Week of May 13, 2013

For Your Health
  • Agent Orange Exposure Linked to Life-Threatening Prostate Cancer

  • Eating Fish and cutting red meat can lower Cancer Risk by 40%


  • Feds issue 2013 Asian Carp Monitoring and Response Plan

  • Federal data conflicts with Gun Control rhetoric


  • Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for May 10, 2013

2nd Amendment issues
  • Fact Check: Gun homicides down since 1990s


  • IL Camping Reservations

  • Life Jacket - Wear It: 

  • Women in the Outdoors

  • Michigan law protect the rights to hunt and fish

  • Weather Buoy to Aid Forecasters in West Michigan

  • DNR tagging walleyes at Mille Lacs; return tag and get a lure

  • Cormorants to be controlled on Lake Vermilion

  • New fishing license options cater to angler interests

Other Breaking News Items
  • Other Breaking News


       Weekly News Archives


       New Product  Archives


For Your Health

Eating Fish and cutting red meat can lower Cancer Risk by 40%

Study shows substantial benefit in eliminating/reducing red meat and substituting healthier proteins

It is commonly believed that lowering your intake of red meats while eating more fish will improve health and lower the risk of cancer. A new meta-analysis in Nutrition Reviews reports that consumers of red and processed meat have a 40% higher risk of developing oesophageal cancer than their peers.


Red meat: in addition to raising the risk for colorectal cancer and other health problems, it can actually shorten your life. That's the clear message of the latest research based on data from two ongoing, decades-long Harvard School of Public Health studies of nurses and other health professionals. It appears "healthy meat consumption" has become an oxymoron.


"This study provides clear evidence that regular consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, contributes substantially to premature death," according to Dr. Frank Hu, one of the senior scientists involved in the study and a professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.


How should you respond to this latest blow to red-blooded American cuisine? How much meat can you eat? And if not meat, what types of protein should you substitute?


Meat and mortality

In the study, published April 9, 2012, in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a team of Harvard researchers looked for statistical links between meat consumption and cause of death. The populations scrutinized included about 84,000 women from the Nurses' Health Study and 38,000 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.


People in the study who ate the most red meat tended to die younger, and to die more often from cardiovascular disease and cancer. These people also tended to weigh more, exercise less, smoke tobacco more, and drink more alcohol than healthier people in the study. Yet even when the researchers compensated for the effects of unhealthy lifestyle, mortality and meat remained associated.

Portion Control

A 3-ounce portion of meat would fit in the palm of your hand.

What the study found

After 28 years, nearly 24,000 people in these two studies died from cardiovascular disease or cancer. How much and what kind of meat did they eat while they were alive?


Using questionnaires, the scientists asked people in the study to estimate how many servings of meat they consumed. Unprocessed red meat included beef, pork, lamb, and hamburger at serving sizes of 3 oz, or a portion about the size of a deck of playing cards.

Processed meat included bacon, hot dogs, sausage, salami, bologna, and other processed items. Two slices of bacon represented 1 serving; so did one slice of cold cuts.


The study determined that each additional daily serving of red meat increased risk of death by 13%. The impact rose to 20% if the serving was processed, as in food items like hot dogs, bacon, and cold cuts.


What it means for you

What does a 13% increased "risk of mortality" (for each additional serving of unprocessed red meat) mean for an individual? Dr. Walter Willett, a senior scientist on the team and the chair of the departments of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, suggests this way of looking at the study results:

"If someone is age 60 and has a 50% chance of dying in the next 25 years, adding one serving a day would increase his risk of dying in that time to about 57%, and if he had two servings a day, this would be about a 63% risk of dying in that time."


In other words, the effects of unhealthy foods are relative to where you start, and eating red meat—the study shows—comes with a mortality tax. But there is also a hefty mortality dividend to cutting back on red meat. Consuming less than half a serving (1.5 ounces) per day of red meat could have prevented about one in 10 premature deaths in men in the study.


Protein substitutions for red meat that can reduce your early mortality risk. 

Substitute a daily portion of red meat with a healthier protein source to reduce mortality risk by the indicated amount:

Red Meat Substitute

Reduced Risk



Legumes, low-fat dairy


Poultry, whole grains




Substituting healthy proteins

The study points to an even greater benefit if you substitute meat with equivalent servings of more healthful protein sources, such as fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains. The benefit was 7% for substituting fish, 14% for poultry, and 19% for nuts.


Again, says Dr. Willett, there is a clear mortality dividend for such substitutions. "If someone who has a 50% risk of dying in the next 25 years replaces one serving of red meat per day with chicken, the risk is decreased to about 42%, and to about 40% if nuts replace red meat."


What should you do?

The prudent course would be to try to reduce red meat consumption if you already haven't. On an individual level the exact benefit is hard to predict, but you can bet that reducing meat consumption—particularly processed meat—is likely to score you an advantage. "Making these kinds of decisions is like being a smart gambler," Willett says. "Nothing is guaranteed, but this is putting the odds in your favor." It's a menu many men can live with—literally.

Agent Orange linked to life-threatening Prostate Cancer

A new analysis has found a link between exposure to Agent Orange and lethal forms of prostate cancer among US Veterans. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the findings suggest that Agent Orange exposure history should be incorporated into prostate screening decisions for Veterans.


The herbicide Agent Orange was heavily used during the Vietnam War era and was often contaminated with dioxin, a dangerous toxin and potential carcinogen. Prior research suggests that exposure to Agent Orange may increase men’s risk of developing prostate cancer, but it is unclear whether it specifically increases their risk of developing lethal forms of the disease. “This is an important distinction as the majority of prostate cancer cases are non-lethal and thus do not necessarily require detection or therapy. Having a means of specifically detecting life-threatening cancer would improve the effectiveness of screening and treatment of prostate cancer,” said Mark Garzotto, MD, of the Portland Veterans Administration Medical Center and Oregon Health & Science University.


To look for a link between Agent Orange exposure and life-threatening, or high-grade, prostate cancer, Nathan Ansbaugh, MPH, designed and conducted analyses on a group of 2,720 US Veterans who were referred

by multiple providers for initial prostate biopsy. Biopsy results and clinical information were compiled for analysis by principal investigator Dr. Garzotto.


Prostate cancer was diagnosed in 896 (32.9 percent) of the Veterans; 459 (16.9 percent) had high-grade disease. Agent Orange exposure was linked with a 52 percent increase in overall risk of prostate cancer detection by biopsy. Exposure to the herbicide did not confer an increase in risk of low-grade prostate cancer, but it was linked with a 75 percent increase in risk of high-grade prostate cancer. In addition, Agent Orange exposure was associated with more than a two-fold increase in the highest-grade, most lethal cancers.


This study indicates that determining men’s Agent Orange exposure status is a readily identifiable means of improving prostate cancer screening for US Veterans, allowing for earlier detection and treatment of lethal cases and potentially prolonging survival and improving quality of life. “It also should raise awareness about potential harms of chemical contaminants in biologic agents used in warfare and the risks associated with waste handling and other chemical processes that generate dioxin or dioxin-related compounds,” said Dr. Garzotto.


Federal data conflicts with Gun Control rhetoric

BELLEVUE, WA - Newly-released data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) proves that more guns in private hands do not lead to more murders, and a Pew Research study showing widespread ignorance of this fact suggests that the public has been misled, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

"The BJS data covers 1993 to 2011 and suggests that for almost 20 years, the gun prohibition lobby has been consistently wrong about private gun ownership and its correlation to crime," said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. "The Pew report suggests that the public has been essentially hoodwinked into believing otherwise."

An Associated Press report about the Pew Research revelation suggested that "intense publicity generated by recent mass shootings" may help to skew the public perception about gun-related violent crime.

"The release of these reports blows holes in the gun prohibition agenda," Gottlieb stated. "If violent crime had gone upward, gun grabbers would exploit the fact as proof that more guns in private hands lead to more violent crime.


"However," he added, "if the gun rights community argued that the BJS data proves increased gun ownership leads to lower violent crime rates, the dominant liberal media would savage the notion. Of course, this is the same anti-gun press that has sensationalized crimes while remaining silent about the actual crime data.


"The BJS data shows that gun-related homicides declined by 39 percent from 1993 to 2011, and the Pew Research Center found that gun-related homicides fell from 7 per 100,000 in 1993 to 3.6 per 100,000 in 2010, a decline of 49 percent," Gottlieb said. "The declining percentages go in the same direction. Firearms-related homicides have plummeted dramatically while more Americans bought more guns, including millions of semi-automatic modern sporting rifles. More people are licensed to carry in more states, and crime is down.

"It is time for the gun control crowd to acknowledge they have been consistently and undeniably wrong," Gottlieb concluded, "and admit that their agenda has never been about crime, but about public disarmament. They don't want to prevent gun crime, they want to prevent gun ownership."

Feds issue 2013 Asian Carp Monitoring and Response Plan

Full plan posted on http://asiancarp.us.

Since 2010, Federal and state partners have executed a coordinated Asian carp monitoring and sampling strategy, dedicating more than 35,000 hours to surveying and removing Asian carp from the CAWS and Illinois Waterway.  In 2012, 200 miles of waterway from Starved Rock Lock and Dam (near the village of Utica, Illinois) to Lake Michigan were monitored, including 76 miles of the CAWS.  Last year, almost 100,000 fish were collected upstream of the electrical barrier system, none of which were bighead or silver carp.  The 2013 MRP continues and intensifies monitoring and sampling actions previously identified in the Framework, and revises them to better use new technology, tools and understanding of these invasive species.


While some of the 21 actions included in the 2013 MRP are reoccurring and ongoing projects from the 2012 plan, several new actions can be found in the plan:


uElectrofishing at fixed and random sampling sites upstream of the electric barrier system will be reduced, while efforts to monitor and sample below the barriers will be increased. 

uUntil the context of the eDNA positive detections can be further refined, the MRP will not use the presence of Asian carp eDNA to trigger a response action in 2013.  However, eDNA is being retained as a monitoring and surveillance tool in the MRP.

uTwo planned eDNA sampling trips above the electric barrier system will be conducted in 2013.  Additionally, two planned intensive monitoring events for live Asian carp will be conducted throughout the CAWS.  These monitoring events will be done in coordination with eDNA sampling.

uTesting of water guns and other control technologies (carbon dioxide, attractants and fish toxicants) will be undertaken to assess the effectiveness and impacts.


The 2013 MRP details approximately $6.5 million of monitoring, sampling and response activities to be conducted by multiple members of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee. The plan outlines actions for the current (2013) field season focused on monitoring and removal of Asian carp in the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS) and upper Illinois Waterway; and on-going evaluations of the effectiveness of barriers and gears used in keeping Asian carp from establishing in the CAWS and Lake Michigan.


The 2013 MRP also is accompanied by an Interim Summary Report (MRWG 2012), containing preliminary results and analysis of actions completed for each of the 18 projects described in the 2011 Plan. The Interim Report includes recommendations for modifications and enhancements to project plans based on past results and experiences which have been made in the 2012 MRP.


The MRP targets the Upper Illinois River and Chicago Area Waterway System, the Asian carp pathway of greatest concern. The Obama Administration also remains focused on preventing Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes through all possible pathways.


For more information on the 2013 MRP and 2012 Interim Report documents or to view the entire 2013 Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework, go to http://asiancarp.us.


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for May 10, 2013 


The Great Lakes region experienced pleasant weather this past week, with temperatures above seasonal averages and minimal precipitation. This weekend look for cooler weather and the chance of showers, especially in the southern and eastern portions of the region which could receive up to an inch of precipitation. By early to mid next week warmer temperatures are expected to return to the region.


All of the Great Lakes are in their seasonal rise. The water level of Lake Superior is near its level of a year ago, while Lake Michigan-Huron is 6 inches lower than at this time last year. Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 7, 7, and 3 inches, respectively, lower than their levels of a year ago. Over the next month, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are forecasted to rise 4 and 3 inches, respectively. The water levels of lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are projected to rise 3, 2, and 4 inches, respectively, in 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 also expected to be below average throughout the month of May. Lake Erie’s outflow through the Niagara River is predicted to be below average and the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River is expected to be below average in May.


Official records are based on monthly average water levels and not daily water levels. Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron are below chart datum. 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. WEATHER CONDITIONS

The Great Lakes region experienced pleasant weather this past week, with temperatures above seasonal averages and minimal precipitation. This weekend look for cooler weather and the chance of showers, especially in the southern and eastern portions of the region which could receive up to an inch of precipitation. By early to mid next week warmer

temperatures are expected to return to the region.


All of the Great Lakes are in their seasonal rise. The water level of Lake Superior is near its level of a year ago, while Lake Michigan-Huron is 6 inches lower than at this time last year. Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 7, 7, and 3 inches, respectively, lower than their levels of a year ago. Over the next month, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are forecasted to rise 4 and 3 inches, respectively. The water levels of lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are projected to rise 3, 2, and 4 inches, respectively, in 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 also expected to be below average throughout the month of May. Lake Erie’s outflow through the Niagara River is predicted to be below average and the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River is expected to be below average in May.


Official records are based on monthly average water levels and not daily water levels. Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron are below chart datum. 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 10






Datum, in ft






Diff in inches






Diff last month






Diff from last yr






2nd Amendment issues

Fact Check: Gun homicides down since 1990s

WASHINGTON (AP) — Gun homicides have dropped steeply in the United States since their 1993 peak, a pair of reports released Tuesday showed, adding fuel to Congress' battle over whether to tighten restrictions on firearms.


A study released Tuesday by the government's Bureau of Justice Statistics found that gun-related homicides dropped from 18,253 in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011. That's a 39 percent reduction.


Another report by the private Pew Research Center found a similar decline by looking at the rate of gun homicides, which compares the number of killings to the size of the country's growing population. It found that the number of gun homicides per 100,000 people fell from 7 in 1993 to 3.6 in 2010, a drop of 49 percent.


Both reports also found that non-fatal crimes involving guns were down by roughly 70 percent over that period. The Justice report said the number of such crimes diminished from 1.5 million in 1993 to 467,300 in 2011.


But perhaps because of the intense publicity generated by recent mass shootings such as the December massacre of 20 school children and six educators in Newtown, Conn., the public seems to have barely noticed the reductions in gun violence, the Pew study shows.


The non-partisan group said a poll it conducted in March showed that 56 percent of people believe the number of gun crimes is higher than it was two decades ago. Only 12 percent said they think the number of gun crimes is lower, while the rest said they think it remained the same or didn't know.


The data was released three weeks after the Senate rejected an effort by gun control supporters to broaden the requirement for federal background checks for more firearms purchases. Senate Democratic leaders have pledged to hold that vote again, perhaps by early summer, and gun control advocates have been raising public pressure on senators who voted "no" in hopes they will change their minds.


Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, a member of the Senate Republican leadership, said the figures show that gun control groups have emphasized the wrong approach to controlling firearms violence.


"That's what many of us have argued all along, is that focusing just exclusively on the guns is not the correct approach to this," he said. Thune said lawmakers should aim instead at preventing future mass

killings by improving mental health programs and increasing the records that state governments send the federal background check system so the checks can do a better job of keeping guns from people who shouldn't have them.


Gun control supporters said the numbers have declined but remain too high, with U.S. rates of gun killings remaining far greater than most other nations.   "None of these studies change the impact of Newtown and other recent mass slayings, showing the need for common sense measures" restricting guns, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said.


The Justice study said that in 2011, about 70 percent of all homicides were committed with firearms, mainly handguns. The trend in firearm-related homicides is part of a broad nationwide decline in violent crime over past two decades, including incidents not involving firearms.  Both studies concluded that most of the decline in gun homicide rates occurred in the 1990s. The Justice report found that since 1999, the number of firearm homicides increased from 10,828 to 12,791 in 2006 before declining to 11,101 in 2011.


Though researchers differ over all the reasons why gun violence has declined, many attribute it to the aging of the baby boomers. The crime rate was higher in the 1960s and 1970s when many in that large generation were teenagers, an age when higher proportions of people commit crimes.


Crime rates dropped in the early 1980s as that generation aged, rose in the latter part of that decade as the use of crack cocaine grew, then dropped again in the 1990s as the nation's economy improved, analysts say.


The Pew report also said:

—The gun suicide rate is 6.3 per 100,000 people, and there were 19,392 suicides by firearms in 2010. That rate has declined more slowly than the firearms homicide rate, with 6 in 10 gun deaths now suicides, the highest proportion since at least 1981.

—More than 8 in 10 victims of gun homicides are men and boys.

—Fifty-five percent of gun homicide victims in 2010 were black, far beyond their 13 percent share of the population.


The Pew study chiefly used federal data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Justice Department's National Crime Victimization Survey, a household survey conducted by the Census Bureau.


NSSF Dumps Reed, SHOT Management Still Undecided

Four months after Reed Exposition's unwavering decision forbidding modern sporting rifles at the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show caused a boycott by exhibitors and eventually killed the popular Pennsylvania event, the National Shooting Sports Foundation announced their decision to end their 30+ year affiliation with the British-owned Reed Management.

A short statement announcing the decision to break the relationship said that despite good service for more than three decades "the company's decision to restrict the sale of certain kinds of firearms this year at its consumer hunting and fishing show- an

event unrelated to NSSF - and Shot show - was in conflict with NSSF's
mission to serve the shooting sports industry."

"As a result, both organizations decided it was in the best interest of SHOT Show to end the relationship."


According to the NSSF statement, the process of identifying a new show management company to manage and produce the SHOT Show beginning in 2014 is now "actively underway." Sources tell us the search has been complicated because some potential management groups are reluctant to handle the firearms-centered SHOT Show.

Remington expands Ammunition Operations

Madison, N.C. – Remington announced last week it's plan to expand operations at the Remington Ammunition Plant in Lonoke, Arkansas. Work on the expansion, which will include the construction of a new building, is expected to begin second quarter of 2013.  The $32 million

expansion plan is projected to be in operation by the second quarter of 2014.


For more info about Remington Ammo www.remington.com/product-categories/ammunition.aspx



Women in the Outdoors

The National Wild Turkey Federation will host a ‘Women in the Outdoors’ event on Sat., May 18 at the Illinois Conservation Foundation’s Torstenson Family Youth Conservation Education Center in Pecatonica, IL.  Courses


include archery, shooting skills, nature crafts, outdoor photography, fly casting and more.  Registration fee is $60.  For registration and more information, phone 815-222-5010.

Camping Reservations

Make your Illinois campsite and shelter reservations for many IDNR sites online through the Reserve America website at www.reserveamerica.com


using a Visa or MasterCard. For more information, check the IDNR website at


Life Jacket - Wear It: 

As the busy boating season begins, IDNR urges boat operators and passengers to “Wear It!” – a reminder to wear a life jacket whenever they’re on the water in Illinois.  The “Wear It!” campaign is highlighted annually as part of National Safe Boating Week, May 18-24, 2013. Life jackets save lives on the water, and Illinois law requires that personal floatation devices (PFDs) – life jackets or life vests – be available for each person aboard a boat or other watercraft. 

State law also requires that anyone under the age of 13 must wear a lifejacket while aboard any watercraft under 26 feet in length at all times the boat is underway,  unless they are below deck in an enclosed cabin or operating on private property.  Illinois law also requires persons of any age to wear a PFD while operating a personal watercraft or Jet Ski. For more information on the “Wear It!” campaign, click on www.safeboatingcampaign.com


IN Free Fishing Day May 18

For Hoosiers who have never cast a fishing line or haven't cast one lately, Free Fishing Day on May 18 is a great opportunity. For Hoosiers who have never cast a fishing line or haven't cast one lately, Free Fishing Day on May 18 is a great opportunity.

That's because Indiana's adult residents do not need a fishing license or a trout/salmon stamp to fish Indiana public waters during Free Fishing Days. May 18 is the second of four Free Fishing Days in 2013. Clint Kowalik, DNR Go FishIN coordinator, said he expected better weather and better fishing than on the state's first Free Fishing Day, April 20.

"Go alone to a quiet, secret spot, explore new waters with a friend, or take your family to a local city park pond," Kowalik said.

As part of a new urban fishing program, DNR will be stocking catchable-size channel catfish in many city park ponds across the state for Free

Fishing Day. The program is called Go FishIN in the City, and its mission 
is to expand fishing opportunities for people who live in Indiana's urban areas.


Properties hosting family-friendly fishing events for the May 18 Free Fishing Day:

- Munger Park, Lafayette, (574) 896-3673
- Crosley Fish & Wildlife Area, North Vernon, (812) 346-5596
- Lakeside Park, Fort Wayne, (260) 244-6805
- Riverside Park, Indianapolis, (317) 234-8440
- Lake Waveland Park, Waveland, (765) 435-2073

All five events are focused on teaching kids and their families hands-on angling skills, and getting families to go fishing together.  Munger, Lakeside and Riverside parks will all receive catfish through the Go FishIN in the City program to support their Free Fishing Day events.  For start times and more info: dnr.IN.gov/fishwild/3598.htm.

Good Days Ahead for Indiana Walleye Anglers

Walleye production at Indiana's state fish hatcheries has rebounded after suffering a weather-related setback last year.

Every spring, DNR workers net adult walleyes at Brookville Lake in southeast Indiana, where eggs are collected from the fish and fertilized. The fish are released back into the lake, and the eggs are transported to Cikana State Fish Hatchery near Martinsville for incubation.

Fish incubated in the spring are then stocked in Indiana lakes throughout the same year.

According to Cikana manager Dan Jessup, unseasonably warm temperatures last spring resulted in one of the worst walleye egg collections on record, and the state was unable to meet some of its 2012 stocking goals.

This year, however, the annual collection of walleye eggs was a success. That's welcome news for anglers and fisheries biologists.

"By 2016, the walleyes we stock this year will be well above the 14-inch size limit and providing some great walleye action," Jessup said.

The DNR's fish stocking program enhances fishing opportunities where

natural limitations prevent certain fish from reproducing or surviving.  The walleye is Indiana's most popular stocked fish.


Although native to Indiana, walleye distribution and abundance was limited until annual stockings were developed in the 1970s. According to DNR biologists, natural reproduction of walleyes is insufficient to maintain populations in most of Indiana. Hatchery production offsets the shortfall.

Indiana typically stocks about 22 million walleye fry that are 4 days old. An additional 1 million walleye fingerlings are stocked in June after being raised to 1 to 2 inches. Six- to 8-inch walleyes are produced for stocking in the fall at lakes where fry or June fingerlings fail to establish a fishery.

"While 2013 did not produce the highest number of adult walleyes we've ever collected, nor the most eggs, fish size and egg quality were excellent," Jessup said. "All lakes that receive newly hatched fry have been stocked and we are on target to grow enough 1-2 inch and 6-8 inch fingerlings to meet those stocking needs as well."

A list of lakes stocked with walleye by the DNR is at dnr.IN.gov/fishwild/3279.htm.




Weather Buoy to Aid Forecasters in West Michigan

Ann Arbor, Mich. – Weather forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service office in Grand Rapids have a difficult job.  Every day they issue forecasts and warnings for the nearly 150 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline from Manistee to St. Joseph. This stretch of Michigan’s West Coast is used by millions of people who annually swim, fish, and boat on this section of Lake Michigan. 


Until recently weather forecasters relied on computer models and land observations to tell them what the conditions are like out on the water.   However, this year forecasters have a new tool to improve the accuracy of forecasts and warnings and get up to the minute observations made on the water.  This new tool is a real-time weather buoy equipped with a slew of state-of-the-art sensors and technology. 


Funding for the buoy was made possible by a grant from the NOAA Coastal Storms Program, which is a nationwide effort to make coastal communities safer by reducing the impact of coastal storms. In West Michigan the grant will be used to improve the prediction of nearshore weather forecasts specifically for boaters and swimmers.  The focus on improving forecasts also compliments the efforts of the National Weather Service to increase the visibility of weather alerts for swimmers through the issuance of Beach Hazard Statements.  These alerts will be issued to warn swimmers of dangerous currents, winds, waves, and other swimming hazards. 


The Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS), the organization managing the grant locally, selected LimnoTech, an environmental engineering firm located in Ann Arbor to deploy, retrieve, and maintain the buoy seasonally through 2015.     The weather buoy was deployed last week approximately three miles from shore in eighty feet of water.   Currently the buoy is stationed closer to Holland, but will be relocated halfway between Holland and Grand Haven later this month with assistance from NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab in Muskegon. 


Every ten minutes the buoy will report the average wind speed, direction,


gust, air temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, wave height and

period, and water temperature.  Additional sensors on the buoy will measure and report rainfall and hail intensity as well as reporting wind gusts


Bob Dukesherer, Senior Forecaster with the National Weather Service in Grand Rapids, states “Real-time data from a buoy in the nearshore zone is invaluable for checking the validity of our marine forecasts and providing lead time on hazardous weather events for both boaters and swimmers alike.  The partnership between NOAA, GLOS and LimnoTech will provide valuable data to the residents and vacationers of West Michigan for the next several summers and hopefully beyond."


The new buoy will not only support forecasts and warnings but LimnoTech has worked with others in the community and added additional sensors.  Additional support from local fishing groups including the Grand Haven Steelheaders, Grand Haven Charter Boat Association, and Saugatuck Area Charter Boat Association will fund the addition of a string of 20 temperature sensors attached to the buoy.  The water temperature data will be used by area fishermen to better pinpoint fish, which tend to follow specific temperature zones.   Average lake currents will also be measured by the buoy from the surface to the bottom, which will assist Great Lakes scientists in understanding links between wind and strong lake currents. 


Observations from the buoy can be obtained from several sources for free.  All of the parameters measured by the buoy are available on the Upper Great Lakes Observing System (UGLOS) website at http://bit.ly/45029buoy.   Data from the buoy is also available on the GLOS data portal website at http://data.glos.us/portal and through the NOAA National Data Buoy Center at http://ndbc.noaa.gov.   The latest wind and wave conditions can also be obtained by sending a text message to (734) 418-7299 with 45029 in the message body.  The text message service is free to use, but depending on your carrier and plan you may be charged to send and receive text messages.


Michigan law protect the rights to hunt and fish

Governor signs SB 288, 289

LANSING – Governor Rick Snyder signed Senate Bills 288 and 289 into law today. The bills allow the Natural Resources Commission to name game species, protect the rights to hunt and fish, and were supported by Michigan’s conservation community.


“We thank Governor Snyder for continuing Michigan’s tradition of separating conservation from politics today,” said Erin McDonough, executive director of Michigan United Conservation Clubs.


“These bills protect the rights of hunters, anglers and trappers, and ensure that wildlife management decisions are based on the recommendations of biologists, not out-of-state anti-hunters.”


SB 288 extends the Natural Resources Commission (NRC)’s authority and sound science mandate to naming animals to the game species list, while retaining the Legislature’s authority to do the same and its exclusive authority to remove game species. SB 288 also grants the NRC the exclusive authority to issued fisheries orders, which currently rests with the director of the Department of Natural Resources, and also provides free licenses to active-duty members of the military. SB 289 establishes the rights to hunt and fish in state law, and makes protection of those rights a purpose of the Michigan’s Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act.


Conservation groups herald the bills as an extension of voter-approved

Proposal G of 1996, which granted the Natural Resources Commission

exclusive authority over game management and required it to use sound science in its wildlife management decisions.


“This is an enhancement of Proposal G,” said Merle Shepard, Michigan state director for Safari Club International. “It puts Michigan on track to manage its wildlife species using sound science.”


Opponents of the bill included the Washington, D.C.-based anti-hunting organization Humane Society of the United States. Natural Resources Commission orders are administrative decisions not subject to ballot referendum, which the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is trying to use to prevent the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) from using public hunting as a tool to prevent wolf depredations in the Upper Peninsula, as outlined in Michigan’s Wolf Management Plan.


“Our members have lost dogs and pets to wolves,” said Joe Hudson, president of the Upper Peninsula Bear Houndsmen Association. “We’re happy to see that the DNR will finally have the management tools it needs to help limit wolf conflicts up here and that decisions about how it manages wildlife will be made based on sound science, not television commercials.”


Founded in 1937, Michigan United Conservation Club (MUCC) is the largest state-specific conservation organization in the country. Its mission is to conserve, defend and enhance Michigan’s natural resources and outdoor heritage.


New fishing license options cater to angler interests

Minnesota anglers who fish a lot or a little can hook newly created licenses tailored to their desires.    

The new license options include a 72-hour fishing license, a three-year license and a reduced price annual license for youth ages 16 and 17, according to the Minnesota DNR.  “Based on feedback from our customers we created new options that reflect their interests,” said Jenifer Wical, customer enhancement manager for the DNR’s Fish and Wildlife Division. “Customers now have more choices for convenience and value.”


Wical said the new $12, 72-hour license is likely to be popular among once-a-year weekend anglers, including those who have never fished and those who have lapsed. It does not require a trout stamp or spearing validation. The $63 three-year fishing license provides a $3 price break and is valid until 2016, a convenience. The $5 license for youth ages 16 and 17 is roughly a quarter of the cost of an annual resident fishing license, which is $22. Until this year youth ages 16 and 17 paid full price for a fishing license.


“If you love fishing, then share the passion with friends and family,” Wical


said. “The new license options make it easier to recruit those who haven’t fished, retain those who do and reactivate those who have dropped out.”


She said license revenue is used to manage 5,400 fishing lakes and support 150-plus field conservation officers. Moreover, the license itself is a ticket to some of the best fishing in America. “Minnesota ranks third in the nation as an inland fishing destination,” Wical said. “Wherever you are in this state, you’re close to great fishing.”


Also new are individual and combination (married couple) super sports licenses that combine a variety of hunting and fishing opportunities into one license. The DNR is working with the Legislature to readjust the cost of this license as its current price exceeds that sum of its individual components.  


Licenses can be purchased and printed online anytime at www.mndnr.gov/BuyALicense and details of new license types can be found at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/heritage/index.html


Cormorants to be controlled on Lake Vermilion

Double-crested cormorants will be controlled at Lake Vermillion this spring in an effort to limit the number of birds that eat yellow perch and potentially small walleye, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The action follows several years of surveys that show a consistently lower perch population in the lake’s east bay. Perch are the lake’s primary forage fish for walleye.


“We believe cormorant predation is the likely cause of fewer perch being caught in survey nets,” said Don Pereira, DNR fisheries policy and research manager. “This conclusion is based on the ‘weight of evidence’ that came from analyzing fish population data.” 


Double-crested cormorants established 32 nests on Vermillion’s Potato Island in 2004. The colony has steadily increased. In 2012, 424 nests were counted, nearly a 30 percent increase from 2011. Lower perch counts were first noticed in 2007 and have remained depressed ever since. Reduced perch numbers have not resulted in significantly lower walleye counts in the 39,000-acre St. Louis County lake.


Edie Evarts, DNR Tower area fisheries supervisor, said the upcoming cormorant control is designed to reduce the possibility of lower walleye numbers in the future. “Limited control measures are a reasonable approach to insure cormorant impacts to the perch population do not


result in a declining walleye population as well,” Evarts said. The agency is applying what it has learned about cormorant impacts on fish populations over the past decade, she said.


The proposed control will consist of culling 10 percent of the adult birds present and oiling the eggs of all nesting pairs. Oiling prevents the eggs from hatching. Together, this approach controls existing numbers of birds, eliminates new production and reduces fish consumption that would have occurred from feeding and raising young birds. This initial control strategy will be monitored for effectiveness by measuring perch abundance in annual netting surveys and counting the number of nesting pairs of cormorants each year.


Future control recommendations will be adjusted by the response of perch abundance to the control implemented. The control is being implemented under a public resource depredation order administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


Cormorants are native to Minnesota. The statewide population is estimated at about 40,000 birds. Like bald eagles and other fishing-eating birds, their abundance has increased in recent decades due to the elimination of the pesticide DDT, which had a negative impact on reproduction, and protection under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. In most places where colonies exist, popular fisheries have not been affected.

DNR tagging walleyes at Mille Lacs; return tag and get a lure

Anglers who catch a Mille Lacs Lake walleye with an orange tag on its body can receive a free fishing lure if they return that tag to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).


The offer is part of a broad effort to better understand the lake’s walleye population. DNR fisheries biologists are in the process of tagging and releasing 20,000 walleye. A new walleye population estimate will be based on the number of tagged fish captured in survey nets after spawning is completed. A selectivity estimate – an estimate of the sex and sizes of walleye anglers are most likely to catch – will be based on tag returns from anglers.


“To maximize tag returns and thereby the accuracy of our estimates, we are offering an incentive for the actual return of orange tags,” said Tom Jones, DNR regional treaty fisheries coordinator. “We are taking this additional step because we want the best data possible for future management decisions on Mille Lacs.”

Jones said the orange tags are labeled “REWARD.” Anglers that catch a

fish with such a tag should remove it from the fish, even if the fish is released. Tags should be returned to DNR Fisheries, 1200 Minnesota Ave. S., Aitkin, MN 56431. A fishing lure will be mailed in return.

Tag return boxes will also be available at several businesses around the lake, or anglers can simply mail them to the address on “REWARD” signs posted at the boat accesses.


Incentives will not be rewarded for older yellow tags, but anglers are encouraged to return information on fish with these tags. Anglers are encouraged to leave yellow tags in the fish if they are released. These related projects will enable biologists to determine what proportion of the lake’s walleye are harvested, and will help refine population models. 


“The anglers who drop their tags in the mail are doing all Mille Lacs anglers a favor,” Jones said. “The higher the tag returns the higher the data reliability . . . and that’s what you want when managing an asset as valuable as Mille Lacs.”


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