Week of January 4, 2010

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes
 
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
National

Regional

Lake Erie

Illinois
Michigan
Ohio
Wisconsin
Other Breaking News Items
  • New law makes salt-water fishermen register with U.S.

    he National Saltwater Angler Registry, authorized by Congress, is a new tool for scientists to get a better handle on the numbers of recreational anglers and migratory fish caught - part of their effort to protect species and rebuild dwindling stocks.

  • Uncle Sam will dip into anglers’ pockets

    NOAA's plan to register all tidal water sport anglers is little else but a new federal tax.  NOAA said all anglers not now "licensed or registered by a state that has been exempted and want to fish in federal waters" will be required to register with them. Anglers must also register if they drop their lines in tidal waters, seeking migratory fish species.  On or after Jan. 1, go to www.countmyfish.noaa.gov  or call 1-888/674-7411 to register.

  • Lead Fishing Tackle ban in the news again  

    Although there is no solid evidence that lead fishing tackle threatens waterfowl, such as loons, there is a new proposed ban on lead in Washington State and the state’s fishermen are baffled by it all.  Some advocates for a lead ban claim that over a 13-year period, nine loons died from ingesting lead sinkers. How could anyone in their right mind call this a scientific indictment of lead fishing equipment?

  • NAUBINWAY: 2 sentenced for dumping fish guts  

    Two Upper Peninsula brothers accused of dumping fish remains for years into a Lake Michigan bay have been sentenced to six months of home confinement and fined $80,000. Carl Frazier and Donald Frazier process whitefish in Naubinway in Mackinac County. The government says they dumped barrels of fish guts -- at least 216,000 pounds, according to an estimate -- into the water and shoreline of Epoufette Bay.

  • New slots for boaters
    A new marina will be built at Chicago's Gateway Harbor, between Navy Pier and the Chicago River's outlet to Lake Michigan

  • Group: Closing local waterways will hurt area
    The American Waterways Operators, the national trade association for the U.S. tugboat and barge industry, released statistics detailing the impact a Lake Michigan lock closure proposed by Michigan officials would have on businesses and the economy.

  • More states endorse lawsuit against Illinois in battle over carp
    Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota are just some of the states that have endorsed a lawsuit against Illinois. Michigan filed the initial lawsuit earlier this week. They all want Illinois to stop Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes.

  • Report warns of new species in Lake George
    A new clam and an invasive plant species were found in Lake George, according to releases from the Lake George Association. Brittle naiad, an invasive plant, was found this summer growing near a launch at Dunham's Bay Marina, the release said. The plant crowds out native plants and creates conditions adverse to fish and waterfowl.

  • Don't meddle with lake levels, report says
    Do nothing. That’s the continued recommendation of the International Great Lakes Study after peer review and more studying with a look at climate change on the St. Clair River and its connection to the water levels of the Great Lakes.

  • COMMENTARY: Coast Guard rules bad news for inland guides
    This past summer, the U.S. Coast Guard decided to extend the “Six-Pack” license designed for small ship captains on the Great Lakes and international waters, and apply it to inland fishing guides who operate for hire on small lakes and rivers in Minnesota.

  • 4 of 5 Great Lakes on the rise
    The levels of four Great Lakes are higher than a year ago and all except Lake Ontario should start next year's recreational boating season at or above last year's levels, according to two reports this month.

  • EDITORIAL: Gov't must halt Asian carp
    Congress, the federal courts and even the White House must take immediate action to force a reluctant U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to close shipping locks and canals near Chicago that could provide a pathway for the Asian Carp to enter Lake Michigan.

  • Guides say cost of Coast Guard plan is too steep

    Fishing guides on many lakes across northern Minnesota would have to be fingerprinted and spend up to $1,300 on federal exams to help their clients catch walleyes under a new U.S. Coast Guard policy.

  • Plugging path of Asian carp urged
    The once-radical idea of somehow plugging the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal to stop the flow of unwanted species from spilling between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basin is quickly picking up political support.

  • Seafaring traffic nearly done for the season on the Great Lakes
    The last ocean-going ship of the season left the Duluth-Superior port this week, marking the end of a tough season for the so-called “salty” traffic

  • Coast Guard targets zebra mussels in Great Lakes
    wenty years after the pervasive zebra mussel was first detected in the Great Lakes, the U.S. Coast Guard is preparing rules to prevent new invasive species from infiltrating the nation's freshwater systems.

  • Cox takes Asian carp suit to Supreme Court
    The state of Michigan is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to net the problem of Asian carp before the fish make their way into Lake Michigan and the rest of the Great Lak

        ●   Timing of wind farm meeting angers some

              Several part-time Pentwater-area residents expressed anger that the company scheduled its public meeting held Tuesday on plans for

              100 to 200 wind towers offshore in Lake Michigan during the winter, when they were not able to attend.

           Lake Michigan wind farm a tough sell

               About 180 people packed a West Shore Community College building and did not like what they heard and saw, when the       

               company revealed photos of  area beaches showing simulated 300-foot-

 

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       New Product  Archives

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

Managers Predict Largest Spring Chinook Run Since 1938 

The technical committee advising Columbia River fishery managers has released its forecast for the 2010 spring

chinook run. If the fish show up as projected, the forecast of 470,000 spring chinook would be the largest return to the Columbia since 1938.

 


Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Winchester Adds Two Popular Calibers of Defense Ammo 

Following up on the high demands from consumers in 2009, Winchester has extended the Bonded PDX1 line by offering .380 Automatic and .45 Colt calibers for 2010.

 

The Bonded PDX1 line uses the same technology the Federal Bureau of Investigation uses as its primary service round. The Bonded PDX1 is engineered to maximize terminal ballistics, as defined by the demanding FBI test protocol, which simulates real-world threats.

 

"The Bonded PDX1 is the best of the best when talking personal protection ammunition," said Brett Flaugher, Winchester Ammunition's vice president of domestic and international marketing and sales. "It is capable of penetrating a wide range of barriers from clothing to plywood, and still effectively stops a threat."

 

Winchester Bonded PDX1 features include:

 

• Proprietary bonding process-Welds lead and jacket together to work as a unit controlling expansion and providing superior retained weight.

• Hollow point-Works with the bonding process for outstanding performance through tough barriers and impact velocities/ranges.

• Jacket notching-Six segments help promote positive, consistent and programmed expansion at a variety of impact velocities and ranges.

• Copper alloy jacket-Contoured for maximum upset over a wide range of velocities/ranges.

• Nickel plated shellcase-Helps ensure positive gun function through smooth chambering and shellcase ejection.

"All of the Bonded PDX1 design features working together as one system help ensure consistent upset," said Flaugher. "This technology helped secure the FBI business and is the only choice for personal protection available."

 

www.winchester.com


NSSF Awards $109,500 in Grants to Colleges to promote Recreational Shooting

NEWTOWN, Conn. -- With an increasing number of college students taking up target shooting at competitive and club levels, the National Shooting Sports Foundation is providing $109,500 in support to ensure that even more young men and women have the opportunity to give shooting a try.

 

NSSF is awarding the grants through its new Collegiate Shooting Sports Initiative, which was launched earlier this year to raise awareness about shotgun, rifle and handgun shooting at the college level and to provide assistance for the development of shooting clubs and varsity teams.

 

Grants were issued to 16 colleges and universities, from prominent Harvard to smaller schools like Fort Hays State University in Kansas, with awards ranging from $4,000 to $7,500 per school. Some colleges will use their grants as seed funding to launch new shooting clubs and teams; other schools will use their funds to expand existing programs and publicize them on campus by developing Web sites and hosting "fun shoots."

 

The grant recipients are as follows:

Bethel University, McKenzie, TN -- $7,500

Clemson University, Clemson, S.C. -- $7,500

Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO -- $7,500

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO -- $7,500

Fort Hays University, Hays, KS -- $,7,500

Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA -- $7,500

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA -- $7,500

Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, MI -- $7,500

Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, FL -- $7,500

Northeastern University, Boston, MA -- $7,500

Salem State College, Salem, MA -- $7,500

Schreiner University, Kerrville, TX -- $7,500

Southeastern Illinois College, Harrisburg, IL -- $7,500

Trinity University, San Antonio, TX -- $4,000

University of Arkansas -- Fort Smith -- $4,000

University of Vermont, Burlington, VT -- $4,000

 

Participation in college shotgun sports has grown remarkably in recent years. Between 2006 and 2009, the annual ACUI Intercollegiate Clay Target Championships has seen a 40 % increase in participation, with 37 schools and 337 clay target shooters competing in last spring's championship. Much of the increase can be directly attributed to high school students graduating from programs like the NSSF-developed Scholastic Clay Target Program and 4-H, and then continuing to compete in college.


 

National

EPA Releases First-Ever Baseline Study of U.S. Lakes

WASHINGTON - The USEPA has released its most comprehensive study of the nation’s lakes to date. The draft study, which rated the condition of 56 percent of the lakes in the United States as good and the remainder as fair or poor, marked the first time EPA and its partners used a nationally consistent approach to survey the ecological and water quality of lakes. A total of 1,028 lakes were randomly sampled during 2007 by states, tribes and EPA.

 

“This survey serves as a first step in evaluating the success of efforts to protect, preserve, and restore the quality of our nation’s lakes,” said Peter Silva, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water. “Future surveys will be able to track changes in lake water quality over time and advance our understanding of important regional and national patterns in lake water quality.”

 

The National Lakes Assessment reveals that the remaining lakes are in fair or poor condition. Degraded lakeshore habitat, rated “poor” in 36 percent of lakes, was the most significant of the problems assessed. Removal of trees and shrubs and construction of docks, marinas, homes and other structures along shorelines all contribute to degraded lakeshore habitat.

 

Nitrogen and phosphorous are found at high levels in 20 percent of lakes. Excess levels of these nutrients contribute to algae blooms, weed growth, reduced water clarity, and other lake problems. EPA is very concerned about the adverse impacts of nutrients on aquatic life, drinking water and recreation. The agency will continue to work with states to address water quality issues through effective nutrient management.

 

The survey included a comparison to a subset of lakes with wastewater impacts that were sampled in the 1970s. It finds that 75 percent show either improvements or no change in phosphorus levels. This suggests that the nation’s investments in wastewater treatment and other pollution control activities are working despite population increases across the country.

 

The results of this study describe the target population of the nation’s lakes as a whole and are not applicable to a particular lake.

Sampling for the National Rivers and Streams Assessment is underway, and results from this two-year study are expected to be available in 2011. Details at: http://www.epa.gov/lakessurvey/


Papp to Head Coast Guard

Will take over for Allen in May 2010

Vice Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. will be the new commandant of the Coast Guard, President Obama has announced.

Papp will relieve Adm. Thad Allen in May 2010, pending Senate confirmation.

 

Papp is commander of the Atlantic area, one of the service's major divisions, which includes Coast Guard operations in the

Persian Gulf. Previously Papp was chief of staff at Coast

 

Guard headquarters in Washington. From 2004 to 2006 he commanded the Coast Guard Ninth District which covers the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway.

 

Papp is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and holds a master's degree in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College, and a master's degree in management from Salve Regina College in Newport, R.I.


Saltwater Angler Registry now Open

The National Saltwater Angler Registry, which launched January 1, 2010, is designed to help address concerns about the data used to estimate the effects of recreational fishing on ocean resources and the nation's economy.

 

The registry will be used as the basis for conducting surveys of recreational saltwater anglers to find out how often they fish. These surveys are used by NOAA scientists to assess the health of fish stocks and to estimate the economic contributions of anglers.

 

The registry will eventually replace the use of random-digit dialing to coastal households, a system NOAA has had in place since the 1970s. The goal is to improve survey efficiency and reduce bias by making calls only to homes where people fish, and reaching saltwater anglers who live outside coastal counties.

 

Who needs to register:

Recreational saltwater fishermen will need to register if they:

 

►Hold a license from one of 10 coastal states or territories which do not currently have comprehensive saltwater angler license or registration requirements—Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Virginia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands,

►Fish for or are likely to catch anadromous species in tidal and salt waters; these are fish like river herring, shad, smelt and striped bass that live in the oceans but spawn in fresh

water, OR

►Fish in the federal waters more than three miles from the ocean shore or from the mouths of rivers or bays

 

Who Doesn’t Need to Register

Some anglers don’t have to register if they:

►Hold a license from one of 15 coastal states with comprehensive licensing or registration — Alabama, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Washington;

►Are not required under state law in one of these 15 states to hold a fishing license as is sometimes the case with seniors or active-duty military;

►Are under age 16;

►Pay to fish on licensed charter, party or guide boats;

►Hold a Highly Migratory Species Angling permit or subsistence fishing permit; or

►Fish commercially under a valid license

 

National Saltwater Angler registration is free in 2010. To register, anglers can visit NOAA's Marine Recreational Information Program and click on the Angler Registry link, or call the toll-free registration line at 1-888-MRIP411 (1-888-674-7411) from 4:00 am to 12 midnight EST daily.

 

Anglers will need to provide their name, date of birth, address and telephone number, and will receive a registration number that will allow them to begin fishing immediately. They will receive a registration card in the mail in about 30 days.


Regional

New York joins other states over fight about Asian carp

New York joined five other states supporting Michigan's lawsuit to sever a century-old Chicago canal connecting Lake Michigan and the Mississippi water basin.

 

New York's attorney general Andrew Cuomo joined Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio in the legal fight to force changes in the way Chicago manages its water to keep Asian carp out of Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes.

 

The suit, which is going to the Supreme Court later this week, also challenges Chicago's controversial withdrawal of up to 2 billion gallons of water a day from Lake Michigan.  The six states are appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to force Illinois officials to close the Chicago Waterway system that

connects Lake Michigan with the Mississippi River.

 

Conservation groups back in 2004 called for the hydrological separation of the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River to effectively prevent the spread of invasive species and to retain Great Lakes water in the Great Lakes basin.

 

Michigan's suit, filed December 21, reopens a 1922 lawsuit filed by Great Lakes states challenging Chicago's right to divert Lake Michigan water. That suit resulted in a consent decree limiting the amount of water Chicago can divert from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River. Michigan's suit also calls for a preliminary injunction to force the temporary closure of locks, used for flood control and navigation.

 

The lawsuit is on the high court’s agenda Jan. 8.


Urgent Asian Carp Control Measures Funded for $13 Million

WASHINGTON, DC, December 14, 2009 (ENS) - The federal government will spend an additional $13 million to prevent invasive Asian carp from migrating further toward the Great Lakes.

 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has identified more than $13 million in funding needs for measures to deter the large fish from moving closer to Lake Michigan. The majority of the new funds will be used to close conduits and shore up low-lying lands between the Chicago Sanitary Ship Canal and adjacent waterways.

 

USEPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who also chairs the Great Lakes Inter-agency Task Force, announced the new funding late last month.

 

"The challenge at hand requires the immediate action we're taking today. EPA and its partners are stepping up to prevent the environmental and economic destruction that can come from invasive Asian carp,” said Jackson. The presence of Asian carps in the Great Lakes could cause what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service calls "catastrophic declines" in abundances of native fish species, cause economic impacts to sport and commercial fisheries, and result in injuries to boaters as the big fish are known to jump out of the water as high as 10 feet.

 

DNA evidence suggests the Asian carp are already very close to an electric barrier in the Chicago Sanitary Ship Canal built to keep them out. Scientists believe carp are also present in the Des Plaines River, the I & M canal and the Calumet Sag Canal.

 

Obama has made restoring the Great Lakes a national priority, Jackson said. In February, he proposed $475 million for a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, an unprecedented 

investment in the nation's largest fresh surface water ecosystem.  Congress approved that funding level and President Obama signed it into law in October. The funding for immediate carp control measures would come from that $475 million.

 

"President Obama's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Congressional support have given us what we need to significantly and immediately reduce the risk of Asian carp reaching the Great Lakes and destroying such a valuable ecosystem,” Jackson said.

 

Under the conditions found in the Great Lakes such as water temperature and food abundance, Asian carps could outnumber all other native species, as already is happening in parts of Illinois, Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. The potential impact of Asian carps on the Great Lakes sport and commercial fishing industry can be seen right now along the Mississippi River basin. There in just a few years after Asian carp were introduced into the area, many commercial fishing locations have been abandoned, as native fish have nearly disappeared from the catch, replaced by Asian carp.

 

Illinois and federal agencies remain concerned that during times of heavy precipitation, water and carp can wash from adjacent waterways into the Chicago Sanitary Ship Canal.

 

Initiative funding will support work by the Corps to reduce the risk of carp invasion. Some of the funding will support more genetic testing to pinpoint where carp may be in the Chicago Area Waterway System. The agencies will continue to identify other mechanisms for keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

 

Today's announcement follows a November 23 announcement that a portion of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding will be available for stakeholders through a request for proposals.


U.S.-Canada Panel finds that St. Clair River is Stable

Board sees no need for Remedial Measures

Since 2007, a binational team of experts, with extensive public input, has been investigating whether there are ongoing changes in the St. Clair River that might be affecting water levels in the upper Great Lakes.   In a report released December 15, 2009, the International Upper Great Lakes Study Board found there has been no significant erosion of the channel in the upper reach of the St. Clair River bed since at least 2000.

 

Other findings included:

►Based on 15 different analyses, an increase in the river’s conveyance capacity accounts for 7 to 14 cm (2.8 to 5.5 inches) of the decline in head difference between Lake Michigan-Huron and Lake Erie from 1963 to 2006; however, this change is not ongoing and there has been a slight decrease in conveyance capacity since 2000.

 

►Climate is the main driver of lake level relationships over time and accounts for 9 to 17 cm (3.5 to 6.7 inches) of the decline in head difference. In particular, hydroclimatic change contributed to a substantial decline in net water supplies to Lake Michigan-Huron in the most recent decade.

 

►Overall, the Study Board found that the difference in water levels between Lake Michigan-Huron and Lake Erie (head difference) declined on average by about 23 cm (9 inches) between 1963 and 2006.  They also found that shifts in the earth’s crust as it continues to adjust to the retreat of glaciers account for 4 to 5 cm (1.6 to 2 inches) of the decline in head difference with the apparent resulting decrease in water levels being more pronounced in the Georgian Bay region of eastern Lake Huron. 

 

►As directed in its mandate, the Study Board also reviewed past proposed remedial works and new innovative approaches to modifying flows in the St. Clair River and identified a range of options that might be employed if remediation were deemed necessary.  The Study recognizes that there have been a number of dredging projects in the past and the governments made commitments for remediation.  The implications of these past dredging projects are beyond the scope of the Study.  The complete scientific report and a summary for the public are posted at:  www.iugls.org.  The 34 scientific reports that form the foundation for the main report are also available online.

 

Key Recommendations

Given that the change in conveyance capacity is not ongoing, is small relative to the degree of scientific uncertainty associated with the various analyses and data measurements and appears to be decreasing, the Study Board did not recommend remedial measures in the St. Clair River at this time.  The Board also recommended that the governments of Canada and the U.S. undertake cooperative efforts to improve the monitoring and analysis of Great Lakes water supplies and connecting channel flows.

 

Independent Peer Review

Throughout the Study, both methodological plans and technical work products including key chapters and the full draft report were reviewed by independent experts chosen by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE Environmental and Water Resources Institute) and the Canadian Water Resources Association.  These expert reviewers have given generally positive ratings and provided many constructive recommendations that have resulted in improvements to the final report, ranging from the need for additional analysis to the need to better quantify scientific uncertainty.  All reviews and Study Board responses are available at the ASCE website, http://content.ewrinstitute.org/committees/IUGLS.cfm 

 

Public Input

A binational Public Interest Advisory Group (PIAG) with expertise from a wide range of interests has provided advice to the Study Board on public involvement and outreach issues.   The U.S. and Canadian co-chairs of PIAG both serve on the Study Board, providing direct involvement by the public in key decisions.  Since 2007, the Study has held 34 public meetings hosted by PIAG members throughout the upper Great Lakes basin, including 17 meetings during a 90-day consultation period following release of a draft report on May 1, 2009. 

 

All public comments received by the August 1 deadline and Study Board responses are posted on the Study website as well as a detailed report on PIAG activities over the past two years, including a synthesis of the public views provided during the consultation.  Generally, it appeared that the public found that Study outcomes were acceptable with respect to the mandate, resulted from an open and unbiased process and reflected sound science.  However, it should be noted that many commenters with interests in Georgian Bay disagreed with the Study’s recommendation against remediation.  The International Joint Commission has announced it will hold public hearings regarding the report in 2010, allowing the public ample time to review the report, related technical studies and the independent peer reviews. 

 

The International Joint Commission is inviting the public to submit comments on the final report until April 9, 2010. The IJC will hold public hearings during this period at times and locations to be announced early in the new year.

 

What’s next?

The examination of the St. Clair River is part of a broader evaluation of the regulation of Lake Superior outflows that is expected to produce recommendations in 2012 regarding improvements to the control orders for the international compensating works and power dams on the St. Marys River in Sault Ste. Marie.  The Study Board also recommends that this phase of the Study examine whether mitigative measures in the St. Clair River might be necessary based on its assessment of the potential future impacts of climate change on upper Great Lakes levels.


Commission and Fishery Trust Reaffirm 2008 “Separation Study” For Chicago Canal

Report, motivated by Asian carp migration toward the Great Lakes, becomes more relevant in light of the detection of carp in the canal and recent rapid response

Ann Arbor, MI:  The recent chemical treatment of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, designed to allow safe disengagement of the electrical “carp barrier,” has brought new urgency to the need for a permanent solution to stop the threat of invasive species moving into the Great Lakes.

 

The chemical treatment, which confirmed the presence of Asian carp at the site of the electrical barrier, and new DNA testing, which suggests that Asian carp may be within five miles of Lake Michigan, has reinvigorated the call to achieve “biological separation” on the canal, a move that would eliminate the possibility of species-transfer between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watersheds via the canal.  Such separation is the same conclusion reached in a 2008 report, Preliminary Feasibility of Ecological Separation of the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes to Prevent the Transfer of Aquatic Invasive Species, conducted by the Alliance for the Great Lakes and funded by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and the Great Lakes Fishery Trust. The report assesses potential options to prevent invasive species, including the Asian carp, from entering the Great Lakes and concludes that biological separation of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal from Lake Michigan is the best option.

 

The report provides a systematic look at commercial and recreational vessel traffic on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and notes that with new technology and infrastructure changes, a long-term solution to prevent species migration between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River is possible.  While some impacts to navigation would be unavoidable, biological separation would allow continued use of the system for wastewater disposal and minimize impacts to commodity movements and recreational boaters.

 

The study was funded pursuant to a recommendation from the Invasive Species Summit convened in 2003 by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley that called for a project to examine long-term solutions to reduce the risk of invasive species in the waterway.  The study demonstrated that the engineering expertise exists today to protect the Great Lakes from species invading via the canal.

 

Great Lakes Fishery Commission chair Michael Hansen, a professor at the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point, encourages swift action:  “With the benefit of hindsight, the Great Lakes and Mississippi systems should never have been connected in so direct a way.  Our task now is to move forward on implementing permanent and effective solutions to the threat that this waterway poses.  The commission calls upon the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help expedite the completion of this essential project.”


MI - Regional Fishery Workshop Jan 9

Michigan Sea Grant, in partnership with fisheries agencies and stakeholder organizations, annually host public information workshops offering current research and information related to the regional status of Great Lakes fisheries. These workshops are open to the public, and provide valuable information for anglers, charter captains,

resource professionals, and other interested stakeholders.

January 9, 2010
Ramada Inn & Convention Center
4079 West U.S. 10
Ludington, MI 49431
See: Details (PDF)


Lake Erie

Live emerald shiners the most important bait in catching yellow perch

Outfish biodegradable, rubberish artificial shiner imitations packed in stinky liquid

Recently, when yellow perch fishermen have stopped by their favorite bait shop on the way out for a day on Lake Erie, they’ve discovered a “Sold Out” sign over the tank of emerald shiners—the preferred bait fish for yellow perch. The shortage is directly related to the arrival and spread of the fish disease viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) in the Great Lakes region since 2006. The federal government and various state governments have issued restrictions to limit the transport of susceptible fish, making it illegal to move some bait fish across state lines, privately or commercially, even within the same body of water.

 

Since most bait fish sold in Ohio have traditionally come from commercial trappers in New York, shortages of live emerald shiners have hit Ohio fishermen, as well as fishing businesses, hard. Those businesses have started trapping the shiners themselves in an attempt to relieve the market stress, but fishermen have also started to get more creative.

 

“Some anglers, when there’s a shortage, switch to artificial shiner imitations,” says Curt Wagner, Biologist for the Ohio DNR, and member of the Ohio Chapter of the American Fisheries Society (OCAFS). “Particularly popular are biodegradable, rubberish bait packed in this stinky liquid. It’s supposed to have the look, the scent, and the appeal of the real thing for yellow perch.” However, no one was sure that the artificial baits were as effective as the real thing, so Wagner put together a study for OCAFS members during their annual summer meeting. Since the meeting was to be held at Stone Laboratory, he applied for and received grant funding from

Ohio Sea Grant for NOAA shiptime aboard the Gibraltar III research boat.

 

The weekend of the OCAFS meeting, 13 anglers set out to a spot between Lake Erie’s Rattlesnake and Middle Bass islands, prepared to test four different types of emerald shiner baits: live, frozen, brine preserved, and artificial. “In advance, we assigned a random rotation of bait types so that each angler fished each of the four baits for 30 minutes and not everyone was fishing the same bait at the same time,” Wagner explains. “We would blow a whistle and everyone would switch to a different bait type. We wanted to get a fair, side-byside comparison.”

 

Using identical fishing rigs, each participant was instructed to fish all four baits the same way, letting it go all the way to the lake floor, then cranking it up one or two times to get it a little bit off the bottom.

 

Their findings were surprising: out  of a total of 59 perch caught within the two-hour timeframe, 27 were caught using live bait, 18 on frozen shiners, 14 on brine-preserved shiners, and none on artificial. From a management perspective, the data indicate a potential need for Ohio businesses to begin to cultivate emerald shiners to keep up with demand. However, Eugene Braig, assistant Director of Ohio Sea Grant who took part in the study, believes that anglers should simply start planning ahead for their bait needs.

 

“Emerald shiners are available in Ohio waters in the spring each year, so it may be a good idea to stock up early in the season and preserve them so you have enough to get you through fall,” Braig says


Illinois

USCG establishes Regulated Navigation Area near Romeoville

CLEVELAND - The U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port Sector Lake Michigan on December 18, 2009 issued a safety zone and regulated navigation area on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, in Romeoville, IL. The regulated navigation area is from mile marker 295 to 297.5, and the safety zone is between mile markers 296.1 and 296.7.

 

The regulation has been established to protect mariners and the environment.

 

In summary, the regulation states all vessels (towboats, barges, recreational craft) are prohibited from transiting the safety zone if they intend to carry water attained from one side of the barrier and discharge that same water, in any form, within or on the other side of the safety zone. This applies to vessels north- and south-bound. If vessels intend to

discharge water, they must request permission from the Captain of the Port Sector Lake Michigan prior to transiting and any subsequent discharge will be done in a biologically sound manner.

 

This regulation serves as a precautionary measure to prevent the possible movement of live Silver or Asian carp, their viable eggs, or gametes from these carp across the fish barrier through discharge of non-potable water. There is no direct evidence that this is an actual bypass vector, but the Asian Carp Rapid Response Workgroup's Executive committee agrees it is a prudent measure to eliminate the possibility. As a precautionary effort, industry has been voluntarily complying with this practice since September.

 

For more info: http://greatlakesrestoration.us/action/wp-content/uploads/12-18-2009-CSSC-Safety-Zone-and-RNA.pdf


Michigan

Suit seeks to close locks, stop Asian carp

Michigan attorney general Mike Cox on December 21, filed suit with the Nation's highest court asking the court to order closure of shipping locks near Chicago to prevent Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes.

 

The suit was filed to force the closure of Chicago-area locks that separate the Great Lakes from Illinois waters shown to contain Asian carp, saying the ravenous carp would threaten thousands of jobs if they get into the lakes.  "Asian carp must be stopped now because we will not have a second chance once they enter Lake Michigan," Cox said in a statement. "The combination of finding carp and carp DNA so close to Lake Michigan is something that should cause great concern for us all."

 

The suit seeks to force the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the state of Illinois, and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago to close the locks and present a comprehensive, long-term solution to the crisis.

 

In his suit, announced Monday, Cox asks:

Closure of the locks at the O'Brien Lock and Dam and the Chicago Controlling Works;

Operation of the sluice gates at the Wilmette Pumping Station, the O'Brien Lock and Dam, and the Chicago Controlling Works in a manner that will prevent carp from passing into Lake Michigan;

 

Creation of new barriers to prevent carp from escaping from the Des Plaines River into the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal during flood events, and from getting to Lake Michigan through the Grand and Little Calumet Rivers;

Comprehensive study of the Chicago waterway system to define where and how many carp are in these waters, and to eradicate them; and action to permanently separate these

waterways from the Great Lakes.

 

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago spokeswoman Jill Horist said: "It's unfortunate that there would be an assumption that this would make some positive resolution come sooner than is truly feasible. Even if the locks were closed, there's still a variety of ways for DNA or Asian carp to enter Lake Michigan."

 

Last week, Great Lakes Interagency Task Force chairwoman and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson announced $13 million in federal funding to prevent Asian carp from migrating closer to the Great Lakes. Much of the additional money will go toward fortifying areas around the banks of the canal so adjacent waterways already infested with the fish, including the Des Plaines River, won't overflow in floods and spill into the canal, giving the fish a bypass around the electric barriers. It's a start.

 

Separate from the injunction request, Cox is also asking the Supreme Court to reopen a case dating to 1900 in which Missouri challenged Chicago's right to re-engineer of the Chicago River.  If the Supreme Court is unwilling to reopen the case, Cox hopes justices grant a new one.

 

Asian carp have been discovered north of the barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. Officials there had put up an electronic barrier to prevent the carp from making it to Michigan waters, but federal officials believe the fish may have breached the barrier.

 

The Senate Environment Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday, January 21, 2010 Time 11:00 AM in 16-503 James R. Thompson Center Chicago on the long-term approach to addressing Asian Carp in Illinois waterways.

Ohio

OLEC Funds Research On Lake Erie

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission (OLEC) will provide grants for two projects that will investigate water quality issues and create enhanced fishing opportunities in Lake Erie.

 

On December 16, OLEC members approved the latest round of Lake Erie Protection Fund (LEPF) small grants. The LEPF funds a variety of projects that provide direct benefit to Lake Erie and its tributary watersheds in Ohio. The fund is supported by Ohioans through the purchase of the "Erie...Our Great Lake" license plates that display the Marblehead Lighthouse, or renewal of the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse plate as designed by noted Lake Erie artist Ben Richmond. Fifteen dollars from the sale of each plate is invested in the Lake Erie Protection Fund grants program.

 

The University of Toledo's Department of Civil Engineering will receive $14,998 for a project that will enable detection of phosphates in Lake Erie by improving a recently developed microsensor. This sensing tool will be refined and tested to measure lower levels of phosphate and Soluble Reactive Phosphorus which will improve our ability to manage

 

phosphorus in the lake.

 

Ohio Sea Grant College Program - The Ohio State University will receive $9,900 for a project to build complex fish habitat structures in seven (7) of Ohio's clean marinas along Lake Erie's south shore. It is anticipated that these structures will attract more fish and increase angling success for Ohioans.

 

The Lake Erie Protection Fund was established to help finance research and implementation of projects aimed at protecting and restoring the environment, economy and recreational opportunities of Lake Erie and its watershed.

 

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission was established for the purpose of protecting Lake Erie's natural resources, the quality of its waters and ecosystem and promoting economic development in the region. The director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources serves as the commission's chairman. Additional members include the directors of the state departments of Transportation, Health, Development, Agriculture and the Ohio EPA.


Barna to Lead Lake Erie Enforcement Unit

COLUMBUS, OH – Gino Barna, 49, of Port Clinton, has been named supervisor for the Lake Erie Law Enforcement Unit of the Ohio DNR. Barna replaces Kevin Ramsey, who retired in September of 2009.

 

Most recently, Barna served as wildlife officer supervisor for northwest Ohio. He joined ODNR in 1980 as an intern for the Division of Watercraft. He began work with the Division of Wildlife in 1983 as a wildlife investigator and was promoted to field supervisor in 1993. In 1985, he was named Shikar-Safari Wildlife Officer of the Year.

 

“We are pleased to promote Gino Barna to oversee our Lake

Erie law enforcement efforts,” said David M. Graham, chief of the Division of Wildlife. “Gino’s experience will be an asset and we know he will continue to do a fine job for the Ohio Division of Wildlife.”

 

In his new position, Barna will oversee eight wildlife investigators with the primary responsibility to enforce commercial and sport fishing regulations on Lake Erie. Barna is a graduate of Parkway High School in Rockford, Ohio and Muskingum Area Technical College, Zanesville.  He and his wife, Nancy, have two daughters, Melanie and Madisen and a son, Bart.

 


Wisconsin

DNR to reduce service center walk-in counter service hours

MADISON – The Department of Natural Resources will be reducing walk-in service hours at its 30 service centers statewide starting January 4, 2010.

 

“Staying in touch with customers is important to us. Between our customer service specialists in the toll free call center, on-line chats and our local license vendors, we offer customers many ways to buy a license or get questions answered at convenient times and locations,” said Diane Brookbank, Director of DNR’s Customer Service and Licensing.

 

Service centers -- which had been three, four or five days per week -- will be open one, two, three or four days per week from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 4 p.m. (ATTACHED CHART.) DNR’s service center in downtown Madison at 101 S. Webster St. will close to walk-in traffic.

In recent years DNR has worked to offer service options that reflect what the public has come to expect from the marketplace:

 

If you have a question on rules, regulations, or other DNR program, a toll free call center is available seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 1-888-WDNRInfo [1-888-936-7463,] with Hmong and Spanish service also offered.

Customers can visit DNR’s website at dnr.wi.gov (click on “Hunting and Fishing Licenses and Permits”) or call 1-877-945-4236 24/7 to buy a license. Phone callers can, for example, order a fishing license, get a confirmation number, and head out fishing right away.

 

Live on-line chats are available on the DNR Web site 7 a.m. until 9:45 p.m. at dnr.wi.gov, click of “Contact us.”

 


 

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. 

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