Week of December 9, 2013

Beyond the Great Lakes
For Your Health
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues





Other Breaking News Items


       Weekly News Archives


       New Product  Archives

For Your Health



Beyond the Great Lakes

Chesapeake Bay Cormorants continue steep ascent

On 23 May, 1978, while out conducting fieldwork, Charlie Blem (ecologist from Virginia U) discovered 6 pairs of double-crested cormorants nesting on the James River near Hopewell, VA. This was the first documented breeding of the species within the Chesapeake Bay region. The historic event was little noticed and there was no indication that in just over 3 decades the species would take root and become one of the dominant fish consumers within the estuary.


However, during the 2013 breeding season, a survey conducted by The Center for Conservation Biology documented more than 5,000 pairs breeding in 12 colonies throughout the Chesapeake Bay. This population would be expected to consume nearly 3000 metric tons of fish annually.


Growth in the Chesapeake Bay breeding population has been both rapid and dramatic. As recently as 1993, a survey conducted by the Center documented only 354 pairs. During a visit in that year to Smith Island, Bryan Watts and Mitchell Byrd discovered 6 nests built on top of old brown pelican nests. In 2013, this colony is the largest in the Bay supporting nearly 2,500 pairs.


Mixed cormorant and brown pelican colony

on Smith Island in the Chesapeake Bay

Cormorants of several species are now considered nuisances within numerous locations across the globe. In North America, populations were recovering from widespread shooting during the 1940s and 1950s only to be reduced to new lows by the 1960s due to the impacts of DDT. Since the banning of DDT, historic populations have experienced dramatic recoveries leading to conflicts over the destruction of habitat required by other bird species, nutrient inputs into waterways, and fish consumption.


Impacts of overwintering populations on the aquaculture industry throughout the Southeast led the Fish and Wildlife Service to issue an aquaculture depredation order for 13 southern states in 1998. Conflicts with commercial and recreational fishing have led to the ongoing control of northern breeding populations.


The Chesapeake Bay has always been a significant wintering site for northern populations. For the decade prior to the discovery of breeding there was a documented increase of cormorants using the Bay during winter. The current size of the winter population is not known but believed to be substantial. Northern birds that have not reached breeding age also oversummer in the Bay in unknown numbers. The rise of the breeding population greatly increases the fish demand during the summer period.





For Your Health

Exercise Beneficial for Dementia

For your health

Exercise may benefit older people with dementia by improving their cognitive functioning and ability to carry out everyday activities, according to a new systematic review published in The Cochrane Library. However, the authors of the review did not see any clear effect of exercise on depression in older people with dementia and say that more evidence is needed to understand how exercise could reduce the burden on family caregivers and health systems.


Due to people living longer, rates of dementia are expected to rise sharply in the coming decades. Dementia affects the brain in different ways and is associated with effects on memory and personality. It is thought that exercise might be useful in treating dementia or slowing its progression, through improvements in the ability to carry out everyday tasks and positive effects on mental processes such as memory and attention, collectively described as cognitive functioning. Exercise may therefore indirectly benefit family caregivers and the healthcare system by reducing some of the burden of dementia.


The study updates a Cochrane review carried out in 2008, when only four trials on the effects of exercise in older people with dementia were available. In the updated review, data from eight trials involving 329 people showed that exercise could improve cognitive functioning. Data from six studies involving 289 people showed that exercise could improve the ability of older people with dementia to carry out daily activities, such as walking short distances or getting up from a chair.


“In our previous review, we were unable to draw any conclusions about the effectiveness of exercise in older people with dementia, due to a shortage of appropriate trials,” said researcher, Dorothy Forbes, an Associate Professor of Nursing who works at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta. “Following this new review, we are now able to conclude that there is promising evidence for exercise programs improving cognition and the ability to carry out daily activities. However, we do still need to be cautious about how we interpret these findings.”


The researchers remain cautious because there were substantial differences among the results of individual trials. In addition, they did not find enough evidence to determine whether exercise improved challenging behaviours or depression in older people with dementia. They were unable to come to any conclusions regarding quality of life, or benefits for family caregivers and health systems, because there was not enough evidence.


However, the researchers suggest that if more evidence becomes available in future, it may help to address the question of whether exercise can help people with dementia remain at home for longer. “Clearly, further research is needed to be able to develop best practice guidelines to enable healthcare providers to advise people with dementia living at home or in institutions,” said Forbes. “We also need to understand what level and intensity of exercise is beneficial for someone with dementia.”



Inflammation in Prostate Biopsies indicate reduced Prostate Cancer risk

Signs of inflammation in a man’s prostate biopsy may indicate he has a reduced risk of subsequently being diagnosed with prostate cancer in a future biopsy. That’s the conclusion of a new study published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. The study’s investigators say that because of its predictive value, inflammation should be routinely reported in prostate biopsies.


The association between inflammation and prostate cancer is controversial. Some studies suggest that anti-inflammatory therapies reduce prostate cancer risk while others have found that prostate inflammation is linked with a lower risk of cancer.


To investigate the issue, Daniel Moreira, MD, of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System in New Hyde Park, NY, and his colleagues analyzed information regarding 6,238 men aged 50 to 75 years who had prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels between 2.5 to 10ng/mL and who had a prior negative biopsy (indicating the absence of prostate cancer). Patients also underwent additional biopsies two and four years later.


Acute inflammation in biopsies taken at the start of the study was most

common in men of younger ages who had lower PSA levels and smaller prostates, while chronic inflammation was associated with older age and larger glands. At the 2-year biopsy, prostate cancer prevalence occurred in 900 participants (14 percent). Both acute and chronic inflammation was significantly associated with lower prostate cancer risk (a 25 percent reduced risk with acute inflammation and a 35 percent reduced risk with chronic inflammation). At the 4-year biopsy, only acute inflammation was associated with a lower prostate cancer risk.


“Given its predictive value, inflammation—and its type and severity—should be routinely reported in prostate biopsies,” said Dr. Moreira. “Also, it is possible that patients with inflammation at baseline biopsy may be followed differently compared with patients without inflammation at baseline biopsy given their risk of subsequent cancer detection is lower.”

The authors noted that inflammation can arise as part of an immune response that occurs when the body recognizes malignant cells as foreign agents, thereby eliminating them before they can become an established tumor. This might help explain why inflammation was linked with lower risk of prostate cancer in their study. If this hypothesis is true, the findings suggest that monitoring and modulating inflammation and the immune response may help in the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer.


Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Ammo stable in fires or run over

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) created a training film called Sporting Ammunition and the Fire Fighter over a year ago, in which they tortured hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition to show just how stable modern ammunition is, even in large quantities.

Whether it was run over, shot, or burned by the case, modern ammunition is incredibly stable in even the worst conditions. It looks like far too few professional firefighters have incorporated this this information into their training. Let’s help get that information out there.




Supreme Court hears tribal case on gaming dispute

Ruling could impact tribal commercial activities

WASHINGTON — A small, shuttered casino in a tiny northern Michigan town is at the center of a case coming before the U.S. Supreme Court today that could redefine when American Indian tribes can be sued and under what conditions.


A far-reaching decision — if the court makes one — could impact all sorts of commercial activities taken by tribes: from casino gambling to payday lending, and give state governments more leeway to sue American Indian groups. As it stands now, the federal government can file suit against a tribe, but states are largely barred from doing so unless a tribe either has agreed to waive its sovereign immunity or had it abrogated by Congress.


But the Michigan attorney general’s office is arguing that immunity shouldn’t stop its suit to block the Bay Mills tribe from opening a casino outside of tribal lands, since the federal government has so far declined to act. Otherwise, the state claims, the law seems to set up a contradiction in which Indian casinos are governed by federal and state authorities on tribal lands, but are outside their reach off-reservation.


“The sky will not fall if blanket tribal immunity goes away,” state lawyers said last week in the case against the tribe, which in 2010 tried to open a casino in Vanderbilt, a small town about 50 miles south of the Mackinac Bridge. Tribes see it far differently, however, with worries that a Supreme Court decision could open them up to a flurry of lawsuits discouraging off-reservation activities, including tribal law enforcement and cross-governmental agreements.


Implications great

The implications are so great that the National Congress of American Indians — the oldest of tribal rights groups, representing hundreds of tribes — asked the U.S. Interior Department to settle the case before the court hears it. But the federal government has largely stayed out of it, other than declaring the Vanderbilt property — more than 100 miles from the tribe’s Upper Peninsula reservation — to not be “Indian lands” for casino purposes.


In a court brief, the federal government said there should be other means of settling the argument but counseled against any change to sovereign immunity, a policy that furthers tribal “self-determination and economic development.”  Without the federal government stepping in, tribes are anxious the court will accept Michigan’s argument — more than a dozen other states are in support of the state’s position — and reinterpret the immunity doctrine.


“The state is really asking for a deep intrusion into tribal unity. ... You

could be sued for anything,” said John Dossett, the NCAI’s general counsel.  “The federal government has really kind of punted on this thing when they shouldn’t have.”  Even the NCAI considers Bay Mills’ move to be a “test case” of the law. Using interest from a settlement with the U.S., the tribe bought the Vanderbilt land more than 100 miles from its reservation in Brimley, in the Upper Peninsula.


The tribe — which has long pursued casino sites in the Lower Peninsula, including in Port Huron — argued that the land should be available for tribal gambling since it was purchased through the proceeds of a land settlement. Under the settlement, interest was to be used “for improvements on tribal land or the consolidation and enhancement of tribal landholdings through purchase or exchange.” Any land bought was to be “held as Indian lands are held.”


But the U.S. and Michigan deemed the new property to not be “Indian lands” for the purpose of gambling, a fact that has revealed an apparent contradiction in the law: The relevant law controls gambling on reservations, not off them. While no one questions the federal government’s authority to bring suit, the state’s authority — the tribe argues — is nonexistent under tribal immunity.


To that, the state says it’s nonsensical to think Congress intended to limit gambling on tribal land but not off-reservation. State Solicitor General John Bursch, who will argue the case, knows others suggest the issue could be settled through arbitration or alternative means, but that tribal immunity would trump any deal reached those ways, too.


“Sovereign immunity by the tribe would bar our ability to enforce any ruling,” he said. “We’d be right back where we started.”


Delicate balance

Bursch said it wasn’t the state’s intention to move into the question of tribal immunity, but that the tribe, in defending itself, raised the issue. Now, it appears to be about the only one remaining.  The court could be asked to draw a delicate balance between self-determination in Indian country and the rights of states to regulate their own territories.


Absent an overt congressional directive, the state said in its most recent brief, there is no reason for the court to avoid considering the boundaries of immunity — if only to settle contradictory findings in courts across the U.S. Bay Mills, meanwhile, brings a strong team with it today led by Neal Katyal, a former acting U.S. solicitor general with a long history before the high court.





Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Dec 6


A major snowstorm arrived in the Lake Superior basin on Tuesday, blanketing the basin with 3 feet of snow over a three-day period.  The storm’s departure ushered in a frigid airmass that will bring bitter cold temperatures and wind chills below zero in the Superior basin.  This sharp decline in temperatures will take place throughout the entire Great Lakes basin, which had experienced significantly above average temperatures on Wednesday.  Temperatures will remain well below average this weekend, but will rise on Monday. 


Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 12 and 13 inches, respectively, above what they were a year ago.   Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 8, 5, and 12 inches, respectively, above their levels of a year ago.  Over the next 30 days, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are expected to drop 3 and 1 inches, respectively.  The levels of Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are each predicted to decline by an inch over the next month.  See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.


Lake Superior’s outflow through the St. Mary’s River is predicted to be near average for the month of December.  Lake Michigan-Huron’s outflow into the St. Clair River is expected to be below average.  Lake St. Clair’s outflow into the Detroit River and the outflow of Lake Erie into the Niagara

River are expected to be near average throughout the month of December. The outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River is projected to be above average in December.


Official records are based on monthly average water levels and not daily water levels.  Lake MichiganHuron is below 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








Ammo stable in fires or run over

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) created a training film called Sporting Ammunition and the Fire Fighter over a year ago, in which they tortured hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition to show just how stable modern ammunition is, even in large quantities.


Whether it was run over, shot, or burned by the case, modern ammunition is incredibly stable in even the worst conditions. It looks like far too few professional firefighters have incorporated this this information into their training. Let’s help get that information out there.


Safety reminder about guns

Four basic rules about gun handling

►Treat all guns as if they are always loaded,

►Never let point the muzzle at anything you are not willing to destroy,


►Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target, and

►Know your target, and know what’s beyond it.



Early ice fishing and ice safety tips

Early ice offers some of the season's best fishing, but also a need for extreme caution due to ice conditions (or lack thereof.) Wisconsin recreation safety wardens sent out their list of top safety tips for the ice fishing season on Dec. 2.


Steve Avelallemant, fisheries supervisor for northern Wisconsin, says that early ice fishing can be some of the best fishing for walleye and northern pike. “Especially on shallow lakes, where the fish seem to be accessible and biting more earlier in the hard water season," he says.


Fishing pressure nearly triples in December in Wisconsin after lakes


freeze over, based on results from a 2006-7 statewide mail survey of

anglers. Anglers reported spending about 1,589,000 hours in December alone in that year, up from 624,000 hours in November, the survey showed.


Panfish, northern pike and walleye are most frequently caught in the winter, with 11.7 million, 866,000, and 750,000, respectively, based on the mail survey results.  Find helpful tips for fishing for panfish, walleye and northern pike from fisheries biologists Kurt Welke, Skip Sommerfeldt and Terry Margenau on the ice fishing pages of the DNR website. Find also links to ice safety information, to tips for getting started ice fishing, and how to have a fun and successful ice fishing outing with the kids.



Illinois Anglers asked to watch for Eurasian Ruffe in Illinois Waters

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois DNR is asking for anglers to be on the lookout for and help with reporting any findings in Illinois waters of Eurasian ruffe, an aquatic nuisance species that has been in the Great Lakes since the mid-1980s.


Eurasian ruffe (also known as ruffe or river ruffe), an eastern European species, has been found in western Lake Superior since 1986, and has been one of the most dominant fish in bottom trawls in channels  within the Duluth-Superior Harbor.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Ashland Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office monitored the expansion of ruffe populations and the species’ range across Lake Superior.


“To date, fishery management agencies have not witnessed any significant impact on native fish species like yellow perch and walleye in the areas where ruffe populations have become established and are quite abundant in our bottom-trawl surveys,” says Mark Brouder, Ashland Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office Field Supervisor.


A recent basin-wide survey by the University of Notre Dame, Central Michigan University, and The Nature Conservancy has found Eurasian ruffe DNA in water samples taken over the past year from Calumet Harbor in northeast Illinois.  This sampling is designed to use an analytical technique to detect species by filtering the water and detecting DNA that organisms leave behind.  In fish, the DNA may be in slime, urine, or fecal material.  The initial conclusion from the Calumet Harbor water samples did not detect ruffe, but follow up analyses suggest that ruffe environmental DNA (or eDNA) may be present in a small portion of the samples.


“Calumet Harbor is a vibrant harbor with international and intra-lake shipping present,” said Kevin Irons, Aquatic Nuisance Species Program Manager for the Illinois DNR.


“The detection of Eurasian ruffe DNA is not all that surprising, given that ruffe has been in the Great Lakes for decades.  Illinois DNR monitors Calumet Harbor annually, and we have certainly been aware of ruffe in the basin. To date, we have not captured any ruffe, and in fact we don’t believe Eurasian ruffe are established anywhere in southern Lake Michigan”.


Environmental DNA surveillance has been used to heighten efforts

regarding Asian carp detection; however, the relationship between eDNA and live fish presence has not been fully understood. 


“Certainly, eDNA can come from swimming fish, but alternatively eDNA can be transported by birds, boat hulls, fishing nets, and other mechanisms,” said Kelly Baerwaldt, joint U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/USFWS eDNA Program Manager. 


“Because Lake Calumet is such a busy port, lake freighters from infested regions could simply discharge water and enable detections.  Although 85% of eDNA breaks down in the environment quickly, within a few days, the remaining small portion can remain detectable for up to a month.”


The Illinois DNR will continue to work with USFWS biologists who monitor the Great Lakes to continue sampling in the Calumet Harbor area to heighten sampling efforts for fish across the Great Lakes to look for Aquatic Nuisance Species.  Illinois DNR monitors Calumet Harbor throughout the summer with electrofishing.  The Illinois Natural History Survey monitors near-shore waters of Lake Michigan with micro-mesh gillnets, noted as a preferred gear for catching ruffe.  To date, Illinois officials report NO Eurasian ruffe have been seen or reported from Illinois waters.


“The Illinois DNR urges anglers to report fish that may be ruffe, as they may be taken while fishing for yellow perch or other fish in the Calumet Harbor area, or anywhere in waters surrounding Chicago,” IDNR’s Kevin Irons said.  “A clear cell phone picture of the fish from several angles can help in identification, or you may simply put fish in a ziplock/plastic bag and freeze it.  This species is listed as injurious, so these fish cannot be transported alive in Illinois. If found, please note specifically where the fish was caught and include time and date information.”


To stop the movement of all aquatic nuisance species, sportsmen and women are reminded to ‘Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers’ and ‘Be a Hero – Transport Zero’ by following three simple steps:  1) Remove plants animals and mud from equipment; 2) Drain all water from your boat and gear; and 3) Dry everything thoroughly with a towel.


For more info on Ruffe: http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=7 .


To report Eurasian ruffe locations or other Aquatic Nuisance Species, please call the Illinois ANS Program office at 217-785-8772.



Gary angler takes fishing fight to the feds
Residents of Gary and Griffith, Indiana fight for recreational areas where locals can fish from the shores of Lake Michigan

Silas Sconiers and Stacey Clayton just want to spend their retirement fishing. But for the men, who live in Gary and Griffith just a short distance from Lake Michigan, a fishing trip means driving to East Chicago or Portage.


"Why should I have to leave the city and spend my money when I'm on a fixed income?" Sconiers said. "I've been told I can to go Portage or Hobart, but I feel insulted by that."


Gary has the largest stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline in the region, but has no public fishing spot on the lakeshore.


Sconiers filed a civil rights complaint with the Department of the Interior against Gary early this year.   He is alleging Gary lacks recreational services afforded to other cities with majority white populations; that funding is being denied based on race and that the Marquette Plan and the Lake Michigan Coastal Plan do not provide equal opportunities for fishing in minority areas that are provided in nonminority areas.


"I came from Chicago, an African-American community, and with all their problems, access isn't one of them but you come here to a similar city under African-American control and we have no access here at all to this wonderful resource," Clayton said.  Sconiers said the funds being spent on the city's lakefront are not truly for the use of its residents.


"They spent $28 million on the (Marquette Park) pavilion to make it look pretty because they can make money there, but no one who lives in this neighborhood can afford to have any events there," Sconiers said.  "We are a Golden Corral community. When our people get married or pass, we can't afford to go there and they know it."  Sconiers and Clayton could legally wade into the lake to fish, but neither have the physical ability to do so.

Clayton, 59, is confined to a wheelchair due to injuries suffered in a shooting during a robbery. Sconiers, 62, has five herniated discs and is legally disabled.


The Portage Lakefront Park and Pavilion has ADA accessible fishing, but

that involves a 6-mile drive for the men.  Even if the men were able, they said dangerous rip currents would dissuade them from wading into the water to fish. They can't afford a boat. 


In September, Sconiers, local anglers and representatives from the Lake County Fish and Game Protective Association, Perch America, the Northwest Indiana Steelheaders and the Izaak Walton League of America met at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore with officials from the equal opportunity office of the U.S. Department of the Interior to discuss Sconiers' formal complaint.


Rose Pruitt, equal opportunities programs manager for the National Park Service in Washington, D.C., declined comment on the investigation.

"It is not our practice to disclose the specifics of a complaint during the investigative stage," Pruitt said.


Gary's Law Department responded to the allegations in a letter to Pruitt in October, saying the city is willing to work with state and federal officials, but does not believe fishing access is currently economically feasible.


The letter explains Gary's lakefront is divided into the recreational section near Marquette Park and the industrial section near Buffington Harbor.

The private property owners in Buffington Harbor, "have no affirmative duty or obligation to make their boat docks or property available to the public for deep sea fishing and the city has no control or authority to require these entities to provide access for recreational activities," Niquelle Allen, corporation council, wrote in the letter. 


"The city makes every attempt to make recreational facilities and resources available to its citizens," Allen wrote. "However, deep sea fishing is not a fundamental right that is guaranteed nor is there any city ordinance the requires primary access to the lakefront for deep sea fishing to the public." 

Sconiers said the response is "unacceptable."


"They told me one administration after the next, 'We'll get you next time.'  Pruitt said the complaint is in the investigative stage. A letter of findings will be issued when the investigation is complete.  "It's something I'm not going to give up on," Sconiers said.



Free Fishing Weekend Feb 15-16

Michigan is home to some outstanding fishing, with more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, more than 11,000 inland lakes, and tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams.


The 2014 Winter Free Fishing Weekend will be held Saturday, February 15 and Sunday, February 16. As part of these weekends, all fishing license fees are waived for two days with residents and out-of-state visitors allowed to enjoy fishing on both inland and Great Lakes’ waters for

all species of fish during their respective open seasons. Please note all regulations will still apply during that time.


The Michigan DNR strives to engage as many individuals as possible in our state’s vast recreational opportunities, and provide special times to do so – including our annual Free Fishing Weekends. Conducted one weekend each winter and summer, these opportunities allow anyone to enjoy Michigan’s world-class fishing for FREE!

Successful stocking season creates more fishing opportunities 
The Michigan DNR announced the totals from its fall fish stocking efforts. The DNR’s Fisheries Division stocked eight different species totaling more than 1,050,000 fish that weighed more than 12.5 tons. Fish were stocked at 111 different locations throughout the state.  

“It was another outstanding fall stocking season that will provide enhanced fishing opportunities throughout Michigan,” said DNR Fish Production Manager Gary Whelan. “This is in addition to our successful spring stocking efforts that put more than 19 million fish into the state’s waters.”

The number and type of fish stocked varies by hatchery as each facility’s ability to rear fish differs because of water supplies and temperature. In Michigan, there are six state and three cooperative hatcheries that work together to produce the species, strain and size of fish needed by fisheries managers. These fish must then be delivered at a specific time and location for stocking to ensure their success. Most fish in Michigan are stocked in the spring. 

Fall fish stockings consisted of brook trout, lake trout, rainbow trout, steelhead, Atlantic salmon, lake sturgeon, walleye and muskellunge.

  • The Marquette State Fish Hatchery stocked 34,093 fall fingerling and adult brook and lake trout that weighed 2,225 pounds. This hatchery stocked a total of 47 locations using 18 trips.

  • The Thompson State Fish Hatchery (near Manistique) stocked 157,909 fall fingerling brown trout and steelhead that weighed 1,947 pounds. This hatchery stocked a total of five locations using four trips.

  • The Oden State Fish Hatchery (near Petoskey) stocked 90,244 fall fingerling rainbow trout that weighed 1,967 pounds. This hatchery stocked a total of two locations using two trips.

  • The Platte River State Fish Hatchery (near Honor) stocked 221,808 fall fingerling coho salmon weighing 8,745 pounds and 36,453 fall fingerling Atlantic salmon weighing 701 pounds. All coho salmon were stocked into the Paw Paw River using three trips and the Atlantic salmon into Torch Lake using one trip.

  • The Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery (near Kalamazoo) stocked 435,950 fall fingerling steelhead weighing 6,598 pounds and 56,143 fall fingerling Great Lakes and northern muskellunge weighing 2,358 pounds. The steelhead were stocked at six sites using four trips and muskellunge were stocked at 33 locations using 20 trips.

  • The DNR’s cooperative hatchery at Lake Superior State University produced 13,400 fall fingerling Atlantic salmon weighing 500 pounds. These fish were stocked with one trip in Torch Lake (Antrim County).

  • Eastern Lake Superior, Northern Lake Michigan and Southern Lake Huron fisheries management units stocked 3,877 fall fingerling walleye weighing 229 pounds. These fish were stocked at eight sites using seven trips.

  • The Southern Lake Michigan Management Unit in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stocked 50 fall fingerling lake sturgeon weighing less than a pound into the Kalamazoo River.

  • The Marquette Fisheries Research Station stocked a total of 598 fall fingerling lake sturgeon weighing 22 pounds into four sites in the Upper Peninsula. Four stocking trips were needed for this effort.

  • The DNR’s cooperative hatchery with Michigan State University on the Black River stocked 4,490 fall fingerling lake sturgeon weighing 66 pounds. These fish were stocked using three trips into four sites on Black, Burt and Mullet lakes.  


DNR fish stocking database: www.michigandnr.com/fishstock



Best start to winter recreation season since 2010

Anyone eager to get out cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling will find an abundance of opportunities at many Minnesota state parks and trails, thanks to this week’s heavy snowfall.


"The recent heavy snowfall and the forecast for sustained cold temperatures offers prospects of substantial, enduring snow cover deep into the month," said Greg Spoden, state climatologist at the Department of Natural Resources. "It will be the best start to the winter recreation season since 2010."

Staff from the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division and local clubs will be busy grooming trails in preparation for the upcoming weekend, but the DNR advises prospective park and trail visitors to check the website for trip planning tips before heading out to a winter recreation destination.


Snow depth and trail conditions are updated every Thursday after 2 p.m.


throughout the winter months at www.mndnr.gov/snow.


Many Minnesota state parks rent snowshoes, and several rent cross-country skis. For rental locations and prices, check out the “winter activities guide” at www.mndnr.gov/winterguide.


For a schedule of upcoming programs and special events at Minnesota state parks and trails, including the popular candlelight ski and snowshoe events, visit the online calendar at www.mndnr.gov/ptcalendar or pick up one of the new “Programs and Special Events” brochures at park offices.


As always, the DNR urges outdoor enthusiasts to exercise caution around lakes and wetlands, because the early snow might act as a blanket over thin ice. Snowmobilers, in particular, should exercise caution and be alert to conditions.

Complete snowmobile safety training now

Now that winter has arrived, the Minnesota DNR is encouraging snowmobilers to complete safety training.


“If you waited until the snow arrived before taking snowmobile safety training you may be too late to enjoy the season,” said Capt. Mike Hammer, DNR enforcement education program coordinator. “Classes fill quickly, and no snowmobile safety certificate, no snowmobiling.”   Plenty of safety training classes are available right now, he said.


Minnesota residents born after Dec. 31, 1976, must complete a DNR snowmobile safety training course before they can legally ride a snowmobile anywhere in Minnesota, including private land.


By taking a snowmobile safety course, Hammer said students learn about


the machine, they learn about the laws, they learn safe operation, they learn the ethics of the sport and they learn how to avoid the most common causes of snowmobile accidents.


DNR snowmobile safety courses can be completed by either attending a snowmobile safety training course from a DNR-certified instructor in a local community or by CD.


To obtain the snowmobile safety training CD, or for general information, call 651-296-6157, 888-646-6367, 800-366-8917, or send email to [email protected]More than 1,800 volunteer instructors teach DNR snowmobile safety courses across the state. For more information on the dates and locations of these courses, visit the DNR website: www.dnr.state.mn.us

12 lakes opened to spearing

Twelve lakes scattered throughout Minnesota, including two in the metropolitan area, now are open for darkhouse spearing.  Spearing restrictions were repealed effective Dec. 2 on the following lakes: Beers and West Battle in Otter Tail County; Big Mantrap in Hubbard County; Deer, Moose, North Star and connected Little North Star and Spider in Itasca County; Lobster in Douglas County; Cross Lake Flowage in Pine County; Eagle in Hennepin County; Owasso in Ramsey County and Sugar in Wright County.


Darkhouse spearing is limited to northern pike, catfish, whitefish and other

rough-fish species.  Other game fish species such as muskellunge are illegal to spear at any time. Anglers ages 18-89 need both an angling license and a spearing license to spear, unless otherwise exempt.


All other regulations related to spearing, angling and shelters apply to these waters. Additional information is available on page 77 of the 2013 Minnesota Fishing Regulations handbook and online at www.mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing.


For more info: www.mndnr.gov/areas/fisheries.



No Asian Carp DNA found in Sturgeon Bay samples
STURGEON BAY – Water samples collected from Sturgeon Bay last month and analyzed for evidence of Asian carp DNA have come back negative.


 “We’re obviously happy that the results came back negative. It’s a good indication that there are not Asian carp in the bay and underscores the importance of continuing our efforts to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes,” says Mike Staggs, Wisconsin’s Fish Chief.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and DNR had collected 150 water samples from Sturgeon Bay on Nov. 12 and 13 as a follow up to a single positive detection of Asian carp DNA in samples collected from the bay earlier in the year.


“Sampling was completed as part of a Great Lakes wide early detection program intended to monitor for many different invasive species, including Asian carp,” says Todd Turner, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Assistant Regional Director for Midwest Fisheries. “We continue to work closely with our state partners to use eDNA as a tool to investigate invasive species across the Midwest Region.”


Repeated detections over time of environmental DNA, or eDNA for short, increase the likelihood of a persistent source of genetic material in the area where the sample was collected, possibly indicating the presence of live fish or other repeated source, says Bob Wakeman, DNR’s aquatic invasive species coordinator.


Environmental DNA is released into water with the urine, feces and scales of live fish but other possible sources could include a bait bucket that accidentally contained young Asian carp, water transported in the live well of a recreational boat that had recently been used in Asian carp infested waters, or feces from a migrating bird that had eaten an Asian carp, Wakeman says.


Asian carp species are invasive fish species that were introduced to southern fish farms in the 1970s, escaped, and have been making their way toward the Great Lakes. They are a serious concern because they can aggressively compete with native commercial and sport fish for food, says Bob Wakeman, DNR’s aquatic invasive species coordinator. Also, silver carp can injure boaters when the fish leap out of the water.


Asian carp environmental DNA has been found upstream of the electric dispersal barriers in Lake Calumet, seven miles from Lake Michigan on the Indiana-Illinois border, and in Lake Erie.


Sampling in Wisconsin waters for Asian carp eDNA had been negative until the single positive sample from Sturgeon Bay. Wakeman says Wisconsin will continue to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other partners to monitor Wisconsin waters of the Great Lakes for unwanted invasive species.


For more info: "Asian carp control efforts."


Free Wisconsin Fishing Weekend Jan. 18-19

Bundle up and get out there for Wisconsin's Winter Free Fishing Weekend, January 18 - 19, 2014. Residents and nonresidents are welcome!


Fish anywhere in Wisconsin without a license or trout stamp on Free Fishing Weekend. This includes all inland waters and Wisconsin's side of

the Great Lakes and Mississippi River. Other fishing rules apply, such

as limits on the number and size of fish you can keep and any seasons when you must release certain fish species. So, pack up the family or call your friends and head to the water for fishing fun!

See more at: www.thefishingwire.com/story/305470#sthash.eULl6Ddh.dpuf


Ice fishing season comes early

Increasing numbers of people getting hooked on the hard-water season

MADISON – Ice fishing opportunities are going to come early and often this season, good news for the growing number of ice anglers drilling down into this favorite winter sport, state fisheries officials say.


“The colder weather in recent weeks has frozen smaller lakes much earlier than last year, so we’re looking forward to a nice, long season,” says Mike Staggs, Wisconsin’s fisheries director. “There are an abundance of great places to fish across the state and even more time for anglers to hit their favorite hot spots and try some new locations.”


Staggs reported people fishing on a back bay of Delavan Lake in Walworth County on Thanksgiving, and conservation wardens and fish biologists are reporting seeing anglers ice fishing on smaller lakes, bays and backwaters in many parts of Wisconsin.


“The ice season is already underway up here, as I’ve seen anglers on the

ice for almost a week now,” says Skip Sommerfeldt, a DNR fisheries

biologist based in Park Falls in Price County and an avid ice angler. “I haven’t made it out yet – as I stayed busy with deer season and then a short vacation with the family. But that will change this afternoon (Dec. 2) – as my tip-ups and minnows are ready for the late afternoon bite.”


An estimated 590,700 Wisconsinites 16 and over report they ice fish, up from 479,900 in 2000, according to the most recent National Survey on Recreation and the Environment, a federally funded survey.


Staggs thinks the growth reflects in part that ice fishing is a low-cost way to try fishing or for veteran open water anglers to extend the fishing season. “It's as easy as drilling a hole -- or finding a hole someone else left behind -- and using some basic equipment to catch some fish for dinner," he says.


Add to that simple appeal the fact that better technology -- lighter, warmer ice houses and better, safer heaters and outerwear – is making it more comfortable to be out on the ice longer.


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)


DNA of Eurasian Ruffe found for first time in southern Lake Michigan
Genetic evidence of the invasive species Eurasian Ruffe, has been found for the first time in southern Lake Michigan. Researchers found evidence of DNA of Ruffe in Calumet Harbor, south of Chicago. Two positive samples were collected July 8. The harbor is at the mouth of the Chicago-area waterway system.


Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles

The Interior Department says it will issue permits that would let wind farms kill eagles for up to 30 years, or six times longer than the current permits allow. Wind farms kill about 440,000 birds of all species every year, according to a government estimate, which raises


www.Stunningly huge cancer threat uncovered/

A new analysis of studies concludes that a single abortion raises the risk of breast cancer by an astonishing 44 %. Professor Joel Brind, a science adviser for the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer who reached a similar conclusion in 1996, called the finding a “real game-changer” in the controversy over the link between abortion and breast cancer.

Obama’s ignoring laws may lead to gov't overthrow

Michael Cannon, Cato Institute’s Director of Health Policy, testified before a congressional committee about the dangers of the president’s legal behavior. “Abraham Lincoln talked about our right to alter our government or our revolutionary right to overthrow it.”  “That is certainly something that no one wants to contemplate, but if the people come to believe that the government is no longer constrained by the laws then they will conclude that neither are they.”


Ammo Price Surge Expected as EPA Regs Close Lead Smelter

Because of heightened EPA regulations, Doe Run Company's lead smelter in Missouri—the last U.S. smelter of its kind—is closing its doors on Dec 31.  Once this happens, the lead for traditional ammo will have to be imported, thus driving up the price for bullets, shotgun shells, etc. The smelter has been operating in the same location since 1892. And according to the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), "it is the only smelter in the United States which can produce lead bullion from raw lead ore,"


Invasive species, climate changes can wreak havoc on Great Lakes loon population
Loons, along with other waterfowl, are at the mercy of environmental and climatological changes going on in the Great Lakes. The culprit in each of these outbreaks is Type E botulism, a paralytic condition brought on by the consumption of the botulinium neurotoxin. This neurotoxin is thought to be produced under oxygen-depleted conditions – like what takes place when huge Cladophora algae mats build up on the lake bottom and decompose.


Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, the brains behind the Patriot Act who has called for a scale-back on part of its surveillance powers, now says NSA Director James Clapper, should be fired and prosecuted. “Lying to Congress is a federal offense, and Clapper ought to be fired and prosecuted for it".  He was referring to Clapper’s testimony in March to Senate Intelligence Committee members, during which he insisted the NSA does not collect mass data on Americans — at least “not wittingly”.

DNR develops video to help spot young Asian carp
The Michigan DNR has developed a video to help anglers identify young Asian carp and prevent them from getting into the Great Lakes.  The new video displays five characteristics of juvenile Asian carp. They include color, scales, eyes, mouths and keels.  It advises anglers who think they might have the carp in their bait buckets to throw them in the trash or take them to the DNR for inspection.


In a year, 2 lakes’ water levels rise nearly a foot
Lake Erie’s water level in October was 10 inches higher than in the previous October, recovering from the historic drop-off in 2012.  Similarly, Lake Ontario’s water level gained nearly a foot between October 2012 and October 2013, and this month remains about 3 inches above the long-term water

A century later, whitefish are turning up in Wisconsin rivers
Lake Michigan whitefish — a favorite of ice anglers and commercial fishermen — is turning up on inland waters where it hasn't been seen in a century.  Adult fish populations are leaving Green Bay and have been found in at least four rivers in northeast Wisconsin, possibly due to improving water quality of those rivers, says the Wisconsin DNR.

338,000 added to Gov't Payrolls in Nov; 41% of Net Additional Jobs

Federal, state and local governments hired 338,000 workers in November, equaling 41 % of the total of 818,000 net additional jobs during the month. At the same time, the unemployment rate for government workers fell from 4.4 % in Oct to 3.2 % in Nov. (The overall national unemployment rate fell from 7.3 % to 7.0 %.)



The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the GLSFC, its officers or staff. 

Reproduction of any material by paid-up members of the GLSFC is encouraged but appropriate credit must be given. 

Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.

arrowUSFWS Press Releases  arrowSea Grant News


State Fish Pages

Illinois - Indiana - Michigan - Minnesota - Ohio - Pennsylvania - New York - Wisconsin - Ontario


Home | Great Lakes States | Membership | Exotics Update | Great Links

Pending Issues | Regional News | Great Lakes Basin Report | Weekly News / Archives