Week of January 14, 2013

Beyond the Great Lakes
Fishing beyond the Great Lakes
Misc New Fishing-Boating Products
Words to Ponder
Veterans Issues
Other Breaking News Items


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       New Product  Archives


Rare Giant Squid Captured on Film in Its Natural Habitat

Hold on to your scuba tanks, rods, and paddles–researchers in Japan may have captured the first film footage of a giant squid alive in its natural habitat. Over the course of 100 missions, a film crew with Japan’s National Museum of Nature and Science (also called National Museum of Science), U.S. Discovery Channel, and Japanese broadcaster NHK spent 400 hours trying to film the elusive creature.


In July of 2012, the film crew captured the first moving footage of the animal in its natural habitat about nine miles east of Chichi Island in the north Pacific Ocean, about 621 miles south of Tokyo. The film specimen was located at approximately 630 meters (2,066 feet) below the surface. The squid in the video measured about three meters (10 feet) long and the crew was able to follow it down to about 900 meters (2,952 feet) before it disappeared into the ocean abyss.


Tsunemi Kubodera, a squid specialist and researcher with the museum,

said rigorous research led the crew to the most likely location of the

squid. Kubodera said the squid may have actually been up to eight meters (26 feet) long, but it was missing two of its longest arms for unknown reasons.


With this footage we hope to discover more about the life of the species,” Kubodera told reporters. The area where this squid was spotted is the same as another squid witnessed in 2006, leading scientists to believe this could be a hub of habitat for the animal.


“When Discovery does natural history it sets the bar high, and this ground breaking project features the very first ever footage of a live giant squid in its natural habitat. Our crew came face-to-face with the giant squid, and it’s the ideal season finale for our Curiosity series that stirs the imagination of our audience, bravely asking questions and fearlessly seeking answers. This latest production, four years in the making, is a world-first achievement for television, and I’m excited to share it,” said Eileen O’Neill, Group President of Discovery and TLC Networks, in a press release.

Beyond the Great Lakes

Coast Guard Finds Five Miles of Gill Net off TX

BROWNSVILLE, Texas - A Coast Guard crew found an illegal gill net with hundreds of dead sharks last week, 4 miles off the Texas coast.
The crew of a Coast Guard Station South Padre Island response boat


spotted the gill net approximately 17 miles north of the U.S. - Mexican maritime border. The gill net was 5 miles long and was loaded with 345 dead sharks.  The species of shark seized included 225 black tip, 109 bonnet, and 11 bull sharks.

Online Sporting License Sales Grow

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. — In this modern age of digital merchandising and convenient shopping on the web, a growing number of sportsmen and sportswomen are purchasing their licenses online. According to HunterSurvey.com and AnglerSurvey.com, in 2012, the number of hunters and anglers purchasing licenses online grew by 35 percent and 13 percent respectively since 2009. Today, 28 percent of all hunters and 29 percent of all anglers surveyed report buying licenses online.


Test efforts by groups such as the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) to help states improve repeat license sales through online marketing have yielded positive results, and with more sportsmen turning to the web to make quick, convenient license purchases, these efforts are expected to improve further.


According to Melissa Schilling, the Director of Recruitment & Retention for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), “We understand hunters have choices. To help ensure they renew their licenses and continue hunting, the NSSF has worked with state wildlife agencies to

increase their ability to reach hunters online.  Not only have we seen

increased hunting as a result of states’ online outreach efforts, many states are beginning to adapt online marketing as a best practice.”


Similar efforts to boost the use of the internet are being successfully employed in the fishing and boating arena. “Statista has projected that nearly 190 million people will purchase something online in 2013 – 87 million of them from a mobile device,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “Making the online purchase process simple, like including a mobile option, has been a focus in our State Marketing Program, where we work with state agencies to bring back lapsed anglers and boaters who once experienced the joys of fishing and boating. We hope to work with more state agencies in the coming years to continue to expand and improve the online purchase experience.”


To help continually improve, protect and advance angling and other outdoor recreation, all sportsmen and sportswomen are encouraged to participate in the surveys at HunterSurvey.com, ShooterSurvey.com and/or AnglerSurvey.com. Each other month, participants complete the survey are entered into a drawing for one of five $100 gift certificates to the sporting goods retailer of their choice.

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

Mercury Marine Joins New National Walleye Tour

Professional Walleye Circuit to Kick Off Season in April 2013

MTN HOME, Ark. - Mercury Marine has joined the Cabela's National Walleye Tour as part of a multi-year partnership announced today.  Mercury adds to the impressive lineup of sponsors already committed to the NWT as it heads towards its inaugural season, scheduled to kick-off in April of 2013.


"We're excited to partner with the new National Walleye Tour," said Ben Duke Mercury Marine's vice president of marketing. "The OptiMax Pro XS outboard is the fastest, most powerful engine on the planet. Combined with the Mercury Pro FourStroke outboard, these are the most premium walleye engines on the market today.  We're thrilled to have an opportunity to showcase these incredible outboards."


The all-new National Walleye Tour will begin April 26, 2013 and will include a total of three qualifying events, plus a year-end Championship.  The NWT website is already accepting registrations for all events online.  The website offers numerous details on the circuit, including official rules,

tournament structure, payout and incentives.


Each NWT event features over 100% payback.  A fully rigged Ranger Boat, plus cash, is guaranteed for first place at each event - a total value of $57,000.  Anglers that fish all three regular season events, in addition to the top points leaders, will gain entry to the three day, entry fee Championship.


The new circuit also includes unprecedented television and media coverage, allowing a national audience to watch the action unfold from each event throughout the season. Airing on multiple networks, the National Walleye Tour will be seen on The Texas Channel, World Fishing Network, Pursuit Channel, as well as the new NBC Sports Network.


For more details, anglers are encouraged to call 612-424-0708 or check out the new website at www.nationalwalleyetour.com. From here, site visitors can register for events, view the TV schedule and learn more about what's in-store for 2013.


Corps of Engineers to close six Tennessee tailwater fisheries

Some of the best fishing waters in Tennessee are about to be removed from public access. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently confirmed plans to ban boat access below several dams, including Old Hickory, Cheatham, J. Percy Priest, Cordell Hull, Center Hill, and Dale Hollow.


District Commander Lt. Col. Jim DeLapp is claiming safety as the chief concern, but the numbers don't support it. Of all the deaths that have occurred on Tennessee's rivers and reservoirs over the last 50 years, less than three percent were below the dams. And almost all of those were the result of failure to wear or properly inflate a life jacket as required by law.


Former Cheatham Lake Resource Manager Mike Patterson said it best in an open letter recently:


"I served over 30 years as a Corps of Engineers Resource Manager at Cheatham Lake in Tennessee and Assistant Resource Manager at Lake Cumberland in Kentucky.  I and my staffs worked on water safety issues on a daily basis, and we are professionals with extensive knowledge and experience regarding tailwater safety.  During my 18 years as a Resource Manager at Cheatham Lake there was never a single drowning of a boating fisherman in the tailwaters immediately downstream of the dam. Nor was there a recorded drowning in the history of the facility previous to my stint as Resource Manager.


"Statistics throughout the District simply do not support the Commander's decision to prohibit thousands of safe fishermen from enjoying the quality fishing in the tailwaters immediately adjacent to our dams. But LTC DeLapp ignores those facts and instead proposes to unfairly penalize tailwater fishermen.  His perceived safety issues are simply not realized by accident statistics and accident rates. During my career, I served under approximately 18 previous district commanders, and none of them ever saw the need to ban boating fishermen from our tailwaters, because

there was never a valid reason to do so."


More than a million Tennesseans enjoy fishing each year, with an economic impact in the billions of dollars. This action would undoubtedly have significant impacts on untold numbers of guides, bait shops, hotels and other associated jobs and revenues. It seems to be a solution in search of a problem, and the way the Corps has gone about it is alarming.


There are alternatives to this proposal that LTC DeLapp's own resource management personnel, Tennessee and Kentucky Wildlife Resources Agencies, and Senator Lamar Alexander and Congressman Jim Cooper have recommended. But Col. DeLapp has refused to consider them.


 The Corps needs to hear from the sportsmen and women of this state at the highest level. Please click here to access our public policy outreach system (you'll only have to register once). From there, click on LOCAL BILLS to send an email to Commanding General Thomas P. Bostick and our Congressional delegation, and let them know you oppose the unnecessary closure of our world-class tailwater fisheries.


Two public meetings have recently been set in Tennessee, and we hope you'll join us:


Tuesday, Jan. 15 in Nashville

McGavock High School Auditorium

3150 McGavock Pike

6 p.m. to 8 p.m. CST


Thursday, Jan. 17 in Baxter

Upperman High School Auditorium

6950 Nashville Highway

6 p.m. to 8 p.m. CST

Misc New Fishing-Boating Products

Mann’s Releases the New Alabama Rig V

Mann’s Bait has released the new Alabama Rig V. The Alabama Rig V is an offspring of the original Alabama Rig, but with the addition of attachable, adjustable teasers to enhance the bait school illusion.


“I designed it to simulate a school of small bait fish in a tight bait ball. It has adjustable snaps that can be moved up and down the arms to get the correct placement for the teasers. ,” said Andy Poss, inventor of the original Alabama Rig.


Said Paul Elias, professional bass angler, “I plan on having both the original Alabama Rig and  Alabama Rig V rigged on the deck of my boat

anytime it’s legal to fish with one in a tournament.  Each one has its own application and both excel at catching fish in the cooler winter months. The new Alabama Rig V is perfect for when bass are feeding on tight schools of bait fish.”


An exclusive full length educational video featuring Paul Elias and Andy Poss fishing the new Alabama Rig V can be seen on Mann’s Bait Company website. The new Alabama Rig V is available in a ready-to-fish 32 piece kit at Mann’s Bait Company website


About $24.99



Words to Ponder

Words to ponder

21 of 22 incumbent U.S. Senators were re-elected, and 353 of 373 incumbent members of the House were re-elected. The American people have re-elected 94 % of the incumbents who were running for re-election

to an institution that has an approval rating of about 9 %. This indicates,

as an electorate, we are a nation of idiots. We’re now stuck with the useless, dysfunctional government that we deserve.”

Alan Caruba


Eleven International Ice Teams Confirm
The hard-water fishing season finally opened in time for the holidays across the ice belt. As the ice continues to build, so is the excitement and anticipation for the 10th World Ice Fishing Championship (WIFC X). The United States Freshwater Fishing Federation (USF3) and City of Wausau will be hosting the WIFC X at the Big Eau Pleine Reservoir on February 11-17, 2013.

The US Ice Team, the 2010 WIFC winner, will be competing against 11 international teams from Estonia, Finland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Belarus (2012 WIFC winner), Lithuania, Poland, Russia (2008-09 WIFC winner) Sweden, Ukraine (2011 WIFC winner) and Mongolia. Mongolia will be competing for the first time in their country’s history!

The international contingent of anglers will bring top expertise, cutting-edge ice fishing techniques, baits and gear to the championship. The public is encouraged to come and learn from some of the best ice anglers on the planet.

“Having home ice will be a major advantage for the US Ice Team,” McNett explained. “But teams such as Ukraine and Russia, top winners in past   

WIFCs, will be tough to beat regardless of the location. We will have to be
fishing in peak form to beat the world’s best ice anglers.”

After five days of pre-fishing on the Big Eau Pleine Reservoir, the WIFC X will determined over two days of ice-fishing over two heats on February 16-17. Teams will draw for their sectors and fish a three-hour heat. The combined weights for each team will determine overall rank and score, with the winning world championship team crowned on February 17. The official weigh-ins will be at the Plaza Hotel, where there will also be a trade show and the Cabela’s Kids ice-fishing camp each day open for the public.  Visit www.usaiceteam.com for full itinerary and details of the event.

The USF3 would like to thank the following sponsors that support the US Ice Team’s efforts in competing at the WIFC X: Shark and American Fishing Contests, Cabela’s, HT Enterprises, Humminbird, St. Croix Rods, G2 Gemini Custom Apparel, Kahtoola, Sunline, Marukyu, Gotcha Productions, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, Strike Master Ice Augers, Aqua Vu and Universal Restoration Services.

To contact USA Ice Team Director Mike McNett, email him at [email protected]  or [email protected].

Veterans Issues

News from the Military front

NY Soldiers Wed at Airport before catching flights

COLONIE, N.Y. - A military couple enlisted the help of a New York airport's staff to get married while awaiting flights to their respective military assignments.


The Times Union of Albany reports that Caitlin Murray and Sean Whitney's spur-of-the-moment wedding occurred January 3 in the observation deck at Albany International Airport. The soldiers, both PFCs,

decided to get hitched as they awaited separate flights, hers to North

Carolina and his to St. Louis.  The couple asked airport employees for help, and they responded by getting the town's marriage officer to show up. The airport's chief executive officer served as witness.


After being declared man and wife, the couple kissed while two dozen strangers and airport workers applauded.  Murray and Whitney met last March at an Army recruiting office.


Sleeping Bear Dunes to Receive Special Wilderness Protection
Michigan’s famous Sleeping Bear Dunes may soon receive a special conservation designation under legislation awaiting a vote in the U.S. House. It was passed unanimously by the Senate on Sunday. The bill would preserve 32,000 acres of the park’s total 71,187 acres as a wilderness area.


If the bill passes, certain areas of Sleeping Bear Dunes would be covered under the highest level of federal conservation protection. The bill also updates the lakeshore’s general management plan.


If you haven’t visited this Michigan jewel, it’s a must-see. Stretching for 35

miles along the northern Lower Peninsula’s Lake Michigan shore, the park features towering ancient sand dunes that are the products of wind, wave and ice action over thousands of years, and are truly one of nature’s great masterworks… The lakeshore, which encompasses more than 70,000 acres, also protects and interprets an extraordinary history of Native Americans, early pioneers, farmsteads, and maritime activities.


The conservation status would not affect hunting, fishing, camping, or hiking in the park, as all those activities would still be allowed in developed areas where roads, boat launches, and historical structures are present, according to the release.  The bill was co-sponsored by Senators Levin and Debbie Stabenow. It was introduced almost two years ago.


Elk hunt extended to meet management goals, control depredation

The need to manage the size of northwestern Minnesota’s elk population and control depredation has prompted the Minnesota DNR to extend the elk hunt beginning Saturday, Jan. 12.


“Our rules for the 2012-2013 elk hunt authorized an extended season if harvest goals were not met during the regular seasons,” said Leslie McInenly, DNR big game program leader. “We are committed to managing these populations at levels identified within the management plan. We need to take additional animals to keep us moving in that direction.”


Only six elk were harvested in the September and December hunts, well below a quota of 23 animals DNR established to meet population management goals and address depredation concerns.


Elk hunters who were selected to participate in either the Grygla zone or

Kittson Central zone  but did not harvest an elk may hunt their zones

during the extended season. In the Kittson Central zone, hunters will be restricted by time period. Hunters in the Kittson Central zone will be scheduled to hunt one four-day period, either Jan. 12-15 or Jan. 17-20. They cannot hunt during both time periods. Hunters in the Grygla zone will be allowed to hunt the full nine-day period from Jan. 12-20.


Elk are native to Minnesota but were extirpated from the state in the early 20th century. They were reintroduced into the state in the 1930s, and in recent times elk from Manitoba have naturally immigrated to Minnesota.


Two small herds exist in northwestern Minnesota, one near Grygla in Marshall County and another in Kittson County. Minnesota’s elk population is 80 to 120 animals, depending on the location of a herd that moves back and forth between Minnesota and Manitoba, Canada.

By law, elk hunts in Minnesota can be authorized whenever the pre-calving population exceeds 20 animals.


Ontario commercial fined $5,000 for illegally fishing in Ohio

PORT CLINTON, OH – Pisces Fisheries Inc. of Wheatley, ON, was fined $5,000 for fishing illegally in Ohio waters. Pisces Fisheries was sentenced by the Ottawa County Municipal Court in Port Clinton on Dec. 21, 2012, by Magistrate Louis P. Wargo III.


The charges were the result of the Adco II, a gill net tug owned by Pisces Fisheries, fishing with gill nets in Ohio waters on two separate occasions. On May 5, 2012, five nets belonging to the Adco II were found in Ohio waters north of North Bass Island.  On May 9, 2012, five more nets set by the Adco II were found by the U.S. Border Patrol south of Middle Sister

Island in Ohio waters. The USCG monitored the nets throughout the night

and boarded the Adco II the following morning.


Wildlife investigators from the Lake Erie Law Enforcement Unit investigated the incidents. Two charges were filed for possessing gill nets in Ohio, and two charges were filed for fishing with commercial nets in Ohio without a commercial license.


The use of gill nets is not a legal method for taking fish in Ohio. Although commercial fishermen may use other types of nets, such as trap nets and seines, gill nets were outlawed in Ohio in 1983.


First winter free fishing weekend set for Jan. 19 & 20

Open to residents and non-residents alike

MADISON – Pull up a pail and help family and friends discover that ice is nice when it comes to fishing in Wisconsin -- doubly so when the fishing is free.


Wisconsin’s first winter Free Fishing Weekend is set for Jan. 19 and 20. Residents and nonresidents alike can fish anywhere in Wisconsin for free. No licenses or trout stamps are needed. This includes all inland waters and Wisconsin’s side of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River.

“We invite everybody to get out and start a new tradition,” says DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. “Ice fishing is all about family, friends and fun. It’s a great time to get out, get some fresh air and try fishing from a new perspective.”


Wisconsin has long had a Free Fishing Weekend during the open water season; it’s the first Saturday and Sunday in June. The winter Free Fishing Weekend was established under Act 168, a law passed last year


aimed at boosting participation in fishing, hunting and other traditional

outdoor recreation.


Wisconsin’s winter Free Fishing Weekend arrives at a time of growing interest in ice fishing: 110,000 more Wisconsin adults 16 and over reported ice fishing in 2010 than the previous decade. That’s an estimated 590,700 Wisconsinites 16 and over enjoying the hard-water season, according to the most recent National Survey on Recreation and the Environment.


And now that temperatures are finally more seasonal and allowing lakes and rivers to freeze over, there are plenty of places to go fishing in a state with more than 15,000 lakes, 42,000 miles of flowing rivers, and bordered by two Great Lakes and the Mississippi River.


During Free Fishing Weekend, rules governing the number and size of fish anglers can keep are still in place, as are fishing season dates. Go to DNR’s online fishing regulations to look up the rules for inland lakes.

State sets stocking for Lake Michigan

MADISON – The percentage of chinook salmon stocked by the state headed to each Wisconsin port will remain generally the same for 2013 and the state will work with anglers to refine the fish distribution formula for 2014 and beyond, state fisheries officials say.


That approach allows Wisconsin to meet a federal timeline related to stocking in 2013 while giving state fish managers more time to work with Lake Michigan anglers to develop a distribution model that continues the fantastic fishing on Lake Michigan’s open waters but better maximizes fall fishing opportunities on Lake Michigan tributaries, says Mike Staggs, Wisconsin’s fish chief.


“We’ve listened to the public and heard their concerns that the current distribution may need to be updated to better fit what’s going on now in Lake Michigan and its tributaries,” Staggs says. “Based on that feedback, we’ll stock fewer chinooks in Strawberry Creek and spread those fish around to other ports in 2013, and we’ve committed to refining the formula for 2014 to better reflect current research and angler feedback.”


DNR will stock a total of 798,231 chinook in 2013 in its Lake Michigan ports under an agreement among the states surrounding Lake Michigan to adjust lakewide stocking totals to continue the strong fishery by better balancing the number of predator fish like chinook with available prey fish. Of that total, 150,000 will be stocked at Strawberry Creek, 25,000 fewer than last year, and those fish will be spread among the ports. DNR’s main chinook egg collection station is on Strawberry Creek and that number will allow DNR to meet its egg collection needs while allowing more fish to go to other tributaries anglers can fish.


DNR stocked 1.16 million chinook in 2012. The stocking adjustments by Wisconsin and other states surrounding the lake are needed to compensate for dramatically increasing natural reproduction of chinook salmon and a significant decline in alewives – their primary forage.

Fewer stocked fish should lead to improved survival and growth of the remaining salmon, so biologists don’t believe these adjustments will appreciably impact summer fishing, Staggs says. But the number of fish returning to streams in the fall could change.


For 2013 stockings, whose effects wouldn’t be seen in the fall fishery until 2015 or later, quotas for each port will be reduced proportionally from those used since 2006 – the last time stocking was adjusted, he says.


“We will also make sure that in 2013 and moving forward we’ll equitably

distribute fish if we have production shortfalls,” Staggs says. In several

past years hatcheries were not able to produce all of the fish on the quotas and to ensure full stocking at Strawberry Creek fish were moved there from nearby ports. “In the future if this happens, we will distribute any cuts proportionally among all of the ports. Strawberry Creek is a statewide production facility and all ports benefit from us maintaining a strong run of spawning fish there.”


The current stocking quotas have worked very well over the past decade to achieve a fair distribution, provide great fishing around the lake, and has resulted in Kewaunee and Algoma ranking as the top ports in terms of chinook and steelhead caught, according to Brad Eggold, fisheries supervisor for southern Lake Michigan.


The model, however, has not been updated recently and it’s time to incorporate better science, recent fishery information, and anglers’ desires for other factors to be included in a distribution model, Eggold says.


Research has shown that all chinook in the lake – whether naturally reproduced or stocked – swim all over the lake and that anglers in Wisconsin, for example, are just as likely to catch a fish that originated in Michigan’s waters during the summer. Preliminary analysis of coded wire tags retrieved from the snouts of stocked chinook caught off Wisconsin harbors in 2012 indicates that 41 percent of the fish originated from Wisconsin stocking sites and 43 percent originated from Michigan DNR stocking sites.


Research underway will help DNR and partner state and federal fisheries agencies better understand what stocked fish do in the fall – how many return to the streams in which they are stocked, and how many stray and return to other streams. Anglers at public meetings on chinook stocking have expressed concern that they are seeing fewer fish during fall tributary fishing.


“We heard from anglers that they enjoy fall tributary fishing and want to make sure our stocking formula maximizes those fishing opportunities,” Eggold says. “We look forward to working with the Lake Michigan Fisheries Forum and other interested anglers to figure out what factors we should include and how much weight to give each to assure the great fishing continues during the summer open water fishery and in the fall in both harbors and tributaries.”


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)


After 20 years, Maumee Bay starts to freeze again
The dramatic reduction in the amount of water used by FirstEnergy's coal-fired power plant located on Maumee Bay means that hundreds of millions of larval fish are being saved and that the Bay may freeze for the first time in a decade


Concerns rise as lakes fall
According to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers data, Lake Michigan reached a record average low water level of 576.07 feet above sea level this month


EPA recommends Presque Isle Bay be removed from AOC list
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has asked that Presque Isle Bay be taken off an Areas of Concern list. The EPA, in a letter dated Jan. 8, agreed with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, which said in mid-December that it was time for the bay to be delisted.


Drought could reverse flow of Chicago River
If water levels on Lake Michigan continue to drop, the Chicago River could reverse itself and send untreated sewage into Lake Michigan.


Lake Erie’s hatch numbers below average in 2012
The biologists charged with monitoring Lake Erie’s fish population were out on the water late in the summer, doing their annual head count of young-of-the-year walleye and perch. The hatches appeared to be under the long-term average.


Chinook to be spread evenly at Lake Michigan sites
Chinook salmon stocking cuts will be spread evenly among traditional Lake Michigan sites in 2013, with each taking a 35% reduction, according to a decision released Friday by the Department of Natural Resources.

Natural salmon boosting lake fishery
Salmon spawning successfully in Michigan and Ontario tributaries are providing a real boost to Wisconsin’s Chinook sport fishery — and have been for more than a decade.



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. 

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