Week of January 16 , 2012


2nd Amendment Issues
Lake Erie

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National Ocean Council Draft Plan for Public Comment 

Draft Plan open for public comment until February 27, 2012
This afternoon, the National Ocean Council announced the release of the National Ocean Policy Draft Implementation Plan for public review and comment.  Release of the draft Plan follows the most recent public comment period on Strategic Action Plan outlines (June 2-July 2, 2011); rather than compose nine separate draft Strategic Action Plans, the National Ocean Council has released one draft Implementation Plan covering all nine of the National Ocean Policy's national priority objectives.  According to the announcement, the National Ocean Council agencies "evaluated more than 850 specific comments from stakeholders and the public, many representing multiple submissions of very similar comments...[and] [w]e considered all of the comments and accepted many, incorporating them into the draft...Plan." 

According to the Council, the Plan "lays out the initial steps required to achieve the vision and charge of the National Ocean Policy," addresses "some of the most pressing challenges facing the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes," "describes more than 50 actions the Federal Government will take to improve the health of the ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes," and "will ensure the Federal Government targets limited resources effectively to deliver demonstrable results for the American people, including predictability for users, more efficient and coordination decision-making, and improved sharing of data and technology." 

The Council says that they are "relying on your input to

inform development of the final Implementation Plan and

help ensure the National Ocean Policy is working for our

nation," and also poses the following two specific questions:

  • Does the draft Implementation Plan reflect actions you see are needed to address the nine priorities for the ocean, coasts, and the Great Lakes?

  • What is the most effective way to measure outcomes and to detect whether a particular action in the Implementation Plan has achieved its intended outcome? Would a report card format be useful?


In addition to the Plan, the Council released an Appendix summarizing "the most substantive and frequent public comments and how they are addressed" in the draft Plan and consolidating the comments and responses under the four themes used by the Council to guide the draft Plan's development: adopt ecosystem-based management; obtain, use, and share the best science and data; promote efficiency and collaboration; and strengthen regional efforts."


The draft Plan is open for public comment until 12:00 a.m. EST, Monday, February 27, 2012.  The Council says that it expects to complete and approve the final Implementation Plan this spring, after which time "federal agencies will then implement its initial set of actions."  Comments on the draft Plan may be submitted electronically here, by fax to "Attn: National Ocean Council" at (202) 456-0753, or by mail to National Ocean Council, 722 Jackson Place, NW, Washington, DC 20503 (allow additional 2-3 weeks for comments delivered by mail. 

2nd Amendment Issues

Homicides drop while gun ownership rises

Shows anti-gunners wrong

BELLEVUE, WA – This week’s revelation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that homicide is no longer among the leading causes of death in the United States – at a time when gun ownership is at an all-time high – shows that the gun-ban lobby has been wrong, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said.


“The CDC’s report for 2010 that removes homicide from the top 15 leading causes of death in this country coincides with a period of record high gun ownership,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “At the same time, increasing numbers of citizens have obtained concealed carry permits and licenses. This is pretty strong evidence that rising gun ownership does not translate to more violence and murder.”

Gottlieb, co-author of the newly-released SHOOTING BLANKS: Why Facts Don’t Matter to the Gun Ban Crowd with Dave Workman, noted that the CDC has long been a source of data exploited by gun prohibitionists.

“I wonder how anti-gunners will try to spin this report,” he mused. “Gun control extremists will have a hard time explaining how, after years of repeated predictions and warnings that more guns in private hands will result in more mayhem, that homicides are no longer among the top causes of death in the United States.


“Gun banners can’t have it both ways,” Gottlieb continued. “If the data had shown murders on the increase, you can bet your life savings that they would be screaming ‘We told you so!’ on every front page in America.”  Gottlieb said the CDC report is just one more demonstration of how wrong anti-gunners have been in their campaign of fear against private gun ownership.


“This new information correlates with national crime trends over the past few years, showing declining violent crime while gun ownership has increased,” he concluded. “You simply can no longer demonize gun ownership or the Second Amendment as a leading cause of crime.”


Lake Erie

Invasive Carp Could Find a Home in Lake Erie

Lake Erie and its largest tributaries are suitable habitats for invasive Asian carps to reproduce and mature, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

The USGS study found that the Maumee, Sandusky, and Grand Rivers are hospitable environments for Asian carps, potentially allowing the invasive fish to establish a self-sustaining population in western Lake Erie. Currently, federal agencies are working in partnership with Great Lakes States to implement a series of measures to prevent Asian carps from entering the Great Lakes Basin and possibly damaging native fish populations and the Great Lakes economy.

"While the finding of a hospitable environment is not the scientific outcome we and our partners might have hoped for, the clear implication is that conditions exist which could allow for the establishment of breeding populations of Asian carps in Lake Erie," said USGS director Marcia McNutt. "Experience has shown that if they do, the native fish, and the economy that depends on them, could suffer gravely.”

Silver, bighead, and grass carps are Asian carp species that typically spawn in rivers during high summer flows, and, as demonstrated by previous research, can threaten ecosystems by competing with native fish for food. At present, there are no known self-sustaining bighead or silver carp populations in the Great Lakes.

To determine if these and other species of Asian carp can potentially mature in Lake Erie and if river conditions are favorable for them to spawn, the USGS researchers

studied water temperatures in the lake and water velocity

during flood events in eight major tributaries over the past 20 years.


The new study found that the Maumee River, which enters western Lake Erie at Toledo, is highly suitable for Asian carps to mature and spawn, and the Sandusky River, which enters western Lake Erie near Sandusky, Ohio, and the Grand River, which enters central Lake Erie at Fairport Harbor, are moderately suitable.


"We are getting a clearer picture of the threat Asian carps pose to western Lake Erie, and that picture suggests there is cause for concern," said Patrick Kocovsky, USGS scientist and an author of the report.

This USGS research effort, coupled with previously published research on Asian carp food availability in western Lake Erie, is the first to demonstrate the potential for Asian carps to successfully reproduce within the Great Lakes Basin.

Federal and state agencies and other partners are undertaking aggressive tracking and monitoring of the invasive species, have installed electric barriers in the Chicago Area Waterways System to keep Asian carp from moving toward Lake Michigan, and constructed a 1,500-foot fence to block advancement of Asian carp from the Wabash River to the Maumee and Lake Erie.

The USGS study, published in the Journal of Great Lakes Research, can be accessed online.




Rockford Teen catches new state-record Walleye

ROCKFORD, IL – The Illinois DNR salutes 15 year old Nick Tassoni of Rockford for catching a new state-record walleye.  The fish was caught on Jan. 7, 2012 on the Pecatonica River between Rockton and Harrison in Winnebago County.  Nick Tassoni caught the fish while fishing the river with his father, David Tassoni.


IDNR Division of Fisheries Regional Administrator Dan Sallee reports the fish weighed in at 14 lb, 12 oz and was 31 inches in length with a girth of 20.25 inches.  Nick Tassoni’s fish topped the previous state-record walleye, a 14 pounder caught on the Kankakee River in 1961.


Nick Tassoni, a freshman at Rockford Auburn High School, reported catching the fish with a Rapala Minnow Rap lure on Berkley Trilene Big Game 10 lb. line, using a Falcon Carolina Lizzard Dragger rod and Ambassadeur 5000 reel.


“We congratulate Nick Tassoni on catching a beautiful fish and commend this young man and his father for being alert to the fact that they had a big one that might be a record-setter,” said Sallee.  “Nick’s fish easily erased a more than


50-year-old state record for walleye, and this catch speaks

to the fun families can have while fishing in Illinois.”


For more information on catching fish, state-record fish and fishing opportunities in Illinois, go to the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov/fishing or check out www.ifishillinois.org.

Nick Tassoni (left) with his father David and Nick’s state-record walleye

IDNR Seeks Applicants for Conservation Police Officers

CPO Trainee Exam Scheduled for February 6-9, 2012

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is seeking applicants for the position of Conservation Police Officer Trainee.  The department plans to hire 15 new Illinois Conservation Police recruits to begin the academy in June.


Applicant testing is scheduled for February 6-9 through the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) Examining and Counseling Division.  Interested applicants should submit a CMS100 employment application to CMS, which can be found online at www.work.illinois.gov. Applicants should also review the hiring information contained on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, “Law Enforcement” website at www.dnr.illinois.gov , click on “law enforcement” and then “career opportunities”.


Conservation Police Officer Trainee is a state employment position title for which CMS does not test on a regular basis, so those interested are encouraged to apply and participate in the testing scheduled in February.  Reporting instructions to the exam will be provided by the Examining and Counseling Division or can be found on the Illinois Conservation Police website. 


Applicants must possess either an associate’s degree (in any field of study) and three years of full-time law enforcement experience with the same agency (or three years as an active duty, fully sworn military police officer), or  possess a bachelor’s degree (in any field of study).  Either degree must be obtained within 90 days of the written examination. It is important to note that experience and or active duty military experience cannot be

substituted for undergraduate education.

Applicants must also successfully complete each of the following steps in the hiring process: 

Ø  Written examination

Ø  P.O.W.E.R test

Ø  Swim test

Ø  Oral interview

Ø  Psychological evaluation

Ø  Medical screening

Ø  Background investigation


A complete description of the hiring process can be viewed on the Illinois Conservation Police website.


Conservation Police Officers have full police authority, with an enforcement mission focused on natural resources protection and outdoor recreation safety.  Duties include enforcement of criminal and vehicle laws in state parks; patrolling Illinois lakes and rivers, and enforcing boat safety laws and regulations; enforcing state and federal fish and wildlife laws and regulations; enforcing the Timber Buyers Act, protection of forests and endangered species, and snowmobile registration and operation laws; enforcing laws and regulations regarding commercial establishments including taxidermists, fur buyers and fish markets; and enforcing IDNR administrative rules and regulations.


For more info on the IDNR Law Enforcement and the Conservation Police Officer hiring process, go to: www.dnr.illinois.gov, or contact Lt. Eric Bumgarner, IDNR Office of Law Enforcement, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271, phone 217/785-8407, e-mail [email protected].


Winter Discovery Day for women Jan 28

Opportunity to Explore Ice Fishing, Snowshoeing, Hunting

The Department of Natural Resources is offering a Winter Discovery Day on Saturday, Jan 28 at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center in Roscommon. Part of the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program, the program is designed for women to try a variety of outdoor skills in a fun, safe and non-competitive environment.  


The $50 fee includes lunch and participants' choice of two classes. Sessions, taught by experienced volunteer instructors, include:

· Ice Fishing

· Beginning Snowshoeing

· Basic Map and Compass Skills

· Day Hiking

· Duck Hunting

· Self Defense

· Basic Pistol Shooting

· Outdoor Cooking

· Spring Turkey Hunting

"We decided to offer this one-day program for those who want to try some new outdoor recreation activities but can't get away for the full Winter Discovery Weekend," said BOW program coordinator Sue Tabor.  "Women who are interested in getting outdoors and having some fun are invited to join us.  All classes are geared toward beginners – no skill level required!"


The Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center is on the north shore of Higgins Lake at 104 Conservation Drive in Roscommon. Registration and payment must be received no later than Jan. 24.


BOW is a noncompetitive program in which each individual is encouraged to learn at her own pace. The emphasis is on the enjoyment, fun and camaraderie of outdoor activities, and sharing in the success of one another.


For registration forms or info: www.michigan.gov/bow, call 517-241-2225 or email [email protected].


Enjoy Snowshoe Treks through Ludington State Park

Ludington State Park in Mason County is offering a Go Get Outdoors free snowshoe trek on Saturdays, Jan. 14 through Feb. 18, weather permitting. These 1-1/2-hour guided snowshoe/nature/history programs will take visitors through Ludington State Park’s snow-covered sand dunes. Two treks will be offered each Saturday. Start out from the Warming Shelter located next to the parking lot at the end of M-116 at 3 p.m. or try the Moonlight Trek at 7 p.m. The park has 40 pairs of snowshoes to loan out on a first-come, first-served basis. Loaner snowshoes fit visitors ages 10 years old to adult. Reservations are not required.


Park staff will be on hand to help novice trekkers with their snowshoes and getting started. Participants are advised to

dress warmly, wear good-fitting winter walking shoes or boots, and bring a flashlight if attending the Moonlight Trek.


“Snowshoeing can be done by anyone at any age. One hour of moderate walking in snowshoes can burn up to 750 calories, and the sport is one of the safest winter activities,” said Allen Wernette, Ludington State Park interpreter.


Ludington State Park is located at 8800 W. M-116 in Ludington. For details, call Wernette at 231-843-9261.


Snowshoe hikes and cross-country ski events are taking place this winter at many state parks across Michigan. To learn more, visit www.michigan.gov/gogetoutdoors.


Sea Grant at Cleveland Boat Show educates visitors about Lake Erie issues

CLEVELAND—Visitors to the Mid-America Boat Show can learn from Ohio Sea Grant experts about the major environmental issues facing Lake Erie, including dead zones, Asian carp, harmful algal blooms, and unwanted medications January 13 – 22 at the Cleveland I-X Center. Sea Grant representatives will be available at the program's display booth throughout the show to discuss Lake Erie topics and educational opportunities at Stone Laboratory.


“The show provides an incredible opportunity for students, teachers, and the general public to have their questions answered and interact with Ohio State University scientists from Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab working on Lake Erie,”

says Dr. Jeff Reutter, Director Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab.


Visitors to the boat show can support Stone Lab’s research and education by purchasing admission on January 16, Lake Erie Day. The event’s managing organization, Lake Erie Marine Trades Association (LEMTA), donates $1 from every admission ticket purchased that day to Stone Lab student scholarships.


From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on January 16, the following experts will be available at the Ohio Sea Grant display near the Pirate Island stage to answer questions and give presentations on the critical issues facing Lake Erie.


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)


Dollars continue to flow for Asian carp control
Federal and state officials say that Asian carp control efforts in the Great Lakes will continue this year with congressional commitments to maintain funding similar to the previous fiscal year.


Local MPP tackles new baitfish regulations
The Ministry of Natural Resources has established a new management zone around the Lake Simcoe watershed to address the potential spread of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia to other inland waters and the spread of invasive species from Lake Simcoe.


Upper Peninsula lake is quietly becoming ice fishing hotbed
Lake Gogebic is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan's largest inland lake, which in early 2012 was one of the few water bodies in Michigan with safe ice.



The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the GLSFC, its officers or staff. 

Reproduction of any material by paid-up members of the GLSFC is encouraged but appropriate credit must be given. 

Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.

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