Week of January 6, 2014

Famous Quotes
Misc New Fishing-Boating Products

2nd Amendment Issues
Veterans Issues

Other Breaking News Items


       Weekly News Archives


       New Product  Archives

Famous Quotes

Famous Quotes

The Nation that forgets its Defenders will be itself forgotten

President Calvin Coolidge


Misc New Fishing-Boating Products

Catch More Crowded Crappies

by Daniel Quade

Visions of icing slab crappies seldom include crowds of anglers. More often, sweet dreams of icy nirvana center on remote backcountry waters or hidden gems that somehow fly under the masses’ radar. However, while untapped fisheries can be dynamite, you can also enjoy banner catches on waters besieged by the bucket brigade.


Panfish fanatic Paul Fournier knows the drill. Years of practicing his craft on hard-hit lakes sprinkled across central Minnesota’s Minneapolis-St. Paul megatropolis have left him well versed on tackling pressure-cooker crappies. His finely tuned tactics include a blend of pre-trip recon and refined fishing strategies to ice slabs that elude other anglers.


“Start by doing your homework, so you know as much as possible about a lake before you get there,” he said. Prior to an outing, Fournier scours lake maps for trends in depths and structural subtleties, often breaking lakes into one of two categories based on whether it has a deep or shallow basin.

In systems characterized by deep water, crappies often frequent the same locations in early winter as they did in late fall, such as the outside edge of deep weedlines that are adjacent to deep water. The depth of the edge varies by lake, but 10 to 15 feet is a common range on many waters. Often, crappies slide out deeper to gather over nearby soft-bottom basins as winter progresses.


Finding fish in shallow-basin lakes is often a matter of ferreting out the deepest water available. “Depth is relative, but for example, a 20-foot hole in a lake with lots of 12- to 16-foot water can be a hot zone,” he says. In total bathtubs, factors such as well-oxygenated inflows, bottom content changes and subtle differences in weed growth or woody cover can channel fish activity.


Such physical distinctions help guide Fournier’s on-ice search efforts, but he also brushes up on the fishery’s forage base. Finding out whether the crappies are feasting on insects or eating other fish, including minnows, young-of-the-year perch or even juvenile panfish, also steers him toward potential drop zones. For example, an abundance of food in shallow, still-green vegetation can hold slabs in surprisingly skinny water, offering savvy anglers a shot at unpressured panfish, even while offshore schools suffer wholesale slaughter in mob scenes barely a long cast away.


Once Fournier settles on a likely fishing area, he focuses on primary strike zones comprised of the best structure or cover the spot has to offer. “Examples include the tip of a point extending into deeper water, and an inside turn on a drop-off or weedline,” he said.


Rather than punching a hole or two and hunkering down over such a sweet spot, he drills out a 20-hole grid pattern that starts shallow, covers the edge of the break or transition line, and stretches into deep water. Drilling completed, he quietly walks from hole to hole, using sonar to check for fish.


“Multi-crappie ‘Christmas trees’ are ideal,” he grins. “They signal active fish competing for food, a scenario that encourages large crappies to feed.”

He cautions, however, that even though the biggest fish may be the first to slide in for a look at your lure, they can be the toughest to trigger. Fournier favors a lengthy jigging rod, say, 36 inches or longer, to keep his silhouette out of the hole. He spools with 4-lb monofilament mainline, ties on a small ant swivel to limit line twist, and then adds a 2- to 4-foot leader of 2-lb fluorocarbon. He notes that even though water clarity dictates leader length, it should always be long enough to prevent sunfish from swarming the swivel.


Presentational options abound, given the near-endless variety of jigs, jigging spoons and other hardbaits at his disposal. Still, Fournier often throws a reliable one-two punch. His first strike is typically a small horizontal-hanging jig like the Lindy Tungsten Toad.


“Since it fishes heavy for its size, it works equally well for targeting deep water off the edge of the break, and for punching through shallow weeds,” he says. “Waxies and eurolarvae are common tippings, mostly skin-hooked wacky style, though super-wary slabs may demand the bait be threaded on lengthwise. Plastic baits can be deadly on slab crappies, too, provided you learn how to fish them. Fill up the tub or a sink and practice your moves at home.”


His second rod brings slightly heavier metal to the table, in the form of a small Lindy Rattln’ Flyer or Frostee Spoon, with waxies strung between the treble tines. Rigged this way, they’re hard for fish to pick off the hooks, he says.  When fishing either the Toad or a spoon, Fournier’s mindset and jig strokes are similar.


“Fish above the crappies, slowly coaxing them higher,” he says. “Subtly work the rodtip back-and-forth so the lure moves from side to side.”  When a rising crappie stalls out, Fournier drops the jig back down to where he jigged it last. Often, this triggers a follower to dash down and strike.


Two to three jig and spoon sequences are typically sufficient to milk a hole of its biters. Before leaving, however, Fournier taps the Toad for a final descent. “Let it fall just above the fish, give it a jiggle, pause it about 20 seconds and jig it again,” he says. “If that doesn’t work, move on.”

To be fair, this is just the tip of Fournier’s presentational iceberg. He also works swimming hardbaits like the Lindy Darter into the act, especially on deep lakes, as well as in shallow basins offering a decent drop-off. Dropper rigs, too, have their moments. One of his favorites is a Lindy Ice Jig or Toad dangled 6 to 8 inches beneath a spoon. In shallow water, a slow-falling soft plastic bait gets the nod. He especially likes a Lindy Watsit Grub, skin-hooked on a horizontal jig.


Time of day can also be an ally.


“Crappies tend to school up and become more active at night,” he says. “Sunrise and sunset are also peak activity periods for big crappies.” In the end, he believes the key to making your crappie dreams come true on pressured waters is fishing smarter and working harder than the crowd. Do that and your well on your way to your best season ever.




Industry, etc and 27 States challenge EPA Ruling

EPA’s Actions in Case Create Uncertainty, Hurt Future Investment

Washington, D.C. Dec 16, 2013- - NAM Senior VP and General Counsel Linda Kelly released this statement after the Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action joined with other business associations in filing an amicus brief in Mingo Logan Coal Company v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A bipartisan group of 27 states also filed a brief challenging the EPA’s actions in this case: “It is impossible to overstate the negative impact the EPA’s actions in this case will have on future investment and job creation, which is why such a diverse group of business associations along with 27 states are fighting this ruling.


Congress explicitly vested the Army Corps of Engineers with authority to issue Section 404 permits; yet, the EPA now believes—for the first time ever—that it has the ability to revoke these permits. This precedent has the potential to impact an array of future projects, including the


construction of utility infrastructure; housing and commercial

development; renewable energy projects, such as wind farms or solar arrays; and transportation infrastructure projects, such as highways and rail lines.


Manufacturers are already disproportionately affected by federal regulations, and the EPA’s actions in this case only add to that burden while creating uncertainty for businesses across the country.”


The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs nearly 12 million men and women, contributes more than $1.8 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for two-thirds of private-sector research and development.

USACE/USFWS Information Update: CSSC Electric Dispersal Barrier Research

As part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) ongoing efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of the electric barriers, we have coordinated with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), to conduct laboratory and field experiments. These experiments assess the potential impacts to fish behavior from barge tows crossing the barriers in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC).  The experiments consisted of the following:


 - Development of a scale physical model to evaluate the possibility of fish being inadvertently transported across the electric barriers by navigation operations in the CSSC;

 - Instrumented barge testing to determine the effects of loaded and unloaded barges crossing the barriers on electric field strength; and

 - Observation of fish behavior during barge testing through the use of caged fish and tethered wild fish trials.


USFWS is also evaluating wild fish populations and their behavior within the electric barriers using a dual-frequency identification SONAR (DIDSON) unit, which is an underwater camera. DIDSON is used to evaluate fish populations throughout the entire barrier system- covering the entire gradient of barrier voltages and  performing concentrated evaluations directly over the strongest part of the barrier.


The preliminary findings of this research and proposed future actions are summarized in a white paper that will be available on the Chicago District website (www.lrc.usace.army.mil).  Additional review and analysis, as well as additional testing will be required to fully understand the data and any potential impact on barrier operations and navigation in the CSSC.


There is no evidence that Asian carp are bypassing the barriers.  Nor is there any indication Asian carp are in the vicinity of the barriers. The closest adult Asian carp found in the Illinois River are about 55 miles from Lake Michigan, and no small Asian carp have been observed closer than 131 miles from Lake Michigan.

The Barrier Research Workgroup, including representatives from the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) from, USFWS and Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR), reviews individual results of barrier research as a collective unit to analyze data, develop a consensus on the meaning and recommend future actions.


Additional lab and field work was conducted, including using DIDSON and nets to capture the fish for identification and measurement to validate results. This data will require additional analysis, but USACE felt it was important to make stakeholders aware of preliminary findings. Interim reports further describing the DIDSON results are available on the USFWS Carterville Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office website (www.fws.gov/midwest/carterville). Further research is needed to better understand these findings.


Findings like these are why we continue to monitor the area closely. It presents opportunities to strengthen the barriers we already have in place.


Future research will include a variety of simulations to further evaluate fish behavior, effects of the electrical field on groups of fish and how these may relate to operational protocols of the barriers and navigation in the CSSC. The research will be undertaken by ERDC over a two year period, with priority placed on completing the studies of surrogate fish, group challenges, and encroachment behaviors, as soon as possible. 


The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) will continue ongoing initiatives in the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS), which have been effective in controlling Asian carp.  As part of these efforts, the USFWS will conduct more fixed DIDSON sampling in 2014. These samples will be taken in the summer or fall months when fish are known to be concentrated in the barrier area.


We will be working very closely with the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee as we move forward.




A Tough Balance: Brown Trout Can Interfere with Brook Trout Conservation

Cortland, NY— Brown trout introductions could hamper the conservation of declining native brook trout populations, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.


Brook and brown trout are valuable sport fish that co-exist in many parts of the world due to stocking introductions. USGS researchers found that, in New York State, direct interactions between the two species, such as competition for food, have minor effects on diminishing brook trout populations compared to human-caused habitat disturbances. However, repeated, disproportionate stocking of brown trout in brook trout habitats could drastically decrease brook trout numbers.


"There is great potential for brown trout stocking to reduce native brook trout populations," said James McKenna, USGS scientist and lead author of the study. "But brown trout aren’t necessarily causing the current brook trout declines, and managers may be able to develop sustainable

scenarios to support both fisheries."


The USGS study found that human-induced degradation (from dams and roads, among other causes) of the habitats of both species can affect the populations of either. However, because brook trout do better in forested watersheds, whereas brown trout can thrive in more agricultural environments, degraded watersheds and/or the elimination of forests may affect brook more than brown trout. Improper brown trout management could further threaten vulnerable brook trout populations.


Fisheries managers in New York use stocking to maintain brook trout—a native species—and/or brown trout—a non-native species stocked in New York for over 100 years—in some streams. Brook trout have been declining within its native range in recent decades, and there has been concern that the stocking of brown trout has caused these declines.


The report is published in the North American Journal of Fisheries Management and is available online.


Veterans Issues

Jobs for Vets

The Veteran Eagle is a newsletter for veterans, transitioning military, their


family members and friends and supporters of VetJobs.  Use their web site to help get a job. www.vetjobs.com


2nd Amendment Issues

The Seven Deadly Sins of Concealed Carry: Not Carrying

By Tom McHale

The fourth deadly sin of concealed carry is…not. Not carrying, that is.

Crazy has roamed the earth for about 65 million years—several decades before Joan Rivers’ first plastic surgery. Consider that we live in a world where people proudly claim they are “Beliebers,” faux celebrities name their cute babies North West, and despotic Korean dictators have family members executed for missing a Black Friday Blu-Ray player sale. The scary part is that the current level of human crazy barely makes the nightly news.


So forgive me if I disagree when people tell me they aren’t carrying for reasons like this:

·  “I’m just running to the store.”

·  “I’ll only be out for a few minutes.”

·  “I won’t need my gun.”

·  “I won’t be in any bad areas.”

It’s an insanity-filled world out there and there is no such thing as a perfectly safe public outing. If you were really able to predict when and where you might be a victim of violent crime, why on earth would you ever be there in the first place, armed or not?

You never know what’s going to happen out there. A quick look at news stories will tell you exactly why you must carry all the time if you carry at all.


The big news is frequency. According to the FBI, a violent crime of some type occurs in the United States every 26 seconds. A murder occurs every 35.4 minutes, a forcible rape every 6.2 minutes, and a robbery every 1.5 minutes.


Zombies? Yeah, they’re the rage on TV and shooting accessory products, but I’m talking about the real kind. A Miami man permanently maimed another with just his teeth before being killed by a responding officer. A Texas man attacked friends and neighbors before eating the family dog. Admittedly, the odds of becoming the victim of a zombie attack are similar to Honey Boo Boo editing the Harvard Law Review. But it’s a classic example of the need to expect the unexpected.


The big news this winter is a series of “knockout game” reports. Apparently some folks’ idea of entertainment is to sneak up on distracted pedestrians and punch them in the head, trying to knock them unconscious from a single blow. Some game. Consider the fact that 678


people were murdered last year by beating with nothing but hands and feet. That’s over twice as many as killed by rifles of any kind.


Concealed carry isn’t only for protection against crime. You never know when you might need immediate access to a concealed weapon to protect yourself from irritable members of the animal kingdom. Dog attacks like this one suffered by 77-year-old Anthony Wilson are far too common. Other critters? How about a bobcat attack in Holden, Massachusetts? Heck, you might even cross paths with a shoplifting sea lion.


A New Orleans biker was rammed by a car while riding in a quiet residential neighborhood. After the aggressive bike bonk, the mail driver and female accomplice robbed the downed cyclist at gunpoint. While carrying is not likely to help much against a Buick bludgeoning, our hapless cyclist might have appreciated the option of a concealed gun when on the ground facing armed robbers.

Home invasions? Here’s the gotcha. Home invasions are not a defined crime category in the FBI tracking statistics, so you have to estimate your own figure. At a high level, there are over 2 million burglaries per year in the United States annually. Roughly two-thirds of those are residential. The bottom line? People are breaking into houses, occupied and not, all the time. Concealed carry applies while at home too.


Violent crime happens everywhere, everyday. New York City officials made a big deal of publicizing November 26, 2012. Why? It was the only day anyone could remember without a reported murder, shooting, or stabbing. The fact that a day without violence is a notable event tells you all you need to know about the need to carry every day.


When people carry guns, criminals listen. Back in 1982, Kennesaw, Georgia passed a law requiring heads of households to keep at least one firearm in the home. Burglary rates dropped 89 percent and violent crime rates continue to be 85 percent lower than the national average. A potential lesson? When people expect armed opposition, they tend to behave. I know, concealed carry means that no one knows you’re carrying. But if the status quo becomes an assumption that permit holders carry everywhere, criminals will become somewhat more wary.


Be safe out there folks, it’s a crazy world. “Piece be with you” this holiday season!


Expect price increases and significant delivery delays for Ammo

Ammo mfg say for all calibers of ammunition

The CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program has been notified by ammunition manufacturers and distributors to expect price increases and significant delivery delays for all calibers of ammunition, especially for .22 rimfire. The price increases and delays apply to orders we have already placed with the manufacturers. Prior to 2013 CMP received deliveries of truckloads of ammo within a few weeks of placing orders. We are now being advised, as in the case of Aguila .22, that it may take several years to receive all of the 35,000,000 rounds of Aguila ammo we have on order.


In a bulletin received December 17, the CMP added "As a result of this situation, CMP has placed orders with several different manufacturers for large amounts of ammunition in various calibers. We expect to receive only a few pallets at a time because manufacturers and distributors are

rationing the ammo to their customers. As we receive ammo, we will

contact customers with oldest orders already in place with the option to purchase whatever we receive at the new prices, cancel the order, or remain on the list for the manufacturer they originally requested. All price increases to CMP will be passed on to the customer. CMP will not be profiting from the increase in prices.


"We will continue to accept orders for ammunition, with the understanding that the wait time for customers between placing an order and receiving the ammunition may be anywhere from a few weeks to a few years. Most other retailers are in the same situation as the CMP". "We suggest that customers leave their CMP orders in place and not cancel until they are able to purchase ammo elsewhere.  CMP customers will be contacted as to pricing and manufacturer before any orders are filled. We do not expect to have any additional information until after the annual SHOT Show in mid-January, when we will meet with all of the ammo manufacturers.



Another New Gander Mountain Store Coming To Indiana

Popular outdoors retailer to open fourth Indianapolis metro area location in Greenfield

Gander Mountain is once again expanding the nation’s largest and fastest

growing network of outdoor specialty stores with a new location in Greenfield, the fourth Indianapolis metro area location, set to open in the spring of 2014.



Ludington Fishery Workshop Jan 11

Registration Now Open

This annual, full-day workshop is open to the public and highlights the latest information on Lake Michigan fisheries issues. Presentations will address Asian carp prevention, lake trout reproduction, lower food web trends and management outlook.

The workshop will be held Saturday, January 11, 2014 9-3:30 PM at the


Baymont Inn & Suites in Ludington (formerly Ramada)
4079 West U.S. Highway 10, Ludington, MI 49431


Registration is required. The workshop is free, but there will be a $15/person charge for lunch provided by Baymont Inn & Suites.  Cash or credit for lunch will be accepted at the door.   Click for more information or to register (PDF).

Michigan oks new Wildlife Management Public Education Fund

House Bill 4993 (now Public Act 246) was signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder (R) on December 21.  HB 4993 creates a Wildlife Management Public Education Fund to be managed by the Michigan Wildlife Council.  This nine-member council will be responsible for establishing a comprehensive media-based public information program aimed at promoting Michigan’s abundant wildlife resources and educating the general public on the role that sportsmen play in the conservation of

these resources.


This legislation reinforces the long-standing traditions of sportsmen in Michigan. Hunting, fishing, and the taking of game are a valued and integral part of the cultural heritage of this state and should forever be preserved.  With the enactment of HB 4993, Michiganders can rest assured that the natural resources of the state will be preserved for generations to come


DNR responds to new aquatic invasive plant - parrot feather

A suspected sighting of the highly invasive plant parrot feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum) was reported to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) late last year. Following recently developed state agency protocols, the DEQ transferred the report to the DNR Wildlife Division. A team of DNR staff, utilizing the new Early Detection and Response Plan, conducted verification and assessment at a small detention pond in Wayne County's Brownstown Township.


As part of the assessment process, staff members surveyed local waters near the detention pond to determine the distribution of the species and gather pertinent information. From that initial assessment, it appears this non-native species is isolated to the detention pond; however, more intensive survey efforts are being planned for the surrounding area in the spring of 2014.


Following verification and assessment, DNR staff developed an initial response plan for eradicating this species from the site. Working cooperatively with the local homeowners' association, Aqua-Weed Control, Inc. (the original reporters) and DEQ, the DNR obtained permissions and permits for a late-season herbicide application. Treatment of this species was conducted in early November, funded through a federal grant project. The site will be monitored for treatment efficacy, with any necessary follow-up treatments to begin in spring 2014.


Parrot feather has only been found in the Great Lakes basin in a few previous locations (in Michigan's Oakland County and Indiana's Steuben County). The source of this new infestation is unknown, but it is possible that this plant - popular in aquariums and water gardens - may have been released into the pond.


Parrot feather is a “prohibited species” in Michigan, which makes its possession, transport or release illegal, due to the severe negative effects it can have on native ecosystems. It is a submerged plant, which will eventually grow to emerge 6-12 inches above the water’s surface. It is highly aggressive and out-competes many native plant species, disrupting ecosystem functions, clogging navigable waters and impeding recreation.


Finding and eradicating any new occurrences of these types of species before they become established or spread is the key principle behind the DNR’s Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) program. Proactive EDRR is typically much more cost-effective and provides higher chances of success in dealing with invasive species.


The EDRR program was pioneered through a three-year Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant. After two and a half years, the EDRR program has verified 60 unique detections of six new high-threat aquatic invasive plant species in Michigan. Prioritized response efforts have occurred at 21 sites, with future actions planned. For more information on the EDRR program, please go to www.michigan.gov/invasivespecies.


Early detection and response is one of four main goals outlined in the state’s recently revised Aquatic Invasive Species State Management Plan. Revision and implementation of this plan is a collaborative effort between DEQ, DNR and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.


Suspected parrot feather sightings should be reported to www.misin.msu.edu or to Matt Ankney, EDRR coordinator, at [email protected] or 517-641-4903

Michigan Winter fishing opportunities

Just because cold weather has arrived in Michigan doesn’t mean you have to put your fishing activities on hold. The state’s fishing opportunities are on proud display during the winter months with many anglers proclaiming this as the best time to go fishing.

The appeal stems from the fact that anglers can get just about anywhere on the lake during ice fishing season and that virtually every fish that's available in the summer can be caught through the ice. In fact, some are even caught more frequently in the winter.

Are you new to ice fishing? Don’t be intimated by the idea of heading out! Learn about the kind of equipment you need and the safety precautions to

take. The DNR has lots of this information online to educate you. 


Do you already go ice fishing? Consider taking on a new challenge by targeting a different species. Popular winter species include bluegill, crappie, smelt, walleyes and yellow perch (among others). Anglers use a variety of ice fishing techniques to target these species, including hook-and-line, tip-ups and spearing.
Learn about these fishes and techniques needed to catch them in the winter by checking out the “Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them” section of the DNR’s website.

Consider exploring the wealth of fishing opportunities Michigan offers this winter. Start planning your next fishing trip at www.michigan.gov/fishing!



Minnesotans 16 or older fish free with kids Jan. 18-20
Minnesotans age 16 or older can try ice fishing or spear fishing without purchasing an angling or spearing license if they take a child younger than 16 fishing during Take-A-Kid Ice Fishing Weekend Saturday, Jan. 18 through Monday, Jan. 20, according to the Department of Natural Resources.


“Take-A-Kid Ice Fishing Weekend is a great opportunity for family and friends to get those special kids in their life outdoors enjoying the fun and beauty of a Minnesota winter,” said Roland Sigurdson, DNR aquatic education supervisor. “What better way to celebrate our winter heritage than by passing on the tradition of ice fishing.”


Ice fishing presents some unique challenges, but with basic equipment, a few skills, and good planning, ice fishing can be easy, enjoyable and exciting.


Here are key ice fishing tips from DNR’s MinnAqua program, which provides resources to teach fishing skills, aquatic ecology and conservation stewardship of our lakes and rivers:

  • Dressing in layers is the best way to deal with winter’s icy chill. Layers keep you warm in cold conditions by creating pockets of warm air and helping moisture evaporate.
  • Portable ice shelters can increase the enjoyment of the experience by keeping kids warmer.
  • Plan for a shorter, quality experience that will make a happier memory. Cold, bored kids don’t ask to go again.
  • Bring snacks and warm beverages to make a comfortable experience.
  • Bring a variety of baits to increase chances of success.


More tips are available online at www.mndnr.gov/minnaqua/icefishing.

Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring coordinator and Mike “Smitty” Smith from the “Ice Team” share insights and information about kids, mentoring and ice fishing in an online podcast audio program available on DNR website at


Additional Resources:

Let’s Go Ice Fishing: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/education_safety/education/minnaqua/icefishing/



Mukooda Lake closed to lake trout harvest

Mukooda Lake in Voyageurs National Park in northern St. Louis County will be closed to lake trout harvest effective Jan. 15. The rule will be published in the state register prior to the start of the lake trout angling season opener.


While fishing on or in Mukooda Lake waters, angling for lake trout is limited to catch and release only. Any lake trout caught must be immediately returned to the water. It is unlawful for anyone to have in possession, regardless of where taken, any lake trout while on or fishing in these waters.


The closure is a temporary measure which will be in effect for 18 months.

The lake contains a self-sustaining population of lake trout that have a unique genetic make-up. This unique strain has persisted for decades in spite of DNR stocking efforts and competition from cool-water species such as northern pike, walleye, and bass.


“The decision to close Mukooda Lake to trout harvest is based on creel survey estimates and observations of fishing pressure,” said Kevin

Peterson, International Falls area fisheries supervisor. “The lake’s habitat

supports slow natural reproduction and efforts to boost the lake trout population through stocking have not been successful. Halting the lake trout harvest will protect the remaining stock and allow us to see how the fishery responds.”


The DNR continues to work with resource managers at Voyageurs National Park to monitor the fish populations and goals for this and several other lakes located within the park.


“We support the DNR’s decision and are ready to assist,” said Voyageurs National Park Superintendent Mike Ward. “We understand anglers enjoy the trout in Mukooda Lake and we appreciate their patience while we take steps to ensure this stock thrives in the future.”


The Mukooda Lake management plan will be updated in 2014, which will provide additional opportunities for information sharing and stakeholder input. DNR fisheries will hold public meetings in 2014 to consider longer-term measures to protect Mukooda lake trout.



Ohio Hunters donate 58,500 lbs of Venison to food banks           

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio hunters donated 1,170 white-tailed deer to local food banks to benefit Ohioans in need during the 2013 hunting season.


To date, food banks have received 58,500 lbs of venison and 234,000 meals for needy Ohioans. One processed deer amounts to approximately 50 lbs of venison and 200 meals.


Venison donations will be accepted through the end of the deer-archery season, Feb. 2, 2014. Go to fhfh.org to find a local Ohio deer donation program.  Ohio ranks fifth nationally in hunter-donated venison, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Nationally, hunters provided


more than 11 million meals to people in need.


Wild venison is among the most nutritious meats available. The meat is lean with little fat content and it is high in protein and iron. Wild venison has no additives or hormones, and is low in calories, fat and cholesterol when properly prepared.


Ohio has 77 participating meat processors; anyone interested in becoming a local program coordinator or a participating meat processor can go to www.fhfh.org and click on the Local FHFH tab. The website includes a list of coordinators, participating butchers and the counties they serve.

Registration Opens Jan. 3 for Ohio's Archery in the Schools Tournament

COLUMBUS, OH – Sign-ups and registration for the Ohio National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) State Tournament will open Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, at 8 a.m., according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

More than 40,000 Ohio students participated in NASP as part of their physical education curriculum during the 2012-2013 academic year. The state tournament has openings for 1,512 student archers from certified NASP schools across Ohio. Registrations will close once the 1,512 openings are filled. Last year, more than 1,000 students were registered for the 2013 tournament in less than three hours.


ODNR will host the 2014 State NASP Tournament on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. in conjunction with the 2014 Arnold Sports Festival at Veterans Memorial, located at 300 West Broad St., Columbus, Ohio 43215.

NASP is a school curriculum currently taught in 650 Ohio schools, making Ohio the third-largest program in the United States. Instruction takes place during two weeks of physical education classes and is designed to teach international target archery skills to students in grades 4-12.


Students with high-ranking scores may be eligible for scholarships through Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio. Individual archers and teams

may also qualify for the NASP National Championship, which will be held May 9-10, 2014, at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky.


April Bartenschlag of Philo High School in Duncan Falls, Ohio, scored a 296 out of 300 at the 2013 NASP National Tournament in Louisville, Ky. She was named the top high school female archer, top overall female archer, won a $5,000 college scholarship and was named to the NASP All-American Team.


Last year, ODNR certified 370 new instructors from 57 schools in 49 different school districts as Basic Archery Instructors and awarded $57,000 in grants to help with startup costs. New schools can apply for up to $2,500 in grant money to start an archery program at their school.


Ohio was the 10th state to participate in NASP. The ODNR Division of Wildlife introduced NASP in 2004 with 12 pilot schools. Statewide expansion began in January 2005. Growth in NASP has continued across the state, and more than half of Ohio’s 88 counties currently have at least one school participating in NASP.


Schools interested in learning more about NASP may contact Matt Neumeier, shooting sports coordinator for the ODNR Division of Wildlife, at 614-265-6334 or at [email protected] Visit ohionasp.com for more information.



Crossbow Hunting Bill Signed by Governor

On Tuesday, December 10, Governor Scott Walker (R) signed into law Assembly Bill 194.  This long-awaited legislation provides hunters with the freedom to use a crossbow during big game archery season, beginning with the 2014 archeery deer season. It allows more sportsmen to

participate in the Badger State’s rich hunting heritage.Thank you to

Governor Walker for signing AB 194 into law and to the state Senators and Representatives who voted for this bill.  Also, thank you to NRA members who contacted their state legislators in support of this important pro-hunting legislation 

A look back at natural resources issues, highlights of 2013
MADISON - From the first winter free fishing weekend to a massive wildfire in Douglas County, to the first year of expanded hunting in state parks, to the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative, to the launch of a new DNR

free hunting and fishing mobile app and a new Public Lands Atlas, here is a look back at the natural resources issues and highlights of 2013.  -  Read Full Article


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Indiana keeping an eye on the Deep River Watershed
Monitoring over the past year for the Deep River Portage Burns Watershed will provide data for a four-year watershed management initiative. The tributaries of Deep River, Deer Creek, Lake George, Turkey Creek and Burns Ditch form one of the largest watersheds in Northwest Indiana that flows into the Great Lakes.


Asian carp report falls short on a straightforward solution
A long-awaited report from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on how best to stop the spread of Asian carp into the Great Lakes is due out the first week of 2014, but it won't include a straightforward recommendation — even though that's what many members of Congress say they want from it.


90% of shooting rampages could be stopped by quick-thinking civilians: expert

“This tells us that citizens and bystanders have a very real and active role in stopping these events,” Terry Nichols, a former police officer and an assistance director at ALERRT, told Yahoo News. “If we can properly prepare and educate civilians, maybe we can get to where 90 percent are stopped by civilians long before the police arrive.”


Former Air Force Analyst: Drone Pilots Can’t Tell The Difference Between A Shovel And A Weapon

When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And when you’re piloting a lethal drone, everyone looks like a dangerous militant. That is, according to a former employee of the U.S. drone program. 


Jesse Jackson Sr.: Duck Dynasty star is worse than Rosa Parks’ bus driver

Jesse Jackson Sr. has a message for Ducky Dynasty star Phil Robertson: you’re worse than Rosa Parks’ bus driver.  “At least the bus driver, who ordered Rosa Parks to surrender her seat to a white person, was following state law,” Jackson said. "His statements were uttered freely and openly without cover of the law, within a context of what he seemed to believe was ‘white privilege.’”


New Taxes Set to Kick In Under Obamacare
Millions of Americans are facing hidden tax surcharges on their insurance premiums under President Barack Obama's healthcare law as well as new health-related taxes on their income tax bills. The surprise two % tax on customers for every health plan which increased a monthly premium, is expected to net about $8 billion for the government in 2014 and increase to $14.3 billion in 2018.

Fish swim past electric barrier meant to block Asian carp
The electric barrier on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal that is considered the last line of defense to stop an Asian carp invasion of Lake Michigan has a problem: Fish can swim through


Net pen bill signed into law by Gov. Walker
In Madison, Wis., last week, Governor Scott Walker signed a bill that could mean better returns on chinooks and perhaps other salmon and trout species down the road.


New permits for turbines will be good for 30 years
In one of the nation’s biggest clashes between energy production and wildlife interests, the Obama Administration has come down on industry’s side by going forward with a federal rule that allows wind-turbine operators to go 30 years without proving at length that their giant machines aren’t killing bald eagles and golden eagles.


Michigan nullifies NDAA’s indefinite detention

This is a great step forward in protecting the basic due process rights of people in Michigan and gives activists there something to build upon. Michigan legislators suggest that the legislation should be expanded to include all people, not just U.S. citizens.


Judge: DHS Complicit in Human Trafficking that Helps Fund Drug Cartels

A U.S. federal judge has accused Obama’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of being complicit in helping Mexican drug cartels and felons inside America smuggle illegal aliens into the country. In a court order he signed on Dec. 13, U.S. District Judge


Bribery, Smuggling: DHS Inspector Reports More Than 7,000 Criminal Complaints Against Employees In First Half Of 2013 »
A recently released report from the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security reveals 7,868 complaints of criminal misconduct reported to the OIG in the first half of this year.


Study: Food supplies drop in Lakes Huron, Michigan
Food supplies for fish and other organisms are declining in some areas of the Great Lakes, particularly Lakes Huron and Michigan, according to a newly released scientific report.

Walker signs bill to fight sea lamprey in Lake Michigan
To help combat the invasive, eel-like fish, Wisc. Gov. Scott Walker signed legislation on Thursday for Wisc. to spend up to $564,500 in the next two fiscal years on lamprey control efforts


Ohio says 18 wildlife officers may have been deer hunting, not working

An investigation by Ohio revealed 18 county officers may have been hunting for deer when they were supposed to be working afield for the Ohio DNR.  The investigation began May 9, 2012 prompted by charges in 2012 against Wildlife Officer Allan Wright of


Debtors’ Prisons Make A Comeback In America »
Cash-strapped municipalities throughout the Nation are wrongheadedly throwing residents into jail for failing to pay court-ordered fines, even when the taxpayer cost of jailing the debtors is higher than letting the fine slide.



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