Week of January 30 , 2012

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

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Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

Lead Tackle Ban "Off the Table" In Washington State

After anglers made it known they didn't support a proposed lead fishing tackle ban proposed in the Washington State Legislature, HB2241 has been defeated in the House Environment Committee and removed from the committee's agenda for the remainder of the session.


Banning lead sinkers and jigs is neither reasonable nor warranted without the scientific data to support it.

Furthermore, this legislation was introduced following the implementation of a highly unpopular and controversial partial lead tackle ban in 2011.


You, Ali, helped stop this burdensome, unwarranted and scientifically unsupported legislation from moving forward in the state legislature. This is a significant victory for Washington’s angling community and we thank you for taking action!



Attack on U.S. Sovereignty - The Law of the Sea Treaty

Adopted in 1982, The Law of the Sea Treaty was initially called the Third United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III) and aimed to implement a set of detailed rules that would control the oceans, replacing the 1958 (UNCLOS I) and 1960 (UNCLOS II) United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea. The European Community and 162 countries have joined the Convention.


“Negotiated in the 1970s, the Law of the Sea treaty was heavily influenced by the New International Economic Order, a set of economic principles first formally advanced at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in the 1970s and 1980s,” calling for redistribution of wealth to the benefit of third world countries.


President Ronald Reagan rejected the treaty in 1982 because it demanded technology and wealth transfer from developed countries to developing nations as well as adopting regulations and laws to control oceanic pollution.  Jurisdictional limits on oceans included a 12-mile territorial sea limit and a 200-mile exclusive economic zone limit.  The treaty would regulate economic “activity on, over, and beneath the ocean’s surface.”


In spite of the many pros and cons, in March 2004, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee recommended by unanimous vote that the U.S. sign the treaty.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), member of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on Water and Power, opposes the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) on several grounds, including the loss of National sovereignty.

In order to ratify a treaty, the President needs a two-thirds majority vote from the Senate. According to Sen. Mike Lee, treaties must represent U.S. economic and security interests.  Our economy and navigation rights have not been affected by the fact that we chose to reject the treaty. He finds the loss of National sovereignty and mandatory dispute resolution included in the Law of the Sea treaty quite troubling.


The International Seabed Authority (“the Authority”) has the power to distribute “international royalties” to developing and landlocked nations. “So hypothetically, a U.S. company that has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in developing clean and safe deep-sea mining machinery would be forced to give a portion of its profits to countries such as Somalia, Sudan, and Cuba – all considered to be developing nations by ‘the Authority.’” (Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah)


Sen. Mark Begich, D-Arkansas, chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, supports the ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST). He believes that this treaty provides rules to handle future underwater minerals, gas, and oil exploration and shipping on new water routes opened by receding Arctic icepack. His support is predicated on the premise that the Arctic icepack melt will be a constant in the future.


According to Sen. Mark Begich, “The United States is the world’s leading maritime power. Only by ratifying the treaty can it protect freedom of navigation to advance our commercial and national security interests, claim

extended continental-shelf areas in the Arctic – an area

believed to be twice the size of California – as other nations are already doing, and use its provisions to protect the marine environment, manage fisheries and appoint Americans to help resolve disputes.” (The American Legion Magazine)


According to the Heritage Foundation, innocent passage through an area is already protected under “multiple independent treaties, as well as traditional international maritime law.”  Few countries deny passage to the U.S., given its naval superiority.  Under the Law of the Sea Treaty, “intelligence and submarine maneuvers in territorial waters would be restricted and regulated.” It is thus not in the national security interest of the United States to ratify this treaty.


The treaty requires policies that regulate deep-sea mining, requires rules and regulations to control and prevent marine pollution, and requires the control of corporations who cannot bring lawsuits independently. They must depend on the country of origin to plead their case in front of the United Nations agency.


“Some proponents of the treaty believe that it will establish a system of property rights for mineral extraction in deep sea beds, making the investment in such ventures more attractive.”   President Reagan objected to the Principle of the “Common Heritage of Mankind,” which dictates that marine resources belong to all mankind and cannot be exploited by one nation.


To spread the wealth, the UN “Authority” must regulate and exploit mineral resources by asking companies to pay an application fee of half a million dollars, recently changed to $250,000, and to reserve an extra site for the Authority to “utilize its own mining efforts.”


A corporation must also pay an annual fee of $1 million and up to 7% of its annual profits and share its mining and navigational technology. Mining permits are granted or withheld by the “Authority” which is composed of mostly developing countries. (Heritage Foundation)


Any kind of maritime dispute, fisheries, environmental protection, navigation, and research, must be resolved under this treaty through mandatory dispute resolution by the UN court or tribunal which limits autonomy. Disputes should be resolved by U.S. courts. (Heritage Foundation)  The United States provisional participation in the Laws of the Sea treaty expired in 1998. Should we consider the ratification of another treaty that has the potential to further chip away at our National sovereignty?


The GOP has recently passed (January 14, 2012) a resolution exposing United Nations Agenda 21 as “a comprehensive plan of extreme environmentalism, social engineering, and global political control that was initiated at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED).” 


“According to the United Nations Agenda 21 policy, National sovereignty is deemed a social injustice.” United Nations treaties and programs want to force “social justice” through socialist/communist redistribution of wealth from developed nations like the U.S. to third world countries.

American Sportfishing Association seeks help in lead debate

The debate over lead in fishing tackle is heating up again, and KeepAmericaFishing is calling for help. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was recently petitioned, again, to ban lead in all fishing tackle. At issue 

are several things: there is no scientific data to support the argument that lead in any fishing tackle is harmful to bird populations; alternative metals can cost from nine to 18 times more than lead; and most alternatives to lead don't perform as well. Learn more and help support the American Sportfishing Association.

Senior Officials Refuses Fast And Furious Subpoena

Last week, a senior official from the U.S. Attorney’s office said he is refusing to appear before the committee headed by Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who issued him a subpoena as part of his investigation into Fast and Furious.


An attorney for Patrick Cunningham, chief of the Phoenix office’s criminal division within the U.S. Attorney’s office in Arizona, said his client was planning to invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid acting as a witness against himself, according to The Hill. Issa subpoenaed Cunningham early last week to be deposed before the committee over his role

in Fast and Furious, which was run out of Arizona in coordination with the State’s U.S. Attorney office.


“Senior Justice Department officials have recently told the committee that you relayed inaccurate and misleading information to the department in preparation for its initial response to Congress,” said Issa in the letter, which was made public last week. Cunningham’s involvement centers on a letter sent from the Justice Department last year to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that contained false statements about the operation. Attorney General Eric Holder is scheduled to appear before Issa’s committee in two weeks.


Arizona strikes back: State investigates feds over gun-running

Arizona's state legislature will open its own investigation into the Obama administration's disgraced gun-running program, known as "Fast and Furious," the speaker of the state House said Friday.  Speaker Andy Tobin created the committee, and charged it with looking at whether the program broke any state laws — raising the possibility of state penalties against those responsible for the operation.


It's a turnaround from the rest of the immigration issue, where the federal government has sued to block the state's own set of laws.

A law requiring businesses to check new workers' legal status was upheld by the Supreme Court last year, and the court has agreed to hear the case of Arizona's crackdown law that makes being an illegal immigrant a state crime and gives state and local police the power to enforce that law.


Fast and Furious was a straw-purchase program run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The goal was to try to trace guns sold in Arizona shops and then trafficked across the Mexican border, where they

landed in the hands of drug cartels. As part of the operation, however, agents let the guns "walk" — meaning they lost track of them. At least two of the guns ended up at the scene where Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed in a shootout with Mexican bandits along a smuggling corridor in Arizona.


Mr. Tobin will announce the committee's jurisdiction at a press conference in Phoenix on Monday. The committee is charged with looking into the facts about the program, what impact it had on Arizona and whether any of the state's laws were broken. A report is due back by March 30. Arizona's investigation into Fast and Furious comes on top of an investigation by Republicans in Congress.


On Friday the chief of the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona told a House committee he will decline to answer their questions next week, citing his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. The official's lawyer, in a letter to the committee, said his client is innocent but is "ensnared by the unfortunate circumstances in which he now stands between two branches of government."


Postage Prices Increase

As of January 22, 2012, it now costs a penny more to mail letters to locations in the United States. The new price increase- .45¢ affects First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, Periodicals, Package Services and Extra Services. The Forever stamps are sold at the First-Class Mail stamp postage rate at the time they are purchased. The

advantages of a forever stamp to the consumer include the ability to stock up on first class postage at the current rate and use them until your supply is exhausted.


For more information on the new postal rates, contact your local post office, or visit the U.S. Postal Service website.


Ron Paul introduces simple bill to repeal worst parts of Congress' "indefinite detention"
Some may not want him to be President, but for those concerned about provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows for the detention of American citizens without trial, consider supporting Ron Paul's latest legislation. Maybe even contact your favorite Republican primary candidate(s) and see if they'll support it, too.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce a very simple piece of legislation to repeal the infamous Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act, quietly signed into law by the president on New Year's Day.

What a way to usher In the New Year.

Section 1,021 essentially codifies into law the very dubious claim of presidential authority under the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force to indefinitely detain American citizens without access to legal representation or due process of law. Section 1,021 provides for the possibility of the U.S. military acting as a kind of police force on U.S. soil, apprehending terror suspects -- including Americans -- and whisking them off to an undisclosed location indefinitely. No right to attorney, no right to trial, no day in court.

... Mr. Speaker, I recognize how critical it is that we identify and apprehend those who are suspected of plotting attacks against Americans. But why do we...  Read full article...



Trijicon to sponsor SCI hunters convention

Club International (SCI) announced that Trijicon will sponsor the 40th Annual Hunters’ Convention at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV February 1-4, 2012.


“SCI is one of the largest hunting organizations dedicated to protecting our freedom to hunt,” said Tom Munson, Director Sales & Marketing of Trijicon. “Through our support of SCI, we know that Trijicon is making a difference for future generations of hunters.”


“Trijicon is a leader for modern hunting optics, and their

product line is a reflection of their passion for all hunters’

needs. Through our continued collaboration and support of SCI’s hunting advocacy mission we know that our hunting heritage will be protected into the future,” concluded SCI Chief Communications Officer Larry Rudolph.



SCI’s 40th Annual Hunters’ Convention will be the largest ever in the organization’s history. With over 2,000 exhibitors in over 1million square feet of exhibit space the 2012 SCI Hunters’ Convention will be the largest in SCI history. Register today for the 2012 Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada and learn more about vendors, convention banquets and evening entertainment by visiting www.showsci.com.


Enjoy Michigan's Free Fishing Weekend Feb. 18 and 19
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds everyone the annual Winter Free Fishing Weekend is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 18 and Sunday, Feb. 19. On that weekend, everyone – residents and non-residents alike – can fish without a license, though all other fishing regulations still apply.


Michigan has been celebrating Winter Free Fishing Weekend annually since 1994 as a way to promote awareness of the state's vast aquatic resources. With more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, 36,000 miles of rivers and 11,000 inland lakes, Michigan and fishing are a natural match.


"Michigan offers some of the finest freshwater fishing in the world, including during the winter months," said DNR

Director Rodney Stokes. "Fishing is an inexpensive activity anyone can pursue – as an individual or as a family. We encourage you to get out this February and experience it for yourself, for free!"


To encourage involvement in Free Fishing Weekends, organized activities are being scheduled in communities across the state. These activities are coordinated by a variety of organizations including: constituent groups, schools, local and state parks, businesses and others.

There’s still plenty of time to plan your own local Free Fishing Weekend event, or find one occurring in your community. Visit the newly revamped website www.michigan.gov/freefishing for all things related to this unique weekend; including where you can find help on event planning and promotion and where you can identify events in your area or register an official event.

New York

DEC releases Draft Bobcat Management Plan

Plan Will Guide Bobcat Management for the Next Five Years

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced the release of a proposed five-year bobcat management plan for public review and comment. “The plan, once final, will guide the management of bobcat in New York State for the next five years, a wildlife species which continues to fascinate and intrigue both the hunting community and nature observers,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens.


The draft management plan is available on the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/9360.html. The comment period on the draft plan runs through February 16, 2012.


The draft plan describes three primary goals for bobcat management:

· Maintain viable population levels and monitor trends in bobcat distribution and relative abundance;

· Provide for sustainable use and enjoyment of bobcat by the public; and

· Minimize negative bobcat-human interactions.


“DEC staff worked closely with trappers and small game hunters to gain preliminary input regarding the future management of the bobcat resource,” said DEC Assistant Commissioner for Natural Resources Kathleen Moser. “Input obtained from these groups was used by DEC

biologists and managers to develop the recommendations and management actions contained in the draft plan, said

Moser.” The plan includes proposals to greatly simplify hunting and trapping season dates by making them consistent throughout much of the state as well as establishing new hunting and trapping opportunities in several wildlife management units in central and western New York.


While hunters and trappers are the most common users of the bobcat resource, wildlife enthusiasts, nature photographers, and others also benefit from a healthy bobcat population. As is the case with hunters and trappers, many wildlife photographers also view the elusive bobcat as being a “trophy” species and a rewarding challenge to capture on film. “As evidenced by the number of observation reports fielded by Department staff, the public is very interested in bobcats and can play a role in their management by facilitating the collection of data on the species,” said DEC Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resource Director Patty Riexinger. “DEC strives to provide sound management for bobcat and other furbearer species for the benefit of the resource and the people of New York,” said Riexinger.


Comments may be submitted in writing through February 16, 2012 to NYSDEC Bureau of Wildlife, Bobcat Management Plan, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754 or by e-mail to [email protected] (type “Bobcat Plan” in the subject line).


Ohioans can renew boat registrations online

OLUMBUS, OH – Now is the time for Ohioans to renew their watercraft registrations if they are set to expire on March 1. The renewal process can be completed conveniently online, through the mail or in person, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Watercraft.


Ohio watercraft registrations are valid for a period of three years. In 2011, Ohio had a record of 426,674 registered watercraft, and approximately 1/3 of Ohio’s watercraft registrations will expire on March 1. The Division of Watercraft processed a record of 16,635 registration renewals online at www.ohiodnr.com/watercraft in 2011.


The Division of Watercraft encourages boat owners to take advantage of the online registration renewal system if they are not making any changes to boat information included in their registration.


Owner information, such as a mailing address, may be changed when using the online watercraft registration renewal process. Multiple boat registrations may be renewed online in one transaction. These secure renewal

transactions require the use of a valid MasterCard or Visa

credit card in addition to a Division of Watercraft assigned boat registration personal identification number.


The online renewal process may be utilized 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Sept. 30. Once the boat owner’s transaction is successfully completed, a valid boat registration and decals will be sent in the mail within 10 days.


Ohio boat owners also may renew their watercraft registrations by mail through June 30, if they have no changes to information included on their registration, including owner information. Ohioans also may renew watercraft registrations in person when visiting a watercraft registration agent.


A listing of watercraft registration agents, which includes each of the Division of Watercraft’s 11 area office locations, fee schedules and other registration information, is available online at www.ohiodnr.com/watercraft or by calling the Division of Watercraft toll free (in Ohio only) at 877-4BOATER (877-426-2837).


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' is 2012 Conference Theme

COLUMBUS, OH – Overlooked wildlife will be the focus of the 2012 Ohio Wildlife Diversity Conference, which is scheduled for Wednesday, March 7, at the Aladdin Shrine Center in Columbus. The conference, titled “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” is sponsored by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife and is open to the public.


“We hope many people are able to attend this conference to learn more about the interesting wildlife we have in Ohio,” said Director Jim Zehringer, director of ODNR.  The Wildlife Diversity Conference has steadily grown in popularity. The first conference, held in 1985, drew 40 people. Last year, 975 people attended the day-long gathering.


The keynote speaker this year, Cindy Hale of the University of Minnesota, will discuss earthworms and their impact to the environment in her presentation, “Dances with Worms: The Great Lakes Worm Watch.”


Other conference topics include discussions of freshwater mussel restoration, aquatic invasive species, a Lake Erie pelagic bird survey, terrestrial crayfish, wildlife orphans, wetland restoration, as well as beavers, porcupines and

fishers in Ohio.  The third Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp,

which features the spotted salamander, will be available to conference attendees. Proceeds from the sale of the stamp will be used to support:

• Endangered and threatened native species

• Habitat restoration, land purchases and conservation easements; and

• Educational products for students and wildlife enthusiasts


Anyone who pre-registers online for the conference may purchase this collectable stamp at a discounted price of $12, which is a 20 percent savings. Details about the Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp are available at wildohiostamp.com.


Representatives from a range of conservation and natural resource organizations, such as the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, Columbus Audubon and Ohio Biological Survey, will present displays and be available to answer questions. Doors open at 8 a.m. for registration on March 7. The conference begins at 9 a.m. and lasts until 3:30 p.m.


For more information or to register for the conference online, go to http://bit.ly/WildlifeDiversityConference or call 800-WILDLIFE. The registration cost prior to Feb. 26 is $25. After that date, the admission cost is $35.


2012 Winnebago sturgeon spearing season opens Feb. 11

Harvest caps increased in response to sturgeon population growth

OSHKOSH, Wis. – A record number of spearers are expected for the Feb. 11, 2012 opening day of the Winnebago System Sturgeon Spearing Season and they will find more trophy-sized fish, higher harvest caps for the most prized fish, adult female sturgeon, and the potential for a longer season, state fish biologists say.

“We’ve seen a steady increase in the adult lake sturgeon stock in the last decade so we've been able to raise the harvest caps again for 2012, which should translate into more spearing opportunities and possibly a longer season," says Ron Bruch, Department of Natural Resources fisheries supervisor in Oshkosh. "That's good news for spearers and for the local economy, which sees an economic impact of more than $3.5 million for the average 10-day season."

In 2011, DNR estimated there were 16,560 females and 30,260 males in the adult spawning stock.


The harvest caps for adult females have increased to 745 on Lake Winnebago and 83 on the Upriver Lakes for 2012, up from 711 and 79 respectively.  A record 12,680 people bought licenses by the Oct. 31, 2011 deadline to spear during the upcoming season, up from the previous record of 12,423 set last year, and up nearly 50 percent since 2007. Bruch credits the growing participation in part to excitement over the significant increase in trophy-sized lake sturgeon in the system.


Trophy-sized fish are those 100 lbs or larger, and last year, spearers harvested 94 of them. That's about 7.5 % of the 1,426 fish harvested, up from less than 1 % in most years.

And DNR fisheries crews regularly see fish in excess of 200 lbs during spawning surveys on the Wolf River. The record fish of 212 lbs was harvested from Lake Winnebago in 2010.

This 185 lb, 80.2" female was caught last yr

by Josh Genske of Sheboygan


Regulation changes developed through a joint effort by DNR and the Winnebago Citizens sturgeon Advisory Committee since 1993 have led to the an increase in sturgeon numbers and trophy-sized fish.


“The sturgeon harvest management system we currently have in place on the Winnebago System is a world model,”

Bruch says. “Key to our success is not only effective

control of harvest, but also the process we use to pro-actively involve the public in our sturgeon management program; the public has great ownership and pride in this program.”
Ice conditions beginning to shape up 

Ice conditions on Lake Winnebago are still relatively poor but much improved thanks to the recent cold weather. Spearers are optimistic there is now a solid base that additional cold weather can build on to make for good travel in most areas, come Feb. 9. That is the first day spearers can “cut in” and set their shacks. The other great moderator of spearing success, water clarity, is fair at this point but expected to improve, Bruch says. Even if the ice thickens, it is never 100 percent safe and those traveling on it need to exercise caution and know where the cracks and thin ice areas are, he says.


Fishing and spearing clubs around the lake system mark and maintain a network of roads on the lakes, as well as bridges over expansion cracks, for safe travel. Roads are marked every one-tenth of a mile with an upright Christmas tree. Christmas trees lying on their sides mark thin or dangerous ice areas.

Season details

The 2012 Lake Winnebago season runs from Feb. 11, 2012, through Feb. 26, 2012, or until the pre-set harvest cap for Lake Winnebago is reached, or the pre-set harvest cap for the entire Winnebago System is reached, whichever comes first. The Upriver Lakes season runs from Feb. 11, 2012, through Feb. 26, 2012, on Lakes Butte des Morts, Winneconne and Poygan, or until the pre-set harvest cap for the Upriver Lakes is reached, or the pre-set harvest cap for the entire Winnebago System is reached, whichever comes first. Participation in the Upriver season was determined by a lottery for the required sturgeon tag, with 500 people selected from among those who submitted an application by Aug. 1, 2011.


Spearers can only participate in the season for which they have a spearing license. More information on regulations and a list of registration stations is available on the Winnebago System Sturgeon Spearing Season 2012 page of the DNR website.


Sign up for free e-mail sturgeon spearing updates

People can sign up for an improved e-mail subscription service or wireless updates to make it easier to learn about Winnebago system sturgeon spearing updates. will include a daily summary report from Ron Bruch, DNR fisheries supervisor, daily (and running) system harvest totals, and miscellaneous news from the day.

Other Breaking News Items

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Arizona strikes back: State investigates feds over gun-running

Arizona's state legislature will open its own investigation into the Obama administration's disgraced gun-running program, known as "Fast and Furious." Speaker of the state House Speaker Andy Tobin created the committee, and charged it with looking at whether the program broke any state laws — raising the possibility of state penalties against those responsible for the operation.


Scientist: Asian carp would thrive in Lake Erie
If the Asian carp reaches Lake Erie in large numbers, it may be coming to stay. A new research article co-authored by a government fish scientist in Erie County predicts the Asian carp would be able to reproduce in large numbers in Lake Erie and its tributaries


nvasion of the Great Lakes: Quagga mussels least known, most dangerous invader
The little-known quagga mussel is taking over vast stretches of the Great Lakes, dramatically reducing populations of game and commercial fish and presenting a much more immediate danger to lake ecology than its more famous cousin — the zebra mussel — ever did.



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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