Week of April 23, 2012

Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues


2nd Amendment Issues

New York
Other Breaking News Items


       Weekly News Archives


       New Product  Archives

Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Ruger 22/45 Lite

Ruger 22/45 Lite, a lightweight Ruger 22/45 pistol with a new aluminum upper receiver, is chambered in the popular .22 LR. the Ruger 22/45 Lite is accurate and reliable, making it the ideal lightweight rimfire pistol.


The Ruger 22/45 Lite is an exciting new addition to the legendary 22/45 line of pistols," said Ruger President and CEO Mike Fifer. "It maintains the superb accuracy and reliability of the classic 22/45� pistols, but has a cool factor that can't be beat. It has a customized look without the customized price, and is exactly what our customers have been asking us to produce. The threaded barrel provides great accessory options and makes the Ruger 22/45 Lite a perfect package right out of the box," he concluded.



The Ruger 22/45 Lite upper receiver is made of aircraft-grade aluminum and features serrated cuts, giving the pistol a dramatic look and making it extremely lightweight at only 22.8 oz.. The 4.4" stainless steel barrel sleeve is held in place by a tension nut to ensure accuracy and features a factory 1/2-28 thread to accept popular muzzle accessories.


The receiver is finished in a striking gold anodize and is  drilled and tapped for Weaver-style scope base adapters

(included free of charge) for easy mounting of optics. The comfortable, precision-molded Zytel polymer grip frame features replaceable Hogue black rubber grip panels that can be swapped out to customize the look of your Ruger 22/45 Lite pistol. The Ruger 22/45 Lite is the perfect outdoor companion and can be used for target shooting, plinking, small game hunting, or competitive shooting.


Specifications Include:

Material: Aluminum

Finish: Gold Anodize

Rear Sight: Adjustable

Front Sight: Fixed

Barrel Length: 4.40"

Barrel Style: Threaded

Length: 8.50"

Height: 5.50"

Width: 1.00"

Weight: 22.80 oz.

Grips: Replaceable Panels

Grip Frame: Zytel� Polymer

Twist: 1:16" RH

Grooves: 6

Capacity: 10


About $469.00


www.ruger.com     www.shopruger.com


Opposition grows to Obama�s National Ocean Policy

Eighty-one groups have just submitted a letter to U.S. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (KY), as well as the Chairperson of each House Appropriations Subcommittee, asking that language be included in all Fiscal Year 2013 appropriations bills that would prohibit the use of funds to implement the new National Ocean Policy.  The request was made as part of an effort to achieve a pause in policy implementation that would provide more time for oversight and examination of potential impacts. 

The letter's signatories, which are listed below and include

the National Ocean Policy Coalition, represent a wide
array of commercial and recreational interests and reflect the breadth of concern that citizens and businesses across the United States continue to have about the National Ocean Policy as developed thus far.  A PDF copy of the letter is available here


Today's transmittal follows correspondence sent last week from U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA) to Chairman Rogers, requesting that language be included in each Fiscal Year 2013 appropriations bill that would prohibit the use of funds to implement the National Ocean Policy.


Federal appeals court hears E15 waiver challenge
A panel of three judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit this week heard oral arguments on a challenge to the EPA waiver that allows for 15 percent ethanol-blended gasoline to be sold for use in cars model-year 2001 and newer.


The National Marine Manufacturers Association joined with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute and the Association of Global Automobile Manufacturers Inc. to file the legal challenge to the EPA Clean Air Act waiver for E15.


Numerous other parties also filed similar suits that the court consolidated.  Growth Energy intervened in the case

in support of the EPA, according to the NMMA.


Meanwhile, the NMMA said it recently became aware of a safety measure that Toyota and Lexus have taken to deter E15 misfueling. The companies will include a special label on gas caps on their new automobiles and will include instructions in the owner's manual not to use E15 because the vehicles are not designed to operate on it.


�This is an interesting development as manufacturers continue to consider how best to reduce misfueling as the government continues to push for higher levels of ethanol-enhanced fuel in the marketplace,� the NMMA said. �NMMA recently sent a letter to EPA opposing EPA's approval of the ethanol producers� misfueling mitigation plan.�

U.S. House votes to Protect Hunting / Shooting on Public Land

The bill also protects fishing tackle and ammunition from attacks by environmentalists

WASHINGTON D.C. �With bipartisan support the U.S. House of Representatives ton April 17, approved the most significant pro-sportsmen legislation in 15 years.  H.R. 4089, which passed by a vote of 274-146, is a package of high priority issues supported by every nationally prominent conservation and sportsmen�s organization.  The bill was supported by 235 Republicans and 39 Democrats.      


Entitled The Sportsmen�s Heritage Act of 2012, H.R. 4089:

  • Classifies Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service lands as open to hunting, fishing and recreational shooting unless closed or restricted based on scientific evidence;

  • Confirms that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cannot ban lead in traditional ammunition or in sport fishing gear;

  • Protects recreational shooting on BLM National Monument land; and

  • Allows the import of legally hunted polar bear trophies now tangled in federal red-tape.


A major focus of the organizations that helped craft H.R. 4089 is to prevent frivolous lawsuits that unfairly restrict the rights of hunters, anglers and shooters and limit wildlife conservation and management.  Over the last decade anti-hunting groups and their trial lawyers have filed multiple suits in courts arguing that existing federal law does not allow, or requires restrictions on fishing, hunting, and shooting on federal public lands.  Defending against these suits has cost state and federal wildlife agencies and sportsmen�s organizations, including the U.S. Sportsmen�s Alliance (USSA), millions of dollars. 

In 1998, USSA first proposed that federal BLM and Forest Service lands, which total over 700 million acres, be declared legally open to fishing, hunting and shooting unless closed by specific agency action.  In the intervening years, USSA has worked to persuade the sporting community and Congress of the need for such legislation.  House passage of H.R. 4089 is the result of this long effort to build strong legal barriers against anti-hunters and the animal rights lobby.


The bill also protects fishing tackle and ammunition from attacks.  Recently, the Center for Biological Diversity filed a notice of intent to sue the federal government to force the U.S. EPA to ban the use of lead in ammunition and fishing tackle.  Their claim misrepresented the intent of the Toxic Substance Control Act which was enacted in 1976 to allow the EPA to regulate new commercial chemicals entering the market and the distribution of existing chemicals found to pose unreasonable risks to public health or the environment.  It was never intended to allow the regulation of ammunition and fishing tackle. 


�H.R. 4089 spells out in plain language that hunting, fishing and recreational shooting are legitimate uses of federal public lands and that these lands are open, as a matter of law, to these traditional activities,� said Bud Pidgeon, USSA president and CEO.  �And it makes it crystal clear that the U.S. EPA does not have the authority to restrict American�s choices of ammunition and fishing tackle.�


In addition to USSA, H.R. 4089 is supported by an array of sporting conservation groups including the American Sportfishing Association, Congressional Sportsmen�s Foundation, National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Safari Club International. 



Bipartisan Bill introduced to Stop Asian Carp

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Great Lakes lawmakers in both chambers of Congress have introduced bipartisan legislation to prevent Asian carp and other invasive species from entering the Great Lakes and destroying the Lakes' ecosystem.


In the Senate, Senators introduced the Stop Invasive Species Act to require the speedy creation of an action plan to block Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes through a number of rivers and tributaries across the Great Lakes region. Congressmen introduced similar legislation in the House.


A bipartisan bill introduced last year, the Stop Asian Carp Act, required the Army Corp of Engineers to develop an action plan to permanently separate Lake Michigan from the Chicago Area Waterway System, long seen as the

carp's primary entry point to the Great Lakes. Today's bill

goes further to require a plan to stop Asian carp at all potential entry points.


The Stop Invasive Species Act requires the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to submit to Congress an expedited action plan with options for stopping Asian carp from penetrating the Great Lakes across 18 possible points of entry. The bill requires the Army Corp to submit a progress report to Congress and the President within 90 days of the law's enactment. The full plan would need to be completed within 18 months.


Under the Stop Invasive Species Act, the Army Corp would continue to examine modes of transportation across key waterways to ensure shipping could continue while mechanisms for preventing Asian carp from destroying the Great Lakes are implemented.


Great Lakes Water Levels for April 20, 2012


The majority of the Great Lakes basin saw precipitation last week with the exception of the Lake Ontario basin.  Temperatures remained relatively average throughout the week and high winds were experienced.  All of the Great Lakes Basins have received below average precipitation to date in April.  Expect some additional precipitation over the Great Lakes basin throughout the weekend and temperatures should remain relatively steady.   


Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 3 and 4 inches, respectively, higher than they were last year.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 4, 4, and 1 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 1, 0, and 2 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 20






Datum, in ft






Diff in inches






Diff last month






Diff from last yr






2nd Amendment Issues

Feinstein tries to thwart National Right to Carry

This week, anti-gun Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) did her part to thwart passage of national Right-to-Carry laws by putting a "hold" on the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012, and the Respecting States' Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012.

In keeping with her anti-gun record, Feinstein took action in an effort to oppose the quick passage of the bills.  The "hold" does not prevent passage of the bills; it just prevents the legislation from passing by an already unlikely "unanimous consent" vote.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Judiciary Committee Chair Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) Feinstein called the bills "dangerous" and said that they would "create potentially life threatening situations for law

enforcement officers."  She also cited the controversial Trayvon Martin shooting as one of her reasons for trying to sabotage the bills.


Feinstein's misguided campaign to thwart these bills is nothing more than an opportunistic jump back into the ring of gun-control at a time she deems politically expedient.

NRA strongly supports the measures Sen. Feinstein opposes
(H.R. 822, S. 2188 and S. 2213).  These self-defense bills would allow honest Americans to protect themselves while traveling.   As of today, 49 states have laws in place that permit their citizens to carry a concealed firearm in some form.  Only Illinois and the District of Columbia deny their residents the right to carry concealed firearms outside their homes or businesses for self-defense.



Cabela�s "Wanna Go Fishing for Millions?" Promotion
Competition begins May 5; grand prize could reach $2 million

SIDNEY, Neb. (April 19 � Cabela�s is offering a "Wanna Go Fishing for Millions?", a contest giving anglers a shot at up to $2 million in cash and more than $225,000 in additional prizes by catching tagged fish in select lakes across the United States. The competition begins May 5.


Cabela�s, Outdoor Channel, Wanna Go Fishing TV and Geico are tagging fish in lakes across 19 states � Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin � and every tagged fish caught will be a winner.


The premise is simple: catch specially tagged fish, and win prizes ranging from Cabela�s gift cards to boats to $2 million. Wanna Go Fishing for Millions? debuted in 2011.  �Wanna Go Fishing for Millions? is a great catch for many reasons,� said Cabela�s Chief Executive Officer Tommy Millner. �The heart of the competition is to promote fishing on local waters and encourage families to spend time together � with a chance, of course, to hook great prizes.�


In 2011, 143 winning fish were caught in Wanna Go

Fishing for Millions?


One of the tagged fish could be worth $1 million. The grand prize will be doubled to $2 million for participants who are current users of the Cabela�s Fish Recon app or who download the Cabela�s Fish Recon app to their smartphone, sponsored by Geico.  Other prizes include two Ranger 520Z Bass Series Comanche boats and trailers with Evinrude outboard motors, valued at $65,000 each, as well as more than $20,000 in gear from Costa sunglasses, Abu Garcia and Rapala.


All rules and requirements, as well as contest details and registration information, are posted at: www.cabelas.com/fishformillions.


Registration began April 19 and participants must pre-register before fishing. Cabela�s will release the list of lakes before the promotion begins to those who pre-register. Winners of specific prizes will be announced after the promotion ends July 8.


Species to be tagged this year include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, white bass, striped bass, perch, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout, walleye, crappie, wiper, bluegill and channel catfish. Species will vary state-to-state.



Muskie egg-take matches record at Lake Webster

Indiana�s muskie stocking program is off to a good start this year after DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife biologists collected a record-matching 1.9 million eggs from adult female muskies at Lake Webster.


The eggs were fertilized with milt from male muskies and will be used to produce approximately 24,000 fingerlings for stocking 15 Indiana lakes and reservoirs.  Warm temperatures forced biologists to start the egg-taking operation two weeks early.


�We normally begin trapping muskies in Lake Webster around April 1, when the water temperature is 40 degrees,� said Jed Pearson, DNR fisheries biologist. �This year we had 60-degree water temperatures in mid-March.�


To capture adult muskies, biologists set large fish traps at nine locations from March 20 through March 26. They caught 143 muskies, including 69 female muskies.  Although most of the muskies were 36 to 40 inches long, the largest measured 45.5 inches.  The number of eggs taken this spring matches a record set in 2011.

Muskie eggs are hatched at the East Fork State Fish Hatchery in southwest Indiana. After hatching, the fry and small fingerlings are fed pellet-food and minnows before stocking in the fall.


Muskies, a large predatory fish, were native in Indiana only in small tributaries of the Ohio River. The DNR, in response to angler interest, began stocking muskies in various waters, including Lake Webster, in the 1970s and 1980s. At that time, muskie eggs and fry were obtained from out-of-state sources.


Since the late 1990s, Lake Webster has served as Indiana�s brood stock for muskie eggs. All muskies now stocked in the state originate from adults captured at the lake. Although biologists think some muskies may be spawning directly in Lake Webster, the DNR continues to stock about 3,800 fingerlings each fall to maintain the muskie population there.


�Due to natural conditions and the vulnerability of small muskies to other fish predators, Indiana anglers would have few opportunities to fish for muskies without the stocking program,� Pearson said.

New state record muskie expected

Indiana�s muskie record turns 10 years old this spring, causing at least one expert to wonder how much longer the record can last. �We�re due for another state-record muskie,� said Jed Pearson, fisheries biologist with the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. �Ten years is a long time to wait.�


In April 2002, Darrin Conley caught a 42.5-pound muskie at James Lake in Kosciusko County. Conley�s fish, which measured 50 inches long, broke the previous record by George Webster, a 35-pound muskie also caught in James Lake, in 1994.  James Lake, referred to as �Little Tippy� by most locals and anglers, is a 282-acre natural lake near North Webster. Given James Lake produced the last two state-record muskies, biologists think it will likely produce the next one. The question is when, Pearson said.


In addition to producing the last two state-record muskies, lakes in Kosciusko County also have produced the largest muskies registered each year in the DNR�s Fish-of-the-Year program since 1988.  Lake Webster has produced eight �Fish-of-the-Year,� including a 51.5-inch muskie

caught by Jeff Kachmann in 2003. Although it was longer than Conley�s state record, it weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces less.


Lake Tippecanoe has produced three �Fish-of-the-Year.� The largest among those was a 48.5-inch muskie caught last year by Joshua Shelhart.


The largest muskie caught at the Barbee lakes and registered to date with the DNR is a 50-inch fish taken in 2010 by Steve Florio.  �Even though these are very big muskies, we think there are even bigger ones out there,� Pearson said.  Pearson, a 40-year employee with the DNR, played a key role in bringing muskie fishing to northeast Indiana in the early 1980s.


Fifteen Indiana lakes and reservoirs are stocked with muskies, with Lake Webster serving as brood stock for the entire program. Each spring muskie eggs are taken from females captured at Lake Webster for hatching.  �We no longer need to rely on out-of-state sources for stocking muskies,� Pearson said. �This has allowed our muskie program to continue to grow over the years.�


DNR BOW program set for June 1-3 in U.P.

Women seeking to improve their outdoor skills can now register for the 15th annual Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) summer program, held the weekend of June 1-3 at Big Bay Health Camp, located approximately 30 miles north of Marquette.


Sponsored by the Michigan DNR, this BOW program offers instruction in more than two dozen types of outdoor activities, including kayaking, canoeing, fishing, mountain biking, fly-tying, geocaching, rock climbing, shooting sports, boating and birding.  Volunteer BOW instructors provide basic and advanced instruction that is uniquely tailored to each participant's individual ability, helping the participants learn the basics in a short amount of time.


The $175 registration fee includes all food and lodging, as well as most equipment and supplies. Participants will be housed in a universally accessible dorm-style facility with numerous amenities, including a pool, sauna, tennis courts, hiking and biking trails and easy access to Lake

Superior. The BOW summer program also includes special evening programs, such as birding hikes, group bonfires and more.


Class information and registration materials are available online at www.michigan.gov/bow, and registration can be paid online at www.michigan.gov/estore.  Registration deadline is Thursday, May 10; however, the summer program typically fills quickly, so early registration is encouraged. A limited number of BOW scholarships are available to help low-income participants with the cost of registration. For more information, contact Sharon Pitz at 906-228-6561 or e-mail [email protected].  


Becoming an Outdoors-Woman 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 more information about the various BOW programs offered in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/bow.

New York

Spring Turkey Season Opens May 1

Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend Set for April 21-22

The 2012 spring turkey season opens May 1 in all of upstate New York lying north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary and the annual Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend is set for April 21-22, New York State reminded hunters. The youth turkey hunt is open in all of upstate New York and Suffolk County.


�Turkey hunting remains a very popular activity with more than 100,000 turkey hunters taking to the field each spring,� Commissioner Martens said. �Since 2004, we have also offered a special opportunity for junior hunters. The Youth Turkey Hunt is an excellent chance for young hunters to spend time afield with experienced adult hunters to learn about conservation first-hand, gaining the necessary knowledge and skills to become safe and responsible members of New York�s hunting community.�


Important Details for the Youth Turkey Hunt on April 21 and 22:

Eligible hunters are 12-15 years of age and must hold a junior hunting license and a turkey permit. Youth 12-13 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or adult over 21 years of age with written permission from their parent or legal guardian. Youth 14-15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or adult over 18 years of age with written permission from their parent or legal guardian.


The accompanying adult must have a current hunting license and turkey permit. The adult may assist the youth hunter, including calling, but may not carry a firearm or bow, or kill or attempt to kill a wild turkey during the youth hunt. Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day.


The youth turkey hunt is open in all of upstate New York, north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary, and Suffolk County.

The bag limit for the youth weekend is one bearded bird. This bird becomes part of the youth's regular spring season bag limit of two bearded birds. A second bird may be taken only in upstate New York, north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary, beginning May 1.

All other wild turkey hunting regulations are in effect.


Other Important Details for the Spring Turkey Season, May 1-31, 2012:

Hunting is permitted in most areas of the state, except for New York City and Long Island.

Hunters must have a turkey hunting permit in addition to their small game hunting or sportsman license.

Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day.

Hunters may take two bearded turkeys during the spring

season, but only one bird per day.


Hunters may not use rifles or handguns firing a bullet. Hunters may hunt with a shotgun or handgun loaded with shot sizes no larger than No. 2 or smaller than No. 8, or with a bow and arrow.  Successful hunters must fill out the tag which comes with their turkey permit and immediately attach it to any turkey harvested. Successful hunters must report their harvest within seven days of taking a bird. Call 1-866-426-3778 (1-866 GAMERPT) or report harvest online at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8316.html.


For more information about turkey hunting in New York, see the 2011-12 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide or visit the �Turkey Hunting� pages of the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8366.html.


New York has an extremely safety-conscious generation of hunters, largely due to the annual efforts of more than 3,000 dedicated volunteer Sportsman Education instructors. Even one incident is too many, so be sure to follow the cardinal rules of hunting safety: (1) assume every gun is loaded; (2) control the muzzle; (3) keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot; (4) be absolutely sure of your target and what may be beyond it; and (5) don�t stalk! Set-up with your back against a large tree and call birds to you. To find a sportsman education class in your area, go to www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9191.html  or call 1-888-HUNT-ED2 (1-888-486-8332).


Results from 2011 - An analysis of the 2011 spring turkey take, including a county-by-county breakdown, can be found on the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30420.htmlTake figures for the 2011 fall turkey season and county-by-county breakdown can be found at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30412.html.  


Participation Opportunities:

DEC Seeks Turkey Hunters for Ruffed Grouse Drumming Survey

Turkey hunters in pursuit of that wary gobbler in the spring are ideally suited for monitoring ruffed grouse during the breeding season. The characteristic sound of a drumming male grouse is as much a part of the spring woods as yelping hens and gobbling toms. Turkey hunters can record the number of grouse they hear drumming while afield to help DEC track the distribution and abundance of this game bird. To get a survey form, go to http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/48169.html or call (518) 402-8886.


To participate in DEC�s Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey or other wildlife surveys visit the �Citizen Science� page of the DEC website, www.dec.ny.gov/animals/1155.html.


Carter new Ohio Fish Chief

Named Executive Administrator of Fish Management Group at ODNR

COLUMBUS, OH � Rich Carter of Columbus has been named executive administrator of the Fish Management Group for the Ohio DNR.

In his new position, Carter will supervise a staff of 80 employees who conduct fisheries research and management activities for the division statewide. Carter joined the Division of Wildlife in 2005 as a fisheries biologist in the division�s central Ohio district office, and he

was promoted to district fish management supervisor in 2008. He also held the position of acting central district manager in 2011.


Before joining the Division of Wildlife, Carter worked at the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and also worked as an environmental consultant. He received his bachelor�s degree in environmental biology from Ohio University in 1980 and his master�s degree in fish biology from The Ohio State University in 1985.


Ohio Anglers encouraged to participate in online Survey

COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio DNR invites anglers to visit www.ohiodnr.com/creel  to take a new online angler survey.


The online survey seeks angler input on a variety of topics including hybrid striped bass fisheries, DNR fishing maps and �no-wake/idle speed� use of motors with unlimited horsepower on small lakes that currently have 10

horsepower or electric motor-only restrictions.


The online survey will be available through July 31. Responses are confidential. Information provided by anglers through the surveys is vital to the successful management of Ohio's fisheries, and the DNR encourages all anglers to participate. Biologists use survey data in combination with biological data from fish populations to identify ways of improving fishing on Ohio's inland reservoirs, lakes, rivers and Lake Erie.

Castalia State Fish Hatchery celebrates $7 Million Renovation

Major renovations make Castalia a state-of-the-art steelhead facility

CASTALIA, OH � The Castalia State Fish Hatchery was dedicated today after undergoing a major renovation to make the hatchery a state-of-the-art steelhead production facility, according to the Ohio DNR.


The dedication was held at the facility located in Castalia, Erie County, where the Division of Wildlife annually raises 400,000 steelhead trout. In addition to the steelhead, which are stocked into five Lake Erie tributaries, the facility also raises many of the catchable rainbow trout stocked each spring throughout Ohio.


The Castalia State Fish Hatchery is located on a 90-acre site with one of the area�s famous blue-hole aquifers, which provides the hatchery with 2,500 gallons per minute of the cold water necessary for steelhead trout production. The new 12,000-square-foot hatchery is designed to incubate up to 1 million steelhead eggs and feed up to 500,000 fingerlings that will allow the Division of Wildlife to raise 400,000 steelhead. In addition, the 900-foot blue-hole raceway is now enclosed to protect fish from predators and sunlight.  A state of the art monitoring system will ensure

optimal water conditions for fish growth, and an alarm system with emergency generators will prevent fish loss from power outages. 


Each year, Ohio�s 1.2 million anglers contribute more than $1.8 billion to the economy. The pursuit of fishing in Ohio annually generates $1.1 billion in retail sales, $90 million in state and local tax revenue and supports 17,000 Ohio jobs.  Projects like the Castalia renovation are made possible by the $14 million anglers contribute annually through the purchase of fishing licenses and funds provided by the federal Sport Fish Restoration Program. This user-pays program collects excise taxes on the sale of fishing equipment and marine fuel to fund fishing and boating activities throughout the United States. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers the program and returns money to each state based on the number of fishing licenses sold and the amount of land and water area.


Castalia is one of six state fish hatcheries operated by the Division of Wildlife, and all six of the hatcheries combined will stock 23 million fish in 2012. Besides the steelhead and rainbow trout, other species of fish stocked in Ohio waterways include walleye, saugeye, brown trout, muskellunge, catfish and hybrid-striped bass.



Public meetings to discuss Lake Michigan trout/salmon stocking reduction

MILWAUKEE -- Public meetings are set for May 1 in Milwaukee and May 8 in Green Bay for anglers and others who want to learn more about, and weigh in on, potential stocking reductions in Lake Michigan that scientists say are necessary to balance game fish with the available food source.


The meetings are set for 6:30 p.m. May 1 at the WATER Institute in Milwaukee and 6:30 p.m. on May 8 at the Brown County Library in Green Bay. The Wisconsin meetings follow a lake-wide conference in Benton Harbor, Mich, on April 14, on the same topic that drew 78 people in person and another 47 who participated online.


"We want to go over the information covered at the lakewide meeting in Michigan and give more Wisconsin anglers a chance to weigh in on future stocking policies," says Bill Horns, the DNR Great Lakes fisheries specialist.


Despite an exceptional Coho harvest and good size-at-age among Chinook salmon in 2011, lake-wide forage assessments and computer modeling conducted by Michigan State University researchers suggest that the number of trout and salmon being stocked in Lake

Michigan exceeds what can be supported by the available prey fish in the future, Horns says.  "The modeling suggests that we risk a future collapse in both alewives and game fish if stocking levels stay the same," he says. "Concern about the stability of the Lake Michigan alewife population has increased in recent years as we have watched the dramatic declines in Chinook salmon harvest in Lake Huron after alewife populations there crashed."


Biologists in the four states bordering Lake Michigan are reviewing the models and consulting with interested anglers regarding future stocking policies. The Wisconsin meetings, as did the Benton Harbor meeting, will examine five options pulled together in workshops over the last year by the states' fisheries biologists and representatives of fishing and other interested groups.


The options include sticking with current stocking levels and four alternative patterns of reduction in stocking of Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, steelhead, brown trout, and lake trout. According to the models, the probability of reducing alewife abundance to an unacceptable level can be reduced seven-fold, from 23 to 3 percent by implementing one of the stocking options.   For more info Bill Horns (608) 266-8782


Spring fisheries and wildlife hearing results available

MADISON � A total of 4,611 people attended the 2012 Spring Fisheries and Wildlife Informational Hearings and Wisconsin Conservation Congress county meetings that were held in every county statewide on Monday, April 9. The information hearings provide citizens with an opportunity to comment and indicate preference on a range of fish and wildlife management questions, Conservation Congress advisory questions, and to submit resolutions for rule changes they would like to see in the future.


Statewide hearing results and the questions are available on the Spring Rules Hearings page of the DNR Web site or go to dnr.wi.gov; search �spring hearings.�


Meeting results, along with written comments on the evening�s questions and DNR recommendations are used to advise the state Natural Resources Board. This year�s results will be reviewed at the board�s May 23 meeting in Madison. Votes are non-binding and are presented to the

Natural Resources Board as advisories.


The hearings are held in conjunction with the Wisconsin Conservation Congress county meetings. DNR related proposals are presented to attendees by DNR staff. Following DNR business, the meeting is reconvened as a Conservation Congress meeting and congress advisory questions are presented and county congress delegates elected. The congress is an advisory body to the Natural Resources Board. During the congress� portion of the hearing, citizens may introduce resolutions for consideration and vote by those attending the hearings.


Following the initial DNR and WCC segments of the evening meetings, the Conservation Congress convened town hall style meetings for the purpose of collecting ideas leading to simplification of fish and wildlife rules. Conservation Congress delegates will summarize comments collected in each county and will share recommendations in a report expected to be issued later this spring or early summer.

Other Breaking News Items

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Camp, Stabenow urge expanded fight against Asian carp
Two Michigan lawmakers (Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, and Rep. Dave Camp, R-Midland) introduced legislation Thursday to expand efforts to prevent Asian carp and other invasive species from entering the Great Lakes.

Stopping hitchhikers in ballast tanks
Great Lakes states are still deciding whether they want the EPA�s new ballast water rules, which aim to minimize the transport of aquatic invasive species into the region, to have more teeth


Experts worry about walleye

The walleye run in the Detroit River this spring has been good, with lots of fish and happy anglers, and that's also true for the other major run in Ohio's Maumee River 35 miles to the southwest.  Good fishing aside, there are concerns about population


$6 million research facility wanted in Ashland
Scientists who study Lake Superior's fish in Ashland work a mile and a half away from their boat. They want a new facility to bypass the inconvenience.


Environmentalists worry state's water plans would hurt Lake Erie
Fishermen and women who frequent Lake Erie and its tributaries are concerned that legislation pending in the Ohio House doesn't provide enough protection for walleye, bass and perch.

Great Lakes Seaway Trail launches online harbor info for boaters plying NY, Pa. waters
The Great Lakes Seaway Trail's website has a page that lists details of 24 major harbors � one in Erie, Pa., and the rest in New York from the Lake Erie shoreline to the St. Lawrence River in northern New York.

COMMENTARY: Michigan opportunity slipping away
The idea: Transform Michigan into the Midwest�s premier inland port and transportation hub, uniquely linking air, sea, rail and road capabilities. Create a new industry, a Great Lakes Global Gateway, forged from our existing manufacturing and agricultural sectors.


Shipwreck researchers share how technology aided unexpected discovery of schooner in Lake Michigan

As world this weekend remembers the 100th anniversary of the Titanic�s sinking, researchers recall how far technology has come in helping to explore ships underwater.


EDITORIAL: Support small harbors
The state should get behind proposed federal legislation that would require Congress to dedicate the $1.6 billion that commercial shippers put into the federal Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund each year to Great Lakes dredging and maintenance projects.

Why Michigan may make big cut in salmon stocked in Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan is stocked annually with 2.5 million hatchery-raised Chinook fingerlings. But the Michigan DNR and other states are considering cutting that by 30 to 50 percent.


Irondequoit's boating proposal makes waves
Designed to curb crowds of lake-loving partiers drifting just off shore, proposed changes to Irondequoit, NY's boating regulations have ignited a long-smoldering feud between homeowners and boaters.

Zebra mussel shells hindering boat traffic on Wisconsin lake
The shells of an invasive mollusk are piling up in staggering numbers around Wisconsin's Lake Winnebago, choking off at least one small inlet and frustrating residents who say they can't get their boats through the channel


Meeting set to discuss Brule Hatchery
The fate of the Brule Hatchery will be the subject of a public meeting in Brule, Wis., on April 26.




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