Week of January 7, 2013

Beyond the Great Lakes
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
National

Regional

Lake Ontaio

Illinois
Michigan
Minnesota
New York
Ohio
Wisconsin
Ontario
Other Breaking News Items

 

       Weekly News Archives

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       New Product  Archives

Beyond the Great Lakes

New Bass Pro Shops Output store for Georgia

To feature A 300-Acre Nature Park and Adjacent Product Testing/Education Area

Emerson, GA — Bass Pro Shops will open a 100,000 square foot Bass Pro Shops Outpost store in Emerson, Georgia. The new store is targeted to open in 2014 and will be a leading anchor of the recently announced 1,200-acre LakePoint Sporting Community & Town Center located at the Red Mountain and Emerson exits off Interstate 75.

 

The LakePoint Sports Village will be one of the world’s largest and most unique amateur sports complexes and will feature 16 major league sized baseball fields, 14 soccer/lacrosse fields, 16 fast pitch softball and junior baseball fields, a 20 acre wake park, 2 Miracle League fields, and a 100,000 SF indoor facility for gymnastics, wrestling, volleyball, basketball,

 

cheerleading and other sports, as well as 5 million square feet of retail, hotels, restaurants and other amenities.

 

The store will initially generate approximately 200 jobs which will be offered to the many outdoor enthusiasts in the Emerson area.

Approximately 300 acres adjacent to the store will be developed as a nature park and it, as well as the store, will pay tribute to Georgia’s great outdoor heritage. The nature park will also be used for product testing and to host shooting, archery and outdoor activities for kids.

 

Additionally new Bass Pro Shops outdoor stores have been announced for Anchorage, AL, Loveland, CO, Colorado Springs, CO; Atlantic City, NJ; Bristol, TN; Little Rock, AR; Memphis, TN; Bridgeport, CT and Sayreville, NJ


Gander Mountain coming To Tuscaloosa, AL

Gander Mountain announced the fourth store in Alabama, and the 121st nationwide, will open in Tuscaloosa, Ala., in the late spring.

Construction activity has begun on a new 43,000-square-foot facility at 3325 McFarland Blvd East in Tuscaloosa. Long-time residents of the region will know this locale as the former site of Bear Bryant Motors, the

 car dealership owned by the legendary football coach.

 

Those interested in careers with Gander Mountain can explore current opportunities and submit an application on-line at www.GanderMountain.com/careers.


Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

ATK secures Ammo contract with DOJ, FBI

Arlington, Va. - ATK announced that it is being awarded a Fixed Price Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) agreement from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for .40 caliber ammunition. This contract to provide duty and training ammunition features a base of 12 months, includes four option years and has a maximum value of $75 million over the life of the contract.

Speer's Gold Dot Duty ammunition is known for excellent weight retention, reliable feeding and exceptional terminal performance. Speer also offers standard training ammunition and a reduced hazard option (RHT). The Speer RHT round features a frangible projectile that dissipates on contact and is ideal for training indoors and in close quarters.

"We understand and appreciate our customers' needs for highly-

 

specialized duty and training ammunition," said Ron Johnson, President
of ATK's Sporting Group. "Superior performance, accuracy and reliability are the reasons why Gold Dot remains the most trusted pistol ammunition  for law enforcement agencies and departments worldwide. It has been the industry leader for almost two decades because of its toughness and ability to perform when it matters most. We are extremely pleased that our products will be used by these leading agencies directly responsible for protecting and keeping us safe."
 

ATK will produce the ammunition at the Speer facility in Lewiston, Idaho. Deliveries are expected to begin this month.

ATK is an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company with operations in 21 states, Puerto Rico, and internationally. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com.


Cerberus Capital to Sell Freedom Group

Makers of Remington, Bushmaster, DPMS/Panther Arms, Marlin, H&R, etc

Private equity giant Cerberus Capital Management has announced that it will be selling its investments in Freedom Group, an American holding company that includes well-known brands such as Bushmaster and Remington Arms.

 

The decision was in part caused by pressure from the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which stated it was reviewing its $700 million investment in Cerberus on Monday. The firm now intends to sell its shares in Freedom Group immediately and return the capital to investors.

 

Cerberus does not attribute its actions as taking a position in the gun control debate, saying in a statement that: 

"It is apparent that the Sandy Hook tragedy was a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level. As a Firm, we are investors, not statesmen or policy makers. Our role is to make investments on behalf of our clients…It is not our role to take

positions, or attempt to shape or influence the gun control policy debate.

That is the job of our federal and state legislators. There are, however, actions that we as a firm can take."

 

However, Cerberus Capital is run by billionaire and avid hunter Stephen Feinberg and Feinberg’s 86-year-old dad, Martin, lives in Newtown, Conn., site of the massacre, and the announcement comes directly on the heels of the Connecticut school shooting.  According to Reuters, the AR-15 rifle used in the attack was manufactured by Bushmaster, which has been owned by Cerberus since 2006.

 

Founded in the early 1990s by Steven Feinberg and his partner William Richter, Cerberus eventually acquired and consolidated a number of firearm manufacturing companies under the Freedom Group banner, including Remington Arms, one of the oldest and most respected gun makers in the country and Bushmaster Firearms, DPMS/Panther Arms, Marlin, H&R, The Parker Gun, Dakota Arms, Para USA and Barnes Bullets.


National

National Survey shows increase in Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife Recreation

Wildlife-related outdoor recreation increased dramatically from 2006 to 2011.  The national details are shown in the final report of the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

 

Highlights of the Final Report include:

  • More than 90 million U.S. residents 16 years old and older participated in some form of wildlife-related recreation in 2011; that is up 3 percent from five years earlier. The increase was primarily among those who fished and hunted. 

  • Wildlife recreationists spent $144.7 billion in 2011 on their activities, which equated to 1 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.  Of the total amount spent, $49.5 billion was trip-related, $70.4 billion was spent on equipment, and $24.8 billion was spent on other items such as licenses and land leasing and ownership.

  • The number of sportspersons rose from 33.9 million in 2006 to 37.4 million in 2011. The data show that 33.1 million people fished, 13.7 million hunted, and 71.8 million participated in at least one type of wildlife-watching activity such as observing, feeding and photographing wildlife.

Other key findings include:

Fishing and Hunting

  • Of the 13.7 million hunters that took to the field in 2011, 11.6 million hunted big game, 4.5 million hunted small game, 2.6 million hunted migratory birds, and 2.2 million other animals.

  • Of the 33.1 million anglers that fished, 27.5 million freshwater fished and 8.9 million saltwater fished. 

  • While 94% of the U.S. population 16 years of age and older resided in metropolitan areas (50,000 and over populations), 89% of all anglers and 80% of all hunters were metropolitan residents.

  • 73% (24.2 million) of all anglers were male and 27% (8.9 million)

 

were female. 89% (12.2 million) of all hunters were males and 11%     (1.5 million) were females.

Wildlife Watching Highlights

  • 71.8 million U.S. residents observed, fed, and/or photographed birds and other wildlife in 2011. Almost 68.6 million people wildlife watched around their homes, and 22.5 million people took trips of at least one mile from home to primarily wildlife watch.

  • Of the 46.7 million people who observed wild birds, 88% did so around their homes and 38% on trips a mile or more from home.

  • Other types of wildlife also were popular for trip takers: 13.7 million people enjoyed watching land mammals such as bear, squirrel, and buffalo.  4 million people watched marine mammals such as whales and dolphins; 6.4 million enjoyed watching fish; and 10.1 million enjoyed watching other wildlife such as butterflies.

  • People spent $54.9 billion on their wildlife-watching trips, equipment, and other items in 2011.  This amounted to $981 on average per spender for the year.

At the request of state fish and wildlife agencies, the Fish and Wildlife Service has been sponsoring the national survey every five years since 1955. It is viewed as one of the nation’s most important wildlife-related recreation databases and the definitive source of information concerning participation and purchases associated with hunting, fishing and other forms of wildlife-related recreation nationwide.

The U.S. Census Bureau selected over 48,600 households across the country to obtain samples of sportspersons and wildlife watchers for detailed interviews. Information was collected through computer-assisted telephone and in-person interviews.  Starting in December 2012 through May 2013, the State reports will be prepared for release on a rolling basis. The survey is funded by Multi-State Conservation grants under the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs which celebrates 75 years of conservation success in 2012. 


EPA IG to Investigate Agency e-mail practices

CEI Expert Welcomes the Much-Needed Inquiry

WASHINGTON, D.C – Chris Horner, senior fellow on energy and the environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, author of the book “The Liberal War on Transparency” and an attorney who helped CEI sue the EPA for refusing to release public documents, had the following to say about news the agency’s inspector general is looking into its email practices:

oday we learned the Environmental Protection Agency's inspector general has begun an inquiry into a practice of "alias" email accounts for EPA administrators and the false identity assumed by the current administrator, Lisa Jackson ("Richard Windsor").

 

Two full committees and one investigative subcommittee of the House of Representatives have asked several federal agencies, including EPA and the White House, to answer questions regarding this and related revelations in my book “The Liberal War on Transparency.” This also comes after the Department of Justice acknowledged last week 12,000 emails from Lisa Jackson's "secondary" email account that discuss the Obama administration's war on coal, in response to litigation we have filed over this practice.

So far, EPA's talking points have sought to change the subject and

deflect attention from the obvious question: Why the fake identity?

 

We at CEI welcome the inquiry and hope for a credible process and report, but we need to be realistic about the problem. We found out about Lisa Jackson’s false identity only because we stumbled across an obscure EPA memo that admitted the “alias” accounts had been created by former administrator Carol Browner, who ordered her hard drive and backup tapes erased and had her email accounts set on auto-delete. In other words, everything about these accounts, from their origin forward, screamed abuse, and controls were supposedly instituted. EPA promised to address all of this after a Government Accountability Office inquiry. But it has not.

 

All of which tells us systems can always be abused. That’s because it’s not the system but the politicians who name people to positions of authority who then, in turn, seek to abuse that authority. Hopefully the IG and House committees can get to the bottom of this and other deceptive, unlawful and in some cases criminal practices to hide what the Obama administration and its allies are up to and which is revealed in “The Liberal War on Transparency.”


Tide Turning for Boating Industry
The U.S. recreational boating industry began to see the tide turn for new power boat sales with an estimated ten % increase in 2012, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association. Early projections indicate the industry will see additional increases in 2013 by as much as 5-10 %.

This level of growth in 2013 will depend on a number of factors including continued improvement in economic conditions that impact recreational boating—namely consumer confidence and the housing market—and sustained increases in Americans’ participation in outdoor recreation.


Regional

Zequanox controls Zebra Mussels in Illinois Lake

A study at Deep Quarry Lake showed more than 97 % mortality of invasive mussels after applying Zequanox within barrier systems at three separate locations

 

Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI) a provider of natural pest management products for water and agriculture applications, announced that Zequanox® was highly effective at controlling invasive zebra mussels in Deep Quarry Lake located in DuPage County, Il.

 

Zequanox, the industry’s only environmentally compatible molluscicide, was applied within barrier systems in three locations throughout the lake. Results showed that treated sites experienced an average mussel mortality of 97.1 % compared with 11.2 % mortality in the control (i.e., untreated) sites.

 

In the study, funded in part through a grant from the Illinois DNR, three sets of paired treatment and control sites were set up within the lake to evaluate the effectiveness of Zequanox. Zequanox was so effective at controlling the invasive mussels that the study concluded after just one month. The study also showed that the application of Zequanox had no impact on water quality and no adult or juvenile fish mortality was observed 24 hours after product application.

 

“Zequanox has proven to be a powerful tool for controlling invasive mussels in 'in-pipe' applications such as cooling water systems. This study shows the product can be equally as effective in open waters,” said MBI Director of Water Technologies Sarahann M. Rackl, Ph.D., P.E. “This successful study represents MBI’s next step in our commercialization efforts for Zequanox in natural water bodies, and we’re excited about expanding into this new market, where there are currently no other environmentally compatible treatment options.”

Zebra mussels were first discovered in Deep Quarry Lake in 2009 and have since developed a well-established population within the lake. Because of their ability to reproduce quickly and in large numbers, invasive mussels can rapidly take over water systems they invade, outcompeting native species for food and space. Invasive mussels also clog boat engine intake systems, causing the motors to overheat, and coat boat hulls, resulting in costly damage to paints and coatings. In addition, their thin, sharp shells cause painful cuts and wounds, and when the shells of deceased mussels wash ashore, they can ruin recreational beach areas. Currently, there are no commercially viable alternatives for treating invasive mussels in open water bodies without harming other species.

 

“We are very pleased with the outcome of this study. The mortality rates as a result of Zequanox applications were impressive and the use of anchored barriers proved to be a an excellent method to isolate and treat mussels within specific areas of the lake,” said John “Ole” Oldenburg, director, Office of Natural Resources, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.

 

The study was implemented in partnership with the Illinois DNR, Southern Illinois U, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, PLM Lake and Land Management (PLM) and Marrone Bio Innovations.

 

Additional open water testing with Zequanox was performed earlier this year by the US Geological Service in collaboration with scientists from New York State Museum at Lake Carlos, MN and Lake Shawano, WI. Further testing will be conducted in early 2013. EPA approval for using Zequanox in natural water systems is currently in process.

 

 


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for Jan 4, 2013

WEATHER CONDITIONS

During the Month of December, the Lake Superior basin received below average precipitation, while Michigan-Huron and Erie were near average and the Lake Ontario basin was above average. The entire Great Lakes basins received some trace amounts of precipitation this past week and temperatures were near their seasonal averages. There is a chance of lake effect snow near the lakes this weekend while much of the region will remain dry. High pressure and slightly warmer temperatures are forecasted to dominate the majority of next week.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

The water level of Lake Superior is 1 inch below its level from one year ago, while Lake Michigan-Huron is 17 inches lower. Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 20, 23, and 15 inches, respectively, lower than their levels of a year ago. Over the next month, Lake Superior is forecasted to drop 3 inches from its current level while Lake Michigan-Huron is expected to fall 1 inch. The water levels of Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie are expected to remain at their current levels in the next month. Lake Ontario is predicted to rise 1 inch over the next thirty days.

FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior's outflow through the St. Marys River is projected to be below average for the month of January. Lake Huron's outflow into the St. Clair River and the outflow from Lake St. Clair into the Detroit River are .

also expected to be below average throughout the month of January. Lake

Erie's outflow through the Niagara River and the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River are predicted to be below average in January

ALERTS

Official records are based on monthly average water levels and not daily water levels. Lake Superior and Lake Michigan-Huron are below chart datum. Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels. Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for Jan 4

600.4

576

572.6

570.2

243.9

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

-8

-18

+4

+12

+7

Diff last month

-3

-2

0

0

+4

Diff from last yr

-1

-17

-20

-23

-15


Lake Ontario

Lake Herring to be stocked Into Lake Ontario

Lake herring will be stocked into Irondequoit Bay on Lake Ontario, the New York State DEC announced. Until the mid 1950s, Lake Ontario was home to a diverse group of whitefish that included as many as seven species that occupied varying depths of the lake.

 

Only three species are known to remain, the lake whitefish, round whitefish and lake herring. The abundance and distribution of these species in the lake is now greatly reduced. DEC recently announced the first re-introduction of the bloater, a deep water form of whitefish, into Lake Ontario. Lake herring occupy and spawn in shallower water relative to the bloater, and spawn earlier in winter.

 

"We recognize the economic and ecological importance of Lake Ontarios fisheries," said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. "Re-establishing spawning populations of lake herring in Lake Ontario will diversify the native prey fish community and add stability to the lake’s ecosystem."

Re-establishing self-sustaining populations of native whitefishes in Lake Ontario is the focus of cooperative efforts between DEC, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, with supporting research conducted by The Nature Conservancy.

 

Trout and salmon that feed primarily on invasive alewife can experience

 

reproductive failure due to a vitamin B deficiency. Predators that feed on 

native species like lake herring and bloater are less likely to experience reproductive failure.

 

Michael Morencie, Director of the Fish and Wildlife Services Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, said, Ontario has a strong commitment to restoring native species in Lake Ontario. This stocking event represents another pivotal benchmark in our efforts to restore native species diversity in the lake.

 

Lake herring were once an important prey fish in Lake Ontario, and supported important commercial fisheries that collapsed in the early 1950s largely due to over-harvest. In New York waters of Lake Ontario, lake herring historically spawned in Irondequoit Bay, Sodus Bay, the Sandy Pond, and Chaumont Bay. Ongoing research has documented current lake herring spawning only in Chaumont Bay.

 

The juvenile lake herring that will be stocked this week originated from eggs collected by DEC staff in Chaumont Bay during November and December 2011. Lake herring eggs were hatched and juveniles reared at the USGS Tunison Laboratory of Aquatic Sciences in Cortland, NY. Irondequoit Bay is adjacent to the Rochester Area of Concern (AOC), and is the focus of international efforts to restore habitats and human uses impacted by historic chemical contamination.


1985 – 2012 Lake Ontario Fishing Boat Survey

Preliminary Summary for April 15 - September 30, 2012

Since 1985, NYSDEC surveyed boats operating in New York waters of Lake Ontario’s main basin from April through September. The data collected are used to manage Lake Ontario’s multi-million dollar trout and salmon fishery and provide valuable data on other fish species.

 

Preliminary results indicate Lake Ontario anglers experienced the 4th consecutive year of the best total trout and salmon fishing (i.e. 10th consecutive year of the highest Chinook salmon catch rates, 5th consecutive year of the highest rainbow trout catch rates, the 2nd and 3rd best years for brown trout and Coho salmon fishing, and the 2nd consecutive year of lake trout catch rates comparable to those observed through much of the 1990s).

 

Fishing Effort

Estimated fishing effort from April 15-September 30 (56,182 boat trips) was a 19.4% decrease compared to the previous 5-year average (2007-11; Fig. 1). Boats targeting trout and salmon accounted for 46,059 boat trips (82.0% of all fishing trips) which was the lowest estimated in the 28-year data series, but similar to estimates observed since the late-1990s. The low effort directed at trout and salmon is attributable to relatively lower effort during the second half of April and during the month of August. Fishing effort directed at smallmouth bass declined from the early 2000s through 2010.

 

Fig 1 - Seasonal estimates of total fishing effort

 

Effort remained at a low but stable level since. From the start of the traditional bass season, there were an estimated 6,203 boat trips targeting bass (11% of all fishing trips), the 2nd lowest on record (Fig. 1). Since an October 1, 2006 regulation change, anglers have been permitted to catch and release smallmouth bass prior to the start of the traditional open season that begins the 3rd Saturday of June. In 2012, estimated smallmouth bass fishing effort during the pre-season catch and release period remained low, and similar to recent years (521 boat trips April 15-June 15, 2012).

 

Trout and Salmon Catch, Harvest and Fishing Quality

 The estimated trout and salmon catch (196,625 fish) and harvest (107,456 fish) were comparable to previous 5-year averages (+5.9% and +5.6%, respectively) and were 22.0% and 18.5% increases compared to previous 10-year averages, respectively (Fig. 2). Chinook salmon dominated salmonine catch (88,828 fish, 45.2% of total catch) and harvest (55,114 fish, 51.3% of total harvest). Brown trout was the second most commonly caught (39,507 fish, 20.1% of total catch) and harvested (23,305 fish, 21.7% of total harvest) salmonine species in 2012. The remaining total trout and salmon catch consisted of 16.8% rainbow trout, 11.3% lake trout, 6.4 % Coho salmon, and 0.3% Atlantic salmon.

 

Fig 2-Total trout and salmon catch, 1985-2012

 

Trout and salmon fishing quality, as measured by catch rate (4.3 fish per boat trip), was the second highest observed (2011 was highest) and was 24.3% above the previous 5-year average (Fig. 2). Near record catch rates for Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, brown trout, and rainbow trout, and continued improved catch rates for lake trout and Atlantic salmon resulted in excellent fishing quality in 2012. Monthly salmonine catch rates were above their respective 2007-11 averages during April (+118.8%), May (+11.9%), June (+27.2%), August (+34.7%), and September (+16.3%), and was comparable to the respective average in July (+1.2%). Total trout and salmon harvest rate (2.3 fish per boat trip) was the highest recorded (Fig. 2).

 

Chinook salmon

Chinook salmon catch rates have been at or near record levels for ten consecutive years. Estimated 2012 Chinook salmon catch rate for was the 2nd highest estimated (1.9 fish per boat trip) and was approximately 3-fold higher than the 1985-2002 average catch rate (0.6 fish per boat trip; Fig. 3). Fishing quality for Chinook salmon was the highest on record.

 

Fig 3-Chinook salmon catch, 1985-2012

 

Coho Salmon

The coho salmon catch rate (0.27 fish per boat trip) and harvest rate (0.18 fish per boat trip) were the 3rd and 4th highest observed, respectively (Fig. 4). Monthly coho salmon catch and harvest rates were at or below average in April and June, but were among the highest estimated for May, July, August, and September.

 

Fig 4-Coho Salmon catch, 1985-2012

 

Rainbow Trout

For the 5th consecutive year, therainbow trout catch rate (0.72 fish per boat trip in 2012) remained at record high levels (Fig. 5).

Fig 5-Rainbow trout catch, 1985-2012

Record and near record catch rates occurred each month June through August. Only 38.3% of rainbow trout caught in 2012 were harvested which was the lowest in the data series. Consequently, the rainbow trout harvest rate (0.27 fish per boat trip) was a 23.8% decrease compared to the previous 5-year average and was comparable to the long-term (+1.7%; 1985-2011) average.

 

Brown Trout

The 2012 seasonal brown trout catch rate (0.85 fish per boat trip; 2nd highest) and harvest rate (0.51 fish per boat trip; 3rd highest) were among the highest observed in the 28-year data series (Fig. 6). The April catch rate of brown trout (4.5 fish per boat trip) was the highest in the data series for that time period. Catch rates were well above average in May (+20.7%) and July (+58.8%). The August and September rates were the 2nd highest (+130.6% above the long-term August average) and highest (+193.9% above the long term September average) recorded for those months, respectively.

 

Fig 6-Brown trout, 1985-2012

 

Lake Trout

Lake trout catch rate (0.48 fish per boat trip) remained comparable to 2011 (- 1.8%), but was nearly 3.9 times higher than the 2007 record low (0.12 fish per boat trip; Fig. 7). Harvest rate of lake trout (0.17 fish per boat trip in 2012) increased for the 5th consecutive year and was nearly 4-fold higher than the 2007 harvest rate. Record low catch rates observed in recent years are likely due to excellent fishing for other salmonines coinciding with low lake trout abundance. The annual September lake trout gill netting assessment indicated improved status of the lake trout population in recent years. The increased angler catch of lake trout the last two years is attributed to an increase in the lake trout population.

 

Anglers experienced some of the highest April and May lake trout catch rates recorded.

Fig 7-Lake trout catch, 1985-2012

 

Atlantic Salmon

Catch and harvest of Atlantic salmon in the boat fishery are rare, and estimates from 1995- 2008 were the lowest observed in the survey (i.e. catch and harvest estimates below 600 and 250, respectively). From 2009-2012, occurrences of Atlantic salmon in angler catch were the highest observed since the early 1990s. In 2012, although estimated catch was only 592 fish, the catch rate of Atlantic salmon was 2.6 times

higher than the 1995-2008 average rate. The cause(s) of the increased Atlantic salmon catch in recent years are not clear, however, recent natural reproduction occurring in the Salmon River and recent increased stocking levels by Canada may be contributing factors.

 

Smallmouth Bass Catch, Harvest and Fishing Quality

Smallmouth bass fishing quality in 2012 (in areas outside of the Eastern Basin) remained well below average (Fig. 8). The 2012 traditional season estimates (June 16- September 30) of catch (20,636 bass) and harvest (5,030 bass) were 82.8% and 22.7% increases compared to the 2010 record lows. The 2012 bass catch rate (3.3 bass per bass boat trip) was approximately 1.7-fold higher than in 2010 (1.9 bass per boat trip); however, was less than a quarter of the 2002 record high (14.1 bass caught per boat trip).

 

Lake Ontario’s bass fishery remains poor with the lowest catch rates in the 28-year data series occurring 2005-2012.  During 2012, catch and catch rate remained very low; however, the declining trend that occurred over several consecutive years (2003-2010; in 2010 1.9 SMB were caught per boat trip targeting SMB) ended a couple of years ago.   The 2012 bass catch rate (3.3 SMB caught per boat trip targeting SMB) was only slightly higher than what was determined in 2011 (3.2 SMB per boat trip).   Although catch rates improved, the quality of the fishery remains poor when compared to the 1998-2003 time period when SMB anglers caught approximately 11.7-14.1 SMB per boat trip (annual rates).   During the 2012 Fishing Boat Survey, we did interview some anglers who experienced good bass catch rates and we received anecdotal reports from others who said the same. 

Fig 8-Smallmouth bass catch, 1985-2012

 

Yellow Perch Harvest

Estimated catch of yellow perch (35,770 fish in 2012) declined an average of 53.5% from the highs observed during 2007-2011 (Fig. 9). Yellow perch harvest (16,635 fish) also declined relative to the previous 5-year average (-48.4%). Yellow perch estimates in this survey are highly variable because relatively few boats target yellow perch, catch and harvest among these boats is highly variable, and the probability of interviewing perch anglers is low.

Fig 9-ellow perch catch and harvest, 1985-2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Illinois

Zequanox controls Zebra Mussels in Illinois Lake

A study at Deep Quarry Lake showed more than 97 % mortality of invasive mussels after applying Zequanox within barrier systems at three separate locations

 

Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI) a provider of natural pest management products for water and agriculture applications, announced that Zequanox® was highly effective at controlling invasive zebra mussels in Deep Quarry Lake located in DuPage County, Il.

 

Zequanox, the industry’s only environmentally compatible molluscicide, was applied within barrier systems in three locations throughout the lake. Results showed that treated sites experienced an average mussel mortality of 97.1 % compared with 11.2 % mortality in the control (i.e., untreated) sites.

 

In the study, funded in part through a grant from the Illinois DNR, three sets of paired treatment and control sites were set up within the lake to evaluate the effectiveness of Zequanox. Zequanox was so effective at controlling the invasive mussels that the study concluded after just one month. The study also showed that the application of Zequanox had no impact on water quality and no adult or juvenile fish mortality was observed 24 hours after product application.

 

“Zequanox has proven to be a powerful tool for controlling invasive mussels in 'in-pipe' applications such as cooling water systems. This study shows the product can be equally as effective in open waters,” said MBI Director of Water Technologies Sarahann M. Rackl, Ph.D., P.E. “This successful study represents MBI’s next step in our commercialization efforts for Zequanox in natural water bodies, and we’re excited about expanding into this new market, where there are currently no other environmentally compatible treatment options.”

Zebra mussels were first discovered in Deep Quarry Lake in 2009 and have since developed a well-established population within the lake. Because of their ability to reproduce quickly and in large numbers, invasive mussels can rapidly take over water systems they invade, outcompeting native species for food and space. Invasive mussels also clog boat engine intake systems, causing the motors to overheat, and coat boat hulls, resulting in costly damage to paints and coatings. In addition, their thin, sharp shells cause painful cuts and wounds, and when the shells of deceased mussels wash ashore, they can ruin recreational beach areas. Currently, there are no commercially viable alternatives for treating invasive mussels in open water bodies without harming other species.

 

“We are very pleased with the outcome of this study. The mortality rates as a result of Zequanox applications were impressive and the use of anchored barriers proved to be a an excellent method to isolate and treat mussels within specific areas of the lake,” said John “Ole” Oldenburg, director, Office of Natural Resources, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.

 

The study was implemented in partnership with the Illinois DNR, Southern Illinois U, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, PLM Lake and Land Management (PLM) and Marrone Bio Innovations.

 

Additional open water testing with Zequanox was performed earlier this year by the US Geological Service in collaboration with scientists from New York State Museum at Lake Carlos, MN and Lake Shawano, WI. Further testing will be conducted in early 2013. EPA approval for using Zequanox in natural water systems is currently in process.

 

 


Michigan

Guided snowshoe hikes at Porcupine Mountains State Park

Offered Saturdays in January

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, located on the south shore of Lake Superior near Silver City in Ontonagon County, is offering guided snowshoe hikes on Saturdays in January.

 

Through a new partnership between the park and Gogebic Community College, participants will be able to take a ski lift up and then snowshoe down the east side of the ski area on January 5, 12, 19 and 26. The group will stop at East Vista to take in the view, then trek through untouched snow on the way down. Participants are encouraged to bring a camera on this picturesque hike.

 

The hikes are 1.5 - 2 hours in length and of moderate difficulty, although

participants of all skill levels are welcome. Participants should meet at 1

p.m. at the log cabin between the open slope and the chalet near the ski hill. A map is available online with directions.

 

Snowshoes are available for use at the park for participants who do not have their own; anyone who needs to borrow snowshoes should plan to arrive early.  If the weather is not favorable for snowshoeing, the event may be canceled. Please call the park at 906-885-5206 to inquire about possible cancellations.

 

For more information on winter recreation opportunities at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, call 906-885-5275 or visit www.mi.gov/porkies.   This event is free; however a Recreation Passport is required for entry to the park.


Sturgeon season on Black Lake begins Feb. 2

The Michigan DNR has announced that the 2013 lake sturgeon fishing and spearing season on Black Lake (Cheboygan County) will begin at 8 AM. on Saturday, Feb. 2. All anglers must register to participate in the lake sturgeon season.

 

The 2013 angler registration process will be similar to what was enacted in 2012. Anglers need to only register once for the entire season. An early registration will be held at the DNR Onaway Field Station from 2 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1. This station is located approximately five miles north of Onaway on Route 211. Anglers can pick up their spearing identification flags at this time and learn more about season logistics and sturgeon populations from the DNR.

 

Anglers unable to participate in the Friday registration may register at either the entrance booth to Onaway State Park or at a registration trailer at Zolner Rd ending on Black Lake. Morning registration begins at 7 AM each day of the season. Anglers are highly encouraged to register on Friday, Feb. 1.

 

The 2013 total harvest limit for the state of Michigan is six sturgeon. However, to reduce the chance of exceeding the harvest limit, officials will close the season if one of two scenarios occurs:

1)    Once the sixth fish is harvested, or

2)    If five fish have been harvested at the end of any fishing day.

Anglers 17 years of age or older must possess a valid all-species fishing license. In addition, all anglers must possess a lake sturgeon tag, available for free from all license vendors. Anglers must have both of these prior to registering for the Black Lake sturgeon season. 

 

Fishing hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day of the season. The season will either end at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 6, or when one of the above scenarios is met, at which point anglers will be notified on the ice by DNR personnel that they must immediately stop fishing for lake sturgeon.

 

Anglers will be issued a disposable flag at registration that must be displayed at the entrance of the angler’s shanty each day.

 

Anglers that harvest a lake sturgeon must tag the fish immediately and contact an on-ice DNR employee and register the fish at the Zolner Road trailer registration site on Black Lake. Registration may include an examination of internal organs and removal of a piece of fin tissue for DNA analysis and aging. 

 

Recent changes in registration logistics were developed to allow greater participation by anglers while protecting the population of lake sturgeon in Black Lake from overharvest. For more info: Call Gaylord Operations Service Center, 989-732-3541 www.michigan.gov/fishing


Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program Feb 22-24

Women seeking the opportunity to improve their outdoor skills are invited to register for the 12th annual Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) winter program in the Upper Peninsula. The program will be held in Big Bay the weekend of February 22-24.

 

Sponsored by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, this BOW workshop offers instruction in more than a dozen kinds of indoor and outdoor activities, including cross-country skiing, dog sledding, ice fishing, fly tying, wilderness first aid, wood burning and more. Instructors provide basic and advanced instruction that is tailored to each participant's individual ability.

 

The program takes place at Bay Cliff Health Camp, a universally accessible facility, located in a picturesque wooded setting overlooking Lake Superior approximately 30 miles north of Marquette.

The $180 registration fee includes all food and lodging, as well as most equipment and supplies. Participants will be housed in a dorm-style facility with amenities including a sauna and hiking trails with access to Lake Superior.

 

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshops are for women, 18 and older, who wish to learn outdoor skills in a relaxed, noncompetitive atmosphere. The winter BOW program also includes special evening activities during the weekend event.

 

Registration deadline is Monday, Feb. 4, but early registration is recommended as the program fills quickly each year. Class information and registration materials are available online at www.michigan.gov/bow, and payments may now be made online as well. For more information, contact Sharon Pitz at the DNR office in Marquette at 906-228-6561 or email pitzs@michigan.gov.


Ludington Regional Fishery Workshop Jan 12

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The annual Michigan Sea Grant Ludington Fishery Workshop will be held on Saturday, January 12, 2013 9:00 - 3:30 p.m. at the Comfort Inn & Suites in Pentwater.  Registration information and a complete agenda is here: Registration and Agenda  Please note changes in location and registration. 

 

Last year’s workshop focused on options for reducing lakewide predation on forage fish. At this year’s workshop Jay Wesley of MDNR will discuss

the final lakewide plan to reduce predation and present a port-by-port

overview for stocking reductions in Michigan waters.

 

Topics will include:

Chinook Salmon Stocking Strategy and Tactical Plan

Great Lakes Observation System (GLOS)

2012 Great Lakes Basin Charter Fishing Study

 

Questions, call: 616-994-4544.  For more information, map and to register:  Registration and Agenda


Minnesota

Bubble, sound and light barrier feasible as Asian carp deterrent
To be built at Lock and Dam #1 in Minneapolis

A new report commissioned by the Minnesota DNR has concluded that an Asian carp barrier using sound, bubbles and lights would be the most viable option to deter invasive fish from moving past Lock and Dam #1 in Minneapolis.

The DNR recently contracted with Barr Engineering Co. to evaluate options for an Asian carp deterrent barrier at the lock and dam on the Mississippi River. The report specifically examined what type of barrier could be used within the lock chamber, which allows commercial and recreational boats and barges to move upstream.

 

The chief advantage of a lock barrier is that it does not need to block fish passage across the entire river, but to deflect fish away from the smaller opening at the lock.  The goal is to prevent the fish from using the lock chamber to gain access to the upper reaches of the river, which connects to other rivers and lakes.

 

While an electric barrier inserted into the water would be the most effective technology for carp deterrence, the Barr report concluded it is not a feasible option due to significant public safety risks and corrosion to metal components of the lock.

 

The report also states that it is highly unlikely that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would approve an electric barrier at the lock. 

A safer and less damaging alternative would involve a barrier using sound, air bubbles and lights. Together, these technologies will deter fish and pose lower risks, but may not be as effective as electricity. The sound, air bubble and light barrier would be considered experimental because such

barrier has never been tested in an environment similar to a lock chamber.
 

The DNR’s recommendation to policymakers is that the state should proceed with the design and construction of the sound, air bubble and light deterrent barrier at Lock and Dam #1.

 

The estimated construction cost for such a system is $12 million, though due to uncertainties in the final design and construction, the cost could be as high as $19 million. The estimated annual operation and maintenance cost is up to $250,000.  The Minnesota Legislature approved a $7.5 million appropriation from the Outdoor Heritage Fund to design and construct Asian carp barriers, of which $5.6 million is allocated to design and construct the barrier at Lock & Dam #1. Of that amount, DNR anticipates needing about $1 million for the design, leaving $4.6 million for construction.

 

Based on the range of cost estimates and schedule, an additional $8 million to $15 million will be needed to complete the barrier and operate it through the next biennium.  Asian carp have been found in Minnesota waters of the Mississippi River, but there is no evidence yet that they are reproducing here. The DNR is concerned about the voracious-eating fish moving upstream beyond the Twin Cities to lakes and smaller rivers.

 

The fish are capable of eating 5 to 20 % of their body weight each day. Asian carp feed on algae and other microscopic organisms, often outcompeting for food with native fish. Scientists believe the fish could severely disrupt the aquatic ecosystems of Minnesota waters. In other states, Asian carp have become up to 80 percent of the fish biomass in rivers, displacing numerous other game and non-game species.


Winter stream trout fishing in BWCAW now open

A 2012 Legislative change in fishing regulations will allow winter stream trout fishing on all lakes entirely within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) to open earlier, according to the Minnesota DNR.

 

Stream trout angling opened Dec. 29 and close on March 31, 2013, for all lakes entirely within the BWCAW boundary. This is the same as the lake trout season for lakes within the BWCAW.  Stream trout are defined as splake, brook, brown and rainbow trout. The possession limit remains unchanged, at five, with not more than three fish longer than 16"

The 2012 Minnesota Fishing Regulations handbook was printed prior to this rule change. Stream trout anglers should note the dates on page 28 are incorrect for lakes within the BWCAW. The dates for winter lake trout and stream trout fishing in lakes outside or partially outside the BWCAW are correctly listed as Jan. 12, 2013 - March 31, 2013.

 

For more info: www.mndnr.gov/regulations  or visit www.mndnr.gov/fishing/trout_lakes .

 


Southeast trout streams offer alternative to ice fishing

If the thought of sitting around and staring through a hole in the ice doesn’t exactly jibe with the idea of fishing, take heart -- there’s an alternative even in the coldest part of the year.

 

Winter trout fishing opens on Jan. 1 and continues through March 31 on about 135 miles of trout water on 38 stream reaches in southeastern Minnesota. Fed by warmer groundwater, many streams there remain relatively ice free all winter, and the trout living in these streams more often than not cooperate with anglers to provide excellent winter fishing opportunities, said DNR Lanesboro Area Fisheries Manager Steve Klotz.

 

While the trout are willing to bite, the weather can bite as well this time of the year, Klotz noted.  Best days are often when the air temperature climbs into the 20s. “It’s more a function of keeping your equipment from freezing up, and not so much that the trout are just being tight lipped,” he

said. “Explore some water that you haven’t fished and you might find a   

new favorite stream.”

 

The winter southeastern stream season is catch-and-release only. While DNR fisheries staff is proposing a season change that would open all southeastern trout streams to winter angling, only those streams specifically identified in the 2012 fishing regulations booklet will be open this year. Specific stream information also is available at www.mndnr.gov.

 

This winter’s trout season may find DNR fisheries staff conducting an angler survey. Anglers may find a postcard questionnaire on their vehicle at the end of a day’s fishing, or they may encounter a clerk asking a few questions.  “The information we gather from anglers is important,” Klotz said. “It helps resource managers evaluate current management activities and consider future possibilities such as opening trout angling year round.”


DNR urges snowmobile safety

Recent snowfall will likely bring out more Minnesota snowmobilers and that means there’s an increased chance of an accident, according to the Minnesota DNR.
 
There were six snowmobile-related deaths in Minnesota during the 2012 snowmobile season. That compares to 13 fatalities in 2011 and 19 fatalities in 2010. The usual causes of snowmobile accidents are operator inexperience, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and high speeds.
 
“Snowmobiles can travel as fast, or faster, than an automobile, and require every bit as much or more experience to operate,” said Capt. Mike Hammer, DNR enforcement education program coordinator. The speed limit for all snowmobile trails and public lands and waters is 50 miles per hour.  Hammer noted that today’s sleds can easily do 70, if not 100, miles per hour. Unfortunately, they don’t stop like a vehicle or offer the same protection.  “Speed kills and that is a fact with snowmobiles,” said Hammer.

 

Going too fast can also cause snowmobile drivers to "overdrive" their snowmobile's headlight. Even at 30 miles per hour, it can take a much longer distance to stop on ice than the headlight shines. Many fatal snowmobile through-the-ice accidents occur because the machine was traveling too fast for the operator to stop when the headlamp finally illuminated the hole in the ice.

 

Snowmobilers also need to be alert on all trails. They might not realize

 

trails go over ponds or lakes where the ice might not be formed yet.

Many accidents also happen when snowmobiles collide with fixed objects such as trees, fences, stumps, rocks, logs and culverts. Often these objects are partially or completely hidden by snow. Snowmobilers sometimes hit one of these before they see it.

 

“Always be on the lookout for hidden wires, especially in areas that may have been farmed at one time or another,” Hammer said. “Too many accidents have been caused by running into wires in fields, guide wires next to poles and roads, barbed wire and chains used as road closures. Particularly in unfamiliar areas, you must drive at a speed which will allow you to stop quickly.”

 

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, students learn about the machine, laws, safe operation, ethics of the sport and how to avoid the most common causes of snowmobile accidents, Hammer said.  DNR snowmobile safety courses can be completed by either attending a snowmobile safety training course from a DNR-certified instructor or by CD.

 

To obtain the Snowmobile Safety Training CD, or general info: 651-296-6157, toll-free 888-646-6367, 800-366-8917 info.dnr@state.mn.us.

 


DNR urges snowmobile safety kits for kids

It’s important to give youngsters a safety training program offered by the DNR.  “DNR outdoor education safety training programs teach responsibility at an early age,” said Capt. Mike Hammer, DNR enforcement education program coordinator. “Safety is the best gift you can give your youngster this holiday season. And what better way to do that than by enrolling your son or daughter in one of the DNR’s many safety program offerings.”

 

According to Hammer, children enjoy outdoor sports and activities because they are fun, challenging and safe, but it’s up to the parents to decide if the youngster is mature enough for shooting sports or operating a motorized recreational vehicle. It is also up to parents to decide if they themselves are prepared to teach safe firearm handling or safe

recreational vehicle operation.

 

“Keep in mind that kids will be kids, and take that into account when buying a firearm, ATV, snowmobile or any other type of outdoor recreational gift,” Hammer said. “You know how well your child follows directions and handles responsibility. You know if your child is mature enough to be mindful of his or her own safety and the safety of others.”

 

Programs can include snowmobile safety CD training courses, ATV CDs, a boat and water safety packet, off-highway motorcycle CDs and off-road vehicle CDs. All course materials are free by contacting the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free, 888-646-6367 or info.dnr@state.mn.us.  Free hunter education courses and class locations can be found on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov.


DNR seeks comments on trout, sturgeon, & other fisheries

Interested citizens have until Monday, Feb. 11, to comment on Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) plans to provide more angler opportunity for trout and sturgeon, and protect flathead catfish during winter and to make changes to some other fisheries rules.

 

  • For trout, DNR is considering rules that:

  • Simplify trout fishing regulations in southeastern Minnesota by dropping the barbless hook restriction; research has demonstrated that hooking mortality is not significantly greater with a barb.

  • Extend the end of the fall catch-and-release season on all designated trout streams in SE Minnesota from Sept. 30 to Oct. 15.

  •  Allow catch-and-release angling on designated trout streams in some southeastern Minnesota state parks from Oct. 15 to Dec. 31.

  • Open some lakes in Becker, Beltrami, Cass, Crow Wing and Hubbard counties to winter trout fishing.

 

Prompted by the successful recovery efforts of the sturgeon populations in the Red, Rainy, St. Croix and St. Louis rivers, DNR is considering the

 

possibility of a catch-and-release sturgeon season on water bodies not currently open to sturgeon fishing.

 

DNR is considering possibly closing the taking of flathead catfish in winter. Because it takes many years for flathead to grow to trophy size of 50 pounds or more, these fish easily could be overharvested when lethargic in cold weather.

 

Other possible changes could place some restrictions on smelt harvest in Pine County’s Grindstone Lake and implement additional whitefish netting restrictions to better control the possibility of spreading invasive species.

 

DNR is seeking initial public comments on these ideas so that those comments can be considered and used to help inform DNR fisheries staff about how to move forward.

 

Comments, questions and requests for more information and the proposals should be directed to Linda Erickson-Eastwood at 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, 55155-4020, or call 651-259-5206, or:   www.mndnr.gov/input/rules/fisheries/se-mn-trout.html.


Fish shelter identification required

Ice conditions on Minnesota waterways may vary, but all fish shelters must have proper identification, according to conservation officers with the Minnesota DNR.

 

DNR reminds ice anglers and others that shelters placed on the ice of Minnesota waters must have either the owner’s complete name and address, a driver’s license number, or the nine-digit DNR number on the license of the owner plainly and legibly displayed on the outside of the shelter, in letters and figures at least two inches high.

 

Other shelter regulations include:

• Shelter may not be left unattended any time between midnight and one hour prior to sunrise unless the shelter is licensed. (The Department of Public Safety requires registration of trailers used to haul fish houses or dark houses and enclosed trailers or recreational trailers used for fishing. Trailer registration is available from a deputy registrar.)

• A tag, furnished with a license, must be attached to the exterior in a visible location.

• Shelters left on the ice overnight need to have at least two square inches of reflective material on each side of the house.

• People may not erect a shelter within 10 feet of an existing shelter.

 

• A shelter license is not required on border waters with Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota.

• Shelters must comply with the identification requirements of the state in which angler is licensed

• Shelters may be used for fishing within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), but must be removed from the ice each night. The structure must be removed from the BWCAW each time the occupant leaves the BWCAW.

 

Shelter owners are also reminded to take appropriate steps to keep their houses from freezing onto ice surfaces. With seasonal thawing and cooling, it is not uncommon for shelter contact points to become frozen to the ice, providing challenges when it comes to moving or removing the shelters.

 

A common method used to prevent freezing is to place blocks under the shelter contact points. Ice anglers are reminded that blocks placed under shelters must be removed and cannot be left on frozen waters. An easy way to remove a frozen ice block is with a long handled maul or a splitting maul. A couple of clean strikes will easily free frozen blocks.

 


DNR urges anglers who use frozen bait to review new regulations

The Minnesota DNR urges anglers who fish with frozen or imported dead bait to review regulations that govern the use of emerald shiners, spottail shiners, bluntnose minnows and other popular baitfish that are susceptible to the fish-killing disease VHS.

 

“In an effort to prevent the spread of VHS in Minnesota waters, additional regulations went into effect in the spring of 2012 that address the harvest and use of VHS susceptible species as frozen bait,” said Paula Phelps, DNR aquaculture and fish health consultant. “VHS is a highly contagious and pathogenic fish virus emerging in the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada.”

Anglers purchasing dead or frozen VHS susceptible or imported bait from a vendor should only purchase packages affixed with a label stating that the bait will not pose a threat of VHS to Minnesota waters. Anglers are required to keep the label with the bait until it is used up or discarded.

 

It is illegal for anyone to bring live bait into the state at any time.

Nonresident anglers need to be aware of these rules and either buy their bait when they get to their fishing destination or ensure that their imported dead bait is affixed with the required label.

“Minnesota offers some of the best fishing in the nation,” said Phelps. “Anglers can help keep it that way by complying with the rules that prevent the spread of fish disease. With VHS present in the Great Lakes, especially Lake Superior, preventing inland spread is a high priority.”

 

DNR also reminds anglers that when ice fishing, portable bait containers (except on waters designated infested with VHS) are no longer required to be drained before leaving the waterbody as is required during the open water seasons.

 

The most current list of designated infested waters can be viewed online at www.mndnr.gov/ais. Information about VHS is available at www.focusonfishhealth.org. More information on bait rules and regulations can be found in the 2012 Minnesota Fishing Regulations booklet or by visiting www.mndnr.gov/regulations.


New York

Crossbow Law expired December 31, 2012

Use of crossbows now unlawful for Big Game Hunting

The provisions in the Environmental Conservation Law that allow the use of crossbows for big game hunting, as well as eliminate a permit requirement for hunters with physical disabilities to use special archery equipment during any big game or small game hunting season, expired on December 31, 2012, the New York State DEC said .

 

Legislation allowing the use of crossbows during certain big game hunting seasons in September 2010 took effect on February 1, 2011. This allowed licensed hunters to use a crossbow during the 2011 and 2012 big game hunting seasons.  The immediate effect of the law expiring is that big game hunters will not be able to use a crossbow during the January 2013 deer hunting season in Suffolk County, or during a special January 2013 deer hunting season established in the designated “Deer Management

Focus Area” in Tompkins County.

 

For hunters with physical disabilities who are allowed to use special archery equipment during any big game or small game season, that activity will still be lawful, but they may need to apply once again for a “Modified Archer Permit” from DEC’s Special Licenses Unit in Albany.  The expiring legislation had required only a physician’s affirmation of need, instead of a special permit.

 

For information about current crossbow hunting rules in New York:  www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/68802.html    For information about hunter preferences regarding crossbow use, see Appendix 5 of DEC’s Management Plan for White-tailed Deer in New York State 2012-2016 (www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/deerplan2012.pd


Ohio

ODNR funds over 100 Outdoor Recreation Projects

COLUMBUS, OH – State and federal grants awarded by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Office of Real Estate will fund 105 community-based projects. Funding from the NatureWorks and Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grants will be used to establish and renovate parks and improve public access to outdoor recreation facilities.

 

ODNR administers the NatureWorks and LWCF grant programs. This year these programs will support the acquisition of more than 98 acres of green space as well as the development and improvement of 23 playgrounds, five splash parks and dozens of other local improvement projects. Funding from these grants will also make Ohio’s park infrastructure more accessible.

 

“The thoughtful and quality projects proposed by local officials reflects a long-term commitment to providing recreational opportunities to their citizens,” said Paul Baldridge, chief of the ODNR Office of Real Estate. “These projects will impact communities for generations and will enhance the quality of life for many Ohioans in the coming years.”

 

ODNR has recommended that nearly $2 million in NatureWorks grants

and more than half a million dollars in LWCF grants be awarded. To view the projects receiving funding, go to: http://ohiodnr.com/tabid/10762/Default.aspx/.

 

NatureWorks provides up to 75 percent reimbursement assistance to local government subdivisions, such as townships, villages, cities, counties, park districts, joint recreation districts and conservancy districts for the acquisition, development and rehabilitation of recreational areas. The projects are funded through the Ohio Parks and Natural Resources Bond Issue, which was approved by Ohio voters in November 1993. Additional legislation authorized the creation of the NatureWorks Grant Program.

 

Similarly, the LWCF provides up to 50 percent reimbursement assistance for state and local government subdivisions, such as villages and cities, for the acquisition, development and rehabilitation of outdoor recreational areas. The federal grant program is supported by offshore oil lease revenues and other non-tax sources. Many local parks, trails, pools and other outdoor recreation facilities that Ohioans enjoy today were made possible through the federal program, which has awarded more than $150 million to projects in Ohio since its inception in 1965.


Wisconsin

Judge rules against shining for Deer by Wisconsin tribes

A federal judge has denied an effort by Native American tribes to open a spotlighting season for deer in their ceded territories. The Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) voted in late November to authorize night hunting for deer by tribal members. To participate, tribal members had to pass a marksmanship test and apply for a night hunting permit. While 74 had passed the test, none had applied for a permit for a hunt scheduled to begin after Thanksgiving, according to the Associated Press.

 

Judge Barbara Crabb said the GLIFWC overstepped its authority when it authorized Chippewa tribal night hunting in the northern third of the state. The Wisconsin DNR filed suit seeking to stop the night hunt for fear of “the short amount of time to notify the public, the circumvention of court oversight and past rulings on night hunting for deer, and public safety,” according to Cathy Stepp, DNR Secretary.

 

The past ruling Stepp referred to was a ruling made more than 20 years

 

ago that required the tribes and the state to negotiate changes to tribal hunting rules and to agree upon a rule before they are enacted.

 

In court last month, the tribes argued that night hunting by spotlight was safe and that it was no different from spotlighting predators at night as authorized by the DNR in the case of wolves. Court sessions began on December 12 and ended on December 17 when Judge Crabb passed down her ruling.

 

 Stepp said she and her department were pleased with the judge’s decision.  “The DNR Secretary, the Department, and the State have maintained that the process established by the courts and the parties must be followed,” Stepp said. “The State will continue to work in good faith toward resolving the numerous issues surrounding the State’s management of natural resources within the ceded territory and their potential overlapping impacts with the Chippewa’s treaty established rights to self-regulate their own harvest.”


Wisconsin’s Ceded Territory Walleye Management Policies

Since off-reservation rights to hunt, fish and gather were affirmed to Chippewa tribes in the northern third of Wisconsin in 1983, walleye populations in this Ceded Territory have been subjected to both recreational angling and tribal spearing exploitation.

 

To ensure the sustainability of walleye populations, total allowable catch for this multi-user fishery was set to maintain adult exploitation rates of less than 35%. Iyob Tsehaye and Matt Catalano collaborated with Brian Roth (FW – MSU) and Greg Sass (WI – DNR) to develop a regional dynamic simulation model to test whether the current Ceded Territory walleye management policies are accomplishing the desired goals or if they need to be refined.

 

The simulation model being developed was designed to forecast future walleye abundance under different combinations of recreational and tribal 

exploitation rates and minimum allowable sizes (or selectivity schedules). The model was parameterized using a sample of joint posterior distribution of parameter estimates from a meta-analysis of demographic datasets from twenty five Northern Wisconsin lakes with the best datasets available.

 

From December 11 to 13, 2012, Brian Roth and Iyob Tsehaye traveled to Madison, WI to demonstrate a functional version of the model to WI-DNR Fish Management and GLIFWC members. They run a bunch of simulations to forecast future walleye abundances across the 25 lakes under different harvest policies. This exercise allowed the group to see what things work as expected and what don't, leading them to rethink some of the existing model assumptions. The meeting ended with agreement on a list of revisions to make and a set of management scenarios to apply to the model and report back to the group at next meeting.


Ontario

$30,000 Fine for importing live Asian Carp

A Peru, Indiana, fish importing company has been fined $30,000 for possessing live Asian Carp in Ontario. The owner of Phoenix Fish Farms LLC, pleaded guilty to one count under the Federal Fisheries Act of possessing live invasive fish. The company was fined $30,000 and forfeited 1,179 kilograms (2,600 lbs) of seized Bighead and Grass Carp to the Crown.

 

The court heard that on January 9, 2012, a Phoenix Fish Farms LLC truck entered into Canada at the Ambassador Bridge’s Windsor/Detroit border crossing carrying live Asian Carp. The Canada Border Services Agency contacted the Ministry of Natural Resources to assist with the inspection of the truck. Conservation officers with the Lake Erie Enforcement Unit

inspected the truck, found a substantial amount of live Bighead and Grass Carp, and subsequently seized all the fish.

 

It has been illegal to possess live invasive fish including, Bighead, Grass, Black and Silver Carp in Ontario since 2005 because of the significant threat they pose to the province’s lake systems. As part of the ongoing efforts to protect Ontario’s environment from the importation of invasive species, the Ministry of Natural Resources will continue to work with its law enforcement partners to monitor compliance with the legislation.

 

Justice of the Peace Susan Hoffman heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Windsor, on December 20, 2012.


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

 

As Pheasants Disappear, Hunters in Iowa Follow

The pheasant, once king of Iowa’s nearly half-a-billion-dollar hunting industry, is vanishing from the state. Surveys show the population in 2012 was the second lowest on record, 81 % below the average over the past four decades. The loss is both economic and cultural

 

 

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.

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