Week of January 15, 2007

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Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

Vermont bans lead sinkers

State finds less than two deaths per year from lead

 As of the first of the year, lead sinkers, half- ounce or smaller, are illegal for use and sale in Vermont.  The new law, which was passed by the Vermont Legislature in 2004, came out of a concern for wildlife lead poisoning. Those caught using lead sinkers could lose their fishing licenses for up to three years.

 

New Hampshire has had a similar law in place since the beginning of last year.  Earlier, in 2000, the New Hampshire became the first state in the nation to ban the use of lead sinkers once ounce or less and jigs less than 1 inch long on freshwater lakes and ponds. Five years later, New Hampshire

extended its ban to rivers and streams, making the use of lead sinkers illegal to use on any fresh water body in the state.

 

John Hall, spokesman for Vermont's Fish and Wildlife Department, claims lead sinkers are a problem for loons, bald eagles, great blue herons and kingfishers.  Split shot, which anglers would clamp on their fishing lines, was the biggest problem for the state's birds, he said.   Weighted flies and jig-heads are all exempt.

 

In Vermont, autopsies between 1989 and 1998 of 15 loons found that more than half of them had died of lead poisoning.


Wild Trout Symposium Oct 9-12

The 33rd Annual Wild Trout Symposium will be he held at the Holiday Inn, West Yellowstone, Montana, USA on  October 9-

12, 2007.  For more information go to: www.wildtroutsymposium.com


National

Great Lakes Asian Carp Barrier Act of 2007 to be introduced in Congress

Anglers, boaters and hunters urged to contact legislators for support
This week much-needed legislation will be introduced in Congress. This legislation authorizes the completion of an electronic barrier to keep the Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. The threat to our family experiences like fishing and boating on the Great Lakes is enormous. Forget cutting your feet on zebra mussels; imagine having your teeth knocked out after getting clobbered by a flying 40-pound Asian carp. And the fragile Great Lakes ecosystem will receive the ultimate knockout blow when the voracious filter feeders literally suck the life out of the lakes.

Take Action
1) Call your U.S. Representative today. The Capital switchboard will connect you to your member of Congress: 202-224-3121.

2) Tell them the Asian carp will destroy the Great Lakes and urge them to become an original co-sponsor of the Great Lakes Asian Carp Barrier Act of 2007. Representatives should contact the office of Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL) to co-sponsor.

 

Talking Points
    * Asian carp send boaters to the hospital. They have already sent many Illinois boaters to the hospital because they leap into the air at the sound of a passing boat motor.
    * Asian carp are voracious filter feeders that could destroy the $4 billion recreational fishery in the Great Lakes. In the Illinois River, nine out of ten fish are Asian carp.
    * The electric barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal is the Great Lakes' last line of defense. Unless we invest in a solution today, the price we will pay tomorrow will be much higher and future generations may never experience the Great lakes as we know them. Congress must authorize and fully fund the barrier.


Whole grains, fish lower asthma risk in children

Children who eat whole grains and fish are far less likely to develop asthma and wheezing than children who do not consume adequate amounts of those foods, according to new Dutch research published in the journal Thorax.

 

A team of researchers from the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment in Bolthoven, the Netherlands, examined the dietary habits of nearly 600 children between 8 and 13 years old who were enrolled in the International Study on Allergy and Asthma in Childhood 2.

The children's parents filled out food questionnaires on the kids' diets and the presence of asthma or wheezing. Medical testing also determined the children's asthma and wheezing.

 

Though the researchers did not observe a link between asthma and wheezing and the children's intake of vegetables, citrus fruits or dairy, they did notice a significant link to consumption of fish and whole grains. Children who ate whole grains were 54 percent less likely to develop asthma and 45 percent less likely to develop wheezing than children 

who did not eat whole grains. Similarly, children who ate fish were 66 percent less likely to develop asthma and 56 percent less likely to wheeze than kids who did not consume fish.

 

According to consumer health advocate Mike Adams, author of "The Seven Laws of Nutrition," asthma and wheezing are "strongly related" to children's diets.  "When children lack the nutrients offered by healthful foods like whole grains and oily fish, they often suffer from runaway inflammation of various organs and tissues, including the lungs," he said.

 

"But instead of addressing the nutritional deficiencies behind asthma, conventional doctors simply prescribe antihistamine drugs to quiet the symptoms. A better approach to ending asthma starts with nutrition."

 

The researchers called for more forward-thinking studies to examine the relationship between diet and asthma, as well as possible dietary treatments for the condition.

 

Source: www.newstarget.com/021315.html


State Lawmakers Gear Up to Oppose Nat'l ID Requirements SS number, birth certificate, possibly fingerprints would be connected to driver's license

Under the Real ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005 to combat fraudulent identification, in part as a result of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, starting May 11, 2008, everyone in the country will have to provide extensive proof of their identity when they apply for a license.

 

The federal database accessible by government officials throughout the U.S. would contain your name, address, photograph, Social Security number, birth certificate, citizenship status and possibly even your fingerprints and retinal scan. Details of how the act will be implemented haven't been worked out yet, but the federal government will not recognize licenses from states that do not comply with its provisions.

 

Passing through airport security to board a plane, entering a federal building or accessing other federal services would be impossible without the ID.

 

Then there's the cost. A recent study estimated it will cost the states more than $11 billion to comply with the Real ID Act. 

Many state officials say the act's requirements are an invasion of privacy, and could open the door to identity fraud to implement.

 

The act requires states to issue licenses and ID cards only to people who produce documents showing evidence of lawful status in the United States, Social Security number, full legal name, date of birth and address. Officials will also obtain a digital photograph and signature from the applicant. Some privacy watchdogs are worried the act is loosely written to allow for the taking of biometrics, things such as fingerprints and retinal scans.  States are also required to provide electronic access of the information to other states.

 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security still hasn't formulated regulations for the act.  Officials don't know at this point what information the feds are going to require of states to put into this system. They also express concern to what extent other nations might have access to this information once it's turned over to the feds.

 

Several states are trying to buck Real ID requirements, according to Matt Sundeen of the National Conference of State Legislatures.


Sportsmen Join Lawsuit to Prevent Antis’ Misuse of ESA to Ban Hunting

(Columbus) – The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation has filed to represent sportsmen in a precedent-setting lawsuit brought by animal activists to derail hunting, fishing and trapping for abundant game wherever endangered or threatened species exist.

 

On Jan. 4, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation (USSAF) asked U.S. District Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. for permission to join a federal lawsuit brought by the Animal Protection Institute against the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. In October 2006, the animal rights group sued to expand endangered and threatened species protections to healthy and abundant wildlife populations.

 

“Our goal is to prevent the animal rights movement from manipulating the Endangered Species Act to ban hunting, fishing and trapping,” said Rob Sexton, USSAF vice president for government affairs. “The case could set a precedent that affects the future of hunting, fishing and trapping and how they are used as wildlife management tools.”

 

At issue is the legal argument brought by anti-hunters that trapping of any species should be banned in order to prevent

the possibility of inadvertently catching federally protected Canada lynx, bald eagles and gray wolves. There is no data proving this to be a problem.

 

“It is important for sportsmen to understand this lawsuit represents far more than a strike against a single sport,” said Sexton. “The trappers won’t be the only ones impacted.  If anti’s can stop all trapping in a place where there is a risk of catching a Canada lynx, they can just as easily try to stop fishing in bodies of water where there is a risk of catching an endangered species of sturgeon.”

 

This lawsuit also treads on states’ authority to manage wildlife. An unfavorable decision would virtually require judges to close hunting, fishing and trapping.

 

As the case develops, the USSAF continues to defend sportsmen’s rights in two nearly identical lawsuits brought by anti’s against the Minnesota DNR. They also would set dangerous precedents that put hunting, fishing and trapping in jeopardy. The USSAF has filed to join the case, along with the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, Maine Trappers Association, Fur Takers of America, and individual sportsmen Oscar Cronk, Donald Dudley and Alvin Theriault.


Site selection crucial to freshwater artificial reef success

Although artificial reefs have been used extensively in marine settings, little research has been conducted on the effectiveness of artificial reefs in large freshwater bodies like the Great Lakes.

                                              

Researchers from the Illinois Natural History Survey studied an artificial reef designed to attract smallmouth bass in southwestern Lake Michigan near Chicago. They counted fish using SCUBA diver surveys and estimated catch rates using gill nets at the artificial reef and a similar non-reef reference site. They also surveyed recreational anglers about their awareness and use of the reef. Reporting in the North

American Journal of Fisheries Management, the researchers found catch rates of all fish species did not differ between the reef and the reference site, although divers generally saw more fish at the reef. Water temperature affected the appearance of most fish more than the artificial structure.

 

The reef did attract more smallmouth bass and rock bass compared to the reference site, but not until the water warmed up each summer. It also created prime habitat for invasive round gobies. Unfortunately, the artificial reef was too far from local boat ramps to generate much angler use. The researchers suggest positioning freshwater artificial reefs in areas where the water warms more quickly and which are more easily accessible to anglers.


Families Afield Impacts 11 States

Through the efforts of Families Afield, a joint initiative of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the National Wild Turkey Federation and the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance designed to eliminate unnecessary barriers to introducing young people to hunting, 11 states have changed their youth-hunting regulations.

           

Strengthened by studies that demonstrated the safety record of youth hunters under adult supervision and statistics that showed the declining recruitment of young people because of legal restrictions, the three groups have been able to garner support from both sportsmen and politicians. The resulting regulation changes allow 5 million licensed hunters to introduce young newcomers to the sports.

           

"Perhaps never before have so many potential mentors, all

within a relatively short time frame, enjoyed such a variety of new freedoms to share their passion for hunting," said NSSF president Doug Painter.

 

The laws have relaxed minimum hunting ages or eased stringent hunter-education mandates. For example, Florida created a supervised hunting program that permits a newcomer to hunt with a mentor for a year before completing a hunter-education course.

Michigan lowered the minimum age to hunt (from 12 to 10 for small game and from 14 to 12 for big game) The other states that have adopted the Families Afield model are Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Utah.

           

For more info: www.familiesafield.org


Regional

Boy's 1st steelhead

By Tom Hamilton

Eight-year-old Brett Kessler of Montague caught his first steelhead on White Lake the day after Thanksgiving.  This was made possible with the help Kessler's school bus driver, Captain Pat Schiller, owner of Shelly Lee Charters.

 

Schiller had some fishing magazines on the bus leading young Kessler to ask, “Mr. Schiller, Can you take me fishing sometime?” What can a softy big-hearted captain say? Captain Schiller called Tom Hamilton of Montague who replied, “Forget deer hunting for a day. Let's give young Kessler a good time.”

 

A fresh fall steelhead can be a jumping, hard running, fighting challenge for adults. To help the odds for an eight-year-old, Captain Schiller used his Lund Pro-V to troll high-lines with X-5 flatfish on White Lake. White Lake is an open play area for a youngster instead of getting into trouble with the river snags. Kessler was dressed warm, and nonstop with endless excited comments and questions. November 24 turned out to be a rare warm calm day for this time of year.

 

Schiller uses the electric motor when trolling for shallow water steelhead. Trolling quiet allows steelhead to be caught closer to the boat same as when trolling for walleye after dark. The

autopilot feature helped keep the boat in the desired path.

Hamilton put out the first flatfish 70-feet using the reel line-counter. The other lures were set at different distances as short as 45-feet to avoid line tangles when making turns.

 

The first steelhead exploded to the air. Hamilton checked the hookup and made sure the drag was set light. Kessler could then reel in with minimum assistance and guidance. Schiller got all the other rods out of the way for a clear playing area.  When the fish got near the net we noticed the fish was not hooked good. Captain Schiller quickly slipped the net under the fish just as the fish came off the hook. This was a great time to be lucky for Kessler. We now had an excited boy not sure how to hold up his first steelhead for a photo.

 

Schiller and Hamilton changed positions for the next four hours each having a great time with Kessler cranking away and improving his timing with pumping the rod. Five steelhead were boated with one fish lost during a hectic double header. The day ended after four hours when the wind came up too strong for good boat control.

 

Young Kessler was all smiles for the trip photos, but not quite ready for cleaning the fish. “Yewah!” was Kessler's comment. Schiller gave his mother some tips on preparing three fish for dinner. Two fish were cleaned by Hamilton for senior citizens. Young Kessler commented, “Mr. Hamilton gives fish to old people.” Schiller just smiled and commented, “I think our young Kessler just learned one lesson more than fishing.”


Sea Lamprey are Wanderers

Sea lamprey are the scourge of the Great Lakes salmonid fishery; to feed, they rasp holes in the flesh of lake trout and salmon and suck out body fluids. To control this pest, state and federal agencies apply a lamprey-specific poison to streams where juvenile lampreys live.

 

"To control lamprey more effectively, it's important to know where the parasites in the lakes come from," says Ellen Marsden, a professor at the University of Vermont. "In Lake Champlain, we have several discrete basins, separated by man-made causeways. If lamprey spawn and live in only one basin, then we don't need to control lamprey in basins where there are few salmon and trout."

 

Researchers tagged over four thousand juvenile lamprey

while they were still resident in streams, then captured parasitic lamprey in Lake Champlain a year later and examined them for tags. They discovered that lamprey are not confined to the basin in which they were born, but move freely and frequently through the causeways.

 

The study also revealed that Lake Champlain has an astonishing number of lamprey; equivalent, in terms of relative lake area, to 15 times the number of lamprey in Lake Huron. Eric Howe, a recent graduate of the University of Vermont and lead investigator on the study, notes, "It's not surprising, with this many lamprey in the lake, that we are seeing very high wounding rates on lake trout, much higher than in the Great Lakes."

 


Lake Michigan

Trolling Lake Michigan in January — a limit catch

By Kevin Naze
Nine anglers from Kewaunee and Brown counties limited out on 45 brown trout in just under three hours in Lake Michigan off Kewaunee Saturday morning, Jan. 6. They trolled mainly in 8 to 20’ of water, using floating Rapalas and spoons. Color didn’t seem to matter. Several fish were in the 10 lb range, with most running between three and

six pounds.

 

“It was one of those days you hear about, but aren’t really sure if it’s true,” wrote William Heling in an email to Naze. “By far the greatest experience any of us has ever had on the big lake.” The picture was set up on the Casco lawn of Heling’s parents. “We actually had a final tally of 48 of 61, but threw a few back so as to not be over the limit.” Heling said he counted four other boats out there, and everyone was catching fish. At least four boats were off Algoma the same morning.


Indiana

DNR rule change public hearing Feb 13

The Indiana DNR will hold a public hearing to receive comments on several proposed administrative rule changes.

 

Proposed rule changes include allowing rifles loaded with pistol cartridges during the deer firearms season, exempting hunters younger than 16 years old from Harvest Information Program (HIP) registration before hunting migratory birds during the youth free hunting season, and adding the cerulean warbler to the state's endangered species list.

 

The hearing will be held Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. (EST) at the Garrison Conference Center at Ft. Harrison State Park in Indianapolis.

 

The proposed deer firearm season rule change language reads:

The rifle cartridge must:

(A) have a bullet of three hundred fifty-seven thousandths of an inch (.357) diameter or larger;

(B) have a minimum case length of one and sixteen hundredths (1.16) inches; and

(C) have a maximum case length of one and six hundred twenty-five thousandths (1.625) inches.

The Natural Resources Commission preliminarily adopted these rule changes, along with several others, in July 2006. The adopted rules are online at:  www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/about/   Click on "2006 Additional Wildlife Administrative Rule Changes".

Public comments can be submitted by e-mail, written letter, or at the public hearing.

 

Written comments can be sent to:

Hearing Officer

Natural Resources Commission

402 W. Washington Street, W272

Indianapolis, IN 46204 

 

Comments can also be e-mailed to:  jkane@nrc.in.gov

 

Written comments must be received no later than February 15.

 

A copy of the public hearing report will be available at www.IN.gov/nrc  prior to final consideration by the Natural Resources Commission. The NRC will likely consider these rule changes for final adoption in March. If approved by the NRC, attorney general and governor, the changes will become effective this summer.


Minnesota

MN names new DNR commissioner, deputy

St. Paul - Governor Tim Pawlenty has appointed Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Deputy Commissioner Mark Holsten as DNR commissioner. Holsten has served as deputy commissioner of DNR since January 2003.  Prior to serving as the Deputy Commissioner of DNR, Holsten served in the Minnesota House of Representatives for ten years, including as Chair of the House Environmental & Natural Resources Finance Committee.

 

Holsten, 41, was a key leader in the Pawlenty Administration on a number of outdoor and conservation initiatives including improved management of ATV trails to protect the environment, while preserving Minnesotans’ ability to enjoy the outdoors; forest certification of more than 4 million acres of state lands; and enhanced management of 1,380 public wildlife areas with 1.2 million acres of habitat, from prairies

and wetlands to forests and swamps, for Minnesota's game and non-game wildlife species.

 

Laurie Martinson replaced Holsten as the new Minnesota Department of Natural Resources deputy commissioner, effective Jan. 2.

 

Martinson has been acting assistant commissioner since Brad Moore moved to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) in August. Before that, she had served as DNR Trails and Waterways Division director since December 2003, overseeing rebuilding of the division, and operation and maintenance of 1,100 miles of state trails, 1,560 public water access sites, 280 fishing piers and shore fishing sites, as well as 3,400 miles of river recreation opportunities through designated canoe and boating routes.


Ontario

Fishing Regs changes for 2007

Lake Erie walleye creel increased, season open all year in 2007

QUEEN’S PARK - Revised recreational fishing regulations are simpler, easier to understand and provide better service and opportunities to anglers, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay said.

 

“Based on extensive consultation and our knowledge of these fisheries, we feel it’s important to change these regulations as soon as possible,” said Ramsay. “These changes will help tourism operators who have booked clients based on the expectations that certain regulation changes would be in place in the new year.”

 

The following regulation changes took effect January 1, 2007:

►  The walleye season will be open year-round on all of Lake Erie. In 2006, walleye fishing on the Ontario side of Lake Erie was closed from March 15 to May.

►  The catch and possession limit for walleye in the eastern basin of Lake Erie will increase to six fish from four.

This will provide increased angling opportunities and will bring the limit for walleye in the eastern basin in line with the rest of Lake Erie, the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River.

 

► On Lake Nipissing, the winter season for walleye and some other species is being extended by one week. This change, along with a longer fall season and changes in catch limits, will apply to the entire lake including the West Arm.

► On Golden Lake, the walleye fishery will re-open after being closed for five years. There will be a 50 cm minimum size limit, and a catch and possession limit of two walleye (under a sport fishing licence) and one walleye (under a conservation fishing licence). The season will run from the third Saturday in May to March 31. This will increase angling opportunities while protecting species.

 

► The province is extending the bass season across the province by moving the opening day from the last Saturday in June to the fourth Saturday in June.

 

A complete package of new Ontario fishing regulations requires federal approval but the Minister of Natural Resources has the authority to change existing regulations dealing with seasons or catch and possession limits. With federal approval still pending the province decided to proceed with changes under its control.

 

Changes to the fishing regulations are part of the ministry’s new Ecological Framework for Recreational Fisheries Management in Ontario announced last year. This science-based approach will ensure the sustainability of Ontario’s valuable fish resources while maintaining and improving the recreational fishery.

 

► The province is extending the bass season across the province by moving the opening day from the last Saturday in June to the fourth Saturday in June. This means an extra week of bass fishing in 2007.


Ontario acts to control further spread of fish virus

Restricts use of live bait fish for 2007 winter fishing season

TORONTO — The Ontario government is took immediate steps to control the further spread of a new fish virus into lakes and rivers in central and northern Ontario, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced.

 

“Viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) has recently been discovered in fish from the lower Great Lakes,” said Ramsay. “While not a threat to human health, it has been linked to the die-offs of at least four species of fish. We’re asking all anglers and bait fish dealers in the affected areas to help slow down the spread of VHS to protect fish species by observing the necessary restrictions on the transport and use of live bait fish this winter.”

 

Waters known to be infected with the virus include Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Restrictions are necessary because a large portion of the bait fish harvested for sale to anglers for winter fishing in Ontario is caught in Lake Erie and the upper Niagara

River. If the virus spreads to Ontario’s inland waters and upper

Great Lakes, it could have serious ecological, social and economic impacts.

 

To control the spread of the virus, effective immediately, Ontario has been divided into three zones – the infected zone, the buffer zone and the virus-free zone.

 

In the infected zone, south of Highways 401 and 402 across Ontario, live bait fish will not be allowed to be commercially harvested or transported north of the two highways.

 

In the buffer zone, north of Highways 401 and 402 to the northern limits of Fisheries Management Zones (FMZ) 16, 17 and 18, as well as all of FMZ 12 east of FMZ 18, and Zone 13 (Lake Huron), live bait fish can be harvested and used but cannot be transported north of these fisheries management zones.

 

In the remainder of Ontario, known as the virus-free zone, live bait fish can be harvested and transported as usual.


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

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

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