Week of February 28, 2005

National

Canada

Regional

General

Lake Michigan

Illinois

Indiana

Michigan

Minnesota

New York

Pennsylvania

Wisconsin

Ontario

       Weekly News Archives

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National

Federal Fish Hatchery System secure for now
Outsourcing of the federal fish hatchery system now appears to have been taken out of consideration. The American Sportfishing Association lead the effort to address this issue by first sending a letter to James L. Connaughton, chair, White House Office of the Council on Environmental Quality and then arranging a meeting with the Council to explain the negative impact of outsourcing on fisheries.

ASA requested that the proposal be withdrawn and other alternatives be explored. As background, in early December, ASA hosted an emergency FishNet meeting after learning of the Department of Interior outsourcing proposal for the Federal Fish Hatchery System. FishNet partners met with the White House Council on Environmental Quality officials in early January to discuss the issue.

 


Senators’ Bipartisan Effort to Boost Aquatic Resources Trust Fund

ALEXANDRIA, VA - Senators Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Trent Lott (R-MS), last week, introduced legislation to restructure the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, which distributes federal funds to state fish and wildlife agencies for boating and fishing programs. The bill would consolidate the fund’s receipts and distribute them according to a simpler and more equitable formula supported by the American Sportfishing Association and a coalition of 33 other fishing and boating organizations.

 

Kohl and Lott also introduced a second bill that would recover approximately $110 million per year of excise taxes currently being paid by anglers and boaters. Under current law, only 13.5 cents per gallon is sent to the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, which is only a portion of the 18.3 cents per gallon that is collected on motorboat and small engine fuels. Restoring the remaining excise taxes will significantly boost funding for important programs under the Sport Fish Restoration Act, such as fisheries monitoring; habitat conservation and restoration; fishing and boating access facilities such as docks, piers and boat ramps; and education and safety 

programs for anglers and boaters. 

 

“The legislation Kohl and Lott introduced would add $110 million annually to the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, which will mean at least an additional $1.1 million for each state’s fishing and boating programs each year,” said Mike Nussman, president and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association. “These funds will greatly enhance the states’ ability to provide essential services to the angling and boating public.”

 

The Sport Fish Restoration Act set up the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund as the collection point for motor boat fuel taxes and other excise taxes on fishing gear. Altogether the fund amounts to about $450 million per year, which is ultimately parceled to state fish and wildlife agencies as a primary source of their overall funding. For more than 10 years, only a portion of anglers and boaters' federal motor boat fuel taxes have been directed to the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, a user-pay fund that provides revenues for fishing and boating programs across the nation.


Nation’s Manufacturers, Labor Support Firearms Industry

To Prevent Unjust Lawsuits Intended to Ruin Responsible Businesses

NEWTOWN, Conn. — Legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would prevent further abuse of our nation’s courts when frivolous lawsuits against law-abiding businesses seek to blame them for the criminal misuse of legally sold firearms. 

 

Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) introduced the bill, HR 800, with strong bipartisan backing from 92 co-sponsors. A Senate bill will be introduced shortly. Titled “The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” it enjoys support from business groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Association of Wholesalers, as well as organized labor whose members’ jobs are endangered by such reckless lawsuits that are brought against their employers with the intention of bankrupting them. 

 

The National Association of Manufacturers, representing 14,000 members with 18 million employees making all manner of products in America, sees the issue this way: "Today it’s handguns, but tomorrow it could be power tools, golf clubs or automobiles. Manufacturers of perfectly lawful, properly designed and well-functioning products can’t rationally be held liable for third-party actions that may result in harm to another."

More than thirty states already have passed similar legislation to prevent unwarranted lawsuits attempting to blame responsible businesses and their employees for the acts of criminals. Federal legislation would prevent new suits from being filed or existing cases from proceeding when a judge determines that the defendants are not connected to the wrongdoing of criminals, and their product was not defectively designed or made.

 

“This legislation would not stop legitimate lawsuits by someone who is injured by a defective product or against any business that knowingly breaks the law. Those kinds of actions are well-established and protected under our statutes and legal traditions. This new law is needed to stop predatory lawsuits that are intended to bankrupt an entire industry by turning upside-down centuries of legal tradition and jurisprudence in America that provides protection in our courts for the innocent,” explains Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of NSSF.

 

Beginning in 1998, some three-dozen lawsuits were brought by municipalities and firearm prohibitionists to blame federally licensed firearm makers and sellers for the criminal misuse of products lawfully made and sold. “Our industry has been forced to spend more than $200 million dollars defending against these outrageous and patently false allegations, with no end in sight,” said Keane.

 

 


New Law Strengthens Fight Against Invasive and Noxious Weeds

Noxious Weed Control Act a Highlight of Conference to Protect Native Plant Species

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Feb. 16, 2005 - A recently enacted law is expected to significantly strengthen the fight against invasive weeds in the United States, helping restore native plants and ecosystems nationwide. Signed last October by President Bush, the Noxious Weed Control Act enables the Secretary of Agriculture's office to assist eligible weed management agencies in responding to noxious weed problems on public and private lands.

 

Passage of the Act will be noted throughout the 6th Annual National Invasive Weeds Awareness Week Conference in Washington, D.C., Feb. 27 through March 4.   The conference spotlights problems caused by invasive weeds and other types of invasive vegetation, and highlights the successes of hundreds of projects designed to curb the spread of invasives.

 

"With invasive plant species infesting an estimated 100 million acres across the United States, the Noxious Weed Control Act is a strong step in the right direction," said Rob Hedberg, director of science policy, Weed Science Society of America. "It will provide funding for planning initiatives to control invasive vegetation, which is what we really need in this country. Early detection and rapid response are the first lines of defense against noxious and invasive weeds - which are a growing threat to our nation's native ecosystems."

 

In the United States alone, invasive plant species displace native species by a rate of eight to 20 percent each year, often causing serious environmental problems. For example, thirsty invasive brush such as saltcedar can threaten vital water supplies. A single plant is capable of consuming as much as 300 gallons of water a day - or about 6,000 gallons per month. In comparison, the average American household uses about 8,000 gallons of water per month.

 

During National Invasive Weeds Awareness Week, representatives of weed management agencies will host a conference to increase the understanding of invasive plant management issues in the United States.  The conference is

sponsored and hosted by the Invasive Weeds Awareness Coalition (IWAC), a Washington, D.C.-based coalition dedicated to increasing awareness of invasive weed problems and associated research and management needs.

 

The U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C., will showcase displays designed by state and federal agencies that demonstrate how to identify harmful invasive plants and highlight successful partnership projects that are controlling and managing invasive plants and restoring ecosystems.  The public is invited and encouraged to visit the displays, which will include information exhibits on menacing invasive weeds, including:

 

Saltcedar:

This aggressive colonizer (also called tamarisk) often forms single-species, or monotypic, stands that replace willows, cottonwoods and other native vegetation in communities nationwide.  A single plant can consume 300 gallons of water a day, lowering groundwater levels and threatening water sources for communities and wildlife alike.

 

Giant Hogweed:

Grows mostly in the Northeast and contains sap that can cause long-lasting swelling and blisters in people and animals, and may cause temporary or permanent blindness in certain cases.

 

Kudzu:  

A highly invasive weed, kudzu currently infests approximately seven million acres throughout the southern United States. The weed creates a safety hazard by reducing visibility on highways and causing transmission failures on power lines, while choking trees and any other plant in its way.

 

Salvinia:

An aquatic weed notorious for dominating slow-moving or quiet freshwaters, its rapid growth, vegetative reproduction and tolerance to environmental stress make it an aggressive, competitive species that negatively affects aquatic environments, boating and other recreational uses, and economies of nearby communities.


Let's Enforce Our Laws

by Phyllis Schlafly

The U.S. Constitution specifies that the President of the United States "shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Americans pride ourselves on being a nation of laws, not of men, so here are some suggestions for our government to faithfully enforce our laws.

 

Every year, Congress appropriates enormous amounts of taxpayers' money to colleges and universities over and above subsidies for the tuition of individual students. Most colleges and universities are run by very leftwing administrators and professors who are anti-military and sometimes even anti-American, so some of the elite universities decided to bar U.S. military recruiters from coming to their campus to recruit students for our Armed Services.

 

Several years ago, Congress passed the Solomon Amendment to condition federal funding to colleges on their fair treatment of military recruiters. As the sponsor, the late Congressman Gerald Solomon, said, "If you do not like the Armed Forces, . . . that is your First Amendment right. But don't expect federal dollars to support your interference with our

military recruiters."

 

Leftwing universities have been trying ever since to evade this law, and they finally found some activist judges to help them circumvent it. A 2-to-1 panel of judges on the Third Federal Circuit recently blocked enforcement of the Solomon Amendment.

 

These supremacist judges seem to believe they can rule supreme over the other two branches of government and create a new right to receive taxpayers' money without obeying the legal conditions on that money. As the dissenting judge said, these judges simply "created new law, totally unsupported by binding precedent."

 

It's the duty of the President to order the Justice Department to use its full legal powers to defend this good law. Congress should rally to enthusiastic support of the Solomon Amendment by cutting off generous grants to anti-military colleges and universities, since it is well established that Congress can put conditions on the spending of taxpayers' money.


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for February 25, 2005

Current Lake Levels: 

All of the Great Lakes are 8 to 18 inches above last year’s levels.   Lake Superior is 1 inch below its long-term average, while Lake Michigan-Huron is 8 inches below its long-term average. Lake St. Clair is 9 inches above its long-term average, while Lakes Erie and Ontario are 14 and 12 inches above their long-term averages, respectively.


Current Outflows/Channel Conditions: 

The Lake Superior outflow through the St. Marys River into Lake Huron is expected to be near average during the month of February.  Flow in the St. Clair River is also projected to be near average.  Flows in the Detroit, Niagara, and St. Lawrence Rivers are all anticipated to be above average in February.

 

Temperature/Precipitation Outlook: 

A mixture of sun and clouds is on tap for the weekend in the

Great Lakes basin.  A significant storm may affect the region early next week, bringing rain and snow.  Heavy lake effect snow is possible next week as well.

 

Forecasted Water Levels: 

Lake Superior is forecasted to continue its seasonal decline and decrease 1 inch over the next month.  Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are all nearing the end of their seasonal declines and should rise 2 inches during the next month.  Note that ice conditions on Lake St. Clair may create rapid fluctuations in the levels over short periods.

 

Alerts:

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.


Canada

Canada's Kyoto commitment - and Exercise in Hypocrisy

This was the week the Kyoto Protocol officially came into effect

Canada is not only a signatory to the protocol but is one of its most ardent cheerleaders. This country was early into the global-warming game, and wanted to be seen as doing even more than other countries.

 

But, backsliders we, according to a BBC report: "Canada, one of the treaty's first signatories, has no clear plan for reaching its target emission cuts. Far from cutting back, its emissions have increased by 20 % cent since 1990." We pledged to go on an energy diet, and instead we're on a binge.

 

And some people make fun of George W. Bush.

 

BBC reports the Americas have at least the courtesy of being direct with the world. Mr. Bush is not a hypocrite. The U.S. administration does not buy what everyone is pleased to call the "science" of global warming, and will not join the great conga line of those who have piously pledged to reduce emissions, while -- like Canada -- go the other way.

 

BBC goes on to compare Canada's Kyoto commitment, the Liberal government, and their gun registry.

 

Considering the tab the government ran up on firearms, Canadians dread, truly dread, what it is letting us in for on Kyoto. Counting guns is, after all, a little less complex than scanning the near infinite variables of the cosmic science of climatology. The gun registry has cost more than 500 times what we were told it would cost. And counting guns is not, as the phrase has it, rocket science. Whereas global warming is rocket science, and then some. It is a labyrinthine and massive chain of large and small-scale cause and effect, exposed to massive variables, incomplete data, and infected (as no science that pretends to the name can ever admit to

being) with the passions of advocacy and, at the further edge of radical environmentalism, all the temptations of apocalypse mongering.

 

The article goes on in a manner than would do credit to that Old Testament pessimist Jeremiah, or the even more gloomy and vivid Ezekiel: "Floods, storms and droughts. Melting Arctic ice, shrinking glaciers, oceans turning to acid . . ." Oceans turning to acid? No wonder Rick Mercer is telling us to turn down the thermostat. I think the message in that headline --and a hundred others like it, and a thousand essays and columns that have embraced the cause of global warming -- is that we are in a fever of credulity on this subject. The language -- strident, febrile, angry, urgent and hyperbolic -- belongs to the country of evangelism at its most fervid, not the territory of science -- dispassionate, cool, patient and inquiring. It is clear to me that the verbal mannerisms of the more ardent champions of global warming are closer to the gorgeous deliriums of apocalypse literature than, say, to the notebooks of Madame Curie.

 

People who support, vaguely, the idea of "doing something" to stop global warming sense that the much touted "scientific consensus" on the subject is more of a rhetorical boost for an imperfectly comprehended subject than an actual finding. We have no "consensus" on any scientific law. It is either right or wrong -- because Nature doesn't operate on a show of hands. And consensus in this context is the word that's reached for when "fact" is unobtainable.

 

The rude awakening arrived last week when The Globe reported that in the forthcoming budget, which will lay out the government's plan for Kyoto, the word "Kyoto" will not appear.  This, if true, will be very telling. How can the government, honorably, commit to spending billions on a protocol it is ashamed or afraid to name in the budget that lays out those billions?


General

Lindy Lands Beckman Nets/Drift socks

United Sports Inc. Merged Into Lindy-Little Joe, Inc.

Brainerd, MN - Ted Takasaki, president of Lindy and Sam Anderson, president of United Sorts & Leisure Products (United Sports), Eagan, MN have announced the merger of United Sports into Lindy - Little Joe, Inc. (Lindy).

 

Takasaki and Anderson announced that the products and operations of United Sports will be merged into Lindy's Brainerd, MN operations.  United Sports is primarily known for its line of ultra high quality Beckman fishing nets and Drift Control drift socks. United Sports products also include an extensive line of fishing accessories including fishing rod and reel cases, ice fishing accessories, and collapsible mesh bait containers. Many of the accessory products are focused on helping anglers better organize so they can fish more!

 

Under the terms of the merger agreement, United Sports principals Sam Anderson and Dave Anderson have become shareholders of Lindy and will serve on the eight member Lindy board of directors.

Sam Anderson, one of the top professional walleye anglers in country will play a key role within Lindy.  “This merge will create dramatic synergies for both Beckman and Lindy by providing customers with added value and enhanced product lines.”, Sam added.  Sam will step up as a critical member of the prestigious Lindy Pro Staff and will market Lindy products through his tournament fishing, magazine articles, fishing seminars and other promotional activities. Sam will also play a key role in marketing and product development for the Lindy and Beckman product lines.

 

According to Takasaki, “Beckman Nets and Drift Control drift socks add a whole new dimension to the Lindy product line...a natural line extension.  We are extremely excited about the high quality brand names that we have just acquired and look forward to introducing new and innovative products.” 

 

Lindy brand names include: Lindy, Little Joe, Thill, Old Bayside, Systems Tackle, NO-SNAGG, Munchies, Techni-Glo, and M/G.


Tire Failures Top The List Of 2004 Boat Trailer Breakdowns

Burdened by the weight of their loads, infrequent use, pot holes, the sun's blistering UV rays, winter's freezing temperatures and submersion in water, boat trailers don't have an easy life. Of the thousands of requests for roadside assistance made by BoatU.S. Trailering Club members in 2004, the number one call for assistance was for flat tires, more than twice as many as the next runner up.  But according to the February issue of BoatU.S Trailering Magazine, trailer boaters can take a few steps to ensure a smooth run no matter whether it's to the lake just across town or a 500-mile, long-distance trek to the shore.

 

 To start with, make sure your bias ply or radial trailer tires were made for trailering.  A "ST" designation on the sidewall indicates "special trailer" used for boat trailers. These tires have stronger sidewalls than "P" (passenger) and "LT" (light truck tires). Also never mix bias ply (commonly used for short trips or when a trailer is parked for long periods) with radial tires (preferred for high-mileage trips).

 

Inflation is the most basic tire maintenance issue. Tires should be inflated while cold, before the trip -- not during. And if all else fails, having a spare tire is key, but unfortunately most trailer manufacturers neglect to include one as standard 

equipment. Be sure to bring a tire and rim combo when shopping for your spare as not all are alike. Ensure your jack can handle the trailer as well.

 

A tire's worst enemy is dry rot caused by the UV rays.  If you store your boat and trailer outside during the winter, remove the tires and keep inside if possible. Tire covers can also help.

 

Moisture can also doom a tire, especially if the trailer sits idle for a long time on grassy, damp ground. Again, removing the tire is best but parking on plywood can also help. If parking on a hard surface such as concrete, ensure that water freely drains away from the trailer after a rainstorm.

 

Lastly, ensure that you know your boat and trailer weight, as overloading can lead to premature wear and potentially dangerous blowouts.

 

The BoatU.S. Trailering Club offers members a specialized, affordable 24-hour Trailer Assist & Tow program for boat trailers and tow vehicle - with up to $150 paid per trailer breakdown incident - as well as a subscription to BoatU.S. Trailering magazine. The cost to join is just $10 for BoatU.S. members.  For more info: http://www.BoatUS.com/trailerclub  or call 1-800-245-6923.


 

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan Stocking Conference – April 9

Status of Chinook Salmon in Lake Michigan

April 9, 2005

8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Lake Michigan College

Benton Harbor, MI

 

        

           

The fisheries management agencies of Lake Michigan and its

partners will present a one day conference on the status of Chinook salmon populations and forage in Lake Michigan. This conference will concentrate on the sport fishery and forage base dynamics since the Chinook salmon stocking reduction was instituted lakewide in 1999. The immediate future of salmon management in the lake will also be discussed.

 

Hosted by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and
Michigan Sea Grant

 

Conference room located at the Napier Avenue Campus, main building,
Blue Lecture Hall.  2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI.

 

5$ Pre-registration required through Michigan Sea Grant.
Space is limited.  Lunch will be provided.

 

For more information please contact:

Michigan Sea Grant @ 616-846-8250

Michigan DNR @ 269-685-6851, ext. 103

Or visit http://www.michigan.gov/dnr  and click on “Fishing”

 


Illinois

Archery Shoot Turkey Style - March 5 & 6

Hosted By Bass Pro Shops  Gurnee, Illinois

Saturday March 5 - 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. - Last shooter at 5:30 p.m.

Sunday March 6 - 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Last shooter at 3:30 p.m.

 

No Registration required, and it's open to all shooters. Come out and have some fun.  There's a  $10.00 Entry Fee and

prizes will awarded for 1st - 3rd places.   While here take part in the NWTF Turkey Shoot. Test your skills shooting turkeys to win prizes while helping support hunter safety.  All proceeds from this event go to the National Wild Turkey Federation.

 

For more info: Mike Ryglewicz at 847-856-1229, msryglewicz@basspro.com  or Bill Worth at 847-336-7370, worths@aol.com


Spring Fishing Classic March 18-20

Kids, Kids, Kids...it is all about the Kids!

Kids of all ages that is.  All kids ages 1 - 100 love the outdoors and we have something for them all.

 

FREE Admission and FREE Parking to events such as the Bassmaster Casting  Kids Contest, Product demonstrations, Kids Trout Pond hosted by Walleyes Unlimited USA, Chauncey's Mom and Mee Outdoors, Cooking Demos, Manufacturers booths, FREE Seminars by top fishing pros Jimmy Houston, Spence Petros, Pete Maina, Keith Kavajecz, and many more. There is something for the kid in all of us at 

Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing Classic March 18-20 in Gurnee, Illinois.

 

Customers can bring in their old working fishing reel and give a youngster a chance to experience fishing. Trade in an old working reel and...PASS IT ON, customers will receive an instant coupon to use toward the purchase of a new reel.

 

Don't miss the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Spring Fishing Classic March 18-20 where kids of all ages can experience the outdoors ...indoors.

 

For more details contact Mike Ryglewicz at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World 847-856-1229 msryglewicz@basspro.com  or visit web site www.basspro.com


Indiana

Fish preparation workshops April 11 & 12

Get ready for spring fishing by learning how to make the most of your catch

The Purdue Cooperative Extension Service is presenting free, fish cleaning and preparation workshops in east central and south central Indiana in April.  Learn electric knife filleting skills and practice your technique. Discover practical methods and recipes to improve the quality and taste of common Indiana fish species while sampling some delicious fish

dishes. Gain a better understanding of what the Indiana fish consumption advisory means to you and your family.

 

Fish preparation workshop locations and dates:

- Henry Cty, April 11, W.G. Smith Auditorium, Memorial Park (New Castle) Register by calling Henry County  765-529-5002

- Jennings Cty, April 12, Southeast Purdue Ag. Center (Butlerville) Register by calling Ripley County  812-689-6511


Reserved wild turkey hunt applications due March 15

New 8000-acre Fairbanks Landing FWA and Muscatatuck NWR added to selection. Reserved turkey hunts are available at 17 Indiana DNR properties, two national wildlife refuges and a military area for the upcoming spring turkey season, which runs April 27 through May 15.

 

The deadline for reserved hunt applications is March 15. Hunters may apply for reserved turkey hunts by completing the application card in Indiana's 2004-05 Hunting and Trapping Guide, available at DNR properties, wherever hunting licenses are sold, or by calling (317) 232-4080.

 

Hunters must have a valid turkey, lifetime or youth hunting license to apply. Applicants will be selected by random drawing and will be notified of results by mail.

 

Jasper-Pulaski, Kingsbury, LaSalle, Pigeon River, Tri-County, Willow Slough and Winamac Fish and Wildlife areas and Roush Lake, Mississinewa and Salamonie reservoirs will conduct five, three-day reserved hunts and two, two-day reserved hunts. Hunting dates for these areas are:

April 27, 28, 29

April 30, May 1

May 2, 3, 4

May 5, 6, 7

May 8, 9, 10

May 11, 12, 13

May 14, 15

 

Other reserved hunts are available. For more info:

 

DNR property information:

www.in.gov/dnr/destinations/list.html

 

Muscatatuck NWR information:

www.fws.gov/midwest/Muscatatuck/

 

Indiana turkey hunting regulations:

www.IN.gov/dnr/fishwild/huntguide1/turkey.htm

 

Turkey harvest data:

www.IN.gov/dnr/fishwild/hunt/turkey/turkeydata.htm


Michigan

Scientists search for spawning Sturgeon in Saginaw River Watershed

The Bay City Times reports sturgeon may be spawning in the Saginaw River watershed after a long period of decline.

 

The USFWS plans to begin a three-year project next month to see if lake sturgeon, a species native to the area, are swimming in from Saginaw Bay and up the Saginaw River to drop eggs in the Tittabawassee and Cass rivers.  Sturgeon, listed by the state as threatened, can grow to 9 ft long and weigh up to 300 lbs. Females can live to be 150 years old.

 

The results will be used by the Service and Michigan DNR in ongoing efforts to rehabilitate lake sturgeon populations throughout the Great Lakes.  There is already anecdotal evidence that sturgeon are in the river system. The DNR receives one or two reports a year of sturgeon being caught in the watershed, typically in the spring, when spawning occurs, said Jim Baker, local DNR fisheries manager.  

Since 1998, about 350 sturgeon reportedly have been caught

in commercial fishing nets in the bay.

 

While sturgeon are considered a game fish, by law they have to be released if caught in the Saginaw River watershed. Limited harvesting is permitted in Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River, which has a population of about 25,000 sturgeon.  Sturgeon spawning in the watershed most likely live in the Saginaw Bay. Other significant populations are in the Black Lake area near Cheboygan and Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin.

 

FWS biologists will begin a tagging program for sturgeon in Wickes Park in Saginaw, beginning in mid-to-late March. Egg mats also will be placed in two likely spawning areas - below the Dow Chemical Co. dam on the Tittabawassee River in Midland and below the Frankenmuth dam on the Cass River in downtown Frankenmuth.  The mats will be checked once a week. The project will continue until the end of April, and resume in 2006 and 2007.


Michigan Tries to Strengthen Invasive Species Laws

Measure would set up more protection from invasive species

CHEBOYGAN - The Cheboygan Tribune reports state senators introduced legislation last week in hopes of protecting Northern Michigan from further damage from destructive insects such as the emerald ash borer.

 

"Michigan would be better protected against invasive insects such as emerald ash borers, and plant species like Eurasian milfoil and hydrilla under this legislation, said a spokesman for State Sen. Jason Allen, R-Traverse City.

"We are dedicated to protecting and preserving our environment," Allen said. "These bills are a step in the right direction."

 

The bipartisan legislative package would:

● Identify prohibited insects and aquatic plant species such as the emerald ash borer and the Asian longhorned beetle, which threaten Michigan's tree population.

● Prohibit the release and introduction of certain insects and aquatic plant species.

● Amend the Natural Resources and Protection Act to recognize the existence of and prohibit genetically engineered or non-native aquatic plants.

● Require the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to post requirements and penalties on their Web site.

● Establish a Non-native Species Advisory Council and specify duties of the council.

● Sponsored by Allen, the Advisory Council would establish

criteria for identifying infested waterways and make recommendations regarding the state's efforts to eradicate invasive species. The Council also would report annually to the Legislature with recommendations for additions to the lists of invasive species and infested waterways.

 

"This package expands on the prohibitions we enacted last year against non-native fish species," Allen said. "These bills are necessary and crucial to protecting Michigan's natural habitat. We need to reduce and eliminate the presence of foreign species like the emerald ash borer that are destroying our environment."

 

The ash borer was discovered in southern Cheboygan County late last year. Local and state officials are in the process of establishing a public plan to limit the spread of the destructive beetle.

 

The borer, which has destroyed millions of ash trees in Southern Michigan, was discovered recently in portions of Emmet, Presque Isle, Antrim and Grand Traverse counties.

 

Allen spokesman Jamie Callahan said that the Great Lakes Conservation Task Force Report, issued in 2002, made broad recommendations for important steps that the state should take to protect our water quality. "One of the most important recommendations was to implement laws that will guard against further invasion of both non native fish and plants," he said


Minnesota

Tietz named acting regional director for northwest Minnesota

Swenson new tribal liaison for DNR

Roger Tietz has been appointed acting Northwest Region director by Minnesota DNR Commissioner Gene Merriam, effective Feb. 23.

 

Tietz, a 23-year DNR employee, has served as the Enforcement Division supervisor in the DNR's Northwest Region for the past three years. Capt. Tietz began his DNR enforcement career in 1982 as a field conservation officer. He has also served as an Enforcement Division district

supervisor and as a law enforcement training coordinator.

 

Paul Swenson, former regional director is the new tribal liaison for DNR to help relations with the two northwestern MN tribes. 

 

Tietz said he is looking forward to the challenges that come with the temporary appointment. Although Tietz said he welcomes the opportunities and challenges that come with this temporary appointment, he does not plan to seek the position permanently.  Tietz will continue to serve as regional enforcement supervisor during this temporary appointment.


New York

DEC announces “State of Lake Ontario” meetings – March 8, 14, 16
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced three upcoming public meetings to discuss Lake Ontario fisheries. The eighth annual "State of Lake Ontario" public meetings will be held in Monroe, Niagara, and Oswego counties.

Lake Ontario's embayments and tributaries support thriving populations of fish to satisfy anglers, including a variety of trout and salmon, bass, walleye, yellow perch and panfish.   New York's waters of Lake Ontario comprise over 2.7 million acres, and a 1996 statewide angler survey estimated over 2.8 million angler days expended on Lake Ontario and the three major tributaries.  The estimated value of these fisheries exceeded $95 million to the local New York economy. 

DEC and United States Geological Survey biologists will make

presentations at the meetings on: the status of forage fish
stocks; updates on the Lake Ontario fishing boat census; status of the Salmon River salmon and steelhead fisheries; status of the lake trout population; cormorant management and diets studies; and cooperative pen-rearing projects for trout and salmon.  There will be ample time at the end of the scheduled program for the audience to interact with the presenters.

 

The meeting dates are as follows:
* Tuesday, March 8, 2005: 7 - 10 p.m. Carlson Ctr for Imaging Science Auditorium, Bldg 76 on the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus, Rochester.
* Monday, March 14, 2005: 7 - 10 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport.
* Wednesday, March 16, 2005: 7 - 10 p.m. at the Oswego County BOCES, 179 County Route 64, Mexico.


Animal Cruelty Bill Will Make Criminals of Sportsmen

New York sportsmen must urge state lawmakers to defeat an assembly bill that will make hunting a punishable act of animal cruelty.

 

Assembly Bill 1850, introduced by Assemblyman Alexander Grannis, D-New York, would revise the state’s definition of animal cruelty to include “killing or injuring...wild game and wild birds.”  The revision would make legal hunting and trapping activities criminal offenses.  The bill is being considered before the Assembly Agriculture Committee.

 

“The bill creates a contradiction in the law as the state code allows regulated hunting,” said Tony Celebrezze, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance director of state services.  “But the definition of animal cruelty in the bill makes hunting illegal.  “If AB 1850 becomes law, anti-hunters will have a field day ensuring that sportsmen are prosecuted on animal cruelty

charges,” he added.

 

Anti-hunting lawmakers nationwide are introducing vague or poorly worded animal cruelty legislation in an effort to outlaw hunting. 

 Assembly Bill 1850 bares striking similarities to a Texas bill that would turn common hunting practices into criminal acts of animal cruelty.  Sportsmen in Iowa and Connecticut have also had to defeat animal cruelty bills that threatened hunting with hounds.

 

Take Action!  New York sportsmen should ask your assemblymen to oppose AB 1850!  Explain that this bill will make criminals out of law abiding sportsmen. To contact your assemblyman, call (518) 455-2800.  Sportsmen can also find their legislators using the Legislative Action Center at www.ussportsmen.org.


Pennsylvania

Special Commission Meeting Scheduled March 16

Consideration of fisheries items and other agency business

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has scheduled a special Commission meeting on March 16 for the consideration of fisheries items and other agency business.  The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. at the Commission’s headquarters, 1601 Elmerton Ave in Harrisburg.     

       

The meeting will allow the Commission to take up several items that were not addressed when travel conditions forced the regularly-scheduled winter meeting in January to be shortened.  At the March 16 meeting, Commissioners will consider a trout production shift that would increase the size of adult trout produced in state hatcheries by 30% beginning with stockings in 2007.  If approved, the Commission’s trout production goal will be to produce trout that average 11 inches in size and weigh 30% more than the current product. A shift in individual trout size would not change the overall production target for Pennsylvania’s State Fish Hatchery system. Production capacity within the state fish hatchery system can support a maximum of 1.9 million pounds of adult trout annually.  The Commission has used that total poundage goal for the last several years and would continue to do so.

 

The proposed production shift would not apply to trout the Fish and Boat Commission receives from Allegheny National Fish Hatchery (100,000/year), those from the Tellico Adult Trout Contract (130,000/year), or those from the Cooperative Nursery Program (1 million/year).    

       

In addition, the Commission will consider moving forward with seeking public input on potential changes in special trout regulations for consolidation.  If approved as a notice of propose rulemaking, the Commission will hold a public comment period on the matter prior to a vote on final adoption later this year.

 

The proposal currently includes the following:

      

Establish a new program called Catch and Release Fly-Fishing Only

The Heritage Trout Angling Program and the Delayed Harvest 

Fly-Fishing Only Program will be eliminated, and all waters currently in them (7 waters in the Heritage Trout Angling Program and 26 waters in the Delayed Harvest Fly-Fishing Only Program) will be designated into the new Catch and Release Fly-Fishing Only Program. This program will provide year-round angling with no harvest, no hourly restrictions, no restriction on wading and no requirement for barbless hooks. During the substantial public commentary regarding the proposal to permit all-tackle on delayed harvest waters during the harvest season, a large segment of the fly-fishing community indicated a preference for no-harvest in the current Delayed Harvest Fly-Fishing Only Program. The main change for current delayed harvest fly-fishing only waters is the removal of the former summer harvest season.

 

Rename All-Tackle Trophy Trout to Trophy Trout All Tackle

This program will offer year-round angling with a 16-inch minimum length limit, a one trout daily creel limit and no wading restriction. The area of the Allegheny River, Warren County, will be moved from miscellaneous special regulations to the Trophy Trout All Tackle program.

 

Rename the existing Trophy Trout Program to Trophy Trout Artificial Lures Only Program

All existing waters in the program will remain, and all waters in the existing Catch and Release Program will be designated to the Trophy Trout Artificial Lures Only Program.  Tackle for this program will remain artificial lures only as currently specified for both programs, except barbed hooks will be allowed.  Fishing will be permitted year-round with no hourly restriction and no taking of baitfish or fish bait.  A 16-inch minimum length limit and a one trout per day creel limit also will apply.

      

Create a new program called Catch and Release All Tackle

Two miscellaneous special regulation waters, Spring Creek, Centre County, and Valley Creek, Chester County, will be designated into this program. Amend the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only Program to remove the daily fishing time restriction.  The commission staff does not envision any changes to the recently created Wild Brook Trout Enhancement Program or the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only Program.


Youth Conservation School Enrollment to Begin

The five-day/four-night program will be July 17 - 21

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) officials today announced that they will begin enrollment next week for the Youth Bass Anglers Conservation School, Pennsylvania’s unique learning experience for young students with a passion for fishing and a thirst for warm-water fishery knowledge.

           

“We are proud to join in this cooperative educational effort to provide angling youth with a solid foundation in warm-water aquatic ecosystems and their management as they apply to bass and bass angling,” said DCNR’s Bureau of State Parks Director Roger Fickes. “Participants will improve their stewardship skills and leave the school better equipped to serve as leaders in conservation. They also have a heck of a lot of fun learning.”

           

The five-day/four-night program will be Sunday, July 17, through Thursday afternoon, July 21, on Lake Perez at the Pennsylvania State University’s Stone Valley Recreation Area.

       

“Students will learn from experts and professionals in various conservation fields from across Pennsylvania and the nation,” said PFBC Executive Director Douglas Austen. “Instruction will be geared toward youth who already possess some basic outdoor skills and fishing experience but want to further develop those skills and learn more about bass angling.”

The Youth Bass Anglers Conservation School is a cooperative effort by DCNR’s Bureau of State Parks, the PFBC, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Pennsylvania State University, Marsh Creek Bass Club and the Pennsylvania Chapter, Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (B.A.S.S.).

 

Application and enrollment will begin Monday, March 1, for students ages 14-17. Study topics will include fish biology, fisheries management, habitat improvement, boating safety, fishing skills and techniques, fish and boating law enforcement, fisheries and conservation careers and tournament angling.  Other conservation-related and hands-on activities are also planned.

       

Student applicants must submit a written essay on the topics, “What fishing means to me,” and the importance of conservation, as well as a letter of recommendation from a teacher or close associate.  A total of 20 students will be selected.

       

As a $100 enrollment fee will be charged upon acceptance, students are encouraged to seek organizational sponsorship through sporting, community or civic groups.  For enrollment applications and more details call: Spring Reilly, 814-625-9369, spreilly@state.pa.us .

 

 


Wisconsin

Spring wildlife and fish rules hearings April 11

Hearings will be held on Monday, April 11, 7 p.m. in each county

MADISON – Changes to application and permit deadlines, requiring identification on tree stands setup on state-owned lands, prohibiting use of electronic decoys for turkey hunting, establishing a deer hunting season in Kohler-Andrae state park, allowing anglers to keep and kill one non-native fish species for transport to a DNR office, and a proposal to allow persons with a class B disabled hunting permit to participate in special October disabled hunts are among questions that will be on the docket for comment in the 2005 Department of Natural Resources Spring Wildlife and Fish Rules Hearings.

 

The hearings are held annually in every county of the state on the second Monday of April, which this year is April 11, to gauge public opinion on proposed changes to rules pertaining to fish and wildlife in Wisconsin. The hearings all begin at 7 p.m.

 

In addition to voting on proposed rules or changes to rules, delegates to the Wisconsin Conservation Congress are elected. The Conservation Congress was established by the Wisconsin Legislature in 1934 as a citizen body to advise the Natural Resources Board (NRB) on fish and wildlife management issues and policy.

 

To better accommodate citizen participation, business of the greatest importance to the most participants will be addressed early in the meeting agendas, according to Al Phelan, DNR Conservation Congress liaison who coordinates the hearings. The first item of business will be the election of county delegates to the Wisconsin Conservation Congress. Election of delegates will be done on ballots provided to residents of the county in which the hearing is being held. To vote for Congress delegates, people must be 18 years old and provide identification along with proof of residency in the county. Current DNR employees are not eligible for election as a delegate.

 

The second part of the hearing will be the DNR’s proposed fish and wildlife rule changes affecting the management of fish and wildlife in Wisconsin. There is no age or residency requirement to vote on any of the questions in the spring hearing questionnaire.

 

Questions will be grouped into two categories: those of statewide significance and those with mainly local impact. Only those rule proposals identified as statewide in nature will be voted on in all counties. Local rule changes will be presented only in affected counties unless someone in the audience in an unaffected county requests a vote on a local rule change. This system moves the hearings along more quickly while still allowing a resident of one area to vote on an issue affecting a favorite lake or wildlife area in another part of the state.

 

People may testify for the record on any of the proposals. The portion of the hearing concerning DNR rule proposals will be conducted by an authorized DNR hearing examiner, usually a conservation warden.

 

DNR Wildlife proposals

Some of the key wildlife rule changes proposed by the department include:

 

-Change the application deadline for submitting Class A Bear Hunting license applications;

-Prohibiting the use of electronic turkey decoys for turkey hunting;

-Allow use of dogs during the fall turkey hunting season;

-Requiring identification of tree stands on state-owned lands;

-Prohibiting tagging, collaring or marking and release of wild animals without department approval;

-Creating consistent standards for body-gripping type traps;

-Establishing a muzzleloader and late archery deer hunting season in Kohler-Andrae state park;

-Modification of the areas of the state where the use of dogs for bear hunting are allowed.

 

DNR Fisheries proposals

Some of the key fisheries management rule changes proposed by the department include:

 

Changing the open season for northern pike on small Lake Michigan tributaries north of Hwy. 10 from a continuous open season to the general fishing season of the first Saturday in May to the first Sunday in March to protect northern pike during the spawn.

 

Allowing anglers to keep and kill one specimen of any non-indigenous fish species for the purpose of transporting it to a DNR office for positive identification. Current regulations do not allow an angler to catch and keep non-indigenous species, except for Ruffe, gobies, and white perch. With concerns about Asian carp, snakeheads, and other exotic species arriving in Wisconsin, the rule is intend to allow an angler to keep and kill one specimen of any “detrimental” species for transport to a DNR office for positive identification. As non-indigenous species continue to arrive in Wisconsin and expand their ranges within the state, it is important to know what lakes and rivers they occupy.

 

Increasing or decreasing the size limit for northern pike on a

number of lakes in northern Wisconsin to better reflect management of the species for the specific lake.

 

Reduce the daily bag limit from 25 to 10 for panfish on a number of lakes in western Wisconsin that have received increased angling pressure resulting in reduced size structure and fewer large for panfish.

 

Eliminate the 28 inch minimum length limit and establish a restriction of one fish longer than 14-in allowed, and increase the daily bag limit from 1 to 5 for walleye on Kentuck Lake in Vilas County effective March 1, 2006. The restrictive regulation was placed on the lake in 2000 in response to the concerns about low numbers of walleye in the lake. Walleye numbers have recently rebounded due to a combination of recent stocking , natural recruitment, and restrictive harvest regulations, to levels appropriate for re-opening angler harvest.

 

Increase the minimum length and decrease the daily bag limit for lake trout and shorten the open season on Big Carr Lake and Clear Lake in Oneida County. The DNR has proposed to establish lake trout populations in Big Carr and Clear Lakes using genetically unique inland strains of lake trout from Trout and Black Oak Lakes, Vilas County as a safeguard against extirpation, and as possible sources of future broodstock. Black Oak Lake and Trout Lake are the only two lakes in the state of Wisconsin (exclusive of the Great Lakes) with native lake trout populations. Black Oak Lake is the only population sustained entirely by natural reproduction. Recent genetic testing has shown that both of these populations are genetically unique to their respective lake.

 

Natural Resources Board proposal

In its role as the policy setting board for natural resource management in Wisconsin, the Natural Resources Board (NRB) has authority to place advisory questions on the Annual Spring Wildlife and Fish Rules Hearing ballot.

 

This year, the Natural Resources Board has placed a question seeking the public’s level of support for establishing fishing tournament fees and issuing a limited number of permits authorizing bass tournament participants to cull bass.

 

Conservation Congress advisory questions

The Conservation Congress will seek public input on 31 advisory questions in 2005 on a range of topics which include:

-Deer season frameworks

-Distribution of second spring turkey tags through first-come-first served over the counter sales

-Lowering the hunting age

-Establishing a funding system to address exotic aquatic species

-Advise that the DNR institute two years of December antlerless hunting north of Hwy. 8 before instituting an Earn-A-Buck  season in units north of Hwy. 8

-Restore full permitting process for certain waters affected by Act 118 that pertained to the department issuing permits for projects along waterways.

-Providing increased protection to Wisconsin rivers, creeks and streams

-Asking for increased penalties and added DNR enforcement authority concerning exotic species

-Bobcat harvest zone expansion

-Defining feral cats as an unprotected species

-Eliminating permanent waterfowl blinds on state-owned property

-Allowing multiple purchases of $10 pheasant tags with the revenue earmarked for the put-and-take pheasant game farm in Poynette

-Creation of a musky stamp to fund research, habitat protection and stocking

 

The public has the opportunity during this portion of the hearings to suggest fish and wildlife rules changes they would like the Conservation Congress to propose to the NRB in the future. This resolution process has also changed and anyone submitting resolutions must submit two copies of their resolution on typed or printed 8 1/2 by 11 white paper. This change was approved by the Congress to allow easy reproduction and distribution to the Congress delegates.

 

Written comments on any of the DNR proposed rule changes will be accepted if postmarked by April 18, 2005. Written comments on fisheries rule changes should be addressed to Steve Hewitt, Bureau of Fisheries Management and Habitat Protection, PO Box 7921, Madison WI, 53707-7921; comments on wildlife rule changes will be accepted if postmarked by April 12, 2005 should be addressed to Kurt Thiede, Bureau of Wildlife Management, PO Box 7921, Madison WI 53707-7921.

 

Written comments are not counted as votes but are presented to the Natural Resources Board along with the vote totals from those attending the meetings. Both the hearing votes and the written comments are only advisory to the NRB. The board must then vote on the proposals separately. If approved, there is then a review period during which the legislature could decide to take up and possibly act on any proposed rule changes.

 

The complete 2005 Annual Spring Fish and Wildlife Rules Hearing questionnaire and list of meeting locations are available on the DNR Web site.  The hearings will be held on Monday, April 11, 2005 at 7 p.m. in each county.


Economic Impact of the Milwaukee River Walleye Project

Please take a moment to look over our concerns over DNR's proposed plan to reintroduce walleyes to the Milwaukee River and the economic impact of their actions.  My name is Todd Pollesch, I am the president of the Great Lakes Sport Fishermen Club-Milwaukee Chapter.  I have been appointed to the U.S. Great Lakes Fishery Commission, I have a seat on the DNR Great Lakes Forum, and am involved with the Great Lakes Federation.  I am very concerned!

We have hired the law firm of Dewitt Ross and Stevens S.C. to represent us in the DNR's mismanagement and possible misappropriation of Trout and Salmon stamp monies in the Southeast region of Wisconsin.  The DNR has asked us to increase our user fees yet continues to misappropriate the funds of the Trout and Salmon Stamp, knowing quite well that their actions intentionally feed stocked Trout and Salmon to

the stocked walleyes.  Studies of walleye/trout/salmon interaction indicate this walleye stocking will have a major economic impact on the cities, counties and State of Wisconsin.  The Great Lakes Fishing Industry brings in 4.5 billion dollars of income to the Great Lakes states!  If this walleye stocking program continues I fear that the economic impact will be devastating to the State. 

 

I attach a copy of the position paper sent to Mike Staggs of the DNR, and Brad Eggold the supervisor of the Lake Michigan Fisheries Southeastern Wisconsin.  As to this date 2-18-2005 the DNR has not addressed our issues on this subject.  The attached power point presentation shows the impact the walleye stocking program will have on the trout and salmon fishery, based on the many studies that show the predation of trout and salmon by walleyes.  Please look over our position paper and power point presentation and show them to interested fishermen and business people.


PREDATION STUDIES

As they relate to the Milwaukee River Walleye Stocking Project

St    Study Location                             Pray Specie      Predator Species                    Observations

C  Columbia River

Chinook Salmon

Northern Pike

  • 86% of Pike ate Salmon after 8 days
  • Pike migrated rapidly toward the Salmon release site

    Au Sable River, MI

Brown Trout

Walleye

  • Walleye traveled 2 km to eat Trout

    Snake River/ Columbia River

Chinook Salmon

Northern Squawfish

  • Predator quickly learned to selectively feed on Salmon
  • Salmon in diet grows from 54% after 24 hrs. to 86% after 7 days

    Lake Huron, MI

Chinook Salmon

Walleye

  • Salmon were not as heavily predated where Alewives were abundant
  • Walleye ate Alewives, Smelt and Salmon but certain individual Walleye concentrated on Salmon
  •  49% Salmon in predator’s stomachs were eaten by Walleye

    Thunder Bay and Lake Ch  arlevoix,

    Lake Huron, MI

Brown Trout

various, particularly Walleye

  • Brown Trout Fishery was eliminated by predators
  • Spawning Alewives offer alternative pray species to Brown Trout
  • Near shore and off shore stockings were equally predated by Walleye
  • Only way to revive decimated Brown Trout Fishery is with increase in alternative pray species or decrease in predatory populations

 

    Menominee River, MI

Brown Trout

Walleye

  • Walleye redistributed widely from release sites
  • 11% of Walleye were stocked in Menomonee River, others were stocked in other waters
  • Brown Trout Fishery has collapsed

 

    Chequamegon Bay, WI

Various, including Salmon

various, including Walleye

  • Walleye preyed so heavily on Salmon that continued Salmon stocking is thought not to build a Salmon population for angler harvest, but merely to feed the Walleyes
  • Walleye pray on Smelt in Spring and Summer, but feed predominately on yellow Perch, Salmon, and other species in Fall and Winter
  • Northern Pike feed on Salmon in early 
  • Walleye consumed 74% of total pray
  • Walleye consumed 90% of Salmon
  • Once Walleye population is established, Walleye predations seems impossible to control through various management techniques

Ontario

New management zones for Recreational Fisheries Management

Ontario is developing a new ecological framework for recreational fisheries management focusing on new ecological Fisheries Management Zones, managing and monitoring at the broader landscape level, and enhanced stewardship. Modernizing fishing regulations will make them easier to understand.

 

The 2005-2006 issue of the Ontario Fishing Regulation Summary is valid for a 2-year period while the Ministry of Natural Resources works to improve and modernize the fishing regulations. Fisheries Management Zones (FMZs) (currently called Divisions) are the geographic basis for setting fishing regulations such as catch limits and seasons. When the Divisions were first established they were intended to be areas where fishing regulations could be applied over a large area. It was recognized that the lakes, fish species and fishing pressure were similar in Divisions and thus would respond to management in a similar way.

 

During the past few decades, several new Fishing Divisions were created to set regulations to control exploitation for a variety of species. Many Divisions were formed using road networks, township or county boundaries, or simply, lines of latitude and longitude. Since then, there has been a proliferation of individual lake fishing exception regulations

across Ontario because the Division wide regulations were not adequate to control exploitation on all lakes.

 

A number of individual lake Fishing Divisions on some larger lakes were also created to address conservation issues on these lakes.  A complete review of recreational fishing divisions is underway, with the purpose of reducing their number, rationalizing boundaries and making the boundaries easier to define on the ground.

 

The new boundaries will be based on ecological factors and angler use patterns. This means looking at a whole range of considerations, such as the province's climate zones, watersheds, fishing pressure, and our road networks. In addition to reducing the number of zones, we want to ensure that the boundaries are easier to define on the ground. That will make life easier for anglers - and for our Conservation Officers who have to enforce the rules. MNR will produce accurate detailed maps to better define the boundaries for the new Fisheries Management Zones.

 

Development of the new Fisheries Management Zones provides an excellent opportunity to examine the need for existing regulations and exceptions, remove redundancies or make the wording of regulations and exceptions more clear and understandable.


Proposed New Fisheries Management Zones

The total number of Ontario Fisheries Management Zones has been reduced to 20. The numbering sequence has been standardized and the new zones are a combination of some old division boundaries and new boundaries. The Fisheries Management Zones will become the unit of management for the majority of lakes so that fish populations are monitored, assessed and regulated at the zone level.

 

The regulations will be simpler and it will be easier to identify where the boundaries are for the Fisheries Management Zones. Map products will be available that will allow MNR staff and anglers to readily see where the boundary is. In some areas, the change in boundaries and the implementation of fish species "tool kits" to standardize regulations, may result in changes in fishing seasons and size limits.  

 

Public consultation will occur wherever significant changes are proposed. The new Fisheries Management Zones are

scheduled to be in place for the 2007 fishing summary.

 

Comments Welcome

MNR is welcoming comments on the new Fisheries Management Zones. The proposed new Fisheries Management Zones will be posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry for 45 days for public comment. The comment period ends April 4, 2005.  To view the proposal notice, visit: www.ene.gov.on.ca/samples/search/Ebrquery_REG.htm  and enter EBR Registry Number RB05E6005.

 

Contact

Fisheries Section

Ministry of Natural Resources

300 Water St., Peterborough

K9J 8M5

Fax: (705) 755-1957


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