Week of May 7, 2012

Beyond the Great Lakes


Lake Michigan
Lake Superior

New York
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Beyond the Great Lakes

New World’s Record Mountain Goat Taken in British Columbia

A Rocky Mountain goat taken by a hunter in 2011 in British Columbia is the largest of its species ever recorded, according to the Boone and Crockett Club. Club officials today confirmed the goat, a male that scored 57-4/8 Boone and Crockett points, as a new World’s Record.


British Columbia continues to set the standard for Rocky

Mountain goats,” said Eldon Buckner, chairman of Boone and Crockett Club’s Records of North American Big Game Committee. “The province remains home to more than half of the world’s population and trophy-class specimens have been trending upward each decade since the 1970s. That testifies to the professionalism of the British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.”


The new World’s Record goat surpassed the old mark by a substantial 6/8 of an inch. The previous record was actually a tie between two British Columbia goats, one taken in 1949 and the other in 1999, scoring 56-6/8.

Most Anglers not deterred by lost access

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. — One in five anglers surveyed by AnglerSurvey.com reported having to cancel or quit fishing a particular location last year because they had lost access to a favorite fishing spot. While most were able to shift their fishing to a different location, about a third of the affected anglers – or seven percent of all survey respondents – said it caused them to quit fishing altogether.


Access issues occur almost evenly across fresh and saltwater bodies of water. In fact, with three out of four anglers fishing freshwater, three out of four access problems affected freshwater anglers. Twenty-one percent affected saltwater anglers and less than five percent affected anglers fishing brackish waters.


While lost or reduced fishing access to prime fishing areas is a concern to all anglers, many anglers were able to find another place to fish. Of those who lost access to a lake, stream or other body of water, nearly 60 percent said they were able to continue fishing. Besides the seven percent who said it caused them to quit, 35 percent admitted they

fished a little less frequently.


“While access issues can often be overcome by fishing somewhere else, we are still losing some anglers each year due to problems with fishing access. When we add up the anglers lost year after year, whether as a result of marine fishery closures or dilapidated boat ramps, access remains a major long term problem for sportfishing and fisheries conservation.”  says Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, which designs and conducts the surveys at AnglerSurvey.com.


To help prevent the loss of more fishing areas to development, budget cuts or government closures of fishing areas, anglers need to speak up and let leaders know that quality fishing access is important to them.


They should also participate in surveys such as the ones at HunterSurvey.com, ShooterSurvey.com and AnglerSurvey.com. Each month, participants who complete the surveys are entered into a drawing for one of five $100 gift certificates to the sporting goods retailer of their choice.



World Wood Bison no longer classified as Endangered

The world wood bison has reclassified from endangered to threatened. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a notice in the Federal Register on May 3, 2012 a Final Rule of this change.  The historical range of the wood bison

encompassed a large area of Alaska, but at present, free-ranging wood bison occur only in Canada.


Maybe we can begin making those classic Western movies again...



New Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo Set to Open In January 2013
Anglers and outdoor enthusiasts will find a new premier fishing, travel and outdoor expo waiting for them in 2013

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the trade association that represents the sportfishing industry and the broader recreational fishing community, is proud to announce the launch of a new fishing, travel and outdoor sports show that will serve the greater Chicago and Great Lakes market.  Titled the New Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo, this new show is targeted to the area’s sportsmen and women. The show will take place January 24-27, 2013, at the Schaumburg Convention Center in Schaumburg, Ill.

In addition to producing the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST), the world’s largest sportfishing trade show, ASA also produces a series of outdoor sports shows on both coasts under the ASA/Eastern Fishing and Outdoor Expositions with show locations in Worcester, Mass., Suffern, N.Y., Philadelphia, Pa. and Somerset, N.J.; and the Fred Hall Shows…The Ultimate Outdoor Experience with show locations in Long Beach and San Diego, Calif.

“Chicago and the Great Lakes region represent a significant freshwater fishing market. The area’s anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts deserve a premier fishing, travel and outdoor expo,” said ASA President and CEO Mike Nussman. “This new show will provide our member companies an opportunity to introduce new products to Midwest anglers and all sportsmen and women who are eager to see new products to enhance their fishing and outdoor experience. The January show dates are traditional in this market and provide a taste of spring when cabin fever has set in.”

Many ASA members have already committed to supporting this new event. “Chicago and the Great Lakes region is such a big recreational fishing and outdoor sports market; this new show just makes sense,” said Rapala Executive Vice President Gregg Wollner. “I’m excited that we can bring the enjoyment and high-quality production of ASA’s other consumer shows to the area with the new Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo.”

Kirk Immens, president, Sportco Marketing, Inc., who represents Shimano American Corporation, said, “Absolutely Shimano will be there. Shimano has a wide-variety of products for the freshwater angler and we’re looking forward to showcasing our product in this market.” Randy Lemcke, senior vice president, Plano Molding Company, remarked, “The region has been waiting for a well-produced, manufacturer-supported show to come to this area. Plano is looking forward to being at the new show’s launch.” Ken Hammond, CEO, The Hammond Group, and ASA’s Membership Committee Chairman said that a number of the major fishing tackle manufacturers that his company represents are also onboard.


“Our goal is to produce a show that anglers and sportsmen and women in the Midwest will be eager to attend year after year,” said Show Manager Paul Fuller. “From bass to pike, from bluegill to salmon, this show will cover it all. Exhibitors will include major fishing tackle manufacturers; boat manufacturers; local fishing tackle retailers; lodges, guides and camps from throughout North America; travel regions, local fishing clubs, taxidermists and much more.  In addition, the Expo will offer seminars from regional and national angling experts and other sportsmen and women at the top of their game.  This is my 36th year in sport show management and I’ve never been more excited about a new show.”

“The Schaumburg Convention Center is a relatively new facility offering many amenities for both outdoor enthusiasts and exhibitors. It’s an exhibitor-friendly facility with easy move-in and move-out,” Fuller further said. “The Convention Center is attached to the Renaissance Hotel offering relatively inexpensive lodging at a first class hotel. Parking will be free for both the consumers and the exhibitors. The Convention Center provides easy access for show goers across the area and particularly from Northern Illinois, Southern Wisconsin and Northwest Indiana, in fact, the entire Great Lakes region.”

For more general information regarding the New Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo, contact Paul Fuller at [email protected] or 603-431-4315. To reserve exhibit space, contact Tod Alberto at [email protected] or 603-431-4315. www.sportshows.com.

Great Lakes Water Levels for May 4, 2012 


 The Great Lakes basin saw some precipitation this past week, with the heavier precipitation occurring in the southern and western parts of the basin.  Temperatures were normal for this time of year across the region.  Last month experienced below average precipitation for April.  Temperatures will remain steady throughout the weekend and entering into the early part of next week.  Expect some precipitation with a chance of thunder storms in parts of the Great Lakes basin. 


Lake Superior is 1 inch higher than it was last year.  Lakes Michigan-Huron are 1 inch lower than they were at this time last year.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 4, 4, and 8 inches, respectively, lower 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 Lake St. Clair and Lake Ontario are expected to rise 1 inch while the level of Lake Erie is expected to decrease 1 inch over the next thirty days.


 Lake Superior's outflow through the St. Marys River is projected to be below average for the month of May.  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 May.  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 May.


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 May 4











Datum, in ft






Diff in inches






Diff last month






Diff from last yr







Cabela’s to open store in Green Bay, WI

Construction to begin this fall; open in summer 2013

Cabela’s announced plans begin construction this fall open the store in the summer of 2013. It will be Cabela’s third store in Wisconsin, joining the Prairie du Chien and Richfield locations. The company also operates a distribution center in Prairie du Chien.


The approximately 100,000-square-foot store will be located in the Titletown Development area being developed in conjunction with the Green Bay Packers. The store will be located in the southeast quadrant of US Route 41 and

Lombardi Avenue near Lambeau Field in the Village of Ashwaubenon in Brown County.


Cabela’s expects the store to employ approximately 175 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees. Most will come from Green Bay and the neighboring area. 

The store also will feature a Sportsman’s Hall of Fame displaying Wisconsin trophy animal mounts, as well as a “view-through” design highlighted by large glass windows allowing customers to see the store’s interior as they approach both the front and back of the building. 


Cabela’s Announces Wanna Go Fishing for Millions? Participating Waters
Nineteen states to be included in unique competition

 Cabela’s Incorporated, announced today the participating waters for 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.


Cabela’s, along with Outdoor Channel, Wanna Go Fishing TV and Geico, tagged 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.

One of the tagged fish could be worth $1 million. The grand prize will be doubled to $2 million if the grand prize winner is a current user of the Cabela’s Fish Recon app or downloaded the Cabela’s Fish Recon app to their smartphone, sponsored by Geico. 


Registration began April 19 and participants must pre-register before fishing. Winners of specific prizes will be announced after the promotion ends July 8.

Additional information about rules and prizes can be found at the contest website, cabelas.com/fishformillions.

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.

Bass Pro offers Free Outdoor Essential Classes

Kids Summer Kickoff Challenge - Go outdoors, it’s good for you!

Ask any adult what they remember best about childhood and chances are they will recall riding their bikes, building forts and tree houses and generally playing outdoors until after dark.  Kids were connected—to each other, their family and the outdoors.  And, according to several studies, they were physically and emotionally healthier. Information taken from The Conservation Fund website at www.conservationfund.org/children-nature states that researchers suggest “that the decline in children’s health is linked, in part, to their growing disconnect from nature and outdoor activity.”


Much national attention is being paid to this dilemma—so much that in early 2011 a report entitled America's Great Outdoors: A Promise to Future Generations was released that was part of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative.  It’s an effort to reconnect Americans to the outdoors. A separate report was produced based on "youth listening sessions" in which young people expressed a strong desire to spend time outdoors.  (Read more about the report)


Bass Pro Shops has long recognized the short and long term benefits for kids and adults being involved in the outdoors.  Their National Go Outdoors Event was developed as a way to give families the opportunity to learn all of the outdoor skills needed to make their next outdoor adventure a great one and to reconnect with each other in the beauty of the great outdoors.  This year’s Bass Pro Shops Go Outdoors Event will take place at 55 store locations in the United States May 18th-28th.


Exciting free events at the stores could include canoe and kayak demonstrations, casting contests, rock climbing walls, GPS classes, kid’s crafts, outdoor skills workshops, Dutch oven cooking, outdoor survival training and much, much more. There’s even the opportunity to get a great FREE 4x6 Family Photo download. (Events will vary per store.  Please visit www.basspro.com/gooutdoors ((beginning May 7)) and select individual store location for events listing.)


The Go Outdoors event offers great Outdoor Essentials classes for adults May 18 - 20.
Friday, May 18:
• 6pm :  Hiking Basics --learn about the best equipment to use for a successful hike
• 7pm:  Campfire Cooking --discover a new way to prepare tasty, over-the-fire meals
• 8pm:  Kayaks & Canoes --find out how to select the best kayak or canoe for float trips


Saturday,May 19;
• 1pm:  Life Jackets –learn about proper life jacket fit and how to choose the best one for your needs
• 2pm:  Inflatable Life Jackets –see how they work
• 3pm:  Camping Essentials –if you’re a beginner camper this is the class for you
• 4pm:  GPS Tips & Techniques –bring your GPS for hands-on advice
• 5pm:  Backpacking –discover the latest features and benefits of backpacking gear

Sunday, May 20:
• 1pm:  Dutch Oven Cooking –learn tips and techniques using this delicious cooking method
• 2pm:  Inflatable Life Jackets –see how they work
• 3pm:  Tent Set-up --learn tent set-up and the importance of choosing the proper tent
• 4pm:  Smoker Tips & Techniques –learn the tips and techniques of smoker selection, food preparation and cooking


The Go Outdoors Event includes a “Summer Kickoff Challenge” with free weekend activities for kids Memorial Day weekend May 26th and 27th. From 11am to 4pm kids can learn how to set up a tent, compete in a sleeping bag race and enjoy a metal detector treasure hunt.  The first 100 kids in each store to complete the Summer Kickoff Challenge each day will receive a fun bug glider.  Kids will also be able to do a sand art craft from 12noon until 4pm Saturday, May 26th and paint a wooden insect craft Sunday, May 27th  (while supplies last; styles may vary).


Kids may also bring in their best wildlife photo for a chance to win the Summer Kickoff Photo Contest.  First place prize is a Bass Pro Shops 10x26 mm Compact Binoculars and a $25 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card and Second Place winner receives a $20 Bass Pro Shops Gift Card.


“One of the most exciting and invigorating places to go this summer is just beyond your front door,” said Larry Whiteley, Bass Pro Shops Manager of Communications.  “Bass Pro Shops is committed to helping adults and children across the nation put away their laptops, video games, and cell phones and head outdoors.  Whether it’s fishing, hiking through a local park, or simply laying on your lawn watching the stars at night, there are so many great things to do outdoors this summer.”


While at Bass Pro Shops, register to win the “Outdoor Maui Adventure”—a 7day, 6-night trip to Maui, Hawaii.  One National Grand Prize will be awarded to one winner and their guest who will win the Maui Jim® and The North Face® Adventure Package that also includes airfare, hotel and car rental.  The total combined approximate retail value of the prize is $5,667.  (No purchase necessary to enter or claim prize. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and District of Columbia and Canada ((excluding Quebec)) who are 18 years of age or older at time of entry.  All federal and other tax liabilities are the sole responsibility of the winner.  Sweepstakes begins on 5/18/12 and ends on 5/28/12.  See store for more details.)


Each store location will also select a First Place winner who will receive a gift package of one MasterBuilt Cookmaster propane smoker, one Pacific Bamboo BBQ tool set, one The North Face Terra 45 backpack, and one pair of Maui Jim sunglasses.  The total combined approximate retail value of the prize is over $500 (specific items are to be selected by Sponsor).


This year, commit to getting outdoors with your kids for all your health’s sake.  Visit Bass Pro Shops during the National Go Outdoors Event, interact with your family in the great outdoors and make some memories to last a lifetime.


Lake Superior

What Fuels Lake Superior’s Food Webs?

A Minnesota Sea Grant Research Project

Where do the elements of a lake trout’s body come from? Are they derivative of algae, fallen leaves, and sunken logs on the bottom of Lake Superior or a combination thereof?


To answer such questions, Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Minor (University of Minn. Duluth) and her associate researchers will collect organic matter, zooplankton, and fish from off of Minnesota’s north shore, a site along Wisconsin’s nearshore, and a third offshore site in Lake Superior. They will collect samples from the sites in spring when the water is vertically mixing, in summer after stratification occurs, and when autumn leaves are floating

into the lake. Back in the laboratory, the researchers will conduct isotopic analyses on the samples.


The laboratory technique will allow the researchers to determine where these elements came from and whether the sources change over the seasons. If they discover that land-based sources of carbon and nutrients are important in Lake Superior’s food webs, fisheries managers might want to include the watershed in management plans. If the researchers’ preliminary data are correct and Lake Superior’s food webs are predominantly founded on lake-based elements recently fixed by algae, managers could potentially use this information to anticipate how fish populations might respond to annual algae abundance.

Lake Michigan

Wisconsin and Michigan team up to boost Lake Michigan sturgeon population

PESHTIGO, Wis. – Eggs fisheries biologists collected from sturgeon spawning below the Peshtigo dam are now on their way to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan under a cooperative effort between Michigan and Wisconsin to boost a naturally reproducing lake sturgeon population in Lake Michigan. There the fertilized eggs will be raised into fingerlings and released this fall into two rivers that tributaries to Little Bay de Noc, on the northern end of Green Bay.

Michigan & Wisconsin biologists harvest sturgeon eggs to increase

Lake Michigan's lake sturgeon population


Biologists from Departments of Natural Resources in Michigan and Wisconsin harvested eggs and milt from adult sturgeon that had migrated up the Peshtigo from Lake Michigan to spawn last week. They collected about a cup of eggs from each of four female sturgeon, which was then mixed with the milt collected from numerous males to help create a more diversified population.

“The eggs we collect here go to streamside trailers, one on the Cedar River and one on the Whitefish River,” explained Ed Baker, Michigan DNR fisheries research biologist. “The rivers historically had a sturgeon population but don’t have much anymore and we’re trying to fix that.”


This is the third year of the program, which Baker says has a goal of raising and transplanting 1,500 sturgeon into Michigan waters of Green Bay. Biologists hope the sturgeon will implant on their new home and return to the rivers to spawn when they reach maturity, which for males takes about 15 years and for females takes 24 to 26 years.


“They (Michigan) were without an egg source from the Lake Michigan drainage so they originally went to the Menominee River,” said Mike Donofrio, Wisconsin DNR fisheries supervisor, “but they had trouble getting eggs because the number of sturgeon spawning there wasn’t large. So we identified the Peshtigo as a good system where there is easy access to the fish and there’s a nice sizable population. About 300 to 400 fish spawn here.”  For more info, click here: lake sturgeon


Recent Asian Carp Sampling above/below Dispersal Barrier

The Illinois DNR is constantly monitoring the waters adjacent to the Chicago Waterway Dispersal Barrier, both above and below the target area for any sign of Bighead or Silver Carp. Below is a representative sample of last week’s sampling – which didn’t find any presence of Asian carp in the area;


Random Site Sampling Upstream of the Dispersal Barrier
Area 1: Lake Calumet Connecting Channel and Calumet River above O’Brien Lock

Area 2: Calumet-Sag Channel

Area 3: Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, Western Ave. to Dispersal Barrier

Area 4: North Shore Channel, North Branch Chicago River and Chicago River     


Wednesday, April 25

One IDNR boat and crew will be electrofishing at Areas 2, 3, and 4


Fixed Sites Downstream of the Dispersal Barrier
Site A:  Lockport Pool – Lockport Lock and Dam to Electric Barrier

Site B:  Brandon Road Pool – Brandon Road Lock and Dam to Lockport Lock and Dam

Site C:  Dresden Island Pool – I-55 Bridge to Brandon Road Lock and Dam

Site D:  Marseilles Pool – Rt. 47 Bridge (Morris) to Dresden Lock and Dam


Monday, April 23

One USACE electrofishing boat and crew will be electrofishing at Site A and B.

One IDNR electrofishing boat and crew will be electrofishing at Site C.


Tuesday, April 24

One IDNR electrofishing boat and crew will be electrofishing at Site D.


Contracted commercial net sampling will take place the week of April 30.


Barrier Defense Asian Carp Removal Project

Tuesday – Friday, April 24-27

Five commercial fishing boats and crews with IDNR biologists will use trammel and gill nets to remove Asian carp from the upper Illinois River and lower Des Plaines River.  Most of the effort this week will take place in the Marseilles Pool near Morris Illinois, although some time will be spent upstream in the Dresden Island Pool and downstream in the Starved Rock Pool.


Fish Behavior Study at the Barrier

Tuesday-Thursday, April 24-26

Two USFWS-Carterville boats and crews with assistance from USFWS-Columbia and USACE-Chicago District will be conducting caged-fish behavior trials at the Barrier.


Telemetry Monitoring Project

Tuesday – Friday, April 24-27

One USACE biologist will be downloading data from VR4 receivers at the Barrier.  Data downloading will take place from shore.


Monitoring Asian Carp Population Metrics and Control Efforts

Monday-Friday, April 23-27

One SIUC boat and crew will collect Asian carp from the Big Muddy River near Murphysboro, IL for acoustic target strength assessments.

Gear Evaluation Study

The INHS will initiate the spring sample for evaluating the effectiveness of various gears used to sample juvenile and adult Asian carp.  Sampling will include gill nets, trammel nets, mini-fyke nets, trap nets, hoop nets, large- and small-mesh purse seines, electrofishing, cast nets, beach seine, and hydroacoustics.  Trap nets, hoop nets, and mini-fyke nets will be set overnight for two nights in shallow or backwater areas; all other gears will be attended and used during daylight hours.


Monday-Wednesday, April 23-25

One INHS boat and crew will be sampling with multiple gears in the LaGrange Pool of the Illinois River downstream from the Peoria L&D (River mile 154 – 157.5).


Wednesday–Friday, April 25-27

One INHS boat and crew will be sampling with multiple gears in the LaGrange Pool of the Illinois River in Lilly Lake Backwater (River mile 83-84).


Family Learn to Fish May 19

Natural Resources Education Center at Fort Harrison State Park

Family Learn to Fish workshops are free 3-hour workshops for families on the 3rd Saturday on most months.  Families will meet first at the NREC and learn a little fish biology and some basic fishing skills.  Participants will then have the opportunity to practice fishing at Delaware Lake in Fort Harrison State Park. 


The workshop will take place a t Fort Harrison State park,

May 19, 9 – 12 noon, EST


No experience is needed. All fishing equipment will be provided.  Children must be 6 years or older.  Workshop is free but pre-registration is required.  To register, contact Natural Resources Education Center  at [email protected] or 317-562-1338.


For questions on the details of the workshop: Clint Kowalik (Go FishIN Coordinator) at [email protected].


DNR offers shotgun shooting classes for women

The Michigan DNR will offer two "Introduction to Shotgun Shooting" classes for women in May as part of its popular Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program:


Southeast Michigan – Sunday, May 20, 2 - 6 PM

Hosted by Detroit Sportsmen’s Congress

49800 Dequindre Road, in Utica, www.d-s-c.org

$30 per person (20-gauge ammunition will be provided; those bringing their own 12-gauge will need to provide their own ammunition)


West Michigan – Tuesday, May 22, 5 - 9 PM 

Hosted by the Great Lakes Outdoors Foundation

At Caledonia Sportsman’s Club

10721 Coldwater Road SE, in Alto


$30 per person, includes ammunition (donated by the Great Lakes Outdoors Foundation)


This shooting class, for beginners as well as those who would like to sharpen their shotgun skills, will emphasize firearm safety. Participants will get one-on-one training from certified instructors. They will learn and practice shotgun shooting technique, determining their dominant eye, proper stance and firearm fit and will practice their skills shooting trap.


You may bring your own shotgun or one will be provided for their use. Eye and ear protection also will be available. For registration and information on this and other BOW events, visit www.michigan.gov/bow, email [email protected]  or call 517-241-2225.


MN fishing opener hosts selected for Governor and Lt. Governor

A pair of accomplished anglers from Waconia will host Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon on Lake Waconia for the 2012 Governor’s Fishing Opener on May 12. Travis Frank will fish with Governor Dayton, and Matt Peters will fish with Lt. Governor Prettner Solon.


Travis Frank is a professional angler, founder of Trophy Encounters Professional Guide Service, and a producer for Ron Schara Productions. He grew up in Waconia and began fishing as a young boy, learning from his father and grandfather. He guided his first client at age 16, and he has taken people from all over the country fishing for the past twelve years. Frank’s greatest reward is watching others land the largest trophy of their life. His obsession and specialty is the muskellunge, but he has fished nearly every species in the upper Midwest, with his adventures taking him all across Minnesota and neighboring states.


In addition to his role as a producer for Ron Schara, Frank is a co-host on WCCO’s weekly radio program, Live Outdoors, and a contributor to KFAN and several publications. Frank’s other pursuits include spending time with friends and family, blogging about fishing on his

website, and hunting, camping, traveling, and taking photographs.


Matt Peters grew up on Lake Waconia. Like Travis Frank, Peters has fished since he was old enough to hold a rod and reel, and he too started his first guide service at the age of 16. He continues to provide fishing guide services year-round, and he shares his passion for fishing on his website, which reaches over 3,000 monthly readers. Peters has over ten years of experience on the professional fishing circuit, including participation in over 50 bass tournaments. In 2010, he fished the FLW Tour as well as many other national events. 


When he’s not chasing fish on Lake Waconia, Peters spends time bow hunting, giving seminars, participating in youth and charity events, and spending time with his family.


The Governor’s Fishing Opener has been a tradition in Minnesota since 1948. The Opener is an opportunity to highlight local fishing and other recreational activities, attractions and points of interest. The Opener is also a kick-off celebration for the statewide summer tourism season. Travel and tourism generate $11.3 billion in leisure and hospitality gross sales in Minnesota annually.

Gander Mountain Sponsors Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener

Minnesota outdoors leader supports Gov. Dayton’s second opener weekend events

The Governor’s Fishing Opener is a generations-old tradition in Minnesota, and Minnesota-based Gander Mountain is once again playing a significant role in the fun. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton will head out onto the waters of Lake Waconia for his second fishing opener and he’ll be bringing one of the most trusted names in outdoor gear along with him. Minnesota-based Gander Mountain is a “Platinum Walleye” sponsor for the Governor’s Fishing Opener weekend of events, which begins on Friday, May 11 in Waconia.


“As a major retailer and employer in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Gander Mountain is once again proud to play a role in this cherished Minnesota tradition,” said Steve Uline, Gander Mountain’s executive vice president of marketing. “Minnesota is our home, and as the state’s largest retailer of hunting, fishing and camping gear, this is a natural fit. The Governor’s Opener has been an annual part of Minnesota’s great outdoor tradition for more than 60 years, just as countless outdoors enthusiasts in Minnesota have made a stop at their local Gander Mountain store a part of their recreation plans.”


The 2012 Minnesota fishing season officially opens on May 12, when Dayton and hundreds of others will fish Lake

Waconia, but the Governor’s Fishing Opener will include a full weekend of family outdoors events in the Waconia

area. Gander Mountain, has again partnered with Frabill to provide each of the hundreds of registered anglers a commemorative aerated bait container. In addition, Gander Mountain’s walleye hats, made popular at the 2011 State Fair, will be available at the weekend’s Community Picnic, which will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, May 11 in Waconia’s City Square Park. Full details of the weekend’s events can be found at the fishing opener’s official web site, www.mngovernorsopener.com.


“The Waconia community and the organizers of the Governor’s Fishing Opener weekend are delighted to have Minnesota’s own Gander Mountain once again join the event’s outstanding lineup of sponsors,” said Kelly Sites, president of the Waconia Chamber of Commerce, and one of the key organizers of the weekend. “We expect that the walleye hats will be a huge hit, and we are pleased to share our community, our hospitality, and our event with great Minnesota companies like Gander Mountain that share our passion for the outdoors.”


The Governor’s Fishing Opener has been a renowned Minnesota event every spring since 1948, when then-Governor Luther Youngdahl organized a fishing outing on Lake Mille Lacs near Isle to promote outdoor recreation in the state.


New York

Changes to 2012 NY Recreational Fishing Regulations

Harvest restrictions relaxed for Flounder (Fluke), Scup (Porgy) and Black Sea Bass

New recreational fishing regulations are now effective for summer flounder (fluke), scup (porgy) and black sea bass, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today.  These new regulations are less restrictive than current rules and specify changes to the minimum size limit, possession limit and open season for all three species.


Summer Flounder: The new regulations include a 4-fish possession limit, a 19.5-inch minimum size limit and a May 1 through September 30 open season.


“These regulation changes reflect improvements to populations of scup, black sea bass and summer flounder,” said DEC Assistant Commissioner for Natural Resources, Kathy Moser. “The scup population is particularly robust at this time, and we encourage anglers to get out on the water and enjoy the increased opportunity for anglers to bring home freshly caught fish.”


Scup: The new recreational scup season will run from May 1 through December 31. In addition, anglers will be able to keep 20 fish of 10½ inches or longer. Anglers fishing from licensed party and charter vessels must abide by an 11-inch minimum size limit for their 20 fish during the May 1 through December 31 season, but can take 40 fish during the months of September and October.

Black Sea Bass: The new regulations include a 15-fish possession limit and an open season from June 15 through December 31. The minimum size limit remains 13 inches.


New York State participates in the cooperative management of migratory marine fisheries as a member of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). ASMFC adopts Interstate Fisheries Management Plans (FMP’s) for the prudent management and conservation of quota managed species along the Atlantic Coast.   Under management by ASMFC and its member states, fluke, porgy and black sea bass stocks are rebuilt and should provide excellent recreational fishing opportunities now and into the future.


In order to take advantage of the opportunity to implement less restrictive regulations as soon as possible, these new rules are effective immediately and will be in place for 90 days.  DEC has filed these regulations changes as rule-change proposals to extend these regulations beyond 90 days.  The text of the new regulation will be published in the State Register on May 2, 2012 and is available on the DEC website www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/34113.html#part40e2. DEC will be accepting public comments on the new marine fish recreational regulations through June 18, 2012.


Recreational marine fishing regulations can be viewed on the DEC website www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7894.html




ODNR to offer Power Boating Skills Courses

Two new classes are being offered this summer through the Ohio DNR Division of Watercraft. The first class is a newly developed power boating basics course, providing novice and inexperienced boaters with the basic skills needed to properly and safely operate a power boat. The eight-hour, interactive skills course is open to the public and will be offered through September at multiple locations statewide beginning May 20 at the Division’s Alum Creek area office in Delaware County.


Working in cooperation with various boating partners, this new power boating skills course is aimed at educating boaters in the safe and proper methods of operating a power boat, while simultaneously reducing their likelihood of being involved in a boating accident. Participants will get hands-on training from certified instructors about how to properly launch and retrieve a boat, basic boat docking procedures and basic open water power boat operations.


The power boating skills course will include:

• Proper on/off trailer launching and retrieval of a boat at a boat launch ramp;

• On-water approach and departure from a dock procedures;

• Man overboard drill, how to rescue a person in the water;

• Mooring and knot-tying techniques;

• Proper anchoring procedures; and

• On-water power boat operating basics.

The second class offered by the Division of Watercraft is a Close Quarters Boat Handling Course. This course is designed to teach boat operators how to effectively and safely operate their powerboats in close quarter environments such as around docking piers and marinas.

This specialized course offers various skill development activities for operators of medium-sized recreational powerboats, including how to navigate in tight spaces during variable water conditions, how to steer, stop and rotate the operational direction of a boat and how to maintain a proper lookout.


The course is adapted from a similar program utilized by professional boat operators including state, local and federal marine officers. While not a certification program, the Division’s course is intended to improve the basic boat handling skills needed for safe operations in small on-water areas, especially those associated with fixed objects and other watercraft.


Class size for these courses is limited. The training cost for each class is $47. Participants must be at least 18 years of age, have a valid driver’s license and be able to show proof that they have completed a boater safety education course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.

For more information on either course and to register for a class, visit www.ohiodnr.com/watercraft/.


Ohio clarifies enforcement guidelines of Fish Fillets

COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio DNR has issued a statewide directive to its enforcement officers to clarify guidelines for enforcing a new rule that specifies the condition of fish fillets being kept or transported. 


“Many Ohio anglers have expressed that they were confused about the fillet rule so I asked our Division of Wildlife to clarify the rule so no innocent angler stands a chance of getting in to trouble when they are trying to follow the law,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer, .

The rule, Ohio Administrative Code 1501:31-13-08, states that it is unlawful to possess or transport a fish unless the fish is in the round or a complete fillet with skin attached until a person reaches their permanent residence. The confusion surrounding the question of whether the skin had to be kept on the entire fillet or whether a patch of skin to identify the fish species would suffice. Many Lake Erie

anglers come to the lake for a few days or a week to sample the world class fishery, and anglers may be bringing home several days’ limits of the various species.


After a thorough review, a directive sent today to wildlife officers from Scott Zody, chief of the Division of Wildlife, specified that the rule should be interpreted to mean that only a patch of skin, enough to identify the species of the fish is required to be left on the fillet. Changes will be made this fall during the regular rule-making package to further clarify the requirement in code. The rule is designed as a tool to protect the valuable Lake Erie fishing resource and to allow wildlife officers to identify fillets in an angler’s possession.


“Our goal was to protect the state’s most valuable fishery,” said Zody. “It was not our intent to create a hardship for anglers, who bring a tremendous economic benefit to the state.”


Erie Named Freshwater Fishing Capital of Pennsylvania

State Representative John Hornaman announced that Erie County has been proclaimed as the “Freshwater Fishing Capital of Pennsylvania” by the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives. The proclamation was proposed by Rep. Hornaman and unanimously approved by the members of the legislature. The resolution was passed on January 25, 2012. The announcement was made at our February General membership meeting.


The “Freshwater Fishing Capital of Pennsylvania”

designation is extremely important to us. It not only recognizes the great fishery of Erie County but it calls attention to the great economic potential that the sportfishing industry offers. It also recognizes the huge efforts made by clubs like ours, the PA Fish and Boat Commission and other state agencies who have worked hard to improve our fishery.


The new status of Erie County also offers the opportunity for our local economic development groups to market our area in another way.


PA Board Expands Use Of Bait On ‘Red Tag’ Farms In Southeast

To further the Game Commission’s efforts to find effective tools to manage the deer populations on agricultural lands in the southeast corner of the state, the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave final approval to a regulatory change to allow for the narrow legalization of the use of bait during all deer hunting seasons in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties on approved properties enrolled in the agency’s Agricultural Damage Depredation Program, commonly referred to as the “Red Tag” program.


“This new regulation allows for the focused use of bait on those farms most in need of deer control assistance through their enrollment in the ‘Red Tag’ program,” said Carl G. Roe, agency executive director. “Presently, farmers applying to enroll in the Red Tag program need to

include in their application justification for the need to use

bait.  What this regulatory change does is allow hunters on these properties to use bait during any legal deer season in addition to the ‘Red Tag’ seasons for antlerless deer, which are from Feb. 1 to May 15, and July 1 to Sept. 28.”


Farmers enrolled in the “Red Tag” program are provided with a specific number of antlerless deer permits, which are red in color.  Farmers then give these permits to hunters to harvest antlerless deer from Feb. 1 to Sept. 28 each calendar year, excluding Sundays, during the hours of dawn to dusk only. The permits are not valid from May 16 to June 30, and can’t be used to take bucks.


The listings of farms enrolled in the “Red Tag” program are maintained by the respective Region Offices as those landowners enrolled in the program change from year to year.


New discounted license seeks to lure back anglers

New this year anglers who have never purchased a fishing license -- or who haven't purchased one in 10 years -- can get a discounted “first time buyers” license. Lawmakers created the discounted license earlier this year and both residents and non-residents can take advantage of this opportunity. Residents' discounted license is $5 and non-residents' is $25.75 for the annual licenses.


There are also incentives for anglers to get new people to go fishing.


Also, for the second year, anglers can buy a one-day fishing license that allows them to take someone out to try fishing, and if they like it, the purchase price of that one-day license will be credited toward purchase of an annual license. The one day license is $8 for residents and $10 for nonresidents.


“It's a good entry level license that lets you do everything but fish for trout and salmon, where stamps are required,” says Mike Staggs, Wisconsin's fisheries director. “It's a

great way to introduce a friend or family member to the fun of fishing.”


The one-day license is good until midnight on the day it is purchased. People can buy these new licenses and the 20 other different fishing licenses DNR offers in three convenient ways:


Over the Internet through the Online Licensing Center on the DNR website, at all authorized license agents, at DNR Service Centers (Hours for service centers vary; check the DNR website for service center days and hours of operation; DNR Service Centers are not open on Saturdays), or by calling toll-free 1-877-LICENSE (1-877-945-4236).


Wisconsin residents and nonresidents 16 years old or older need a fishing license to fish in any waters of the state. Residents born before Jan. 1, 1927, do not need a license and resident members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty are entitled to obtain a free fishing license when on furlough or leave.


More than 330,000 catchable trout to be stocked

Weekly News article published: May 1, 2012 by the Central Office

MADISON -- More than 330,000 catchable size trout are being stocked in dozens of inland trout waters across Wisconsin before the May 5 inland fishing season opener. A list of waters receiving fish [pdf]] and how many were planned for stocking is now available. Search “where to fish” on the Department of Natural Resources website and then look under “Trout Fishing.”


"We should be finishing with trout stocking this week – right before the opener," says David Giehtbrock, DNR statewide fish production manager. "We were able to start a little earlier this year, and we had good conditions for stocking the entire spring."

DNR fisheries crews have been stocking rainbow, brown, and brook trout raised at Nevin Fish Hatchery, Osceola Fish Hatchery and St. Croix Falls Hatchery. They've also been working with fishing club volunteers, students, and others to help stock the fish club members raised under cooperative rearing agreements with DNR.

The Rolling Hills Sportsman's Club and Hillsboro High School raised and stocked 7,371 wild brook trout in streams in Vernon and Monroe counties.

Some of the fish were stocked in urban fishing waters, small lakes and ponds cooperatively managed with the local municipality and used as a place for fishing clinics and kids fishing.


Altogether, there will be 331,731 catchable-size trout stocked this spring, with rainbow trout comprising the largest share, 155,822, followed by brook trout at 105,160 fish, and 70,749 brown trout, according to Rachel Koehler, DNR assistant production manager and microbiologist.

The trout are stocked in waters where the habitat is marginal and there is no natural reproduction. They are a small subset of the state's overall trout treasury -- more than 13,000 miles of classified trout water and trout populations that have generally increased statewide over the last 60 years.

Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)


EDITORIAL: Desperately seeking Asian carp fix
As of its most recent report, the Corps expects to list an "array of alternative plans" by the end of 2013, not a final proposal.

Senators introduce bipartisan legislation to keep Asian carp out of Great Lakes
The bill builds on the Minnesota delegation members’ bipartisan legislation to fight the spread of Asian carp in Minnesota’s waterways



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