" for people.  Be on the safe side; keep kids away from water and ice. 

 

For more information on ice safety, contact the Minnesota DNR at 651-296-6157 or toll free 888-MINNDNR (646-6367). Those with Internet access can go to www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/ice.


Lead Ammo Ban in California Defeated

Action has national implications

Science combined to help defeat an effort to ban lead ammunition in California earlier this year

California Assembly Bill 2123, which proposed to ban the use of lead ammunition for big-game hunting in large areas of the state to prevent lead ingestion by California condors, died in committee. NSSF, the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute, (SAAMI), the California Association of Firearms Retailers (CAFR) and the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) opposed it on scientific grounds.

           

Ostensibly, the bill was introduced to protect condors and other raptors from ingesting lead from field-dressing remains, says NSSF senior vice president and general counsel Lawrence G. Keane, but the effort is driven by anti-gun interests.  "It's part of an ongoing effort by certain groups to ban lead ammunition," he observed. "The same legislation was introduced last year, but didn't get a hearing."

 

Keane also credits the testimony of WMI president and former U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service director Steve Williams. As an

unquestionably credible source, Williams played an important role in focusing the debate on science.  Williams testified that an absolute cause-and-effect relationship between condor mortality and lead ingested from hunters' bullets has not been scientifically established, and, therefore, the bill is premature.

 

He pointed out that there is a significant effort already underway to provide condor information and education programs to California hunters and ranchers within the big bird's current range. The effort, co-sponsored by WMI and the USFWS, explains the facts about lead exposure to condors and advocates common-sense steps to eliminate potential exposure pathways, such as burying animal remains after field dressing.

 

Williams called for allowing the California Department of Fish and Game to manage the issue with the information campaign.  In his letter on behalf of NSSF, Keane also noted the lack of scientific research on the issue and pointed out the economic impact California's 300,000 hunters have on the state's economy, to the tune of about $500 million annually.


Bass Pro Opening in Mall of America

Bloomington, MN- – Bass Pro Shops, has announced plans to build an outdoor superstore in the new 5.6 million sq ft Mall of America expansion in Bloomington. The store may also

include their famous Islamorada Fish Company restaurant. More information about the size and unique features of the store will be released at a later date.


Most Hunters Do Not Think Hunter Education Negatively Impacts Hunting Participation

Many people have debated if mandatory hunter education has a positive or negative effect on hunting participation.  A November poll conducted by HunterSurvey.com asked hunters if state hunter education requirements increase or reduce the number of hunters in the field each year. Over two-thirds of hunters think hunter education either has no effect or actually increases the number of hunters afield each year. The detailed results were:

 

Hunter education increases hunters in the field each year                20.8%

Hunter education reduces hunters in the field each year                   17.9%

Hunter education has no effect on hunters in the field each year      47.9%

Don’t know/no opinion                                                                        13.5%

 

According to Rob Southwick, President of www.HunterSurvey.com, “With many states now implementing online hunter education programs, hunter education is becoming more convenient.  Combined with programs such as Families Afield, hunting should become more accessible to new hunters.” www.HunterSurvey.com expects to track this issue each year to help develop a better understanding of all factors affecting hunting participation. 

 

www.HunterSurvey.com  is a monthly online survey of hunters and target shooters nationally providing industry and policymakers with information on outdoor trends and activity.  For more information, contact Rob Southwick at Rob@southwickassociates.com.


Anglers – and Economy – Suffering From Overcrowded Boat Ramps

Overcrowding at boat ramps has become a significant problem for many U.S. anglers. According to a November poll conducted by AnglerSurvey.com, nearly 11% of anglers have had to cancel a fishing trip due to overcrowded ramps.

 

According to Rob Southwick, the economist at www.AnglerSurvey.com, “The ramifications can be significant. There are 35 million anglers in the U.S. who fish 557 million days annually and spend $75 per fishing trip. When 11% of anglers cancel just one trip a year, they also cancel $287 million in fishing expenditures. That hurts.”

Considering the multiplier effects, the loss of $287 million in sport fishing sales also reduces state and federal tax revenues by $50 million and U.S. jobs by 7,400. Total economic activity in the U.S. is reduced by $802 million, and people’s paychecks and business profits decrease by $208 million. “Additional or expanded boat ramps in many areas may be worth the investment,” says Southwick. 

 

www.AnglerSurvey.com  is a monthly online survey of anglers nationally providing industry and policymakers with information on sportfishing trends and activity.  For more information, contact Rob Southwick at Rob@southwickassociates.com.


Cash in Hand for Wild Atlantic Salmon On the Horizon

FREDERICTON, N.B. — The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) welcomes a one-time expenditure of $30 million announced by the Honourable Loyola Hearn, Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Fredericton that will benefit wild Atlantic salmon populations in the four Atlantic Provinces and Quebec.

 

Bill Taylor, President of ASF, said, "We are indebted to the Honourable Loyola Hearn, who was instrumental in securing the endowment fund as part of the Parliamentary Fisheries Committee, and is vigilantly steering the fund through the final approval process; and to Greg Thompson, MP for New Brunswick Southwest, where ASF's headquarters are located, for his constant support."

 

"It's important to get the funding invested quickly," said Mr. Taylor, "so that accumulated interest will be available to river associations and watershed committees, hopefully, by the 2007 salmon season."

 

Volunteers in 125 river organizations that are part of ASF's Regional Council network expend thousands of hours and more than $10 million dollars annually in salmon conservation activities. Mr. Taylor continued, "The fund will greatly assist these efforts and the sustainability of our wild salmon populations by strengthening and expanding habitat restoration, education, research, and conservation programs."

 

"Economic benefits flow from healthy salmon runs," said Mr. Taylor. "The Atlantic salmon recreational fishery is worth about $200 million to Atlantic Canadian and Quebec communities, and this will grow as more runs are restored."

 

The funding comes at an opportune time, when there is a

trend towards better salmon runs to Canadian rivers as a result of a conservation agreement with Greenland fishermen, sponsored by ASF and the North Atlantic Salmon Fund. The agreement has suspended the commercial salmon fishery at Greenland that killed North American salmon on their winter feeding grounds for five years now. At the beginning of the 5-year agreement, Canadian Atlantic salmon populations had plunged to an all-time low of 418, 000 and, since then, the number has trended upwards to 701,000 in 2005. "Now the endowment fund gives us an opportunity to better ensure that the salmon that escape the Greenland nets return to healthy rivers in Atlantic Canada and Quebec," continued Mr. Taylor.

 

"We are pleased that Fisheries and Oceans Canada is in the process of setting up a Board of Directors to administer the fund," concluded Mr. Taylor. Since the Fund first appeared in a federal budget in early 2005, ASF has worked in partnership with DFO to prepare an administrative framework to guide the delivery of the funding.

 

The Atlantic Salmon Federation is an international, non-profit organization that promotes the conservation and wise management of wild Atlantic salmon and their environment. ASF has a network of seven regional councils (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Maine and Western New England) which have a membership of more than 140 river associations and 40,000 volunteers. The regional councils cover the freshwater range of the Atlantic salmon in Canada and the United States.

 

Contact Info:  Sue Scott

Vice President - Communications

Tel : 506-467-6804 (cell) or 506-529-1027 (office)

Website : Atlantic Salmon Federation


 

Minnesota

Updated plan reflects progress on Lake Superior

ST. PAUL, MN--Wild lake trout, salmon, and herring in Lake Superior are recovering, reflecting a decade of conservation effort, according to the Lake Superior fisheries management plan newly issued by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, DNR. Populations of wild lake trout, having rebounded from near devastation by sea lamprey, are once again found throughout the entire lake.

 

"The plan reflects the major progress achieved in the rehabilitation of the Lake Superior fishery over the last 10 years," said Don Schreiner, Lake Superior fisheries supervisor at French River. "Wild lake trout have increased, lake herring continue to rebound, and many intentionally introduced species like chinook and Coho salmon are now self-sustaining," he said.

 

The plan will guide fisheries management on Minnesota's portion of Lake Superior. It includes proposals to discontinue lake trout stocking in part of the lake, allow an increase in regulated commercial harvest of lake herring, a 50 percent reduction in commercial fishing licenses and extending the lake trout sport fishing season through the first weekend in October.

 

Additional changes proposed in the plan include a discontinuation of chinook salmon stocking, simplifying stream angling regulations, and an increased emphasis on

habitat and watershed protection and rehabilitation. The final plan does not include a proposal for steps that could have led to a limited commercial lake trout fishery in the northernmost portion of the lake.

 

"The DNR recognizes the century-old traditions of commercial fishing on Lake Superior and that the population of lake trout in the northernmost portion of the lake could biologically sustain the proposed increase in harvest," said Ron Payer, DNR Section of Fisheries management chief.

 

"However, based on the recently proposed federal budget cuts in sea lamprey control, the highly productive sport fishery, and the statewide philosophy of curtailing commercial netting for game fish, the DNR has decided at this time not to implement the proposed expansion of lake trout assessment netting," he said.

 

The DNR will begin to implement some parts of the plan immediately, while others will take time to develop. As the DNR acquires new information on the Lake Superior fishery, fisheries managers will meet with interested citizens to discuss what future changes might be necessary.

 

Copies of the plan are available at Lake Superior Area Fisheries Office, 5351 North Shore Dr, Duluth, MN 55804; (218) 525-0853; www.dnr.state.mn.us.


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