Week of January 11, 2010

World
Beyond the Great Lakes
Misc New Fishing-Boating Products
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
National

Regional

Illinois
Michigan
Ontario Canada
Other Breaking News Items

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries promotes consumption of Asian carp

Eat lots of Asian carp, it’s part of a new campaign to try to control bighead and silver carp, which were introduced into the U.S. in the 70s to help manage aquaculture ponds and wastewater lagoons farther north. The fish made it into Louisiana waterways in the late 1980s.

 

Manning is the right man for the job

Asked whether he would be interested in leading a movement to establish dedicated funding for natural resources management in Illinois, Manning didn't say yes. But he didn't say no, either, and he obviously has given it some thought.

 

Hoekstra wants time to study offshore wind farm proposed for Lake Michigan

Said he was surprised by Aegir wind farm concept


Northwest Indiana Forum wants waterways open
The Northwest Indiana Forum opposes Michigan's lawsuit to force Illinois to close Chicago-area locks to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. The Forum said closing the locks would have, "an immediate and profound impact on Northwest Indiana commerce without providing a permanent solution to the invasive species."

Invasive species threatens fishery
Trying to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes will be difficult -- if not futile. Ontario is supporting legal efforts by Michigan and other American states to prevent the spread of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. The move recognizes the significant economic threat these fish pose to the province's fisheries

 

Obama administration's stand on carp criticized
Conservationists and regional politicians are criticizing the Obama administration's decision Tuesday to oppose efforts by a coalition of five Great Lakes states to force Illinois and the Corps of Engineers to do more to protect Lake Michigan from invasion of the Asian carp.

 

Minnesota DNR to reduce number of trout raised at French River Hatchery
The French River Hatchery near Duluth will significantly reduce the number of Kamloops trout it produces, fisheries officials with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Monday.

 

BASS eliminates Bassmaster Women's trail

BASS eliminated the Women's Bassmaster Tour from the Bassmaster Tournament Trail Monday. Despite BASS' best efforts to grow the WBT, participation levels have been declining significantly since the inception of the tour in 2005.

Two jailed in gill net case

ESCANABA - Time behind bars and thousands of dollars in fines and restitution were handed down to two Delta County men convicted of using illegal gill nets last fall. The sentencings took place in district court Monday.

 

Illinois fights back over carp lawsuit
The fight to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes could soon turn into a testy legal tussle between a coalition of Great Lakes states and Illinois - and its favorite son, President Barack Obama.

 

Cox wants to meet with Obama about carp
Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, who filed suit to force closure of the locks in Illinois to prevent migrating Asian carp from getting in Lake Michigan, said today that he’s disappointed by the Obama administration’s response to the suit.

 

       Weekly News Archives

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       New Product  Archives

 

World

Largemouth caught in Japan ties All-Tackle World Record

It’s official: Freshwater fishing’s “Holy Grail” now has dual holders; 22 lb 4 oz bass caught by Japan’s Manabu Kurita matches IGFA record held for 77 years by Georgia’s George Perry

 

DANIA BEACH, FL (January 8, 2010) --- After nearly six months of waiting, Japan’s Manabu Kurita is taking his place along side Georgia, USA angler George Perry in the International Game Fish Association’s (IGFA) World Record Games Fishes book as dual holders of the All-Tackle record for largemouth bass each weighing 22 lb 4 oz and caught 77 years apart.

 

The IGFA, on January 8 approved Kurita’s application for the fish caught from Japan’s largest lake on July 2, 2009.  The 70-year old non-profit fisheries conservation, education and record-keeping body, received Kurita’s application and documentation on Sept. 19, 2009. The largemouth bass was caught from Lake Biwa which is an ancient reservoir northeast of Kyoto.

 

Kurita, 32, of Aichi, Japan, was fishing Biwa that July day using a Deps Sidewinder rod and a Shimano Antares DC7LV reel loaded with 25 lb Toray line when he pitched his bait, a live bluegill, next to a bridge piling.  It was Kurita’s first cast to the piling where he had seen a big bass swimming. He only twitched the bait a couple of times before he got bit. After a short, three minute fight he had the fish in the boat.

               

Kurita was quoted as saying “I knew it was big, but I didn’t know it was that big.”  But big it was.  Using certified scales, his fish weighed in at 10.12 kg or 22 lb 4 oz.  When measured, the fish had a fork length of 27.2" and a girth of 26.7".  The IGFA only has line classes up to 20 lb for largemouth bass, so Kurita had no chance at a line class record as well. 

 

IGFA rules for fish caught outside the U.S. allows anglers 90 days to submit their applications from the date of their catch. The documentation was received through the IGFA’s sister association the Japan Game Fish Association (JGFA). IGFA conservation director Jason Schratwieser said Kurita’s application was meticulously documented with the necessary photos and video.

 

Kurita’s fish ties the current record held for over 77 years by Perry who caught his bass on Georgia’s Montgomery Lake, June 2, 1932, near Jacksonville, Georgia. That 22 lb 4 oz behemoth won Field and Stream Magazine’s big fish contest and 46 years later, when the IGFA took over freshwater records from Field and Stream, it became the All-Tackle record now one of over 1,100 fresh and saltwater species the IGFA monitors. 

               

IGFA All-Tackle records are now free for viewing by the public at www.igfa.org.   Kurita’s name is now on the IGFA Web site with that of Perry’s and will appear in the 2011 edition of the World Record Games Fishes book…. unless that record is broken this year.

 

In North America the largemouth bass, and especially the All-Tackle record, is considered by millions of anglers as the “holy grail” of freshwater fish because of its popularity and the longevity of Perry’s record.  That fish undoubtedly helped to spawn a billion dollar industry that today makes up a significant part of the sport of recreational fishing.

 

Schratwieser said, “The moment Kurita weighed his fish, word spread like wildfire. We knew this would be significant so we immediately contacted the JGFA for more information. Established in 1979, and JGFA compiles and translates all record applications of fish caught in Japan before forwarding to the IGFA. “It works out well because they not only translate applications but can also contact the angler if more documentation is needed.”

               

It turned into a lengthy process

“Since the IGFA requires three months from the time of capture before a record can be approved, the official word would have to wait until October 2,” said Schratwieser.  “However, almost right away rumors began to circulate that Kurita may have caught his fish in a ‘no-fishing zone’.  In response, the IGFA immediately corresponded with the JGFA to speak with the angler about this issue and to gather information regarding the legality of fishing where Kurita caught his bass.  Official word came back that the location of the catch was not a no-fishing zone, but was an area where anchoring or stopping was prohibited.  This spurred more correspondence with the JGFA and the angler, including  

affidavits asking the angler if he stopped his boat at anytime. Again, the testimony and affidavits that came back indicated that the Kurita did not violate any laws and that his catch was indeed legitimate.”

 

It didn’t end there.

A considerable amount of time and correspondence was to continue between the IGFA, JGFA and Kurita, a primary reason it took so long to come to a decision.  During this time, the IGFA was also besieged with letters and emails from the bass fishing community, said Schratwieser.  “Many were incredulous that the All-Tackle record could be tied from a fish in Japan.  Others beseeched the IGFA to approve the record and give Kurita the credit he deserves.  Still others wanted to know why the entire process was taking so long.  It soon became clear to the IGFA staff that this would be a contentious issue no matter if the record were approved or rejected. 

 

“The IGFA was also sensitive to this particular record because in past years there have been several attempts to sue us over largemouth bass record claims.  Although none of these claims have been successful, they have resulted in considerable legal fees for the IGFA,” he said.

               

In the end, the IGFA staff concluded it would be both in the best interest of the IGFA and that of Kurita if he submitted to a polygraph analysis. The IGFA reserves the right to employ polygraph analyses to any record application, and this is explicitly stated in the affidavit section of the world record application form.

               

Again, more correspondence was issued to the JGFA to request that Kurita take a polygraph test.  He immediately agreed.  On December 15, Kurita was examined by a professional polygraph analyst in Japan.  The many questions he was given included if he was truthful about the information reported on the application form and if his boat ever came to a complete stop while fighting his fish.  The results from the polygraph concluded that Manabu Kurita answered the questions honestly and that the catch was legitimate.  George Perry’s 77 year old record was officially tied.

 

Due diligence pays off

“Six months may seem like a lot of time to determine if a fish ties a record,” said Schratwieser. “Hopefully, people now understand the amount of due diligence the IGFA conducted on this record.  Although we treat all records with equal rigor, the All-Tackle largemouth bass record is nothing less than iconic and the bass angling community deserved nothing less.”

               

Schratwieser added, “The IGFA wishes to applaud Kurita on his outstanding catch and would also like to commend him on his patience and candor during the entire review process.  We would also like to thank the JGFA for their diligence and tireless assistance in corresponding with Kurita and fisheries officials.”

 

Manabu Kurita of Aichi, Japan, shows off his July 2, 2009, record largemouth bass that he caught Japan's Lake Biwa. (IGFA)

 

Where will the next Bass record come from?

Largemouth bass have also been introduced in many countries but in Japan fisheries officials consider it an invasive species. In addition, because bass are not native and are stocked in Japan, many speculated that the big bass was a sterile triploid.  However when biologists in Japan examined the ova of the big female, Schratwieser said they concluded that the fish was not triploid.

               

For over 77 years the record stood as bass fanatics theorized when and where the record would be broken. Over the years there have been rumors and unsubstantiated reports of bass that could have tied or eclipsed Perry’s record, but nothing ever passed IGFA criteria.  Some anglers did come close, however. 

               

Schratwieser said the closest came in 1991, when Robert Crupi caught a 22 lb bass in Lake Dixon, California USA, that still reigns as the 16 lb line class record and the third heaviest approved bass record in IGFA history. 

 

“Most people thought that the next All-Tackle record would come from California.  Until Kurita’s tie the seven heaviest bass records behind Perry’s came from California lakes.  Although not native to California, it appears transplanted bass have adapted quite well to the deep, clear lakes and reservoirs and the abundant trout forage found in some of them.  “Little did people know that introduced bass grew big in places besides California, and that there are true monsters swimming on the other side of the world in Japan.”


World record pending on striper

Courtesy Washington Times

International Game Fish Association representative Julie Ball sent word of a pending world-record 51.5 lb striped bass that was caught on a fly rod.

 

Richie Keatley of Norfolk fooled the big rockfish with a hand-tied, blue-tinted 3/0 Clouser fly at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel on Dec. 17. After a 30-minute battle, Keatley brought the huge striped bass alongside his

22' boat. It wasn't successfully netted until the fourth attempt by

Keatley's friend, Pete Sileo.

 

With the help of Ball, who is no stranger to world records, an application for a 20 lb tippet world mark was submitted. Rockfish are hooked at the Hampton Roads crossing, in the York and Rappahannock rivers, at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and along the oceanfront. The biggest stripers seem to prefer the Bridge-Tunnel's high-rise area and waters up into the Bay along the Eastern Shore side. However, starting on New Year's Day, anyone fishing for rockfish in the Chesapeake must release them.


Beyond the Great Lakes

Asian Carp Causing Problems In Louisiana Waterways

Members of the Asian carp family, mostly bighead and silver carp, have been tied to a number of problems for both fishermen and the fish resources in Louisiana waterways.

 

These nuisance fish were introduced into the United States in the 1970s to help manage aquaculture ponds and wastewater lagoons. They quickly escaped into the wild and eventually descended into Louisiana waters from the north in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Asian carp are commonly found in Louisiana in the Mississippi, Red and Ouachita rivers and Atchafalaya Basin.

 

It is the silver carp, most recognized for its jumping ability that can leap several feet out of the water when disturbed by boat propellers.  Silver carp can grow up to 50 pounds, posing a threat to boaters and their equipment. A silver carp jumping out of the water can result in injury to the operator and damage to the boat, or in the most extreme cases, death to the boater.

 

Both silver and bighead carp pose a threat to the local Louisiana freshwater fishery by out competing local fish for food. Both of these carp species primarily feed on plankton, which is also the main diet for shad, bigmouth buffalo and paddlefish. Plankton is also the primary food of the larval stages of catfish, bass and other freshwater species.

 

"These Asian carp have been in Louisiana waters for close to 20 years and are sustaining their populations," said Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Inland Fisheries

Administrator Gary Tilyou. "This is a problem we have to manage to minimize impacts to our natural resources and the people that enjoy our Louisiana waterways."

 

Included in LDWF's management plan for Asian carp is creating a demand for the white, delicious meat they possess and relaxing the regulations on fishing for these nuisance fish.

 

On Tuesday, Jan. 12, LDWF along with Chef Philippe Parola will unveil a new marketing plan that will include a name change from Asian carp to "Silverfin". At the event, some local chefs will be preparing silverfin and LDWF will announce the rollout of silverfin products being distributed by Rouses Super Market.

 

Because these fish feed on plankton, they are not susceptible to traditional angling methods. On Thursday, Jan. 7, LDWF will be presenting the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission a notice of intent (NOI) that, if adopted, will allow fishermen to take Asian carp using dip nets, spears and snagging methods. Additionally, since silver carp can jump into boats, fishermen would be able to use their boats as a legal catching method. Asian carp also have no size or possession limits.

 

"We will never be able to fully eradicate these fish, so we are trying to make the best out of what these fish have to offer," said Tilyou. "By creating a demand for the meat, we hope to create a commercial and recreational freshwater fishing industry for Asian carp."


Misc New Fishing-Boating Products

Thundermist Lures

Viper Spoon

The Viper Spoon comes in 5 colors, 5 sizes, and 2 models - that's a total of 50 lures! Colors include: Silver, Gold, Bleeding Pearl Chartreuse, Green Mackerel, and Blue Sardine.

 

Colored lures have been custom designed by the Thundermist Lure Company for outstanding results. All colors are available in both Viper Spoon models: Classic Beaded Viper Spoons and Bucktail Viper Spoons.

 

The Bleeding Pearl Chartreuse Viper Spoons have a 24 karat gold back, the Green Mackerel and Blue Sardine Viper Spoons have a genuine silver back.

 

SP2 Viper Spoon, Bucktail Model, Silver

The silver saltwater and freshwater all-fish-catching Viper Spoon. Flash-N-Flutter spoon with genuine silver plating, creates an enticing action for your trailing bait. Attracting beads and bucktail hair linking single-strand titanium line and Mustad (r) Ultra-Point (tm) hooks, brings your natural or artificial baits to life

 

About $8.99

 

Boa Jig'r Jigging Spoon

There’s only one thing better than a jigging spoon – and that’s a jigging spoon with bait! The Boa Jig’r is actually designed to accommodate live bait, cut bait, or artificial soft plastic bait. Of course the Boa Jig’r will work without bait, but by adding bait, it makes the Boa Jig’r simply irresistible to all game fish, giving anglers the edge.

 

With its two hook design, the top hook and bottom hook

accommodate and hold your bait very nicely. Also, the bottom

hook is a “bent Limerick” hook which not only acts as a built in stinger hook, but also gives you a “hook-setting advantage”.

 

The Boa Jig’r also features fish attracting “clacking beads”. The brass and plastic beads make a distinct clacking sound which attracts fish and triggers fish to strike. The ruby red plastic bead also acts as an additional attractor…what a great combination!

 

Complete with its sleek design, the Boa Jig’r has an irresistible, erratic fall with 24 karat gold plating. The Boa Jig’r is salt water ready and fresh water ready. It’s also fantastic to use while ice fishing! So if you are fishing open water or ice fishing, the Boa Jig’r is great for a multitude of game fish.

 

Between the Boa Jig’rs erratic fall, clacking beads, its two hook design, and added bait, it’s no wonder Thundermist Lure Company says to “snap on a Boa Jig’r and get ready to catch fish after fish”!

 

The Boa Jig’r also features fish attracting clacking beads, an irresistible, erratic fall, two hook design to accommodate and hold your bait - and you can find the Boa Jig’r in sizes ½ oz., 1 oz., 2 oz., 3 oz., and 6 oz. Both saltwater and freshwater rated!

 

For some Thundermist fishing tips, go to: www.ThundermistFishingTips.com   

 

About $7.99 - 16.99

 

www.thundermistlures.com/

 

support@thundermistlures.com/


Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

RUGER Introduces SR9c Compact Pistol

Southport, Connecticut -Sturm, Ruger announced the Ruger SR9c compact pistol, the first extension in the SR9 striker-fired pistol family. The SR9 is one of the slimmest and most ergonomic 9mm pistols on the market today, and the compact model offers an even smaller, more concealable option, ideal for discreet carry.

 

"The SR9c compact pistol is a welcome addition to the SR9 line, giving customers a very comfortable carry option in this reliable, 9mm platform," said Mike Fifer, President & CEO. "Incorporating the best features the full-sized SR9 has to offer, the SR9c gives Ruger a strong entry into the compact 9mm field. It feels great in your hand and it's a lot of fun to shoot."

 

The SR9c compact pistol weighs in at 24 oz. and features an overall length of 6.875", a height of 5.00", and the same slim 1.27" grip width as the full-sized SR9. It comes with two magazines that provide options in both capacity and grip size. The standard magazine holds 10 rounds and features a flat bottom butt plate; a finger grip extension floor plate is also

 

included. The second magazine features a grip adapter and

holds 17 rounds, instantly transforming the smaller, compact grip into a full-sized 9mm grip. The 3.50" barreled pistol features an integral accessory rail that accommodates most lights and lasers.

 

The SR9c compact pistol utilizes the same adjustable, high-visibility 3-Dot sight system as its full-sized predecessor, setting it apart from many compact pistols that rely on fixed sights. New serrations are located on the front portion of the slide, making it easier to both manipulate the slide and to press check the chamber. The SR9c is available with a glass-filled nylon frame and through-hardened slide in either a brushed stainless or blackened finish. State compliant variations are available where necessary and ship with two 10-round magazines.

 

Just like the original, full-sized SR9, the SR9c is loaded with modern safety features like a 1911-style ambidextrous manual safety, internal trigger bar interlock and striker blocker, trigger safety, magazine disconnect, plus a visual and tactile loaded chamber indicator.  www.Ruger.com,    www.Ruger.com/SR9c.


Ruger Announces New Model Blackhawk and GP100 In .327 Federal Magnum

Sturm, Ruger announced two more Ruger revolvers chambered in the impressive .327 Federal Magnum caliber. The Ruger New Model Blackhawk and the Ruger GP100 will now benefit from the flat-shooting, high-velocity performance of the .327 Federal Magnum cartridge.

 

The .327 Federal Magnum offers near-.357 Magnum performance with less recoil, pushing a 100-grain American Eagle load at an astounding 1,655 feet per second out of the 5-1/2" barreled New Model Blackhawk, and 1,525 feet per second out of the 4.20" barreled GP100. In addition to the high-velocity performance, cylinder capacities have been increased, with the New Model Blackhawk holding eight rounds and the GP100 holding seven.

 

The New Model Blackhawk in .327 Federal Magnum has a 5-

 

1/2" barrel and overall length of 11.38". It weighs 48 oz., holds eight rounds, and features a fully adjustable rear sight and a stainless steel finish. New Model Blackhawk revolvers have earned a reputation as the best value on the market due to their durability and affordability, and this new .327 Federal Magnum variation only compliments this already extensive family of single-action revolvers.

 

The new GP100 in .327 Federal Magnum features a 4.20" stainless steel barrel and an overall length of 9.50". It weighs 40 oz., holds seven rounds, and includes a fully adjustable rear sight. All GP100 double-action revolvers are known for their rugged construction and reliable performance, utilizing solid steel sidewalls (no side-plates) and frame widths that are increased with extra steel in critical areas that support the barrel. GP100's are built to last, and the addition of the .327 Federal Magnum adds diversity to a proven product line.   www.Ruger.com,  or www.Ruger.com/327.  

 


Taurus' Judge Selected "Best In Class" Revolver

NORWALK, CT --Gun Tests Magazine has named the Taurus Judge No. 4510TKR-3BUL as the publication's "Best in Class" Revolver for 2009.  The Judge wheelgun joins a 9mm pistol from Smith & Wesson, a 7mm Mag. rifle from Browning, and a 12-gauge shotgun from Benelli as the magazine's "Best in Class" 2009 honorees.

 

Every December Gun Tests magazine surveys the work of its testing staff to select guns the magazine's testers have endorsed without qualification. These "best of" choices are a mixture of the original Gun Tests evaluation and other information the staff compiles during the year.

 

"We don't accept advertising," said Gun Tests Publisher Timothy H. Cole, "so consumers can rest assured that our Best in Class picks are based on genuine, head-to-head, critical test-team evaluations--and nothing else."  "This is our third year of letter-grade scoring, and all the Best guns in this compilation are A or A+ choices," said Gun Tests Editor Todd Woodard.

 

The "Best in Class" Revolver for 2009 was the Taurus Judge No. 4510TKR-3BUL 3-Inch 45 LC/410-Bore, $620. It was originally reviewed in the August 2009 issue of Gun Tests.

 

The Gun Tests team of evaluators said of the Judge: "As a trail or self-defense gun, the Judge has a lot going for it. As a last-ditch effort in the courtroom, we strongly suggest any judges planning to pack it make some practical pattern tests before they carry this gun loaded with 410 shotshells into any courtroom."

 

The Judge is cataloged in the Taurus line as the Model 4510, and there are several versions. Some are blued steel, others are stainless, and there are versions that accept longer 3-inch

410-bore shotshells. The Gun Tests team liked quite a few aspects of this five-shot revolver. The Judge featured a pleasant, glossy, all-black finish with aluminum-alloy frame and Taurus's recoil-absorbing rubber grips, called "Ribbers."

 

The front sight held a red-plastic insert that let it stand out fairly well against most backgrounds, as long as there was good overhead light, the testers said.  The hammer and trigger were case hardened, and gave a reasonable DA pull and a workable, if slightly creepy, SA pull of around 5 pounds, according to the team.

 

Fit and finish and lockup were excellent, the GT testers said. They liked the feel and balance of this revolver, and thought it had adequate weight, especially with those excellent grips, for the power it had.

 

The GT team tested with two types of 45 Long Colt ammo, Blazer 200-grain JHP and Black Hills 250-grain flat-nose cast lead bullets, and a Winchester Super X 2.5-inch 410-bore shotshell, which was loaded with half an ounce of #4 shot.

 

Serious patterning on a 4-foot-square paper gave a better indication of the usefulness and range of the Judge with shot. At 3 feet the pattern diameter was 1 foot. At 6 feet it was 18 inches, and at 12 feet from the muzzle, the pattern diameter averaged 34 inches. In all cases they were fairly well centered at the point of aim.

 

"We'd guess the maximum range for shot loads from the Judge would be 10 feet," said Ray Ordorica, Gun Tests senior technical editor.

 

The Judge did very well with 45 LC loads. GT's best group was 1.6 inches for five shots at 15 yards, with the 200-grain JHP Blazer ammo. Black Hills' cowboy loads averaged less than 3 inches at that range.


 

National

Supreme Court Action on Asian Carp Delayed

The U.S. Supreme Court on January 8 decided to delay a discussion on the invasive Asian carp threatening Lake Michigan. The justices were scheduled to discuss a Michigan lawsuit against Illinois over sealing off a canal leading into Lake Michigan.  Instead, the Michigan attorney general's office says the court will take up with issue next Friday, January 15.

 

Several other Midwestern states are also calling on Illinois to close the lock leading into Lake Michigan.

 

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Obama Administration say the Supreme Court should reject that request.


White House opposes closing locks to Asian carp

TRAVERSE CITY, MI. (AP) - The Obama administration opposes closing shipping locks near Chicago to prevent Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes.

 

In a memo filed January 5, Solicitor General Elena Kagan asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a request by Michigan and several other states to order the locks closed. Illinois also filed a brief with the high court basically supporting the administration's position.  Kagan said closing the locks would

 

endanger public safety and disrupt the flow of cargo.  She said federal agencies are working to keep Asian carp out of the lakes.

 

The voracious fish have been migrating up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers toward the Great Lakes for decades. They have infested waterways near Chicago leading to Lake Michigan. Scientists say if they reach the lakes, they could disrupt the food chain and endanger the $7 billion fishery.


Termination Of The Loran-C Signal Feb 8, 2010

Consistent with the Administration's pledge to eliminate unnecessary Federal programs and systems, the USCG broadcast of the Loran-C signal is going to be terminated. The U.S. Coast Guard announced its record of decision January 7, 2010 on Long Range Aids to Navigation (Loran-C) program, notice of intention to terminate the Loran-C signal.

 

This decision, which will begin plans to cease broadcasting the North American Loran-C signal Feb. 8, 2010, will result in the decommissioning of two Ninth Coast Guard District Loran-C stations: Seneca, N.Y., and Baudette, Minn. with some exceptions, including the following five sites that are bound by bi-lateral agreements with either Canada (Caribou, ME; George, WA; Nantucket, MA; Shoal Cove, AK) or the Russian Federation (Attu, AK). 

 

As a result of technological advancements during the last 20 years and the emergence of the U.S. Global Positioning System, Loran-C is no longer required by the armed forces, the transportation sector or the nation's security interests, and is used by only a small segment of the population.

 

Mariners or other users of Loran-C are encouraged to shift to GPS navigation and plotting systems as soon as possible and not later than the termination date.

 

Termination of the program was supported through the

enactment of the fiscal year 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations bill. The Record of Decision, Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on the future of the nation's Loran-C program, and related materials may be viewed online at http://www.regulations.gov, docket number: USCG-2007-28460.

 

The notice to terminate the Loran-C signal may be viewed online at www.regulations.gov, docket number: USCG-2009-0299.  For more information on terminations, reductions and savings contained in the fiscal year 2010 budget, including Loran-C, visit www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/TRS/.

 

President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2010 budget supported the termination of outdated systems and specifically cited the terrestrial-based North American Loran-C system as such an example. The president did not seek funding for the Loran-C system in fiscal year 2010. Termination was also supported through the enactment of the 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill.

 

The Loran-C system was not established as, nor was it intended to be, a viable systemic backup for GPS. If a single, domestic national system to back up GPS is identified as being necessary, the Department of Homeland Security will complete an analysis of potential backups to GPS. The continued active operation of Loran-C is not necessary to advance this evaluation.


Regional

Coast Guard Tightens Curbs on Chicago Canal Traffic

Agency orders year-long regulation as Corps ramps up voltage to fight carp

The escalating fight to prevent Asian carp from getting out of a Chicago barge and ship canal into the Great Lakes now has the Coast Guard ordering a year-long regulated zone while the Army Corps of Engineers heats up an electrical barrier.

 

The Coast Guard, through a Jan. 6 notice in the Federal Register, said it was ordering a series of water-handling and operational restrictions on barge tows and other commercial as well as passenger vessels transiting the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.

 

The agency said the new curbs will last until Dec. 1, 2010, and it has already begun enforcing them to prevent the invasive species from entering the lakes out of the inland river system, possibly through transfer of fish- or egg-carrying water by ships moving through the channel.

 

But the new curbs are also intended, the Coast Guard said, “to avoid loss of life.” That’s because the Corps of Engineers has doubled the electrical energy of a fish barrier it is using to two volts per inch. The Coast Guard said even at the one-volt

strength the electrical field can cause sparking between

vessels, and that a Corps study “found a serious risk of injury or death to persons immersed in the water” near the barrier.

 

After the Corps recently found evidence of the Asian carp in the waterway – a large and voracious fish that could displace native species – it upped the voltage, and the Coast Guard temporarily closed the canal to vessels. That triggered protests from the barge industry.

 

The Coast Guard said in the notice that it recognizes “the commercial significance of this waterway and will work closely with the (Corps) to reduce operational restrictions as soon as possible; however, it is imperative that the (regulated navigation area) be immediately enacted to avoid loss of life.”

 

The rules require flammable cargo tows to use a bow boat at all times through the area, and all tows to tie barges with wire rope to keep all segments electrically connected. Vessels must transmit passing instructions, keep all personnel inside the cabin and may not stop as they move through the zone.

 

For the entire Federal Register notice, click here:

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/E9-31350.htm


Illinois

New Chicago Outdoor Show

Big Change comes to Rosemont

Under new management and ownership, the 31st Annual America's Outdoor Fishing & Hunting Show - the New Chicago Sportshow - will be held January 27-31 at the Rosemont Convention Center. Besides a new owner, the show has a new attitude and a new look. 

 

Once billed as the largest sport show in the country, new owner Jim Sugarman promises to rebuild it to its former reputation - for hunting and fishing.  Sugarman promises a back to basics show of hunting, fishing camping and outdoors, no more "flea market" scenes.

McHenry’s Spence Petros is on the advisory board for America’s Outdoors Show and is one of the show’s key speakers. Other big-name draws to the show are Babe Winkelman, Bassmaster champion Mike Iaconelli, Ted Takasaki and Jim Saric.

 

The show has a $100,000 giveaway program and many family attractions for parents and kids to learn how to catch more fish, how to become a better hunter and how to preserve our natural resources.

 

Visit The Web site for more information: www.americasoutdoorshow.com/


USFWS grants $266,853 for Restoration of Illinois Coastal Wetland

The USFWS has awarded $266,853 to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to support the restoration of wetland habitat in Cook County adjacent to the Grand Calumet River, a tributary of Lake Michigan. The federal funds are provided through the 2010 National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program, and will supplement a non-federal contribution from the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. The Friends of the Forest Preserves is partnering with the Illinois DNR to complete the coastal wetland restoration.

 

“This area is an important stopover location for migratory birds and provides breeding habitat for other wildlife”, said Tom Melius, Midwest Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “These grants allow us to work with our partners to conserve coastal wetlands in the Great Lakes region, and the fish and wildlife that inhabit this treasured part of our country.”

 

The federal funding is part of more than $19.2 million to

support 25 conservation projects benefiting fish and wildlife on more than 6,100 acres of coastal habitat in 11 states through the 2010. The federal grants will be matched by nearly $26 million in partner contributions from state and local governments, private landowners and conservation groups.

 

The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and funded under provisions of the 1990 Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act. Funding is provided by Sport Fish Restoration Act revenue – money generated from an excise tax on fishing equipment and motorboat and small engine fuels.

 

Including the 2010 grants, the Service has awarded nearly $240 million to coastal states and territories since the program began in 1992. When the 2010 projects are complete, over 260,000 acres of habitat will have been protected, restored or enhanced.


Michigan

Family friendly events from the DNR

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will host three events in January as part of the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program. All three educational opportunities -- a turkey hunting workshop, a family squirrel hunt and an introduction to handgun shooting -- are designed to include parents, children and women.

 

The Turkey Hunting Workshop will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 12, at the Rose Lake Field Office, located at 8562 E. Stoll Rd. in East Lansing, from 6 to 9 p.m. The workshop -- geared toward parents and youngsters age 10 and up -- will include discussion of season rules and regulations, habitat, scouting and patterning birds, hunting technique and equipment needed for turkey hunting. At the end of the session, participants will have an opportunity to apply for a turkey permit online.

 

A follow-up session will be offered on April 6 and will focus on patterning a shotgun, ethical placement of shot, and calling practice. Instructors will also explain how to dress and harvest properly, and will provide an assortment of wild turkey recipes. The cost for this two-session workshop is $10 per person and

instruction will be provided by the National Wild Turkey Federation.

 

The Family Squirrel Hunt will be held on Saturday, Jan. 16, at Yankee Springs Recreation Area, located at 2104 S. Briggs Rd. in Middleville from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This hunt is also aimed at families, and parents are encouraged to sign up with their youngsters ages 10 and up. The hunt will include a presentation on hunter safety followed by a basic small-game hunting lesson. Hunters will be paired up and will have their own guide and assigned hunting area. For registration forms and information on what to bring and what to wear, visit www.michigan.gov/bow. The cost for this program is $20 per person.

 

Introduction to Handgun Shooting for women will be held Monday, Jan. 25, at the Demmer Shooting Center, located at 3365 E. Jolly Rd. in Lansing from 6 to 9 p.m. This class is designed for beginners ages 18 and up to learn the basic skills needed to safely handle and shoot a handgun. No prior shooting experience is required. All firearms, ammunition, eye protection and hearing protection will be provided. The cost for this program is $20 per person.


Ontario Canada

Ontario Supports American Bid to Protect Great Lakes

McGuinty Government Takes Steps To Prevent Spread Of Asian Carp

Ontario is supporting legal efforts by Michigan and other American states to prevent the spread of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. The move recognizes the significant economic threat these fish pose to the province's fisheries.

 

A legal brief from the Province has been filed with the United States Supreme Court supporting Michigan's motion for a preliminary injunction to close the locks in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. The closure is one of a number of measures sought by Michigan to keep this invasive species from passing into Lake Michigan.

Recreational and commercial fishing are vital to Ontario's economy, providing jobs and recreation for many Ontarians.  1.4 million anglers fish in the province each year, spending more than $2.3 billon dollars annually on fisheries-related expenditures.

The commercial fishery in the Great Lakes is valued at about $200 million annually.

 

“Invasive species don't respect international borders", said Donna Cansfield, Minister of Natural Resources. "The potential impact of Asian carp on Ontario's economy and ecosystems is a serious concern. We stand with our American colleagues in supporting all steps necessary to prevent their entry into the Great Lakes."  The U.S. Supreme Court will determine Ontario's participation in the proceedings.


 

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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