Week of April 16, 2012

Misc Products



2nd Amendment Issues

Other Breaking News Items


       Weekly News Archives


       New Product  Archives

Misc Products

Sport-Brella Portable Group Shelter

Visiting and viewing the outdoors - in leisure comfort  

Called the Sport-Brella this portable group shelter is an instant-set-up, 9 ft. wide portable group umbrella coming in a variety of colors.  Setting up in 3 seconds, one Sport-Brella can easily shade several adults under its domed 9 ft. wide, 125 SPF structure. This structure also allows easy visibility of the surroundings. It folds up and stores into an easy-to-carry bag in a matter of seconds.


It's a Portable Sun & Weather Shelter

The Sport-Brella will serve you well, protecting you from harsh weather conditions. It can serve as a beach umbrella, sun tent, rain shelter and protection from windy situations. Yet, the Sport-Brella is a great viewing shelter for spectator sports; from the sidelines, little league stuff, at the beach while keeping an eye on the kids in the surf, or along the shoreline fishing with the family. The Sport-Brella gives you instant portable protection from the sun, rain, and wind with quick shade protection.


As we said, it sets up in just three seconds - and fits the family or the whole team. It opens to 8' wide for plenty of sun shade with its domed shape, side flaps and 125 SPF


The Sport-Brella is a portable, easy carry, must have piece

of gear that comes with a convenient carry bag and shoulder strap, and weighs only 11 lbs It is available in a multitude of colors including red, green or blue, and camo for use as a blind.  For added comfort, it includes top wind vents, side zippered windows for efficient airflow and additional visibility, internal pockets for gear and valuables, and tethers/ground stakes for use when necessary for additional stability.


For the store nearest you:  Store Locator


For even more comfort, look into their assortment of Sport-Brella Chairs


Available online or at a retailer close to you like in most Costco�s, Dicks, Sports Authority, MC Sports and other fine stores


About $49.99 - 69.99









U.S. Coast Guard Adopts Ballast Water Standards

Fight against Invasive Species continues but weakens

A final ruling by the U.S. Coast Guard has introduced new standards and requires ships to use technology to minimize the threat of invasive species in discharged ballast waters.


The new regulation requires that discharge from ballast tanks have no more than 10 living organisms per milliliter for organisms between 10 and 50 micrometers in size. Ten organisms greater than or equal to 50 micrometers in size are allowed per cubic meter (roughly 264 gallons).


Vessels will be required to install water treatment systems, such as UV radiation, electrolysis or centrifugation following their first dry dock after 2014.


These regulations are in line with discharge limits proposed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2004, but conservationists argue the regulations are not strict enough to stop the influx of non-native species into

waterways. A coast guard representative said the ballast water standards can be increased over time; the first year to bear stricter regulations may be as soon as 2016.


Currently, around $200 million is spent annually on managing and eradicating invasive species. Existing ballast water exchange and flushing practices will continue to be enforced by Transport Canada, the U. S. Coast Guard and Saint Lawrence Seaway. Commercial vessels must still flush empty tanks with salt water and exchange ballast water.


The final rule is effective 90 days after publication in the Federal Register, which is available through the new Federal Digital System at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/.








75 Years of Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program Success

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the passage of the landmark Pittman-Robertson (also known as Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration) Act, which directs excise taxes collected on the sale of firearms and ammunition to be used exclusively by state wildlife agencies for improving wildlife populations, hunter education and public access to the outdoors. The benefits of this program to state agencies, sportsmen, sporting goods retailers and manufacturers and anyone who enjoys and appreciates wildlife and the outdoors have been abundant since its creation.


Taking a look at the state of wildlife and hunting opportunities when Pittman-Robertson was passed compared to now can be startling. In 1937, 11 states had no open seasons for deer and three others only had local seasons. Missouri�s deer season was only three days long, while Colorado only had a seven-day elk season. Grouse season in Wisconsin was completely closed, South Dakota only had local pheasant seasons and no states had dedicated archery or muzzleloader seasons.


Today, virtually every state boasts lengthy deer seasons including special archery and muzzleloader seasons that can extend a deer hunter�s time outdoors. Missouri boasts more than 123 days of hunting for deer each year, elk hunters can now potentially hunt more than 120 days in Colorado, Wisconsin enjoys a 136-day grouse season and South Dakota is recognized as the pheasant hunting capital of the world with abundant opportunity and an 86-day statewide season. Even considering recent declines in the total number of hunters, there is still more than twice the number of hunters in 2010 than there were in 1937.


�Wildlife was in danger of disappearing in many areas and hunting opportunities were not nearly as abundant as they are today despite the modern perception among many non-hunters that those were the good old days,� says Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, a leading

researcher of fish and wildlife economics and statistics.


Southwick Associates teamed up with Andrew Loftus Consulting on behalf of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies to develop the report, �Financial Returns to Industry from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program.� The report details many of the benefits to various stakeholder groups since the inception of the program prevented excise taxes on firearms and ammunition from being diverted to the general treasury. It also protected the funds raised through license fees paid by hunters from being diverted for any other purpose than the administration of state wildlife agencies.


The benefits of the program extend far beyond providing much-needed funding for state wildlife agencies to carry out programs that restore and maintain healthier wildlife populations and habitats and provide greater hunting opportunities. It also helps the bottom lines of the manufacturers and retailers who build and sell the products on which the excise taxes are placed.


�Since 1937, the Wildlife Restoration Act has provided nearly $7 billion to state fish and wildlife agencies to support wildlife and habitat conservation, hunter access, hunter safety education and shooting range development,� says Ron Regan, Executive Director of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. �Ultimately, it�s a cycle of success where Wildlife Restoration-funded conservation creates better hunting opportunities, which leads to more hunters, which translates into more consumers for hunting, archery and shooting sports manufacturers and retail outlets.�


Hunting license sales and collected excise taxes annually result in approximately $1.27 billion to fund state wildlife agencies. When adjusted for 2009 dollars, consumer retail purchases of tax-related hunting and shooting equipment ranged between a low of $2.8 billion in 1970 to $5.2 billion in 1996.


EPA denies group's Latest Petition to Ban Traditional Ammo

NSSF Calls Upon Congress to Pass the 'Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Sports Protection Act'

NEWTOWN, Conn. -- The EPA on April 9 denied yet another frivolous petition by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) -- an established anti-hunting group -- calling for a ban on the traditional ammunition (containing lead-core components) for hunting and shooting.


The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, applauds the EPA's latest decision and called upon Congress to immediately pass the Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Sports Protection Act (S.838/H.R.1558). In the House of Representatives, the bill is also included in the Sportsmen�s Heritage Act of 2012 (H.R. 4089), an important piece of legislation that combines three other legislative priorities for sportsmen. The bill (S.838/H.R.1558) amends the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to clarify that the Congress has excluded traditional ammunition from regulation by the EPA. The legislation is supported by more than 35 national conservation and sportsmen�s groups. The bill is even supported by the Fraternal Order of Police because a ban on traditional ammunition would apply to law enforcement and the U.S. military.


NSSF opposed the petition, which was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and other like-minded groups. This was the second attempt by the CBD to ban traditional ammunition since it first petitioned the EPA in August of 2010. In rejecting the CBD�s latest petition the EPA agreed with NSSF, telling the CBD that it did not have jurisdiction under TSCA to regulate ammunition. The

CBD�s petition purported to narrow the scope of the ban sought, but the EPA concluded that this change was a �distinction without a substantive difference.� The EPA went on to say the new petition "contains no new information.�


The CBD�s serial petitions erroneously claim that the use of traditional ammunition by hunters poses a danger to human health and wildlife, in particular raptor populations such as bald eagles. The truth is that wildlife populations, including raptor and bald eagle populations, are soaring. The myth of a human health risk has been thoroughly debunked by a 2008 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that found the health of hunters consuming game harvested with traditional ammunition was not at risk.


The excise taxes raised from hunters' purchases of the very ammunition the CBD tries to demonize is a primary source of wildlife conservation in the United States. Restricting or banning traditional ammunition absent sound science will hurt wildlife conservation.


�Hunters have done more for wildlife than the CBD ever will," said NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane. "These relentless and unfounded attacks against traditional ammunition by agenda-driven groups like the CBD are exactly why Congress must take immediate action and pass the Sportsmen's Heritage Act of 2012."


Keane is referencing the federal excise tax that manufacturers pay on the sale of the ammunition (11 percent), which is dedicated to the Wildlife Restoration Trust Fund administered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.



Great Lakes Water Levels for April 13, 2012 


The Great Lakes basin experienced minimal precipitation and cool temperatures this week. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected this weekend and the early part of next week, with some areas seeing up to 1 inch of rain over the next several days. Temperatures are forecasted to warm up slightly this weekend, but then will go back to cooler temperatures for the beginning of next week.


Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 4 and 6 inches, respectively, higher than they were last year. Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 4, 6, and 5 inches, respectively, higher than a year ago. Over the next month, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are both forecasted to rise 3 inches from their current levels. The water levels of Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are expected to increase 2, 1, and 3 inches, respectively, over the next thirty days.


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

Ontario into the St. Lawrence River are both predicted to be above average in April.


The water level of Lake Superior is below chart datum and is forecasted to remain below chart datum until July. Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels. Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.





St. Clair



Level for Apr 13






Datum, in ft






Diff in inches






Diff last month






Diff from last yr







Cabela�s prepares to Cast New Fly Fishing Initiative
Hands-on instruction, introductory courses to be offered at select retail locations

Cabela�s, along with the Federation of Fly Fishers, announced plans to offer industry-leading instruction for beginning fly anglers at 13 Cabela�s retail locations � and online � starting in May. 


The new Cabela�s Fly Fishing University will include in-store classes hosted by experienced Cabela�s Outfitters, who will be trained by FFF instructors, as well as a series of online modules ranging in topics and depth. Those who enroll in either program will receive a free electronic FFF membership and other special offers. All classes are free.


In-store instruction will run every Saturday from May until August, covering equipment, basic insect information, casting and knot tying. Participating Cabela�s retail locations include Boise, Idaho; Reno, Nev.; Billings, Mont.; Hamburg, Pa.; Dundee, Mich.; Scarborough, Maine; Grand Junction, Colo.; East Hartford, Conn.; Fort Worth, Texas; Lacey, Wash.; Lehi, Utah; Post Falls, Idaho; and Wheeling, W. Va.

The online modules are expected to launch this summer.


�This is the perfect way to learn the basics of a sport that leads to a lifetime of enjoyment,� said Jeff Wagner, of Cabela�s, who is a Mastered Certified Instructor and serves on the FFF board. �We hope this promotes fly fishing as a whole and ensures the stability of the sport for many generations to come.�  

For in-class instruction, participants may enroll in individual, one-hour courses � Beginners Fly Fishing or Beginners Fly Casting � or combine both for a total of two hours of instruction time each session. The Beginners Fly Fishing class will provide an introduction to the sport with a focus on basic techniques and skills. The Beginners Fly Casting course will emphasize the fundamentals of fly casting, including overhead techniques and roll casting.


Courses will be led by knowledgeable Cabela�s Outfitters who have completed an intensive, all-encompassing 40-hour training class hosted by FFF instructors and Cabela�s personnel, with an emphasis on teaching the sport. 


The online modules will range from Beginners Fly Fishing to more detailed instruction about fly casting, flies and insect biology, leaders, tippet and backing, and fly line, rods and reels, among other topics.  Participants are encouraged to utilize both the retail and online options.


�There�s a link between the retail classes and the online modules, and the instruction will be consistent,� Wagner said. �If anglers go online and take the Beginners Fly Fishing module, they can then go to a Cabela�s retail store and take Beginners Fly Casting. Or, if they take the Beginners Fly Casting course at a retail store, and want to learn more, they can go online and receive in-depth material.�


For additional information, please contact your local Cabela�s store, or visit www.cabelas.com.


Free Bass Pro Shops Kids� Challenge Weekend April 21 & 22

Bass Pro Shops Kids� Challenge Weekend Event will include free activities, prizes and giveaways at 54 Bass Pro Shops locations.

Kids are invited to join the fun at the Bass Pro Shops Kids� Challenge on Saturday, April 21st, and Sunday, April 22nd from Noon to 4pm.  The event offers exciting challenges, such as bucket fishing, archery, life jacket races, knot-tying and a sleeping bag rolling competition. 

See store for details.


Younger children will have a chance to get in on the action with their very own free activities like braided snake and arrow head crafts, plus a chance to win fun prizes, both days from 1pm to 4pm - while supplies last.  Visit www.basspro.com for a list of locations participating in the Bass Pro Shops Kids� Challenge Weekend Event.


2nd Amendment Issues

Lawsuit Seeks Injunction Against Ban on Legal Firearms in Public Housing

As of April 4th, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) has officially filed a lawsuit that would challenge a ban in Warren County, Illinois on firearms owned by residents of government-subsidized housing. The organization filed the suit on behalf of Ronald G. Winbigler, a physically disabled former police officer who wants a firearm for personal protection.  However, because he lives in government-subsized housing and the Warren County Housing Authority (WCHA) has banned firearms from these developments, he has been unable to exercise his Second Amendment rights as other renters or home-owners might be able to.


The issue of firearms in public housing has been ill-defined and hotly contested for a number of years.  In the 90s, for instance, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Henry Cisneros considered outright banning firearms from public housing, vacillating between prohibiting only handguns or all firearms in an effort to reduce crime rates.  The ban never came into action, however, and studies suggesting that gun crime rates in these housing developments were falling eventually led to the Clinton administration and the HUD partnering to instead create �BuyBack America�, the famous guns-for-cash program in 1999.


Since this time, gun control in public housing has been a less prominent issue for the federal government, and the buy back program was cancelled during the Bush administration, while President Obama has focused more heavily upon civil rights and equality in these neighborhoods.  Firearms policy has become more or less discretionary, as noted by Jamie L. Wershbale in The St. John�s Law Review:

�At present, HUD does not have an official position either for or against tenant possession of legal firearms in public housing developments.  The sample public housing lease requires a tenant not to �display, use, or possess or allow members of Tenant�s household or guests to display, use or possess any illegal firearms, (operable or inoperable) or other illegal weapons as defined by the laws and courts of the State of ______ anywhere on the property of PHA.�  Unlike housing regulations, the sample lease is not codified and serves only as a resource for PHAs to consult. HUD regulations explicitly address pet ownership in public housing, but they do not address legal gun ownership.�


This is exactly where the SAF�s lawsuit steps in. They believe that Mr. Winbigler has clearly proved his ability to handle and operate a firearm in a safe manner after having served as a police officer (some states even offer special exemptions and privileges in their CPLs for former officers), and that there is no reason to preclude him from having one in his home due to a blanket ban on residents of his housing.

While this lawsuit is occurring on a small scale, it is unofficially challenging the lack of uniformity and opportunity for inequality in this law across the U.S. 


While change may take some time, attorney David Sigale, who represents SAF and Winbigler, has confidence they will have an impact: �People do not lose their Second Amendment rights just because they are of limited means.  Nobody wishes to be in need of financial assistance, but it is an indignity to make the waiver of constitutional rights a condition of government-subsidized housing. We are confident the Courts will hold that those residents have the same right to defend their families and themselves as everyone else.�

IL - Concealed-carry law returns to Ill. General Assembly

The Family and Personal Protection Act (HB0148), failed to pass in the Illinois General Assembly by 6 votes last year, but is in committee again under the name HB5745,

according to the Illinois General Assembly's website. Co-sponsored by nine democratic and 29 republican representatives, the bill would allow Illinois residents to apply for a permit to carry a concealed weapon.



Illinois Youth Turkey Season harvest a new record

Young hunters in the Illinois youth wild turkey season harvested a preliminary record of 1,300 birds, the Illinois DNR announced.  The 2012 season dates were March 31 and April 1 for the south zone and April 7-8 for the north zone. The record harvest surpasses the previous record for the youth turkey harvest of 748 set in 2011.  This year, 4,100 youth turkey permits were issued, including 137 for special hunt areas, compared to 3,718 last year with 131

for special hunt areas. 


�Excellent hunting weather this year during both weekends was a very important reason for the record harvest,� said Paul Brewer, IDNR Wild Turkey Project Manager.  �A wet spring in 2011 once again contributed to below-average turkey reproduction in many areas, but a good mast crop and a very mild winter were working in favor of late spring broods.�


Concealed-carry law returns to Ill. General Assembly

The Family and Personal Protection Act (HB0148), failed to pass in the Illinois General Assembly by 6 votes last year, but is in committee again under the name HB5745,

according to the Illinois General Assembly's website. Co-sponsored by nine democratic and 29 republican representatives, the bill would allow Illinois residents to apply for a permit to carry a concealed weapon.


Students prepare for 2012 IHSA Bass Fishing Tournament Series

Spring is here � and it is nearly time again for high school anglers in Illinois to take to the water for the annual Illinois High School Bass Fishing Tournament Series.


The Illinois High School Association (IHSA), in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), Country Financial, Plano, the Forrest Lee Wood Company and other sponsors will host the statewide event beginning with Sectional competition on April 20.  The IHSA Bass Fishing State Finals will be conducted on Carlyle Lake on May 4-5. 


This marks the fourth year of the competition, and the number of schools and high school anglers participating continue to grow.  A total of 231 schools will participate in 19 Sectionals at 18 locations (two Sectionals will be held on the Chain O�Lakes in northeast Illinois) on April 20.  Each participating school is allowed to enter two teams, and with as many as four student anglers on each team, more than 1,800 youth may compete in the tournament series this spring.


From the fishing competition at the 19 Sectionals, the top three teams from each Sectional will advance to the May 4-5 finals at Carlyle Lake. 


�As the tournament continues to grow in the future, changes may need to be made such as creating a Regional level of competition leading into the Sectionals,� said IDNR Fisheries Biologist Dan Stephenson, who serves as the IDNR coordinator for the tournament.  �There is no class division in the tourney and it is co-ed, so young women and young men from schools small and large from

border to border compete against each other.  We see great potential for getting more and more schools and students involved.�


Illinois is the only state that conducts a state high school bass fishing tournament, though others are in the planning stages.


�This is an incredible event that benefits hundreds of young people throughout the state with a fun, outdoor recreation activity and the experience of competition with youth from other schools,� Stephenson said.  �The added bonus is that this activity is available with very little cost to the school districts.  All 793 schools in the IHSA are welcome to participate.�

Participants in the tournament have impressed even veteran tournament anglers with their efforts in the IHSA Bass Fishing Tournament Series.


�While the students involved are young, that doesn�t necessarily mean they are novice bass anglers,� Stephenson added.  �For example in 2010, in the two-day, rain-shortened state finals tournament at Carlyle, 51 teams weighed in more than 600 pounds of bass averaging 2.2 pounds each.  Those are impressive numbers. Like the tournament logo says:  �The Future Fishes Here�.�


For more information on the Illinois High School Bass Fishing Tournament Series, check the IHSA website at www.ihsa.org.


For more information on fishing � and great places to fish in Illinois � check the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov/fishing or www.ifishillinois.org.



DNR to release 70,000 brown trout at Port of Indiana

PORTAGE � The Indiana DNR released 70,000 3.5-inch fingerling brown trout into Lake Michigan last week at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor.


�Brown trout are a species that utilizes the near-shore forage and can tolerate warmer water temperatures,� said Brian Breidert, fisheries research biologist with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. �The protected area within the port will give the trout a chance to avoid predators prior to moving out to Lake Michigan.�


The brown trout were brought from the Jake Wolf Hatchery in Topeka, Ill., as part of an ongoing cooperative effort

between the natural resources departments of Indiana and

Illinois to increase fishing opportunities on Lake Michigan. �We began stocking brown trout with Illinois� cooperation in 2002 at the request of our angling community after a review of our Lake Michigan program,� Breidert said. �This stocking at the Port is the third time we have released there.�


Previous Port stockings were in 2008 and 2009. Other stocking locations in the past 11 years have been Michigan City (four times), Whiting (three), and Buffington Harbor near Gary (once).  The fish released will grow to a harvestable size of 14 to 20" in approximately two to three years, Breidert said.



Walleye Daily Limit for Lake Erie to stay at six 

Again this year the daily possession limit for walleye in Michigan's waters of Lake Erie will be six starting May 1, 2012.

Michigan's daily creel limit for walleye on Lake Erie is based on its share of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for the lake, which is determined by the Lake Erie Committee under the support of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. The TAC is generally based on overall abundance of walleye. The Commission establishes quotas for each

jurisdiction based on the percentage of habitat for adult walleye in each jurisdiction's waters of the lake. The daily limit is then based on a formula that projects how many walleye anglers can keep but still remain within the quota.


The 2012 Total Allowable Catch for Lake Erie is 3.487 million fish, making Michigan's quota 203,000 fish.  There are no changes to either the fishing season or size limit for walleyes on Lake Erie.   For more information on fishing for walleye in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/fishing and click on �Angler Information.�


Catch-and-immediate-release bass fishing opens April 28 in Lower Peninsula, May 15 in UP

The DNR would like to remind anglers that although it has felt like summer on many days recently, the bass fishing season is not open yet. 


The catch-and-immediate-release bass fishing season will not open until Saturday, April 28 on Lower Peninsula waters, and Tuesday, May 15 on Upper Peninsula waters. Michigan conservation officers have noticed an increase in anglers targeting bass illegally this spring, likely due to the warm weather Michigan has been experiencing. 


�Anglers need to be aware it is not legal to target largemouth or smallmouth bass prior to April 28 in the Lower Peninsula and May 15 in the U.P.,� warned the DNR�s Sgt. Robert Torres. �If anglers are seen deliberately

targeting those species prior to the catch-and-release season openers, they can be ticketed.�


Instead of targeting bass illegally, the DNR advises anglers to take advantage of the many other spring fishing opportunities available in Michigan.


�Fishing for panfish and steelhead are the two main fishing activities plentiful this time of year,� said DNR fisheries biologist Mark Tonello. �Anglers should pursue crappie and bluegill in particular, as April can offer some of the best panfishing of the entire year. Steelhead runs have also been very impressive this year, with many fish entering Michigan rivers during the warm, wet month of March.�


For more information on fishing for these species in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/fishing and click on Angler Information.

DNR approves Michigan�s new Elk Management Plan

 A new Elk Management Plan was approved by Michigan DNR Director Rodney Stokes at the April 5 meeting of the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) in Lansing. The plan was developed to provide guidance for managing elk by focusing on three goals:

1)      Manage for an elk population that can be sustained by available habitat;

2)      Use hunting as the primary method to control the number of elk; their distribution so that difficulties involving elk interactions with people are abated; and the proportion of males to females in the population; and

3)      Enhance the public�s understanding of elk management in Michigan.


The planning process began in January 2010 when the DNR Wildlife Division and Michigan State University (MSU) Extension hosted two meetings to gather input on attendees� issues concerning elk. 


Five federally recognized tribes involved in the 2007 Consent Decree were included to provide their perspective, concerns and values in the planning process. An Elk Management Advisory Team (EMAT) was also developed, composed of private landowners within the elk range as well as members from 10 different groups representing conservation, agricultural, hunting, forest management and public safety interests. The EMAT was charged with providing recommendations for the future management of elk. 


�The folks who attended the initial meetings and the

involvement of the EMAT were both crucial in helping us to

understand the concerns people had,� said Jordan Burroughs of Michigan State University. �Public engagement was a critical step in the development of this plan.�


The DNR Elk Work Group then considered the best available science regarding elk ecology and management � along with insights offered by approaches to elk management around the country � in providing recommendations for shaping the management plan. The Elk Work Group includes representatives from the DNR�s Wildlife, Law Enforcement and Forest Resources divisions and the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at MSU.


Once the initial input was gathered, a plan was drafted and released for public review and comment. In October 2011, the DNR hosted an open house in Gaylord, giving the public the opportunity to view the plan and give comment. The final draft was presented publicly March 8, 2012, at the NRC Policy Committee on Wildlife and Fisheries, and then approved by Director Stokes at the April NRC meeting.


�I appreciate all of the hard work by DNR staff, our valued partners, and especially members of the public who committed to making sure this plan sets a scientifically based and appropriate direction for elk management in Michigan,� said Director Stokes.


The approved Elk Management Plan is available on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/elk.



Confiscated hunting, fishing equipment auction April 28

The Minnesota DNR will hold an auction of confiscated hunting and fishing equipment on Saturday, April 28 beginning at 10 a.m. The auction items are from people who forfeited their equipment after committing serious game violations.  The public auction will be held at Hiller Auction Service, 10785 261st Ave., Zimmerman, Minn.


Items offered for sale include, but are not limited to: firearms, bows, tree stands, fishing rods and reels, tip-ups, traps, trail camera, depth finders, spotlights, scopes, spears and hand ice augers. There are 309 firearms, 72 bows, 236 other items, and 37 firearms being sold for parts.  Inspection of items will be available on Friday, April

27, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and at 8 a.m. the day of the auction. Once the auction begins, there will be no access to firearms.


All equipment is sold as is, including all defects or faults, known or unknown. Items cannot be returned once they have been purchased. Buyers may bring their own cases and there will be cases available for purchase to transport firearms.


Anyone purchasing a firearm will be required to pass a background check.  A list of firearms and bows being offered for sale is available by visiting the auction website at www.hillerauction.com/apr28.html



ODNR Announces 2012 Local Marine Patrol Assistance Grant Awardees

Twenty-four Ohio communities will receive a total of $555,746 in funding assistance from the Ohio DNR to support local marine patrol units. These funds represent a continued effort in keeping Ohio waterways safe and enhance recreational boating experiences for an estimated three million boaters this year. The funding comes from the state�s Waterways Safety Fund, which is comprised of the state motor fuel tax, watercraft registration and titling fees, as well as funds provided by the U.S. Coast Guard.


The 2012 Marine Patrol Assistance Grants will help local law enforcement agencies provide emergency response to boating-related incidents, conduct routine waterway patrols and purchase safety equipment for use on marine patrol vessels. While some agencies are located in Ohio�s large urban areas such as Cuyahoga, Franklin and Hamilton counties, others are in smaller communities such as in Knox, Pickaway and Scioto counties.

In 2011, Ohio had a record 426,674 registered recreational watercraft, ranking ninth nationally. Among this total are a rapidly growing number of registered canoes and kayaks that has more than doubled since 2001 and now represents one of every four Ohio-registered watercraft. As many as three million Ohioans enjoy recreational boating statewide each year on the Ohio River and Lake Erie, as well as on numerous inland lakes, rivers and other waterways. Additional boating information and a list of Marine Patrol Assistance Grant recipients is available online at www.ohiodnr.com/watercraft.


The ODNR Division of Watercraft administers Ohio�s boating and scenic rivers programs. The agency oversees watercraft registration and titling operations, provides funding to local communities for education, enforcement and boating access facilities, educates the public and enforces boating laws on Ohio�s waterways.



Placement of Navigational Aids gets boost with ODNR funding

COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio DNR announced it is awarding $38,000 to six entities to obtain and place marine buoys, signs and other navigational aids on inland waterways within their jurisdictions.


Grant recipients this year include the Toledo Sailing Club, City of Columbus Division of Watershed Management, Cedar Point Harbour Marina, the City of Rossford, the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District and ODNR Division of Parks/Recreation. Navigational aid grants are awarded yearly on a non-matching basis to improve safety

for the state�s estimated three million recreational boaters.

Waterways eligible for marking are controlled areas for boating traffic, restricted boating areas and hazardous boating areas. Buoys and signs must comply with the standard inland waterway regulatory marking system.


The grant program is administered by the Division of Watercraft and is funded through the Waterways Safety Fund, which consists of watercraft registration and titling fees, a percentage of the state motor fuel tax and funding from the USCG.  Additional information on ODNR grant programs is available online or by calling the Division of Watercraft at 614-265-6446.

Ohio Spring Turkey Hunting Season Opens April 23

Youth-only hunt set for April 21-22

This year�s spring wild turkey season opens in all 88 Ohio counties on Monday, April 23 and continues through Sunday, May 20.


"Ohio has again experienced a record low wild turkey hatch, with last year�s nesting season negatively impacted by rainfall and flooding," said ODNR Wildlife Biologist Mike Reynolds. ï¿½The early onset of spring-like weather and green vegetation could make it harder for hunters to see and hear turkeys, creating challenging hunting conditions this season.�


Wild turkey breeding activity is largely controlled by the increasing amount of daylight.  Typically in southeast Ohio, hens start incubating nests on May 1.


Hunters harvested 18,162 wild turkeys during last year's youth and spring turkey seasons. Ohio's current wild turkey population is more than 180,000. ODNR anticipates as many as 70,000 licensed hunters, not counting private landowners hunting on their own property, will enjoy Ohio's popular spring wild turkey season.


A special youth-only turkey hunt for those possessing a valid youth hunting license and youth turkey permit will be held April 21-22. Young hunters must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult, 18 years of age or older. The young hunter's turkey season is open statewide with the exception of Lake La Su An State Wildlife Area in Williams County, which requires a special hunting permit. Legal hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise to sunset each day during the two-day youth season.


All hunters must report their harvest of turkeys, but they

are no longer required to take their turkey to a check station for physical inspection. Hunters will have three options to complete the automated game check:

� Online at www.wildohio.com or www.ohiogamecheck.com;

� By telephone at 877-TAG-ITOH (877-824-4864);

� At all license agents. A list of agents can be found at wildohio.com or by calling 800-WILDLIFE.


Game-check transactions will be available online and by telephone seven days a week and during holidays. Landowner hunters who are not required to purchase a fall turkey permit must use the website or a license agent to check their turkey, but cannot use the phone-in method.

Legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon from April 23 to May 6.  Hunting hours from May 7-20 will be a half-hour before sunrise to sunset.  An incorrect start date for the all day turkey hunting hours was printed in the 2011-12 Hunting Regulations booklet. The first day for all day hunting is May 7.


 Hunters are required to have a hunting license and a spring turkey-hunting permit. They can also take one bearded turkey per day. A second spring turkey permit can be purchased allowing hunters to take a limit of two bearded wild turkeys. Turkeys must be checked by 11:30 p.m. the day of harvest.


Hunters may use shotguns, longbows and crossbows to hunt wild turkeys; however, it is unlawful to hunt turkeys using bait, live decoys or electronic calling devices or to shoot a wild turkey while it is in a tree.


The Division of Wildlife advises turkey hunters to wear hunter orange clothing when entering, leaving or moving through hunting areas in order to remain visible to others. 



DNR tags 240 lb Sturgeon; Possibly 125 Years Old

The Wisconsin DNR tagged what they say is the largest sturgeon they�ve tagged on the Lake Winnebago system since they started the tagging program in the 1950s.


DNR officials found the female sturgeon on the Wolf River near Shawano on April 10. She was longer than 7 feet 3 inches and weighed 240 pounds.

They caught the fish while she was spawning; she had already laid some eggs, which means she would have weighed 30-40 pounds more than at the time they weighed her. Biologist Ron Bruch was part of the team to tag the fish, he estimates that the fish was hatched around 1887 which would make her 125 years old.


Not only did biologists capture that sturgeon that day, but a record number of the fish were captured and tagged at the Lake Winnebago System. A total of 565 fish were tagged and released in a single day.

Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

Chicago barrier keeping Asian carp from Great Lakes
There is no indication any sizeable population of the fish has breached the barrier, said John Goss, director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality's Asian Carp.


Biologists keep an eye on walleyes
For at least 30 years, the Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources have combined forces to gather information on the walleyes both states share in the St. Louis River estuary.


Michigan, Ohio officials to tackle Lake Erie algae threat to fish, tourism
Officials in Michigan and Ohio agreed last week to cooperate more closely to find solutions to massive algae blooms in Lake Erie, a deadly threat to fish and a turn-off for tourists.


New threat emerges on Asian carp)
Since the first of the year, Ontario officials have seized three shipments of live Asian carp, totaling more than 23,000 pounds, that apparently were headed for markets in Toronto.


Governor signs bill to create wolf-hunting season in Wisconsin
Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that would create a wolf hunt in Wisconsin. The bill would establish a hunting and trapping season that would run from mid-October through the end of February.


US official skeptical of closing locks to bar Asian carp
John Goss is the Obama administration's top official working on the problem of invasive Asian carp. He was in Bloomington, Minn., Thursday for a meeting of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee. Goss, along with other federal and state officials, agree the carp pose a threat to native wildlife in Minnesota's rivers. But Goss indicated he is skeptical the latest proposal would work to stop the fish's spread.


NY Sea Grant publishes new Lake Ontario fish guide
A new visual identification guide for salmon and trout in Lake Ontario is available to anglers. The New York Sea Grant says the publication is its first-ever full-color visual identification guide for the salmon and trout species found in the lake.




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