Week of December 7,  2009

World
Misc New Fishing-Boating Products
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
National

Regional

Lake Huron

Illinois
Michigan
Wisconsin
Other Breaking News Items
  • Environmentalists, shippers blast U.S. ballast proposals

    A federal plan to prevent foreign species carried in ship ballast tanks from invading the Great Lakes and inland waterways is riddled with loopholes and would take effect too slowly, with a provision that could postpone the deadline for years if the Coast Guard decides it isn't workable. “They're saying maybe they will, maybe they won't, they'll figure it out as they go."

     

  • Stop Plans to Regulate Greenhouse Gases in Wake of Climategate Fraud

    EPA Poised to Issue Economy-Killing Energy Regulations

    In the wake of the burgeoning Climategate fraud scandal, the Competitive Enterprise Institute on December 2, filed an emergency petition demanding that the Environmental Protection Agency stop its plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, pending a complete investigation.

     

  • Lake Erie - Scientists: Mayflies may amplify oxygen and algae problems, but don’t blame the bugs

    Lake Erie’s pollution in the ’60s and ’70s killed off its mayflies, insects that spend most of their lives underwater before flying off in huge hatches that carpet coastal towns. But the bugs have returned in a big way.

     

  • Granholm seeks legal action to curb Asian carp
    Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm asked Attorney General Mike Cox today to explore legal action to close the Chicago shipping canal connecting Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River system in response to threats from invasive Asian carp.

     

  • Coast Guard urged to adopt tough standards for ships in Great Lakes
    Six Minnesota organizations urged the U.S. Coast Guard to adopt tough national standards for ships on the Great Lakes in order to finally stop the introduction and spread of harmful invasive species into those five water bodies and their tributaries on Monday.

     

  • Invasive carp threatens Great Lakes
    Fish and wildlife officials will poison a 6-mile stretch of water near Chicago on Wednesday in a last-ditch effort to keep one of the most dangerous invasive species of fish, the Asian carp, out of the Great Lakes.

 

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World

More Fallout from Climategate Scandal

Australian Senate votes to kill Australian emissions trading system

Craig Rucker, the Executive Director of CFACT, The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow met on December 2nd, in Brussels with Lord Christopher Monckton, former policy advisor to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and discussed the Australian Senate's vote to kill the Australian emissions trading system in the wake of the Climategate scandal.

 

Mr. Rucker said, “The ramifications of the Climategate scandal are only beginning to be felt.  In rejecting its emissions trading system, Australia has fired a shot now being heard round the world.  Politicians in the U.S. weighing their vote on cap and trade and delegates attending the upcoming UN summit in Copenhagen should now realize that there is a political price to be paid for blindly following the global warming crowd.

 

Monckton said "The news that the world's leading climate 

science institutions had been collaborating internationally for many years in a  systematic and ruthless scientific and financial fraud by which they altered, suppressed, reprocessed, concealed, and conspired to destroy the  data on which the world's temperature records are based has come as a wake up call to politicians previously slumbering."

 

"The first effects are evident in Australia, where the leader of the opposition Liberal Party was removed from office when more than half of his members of Parliament voted against his declared support for an emissions trading scheme which the world now knows to be unnecessary."

 

After U.S. Senators Rockefeller and Snowe wrote a letter to the Chief Executive Officer of ExxonMobil asking him to stop funding scientists who reject global warming, Lord Monckton wrote a letter to the senators reminding them of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and calling on them to reverse their position or resign.


Misc New Fishing-Boating Products

Fiskars Shears Brunton

Fiskars is trimming its outdoor holdings, announcing plans to sell its Brunton business to Fenix Outdoors AB of Sweden. Fiskars, based in Finland, says its plans going forward are to focus on its Gerber brand among its US-based Outdoor operations.

 

According to the company, it "wants to focus on clearly defined business areas, and premium brands in these areas.  Brunton's portfolio of backpacking and camping products does not represent a core business for the company."

 

Brunton, a Riverton, Wyoming Company, is well known in the camping, hiking, exploring and extreme outdoor activities, offering a variety of technical products ranging from high-tech

camp stoves to solar power panels, optics, compasses, and other instruments designed for the outdoors.  According to Fiskars, Brunton's sale will not have a material impact on Fiskar's net sales or operating profit for 2009.

 

After the sale, Fiskar's Outdoor will include Gerber, Silva and Buster brands and will concentrate on "multi-tools, knives, compasses, mobile lighting, pedometers and aluminum boats."

 

Fenix Outdoor AB products include backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, waterproof outerwear, hiking and hunting equipment, and clothing. Brands include Fjallraven, Tierra, Hanwag and Primus. The company has subsidiaries in Sweden, Norway, Germany, Holland and Austria and business units worldwide.


Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

World's Lightest Shotgun Coming January 19, 2010

Sleek, Beautiful, Italian. She's the lightest auto-loading shotgun in the world. And she's coming January 19, 2010. On that day, the launch of Benelli's newest shotgun will be revealed at the SHOT Show and simultaneously unveiled on the Benelli USA website.

 

Evoking grace and beauty, the female form has inspired artisans since the dawn of time, and does so no less today.

With Benelli's newest offering, Italian designers have blended

art and function in a way that every sportsman will appreciate.  "At just under 5 pounds, this is lightest shotgun on the market, chambered in a gauge that many skilled hunters and sportsmen will find not only a delight to handle, but wonderful to shoot." said Stephen McKelvain, Benelli USA's VP of Marketing & Communications. "Benelli combined striking gun art with reliable function, the hallmark of all our products."

 www.benelliusa.com


 

National

S&W's Bagakis Takes Area 2 Revolver Title

Team Smith & Wesson's John Bagakis of Livermore, Calif. claimed the Revolver division title at the U.S. Practical Shooting Association's Area 2 Regional Handgun Championships. Bagakis swept the match winning all eleven stages for a final score of 1470.  He outpaced his nearest competitor, Pat Hogue of Atascadero, Calif., by just over 302 match points. Hogue finished second in the match with a score of 1167.7836.

 

About USPSA: The United States Practical Shooting

Association is a non-profit membership association and the governing body for the sport of Practical Shooting in America. USPSA has nearly 18,000 members and more than 350 affiliated clubs which host weekly matches throughout the country providing recreational shooters with the opportunity to test and refine their shooting skills in a safe, competitive environment.  USPSA is also the US Region of the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC), which is comprised of approximately 67 nations. For more info: www.uspsa.org.


Regional

Army Corps closes Little Calumet River for treatment

The U.S. Coast Guard is now enforcing a safety zone on the Little Calumet River from December 4, 2009 - December 16, 2009,

 

The IL DNR had requested the safety zone to support fishing operations and research for Asian Carp in the Little Calumet River and the Cal-Sag Channel during a period of already reduced traffic. The safety zone, from Mile marker 321-326.5 was closed by the US Army Corps of Engineers and included the O’Brien Lock while they do electrofishing and possibly toxic treatment with Rotenone again.

 

Commercial fishermen and federal fisheries workers have used almost 2,000 yards of net to look for the carp in the channel waters of the Cal-Sag Channel. DNR spokeswoman Stacey Solano says officials should know soon if any Asian carp were caught.  Officials probably won't poison the channel

with a fish toxin because dead fish wouldn't surface in its cold

waters to be identified.

 

U.S. Geological Survey biologist Duane Chapman said he didn’t expect many or even any Asian carp would be found floating after the poisoning. Because in the tests he did to determine how much of the toxin Rotenone would be required to kill the carp, they dropped to the bottom after they died, and the teams on the canal were looking for floaters.

 

Chapman added that "I have a strong doubt that we will see any bighead or silver carp for a few days or more, if ever, after the poisoning is done." So the discovery of one dead bighead proves a couple of  things – that Chapman was right, there could be more dead Asian carp rotting on the bottom, and the risk these invaders pose to the Great  Lakes food chain and valuable sport fish species is far too high to take any more chances.


Asian Carp Treatment update

After shutting the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal to all commercial and recreational traffic at 8 AM, biologists working with the Asian Carp Rapid Response Workgroup began applying Rotenone Wednesday evening, December 2, on a 5.7 mile stretch of the canal. This was after a small flotilla of electroshocking boats worked their way over that 5.7 mile stretch looking for desirable game fish. What they ultimately found was a small sampling of some largemouth bass, which were relocated to the Des Plaines River.

 

It was estimated that less than 3% of the fish that were shocked were game fish; the remaining were shad, common carp, and a few catfish and bullheads.

 

Officials then launched what’s believed to be the largest deliberate fish kill in state history Wednesday night. Crews had earlier dumped 2,200 gallons of the toxin rotenone into the canal. Dozens of boats combed the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal starting in the pre-dawn hours on December 3, ultimately finding a lone Asian carp among tens of thousands of poisoned fish, about 50,000 lbs of dead or dying carcasses.

 

The one Bighead Asian carp was discovered nearly 500' above the Lockport Lock on Thursday afternoon, December 3. Biologists with the workgroup believe there is a high probability that additional Asian carp were killed during the toxicant application but may not be found. It is generally believed Asian Carp respond differently to Rotenone than other fish, dying land sinking to the bottom. If they do surface – in spite of the increasingly colder water, it won’t be till they get bloated and fill with gas.

 

An important question biologists will try to answer is how large a population of Asian carp exists above and below the electric barriers. Researchers collected fish DNA indicating that the invasive carp are present in the canal and have advanced beyond the barriers, but there have been no actual sightings of the carp in those locations.

 

Illinois DNR spokesman Chris McCloud said some of the data collected last week will help biologists figure out the reliability of those DNA samples. "We have to know where they are and how many there are," he said.

 

“The cold water temperatures on the canal this week means far more fish are sinking to the bottom of the waterway than will float to the top.  Over the next several weeks and months, some fish may float to the surface but the majority of fish will break down naturally below the surface,” said Illinois DNR Fish Chief Steve Pallo.

 

The workgroup had collected thousands of fish, mostly common carp, from the canal since cleanup efforts began on December 3.

The workgroup is now focused on efforts above the electrical barrier system near the O’Brien Lock in an attempt to find Asian carp in areas where positive eDNA tests have been found. Positive Asian carp DNA evidence exists over nearly 10 miles of the Cal-Sag Channel and Sanitary and Ship Canal above the barrier.

 

Maintenance on the electric barrier, IIA, was completed and the barrier was returned to operation at 10 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4.

 

The workgroup has been using commercial fishermen, augmented with state and federal fisheries personnel, to deploy commercial fishing gear in a 5.5-mile stretch of the Cal-Sag Channel.  Fishing operations used nearly 2,000 yards of fishing nets deployed for two overnight periods.  Nets were deployed over portions of the reach since Dec. 1 and have been highly successful in collecting fish, although no

 

Asian carp have been collected.

 

Spokesmen for the workgroup say while the workgroup considered additional Rotenone application in specific areas above the barrier as a sampling option, there is no evidence to suggest Asian carp might be concentrated in any specific part of the 10-mile stretch of the canal where eDNA tests have been positive.

 

Fishing nets would effectively sample the entire reach and provide the best evidence of the potential presence and abundance of Asian carp in this stretch of channel. It would also confirm the exact location of any fish collected. Any Asian carp collected will be removed from the system, providing a measure of population reduction.

 

“The effort near the O’Brien Lock is fundamentally different from the action below the barrier. The purpose of applying Rotenone below the barrier was to ensure no Asian carp advanced up the channel while the barrier was powered down for scheduled maintenance. In addition, Rotenone would provide little if any information about the presence and abundance of carp in this reach upstream,” said IDNR Assistant Director John Rogner.

 

Rogner added; "We are also looking at bubble curtains, a constant wall of live bubbles we've tested on some fish that repels them. We are also experimenting with steady streams of noise that bothers fish." "We also are studying methods that have been successful in controlling sea lamprey in the Great Lakes, such as capturing and sterilizing fish so they can’t reproduce" he said.

 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers meanwhile, is reviewing all available data and may make a decision soon on closing down one or more of the Locks near Lake Michigan, to prevent potential or additional migration of Asian Carp into the lake. Many issues are being weighed including the impact to commercial barges and the movement of commodities such as raw building materials, coal and petroleum into the area. That decision could be made any day.

 

The Asian Carp Rapid Response Workgroup includes the Illinois DNR, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, USEPA, USFWS, US Coast Guard, USDA, and Wisconsin Sea Grant. Many other agencies supplied support and expertise. Fisheries management agencies from all eight Great Lakes States, Ontario and Dept of Fisheries and Oceans Canada provided manpower and support to the operation.  More than 350 people contributed to the efforts on the ground during the week’s operation

 

Potential Distribution – Silver Carp

 

 

Potential Distribution – Bighead Carp

 

These maps were peer reviewed and published in the primary literature (Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences) and use more rigorous scientific methods than those produced in the 2005 Canadian risk assessment.  Using the two (2005 risk assessment and these maps from the 2007 paper) provide a good view of the assessment of biological risk of Asian carps. According to DFO, all Canada Rivers are at risk.  Dept of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2007


Weekly Great Lakes Water Level for Dec. 4, 2009

 Weather Conditions

The Great Lakes basin saw its first winter like temperatures this week, however many locations have not yet seen any measurable snow. Cold air will continue to settle in to the Great Lakes basin for the remainder of the week and into the weekend. Snow showers will affect areas across the northern Great Lakes basin, with the heaviest amounts falling in snowbelt regions of Lakes Superior and Michigan. Locations across the southern basin could see flurries or light snow showers through the weekend. Temperatures will continue to be much colder early next week.

Lake Level Conditions

All of the Great Lakes except for Lake Ontario remain several inches higher than their levels of a year ago. Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are 4, 10, 8, and 5 inches, respectively, higher than their levels last year at this time. Lake Ontario is 1 inch below its level of a year ago. The water levels of Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, and St. Clair are expected to decline by 3, 2, and 1 inches, respectively, over the next month. The level of Lake Erie is projected to remain steady, while the water level of Lake Ontario is expected to decline 1 inch over the next 30 days. Over the next several months, Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron are forecasted to be above their water levels of a year ago. Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are forecasted to remain below last year's levels over the same time period. See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.

Forecasted Outflows/Channel Conditions

In December, the outflow from Lake Superior into the St. Marys

River and the outflow from Lake Michigan-Huron into the St. Clair River are forecasted to be below average. The flow in the Detroit River is forecasted to be near average. The flow in the Niagara River and the outflow from Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River are forecasted to be above average. 

Alerts

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. 

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for Aug 4

 

601.48

 

578.22

 

 

573.85

 

571.00

 

244.39

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

 

 +5

 

   +9

 

+19

 

+22

 

+13

Diff last month

 

-2

 

 

            -2

 

-2

 

-2

 

-2

Diff from last yr

 

+4

 

+10

 

+8

 

+5

 

-1

 

 


Contaminated Soil is Source of Mercury in Fish in Shenandoah Valley Rivers

Riverbank and floodplain soils are the major source of mercury in fish from several Shenandoah Valley Rivers.  A new federal study shows that 96% of the mercury loads to the South River come from soil that was contaminated more than 50 years ago by a textile manufacturing plant in Waynesboro, Va.

 

“Currently, about 416 pounds of mercury get into the South River per year. To meet safety standards in fish for human consumption, mercury loads to the South River cannot exceed 4 pounds per year. That’s a reduction of 99 percent,” said Jack Eggleston, a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) hydrologist and author of the report.

 

“Now we know why fish continue to have elevated mercury and what reductions are needed to make the fish safe to eat again,” said Eggleston. Mercury from the textile plant washed into the South River and subsequently contaminated the South Fork Shenandoah River, the Shenandoah River, and the floodplains along the three rivers.  The textile plant, operated by DuPont, discharged mercury waste from 1929-1950.

 

Since 1977 the Commonwealth of Virginia has placed a fish

consumption health advisory on 128 miles of river downstream of the plant. Safety standards set by the U.S. EPA are 0.3 parts per million of mercury in fish. High concentrations of mercury occur in fish because mercury accumulates throughout the lifetime of an organism. This bioaccumulation is magnified in organisms at higher levels in the food chain.

 

During the study, USGS scientists and partners from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ), and the U.S. EPA collected and analyzed hundreds of water and sediment samples.  By using computer models, they simulated water, sediment and mercury movement in the South River watershed.  The results of the study will be used by VDEQ to develop plans for cleaning up the rivers contaminated with mercury.

 

Help on the study also came from the South River Science Team, comprised of scientists from government agencies, universities, DuPont, environmental groups, and other stakeholders who have met regularly for the past 10 years.  The team is co-sponsored by DuPont, which operated the plant, and the VDEQ.  The South River Science Team provided a forum for sharing data and ideas to make the study more comprehensive.


Lake Huron

Lake Huron commercials want walleye

DETROIT (AP) — One of Michigan’s most successful commercial fishermen is suing the state to try to overcome a decades-old ban on catching walleye in the Great Lakes.

 

Dana Serafin of Pinconning is forced to release thousands of walleye from his nets while catching other fish in Lake Huron. In 2008, he proposed a three-year study of the walleye population that included a provision for him to keep and sell some of his haul. No thanks, replied the state Department of Natural Resources.

 

“They’re the bully in the lake, 2 to 3' long — we have pictures,” said Serafin’s lawyer, Anthony Calamunci. “In Saginaw Bay, there is cannibalization going on. It’s killing perch and whitefish at enormous rates. There’s not enough food.”  Calamunci filed a lawsuit in April in federal court in Bay City, claiming the state’s ban on commercial walleye fishing is a constitutional violation that diminishes the value of Serafin’s license.  The DNR is asking a judge to dismiss the case.

 

“The restrictions on walleye fishing have been in place for at least 35 years, long before Serafin obtained his first commercial license,” Assistant Attorney General Louis Reinwasser said in a Nov. 13 court filing.  Michigan law gives the DNR “complete discretion to limit the amount of fish taken by species and kind,” he wrote.  The DNR describes Serafin, 42, as the largest commercial fisherman on Lake Huron,

catching 990,000 pounds of whitefish worth approximately $1

million in 2008. His license is “indisputably” valuable, despite the walleye ban, Reinwasser said.

 

A DNR official, James Dexter, suggested that the state does not want to change the policy because that could reduce the walleye population and disappoint recreational anglers. The fish can be found across the Great Lakes region, and Michigan’s neighbors have similar restrictions.

 

“It is estimated that more than 2 million Michigan residents fish for sport in the state’s waters, and thousands more travel from all parts of the world,” Dexter, who oversees fishing regulations, said in an affidavit. “The economic impact is estimated to be $2-4 billion annually.”  

 

Calamunci accuses the DNR of treating walleye like a “sacred species.” He said Serafin at a minimum would like to keep some walleye as well as tag others and return them to the lake.  “And then over a three-year period we could test the impact on other species. There’s a science to this,” the lawyer said.  He noted that Canada allows commercial fishermen to keep walleye caught on its side of Lake Huron and sell them to stores and restaurants.

 

U.S. District Judge Thomas Ludington has scheduled a hearing for Feb. 10.


Illinois

Youth Goose Hunt Dec. 27-28

Phone-in Registration Deadline for Youth Hunt Lottery Drawing is Dec. 11

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Youth interested in a goose hunting experience during the holiday break are encouraged to register for the 10th annual Central Illinois Youth Goose Hunt sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on Dec. 27-28.  The youth goose hunt will be held at private waterfowl hunting clubs in Peoria, Fulton and Knox counties.

 

“The Central Illinois Youth Goose Hunt is a terrific way for youth to experience the fun of waterfowl hunting while they have a few days off from school during the holiday season,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller.  “We have made getting young people outdoors a key priority.  The kids and the adults who accompany them to the youth goose hunt will have a great time.”                                                                                              

 

Young people interested in the hunt must phone in (217/785-8060) to register for a lottery drawing since space for the hunt is limited.  The deadline to register is Friday, Dec. 11.  The lottery drawing will be conducted on Monday, Dec. 14 and youth hunters selected will be notified by mail.  First-time

applicants will be given a priority over previous participants in the drawing. 

 

The hunt is open to youngsters ages 10-15 at the time of the hunt.  All applicants must have successfully completed a hunter safety education course, possess a valid Illinois hunting or sportsman's license, have a Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration number, and have a 20 gauge or larger shotgun. Youth hunt participants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who must possess a valid firearm owner's identification (FOID) card. 

 

To register for the hunt or for more information, call 217/785-8060 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.  Raffle tickets are available to support the Central Illinois Youth Goose Hunt, as well as youth waterfowl hunts throughout the state. Only 500 tickets will be sold at $10 each to benefit the youth hunts. Prizes available include a shotgun and a Lifetime Hunting License (which is transferable).  Raffle winners will be drawn at the Central Illinois Youth Goose Hunt banquet on Dec. 27. Raffle participants need not be present to win. For tickets or information, call 217/785-8060.


Michigan

Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center Winter Snowshoe Programs

The Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center in Hoffmaster State Park near Muskegon has announced its dates for winter snowshoe hikes.  The center is located at 6585 Lake Harbor Rd. in Muskegon.

 

The snowshoe hikes planned are:

Moonlight Snowshoe Hike- Saturday, Jan. 30, at 7 p.m. Participants should meet at the Visitor Center by 6:45 to be fitted with snowshoes. Refreshments following the hike will be provided by the Gillette Nature Association.

 

Family Snowshoe Hike, Saturday, Feb. 6, at 11 AM. There will be a snowshoe hike for those wanting a family outing. This nature adventure will be slow paced and will include lots of outdoor discoveries.

 

Kids Snowshoe Hike, Saturday, Feb. 13, at 11 AM. There will be a snowshoe hike just for kids.  Although this hike is set up for children, one adult must accompany each family group. This hike is limited to 20 people.

 

Cardio Snowshoe, Saturday, Feb. 20, at 11 AM. There will be a longer snowshoe hike which will include challenging up and down terrain. This is not recommended for younger children.

 

Snowshoes are available from the Gillette Nature Association for a donation of $5 which helps offset the costs of maintaining the shoes and buying replacement parts. Due to limited space and equipment, reservations for all hikes are required, and can be made by calling the visitor center at 231-798-3573 MI - Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center Announces Winter Snowshoe Programs


DNR Holding Snowshoe Making Workshop in Escanaba Jan. 23

The Michigan DNR will host a snowshoe making workshop on Saturday, Jan. 23, at the DNR's Pocket Park, located at 1111 US Hwy 2 in Escanaba on the Upper Peninsula State Fair Grounds.

 

The one-day workshop, led by DNR park interpreter Theresa Neal, will begin at 10 a.m. Participants will learn how to weave a pair of traditional white ash snowshoes that will last for generations.

 

"This is a unique opportunity to learn how to make a pair of

 

snowshoes by hand," Neal said. "Not only is the workshop itself a fun experience, but snowshoeing is also an enjoyable way to get outdoors during the winter months. It's a great activity for all ages -- if you can walk, you can snowshoe!"

 

The workshop fee is $160, which includes all materials and equipment needed to make one pair of snowshoes. Class size is limited and reservations are required. To make a reservation, call Neal at (906) 492-3415.  For more info: www.michigan.gov/dnrcalendar

 

 


DNR Certifies New State Record Pumpkinseed Fish

The Michigan DNR has certified a 2.15 lb pumpkinseed caught Oct. 26 from Lake Nepessing as a state record.  Deaunti Kemp of Flint was fishing with a leaf worm on the Lapeer County lake when he caught the 12 and one-half inch sunfish. Kemp’s pumpkinseed eclipsed the record of 1.58

pounds, set in June this year from Pickerel Lake in Emmet County. The pumpkinseed marks the fifth time a state record fish has been caught in 2009. New state benchmarks have also been set for Great Lakes muskellunge, brown trout and Redear sunfish.


Wisconsin

DNR Secretary calls on U.S. Coast Guard to toughen ballast water rules

MADISON –As the public comment period for proposed federal ballast rules winds down, Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt  Frank urged the federal government to set a single national numerical treatment standard for oceangoing commercial ships to reduce their risk  of introducing new invasive species to the Great Lakes and other U.S. waters.

 

“We believe that is it possible to prevent ship-mediated spread of aquatic invasive species into Wisconsin’s waters in a manner that supports a viable shipping industry,” Frank said in comments submitted to the U.S. Coast Guard Nov. 30, 2009, in advance of that agency’s Dec. 4 deadline.

 

“A national standard will resolve many issues due to the patchwork of discharge standards existing currently among the Great Lakes states,” he said.

 

Frank urged the Coast Guard to adopt the same numerical standard that Wisconsin adopted in the state ballast water regulations the DNR announced Nov. 19. Wisconsin's

treatment standard, which new ocean going vessels will need

to meet in 2012 and existing vessels in 2014, is 100 times more restrictive than the proposed standard for the International Maritime Organization.

 

“The Department remains convinced that the IMO standard, alone, is simply not protective enough to achieve the needed safeguards against this significant vector for additional AIS,” Frank said in the letter to the Coast Guard.

 

 

He strongly urged the Coast Guard to set a more aggressive deadline than 2016 for ships to install ballast water control measures, noting that technology will likely be available to meet Wisconsin’s 2012 deadline for ocean-going vessels.

 

He called on the Coast Guard to act quickly, noting that ballast water discharges have been the major source of new aquatic invasive species to the Great Lakes, including zebra mussels, sea lampreys and round gobies.” These invasive species take a steep toll on our Great Lakes, inland waterways and $13 billion dollar tourism industry.”


 

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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