Week of November 18, 2013



2nd Amendment Issues
Lake Erie

New York
Other Breaking News Items


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Big Consequences of Small Invaders

Adaptable spine helps spiny waterflea fend off predators

The spiny waterflea (Bythotrephes longimanus), an invasive zooplankton in the Great Lakes, is using evolution and adaptive plasticity to escape being eaten by fish. Like the bloody red shrimp, the spiny waterflea entered the Great Lakes through ballast water discharge. The spiny waterflea was first found in the Great Lakes in 1982 and negatively affects the ecosystem by competing with native zooplankton and small fish for food. This species can reach up to a half inch in length and has a rigid tail spine about twice as long as its body, which prevents it from being eaten by many small fishes. A recent project, funded by the commission and conducted by Dr. Andrea Miehls and collaborators Professors Scott Peacor at Michigan State University and Andrew McAdam at the University of Guelph, studied the spiny waterflea to understand how its spine might change in response to fish predators. The researchers found that this non-native species can adapt its defensive spine in several ways to thwart fish predators.

In Lake Michigan, Dr. Miehls and colleagues found that spiny waterfleas use increasing water temperature as a sign of greater risk of predation by young fish. Spiny waterflea mothers respond to this risk by giving birth to offspring with longer defensive spines. By increasing spine length of offspring, mothers help their offspring outgrow the mouth size of their young fish predators to increase their survival. The effect of temperature on spine length is called "adaptive plasticity," and research by Dr. Miehls shows that adaptive plasticity in spine length was likely important to successful invasion of spiny waterfleas into Lake Michigan.


In Canadian lakes, Dr. Miehls and colleagues identified another way that spiny waterfleas can thwart predation by young fish: evolution of spine length. In lakes where predators are mostly young fish with small mouths, researchers discovered that spiny waterfleas with longer spines survive better, which appears to be leading to evolution of longer spines through time. Because all lakes in the study were invaded less than 20 years previously, evolution of spine length occurred rapidly.


Longer spine length through evolution and adaptive plasticity makes the spiny waterflea a less available prey for young fish in the Great Lakes region that are already being starved by competition for food with the spiny waterflea and other invasive species. "Spiny waterfleas are a great example of why species invasions can be so devastating to ecosystems," said Dr. Miehls. "We have known for decades that the abundance of invasive species negatively affects food webs; we are now only beginning to appreciate the importance that evolution and adaptive plasticity can play in the negative effects of invasive species." This work is a novel discovery for how species adapt to environmental change. The findings have been accepted for publication in the journals Evolutionary Applications (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1752-4571.2011.00221.x/abstract) and Ecology (link not yet available).


Bloody red shrimp battle with Great Lakes fishes

New research, sponsored by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, suggests the bloody red shrimp lives up to its frightening name. The bloody red shrimp (Hemimysis anomala) was first found in the Great Lakes in 2006 and is related to the native opossum shrimp (Mysis diluviana), although it can be distinguished from the native species by its namesake red coloration. The species became established after foreign ship ballast containing live bloody red shrimp was discharged into the


Great Lakes. Fully-grown bloody red shrimp are only about a quarter- to a

half-inch long, but they colonize new areas quickly and have affected food webs in European waters. The species has been found in lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, as well as inland waters in the Lake Ontario watershed. Should we be worried about damage to our Great Lakes

fisheries by this tiny crustacean with the horror-movie name?

With funding from the commission, scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Great Lakes Science Center and Cornell University recently completed a project to answer this question. The team, led by Dr. Maureen Walsh of the USGS Great Lakes Science Center.s Lake Ontario Biological Station, found that when the bloody red shrimp reaches large numbers they could easily compete with certain fish species. The invasive shrimp was an opportunistic feeder on zooplankton, which are important food for some fishes. The team also found that the bloody red shrimp tolerates a broad range of temperatures and depths and can reproduce multiple times per season. These conclusions suggest that the bloody red shrimp could become abundant in nearshore areas of the Great Lakes, where fish are abundant and where humans interact most frequently with the resource.


The researchers noted, however, that potential impacts of the bloody red shrimp are likely to be limited to areas where the shrimp are protected from fish predators. Several fish species that live in nearshore areas of the Great Lakes, including the recreationally important yellow perch (Perca flavescens), fed on bloody red shrimp. The non-native alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), which functions as the primary food source for salmon, also ate large numbers of bloody red shrimp when they were available. Lab experiments conducted by the scientists showed that the shrimp changed their behavior when threatened by the presence of a predator. "These results suggest that the ability of the bloody red shrimp to expand beyond areas that offer refuge from predation may be limited," said Walsh. "This information will be useful to help managers predict how this invasive species might affect the ecosystem if it expands across the Great Lakes or to inland waters." Findings from these studies have been published in the Journal of Great Lakes Research and Hydrobiologia.

See www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03801330/38/supp/S2 for more information.



"Invasive species are the scourge of the Great Lakes," said Commission Chair Mike Hansen. "Not all of the 180-plus non-native species are harmful, but some inflict severe ecological and economic damage to Great Lakes ecosystems."

Hansen continued: "Small zooplankton, like the spiny waterflea and bloody red shrimp that exist at the bottom of the food web, are particularly insidious. When the bottom of the food web is disrupted, substantial effects ripple through the lakes. Ecosystem stability and sustainability are often the first casualties."


"Recent research on the spiny waterflea and bloody red shrimp add to our knowledge about harmful effects of these invasive species. This research demonstrates that these small organisms can alter the environment and thereby threaten valuable fisheries. This research should further support efforts to stop biological invasions into our Great Lakes," Hansen concluded.


Federal Wildlife Refuges Create $2b for Economy

America’s national wildlife refuges continue to be strong economic engines for local communities, pumping $2.4 billion into the economy and

supporting more than 35,000 jobs, according to a new national report released by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewel. Read both the press release on this topic and the actual Banking on Nature report.


IGFA Hot Catches

IGFA Hot Catches update covers one of the most impressive achievements we’ve ever received. In addition to potential world record carp caught in Japan and South Korea and a tropical gar caught in Costa Rica, the November Freshwater IGFA report includes the announcement of the fastest Trout Royal Slam ever achieved – and done so by a woman who is legally blind.



Japanese angler Hiroko Fuwa caught a 13.1 kg (28 lb 14 oz) common carp (Cyprinus carpio) while fishing Japan’s Lake Shoji on August 28th that may land her the new Female Junior record. Fuwa was fishing with a bread bait and needed 10 minutes to land her potential record carp, which was released alive after it was properly documented. The current IGFA record is 7.37 kg (16 lb 4 oz).


While casting a Mepps Spinner in Costa Rica’s Rio Frio on November 7, 2012, native Costa Rican angler Mauricio Solis Salas landed a 8.64 kg (19 lb 0 oz) tropical gar (Atractosteus tropicus) that could earn him the new All-Tackle record. Salas was fishing with local guide Francisco Mejias Naranjo and needed 15 minutes to land the toothy fish after hooking up. The current IGFA record is 5.18 kg (11 lb 6 oz).  


Angler Phillip W. Richmond, Jr., who is currently stationed in South Korea with the US Navy, has been exploring the different fishing opportunities in his temporary home. While fishing the NakDong River from his kayak on October 4th, Richmond landed a 4.6 kg (10 lb 2 oz) predatory carp (Chanodichthys erythropterus) while casting a swimbait into the chilly waters. Richmond needed five minutes to subdue the potential All-Tackle record fish, which has never before been submitted to the IGFA.



Trout Royal Slam

Australian angler Cynthia Stevens is the IGFA’s newest member of the Trout Royal Slam, which she completed in an incredible 15 days during a whirlwind trip through North America. Not only did Cynthia complete her Royal Slam faster than anyone in IGFA history, she did it without the use of her eyes, as Cynthia is legally blind.


Her quest began on September 15th when she caught a brook trout in New Hampshire while fishing with Rick Holloran. Ten days later, and on the other side of the country, Cynthia caught her golden, rainbow, and brown while fishing the San Joaquin and Owens Rivers in California. After only two days of rest, Cynthia then traveled north to Oregon where she caught her lake, bull, and cutthroat over three consecutive days, while fishing Odell Lake, the Cougar Reservoir, and the Williamette River, respectively.


Given Cynthia’s passion for angling, her extreme determination, and her goal-oriented personality, the IGFA’s Royal Slams were a perfect fit. And although Cynthia accomplished her slam in record time, it was anything but easy. Because all IGFA Slam & Trophy Clubs must be caught by IGFA rules, Cynthia made sure she was completely unassisted in all of her seven captures – something she had to reinforce with the helpful guides, all of whom provided testimony to the legitimacy of Cynthia’s captures. Enthused and invigorated by her success, Cynthia is planning to tackle more IGFA Royal Slams, explaining that they “allow anglers of all abilities to achieve something extraordinary in their passion of fishing.” For more info: www.igfa.org








Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Nov 15 


Temperatures in the Great Lakes basin were below average last Friday, but were moderate by the end of the weekend. On Monday and Tuesday, temperatures dropped considerably, and most of the basin saw temperatures 10-15 degrees below normal. In addition, most areas of the basin experienced their first snow of the season on Monday. This Friday, temperatures will rise to moderately above average temperatures. Temperatures are expected to spike on Sunday, with some parts of the basin experiencing 20 degrees above average.  However, temperatures are predicted to plummet the next day; areas like Chicago and Grand Rapids could a see one-day drop of around 20 degrees. Almost all of the basin will experience rain over the weekend, and rain or snow showers on Monday.


Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 11 and 13 inches, respectively, above what they were at this time last year.   Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 7, 3, and 12 inches, respectively above their levels of a year ago.  Over the course of the next 30 days, the levels of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron are predicted to decline 3 and 2 inches, respectively.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are projected to each fall 2, 2, and 4 inches, respectively during the next month. 


Lake Superior’s outflow through the St. Mary’s River is projected to be near average for the month of November.  Lake Huron’s outflow into the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair’s outflow into the Detroit River are both

expected to be below average throughout the month of November.  The outflow of Lake Erie into the Niagara River is expected to be near average while the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River is predicted to be above average in November.



Official records are based on monthly average water levels and not daily water levels.  Lake MichiganHuron is at chart datum and expected to remain below datum over the next several months. 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 Aug 4






Datum, in ft






Diff in inches






Diff last month






Diff from last yr









Cabela’s to build in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Cabela’s announced plans to build a 50,000-sq ft store in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. It is scheduled to open in 2015 and will employ 140 full-time & part-time employees. The store will be located in a new

development near the intersection of the Mapleton Parkway and Trans-Canada Highway. It will be Cabela’s first location in the greater Atlantic Canada area.


Bass Pro to build in Kanata (Ottawa), Ontario

Bass Pro Shops will locate its fifth Canadian store in Kanata, Ottawa, located at Highway 417 and Huntmar Drive, directly across from the popular Canadian Tire Centre hockey arena in Kanata. The new 150,000

sq ft store will be located at Highway 417 and Huntmar Dr, directly across from the Canadian Tire Centre hockey arena in Kanata. The new store will open midyear in 2015.



2nd Amendment Issues

Illinois Concealed Carry classes

Planning to take a concealed carry class in or around Chicago or in the northern Illinois area?


Take our approved curriculum for the 8- or 16-hour concealed carry class authorized by the new Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act HB 183. Classes are $125 a day plus range fees; and if you show your current fishing or hunting license, you will get a $10 discount. 


Illinois Concealed Carry Part 1

Illinois Concealed Carry Class Part 1 is scheduled for Nov 12, 16 & 24

Price:  $125.00 plus range fees


Illinois Concealed Carry Part 2

Illinois Concealed Carry Part 2 is scheduled for Nov 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 23 & 26.  (You must have 8 hours of prior approved training or be Active or Honorably discharged from the military prior to taking this class.)

Price:  $125.00 plus range fees.


No refunds, credit for future classes only.


Call or e-mail [email protected], 708-233-0211, Cell 708-212-3067 for a registration form


More Classes are being scheduled as the need arises


If you have a class of 10 or more, we will travel to your hall or meeting location and give the class in your neighborhood.  The criteria for an Illinois law to determine whether you take 16 or just the 8 hour class is determined with the following Illinois schedule.


The credit list of instruction classes authorized by the Act is here: Illinois CCW Prior Training Credit

Also, veterans with an honorable discharge and a DD214 or active service military members will only be required to take the one-day class.


The full law can be read here - Illinois Concealed Carry Act

Questions? Contact Mike Slevnik:  [email protected], 708-233-0211, Cell 708-212-3067



For digital finger printing:

Williams, James


[email protected]



188 Industrial Dr, Suite 214 B

Elmhurst, IL  60126


ISRA Success in securing Concealed Carry Law

Are you a member of the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA)?

The ISRA was diligent and instrumental in working with the state legislature to secure our Concealed Carry law. Join now

For online individual memberships and renewals: Click Here!

For online family memberships and renewals: Click Here!

Download ISRA Membership Application


More Info:

►Digital printing is an additional fee, but those prints are only good for 60 days, so hold off on getting them till November or December.


►Veterans with an honorable discharge and a DD214 will only be required to take the one-day class.  Be sure to bring a copy of your prior training or DD214 to class.


►Active service military members will only be required to take the one-day class


►Concealed Carry License apps will be available on the Illinois State Police web site January 5, 2014





Lake Erie

Ohio Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force Report
Examines Progress, Makes New Recommendations for Controlling Nutrient Runoff

COLUMBUS, OH - A new report released November 13 will enhance Ohio’s efforts to control phosphorus loads in the state’s waters and increase the potential to reduce Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in Lake Erie.


The Ohio Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force II report assesses the latest nutrient research and data, tracks the progress of current nutrient reduction efforts and makes 20 new recommendations for controlling nutrient runoff. This report identifies strategies that could provide a significant reduction in phosphorus loading from the lake’s watershed and potentially reduce the HABs that annually threaten Ohio’s economy and water quality.


The report builds on the work of the first task force report, which was released in 2010. That report highlighted research that showed dissolved phosphorus, rather than particulate phosphorus, was driving the growth of algal blooms in the Western Lake Erie Basin.

“Ohio is a national leader and making significant strides toward controlling both phosphorus and nitrogen runoff from our urban and rural areas,” said Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Director Scott Nally. “This report

is another tool the state can use as we continue our work to engage the

numerous stakeholders we have in the public and private sectors.”


“The biggest benefit of this report is the hours the task force spent collecting and pouring over the latest research and data,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David T. Daniels. “Their work provides policymakers with a valuable snapshot of the current progress being made in the development of best practices and also identifies where additional research is needed.”


“Doing nothing is not an option,” said Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director James Zehringer. “The state of Ohio is committed to improving water quality, and any research, recommendations or ideas that help us reach that goal are encouraging.”


In 2012, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Ohio Lake Erie Commission, reconvened the task force to build upon the findings of the 2010 task force report and assess new research and information. The task force includes participants from a wide range of disciplines in the public and private sectors.

The Ohio Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force II report is available online at cleanlakes.ohio.gov.



Illinois Youth Goose Hunt

Registration deadline Dec 6

Interested youth can register now for the 14th annual Central Illinois Youth Goose Hunt, sponsored by the IDNR on Dec. 26-27 at private waterfowl hunting clubs in Peoria, Fulton and Knox counties.


Youth hunters must phone in to 217-785-8060 to register for a drawing to participate in the hunt.  The registration deadline is Friday, Dec. 6.  The drawing will be conducted on Dec. 9, and youth hunters selected will be notified by mail.  First-time applicants will be given a priority over previous participants in the drawing. 


The hunt is open to youngsters ages 10-15 at the time of the hunt.  All applicants must have successfully completed a hunter safety education course, possess a valid Illinois hunting or sportsman's license, have a Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration number, and have a 20-gauge or larger shotgun. Youth hunt participants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who must possess a valid firearm owner's identification (FOID) card.  To register for the hunt, or for more information, call 217-785-8060.




Hunting and Fishing Regulations

For information on Illinois hunting seasons and regulations, click here for the Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations 2013-2014 http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Documents/HuntTrapDigest.pdf


For info on ILL waterfowl hunting seasons:




For information on fishing regulations and places to fish in Illinois, check the 2013-2015 Illinois Fishing Information guide online here:  www.dnr.illinois.gov/fishing/Documents/IllinoisFishingInformation.pdf


Schoolyard Habitat Action Grants

Applications are due by Nov. 30

Applications are being accepted for the Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant Teachers and youth-group leaders may apply for up to $1,000 to develop or enhance wildlife habitat in the schoolyard or other public place.


Sponsored by the IDNR and the Illinois Conservation Foundation, funding for this program is provided by the USFWS, Jadel Youth Fund, and the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation. Visit http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/grants.htm for details.  Applications are due by Nov. 30.


Online Free Site Hunting Permits

Hunters are reminded that Free Site Hunting Permits (windshield cards) to hunt upland, forest game and waterfowl at IDNR sites are available online from the IDNR website at  



Hunters are encouraged to view the link to hunter fact sheets also available at the site. For information or assistance, hunters should contact the site where they intend to hunt.


Spring Turkey Applications

Application deadline Dec. 1, 2013

Resident hunters may now apply for the first lottery for 2014 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits online. Go to the IDNR website for more  


information at this link:  www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/turkey.  The application deadline for the first lottery for 2014 resident spring turkey permits is Dec. 1, 2013


CWD Sampling

Deer hunters statewide in Illinois are encouraged to allow samples to be taken for chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing from adult deer they harvest.  For locations serving as CWD sampling stations, taking samples


from entire deer or deer heads through Jan. 20, 2014, check the IDNR

website at this link: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/news/Documents/CWDsamplinglocations-STATEWIDE-2013.pdf


IL-Non-Resident Deer and Turkey Permits

The remaining non-resident Illinois combination archery deer permits, as well as non-resident antlerless-only archery deer permits and non-resident archery fall turkey permits, are available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR


Direct license and permit vendors.  The season continues through Jan. 19, 2014.  Find a license and permit vendor near you at this link: http://dnr.illinois.gov/DNRDirectMonitor/VendorListing.aspx



Resident Archery Deer and Fall Turkey Permits

Season open thru January 19

Illinois Archery Deer and Illinois Archery Fall Turkey seasons are open through Jan. 19, 2014.  Resident combination archery deer permits,


resident antlerless-only archery deer permits, and resident archery fall

turkey hunting permits are available over-the-counter from DNR Direct license and permit vendors.  Find a vendor near you: http://dnr.illinois.gov/DNRDirectMonitor/VendorListing.aspx



Transition begins of Detroit’s Belle Isle as a state park
Detroit’s historic Belle Isle Park will begin a transition to becoming Michigan’s 102nd state park, following action today by the Local Emergency Financial Assistance Loan Board.

The board accepted a lease approved by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Director Keith Creagh, Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Director Kirk Steudle and Gov. Rick Snyder. The lease will guide state management of the park. Under the lease terms, the city maintains ownership of Belle Isle while the DNR assumes responsibility for managing Belle Isle according to the high standards of its award-winning state park system. The Michigan Department of Transportation will assume responsibility for roads and bridges on Belle Isle.

“This is a city-state partnership that makes good sense for the future of Belle Isle and the people of Detroit,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “Everyone wants this Detroit gem to offer a clean, safe and welcoming park environment, while lessening the financial burden on the city. Those are the driving principles behind this agreement.”

State management of the island will save Detroit an estimated $4 million a year. In addition, the state will invest in the island through a variety of sources, including grants, bonds and donations from private organizations willing to partner in the park’s revitalization. 

The Emergency Loan Board’s action begins a 90-day transition period that is outlined in the lease. 

The DNR’s initial short-term action items include: 

  • Meeting with Detroit’s recently elected city council members and mayor to establish an open and productive line of communication;

  • Meeting with a soon-to-be-established advisory committee, the Belle Isle Conservancy and other key stakeholder groups;

  • Evaluating all current contracts, leases and concession agreements;

  • Updating previous infrastructure assessment information to prioritize critical needs;

  • Establishing a visible staffing and visitor services presence throughout Belle Isle; and

  • Coordinating with local, regional and state law enforcement agencies on a security plan. 

The lease provides for an initial 30-year term with two 15-year renewals. A seven-member committee established in the lease will advise the state on improvements and master planning for the park. A minimum of three members of the committee will be residents of the city of Detroit. The state will work cooperatively with the Belle Isle Conservancy and other partners, in collaboration with the advisory committee, to develop and improve the park.

The Recreation Passport, which offers access to all Michigan state parks and recreation areas across the state, will be required for entry to Belle Isle immediately following the 90-day transition period. The Passport does

not apply to individuals. Pedestrians, bicyclists and those using public transportation can enter the park for free and will not need the Passport. The Passport, which currently costs $11 for Michigan registered vehicles and $5 for motorcycles, is a per-vehicle charge. When purchased through the Secretary of State during license plate registration renewal, it is good until the next license plate registration renewal. It will also be available for purchase at the park. Because the Recreation Passport will be a new requirement to access Belle Isle in a vehicle, the requirement will be phased in for park visitors. The Recreation Passport will be required commencing on the date the license plate is due for renewal. Visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport for more information on the program.

Park revenue from permit fees, rental fees, special events, grants, endowments and other sources that derive from Belle Isle – excluding Recreation Passport revenue – will be placed in a special sub-account in the Department of Natural Resources State Park Improvement Fund to administer, maintain and improve the park. The balance of that sub-account will transfer to the city upon lease termination. 

In a letter to the Emergency Loan Board dated Oct. 21, 2013, DNR Director Creagh clarified concerns raised by members of the Detroit City Council in a communication to the Loan Board on Oct. 14. Creagh’s letter:

  • Explained the need for an initial 30-year term in the lease. Creagh clarified that the 30-year term is crucial to securing grants and other funding streams for improvements on the island. Most state and federal grants require the applicant to have control of the property for a minimum of 20 years to 30 years.

  • Emphasized that the DNR, which has considerable expertise in managing historic sites – the state historian is housed within the DNR – will apply its expertise to Belle Isle, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • Underscored the DNR’s commitment to families and youth. The DNR will maintain Belle Isle as a gathering place for families, including family reunions. In addition, the DNR operates programs that employ young people in state parks and recreation areas. The department intends to continue and expand those programs on Belle Isle.

  • Promised to undertake outreach efforts to Detroit-based businesses to help those businesses navigate the state’s bidding process.

  • Promised to work with Detroit agencies named by the council to make sure Detroit residents are given every opportunity to apply for jobs at the state-managed park.

  • Committed to undertaking improvements on the island as outlined in the lease.  

“We are excited to partner with the city, mayor and city council to help revitalize this important community gathering place,” said Creagh. “The Detroit region is important to Michigan’s long-term economic stability and tourism appeal. A revitalized Belle Isle will be a major player in that comeback.


Looking for the right strain of brown trout
Is it possible that no one strain of brown trout is best for Michigan’s state fish hatchery system? State fisheries biologists are beginning to wonder.

A four-year research project that compares two strains of brown trout that have been stocked in a pair of rivers, a handful of inland lakes and four Lake Michigan ports, is heading into the homestretch and is preliminarily showing that neither strain is best in all situations, according to Department of Natural Resources (DNR) research biologist Todd Wills.

The DNR Fisheries Division has long used Wild Rose-strain brown trout for stocking across the state. Fisheries officials have become concerned about diminishing returns from the stockings of the Wild Rose strain, which has been in the system for many years.

So the DNR launched an experiment in which similar numbers of Sturgeon River-strain browns, taken from wild broodstock, were stocked in various bodies of water. The fish were fin-clipped (right ventral fin clip for Wild Rose strain, left ventral fin clip for Sturgeon River browns) for easy identification. The rivers (both tailwater fisheries, the Au Sable River below Mio Dam and the Manistee River below Hodenpyl Dam) have been subject to mark-and-recapture, electro-fishing surveys – running a current through the water that stuns the fish and causes them to temporarily float to the surface – for the last four years.

“In the two tailwaters, the Sturgeon River strain is far outperforming the Wild Rose strain,” Wills said. “We’re getting better survival with the Sturgeon River fish and good growth.”

The Sturgeon River strain fish go into the river a little bit smaller than the Wild Rose strain, which has been in the hatchery system for many years and seem to grow more quickly than the Sturgeon River fish while in the system. But the Sturgeon River fish are nearly as long as the Wild Rose fish after a year in the river, showing the kind of vigor biologists like to see. 

Results from the five inland lakes, however, where both species have been stocked (Bear Lake and Starvation Lake in Kalkaska County, Lake 15 and McCormick Lake in Montmorency County and Bridge Lake in Otsego County) are just the opposite.

"In the inland lakes, the Wild Rose strain fish are doing better,” Wills said.

Added DNR fisheries biologist Tim Cwalinski: ““Anglers report catching more Wild Roses than Sturgeon Rivers. That backs up what we’re seeing when we shock the lakes.”

Returns of the fish from stocking at the four Lake Michigan ports (Frankfort, Ludington, Cedar River and Menominee) have been disappointing.

“In three years we’ve only seen four fin-clipped fish,” explained Wills. “With that amount of data we really can’t say much of anything other than we’re not seeing a lot of returns to the creel. I don’t think that’s much of a surprise; brown trout have not done well in the Great Lakes in recent years. And that’s doesn’t seem to be a strain thing; it’s more likely a changing-ecosystem issue.

“We spend a lot of time and money raising fish in the hatchery and we want to know that what we’re stocking is surviving well enough and living long enough to be worth the effort,” Wills said. “The project will be finished within the next 18 months and fisheries managers should have a better idea of what they want to stock to benefit their anglers.”

In mark-and-recapture studies, DNR fisheries crews work the stream with electro-fishing boats. The fish are netted and the crew collects length and weight data, as well as noting fin clips. They take scale samples for age studies in the laboratory. Before the fish are released back into the river, fisheries workers cut off the tip of the upper edge of the fish’s tail fin.

The next day, the crew surveys the same stretch of river, noting the percentage of fish that are marked versus those that aren’t. The resulting ratio gives fisheries biologists a tool with which to estimate the population of trout in the river.


Although the data haven’t been completely worked up yet, fish with left ventral fin clips (Sturgeon River strain) far outnumbered fish with right ventral clips (Wild Rose strain) during the recent survey below the dam at Mio. And unclipped fish outnumbered clipped ones. That adds some information that the DNR never really had before.

“If you get an 18-inch brown trout with no fin clips, that could be a fish that’s from before the study started,” Cwalinski said. “But we were getting quite a few 5-inch fish that were not clipped – those are wild fish. So fish are reproducing in there. There’s probably a lot of spawning, but there’s also a lot of mortality due to high summer water temperatures. Still, some of those fish make it.”

Fisheries biologists always assumed there was little natural reproduction below the dam at Mio, where water temperatures can get quite high some summers.

“Until we started clipping fish, we didn’t see it,” Cwalinski said. “So we can finally go in there and say, ‘There’s more wild production in here than we knew.’ That’s not a bad thing. We are stocking to supplement a wild population that could probably swing up and down pretty heavily in any given year.”

The final report will not be completed until sometime in 2014. When it’s finished, you’ll be able to find it at www.michigan.gov/fishresearch. To learn more about Michigan’s fish production system and individual hatchery work, visit www.michigan.gov/hatcheries




Don Pereira named state fish chief

Don Pereira, a 30-year fisheries research and management veteran, has been selected as the new fisheries chief for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). His new duties begin Wednesday, Nov. 20.


“Don brings a breadth of valuable experience to this important job,” said Ed Boggess, Fish and Wildlife Division director. “His experience as a researcher, supervisor and policy manager and his focus on better incorporating the desires and interests of anglers into fisheries programs will help us continue to deliver fish population, recreation and aquatic habitat results that positively serve Minnesota citizens, natural resources and local economies.”


Pereira, a Cottage Grove, Minn. resident, has been the DNR’s fisheries research and policy manager since 2007. In addition to managing the agencies fisheries research functions, he has played a key role in policy and management issues including cormorants at Leech Lake and a number of large lake management challenges. He has been a leader for



improving public engagement and application of social data to fisheries



Pereira will oversee a $30 million annual fisheries section budget and a staff of 290 full-time and part-time employees. With personnel based in four regional offices, 28 area offices and five hatcheries, the fisheries section carries out research and management programs affecting state fish species and habitat.


Fishing is big business in Minnesota. Direct angler expenditures in Minnesota total $2.4 billion and support 35,000 jobs, according to a 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey. About 28 percent of Minnesotans go fishing, double the national average.


Pereira is a graduate of the University of Vermont and has advanced degrees in fisheries from the University of Minnesota. He is the author or co-author of numerous peer-reviewed publications and technical reports. He replaces Dirk Peterson, who retired in October.


New York

N.Y. County Sheriff says Safe Act Position aided Re-Election

Timothy B. Howard won a third term as Erie County sheriff in upstate New York. Howard said last week that his public assurance that he would not


have his deputies enforce the highly restrictive provisions of the SAFE Act, the controversial new state firearms law passed in haste by the State Legislature early this year, helped propel him to a decisive victory.


NYDEC Rids Adirondack Pond of Non-Native Fish to Restore Native Brook Trout Fishery

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently completed a major effort to eradicate non-native fish from Lower Sargent Pond in Hamilton County, DEC Regional Director Robert Stegemann announced today. The pond will be stocked with fish next year to reestablish the high quality, naturally reproducing native brook trout fishery that had existed there before its population was depleted due to the presence of the non-native fish.


"Native brook trout populations have been significantly reduced in the Adirondacks and other areas throughout the east, but we are committed to restoring these populations in local waters," said Director Stegemann. "This tremendous coordinated effort will ensure the continued existence of a natural aquatic community and provide a high quality wilderness fishing experience for anglers."


Providing a high quality wilderness fishing experience on Lower Sargent Pond promotes Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Hunting and Fishing Initiative, which has improved recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen, and boosted tourism opportunities throughout the state. This initiative includes the streamlining of hunting and fishing licensing along with reduced license fees, improved access for fishing at various sites across the state and increased regional hunting and recreational opportunities.

The eradication of non-native fish, followed by restocking with native brook trout is a key component of DEC's Brook Trout Restoration Program. DEC is a partner in the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture (http://easternbrooktrout.org/), which is working to protect, restore and enhance brook trout populations and habitats across their native range.


For decades Lower Sargent Pond was considered a high quality fishery, which sustained natural reproducing brook trout population. It was one of the most popular fly-in fishing destinations in the Adirondacks, and many anglers would walk the two miles into the pond to fish for brook trout.


As the abundance of largemouth bass increased in the pond, the brook trout population severely declined. In 2012, no young brook trout were present; only large, older brook trout that had been hatched before the bass population had grown. The decline in the brook trout population was not due to overfishing. The primary causes were illegal fish stocking and use of bait fish.


The eradication of non-native fish from a water body is known as a "reclamation." The reclamation procedure is used to return the water to a historic natural aquatic community, provide higher quality fishing opportunities and, where possible, to reintroduce endangered fish species such as round whitefish.


The reclamation of the 131-acre Lower Sargent Pond is the largest reclamation in New York State in several decades. A considerable amount of resources and a extensive coordination were needed to complete the reclamation over a five-day period. The effort included the participation of dozens of DEC staff from various regions and programs, and assistance from the State Police Aviation Unit for helicopter transport of personnel, equipment and supplies. There were 37 trips by helicopter during the project, but many workers still had to walk two miles to and from the nearest road carrying equipment and supplies.


Non-native fish, such as bass, yellow perch and golden shiner, negatively impact the native fish communities and ecosystems of Adirondack waters. Non-native fish prey on the eggs and young of native fish. They out compete brook trout and other native fish by consuming large quantities of zooplankton (very small aquatic animals) and other prey food that the native fish feed upon.

It is illegal to move fish from one water body to another without a permit from DEC. The possession or use of fish as bait is prohibited in Lower Sargent Pond and many other trout ponds in the Adirondacks to prevent the introductions of non-native fishes.


Adirondack heritage strain Little Tupper brook trout will be stocked in the pond next year. It is projected that in the next three to five years, Lower Sargent Pond will once again be a high quality wilderness brook trout fishing destination.


Brook trout thrive on a diet of insects and other invertebrates, and grow to large size in ponds that do not have minnows as forage. The current state record brook trout is a 6 pound fish caught in an Adirondack wilderness pond that contains no other fish species. Minnows can become abundant in a pond or lake and compete with brook trout for food - decreasing the brook trout population.

More information on protection of native brook trout, impacts of non-native fish, rotenone and other topics can be found on the DEC Protecting Adirondack Fish web page. 



Hotline Hours Extended for Deer-Gun Hunting Seasons

COLUMBUS, OH –The Ohio DNR toll-free 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) general hunting information hotline will offer extended hours during the youth deer-gun season and prior to and during the deer-gun season.


The white-tailed deer-gun hunting seasons are when many of Ohio's hunters have last-minute questions, and ODNR Division of Wildlife staff will be ready and available to assist. Special call center hours include:

• 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 23-24 for youth deer-gun season.

• 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 30 to Sunday, Dec. 8, for deer-gun season.


• The hotline will be closed Thanksgiving Day.


Ohioans are encouraged to help enforce state wildlife laws by reporting violations to the division's Turn-In-a-Poacher (TIP) hotline by calling 800-POACHER (762-2437). Established in 1982, the TIP program allows individuals to anonymously call toll-free to report wildlife violations. The 800-POACHER hotline is open for calls 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.


Tips concerning wildlife violations can also be submitted at wildohio.com. Tipsters may be eligible to receive a cash award.


Ohio Hunters Can buy and Use Antlerless Deer Permits through Dec. 1

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio white-tailed deer hunters can still purchase and use antlerless deer permits through Sunday, Dec. 1, according to the Ohio DNR.


Hunters can tag and check antlerless deer with an antlerless permit through Dec. 1. After Dec. 1, hunters must possess or purchase an either-sex deer permit to pursue bucks and does until Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. Either-sex permits can be purchased online at ohiogamecheck.com or at a license vendor.


Deer bag limits are now determined by county. The statewide bag limit is nine deer, but a hunter cannot exceed a county bag limit. Hunters may

harvest only one antlered deer in Ohio regardless of hunting method or season. Only one antlerless deer may be checked per county using an antlerless permit. Ohioans are again reminded that antlerless permits will not be valid after Dec. 1.


Ohio offers many opportunities to deer hunters in the coming months. The youth deer-gun season is Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 23-24. The deer-gun season is Monday, Dec. 2, through Sunday, Dec. 8. Deer-muzzleloader season is Saturday, Jan. 4, through Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. Deer-archery season is open through Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014.


Find complete details in the 2013-2014 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations or online at wildohio.com. Hunters with questions can also call 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).


New US Topo maps for Ohio, feature Public Land Survey System

Now available online for free download

The USGS, in cooperation with other Federal agencies, has posted new Ohio US Topo quadrangles (748 maps) which include partial Public Land Survey System (PLSS). Ohio is the first state east of the Mississippi River to have PLSS data added to US Topo maps, joining Wyoming and Colorado in the west.


"It is great to have these 748 updated US Topo maps for our state available online at no charge," said Charley Hickman, the Geospatial Liaison for Ohio. "We appreciate the continuing improvements in this product, including the availability of PLSS township, range, and section information." 

The PLSS is a way of subdividing and describing land in the United States. All lands in the public domain are subject to subdivision by this rectangular system of surveys, which is regulated by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Other selected states will begin getting PLSS map data during the next respective revision cycle.


The new design for US Topo maps improves readability of maps for online and printed use, while retaining the look and feel of the traditional USGS topo map. Map symbols are easy to read when the digital aerial photograph layer imagery is turned on. 


Figure showing available PLSS

areas on the new Ohio US Topo map


§  Other re-design enhancements and new features:

§ New shaded relief layer for enhanced view of the terrain

§ Military installation boundaries, post offices and cemeteries

§ New road classification

§ A slight screening (transparency) has been applied to some features to enhance visibility of multiple competing layers

§ New PDF legend attachment

§ Metadata formatted to support multiple browsers


US Topo maps are created from geographic datasets in The National Map, and deliver visible content such as high-resolution aerial photography, which was not available on older paper-based topographic maps. The new US Topo maps provide modern technical advantages that support wider and faster public distribution and on-screen geographic analysis tools for users.


The new digital topographic maps are PDF documents with geospatial extensions (GeoPDF®) image software format and may be viewed using Adobe Reader, available as a no-cost download.


These new quads replace the first edition US Topo maps for Ohio. The replaced maps will be added to the USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection and are also available for free download from The National Map and the USGS Map Locator & Downloader website


US Topo maps are updated every three years. The initial round of the 48 conterminous state coverage was completed in September of 2012.  Hawaii and Puerto Rico maps have recently been added. More than 400 new US Topo maps for Alaska have been added to the USGS Map Locator & Downloader, but will take several years to complete.  For more info: http://nationalmap.gov/ustopo/




DNR offers five ways to find a place to hunt
MADISON - If you are still looking for a place to hunt this fall, or if you have questions about public land you frequent, check out the following links for information on public lands and private lands open to public

hunting. Additionally, Department of Natural Resources experts will host

 a live online chat to answer your questions about accessing these hunting lands, including state parks, and using DNR’s open lands mapping tools, on Wednesday, Nov. 20, starting at noon.   -  Read Full Article


Be aware of hitch hiking invasive plants while out hunting
MADISON -- This fall, hunters may inadvertently be taking home more than deer and good memories. The Department of Natural Resources is

asking hunters to be aware of a few steps that can be taken to help keep invasive plants from hitching a ride on their gear or their vehicle.   -  Read Full Article


Hunting and trapping opens on state park properties Nov 15
MADISON – Visitors to Wisconsin State Parks are being reminded they may encounter hunters or trappers on park properties beginning Nov. 15


through Dec. 15, under a new state law that went into effect in 2013.  Read Full Article


Deer hunters urged to report feral pig sightings to DNR
MADISON – State wildlife officials are encouraging hunters heading out for Wisconsin’s traditional nine-day gun deer hunting season to keep an eye


out for feral pigs. Feral pig sightings and harvests should be reported on the DNR website www.dnr.wi.gov by searching for keyword “feral pigs.”  -  Read Full Article


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)


Crackhead Toronto Mayor Has A Higher Approval Rating Than Barack Obama »
Rob Ford, the scandal-plagued Toronto mayor who admitted this week that he recently purchased illegal drugs, has a higher approval rating among his constituency than President Barack Obama has among Americans.


EDITORIAL: Time to fish or cut bait on silver and bighead carp
It's time to stop treading water and take action to prevent the devastation of the fishing industry. Unfortunately what stands between the Great Lakes and the Asian carp is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a bureaucracy that prefers studies to shovels in the ground.


Biologists begin searching Sturgeon Bay for Asian carp evidence
Government biologists took water samples from Sturgeon Bay (Wisconsin) to search for the DNA of Asian carp in the hope of gaining a better understanding of whether the destructive fish could be lurking in these reaches of Lake Michigan.


Texas calls for aid to put science into the Endangered Species Act

it’s time to improve the science that determines which animals get listed under the Endangered Species Act, calling on Congress for independent research that also would factor in the economic damage to communities when a species is.

Michigan officials fighting Ontario's nuke site get support from feds
Canada’s federal review panel wrapped up its public hearings on Ontario Power Generation’s request to build an underground nuclear waste site on the coast of Lake Huron last week, but not before hearing from the feds on this side of the border



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