Week of December 17, 2012

Beyond the Great Lakes
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
National

Regional

General

Illinois
Michigan
New York
Pennsylvania
Wisconsin
Other Breaking News Items

 

       Weekly News Archives

                         or

       New Product  Archives

Beyond the Great Lakes

Cabela’s to hire 200 to Staff Louisville, Ky. store
Applications being accepted now, according to GM Bob Johnson

SIDNEY, Neb. (Dec. 10, 2012) – Cabela’s Incorporated, the World’s Foremost Outfitter® of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, announced today plans to hire about 200 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees to staff its Louisville, Ky., store slated to open next spring.

Interviews will begin in January and Cabela’s expects most of the staffers to come from Louisville and the surrounding area.

 

To apply, visit www.cabelas.jobs, click on “Apply Now,” then “United States Jobs.” Then follow instructions to log in and complete the application process. Applications must be submitted online. 

 

Applying does not guarantee an interview. Those advancing to the next stage will be contacted by Cabela’s officials to schedule an interview date

and time.  “We are looking for hard-working, dedicated employees who

are passionate about delivering superior customer service,” said Bob Johnson, general manager of the new store who has 25 years of retail experience. “We are looking for people who are friendly, committed to working as a team and represent the outdoor lifestyle in a positive way.”

 

The 88,000-sq ft store – Cabela’s first in Kentucky – will be located at 5100 Norton Healthcare Blvd. in the Old Brownsboro Crossing development at the intersections of Interstates 265 and 71. It will feature thousands of quality outdoor products, dynamic wildlife displays, a mountain replica, Gun Library, Bargain Cave, indoor archery range and more.

 

Currently, Cabela’s operates 40 stores across North America with plans to open an additional 12 by the end of 2014, including nine in 2013.


Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

M-Pro 7 Launches Combat Care to Support military

Deployed U.S. Service Men and Women

Overland Park, Kan. - M-Pro 7, a brand of Bushnell and leading provider of military-grade weapons maintenance products, has introduced a new care package program for deployed U.S. military personnel. The new program, Combat Care, was introduced to support the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect our safety and freedom.

 

M-Pro 7 shipped its first military care package nearly five years ago, providing deployed service members with various sundries and weapons-maintenance products during their deployment. After receiving numerous inquiries from consumers requesting assistance on behalf of deployed friends and family members, M-Pro 7 established Combat Care.

 

Combat Care gives M-Pro 7 consumers a unique opportunity to support friends and family members while they are deployed. The program is

simple: visit http://www.mpro7.com/combat-care.html and complete the

online request form. As supplies allow, M-Pro 7 will assemble a Combat Care kit on your behalf and ship it to the soldier free of charge. The packages generally include a variety of combat support items, personal hygiene products and magazines.

 

Everyone can support Combat Care by spreading the word and helping M-Pro 7 give back to the courageous men and women serving our country. For more information about M-Pro 7 and its complete line of tactical-grade cleaning supplies, visit www.mpro7.com or call 1-800-423-3537.

  

M-Pro7 Weapons Maintenance products were specially designed for the military, law enforcement and high use weapons. M-Pro 7 technology reduces weapon maintenance time up to 80 percent, exceeds MILSPEC cleaning system requirements and is commercially transportable worldwide. In line with the standards for safe technology established by Pantheon Enterprise, all M-Pro 7 products are odorless, non-toxic, non-hazardous, biodegradable, non-flammable and environmentally friendly.


National

IL - Federal court tosses IL ban on carrying concealed weapons

SPRINGFIELD-Illinois will no longer be known as the only state in the United States that forbids carrying concealed weapons entirely

 

In a huge win for gun-rights groups, a federal appeals court in Chicago December 11 tossed the state's ban and announced it was deemed unconstitutional and that ordinary citizens will be allowed to carry weapons. They gave Illinois lawmakers 180 days to "craft a new gun law that will legalize concealed carry while imposing reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment as interpreted in this opinion, on the carrying of guns in public.

 

In its majority opinion, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in two cases downstate that challenged the state's longstanding prohibition against carrying concealed weapons. Click here for the full ruling majority opinion

 

Federal judges Posner and Flaum voted to overturn the state ban, Judge Williams dissented.

 

"We are disinclined to engage in another round of historical analysis to determine whether eighteenth-century America understood the Second Amendment to include a right to bear guns outside the home," Judge Richard Posner wrote in the court's majority opinion.

"The Supreme Court has decided that the amendment confers a right to bear arms for self-defense, which is as important outside the home as inside. The theoretical and empirical evidence (which overall is inconclusive) is consistent with concluding that a right to carry firearms in public may promote self-defense," he continued.

 

"Illinois had to provide us with more than merely a rational basis for believing that its uniquely sweeping ban is justified by an increase in public safety. It has failed to meet this burden," Posner wrote.

 

Illinois House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) said she still hoped the state will appeal the ruling, but in the meantime, lawmakers must craft a law that models other states’, such as not allowing concealed carry in day-care and other places, according to the Chicago Tribune.

 

"The Supreme Court's interpretation of the Second Amendment therefore

compels us to reverse the decisions in the two cases before us and remand them to their respective district courts for the entry of declarations of unconstitutionality and permanent injunctions," he continued. "Nevertheless we order our mandate stayed for 180 days to allow the Illinois legislature to craft a new gun law that will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment as interpreted in this opinion, on the carrying of guns in public," Posner said.

 

Attorney General Lisa Madigan defended the state's prohibition of concealed carry.

 

"Today's ruling is a major victory for law-abiding Illinoisans—and for everyone who understands that the Second Amendment protects the right both to keep arms, and to bear arms," added Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. "This ruling makes clear that Illinois cannot deny law-abiding residents the right to carry a firearm for self-defense outside the home. This is a step in the right direction for all gun owners. We know it probably won’t be the end of this case, and we’re ready to keep fighting until the courts fully protect the entire Second Amendment."

 

According to the Sun-Times the move to legalize concealed weapons could surface as soon as the January lame-duck session but is more likely to drag into the spring with a debate now no longer centering on whether to permit concealed carry but where — or where not — to permit it, such as college campuses, bars, sports arenas and movie theaters.  The timing hinges on Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s plans. She still hasn’t said whether she intends to appeal  the dramatic ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court – a recognized effort of futility and waste of more taxpayer dollars since the High Court has already ruled in the affirmative for Second Amendment issues.

 

(Editor Note: For those still doubting the value of concealed carry laws, University of Chicago Professor Lott studied mass shooting deaths and injuries in 14 states that adopted right-to-carry laws between 1987 and 1995. Before the states passed right-to-carry laws, their number of mass shootings per 100,000 people was .0136. After they passed right-to-carry legislation, that figure dropped to .002 per 100,000 people — an 84 % drop, his study found.)

 


Regional

Asian Carp Sampling Summary

NO Bighead or silver carp reported, captured or observed

A sampling summary for the week of October 22, with all data reviewed in the monitored area of the Chicago Area Waterway system and upper Illinois Waterway upstream and downstream of the Dispersal Barrier showed  No BIGHEAD or SILVER carp were reported captured or observed upstream of the Barrier, nor were any found in new locations downstream of the Barrier. 

Two crews from IDNR obtained 87 water samples for eDNA analysis from the Lake Calumet and Little Calumet River sampling stations on Monday,October 22.  Inclement weather prevented the entire set of targeted samples from being collected this week.  Samples were filtered at the USEPA lab in Chicago and forwarded to ERDC in Vicksburg, MS for analysis.  Results of eDNA analysis will be reported on the USACE web site listed below as they become available.  This was the last scheduled eDNA sampling event for the 2012 field season.


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Dec 14 

WEATHER CONDITIONS

Most areas of the Great Lakes basin received some precipitation on Sunday or Monday, and temperatures started the week near seasonal averages. Temperatures rose slightly later in the week and are expected to remain a little above average through the weekend. Friday will be partly cloudy across the Great Lakes, and chances of rain or snow showers are forecasted for Saturday and Sunday.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

The water level of Lake Superior is 1 inch lower than its level of one year ago, while Lake Michigan-Huron is 17 inches lower than its level from last year. Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 21, 24, and 14 inches, respectively, lower than their levels of a year ago. Over the next month, Lake Superior is forecasted to drop 3 inches from its current level while Lake Michigan-Huron is expected to fall 2 inches. The water level of Lake St. Clair is expected to remain at its current level, while Lake Erie is expected to decline 1 inch. Lake Ontario is predicted to rise 1 inch over the next thirty days. .

FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior's outflow through the St. Marys River is projected to be below average for the month of December. Lake Huron's outflow into the St. Clair River and the outflow from Lake St. Clair into the Detroit River are also expected to be below average throughout the month of December.

Lake Erie's outflow through the Niagara River and the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River are predicted to be below average in December.

ALERTS

Official records are based on monthly average water levels and not daily water levels. Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron are below chart datum. 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 Dec 14

600.6

576.2

572.5

570.2

243.6

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

-6

-16

+2

+12

+4

Diff last month

-2

-3

-3

-3

-2

Diff from last yr

-1

-17

-21

-24

-14


General

Animal Rights Terrorist Goes to Jail

The founder of the militant “Negotiation is Over” animal rights website, Camille Marino, was recently sentenced to six months in jail in Michigan for harassing a university professor and trespassing on university property.

According to Americans for Medical Progress, Marino was being held in jail for harassing a Wayne State University professor by posting his name and address on her radical website. That professor received threats as a result of Marino’s actions, and he obtained a personal protection court order against Marino.


Illinois

Federal court tosses IL ban on carrying concealed weapons

SPRINGFIELD-Illinois will no longer be known as the only state in the United States that forbids carrying concealed weapons entirely

 

In a huge win for gun-rights groups, a federal appeals court in Chicago December 11 tossed the state's ban and announced it was deemed unconstitutional and that ordinary citizens will be allowed to carry weapons. They gave Illinois lawmakers 180 days to "craft a new gun law that will legalize concealed carry while imposing reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment as interpreted in this opinion, on the carrying of guns in public.

 

In its majority opinion, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in two cases downstate that challenged the state's longstanding prohibition against carrying concealed weapons. Click here for the full ruling majority opinion

 

Federal judges Posner and Flaum voted to overturn the state ban, Judge Williams dissented.

 

"We are disinclined to engage in another round of historical analysis to determine whether eighteenth-century America understood the Second Amendment to include a right to bear guns outside the home," Judge Richard Posner wrote in the court's majority opinion.

"The Supreme Court has decided that the amendment confers a right to bear arms for self-defense, which is as important outside the home as inside. The theoretical and empirical evidence (which overall is inconclusive) is consistent with concluding that a right to carry firearms in public may promote self-defense," he continued.

 

"Illinois had to provide us with more than merely a rational basis for believing that its uniquely sweeping ban is justified by an increase in public safety. It has failed to meet this burden," Posner wrote.

 

Illinois House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) said she still hoped the state will appeal the ruling, but in the meantime, lawmakers must craft a law that models other states’, such as not allowing concealed carry in day-care and other places, according to the Chicago Tribune.

 

"The Supreme Court's interpretation of the Second Amendment therefore

 

compels us to reverse the decisions in the two cases before us and remand them to their respective district courts for the entry of declarations of unconstitutionality and permanent injunctions," he continued. "Nevertheless we order our mandate stayed for 180 days to allow the Illinois legislature to craft a new gun law that will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment as interpreted in this opinion, on the carrying of guns in public," Posner said.

 

Attorney General Lisa Madigan defended the state's prohibition of concealed carry.

 

"Today's ruling is a major victory for law-abiding Illinoisans—and for everyone who understands that the Second Amendment protects the right both to keep arms, and to bear arms," added Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. "This ruling makes clear that Illinois cannot deny law-abiding residents the right to carry a firearm for self-defense outside the home. This is a step in the right direction for all gun owners. We know it probably won’t be the end of this case, and we’re ready to keep fighting until the courts fully protect the entire Second Amendment."

 

According to the Sun-Times the move to legalize concealed weapons could surface as soon as the January lame-duck session but is more likely to drag into the spring with a debate now no longer centering on whether to permit concealed carry but where — or where not — to permit it, such as college campuses, bars, sports arenas and movie theaters.  The timing hinges on Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s plans. She still hasn’t said whether she intends to appeal  the dramatic ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court – a recognized effort of futility and waste of more taxpayer dollars since the High Court has already ruled in the affirmative for Second Amendment issues.

 

(Editor Note: For those still doubting the value of concealed carry laws, University of Chicago Professor Lott studied mass shooting deaths and injuries in 14 states that adopted right-to-carry laws between 1987 and 1995. Before the states passed right-to-carry laws, their number of mass shootings per 100,000 people was .0136. After they passed right-to-carry legislation, that figure dropped to .002 per 100,000 people — an 84 % drop, his study found.)


Chicago vows to fight concealed carry ruling
CHICAGO (AP) - With parts of the city in the grip of gang warfare and spiking homicide rates, Chicago aldermen urged state officials to appeal an appellate court's decision tossing Illinois' ban on concealed weapons, with some suggesting they might launch their own legal battle.

 

Outside a City Council meeting Wednesday, one alderman after another said they are so concerned that lifting the ban could lead to more gun violence that they are willing to write a new city ordinance even if it triggers a lengthy and expensive court fight.

 

Several alderman pointed to how quickly they crafted one of the strictest handgun ordinances in the nation after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2010 nullified Chicago's 28-year-old handgun ban, saying they must do something to stop what they worry would be even more bloodshed on the city's streets.

 

At one point last spring, the city's murder rate was up about 60 percent

 

over last year, mostly due to gang feuds in some of the city's toughest neighborhoods. More recently, murders were up about 25 percent. City and police officials have launched a number of initiatives to bring the violence under control, including basing more officers in problem areas and tearing down vacant buildings that have become gang hangouts.

One thing in Chicago's favor is that Illinois is one of only six states that have what is called "home rule," which allows local jurisdictions to write their own gun laws.

 

In all of those other states, including California and Connecticut, home rule has given local law enforcement officials discretion in issuing permits and requiring applicants to demonstrate good cause for carrying, said Brian Malte, of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

"I know if we do have that ability there will be several, if not the vast majority of the aldermen, who would want to put their arms around that," said Alderman Joe Moore.

 


DNR Sustainability Funding Bill

DNR Director Miller approves Senate Bill 1566, a crucial funding bill for DNR

SPRINGFIELD – “This vote is a victory for conservation and the environment in Illinois; it is also a victory for the economy and communities across the state that use and rely on the services the IDNR provides on a daily basis", said DNR Director Marc Miller.  "I commend State Representative Frank Mautino and State Senator Toi Hutchinson for their leadership and hard work leading up to today’s action.  I also want to thank the members of Illinois’ General Assembly who supported this bill, which will allow us to meet the needs of constituents, including those who use our state parks in the years to come.”

 

“While it’s important to remember that capturing these new funds will take time, we will work as quickly as we can to put the new revenues toward their intended purpose. Passage of this bill will help us hire critical staff to maintain state parks, fix aging infrastructure, speed up regulatory functions and make a bigger difference in the lives of everyone we serve,” added Miller.

 

Highlights of the bill include:

• To support the state parks system, assess a $2 surcharge on motor vehicle registrations of passenger cars and trucks, motorcycles, motor driven cycles and pedalcycles.  The fee will support the state parks system’s operational and maintenance needs, including road and facility construction.  There will be a fee to non-residents who use our state parks and other sites.  With SB 1566, there is no site entrance fee for Illinois residents.

• Assess a consultation fee to support IDNR’s consultation services performed for state and local governments under the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Act and Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act.  IDNR receives an average of 5,000 consultation requests each year which are an essential part of economic development.

• Charge an application fee to entities applying for IDNR-administered capital grants.  The modest fee will support the Grants staff.  OSLAD is exempt. 

• Cost recovery for National Heritage Database access, maintenance, and expansion.  The single most complete source of information about rare, threatened, and endangered species in the State of Illinois, the Natural Heritage Database is a valuable and highly sought-after resource, especially with the increase in large wind and energy projects.

• Assess a fee per application for permits issued under the Rivers, Lakes, and Streams Act.  The Office of Water Resources reviewed and processed 1,118 highly technical permit applications in the previous five years.  Delays in review and processing prevent projects from moving forward and inhibit economic development.

• Establish an Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Usage Stamp in lieu of OHV registration.

• Charge an Illinois State Museum entrance fee.

• Charge fees to use a public beach, bike trail, and equestrian trail.

• To support the Office of Mines and Minerals, implement a permit revision fee and a fee structure for title-specific certifications in the coal mining industry; increase certain operating and reclamation fees paid by the aggregate mining industry; and increase or establish oil and gas well permit and assessment fees.

• Increase certain non-resident and commercial fishing fees.  The resident sport fishing license fee will not increase.

• Increase fees and extend license/permit expiration dates for a falconry license, captive propagation permit, and raptor capture permit.  These changes are consistent with new federal regulations regarding the expiration date of these licenses and permits. 

• Assess a fee for a scientific or special purpose permit. 

• Presently, $2 from the fee collected for each certificate of title, duplicate certificate of title, and corrected certificate of title is deposited in the Park and Conservation Fund to support development of bike trails.  IDNR proposes an increase from $2 to $3.25.

• Establish the Illinois Fisheries Management Fund and direct 20% of the revenue IDNR receives from vehicle titling fees (certificate of title, duplicate certificate of titles, and corrected certificate of title) to this fund.

• Increase registration fees on motorized watercraft.  Additionally, replace registration of canoes and kayaks with a Paddle Pass.  The Paddle Pass is an annual stamp to use a “non-powered watercraft” in the State of Illinois.

 

All of the proceeds from these fee increases would have been dedicated for use by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to maintain and operate the State park system and the Illinois State Museum.  

 

Senate Bill 1566 passed the Illinois Senate by a vote of 39-11 and had earlier been approved by the House and  is now waiting for the Governor’s signature.


Michigan

New signs added to state snowmobile trails

The Michigan DNR is reminding snowmobilers of changes to the snowmobile trail signage system on state trails, including the addition of five new sign types and the elimination of 10 sign types used in past years.

 

The changes were implemented based on recommendations submitted by a DNR citizens’ advisory workgroup, comprised of motorized trail users, trail maintenance organizations, members of the DNR’s Snowmobile Advisory Workgroup and the Michigan Snowmobile Association. Technical support for the workgroup was provided by recreation and law enforcement staff from the DNR and the U.S. Forest Service.

 

"The changes to the motorized trail signage program are the result of a collaborative process with stakeholder groups and should be a real improvement for trail users," said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR's Parks and Recreation Division. "The sign reductions will result in less clutter along the trails and provide for more consistency statewide."

 

The workgroup’s recommended changes are designed to improve safety on Michigan’s 6,400 miles of designated snowmobile trails and provide consistent guidance to the 68 nonprofit organizations that partner with the DNR to maintain the trail system.

 

"Several of the other snowmobile states, and Ontario, have reduced their trail signs and have seen a reduction in accidents. Our objective is to provide a safe, family-oriented trail system for snowmobiling in Michigan,” said Bill Manson, executive director of the Michigan Snowmobile Association.

 

The following signs have been eliminated and will be removed from state snowmobile trails:

Bridge Ahead

Chevron

Deer Crossing

Drift Area

Narrow Bridge

Narrow Trail

Trail Crossing

Truck Traffic

Two Way Trail

Winding Trail

 

New signs added to state snowmobile trails

Combination Horizontal Alignment/Intersection (left and right)

• Bright yellow signs with directional arrows give notice of changes in horizontal trail alignment of less than 90 degrees where an intersection occurs within or immediately adjacent to a turn

Private Drives Ahead

• Warn trail users where driveways cross a snowmobile trail

One-Direction Large Arrow (left and right)

• Large yellow, reflective signs (10 x 12 inches) with a black arrow and border give notice of changes in horizontal trail alignment of 90 degrees or more

Next (number of) Miles

• A supplemental sign that may be used below “Private Drives Ahead” sign to indicate how long the stretch of private drives runs

Trail Closed to Wheeled Motor Vehicles Ahead

• Used on state or federal land prior to the point where a designated state snowmobile trail enters private property where the use of wheeled motorized vehicles is prohibited

The DNR will continue to mark 90-degree turns with "sharp turn" warning signs supplemented with a new directional arrow.

 

For illustrations of the signs that will be used to mark Michigan’s snowmobile trails and more information about snowmobiling in Michigan, including trail maps with downloadable GPS coordinates, visit www.michigan.gov/snowmobiling .


New York

Letters to Hurricane Victims Claiming To Be From “Dept. Of Remediation” a Marketing Scam
Individuals in the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy should beware of a solicitation letter sent out by GC Environmental, Inc., a private company with no affiliation with the State of New York, falsely claiming to be from the “Department of Remediation,” the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) warned today. The letter states that homeowners will be fined $25,000 per day for failing to clean up their residences from oil spills after the storm and featured a likeness of DEC’s logo.

 

“In the immediate aftermath of the Hurricane, DEC provided spill cleanup services to more than 2,200 residences. For these actions, DEC will not seek cost recovery from the homeowners,” DEC Commissioner Joe

Martens said. “It is unconscionable that a company would try to take advantage of hurricane victims by threatening fines and then promoting the company as the solution.”

 

The misleading GC Environmental letter points out sections of the New York State Navigation Law that requires those responsible for oil spills to promptly clean up those discharges, and that there could be a penalty of $25,000 a day for failure to complete that cleanup.  It also states that any costs related to DEC’s actions in spill cleanup would be the responsibility of the spiller. 

 

DEC will not fine homeowners for discharging oil without a permit or for delaying cleanup of residential oil spills due to Hurricane Sandy. 

No services of this company are being offered with the approval of DEC.


Pennsylvania

PA reminds hunters to report deer harvests

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is encouraging hunters to take the time to report harvested deer through the online reporting system, through the new toll-free Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone reporting system or the postage-paid report cards provided free to each license buyer.

 

To report a deer harvest online, go to the Game Commission's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on "Report Your Harvest" above the "Quick Clicks" box in the right-hand column, click on "You can link to PALS by clicking here," check "Harvest Reporting," scroll down and click on the "Start Here" button at the bottom of the page, choose the method of validating license information, and click on the checkbox for the harvest

tag being reported. A series of options will appear for a hunter to report a harvest. After filling in the harvest information, click on the "Continue" button to review the report and then hit the "Submit" button to complete the report. Failing to hit the "Submit" button will result in a harvest report not being completed.
 

The toll-free Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone harvest reporting system can be accessed by dialing 1-855-PAHUNT1 (1-855-724-8681). Hunters should have their Customer Identification Number (hunting license number) and field harvest tag information with them when they call, and should speak clearly and distinctly when reporting harvests, especially when providing the Wildlife Management Unit number and letter.


Wisconsin

Scientists Mix Up Water Temperatures to Kill Invasive Species

Great Lakes Echo reports University of Wisconsin scientists are studying how mixing the water in a lake could eliminate an invasive fish.  The technology works by moving large air bladders up and down the depth of a lake, mixing the water and raising its temperature to where it is intolerable for the fish, said Jake Vander Zanden, supervisor of the study.

 

The bladders are much like gigantic trampolines, Vander Zanden said. They’re about 25 feet across. Air is pumped in and out so it rises and falls.  The project is designed to eliminate invasive rainbow smelt from the small Crystal Lake in Vilas County, Wis. If successful, it may be applied to other lakes where smelt have invaded and decimated native populations of yellow perch, lake whitefish, northern cisco and commercially important walleye.

 

“They are highly predatory and voracious,” said Vander Zanden. “(They have) really big teeth and they specialize in feeding on the young of other fish species.” The smelt can only live in the cold water at the bottom of the lakes. That’s where the mixing comes in. A typical northern Wisconsin lake is stratified with warm waters on top and colder waters on the bottom, said Jordan Read, the developer of the technology. “That’s because warmer water is less dense than colder water.”

 

When the mixer, called a Gradual Entrainment Lake Inverter, homogenizes the temperature of the lake, native species are unaffected. But rainbow smelt will become stressed and perhaps die, the scientists said.  After some initial testing on Crystal Lake last summer, Vander Zanden said it’s hard to tell exactly what’s happening with the rainbow smelt.

 

“They didn’t have a massive die off where, you know, they’re all floating up at the surface,” he said. “Our goal was to get the lake up to 21 degrees Celsius because laboratory studies that put rainbow smelt in 21 degrees

show that (they) die almost immediately.  “We warmed up the lake until

about 21 degrees for a long period of time. Rainbow smelt were acting very weird. They clearly were stressed, but it looks like there are still some rainbow smelt out there in the lake.”

 

The scientists need to collect data up until the lake freezes before they can calculate how many live smelt remain, he said. “A lot of them have died, but there are still some that have somehow managed to survive.”  Young rainbow smelt like warm waters, but the adults are cold-water dwellers, said Zachary Lawson, a graduate student on the project. So it takes more than a year of the method to kill both adults and the young fish that are invulnerable until they grow to be adults.

 

“The idea is to mix the lake the first year to remove the adults, the second year to remove the young from the previous year and then mix it the third year just to make sure we get all of them,” Lawson said. Also, “the stressed fish from this past summer still have to make it through the entire ice-on season, which is normally a pretty difficult environment for fish anyways, (those) that aren’t stressed,” he said.

 

The researchers mixed the lake for the first time last summer.  Other methods for mixing lakes have been used to control water quality, such as providing aeration, said Read. That technique works by pumping air to the lake bottom and letting bubbles rise to the surface.

But for deep lakes like Crystal Lake, the amount of energy required to get compressed air 65- to 70-feet deep is very expensive, he said.

The new inverters do something similar but more efficiently. The air bladder is like a giant bubble. The larger the size, the larger the wake, which means more water is mixed.

 

“The end result is that we use less air to generate a similar amount of mixing potential,” Read said. The testing will go on for another two summers, after which the scientists hope to intensively monitor the lake for another year or two, Lawson said.


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

 

Michigan expands Great Lakes muskie stock
The muskie production program of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has turned a huge corner by stocking only Great Lakes muskies after using northern muskies for decades

 

Michigan expands Great Lakes muskie stock
The muskie production program of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has turned a huge corner by stocking only Great Lakes muskies after using northern muskies for decades

 

 Limiting chinook salmon stocking next year begins

A meeting to collect input on chinook stocking was held Dec. 1 at Lakeshore College in Cleveland, WI.  Fifty-six anglers, commercial fishermen and DNR employees attended, including DNR Secretary Stepp, executive assistant Scott Gunderson and fish chief Mike Staggs. The meeting was moderated by Phil Moy of Wisconsin Sea Grant.

 

 

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.

arrowUSFWS Press Releases  arrowSea Grant News

State Fish Pages

Illinois - Indiana - Michigan - Minnesota - Ohio - Pennsylvania - New York - Wisconsin - Ontario

 

Home | Great Lakes States | Membership | Exotics Update | Great Links

Pending Issues | Regional News | Great Lakes Basin Report | Weekly News / Archives