December 9 , 2002

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10 Year-Old PA Girl Catches Record Brown Trout in Oswego County, NY

   OSWEGO. NY - A 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl holds the new junior angler world record for brown trout. Shelly Paden of Berwick, PA was fishing in Oswego with her family last June when she reeled in a 5-lb. 8-oz. brown trout.


   She was recently awarded the F-Smallfry class Junior Angler world record by the  International Game Fish Association (IGFA), certifying the catch was made in accordance with international angling regulations.


   Shelly is the second youth in less than a year to catch a world record in Oswego County.  In October 2001,13 year old Brooks Gerli, landed a 35-8 lb. hybrid chinook/coho, while fishing  the Salmon River with Captain Robin Sheltra of Strike Zone Charters.  Brooks' huge fish, caught on a fly rod. earned him the all-tackle world record as well as the world record in the IGFA's youth division for Chinook/coho species. The hybrid cross is a  new species now being recognized by the IGFA. 


   On June 1, Brian Paden, his wife Sue, daughters Shelly and Tricia, along with nephew  and first mate William Frey boarded the Sea Hawk for a day of fishing near Oswego.  "That day there were waves of 6 ft or more on Lake Ontario, changing to waves of almost 10 ft by the time we got in, " said Brian Paden, Shelly's father.  "We were trolling just outside Oswego Harbor. The fish went for a 'Top Gun Special,' a stick bait that was painted and modified by Captain Greg Gehrig and Captain Lanny Wimble of  Top Gun Charters. Shelly fought and caught

the fish in heavy waves. Getting a 10-year-old to be able to hook, fight. and land a trout that big is a task, " said Brian.


   The fish was 20½" long with a 15¼"  girth. "It was kind of exciting when I first caught the fish," said Shelly. "I was getting tired but I kept with it My cousin and everyone encouraged me. "I've spent the majority of my fishing time on the Salmon River. and I have been really successful," said the 13-year-old.


   "Oswego County is a great place for family fishing," said Christine Gray, director of the Oswego County Department of Promotion and Tourism. "Eleven world records are something we can be very proud of.  Oswego County sells more out-of-state fishing licenses than any other area in New York State."


   For up-to-date fishing conditions, a complete fishing and hunting guide and visitor information, contact the Oswego County Dept of Promotion /Tourism 800-248-4FUN or visit , Janet Clerkin [email protected]


   SHELLY PADEN proudly displays the 20-inch brown trout that earned her a world record. She caught the fish trolling out of Oswego Harbor in June. The catch was recently certified a junior angler record by the IGFA.


Contaminant levels decreasing in fish

Great Lakes Commission delegates meet

   While invasive species are harming the Great Lakes ecosystem, scientists say drinking water quality has improved and the level of contaminants in fish has decreased.  Delegates, scientists, and other experts from Canada and the  U.S. met at the Great Lakes Commission's annual conference in Cleveland, Ohio last month to discuss the health and economy of the lakes. 

   Great Lakes water quality as well as surface, ground and

 river water has also improved, they said. Commission members adopted a resolution asking the Army Corps of Engineers and USFWS to build a second electronic barrier and upgrade the existing one in the Chicago Waterway system, including adding a backup power source in case of a blackout.   Donald R. Vonnahme, Illinois

Commissioner, said he is working to reallocate $7 million in state funds to build the barrier, and expects the feds to credit the state.

Cool approves '03 fishing regulations

   Michigan DNR Director K.L. Cool approved regulations for the 2003-03 fishing season at last month's regular monthly Natural Resources Commission meeting, held in Indian River.  The Director and Fisheries Division staff discussed each of the proposed regulations with the NRC, and Commission members voiced unanimous their support.


   Among the changes for anglers next year is the addition of several inland lakes and rivers in northern Michigan counties, where pike of any size can be taken. The move is part of the DNR's statewide effort to reduce "stunting" that comes with overpopulation of a species. Several additions were made to Michigan's list of designated trout streams, but statewide trout, salmon, whitefish and lake herring regulations will be finalized at

the November NRC meeting.


Cool approved new gear restrictions to reduce walleye snagging on the Saginaw River during the spring spawning run, and approved an order to prohibit spring dip-net fishing in areas to protect steelhead and inland smelt populations. Further information will soon be available on the DNR web site, .


   The Commission also received the 2002 Statewide Deer Hunting Prospects Forecast. The report is produced annually to provide hunters a regional perspective of herd conditions throughout Michigan.  Biologists anticipate hunters statewide will harvest more than 500,000 deer this season.

Loons, gulls dying from botulism, scientists believe

Zebra mussels, goby fish suspected as tests done by university

   KINCARDINE - The Toronto Star reports the introduction of exotic species to the Great Lakes is what's causing the die-off of loons here.  The Kincardine Independent newspaper has received reports of as many as 16 dead loons piled up on the beach, said editor Eric Howald. Type E. botulism bacteria are common in lake-bottom mud but usually lie there undisturbed.

   Scientists now believe the bacteria are making their way into the ecosystem though zebra mussels, which found their way into the Great Lakes 15 years ago from the ballast water of ocean-going ships.  When zebra mussels are coupled with the recent arrival of the goby in the Great Lakes, all evidence points to botulism poisoning, said John Cooper of the ministry's London office.  "A similar die-off of fish-eating waterfowl that occurred in Lake Erie this summer was linked to botulism contracted from gobies and zebra mussels," Cooper said.

2nd year of flooding for Rainy Lake

   After seeing Rainy Lake and Namakan Lake rise in 2001 to their highest levels since 1968, basin residents in Minnesota and Ontario endured a second round of flooding in 2002.


   June 2002 was one of the wettest months in northern Minnesota's history, with some northwestern Minnesota communities receiving in two days more than half the rainfall they would typically see in a year. Communities in Ontario were similarly affected. Swollen streams washed out roads and bridges and fed the larger lakes and rivers.


   The IJC ordered reduced outflows from Rainy Lake for a

few days to allow the downstream town of Rainy River to fend off flooding from the Rainy River, then later ordered reduced outflows from Namakan Lake for a few weeks to ease flooding concerns downstream on Rainy Lake. Ultimately, Rainy Lake peak levels were significantly higher than in 2001 and well above the emergency levels defined by the IJC. Namakan Lake levels also peaked above the IJC-defined emergency levels, but at lower levels than seen last year.


   Fortunately, by the end of July, both lakes had returned to normal summer levels.

Constructing a second lock at Sault Ste. Marie

   This year will likely prove pivotal in the ongoing effort to twin the Poe Lock at Sault Ste. Marie, MI. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will complete an evaluation that will determine if the project still has appositive cost/benefit ratio. If a terrorist act closed the Poe Lock for more than just a

few days, domestic Great Lakes shipping would slow

to a crawl and customers from Duluth/ Superior to Buffalo would face raw materials shortfalls of epic proportions: steel-related, low-sulfur coal, grain.

   A second Poe-sized lock will ensure the continued viability and reliability of a vital transportation system.

Invasive species causing great ecological harm

IJC urges US/Canada to prevent future Introductions

   Alien invasive species, transferred from foreign ecosystems, can thrive in the Great Lakes, unhindered by any natural controls such as predators they might confront in native ecosystems.


   Exploding zebra mussel populations have caused tens of millions of dollars of damage to water structures and ecosystems, and they are only one of 160 non-indigenous species now inhabiting the system. The next alien species to enter the lakes could cause even greater damage. The U.S. and Canada have responded by developing regulations and procedures surrounding ballast water discharge from

ships entering the ecosystem through the St. Lawrence River, because ballast water is the primary source of the threat.


   But risks remain because the majority of ships entering the Great Lakes system can legally claim “no ballast on board” and thereby are exempt from current regulation. However, they still harbor alien species in the sludge of their “empty” ballast tanks, and in the bio-films contaminating hulls or anchor chains.


   In light of the high risk, the IJC believe the two national governments must urgently take more aggressive steps to prevent future alien species introductions, including new rules and programs to assure that “no ballast on board” ships do not biologically contaminate our waters.

Firearm deer season accidents remain low

   Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials on December 5 announced the 2002 firearm deer season was the third-safest season on record.


   Throughout the 16-day season, one firearm fatality and 17 non-fatal injuries occurred. This follows the previous safest season on record, 2001, when one fatality and 14 non-fatal injuries occurred and 1996, when one fatality and 15 non-fatal injuries occurred. The lone firearm-related fatality, as well as three non-fatal injuries, resulted from violations of

law and/or safety practices. The non-fatal firearms incidents included 12 self-inflicted injuries. One individual died as a result of a tree-stand fall.


   Credit belongs to hunter education efforts, safety laws (especially hunter orange, now in its 25th year) and to those individuals who volunteer their time to instruct students or who work to enforce the natural resources laws. Michigan hunters, by observing the laws and safety guidelines, have helped contribute to a 50% reduction in hunting-related injuries over the past decade.

Minnesota Fishing Report - Fishing Hot Spots for the week of Dec 9, 2002



Anglers are just starting to venture out on Reno and Little Mary lakes. Reports are still a little scarce. However, by next week we should have a full ice fishing report!



The edges around area lakes are starting to freeze up nicely for some early season northern action. Look for the weedlines and you should be in business using a sucker under a bobber. By next week, we should have a better feel for what's happening.



 Spear fishing has gotten off to a fair start on the south end of Bemidji. Area lake ice is still spotty. However, the north end of Red Lake has plenty of ice. Anglers are using four-wheelers to get out to their favorite northern spots. By the weekend, anglers should have their choice of lakes and depths.



The lake has finally froze over completely. As of Tuesday, 3 inches was the average thickness. Anglers working behind the Islands are finding some early action. Otherwise, this weekend should be a better gauge of what areas are hot!



Ice fishing is off to a decent start in our area. The perch bite is fair on Blackduck in the shallows. For walleyes, head deeper to 15 to 20 feet. Working small jigs with live bait are taking some nice eaters. This weekend should really be good.



Most channels and bays are froze on area lakes. The ice between Chisago and South Lindstrom is producing a fair northern and crappie bite during the day while walleyes are feeding at night. Also, the area around Pancake Island on South Center has been very productive.



Ice conditions improved over the last week. Most small lakes are frozen over with reports

of 4 to 6 inches of ice. The large lakes are ice covered with 2 to 4 inches. Fishermen are reporting that crappies are biting on the smaller lakes in 14 to 18 feet of water. Pike are hitting tip-ups with shiners and suckers in small bays and along points.



 The ice fishing season has started in the Detroit Lakes area! Please beware that the ice varies from lake to lake. Some area lakes have as much as 6 to 7 inches of ice but some of the bigger lakes like Big Cormorant just have a skim, so as always, be very careful when out on the ice. Little Detroit is kicking out some sunfish and crappies in 10 to 12 feet. Lake Sallie is producing a few walleyes in the morning and evening hours on jigging spoons and minnows. Sunfish and crappies are going on Prairie Lake. Northern pike are a good bet on Eagle and Town Lake is kicking out some panfish. We are supposed to have below zero temps this week and should really make some great ice! By this weekend most lakes will be going strong, but please use extreme caution and call ahead for the latest ice conditions.



When possible, anglers are still hitting the open water with boats around Sucker Bay in search of loopers and salmon. Local anglers are starting to find some good walking ice on local lakes. By this weekend, fishing should be in full swing.



We're makin' good ice. Crappie fishing has been good on Big and Little Splithand. Sylvan Bay on the Mississippi has been producing some decent crappie and walleye action during the evenings. This weekend should be very good.



The ice has finally arrived, and 4 to 6 inches is common on many lakes. People are fishing on Birch Lake, Pleasant Lake, and others. People are out on Pine Point on Leech, however, Walker bay opened up again with the high winds we had last Friday. The snow cover is gone, so the lakes are slippery. Four wheelers are common place, cars are where they belong, on hard ground. Some walleyes are being caught around sunset in 18 to 22 feet. Shiners seem to be the bait of choice.



Lots of activity on Kabetogama this weekend, with spearing opening December 1st. The usual early opening bays, Tom Cod, Duck, Irwin and Daily had enough ice for a safe opener. Most of the house set-ups were on 4 to 6 inches of ice. Caution must be exercised when venturing away from the proven areas, as the park rangers say many iced over areas have only 1 to 2 inches of ice. At this time four wheelers are more prominent than sleds for transportation. Temperatures expected to be below norm and cold this coming week which will bid well for adding ice. Anglers and spearfishermen report lots of small to mid range pike the largest as of this writing was 18 pounds. No reports yet on walleyes, perch or crappies.



Ice fishing on Lake of the Woods is now in full swing. Temperatures have dipped drastically, creating excellent ice. The Northwest Angle and Islands report 17 degrees below zero and great fishing. There is 12 inches of ice from Flag Island to Young?s Bay and 6 inches around Oak Island. From the mainland of Northwest Angle to Brush Island is 12 inches of ice and island to island, there is about 8 inches. Anglers are using snowmobiles and guides are starting to put out fish houses The south shore reports 6 to 10 inches of ice with good water clarity. Four wheelers and snowmobiles are venturing out on the ice now, but still exercising caution. Fish are biting in 18 to 19 feet of water. Resorts are starting to put ice houses out this week.Northern fishing in the bays is excellent. The river has ice shore to shore near Clementson with a thin layer in the middle but 4 to 5 inches of solid ice near the shore. Fishermen were jigging over 20 feet of water keeping the jig about 6 inches off the bottom. They caught nice size walleyes and caught and released northerns.



Great ice reports throughout the Leech Lake area. Smaller area lakes have ice from 3 to 8 inches with super panfish reports. Crappie and bluegill action has been great. Leech Lake has ice over most of the lake. Earlier this week Walker Bay was still open. Ice on Leech varies from 6 to 8 inches in Steamboat Bay, Pine Point and Trader?s Bay. Ice fishermen are catching perch and walleye in these areas traveling by foot and ATV. Some 22- to 25-inch walleyes caught off Pine Point using buck-shot spoons and minnow heads in 8 feet of water. Six- to 9-foot depths are the target areas for perch fishing. The perch are not super aggressive so smaller presentations under floats working well. Waxworms outfishing minnows or minnow heads lately. Guides are using chartreuse forage minnows with two waxworms.


Nothing to report yet. A few ice houses are starting to show up on the bays and channels of local lakes. One more week of this good cold weather and the action and numbers of anglers should really pick up.



 Early season anglers are starting to show up on the channel of Coon Lake and Big Marine. Nobody is saying much yet, but we expect this weekend to really pick up. Be safe and

check your ice conditions.



Ice fishing is set to take off big time this weekend. Little Waverly is starting to show signs of life with about a half dozen houses going on it over the last 24 hours. Although, reports are still hard to come by, stay tuned for next week?s report.



 Anglers are starting to venture out on the bays. Right now, the average thickness is about 6 inches and growing. Isle and Wahkon bays are both producing a good mix of perch and

walleyes in depths ranging from 10 to 14 feet. Remember, the less noise, the better. Early ice is definitely the ticket!



Ice fishing has been very good. The big walleyes are definitely biting in the river right above the dam using a jig and minnow combo. For crappies, check out the Volden Pit area during the evening. The main lake has an average of 3 inches of ice which should at

least double by this weekend.



Early ice reports are starting to filter in. Lower Battle and Toad lakes have both been producing some nice walleyes along with Lower Twin in 14 to 16 feet. Stay tuned.



 Ice conditions have rapidly improved this week with the average thickness being 5 to 6 inches and growing. Crappie anglers are finding some nice eaters on Prairie and Franklin lakes during the evenings.



Although we are forecasted to have normal daytime temps this week, evening temps will be below zero. Numerous bays have been frozen for almost two weeks. Some foot traffic is starting on the bays, mainly by folks who know the lake very well and have drilled for ice depths. Do not venture out for a bay walk if you do not know the lake.



The St. Croix River is making ice. The Bayport area will hold anglers within a matter of days, (it may not be more than 3 inches, but they'll be out there soon). Work the breakline in 20 to 24 ft for walleyes, saugers, and crappies. Casting 1/16- to 3/16-ounce hair jigs to rock and current and drifting 3/16- to 3/8-ounce jigs and minnows along the edges of the deeper holes are great bets to hook up a fish dinner.



Ice fishing for walleyes has been very good this past week on Emily, Minnewaska and the east side of Reno. The magic depth seems to be 12 feet. Either a plain hook with a shiner minnow or jig and minnow have both been productive. The magic time seems to be around 3 to 6 p.m.



There is ice on Upper Red, but it is still a ways from being driveable. Cold weather this week should make ATV traffic a possibility. The fishing is still pretty slow.



The walleye bite is on! McKinley Park on Lake Vermilion in Tower-Soudan has about 6+inches of ice as does much of the good fishing holes around the lake. Be careful around current and big water areas, fishermen are driving all terrain vehicles but not cars and trucks. Mornings and evenings are still the hot fishing times. Other area lakes have at least 6 inches of ice. Whiteface Reservoir near Biwabik reports good fishing for walleyes. Crappie fishing has been good at best on area lakes, small fish reported. Spear fishermen finally have the luxury of being able to spear on the opener and reports have been good with plenty of ice on the small lakes. The word around the cracker barrel stove is, *If you can go, you will catch fish!*



The River has basically shut down with the frigid weather. Anglers working the backwaters in the Wabasha Marina are finding some awesome bluegills using ice flies and waxies.



Fishermen are venturing out on 4 to 5 inches of ice and catching plenty of small walleyes all over the lake with just a few keepers. Good numbers of nice size crappies have also been biting around the pit area. A few walleyes are still being caught below the dam.



Emerald Lake is producing a few nice pike for early ice anglers. Shoreline fishing is about the only safe bet right now. By this weekend, activity should really be rockin'. If you haven't already done so, tune up your auger and change your reel line. We have all of your fishing

and equipment needs!



We are excited about the early ice season. Lakes such as Green and Willmar Foot should be very good for walleye and crappie by this weekend, we expect a good amount of ice

to form with the cold weather finally here!



Our dark houses are out on the ice. We now have 4 to 6 inches out from the Harry Lake Landing, 5 to 7 inches by the Mississippi. A report of 8 inches off Stony Point by the Third River landing. There are 6 to 8 inches in Cut Foot. There has been some great northern and perch action in front of the West Winnie Campground landing in 8 feet of water.


For more assistance contact:  [email protected]  651-297-3488

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