Week of December 17, 2007



2nd Amendment issues



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Skeptical Scientists Kicked Off UN Press Schedule in Bali ... Again

Voice of dissent censored by United Nations

(CHICAGO -- For the second time this week, the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) was kicked off the press schedule for the United Nations' climate conference in Bali, Indonesia.


The ICSC is a group of scientists from Africa, Australia, Europe, India, New Zealand, and the U.S. who contend sound science does not support the outrageous claims and draconian regulations proposed in Bali.  The ICSC team leader, Bryan Leyland, an expert in carbon and energy trading, reported, "This morning I confirmed we had the main conference hall for 9:00 AM tomorrow. At 4:30 PM today, I found

that Barbara Black bumped us off the schedule and closed further bookings. I'm fuming."


Black is NGO liaison officer for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bali.


Earlier in the week, UN officials in Bali closed down the ICSC's first press conference there. Black interrupted the press conference and demanded the scientists immediately cease. She threatened to have the police physically remove them from the premises.  Black's efforts are part of the United Nations' ongoing censorship of dissenting voices at Bali. ICSC scientists have been prevented from participating in panel discussions, side events, and exhibits.


Philadelphia Boy Scouts to be evicted from Historic Building

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia council of the Boy Scouts of America will lose the lease on its historic premises for its refusal to bow to pressure from the homosexual lobby to accept homosexual members and leaders. The city has told the Scouts they will be evicted if they cannot come up with US $200,000 a year "market value" rent for the land on which their building sits. Until now, the Scouts had paid a nominal $1 per year lease fee although the youth organization had originally

owned the premises in 1929. The famous Beaux Arts style building was built and paid for by the Scouts, and turned over to the city with the understanding that the Scouts would be allowed to remain in it rent-free "in perpetuity."


Assuming there are no changes in circumstances; that would mean the Scouts would have to be out of the building, which they built and paid for with their own funds decades ago, on June 1.

Rocky Mountain National Park to Allow “Qualified Volunteers” to Help Cull Elk Herds

Washington, D.C. – Safari Club International, and other organizations that promote sustainable use wildlife management, have scored a significant victory for wildlife management in the National Park system.


An elk management plan released last week for Rocky Mountain National Park has approved the use of “qualified volunteers” as agents to help park personnel cull excessive elk herds that have plagued the park’s ecosystem. Because the plan specifies that the volunteers will have to be “certified in firearms training, be specially trained in wildlife culling,” and pass a proficiency test, SCI expects that these “qualified volunteers” will come from the hunting community. This major step in wildlife management marks the first time that the National Park Service has given its blessing to the use of qualified volunteers as “authorized agents” for culling purposes in a National Park (other than when required to do so by Congress, such as in Grand Teton National Park).


The use of unpaid volunteers should allow the Park Service to save on the new estimated cost of $6.1 million for the culling program over the next 20 years. Additionally, most of the meat from the culled elk will be donated to area food banks and other charities. SCI’s Sportsmen Against Hunger program, active in Colorado and the rest of the United States and around the world, has provided harvested meat to food banks

and other charities for 18 years. SCI has long advocated the use of hunters for NPS wildlife management, has written extensive comments in support of this approach and has lobbied on Capitol Hill in support of bills that would authorize the use of members of the hunting community to cull excessive elk herds on National Parks.


“This is a tremendous step forward,” said SCI President Dennis Anderson. “Hunters have long been at the forefront of wildlife and habitat conservation. Now, as qualified volunteers, members of the hunting community will be able to continue this proud tradition by assisting the Park Service in managing excessive elk herds in Rocky Mountain National Park. With savings of public funds and better assurance that the meat will be properly utilized, using members of the hunting community is a ‘win-win’ situation.” The Plan does not call for the use of contraceptives to manage the herds, although it authorizes a study of the effectiveness of a multi-year fertility control agent. Contraceptives have not been demonstrated to be effective at controlling populations of wild, free-ranging elk.


Only hunting and culling have proven to be efficient and cost-effective. Within the next 30 days, the Park Service will make a final decision on the elk management plan, likely adopting a culling program using Park Service personnel and authorized agents, including qualified volunteers from the hunting community.

Interior Directs Bison Range be handed over to Tribe

Inspector General Report Describes High-Level Political Machinations

Washington, DC, (PEER) — Top officials at the U.S. Interior Department ordered subordinates to arrange the transfer of all jobs and management of the National Bison Range in Montana to a local tribe, according to an agency report released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Under the proposed agreement, National Bison Range, called the crown jewel of the National Wildlife Refuge System, would be the first such unit in the country to be transferred in its entirety to a tribal government.


This revelation comes within a November 20, 2007 Interior Office of Inspector General (OIG) Report of Investigation. The report looks at aspects of the controversial 2005 agreement with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) to take over half the Bison Range jobs. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service terminated that agreement in late 2006 citing non-performance and harassment of refuge staff.


The OIG report concludes that the Interior Department “did exert considerable and unusual influence directing FWS [the Fish & Wildlife Service] to enter into the annual funding agreement with the tribe but such influence was neither improper nor illegal.” The OIG report, which PEER obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, recounts how –


Top Interior officials directed the Fish & Wildlife Service to increase the number of tribal positions on the refuge, leading to the CSKT assuming complete management control in 2010;


Former Deputy Secretary Steven Griles, now imprisoned in connection with the Jack Abramoff lobbyist scandal, told the 

then FWS Deputy Director that “it was important to treat the CSKT right in this issue and that the CSKT was one of the tribe that had not supported Cobell”— the multi-billion class action suit to force an accounting of Indian trust funds by Interior; and Interior repeatedly overrode FWS recommendations and allowed termination only after complaints of harassment by refuge staff and an assault on the refuge manager by the CSKT tribal chairman. Currently, Interior is pursuing a new funding agreement with the CSKT. As the OIG report notes, the negotiations have been slowed by the tribe’s insistence on total management control over the refuge.


“Whatever happens at National Bison Range will be purely about politics with the interests of wildlife having precious little to do with the outcome,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, pointing out that 57 national parks and 18 other wildlife refuges are eligible for similar tribal transfers under Interior’s present stance. “One unresolved question is how the federal government enforces standards once the refuge is under the control of a tribal government.”


The OIG report does examine reports by citizens who reported retaliation by the CSKT after their names and public comments about the agreement were released by Interior to the tribe. The OIG also alludes to “’racial’ tension on both sides of the issue.”


“Ironically, the Inspector General never explored what went wrong with the earlier ill-fated Bison Range agreement or how it should be fixed,” Ruch added. “As a result, the next funding agreement for the Bison Range may blow apart like the last one did.”


Gun-free zones get people killed

With nearly 3,000 articles written worldwide within 48 hours following the tragic slaughter at the Omaha, Neb. Westroads

Mall last week, not a single article mentioned the most important fact of all -- that there were "no guns allowed" in the mall.

Congressional members hold the purse strings

Appropriations committee members who will pass on WRDA – the Water bill for the electronic barrier

Both chambers of Congress recently overrode the President’s veto of the huge WRDA Bill by sizable margins, making the Water Resources Development Act the law of the land.  But that’s only  half of the job.


Now we need to get the money to get the physical job done. 


Here are the members of the House and Senate Energy and Water Subcommittees of the Appropriations Committee ( Great Lakes Member) that will be working on that.  These are the folks we need to contact too “encourage”  them to expedite their actions.


Contact names are below. Start with this URL: www.congress.org/congressorg/directory/congdir.tt  It’s simple and user friendly to get to congressional leaders you’re looking for and it will give you all the info you need to get to these folks to urge them to fund these projects that are so critical to the safety and integrity of our region’s resources.


House Democrats

*Visclosky (IN)  Chair

Pastor (AZ)

Barry (AR)

Fattah (PA)

Israel (NY)

*Ryan (OH)

Serrano (NY)

House Republicans

*Hobson (OH) Ranking Member

Wamp (TN)

Emerson (MO)

Simpson (ID)

Granger (TX)


Senate Democrats

Dorgan (SD) Chair

Byrd (WV)

Murray (WA)

Feinstein (CA)

Johnson (SD)

Landrieu (LA)

Inouye (HI)

Lautenburg (NJ)


Senate Republicans

Domenici (NM)

Cochran (MS)

McConnell (KY)

Bennett (UT)

Craig (ID)

Bond (MO)

Hutchinson (TX)

Allard (CO)


Note that the Chair and ranking member on the House side are from the Great Lakes, which is good.  No representation from the region on the Senate side, so Great Lakes Senators should contact Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) directly.

RBFF direct marketing program gains momentum

Will use direct mail to reach out to lapsed license sales

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation says the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission have committed to a direct-mail marketing effort to increase fishing license sales. They join the state DNRs of Iowa,  Minnesota, Indiana and S. Carolina in Lapsed Angler Recruitment Program The direct mail toolkit, developed by RBFF to help increase participation

in the sport and generate awareness of the connection

between fishing license sales and conservation efforts, will be used to implement a lapsed angler recruitment program in these and other states.


The product will include direct mail templates, instructions to implement a direct mail campaign and marketing assistance from RBFF. A workshop for states that will implement the program will be held January 16-17, 2008 in Dallas, Texas.


Coast Guard responds to Maumee River Oil spill

TOLEDO, Ohio -- Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Toledo, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the city of Toledo, Environmental Services and oil spill response contractors continue to respond to an approximate 3,300-gallon fuel-oil spill in the Maumee River here.


The 730-foot bulk carrier Algonorth, managed by Seaway Marine Transport, was departing the Midwest Marine Terminal Friday evening December 12 when the vessel's stern contacted the dock, rupturing two fuel tanks approximately 10 feet above the water line.


The Coast Guard and clean-up contractors deployed approximately 2,400-feet of containment material in the vicinity of the spill. An additional 1,600-feet is available but is not needed, since most of the spill will have evaporated or

dissipated by now making it unrecoverable.


Four commercial vessels were delayed due to the closure. The Coast Guard and other response agencies will suspend operations for the evening and will resume at first-light Sunday. BP Oil, Sun Oil and the Northern Ohio and Michigan Aid consortium provided additional resources to the response.


Boats from Coast Guard Station Toledo and an HH-65 helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Detroit provided surface and aerial patrols to search for possible impacted areas.


Algonorth was carrying grain and getting underway for a St. Lawrence River port when the incident occurred. The cause of the incident remains under investigation.

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Dec. 14, 2007

Weather Conditions

The southern Great Lakes basin was on the receiving end of several potent winter storms this week, as snow, sleet and freezing rain were reported in many locations. The active storm track has led to above average precipitation in the Lakes Michigan-Huron, Erie and Ontario basins to date in December.  Sharply colder air and more snow are on tap for the weekend across the Great Lakes.  The snowbelt regions will receive the highest amounts of snow. Ice cover continues to grow on all of the lakes, with bays and inlets seeing the highest ice concentrations.

Lake Level Conditions

The water level of Lake Superior is presently 5 inches higher than it was at this time last year. Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are 10 to 12 inches below their levels of one year ago, while Lake Ontario is 21 inches lower than last year's levels.  Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron are predicted to fall 3 and 2 inches, respectively, over the next month, while Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are forecasted to remain at their current levels.  Lake Superior is predicted to stay above last year's water levels through May, but the remaining lakes are forecasted to stay below their levels of a year ago. 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions

Outflow from the St. Marys River is predicted to be below average for December. 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, too.


Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron are below chart datum and forecasted to remain below datum through May.  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.





St. Clair



Level for Aug 4






Datum, in ft






Diff in inches






Diff last month






Diff from last yr







2nd Amendment issues

NRA Battle for Hunters' Rights New Website

On November 1, 2007, NRA launched a new Website  www.nrahuntersrights.org.  

Visitation has been strong and feedback on it positive, but there is one really disturbing thing about the site--the fact that there is a need for it.

The number of licensed hunters has dropped steadily, from 14.1 million in 1996 to 12.5 million today. Gleeful anti-hunters claim that hunting is dying, and no longer of interest to Americans. But it isn't lack of interest in hunting that's causing the decline.


It's overly complex, nit-picking regulations that turn inadvertent mistakes into criminal offenses. It's too much difficulty in finding a place to hunt, or even to sight-in your rifle. It's overzealous law enforcement. Its archaic minimum-age hurdles that must be cleared before youngsters can hunt. And it's radical anti-hunting groups--and their sympathetic media--that succeed in closing down hunting seasons, even when they are overwhelmingly justified by the science of wildlife management.


"There are more threats to hunting than many of us seem to realize," said NRA Executive Director of General Operations Kayne Robinson, who spearheaded the development of the site. "And many of those threats are caused by government action, abuse, or inaction. Government red tape and bureaucratic hostility have reached a point where people are actually being driven out of hunting. A hunting license is not probable cause to believe its owner is a crook to be searched and interrogated.


"NRA strongly supports game laws based on sound wildlife management, and we vehemently oppose laws that only serve the convenience of the bureaucracy," Robinson continued. "The hunters rights' abuses NRA addresses are not to shield the guilty but to protect the innocent from being treated like the guilty.


"With all these factors combining to make it harder for an average citizen to hunt, we saw a need to keep people informed through a Website devoted to hunters' rights issues." If you have not clicked on www.nrahuntersrights.org yet, here's a small sampling of some of the story topics already posted, or in development.


In Alaska, guide Jim Hamilton and his brown bear hunters were startled when a low-flying plane circled their camp more than a dozen times. The plane carried a local TV news crew, whose members camped about 50 yards from the hunters. The crew crowded the hunters all the next day until a kill was made, and at one point a cameraman allegedly got in front of a rifle on one stalk. A few days later, the station aired a story questioning whether a perfectly legal hunt was fair chase and ethical. According to Hamilton, the pilot and TV crew " ruined the hunting experiences of at least six resident and nonresident hunters and endangered their safety as well."


In Oregon, hunters are complaining that an increased cougar population--brought about by a ban on using hounds for cougar hunting--is leading to substantially increased predation on deer and elk. The ban was strongly advocated by anti-hunting groups--and now deer and elk hunters are paying the price in decreased opportunities.


In Arizona, half--yes, half--the population of desert bighorn 

sheep on Kofa National Wildlife Refuge have died because of drought. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service planned to install water-for-wildlife devices to save the remaining sheep -- but radical environmental groups sued to block them! NRA and other groups stepped in, helping to allow the water projects to go forward while the suit is in progress.

In New Jersey, despite clear scientific justification for a black bear season, anti-hunting zealots managed to block it. The antis went a step farther when they tried to pass legislation that would remove hunters and fishermen from the State Fish and Game Council, and allow political appointees--meaning anti-hunters--to replace them. New Jersey sportsmen roared their opposition at rallies, in the press, and at the polls. Major sponsors of the bill were voted out, but the legislation they introduced remains pending.


In Missouri, turkey hunters are now required to affix a yellow "Be Safe" sticker to the receiver of their guns so that it will be in the line of sight when shooting. Besides being useless, or at the very least unproved as a means of preventing accidents, the sticker regulation is an insult to anyone who has taken hunter education. Should a hunter be subject to a fine if the sticker gets brushed off in the woods or simply forgets to put it on?


BLM lands are used by millions of responsible hunters and recreational shooters. Yet in Colorado, there are plans underway to close the entire, 164,000-acre Canyons of the Ancients National Monument to recreational shooting. Also in Colorado, BLM plans restrictions to travel routes on lands it administers within the San Luis Valley. Proposals would limit the retrieval of game off designated routes except to a perpendicular distance of 300 feet from the edge of a route.


Nationwide, many areas require shotguns-only for deer hunting, based on the perception that shotgun slugs won't travel as far as centerfire rifle bullets. But these decisions should be based on science, not perception. And studies show the ballistics of modern slugs are rivaling, and in specific circumstances even surpassing, those of rifle bullets.


And while hunters' rights issues make up the heart of the site, there are 13 sections in all, and various ways for readers to provide comment. "Hunting Headlines" includes stories about new opportunities hunters need to be aware of, such as various states' efforts to increase public hunting lands and introduce new seasons. Two of the most popular columns are the monthly "Gift Giveaway" and the "Trophy Gallery," in which readers can share their best hunting photos. Also stay up to date on new products by checking into "Hunting Gear You Need," or click on "Range News" to see if there's a new place near you where you can sight-in before the season or just practice your marksmanship. "Dubious Regulations" is your chance to tell us about nonsensical laws, and "Eye on the Antis" keeps you aware of how groups like PETA and the Humane Society of the United States are trying to abolish hunting.


Perhaps most of all, the site is the primary source of information on what NRA is doing to protect your hunting rights. Through the combination of our political strength, our hunter recruitment programs and even our grant funding, there is simply no one group doing more for hunters than NRA. www.nrahuntersrights.org.



Ladies Night in the Archery Range

GURNEE, IL – Every Thursday in January is ladies’ night in the archery range at the Gurnee Bass Pro Shops. Join their archery staff for a night of beginning archery instruction and practice for women. Learn the basic stance and shooting techniques in our 6 lane facility, located at 6112 Grand Ave, Gurnee, IL. Many different targets will be available and all equipment will be provided.

So, save the dates Thursday January 10, 17, 24 and 31 from 7-9 p.m. This is a free class, but the number of participants is limited.  To register or for more information on ladies night in the archery range or other events and promotions at Bass Pro Shops Gurnee, contact Tisma Juett, Promotions Manager at 847-856-1229 - [email protected] .



Indiana Muskie club stocks fish in Barbee Lakes

The Hoosier Muskie Hunters purchased and stocked 1,000 muskellunge fingerlings into the Barbee Lakes in Kosciusko County on Dec. 6. The 7-14" long fish were purchased for $10,000 from Minnesota Muskie Farm in Alexandria, Minn. The fishing club stocked 200 fingerlings at Kuhn Lake boat ramp and 800 fingerlings along the north side of Big Barbee Lake.


"Despite their long trip, the fingerlings responded well when released," said Indiana DNR fisheries biologist Nate Thomas. "These fish give a much-needed boost to Indiana’s muskie stocking program this year," said Thomas, "Our egg-taking operation at Lake Webster came up short last spring and we had some challenging production problems in our hatchery, so we had fewer muskies to stock. The Hoosier Muskie Hunters helped make up the difference."


According to Thomas, 6,800 muskie fingerlings out of an expected 20,000 were produced at the DNR’s East Fork Hatchery in 2007. As a result, the DNR stocked 851 muskies, one per acre, in the Barbee Lakes in October. The DNR has 

stocked the Barbee Lakes with as many as 4,255 muskie fingerlings each year for the past several years.


"The willingness of the Hoosier Muskie Hunters to buy more fingerlings for the Barbee Lakes was based on their long-term support and interest in Indiana’s muskie stocking program. They bought and stocked the first 2,500 muskies for the Barbee Lakes in 1998 to get the program going," said Thomas.  Thomas expects DNR muskie production to return to normal in 2008 and additional club purchases will not be necessary.


The Barbee Lakes chain is seven interconnected natural lakes in Kosciusko County. The Hoosier Muskie Hunters is one of 50 chapters of Muskies, Inc., a national conservation organization with over 7,500 members working to conserve, protect and restore North America’s muskie fisheries.


Fish cannot be stocked into Indiana public waters without a permit from the DNR. More Indiana muskie fishing information: www.dnr.IN.gov/fishwild/fish/fishing/muskie.htm  


Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center Winter and Spring Events

The Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center, located next to Mitchell State Park on M-115 in Cadillac, will offer a wide array of nature and recreation programs for families this winter and spring. Most events take place on Saturdays.


On Jan. 5, the center will host a Snowmobile Safety Class from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required by calling 231-779-1321.

On Jan. 12, there will be a fly-tying workshop from noon to 3 p.m.  Equipment and materials will be provided. On Jan. 19, there will be cross-country skiing under a full moon from 6 to 9 p.m. On Jan. 26, there will be a Women*s Home Study Hunter Safety Class from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pre-registration for the class is required by Jan. 12.


On Feb. 2, the center will host the North American Snow Festival Ice Fishing Contest. Pre-registration is required. On Sunday, Feb. 3, the fly-tying workshop will be offered again from noon to 3 p.m. On Feb. 9, there will be a program presented on Michigan Mammals and the Fur Trade Era from noon to 2 p.m.


The Winter Free Fishing Weekend will be celebrated at the center on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 16 and 17, with several activities planned.

The fly-tying workshop also will be offered on Feb. 17 from noon to 3 p.m. All materials and equipment will be provided.

On Feb. 23, there will be cross country skiing under a full moon from 6 to 9 p.m. Refreshments will be provided.


On March 1, a fly-tying workshop will be held from noon to 3 p.m. There will be a Home Study Hunter Safety Class from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 8. Pre-registration is required. The deadline for registering is Feb. 23. On March 15, there will be laser shot shooting simulations offered from noon to 2 p.m. at the center. The center will be closed on Easter Weekend, March 22-23.


On April 5, there will be a program on Michigan Black Bears from noon to 2 p.m. Laser shot shooting simulations will be offered again on March 12 from noon to 2 p.m.


No Student Left Inside Day will be celebrated on Friday, April 18, at the center. There will be programs offered from 10 a.m. to noon. Only a few classes can be accommodated during that time, and educators should call ahead to schedule their classes to participate. The center also will observe Earth Day on Saturday, April 19, with special activities from noon to 2 p.m. On April 26, the center will have a Family Fun Range Day to celebrate the re-opening of the centers shooting and archery ranges for the season.


For more information on any of the programs or to pre-register for the programs, call the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center at 231-779-1321.

Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center Announces Winter 2008 Programs

An array of special programs geared toward nature and outdoor recreation is planned for this winter at the Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center at P.J. Hoffmaster State Park near Muskegon.


On Saturday, Jan. 26, there will be a Family Snowshoe Hike starting at 11 a.m. The Gillette Nature Association will host the program, and

*loaner* snowshoes will be available for participants who do not own a pair. Reservations for snowshoes are recommended and can be made by calling the visitor center at 231-798-3573.


On Thursday, Jan. 31, Ottawa County Parks Naturalist Chip Francke will talk about the effort being made to preserve green space and unique natural resources in Ottawa County. Francke will discuss the county park system and the development of the county*s new nature center at Hemlock Crossing. This program, which begins at 7 p.m., is sponsored by the Gillette Nature Association and is part of the center*s ongoing Sand Dune Speaker Series.


On Saturday, Feb. 9, there will be an Owl Prowl led by Don Petersen, who will give a presentation on Hoffmaster*s resident owls. The program begins at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, Feb. 16, there will be an Evening Snowshoe Hike around the park. The program begins at 7 p.m. and is sponsored by the Gillette Nature Association. Reservations for *loaner* snowshoes are recommended and can by made by calling the visitor center at 231-798-3573.


On Thursday, Feb. 28, Ed Hansen from Hope College will join his fellow researchers, Deanna vanDijk of Calvin College and John Legge of The Nature Conservancy, to do a presentation called *Living With Dunes From a Scientific Perspective* -- about Michigan*s unique sand dunes and their latest research findings. The program begins at 7 p.m. at the visitor center.


The Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center currently is closed for annual maintenance. The center will reopen on Jan. 26. All programs offered this winter are free; however, park visitors are required to have a Motor Vehicle Permit. Permits are available at the park entrance. The resident daily permit is $6 and the annual is $24. The non-resident daily is $8 and the annual is $29.


For more information about these programs, call the visitor center at 231-798-3573




State moves to protect 214 acres  on Little Darby Creek

Madison County Park District to manage the property

The Ohio DNR recently purchased 214 acres on Little Darby Creek in Madison County as an additional measure of protection for this state and national scenic river. The Madison County Commissioners will manage the acreage as parkland, under a lease agreement with ODNR.


The Robert T. Florence family formerly owned the property, which is located in Monroe Township. The Florence heirs had long expressed a desire to preserve their family farm and open it to public access. Funding for the $968,000 purchase was provided through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's Water Resource Restoration Sponsorship Program. Members of the Florence family have also established a fund 

to facilitate improvements associated with opening the property to the public.


"Little Darby Creek is one of the Midwest's most varied and important aquatic environments," said Steven Maurer, chief of the ODNR Division of Natural Areas & Preserves. "This purchase will help protect the stream, while providing public access to its singular beauty."


The purchase brings to 417.6 the number of acres now protected on Little Darby Creek either through outright purchases or conservation easements negotiated by ODNR. Aside from its designation as a state and national scenic river, The Nature Conservancy has named the creek one of the world's "last great places" for its diversity of freshwater mussels and other aquatic life.


Northern pike fishing heats up

VHS limits on dead bait and minnows spur new approaches

SPOONER – Get ready for some of the year's best fishing for northern pike.  Anglers and their quarry both find “early ice” a great time to get a bite to eat. Unlike many other game fish species, northern pike are most active when the water is cold. And when fish are feeding, anglers are in hot pursuit.


The combined effect is that northern pike, which are widely distributed across Wisconsin with the exception of southwestern and southeastern Wisconsin, are the only game fish species in which anglers catch and harvest more fish

during the winter than at any other time during the year.


The Wisconsin 2003 study found that fully 54 % of the pike caught during winter are kept, significantly higher than the 20 % harvest rate during the open water season. These rates are very similar to those from a 2000-2001 mail survey of Wisconsin anglers. The northern pike ice fishery is more of a food fishery compared to the open water fishery. It’s often largely resident anglers, compared to the open water season when vacationing non-resident anglers contribute to the total catch.


Ontario new Fishing Regulations – by region

TORONTO -- The 2008-2009 Ontario Fishing Regulations Summary is now available, Natural Resources Minister Donna Cansfield announced last week.


“A number of changes to Ontario’s fishing regulations come into effect on January 1, 2008, and these are outlined in the new summary,” said Cansfield. “The new regulations are easier to understand, provide a more consistent approach to managing fisheries, and help ensure the health and sustainability of the province’s fish populations.”


The regulation changes are part of the ministry’s new ecological framework for recreational fisheries management in Ontario. This includes managing fisheries on a zone basis rather than on an individual lake basis, reducing the number of fishing zones to 20 from 37 divisions and establishing zone councils to enhance public involvement. As part of the framework, the ministry is planning to implement a new broadscale fisheries monitoring program that will provide additional information for future management decisions.


Generally, anglers will notice few differences in seasons and limits for most species. However, some changes were needed to establish regulations for the new zones, conserve valuable fisheries resources and increase angling opportunities where sustainable. Anglers should check the summary carefully.


The 2008-2009 summary has improved text and maps to help users find regulations and make the summary easier to use.

“We welcome the release of the new fishing regulations, and are pleased that the changes are responsive to the interests of the angling community,” said Mike Reader, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters Executive Director. “I encourage all anglers to get a copy of the summary before going fishing.”


Residents of Canada should note the establishment of the new Canadian Resident Fishing Licences. To fish, residents of Ontario and Canada between the ages of 18 and 65 must have a valid Outdoors Card and fishing licence. Non-residents must have a valid fishing licence before they may fish in Ontario waters. Details on the types of licences available can be found in the summary or at ontario.ca/fishing.

The 2008-2009 Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary is now available at www.ontario.ca/fishing.  Copies can also be obtained from licence issuers and ServiceOntario/Government Information Centres.


Changes for Southern Ontario

Several changes to Ontario’s fishing regulations come into effect on January 1, 2008. The changes are part of the ministry’s new ecological framework for recreational fisheries management in Ontario. Under this approach, the ministry is managing fisheries on a zone basis rather than on a lake-by-lake basis.

The total number of Fisheries Management Zones (formerly Fishing Divisions) has been reduced to 20 across Ontario. Nine of the new Fisheries Management Zones (Zones) are located in Southern Ontario (12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20). A map of the zones is available at www.mnr.gov.on.ca/MNR/fishing/fmz/newzones.html#fmzmap


Some of the regulation changes include:

• Requiring ice hut registration in all southern Ontario Zones except Zone 13

• Extending the bass season by six weeks and northern pike season by four weeks in Zone 18

• Closing the winter lake trout season in a number of natural lake trout lakes in Zone 18

• Closing the winter season in a number of natural brook trout lakes in Zone 15

• Reducing catch limits for rainbow trout to two with a Sport Fishing Licence and to one with a Conservation Fishing Licence for Lake Ontario tributaries in Zones 16 and 17

• Some new perch, crappie and sunfish limits in many southern Ontario Zones

• Two lines may now be used from a boat in open water in Lake St. Clair in Zone 19

• American eel is a specially protected fish and has a closed all-year season.

The ministry also conducted a study of walleye in southern Ontario and held public consultation on proposed new walleye regulations for inland lakes in southern Ontario. Interim regulations were implemented to protect and rebuild populations until final regulations can be developed with the advice of the new Fisheries Management Advisory Councils proposed for each new zone. The interim regulations are:

• Walleye catch limit of four for a Sport Fishing Licence holder, with a limit of two for a Conservation Fishing Licence holder in Zones 15, 16, 17 and 18

• Walleye size limit was put in place in Zones 15, 16, 17 and 18, only one fish allowed over 46 cm (18.1 in.)

• Winter walleye seasons were reduced in length by two to eight weeks depending on the Zone

• An in-season size limit in Zone 12 is in place; between March 1 and June 15, all walleye must be less than 40 cm (15.8 in.)

• A limit of five walleye in Zone 12 for Sport Fishing Licence holders.


For complete details of regulation changes, refer to the 2008-2009 Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary. Before going fishing, anglers should carefully review the information outlined in the summary.

The 2008-2009 Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary is now available from licence issuers, ServiceOntario/Government Information Centres and on the ministry’s website at www.ontario.ca/fishing.


Changes for NE Ontario

Several changes to Ontario’s fishing regulations come into effect on January 1, 2008. The changes are part of the ministry’s new ecological framework for recreational fisheries management in Ontario. Under this approach, the ministry is managing fisheries on a zone basis rather than on a lake-by-lake basis.


The total number of Fisheries Management Zones (formerly Fishing Divisions) has been reduced to 20 across Ontario. Seven of the new Fisheries Management Zones (Zones) are located in northeast Ontario (1, 3, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 14). Zone 7 is an amalgamation of old fishing divisions from northeast and northwest Ontario, while Zones 10 and 11 include parts of

former southern region divisions. A map of the zones is available at


There are several regulation changes within the seven new zones which affect species, seasons and limits. One change is extended seasons and limits for stocked waters.


Some of the regulation changes include:

• Reducing native lake trout and brook trout catch limits and seasons in Zone 11 (lake trout limit reduced to two under a Sport Fishing Licence; brook trout new size limit of only one fish larger than 31 cm (12.2 in.)); lake trout and brook trout winter season reduced by six weeks with opening on February 15 rather than January 1

• Implementing a walleye slot limit in Zone 11 of none between 43-60 cm (16.9-23.6 in.) and only one over 60 cm (23.6 in.)

• Reducing walleye winter season in Zone 11 (closing date of the Monday following the third Sunday in March – March 17 in 2008) and in Zone 10 (closing date of April 1 rather than April 15)

• Requiring ice hut registration for the first time in Zone 10

• Putting in place a brook trout size limit and a two-week season reduction in the eastern half of Zone 7 (limit of five, only two fish larger than 30 cm (11.8 in.), only one of which can be larger than 40 cm (15.8 in.) with a Sport Fishing Licence; limit of two, only one greater than 30 cm (11.8 in.) and none greater than 40 cm (15.8 in) with a Conservation Fishing Licence).


For complete details of regulation changes, refer to the 2008-2009 Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary. Before going fishing, anglers should carefully review the information outlined in the summary.

The 2008-2009 Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary is now available from licence issuers, ServiceOntario/Government Information Centres and on the ministry’s website at ontario.ca/fishing.


Changes for NW Ontario

Several changes to Ontario’s fishing regulations come into effect on January 1, 2008. The changes are part of the ministry’s new ecological framework for recreational fisheries management in Ontario. Under this approach, the ministry is managing fisheries on a zone basis rather than on a lake-by-lake basis.


The total number of Fisheries Management Zones (formerly Fishing Divisions) has been reduced to 20 across Ontario. Six of the Fisheries Management Zones (Zones) are located in northwest Ontario (2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9). Most anglers in the northwest Region will not notice a significant change in regulations; however, in some cases it was necessary to harmonize different regulations from the former Fishing Divisions. Zone 7 is an amalgamation of Fishing Divisions from the ministry’s northwest and northeast regions and includes regulations from both regions. More than 150 (25 per cent) redundant exceptions have been removed from the regulations in the northwest, making it much simpler for an angler to fish and follow the regulations. A map of the zones is available at http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/MNR/fishing/fmz/newzones.html#fmzmap.


Some of the regulation changes include:

• Opening all stocked trout waters (put-grow-and-take lakes) for angling year-round

• Holders of a valid fishing licence can now dip net for whitefish without a special permit from October 1 to November 15 (limits are the same as angling limits)

• Reducing the lake sturgeon season to run from January 1 to April 30, and July 1 to December 31 for northwest zones (one fish with Sport Fishing Licence in Zones 2, 4 and 5, with minimum length 190 cm (74.8 in.) in Zones 4 and 5)

• Implementing a brook trout size limit in Zones 2 and 4 (season from January 1 to Labour Day, with a five fish limit for a Sport Fishing Licence, two fish limit for a Conservation Fishing Licence, only one fish greater than 30 cm (11.8 in.))

• New sunfish limits (50 with a Sport Fishing Licence and 25 with a Conservation Fishing Licence)

• There are a number of changes to the regulations in the western part of Zone 7 in the Northwest Region as many of the regulations from the Northeast Region have been adopted zone-wide. Anglers should particularly note changes for northern pike, bass, and trout species in the summary.


For complete details of regulation changes, refer to the 2008-2009 Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary. Before going fishing, anglers should carefully review the information outlined in the summary.


The 2008-2009 Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary is now available from licence issuers, ServiceOntario/Government Information Centres and on the ministry’s website at www.ontario.ca/fishing.


St. Clair R/Lake St. Clair/Detroit R/Lake Erie/upper Niagara R

 St. Clair R/Lake St. Clair/Detroit R/Lake Erie/upper Niagara River are now found in Zone 19. Southwestern Ontario is Zone 16


Important changes for 2008-09 in Zone 16 and 19 are:

• Two rods while fishing from a boat in open water on Lake St. Clair

• No more pike spearing

• Zero limit for sturgeon on the Detroit R

• Personnel baitfish limit is 120, even if purchased

• Crayfish limit is 36 and must be from water in which you are fishing

• No longer able to use yellow perch and alewife as bait

• Anglers cannot release live bait or empty contents of bait bucket, including water, into any waters

• All ice huts must now be registered in zones 16 & 19 walleye

• Pike seasons open year round on Thames R. below Kiel St and Sydenham R. below Dresden

• No longer a sanctuary on Thames River but season closed Mar 16 – 2nd Sat in May

• Grand River – Lake Erie to Caledonia – walleye limit 4/2 and no size limit

• Grand River – Lake Erie to Onondaga/Tuscarora Twp – walleye and pike closed March 1 to 2nd Saturday in May

• Anglers fishing from a boat many now catch and retain, and selectively live release, more walleye, northern pike, largemouth or smallmouth bass, provided.


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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