Week of March 8, 2010

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

Regional

Illinois
Indiana
Michigan
Ohio
Wisconsin
Other Breaking News Items

 

       Weekly News Archives

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World

Angler with Captain Peacock Bests World Record

MANAUS, Brazil – The strike barely dimpled the water, but it sent waves hurtling throughout the freshwater fishing world by shattering a coveted world record that stood for 16 years.

 

On Feb. 9, 2010, the sixth day of his first Amazon adventure, Bill Gassmann of Des Moines, Iowa, fished a clown-colored Luhr Jensen Big Game Woodchopper Slim topwater bait in a tributary of the Rio Negro in northern Brazil. The yellow, red and black spotted lure landed atop a monster speckled peacock bass, which sucked it under with hardly a ripple.

 

“We were fishing in a wooded area of a little backwater off a main tributary,” said the 44-year-old chief executive officer of BGS Enterprises. “When the lure hit the water, it just disappeared. The fish went straight to the bottom and started spooling my line. Immediately, the guide with more than 12 years experience began jumping up and down and started yelling ‘Grande! Grande!’ I had no idea how big it was or that it might be a record. Then, the fish stuck its head out of the water and I realized how big it was.”

 

Gassmann fought the river monster for approximately 12 minutes with his three-piece 6.9-foot G Loomis Escape model ETR81-3HC20 heavy rod attached to a Shimano Curado 300E reel. Finally bringing the beast to the boat, the Iowa bass angler grabbed its gill plates and snapped a Boga Grip on it. On the IGFA-certified Boga Grip, the fresh speckled or three-bar peacock (Cichla temensis) weighed more than 28 pounds, but Gassmann still did not realize the significance of his fish. As Gassmann handed the fish to Aldeni “Elvis” Fonseca, his guide, to release it, Elvis stopped him. Communicating in English, Elvis urged “We go boat now; we go boat now.” Prepared to fish an entire day, Gassmann didn’t want to head back to the Captain Peacock, a 95-foot luxury mothership yacht that accommodates anglers for such adventures. However, Elvis insisted adamantly.

 

When Elvis and Gassmann finally reached the yacht, Leonardo Leão, co-owner and operator of the Captain Peacock who stays aboard for every operation, dropped the massive fish into the bait well to keep it alive until they could weigh it officially. The colorful hump-headed fish measured 37 inches long with a girth of 25 inches, more than enough to beat the existing 27-pound International Game Fish Association all-tackle world record caught by Gerald “Doc”

Lawson on Dec. 4, 1994. Since Gassmann caught the lunker on 80-pound PowerPro braid, Leo also submitted the fish for a possible line class record and kept the fish on board the Captain Peacock to have it mounted as a reminder to future anglers that dreams can come true.

 

“We are very happy with the opportunity to show the fishing world our exclusive concept combining mobility, safety and first-class service in order to create unique moments like that for every angler from the first-time peacock bass fisherman up to the most knowledgeable ones,” said Leonardo Leão and his partner Nasser Fraxe.

 

“This is exciting news,” exclaimed Billy Chapman, Jr., owner and founder of Anglers Inn International and a 2009 inductee into the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame for pioneering peacock bass fishing in the 1980s. “I was in Brazil in 1994 when Doc Lawson caught the 27-pound peacock. If anyone wants to fish these record-breaking waters, we can make that happen together with the Captain Peacock.”

 

Besides catching the possible all-tackle world record speckled peacock bass and his personal best fish of any species, Gassmann caught several bass over 10 pounds plus two 18-pounders, a 19-pounder and other fish on his seven-day adventure. In all, the anglers aboard the Captain Peacock caught more than 450 fish that week with many in double digits and three in the 20- to 23.5-pound range, Leão said.

 

The Gassmanns will return to the Amazon soon. For catching the pending all-tackle world record aboard the Captain Peacock, Leão and Fraxe granted Gassmann lifetime fishing privileges on the 95-foot luxury yacht.

 

 “At Anglers Inn International, we care about our clients,” Chapman said. “Our clients are like family to us. I always want our guests to enjoy the best possible experience. With the yacht serving with such a unique concept, we can keep up with the best fishing on the river. Our partners on the Captain Peacock are the most professional and serious in the Amazon with a sterling reputation for catching trophy peacock bass -- as this fish indicates.”

 

Leonardo and Nasser as well as their entire crew are waiting for another opportunity to provide you with a trip of a lifetime. To book a trip to the Amazon or any other Anglers Inn International destination, call 1-800-GOTA-FISH or e-mail to info@anglersinn.com.  On line, see www.anglersinn.com.

 


World Ice Fishing Tournament March 12-14

USA Ice Team Chosen for World Championship Competition Rhinelander, WI

The countdown to the World Ice Fishing Championship (WIFC) is underway. For the first time in the United States this prestigious tournament found a home in Rhinelander, WI, March 12-14, 2010.

 

Eleven countries will be represented when they take to the frozen waters of Boom Lake. Similar in many ways to the Olympics, teams from around the world come together at the WIFC to compete for the championship title in both team and individual events. Each team consists of five anglers with one alternate, a captain and coach. Most teams will also bring support personnel, trainers and managers.

 

The final members of the USA Ice Team were chosen following the final qualifying event on Lake Thompson over the weekend.

 

Making the 2010 team are:

Doug Bussian, Columbus, WI

Mike Boedeker, Lansing, MI

Tony Boshold, Carol Stream, IL

Billy Whiteside, Eau Claire, WI

Myron Gilbert, Brooklyn, MI

Bob Esbensen, Palatine, IL

 

The competitors will be joined by coach Greg Wilcznski of Pleasant Prairie, WI, team captain Mike McNett of Lombard, IL, International Delegate Joel McDearmon of Tomah, WI and

directors Chris Ward of Chaska, MN and Brian Gaber of

Rhinelander, WI.

 

The tournament is a true test of one’s fishing skills, determination and endurance. The rules prohibit the use of power augers or electronics of any kind. The anglers must rely on intuition, research, experience and stamina to find and ultimately catch fish. The ice on Boom Lake will be over two feet thick, something the European teams are not accustomed to as hand augers have to be used. Champions are crowned after two grueling days of competition with placement based on the total weight of fish caught by each team. Each team member is given a number according to their placement for the day and each day’s numbers are added, determining the winner with the lowest number. Ties are broken by the heaviest combined weight in the tournament.

 

The countries represented include: Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Sweden, Canada and the US. Panfish will be the target with only live bait allowed.

 

The WIFC is sponsored locally by Downtown Rhinelander, Inc., Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce and Rhinelander Room Tax Committee who’ve combined for a weekend celebration complete with a Parade of Nations, ice shanty pageant, live entertainment, kids fishing clinics and more. The festivities begin Friday afternoon (March 12) at 3:00.

 

For more information contact: Mike Michalak (715) 362-4778 or mike@northprovideo.com


Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

Strong Columbia River Chinook Run Highlights 2010 Forecasts

OLYMPIA - Forecasts for strong Chinook salmon returns to the Columbia River this summer could lead to improved fishing in the river and Washington's ocean waters. Fishing prospects also are looking up for some rivers in Puget Sound, where Coho salmon are expected to return in increased numbers.

 

Those and other preseason salmon forecasts developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and treaty Indian tribes were released last week at a public meeting in Olympia.

 

Forecasts for chinook, Coho, sockeye, pink and chum salmon mark the starting point for developing 2010 salmon-fishing seasons in Puget Sound, the Columbia River and Washington coastal areas. Fishery managers have scheduled a series of public meetings over the next few weeks to discuss potential fishing opportunities before finalizing seasons in mid-April.

 

WDFW staff will work closely with tribal co-managers and constituents to develop fisheries that meet conservation objectives and provide fishing opportunities on abundant runs of wild and hatchery fish.  To help meet those goals, fishery managers will consider adding new mark-selective fisheries, which allow anglers to catch and keep abundant hatchery salmon but require that they release wild salmon, said Pat Pattillo, salmon policy coordinator for WDFW.

 

Fishery managers also are considering recreational selective fisheries for hatchery chinook in Washington's ocean waters, where selective fisheries for hatchery Coho salmon already have been in place for a decade.

 

Nearly 653,000 fall chinook are forecasted to make their way along the Washington coast to the Columbia River this season, about 234,000 more chinook than last year's actual return. The increased numbers represent abundant returns to Spring Creek and other Columbia River hatcheries, which traditionally have been the backbone of the recreational ocean chinook fishery, said Pattillo.

 

While the chinook forecast is up, the Columbia River Coho return is expected to be down this year. Nearly 390,000 Columbia River Coho are projected to make their way along Washington's coast this year, compared to one million Coho in 2009.

 

The Columbia River Coho return is down compared to last year's run, which was one of the largest returns we've seen in

 

the last decade, but there should still be decent Coho fishing opportunities in the ocean and the Columbia River this year.

 

In Puget Sound, Coho returns are expected to be up this year. Nearly 614,000 Coho are forecast to return to Puget Sound streams, about 31,000 more fish than last year's forecast. That could translate into good Coho fishing in several North Sound rivers, including the Skagit, Snohomish and Stillaguamish.

 

Summer/fall Chinook salmon returns to Puget Sound are expected total about 226,000 fish, slightly higher than last year's projection. Pattillo said chinook fisheries in Puget Sound likely will be similar to last year.  However, a repeat of last year's Skagit River summer chinook fishery is unlikely this season because of projected low chinook returns to the river.

 

Meanwhile, another strong fall chum salmon return is forecasted for Hood Canal and other areas of Puget Sound, where the run is expected to total about 1.3 million fish. But a Lake Washington sockeye fishery is unlikely this year. The sockeye forecast is about 123,000, well below the minimum return of 350,000 sockeye needed to consider opening a recreational fishery in the lake.

 

State, tribal and federal fishery managers will meet March 6-12 in Sacramento with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) to develop options for this year's commercial and recreational ocean chinook and Coho salmon fisheries. The PFMC establishes fishing seasons in ocean waters three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast.

 

Additional public meetings have been scheduled in March and April to discuss regional fisheries issues. Input from these regional discussions will be considered as the season-setting process moves into the "North of Falcon" and PFMC meetings, which will determine the final 2010 salmon seasons.

 

The PFMC is expected to adopt the final ocean fishing seasons and harvest levels at its April 10-15 meeting in Portland, Oregon. The 2010 salmon fisheries package for Washington's inside waters will be completed by the state and tribal co-managers during the PFMC's April meeting.

 

Preseason salmon forecasts, proposed fishing options and details on upcoming meetings will be posted as they become available on WDFW's North of Falcon website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/northfalcon/.


Angler with Captain Peacock Bests World Record

MANAUS, Brazil – The strike barely dimpled the water, but it sent waves hurtling throughout the freshwater fishing world by shattering a coveted world record that stood for 16 years.

 

On Feb. 9, 2010, the sixth day of his first Amazon adventure, Bill Gassmann of Des Moines, Iowa, fished a clown-colored Luhr Jensen Big Game Woodchopper Slim topwater bait in a tributary of the Rio Negro in northern Brazil. The yellow, red and black spotted lure landed atop a monster speckled peacock bass, which sucked it under with hardly a ripple.

 

“We were fishing in a wooded area of a little backwater off a main tributary,” said the 44-year-old chief executive officer of BGS Enterprises. “When the lure hit the water, it just disappeared. The fish went straight to the bottom and started spooling my line. Immediately, the guide with more than 12 years experience began jumping up and down and started yelling ‘Grande! Grande!’ I had no idea how big it was or that it might be a record. Then, the fish stuck its head out of the water and I realized how big it was.”

 

Gassmann fought the river monster for approximately 12 minutes with his three-piece 6.9-foot G Loomis Escape model ETR81-3HC20 heavy rod attached to a Shimano Curado 300E reel. Finally bringing the beast to the boat, the Iowa bass angler grabbed its gill plates and snapped a Boga Grip on it. On the IGFA-certified Boga Grip, the fresh speckled or three-bar peacock (Cichla temensis) weighed more than 28 pounds, but Gassmann still did not realize the significance of his fish. As Gassmann handed the fish to Aldeni “Elvis” Fonseca, his guide, to release it, Elvis stopped him. Communicating in English, Elvis urged “We go boat now; we go boat now.” Prepared to fish an entire day, Gassmann didn’t want to head back to the Captain Peacock, a 95-foot luxury mothership yacht that accommodates anglers for such adventures. However, Elvis insisted adamantly.

 

When Elvis and Gassmann finally reached the yacht, Leonardo Leão, co-owner and operator of the Captain Peacock who stays aboard for every operation, dropped the massive fish into the bait well to keep it alive until they could weigh it officially. The colorful hump-headed fish measured 37 inches long with a girth of 25 inches, more than enough to beat the existing 27-pound International Game Fish Association all-tackle world record caught by Gerald “Doc”

Lawson on Dec. 4, 1994. Since Gassmann caught the lunker on 80-pound PowerPro braid, Leo also submitted the fish for a possible line class record and kept the fish on board the Captain Peacock to have it mounted as a reminder to future anglers that dreams can come true.

 

“We are very happy with the opportunity to show the fishing world our exclusive concept combining mobility, safety and first-class service in order to create unique moments like that for every angler from the first-time peacock bass fisherman up to the most knowledgeable ones,” said Leonardo Leão and his partner Nasser Fraxe.

 

“This is exciting news,” exclaimed Billy Chapman, Jr., owner and founder of Anglers Inn International and a 2009 inductee into the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame for pioneering peacock bass fishing in the 1980s. “I was in Brazil in 1994 when Doc Lawson caught the 27-pound peacock. If anyone wants to fish these record-breaking waters, we can make that happen together with the Captain Peacock.”

 

Besides catching the possible all-tackle world record speckled peacock bass and his personal best fish of any species, Gassmann caught several bass over 10 pounds plus two 18-pounders, a 19-pounder and other fish on his seven-day adventure. In all, the anglers aboard the Captain Peacock caught more than 450 fish that week with many in double digits and three in the 20- to 23.5-pound range, Leão said.

 

The Gassmanns will return to the Amazon soon. For catching the pending all-tackle world record aboard the Captain Peacock, Leão and Fraxe granted Gassmann lifetime fishing privileges on the 95-foot luxury yacht.

 

 “At Anglers Inn International, we care about our clients,” Chapman said. “Our clients are like family to us. I always want our guests to enjoy the best possible experience. With the yacht serving with such a unique concept, we can keep up with the best fishing on the river. Our partners on the Captain Peacock are the most professional and serious in the Amazon with a sterling reputation for catching trophy peacock bass -- as this fish indicates.”

 

Leonardo and Nasser as well as their entire crew are waiting for another opportunity to provide you with a trip of a lifetime. To book a trip to the Amazon or any other Anglers Inn International destination, call 1-800-GOTA-FISH or e-mail to info@anglersinn.com.  On line, see www.anglersinn.com.

 


Misc New Fishing-Boating Products

Fishing Industry Snapshot

Southwick Associates has announced the brands and products anglers preferred most in 2009. This list has been compiled from the 34,185 internet-based surveys completed by anglers.

 

In 2009 the top fishing Industry brands included:

• Top rod brand: Shakespeare Ugly Stik (16.4% of all purchases)

• Top reel brand: Shimano (23.0% of all purchases)

• Top rod and reel combo brand: Shakespeare (25.7% of all purchases)

• Top fishing line producer: Pure Fishing's Berkley line (Trilene, Fireline, Big Game, Vanish) (42.6% of all purchases)

• Top hard bait brand: Rapala (30.6% of all purchases)

• Top soft bait brand: Zoom (16.8% of all purchases)

• Top spinner bait brand: Strike King (16.6% of all purchases)

• Top hook brand: Eagle Claw (34.5% of all purchases)

• Top sinker brand: Bullet Weight (19.0% of all purchases)

• Top fly rod brand: Sage (16.7% of all purchases)

• Top fly reels brand: Orvis (11.1% of all purchases)

• Top fly combo brand: St. Croix (18.0% of all purchases)

• Top fly line brand: Scientific Angler (28.8% of all purchases)

• Top fly brand: Orvis and Cabelas tied (11.0% of all purchases, each)

• Top fly leader brand: Rio (28.4% of all purchases)

• Top fly tying material brand: White River (60.5% of all purchases)

• Top fish finder or sonar brand: Humminbird (42.9% of all purchases)

• Top tackle box brand: Plano (55.8% of all purchases)

• Top landing net brand: Frabill (20.2% of all purchases)

• Top fishing knife brand: Rapala (22.6% of all purchases)

 

* 48% of all fishing tackle purchases involve terminal tackle (hooks, sinkers, swivels, etc.)

* Largemouth bass remain the number one targeted species of freshwater fish, with nearly 60% of fishing activity targeting largemouth bass.

* Saltwater anglers were more varied, with 25% of trips targeting any fish that bites, followed by striped bass (23%), flounder (21%), red drum (20%) and sea trout (20%). Please note these refer to species targeted on trips and not the number of fish actually caught.


Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Hunting Industry Snapshot

Southwick Associates has announced the brands and products hunters and target shooters preferred most in 2009. This list has been compiled from the 44,734 internet-based surveys completed by hunters and target shooters who volunteered to participate last year in HunterSurvey.com and TargetshootingSurvey.com polls.

 

In 2009, top Shooting & Hunting brands included:

• Top rifle brand: Remington (16.5% of all purchases)

• Top shotgun brand: Remington (22% of all purchases)

• Top muzzleloader brand: Thompson Center (29.5% of all purchases)

• Top handgun brand: Sturm Ruger (16.6% of all purchases)

• Top scope for firearms: Bushnell (17.3% of all purchases)

• Top rifle ammunition brand: Remington (28.8% of all purchases)

• Top shotgun ammunition brand: Winchester (32.0% of all purchases)

• Top handgun ammunition brand: Winchester (22.0% of all purchases)

• Top blackpowder brand: Pyrodex (351.5% of all purchases)

• Top balls, bullets, or shot brand: Hornady (26.2% of all purchases)

• Top bow brand: BowTech (14.8% of all purchases)

• Top arrow brand: Easton (30.3% of all purchases)

• Top fletching brand: Bohning (30.3% of all purchases)

• Top broadhead brand: Muzzy (25.3% of all purchases)

• Top archery target brand: The Block (22.3% of all purchases)

• Top decoy brand: Flambeau (15.7% of all purchases)

• Top game call brand: Primos (34.8% of all purchases)

• Top reloading bullet brand: Hornady (30.2% of all purchases)

• Top reloading primer brand: CCI (36.0% of all purchases)

• Top reloading powder brand: Hodgdon (36.5% of all purchases)

• Top binocular brand: Bushnell (19.5% of all purchases)

• Top holster brand: Uncle Mikes (21.4% of all purchases)

• Top knife brand: Buck (16.7% of all purchases)

• Top scent or scent covering brand: Scent-A-Way (24.5% of all purchases)

• Top shooting target brand: Shoot-N-C (38.9% of all purchases)

• Top clay brand: White Flyer (34.3% of all purchases)

 

Other interesting facts from the HunterSurvey 2009 annual report: The busiest month for purchasing for hunting was November, for Target Shooting was June, and for self-defense was February.


New Bushnell Elite 4200 Tactical FFP Scopes

The new Bushnell Tactical FFP scope has a host of features that will quickly make it a favorite of anyone who requires a tactical model scope. The lenses are fully multi-coated for 95% light transmission and feature RainGuard HD coating to ensure a clear sight picture in inclement weather.

 

The scope has a 30 mm tube for greater adjustment at longer

ranges. The finger adjustable target turrets have .1 Mil click values for fine target adjustment and the side focus knob provides a crisp clear picture at any distance. The mil-dot reticle is green illuminated along the first focal plane to help in low light shooting conditions, allowing the shooter to utilize the mil dot reticle at any power.

 

Two models will be available - one 6-24x50 with a suggested retail of $999.99 and the other in 3-12x44 with a suggested retail of $849.99.  For more info on Bushnell Products: www.bushnell.com or call 800-423-3537


New Nikon M-223 Riflescopes—Purpose-Built For Your AR

Recognizing the popularity of AR rifles, Nikon has developed a new line of riflescopes built to deliver extreme speed, accuracy and shooting confidence. The M-223 line offers five new riflescopes, all engineered for the 223 Rem./5.56mm NATO round with 55-grain polymer tipped bullet with a muzzle velocity of 3240fps. With Nikon’s latest reticle and adjustment technologies, the M-223 integrates the same level of quality as the flagship Monarch riflescopes.

 

All of the new M-223 riflescopes feature Nikon’s fully multicoated optics, up to 95% light transmission, with waterproof, fogproof and shockproof performance and lifetime warranty.

 

Designed for AR carbines and popular 3 gun competitions, the 1-4x20 with Point Blank reticle features an extremely large exit pupil for low light performance and a super wide field of view. The all-new Point Blank reticle technology means incredibly accurate and fast shooting from zero to 200 yards thanks to thick reticle posts and purpose-designed 3-MOA center dot for instant targeting on paper or steel plates.

 

The 2-8x32 is available with Nikon’s all new BDC 600 reticle

or the Nikoplex reticle with Nikon’s new Rapid Action Turret system; both are ballistically matched to the 223 Rem. round and offer unprecedented speed in dialing in your shots for virtually any known distance—from 0 to 600 yards.

 

The big brother of the M-223 lineup, the 3-12x42 with side focus parallax adjustment lays down a serious power range for your most extreme shooting. For long range shooting speed and precision, this new riflescope helps take full advantage of the performance of the 223 Rem. round—from zero out to 600 yards. Available with Nikon’s new BDC 600 reticle or the Nikoplex reticle with the all-new Rapid Action Turret technology.

 

Additionally, the 3-12x42 and 2-8x32 come standard with Nikon’s Anti Reflective Device (ARD) to eliminate objective lens glare. MSRP for the M-223 family is $279.95 for the 1-4x20 with Point Blank Reticle,  $349.95 for the 2-8x32 with BDC 600 Reticle, $329.95 for the 2-8x32 with Nikoplex reticle, $449.95 for the 3-12x42 with BDC 600 and $429.95 for the 3-12x42 with Nikoplex reticle.

 

Nikon Inc. is the U.S. distributor of Nikon sports and recreational optics, world-renowned Nikon 35mm cameras, digital cameras, speedlights and accessories, Nikkor lenses and electronic imaging products.

 

For more info: 800-645-6687. www.nikonhunting.com


 

National

Lakes in Great Lakes region healthier

Researchers found mercury and PCB contaminants in every fish they sampled across the country, according to the USEPA's first national lakes assessment that used consistent criteria.  Fish in about half of all lakes had dangerous mercury levels. And 17 percent of lakes had fish whose flesh contained health-threatening concentrations of PCBs.

 

The overall condition of U.S. lakes is less than encouraging. But the study found thriving lakes in much of the Great Lakes region. Ninety percent of the lakes in the upper Midwest — including those in most of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan — support healthy aquatic life.

 

“That speaks to our having some precious resources here that we need to make sure we’re protecting and maintaining into the future,” said Tim Asplund, a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources limnologist.  Researchers found that more than four of every 10 U.S. lakes are in only fair or poor condition, including about 90 percent of lakes in the northern plains.

 

The general picture of nationwide lakes seems accurate, said Steve Heiskary, a research scientist at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.  “When we look at the problems we have in many of the lakes, it wouldn’t surprise me that just over half could be considered basically real good,” he said.

 

The sample of more than 1,000 lakes across the lower 48 states — excluding the Great Lakes and the Great Salt Lake — found that man-made lakes are in far worse condition than natural lakes.  Toxin and contamination levels may make lake enthusiasts’ skin crawl.

 

The study was the first to examine toxins produced by algae nationwide. It showed at least a moderate risk of exposure to swimmers in more than a quarter of all lakes. While rarely producing severe health effects in humans, the toxins can produce skin rashes, eye irritations, respiratory symptoms,

 

liver and kidney failure or death, according to the EPA. Pets

and livestock can die from drinking the affected water.

 

Fish in about half of all lakes had dangerous mercury levels. And 17 percent of lakes had fish whose flesh contained health-threatening concentrations of PCBs, which have been banned in the U.S. for more than 30 years. Exposure to high levels of mercury can permanently damage the brain, kidneys and developing fetus, according to the Center for Disease Control. PCB exposure can cause skin irritation to adults and behavioral changes in children. The chemicals have caused cancer in animals.

 

Knowing where contaminant levels are dangerous helps natural resource managers investigate and address the sources, said Sarah Lehmann, the EPA’s national aquatic resource survey team leader.

 

The study showed that poor lakeshore habitat is the biggest problem in the nation’s lakes — affecting the health of one-third of all lakes surveyed. Lakes with poor lakeshore habitat were three times more likely to be unhealthy.

 

The Wisconsin DNR estimates that developed sites not separated from lakes by vegetation contribute five times more runoff, seven times more phosphorous and 18 times more sediment — all biological stressors — to a lake than do naturally forested sites.

 

“These poor habitats negatively impact aquatic life forms, as well as the wildlife that depend on the water bodies,” said Amber Finkelstein, spokeswoman for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

Asplund said the study doesn’t mean people can’t develop or live near lakes.

 

“It’s how do we use best management practices?” Asplund said. “If we live next to a lake, how can we live lightly in a way that protects those natural resources?”


Anti-Hunting Legislator Likely Head of Key House Committee for Sportsmen

The next chairman of a key house committee with oversight over federal funding for wildlife conservation has a long history of opposing hunting, trapping, and gun ownership. 

 

U.S. Representative Jim Moran (D- VA) is expected to be named Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies.  This subcommittee oversees funding for the Department of Interior and its various agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  This makes this chair one of the most powerful positions influencing public policy on federal lands including whether to keep such land open to sportsmen.

 

Rep. Moran has sponsored and cosponsored a number of

anti-hunting and anti-trapping bills during his time in Congress.  One of his most high profile battles against

sportsmen was an effort to ban the use of bait to hunt black bears on federal land despite being considered a valid management option by wildlife professionals in numerous states.  This effort earned him the support of the nation’s leading anti-hunting group, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

 

“Sportsmen are right to be wary that an obvious anti is getting ready to control the gavel for a committee overseeing much of the nation’s conservation policy,” said Rob Sexton, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) vice president for government affairs.  “The USSA is going to watch this committee like a hawk and be sure that sound science and sportsmen’s voices are not ignored.”


HSUS Hit by Federal Racketeering Lawsuit

Other Animal Rights Groups Named in Case

The parent company of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, Feld Entertainment, Inc., recently filed a federal lawsuit against the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and a group of other animal rights organizations under a law prohibiting racketeering.

 

The suit, filed on February 16, comes after Feld Entertainment spent close to a decade in litigation with HSUS, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), the Animal Protection Institute (API) and others over its treatment of elephants used for circus performances.  The original litigation came after a former Ringling employee named Tom Rider began making public appearances alleging abuses of the animals.

 

During the case brought by Rider and backed by the animal rights groups, information was presented that indicated that Rider received numerous payments from the groups through a complex web of financial transactions.  This information played a key role in U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan’s decision to dismiss the case in December 2009.  Judge

 

Sullivan indicated that these payments represented Rider’s “sole source of income” throughout the duration of the case and that Rider did not have the legal standing to bring the suit.

 

In his decision, Judge Sullivan further stated, “The Court finds that Mr. Rider is essentially a paid plaintiff and fact witness who is not credible, and therefore affords no weight to his testimony regarding the matters discussed herein, i.e., the allegations related to his standing to sue.” 

 

These findings by Judge Sullivan prompted Feld Entertainment to file its own lawsuit claiming that HSUS and others were involved in racketeering or illegal business activities by financing Rider’s suit in order to advance an agenda that included ending the use of elephants in circuses.

 

According to the suit, Feld specifically states that the defendants “conspired to conduct and conducted the Enterprise through a pattern of, among other things, bribery and illegal gratuity payments (in violation of both state and federal law), obstruction of justice, mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.


Administration Document Could Spell Trouble for Sportsmen

A leaked memo from the U.S. Department of the Interior reveals plans to set aside millions of acres of federal lands, currently open to a multitude of users, as new “National Monuments.”  Basically, these designations could be established by a stroke of President Obama’s pen with no oversight. 

 

The memo identifies approximately 13 million acres in nine western states for “National Monument” designation under the 1906 Antiquities Act.  The Act allows the President to make these designations without Congressional approval or local input.

 

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) is deeply concerned as prior Monument designations have caused trouble for hunters and wildlife conservation.  For example, President Carter created millions of acres of National Park Service Monuments in Alaska which immediately closed the areas to sport hunting.  It took a subsequent act of Congress to undo many 

of these hunting closures.  President Clinton also created Monuments at the end of his term.  Wilderness activists have since blocked wildlife management projects in these areas arguing that conservation efforts are inconsistent with Monument purposes.

 

Although a Monument designation does not automatically limit hunting or other uses, experience has shown that this designation can have a negative impact on access and conservation efforts.  USSA holds that any change in public land use should only occur after open discussion with stakeholders allowing them to voice their concerns, if any.

 

“President Obama campaigned on keeping government decisions transparent to the public and we ask that he honor that pledge by not making a decision on Monument designations without first hearing the opinion of America’s sportsmen and other concerned citizens,” said Rob Sexton, USSA vice president for government affairs.  “The USSA will be watching closely and respond immediately if sportsmen and others are kept in the dark.”


U.S. Supreme Court Hears Chicago Gun Ban Case

On Tuesday, March 2, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of McDonald v. City of Chicago.  The case may well decide the scope and nature of gun laws in the United States for decades to come.  The final decision will be handed down in a few months, most likely in June. 

 

As the NRA reported in past alerts and in NRA magazines, McDonald is one of two challenges to the Chicago handgun ban that were filed  immediately after gun owners’ landmark 2008 victory in District of Columbia v. Heller.  After the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled—wrongly—that 19th century cases denied any right to Second Amendment protection against state and local laws, both McDonald and the companion case, NRA v. City of Chicago, were appealed.

 

The Court agreed to hear the McDonald case, but since that decision would affect the NRA case equally, the NRA was also a party to the McDonald case, and the Court granted us a share of the oral argument time.

 

To make our argument, NRA was fortunate to be represented by former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, perhaps the most highly respected and experienced Supreme Court advocate in the nation.  Clement has argued more than 50

cases before the high Court and, prior to representing NRA in this case, authored the pro-Second Amendment “friend of the court” brief joined by 251 U.S. House members and 58 U.S. Senators.

 

Solicitor General Clement strongly argued on behalf of NRA’s members—especially in opposing the idea that the Court could somehow apply only a “watered down version” of the Second Amendment to the states, so that states and cities could still pass anti-gun laws that the federal government could not.

 

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox commented after the argument:

 

“We are optimistic the Court will hold that the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments through the Fourteenth Amendment and that handgun bans, like those in the City of Chicago and the Village of Oak Park, are unconstitutional under any standard of judicial review.  This view is shared by a bipartisan group of 309 members of Congress from both chambers, 38 state attorneys general and the majority of the American people.  We look forward to the decision from the Court later this Term.”


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for March 5, 2010

Weather Conditions

A high pressure system has led to clear skies and minimal precipitation throughout most of the Great Lakes basin this past week. This weekend, expect temperatures to reach the mid to upper 30s with a slight chance of rain/snow mix. Looking into next week, temperatures will remain slightly above average with temperatures in the upper 30s and some locations reaching into the 50s. Water levels on Lake St. Clair continue to climb due to thinning ice conditions in the St. Clair River. Further water level fluctuations are possible during the next few weeks.

Lake Level Conditions

Currently, Lake Superior and Michigan-Huron are 1 and 2 inches, respectively, above their previous year's level.  Lake St. Clair is 10 inches below its level of a year ago, which is mainly attributed to current ice conditions in the St. Clair River.  Lake Erie and Ontario are 10 and 14 inches, respectively, below their levels of a year ago.  Over the next month, the water level of Lake Superior is expected to remain steady, while Lake Michigan-Huron's level is forecasted to rise by 2 inches.  Lake St. Clair is expected to rise approximately 6 inches over the next month.  Lake Erie and Ontario are expected to rise 5 and 2 inches, respectively, over the next 30 days.  Over the next few months, all of the Great Lakes are expected to be below their levels of a year ago.

Forecasted March Outflows/Channel Conditions

The outflow from Lake Superior into the St. Mary's River is forecasted to be below average. The outflow from Lake Huron into the St. Clair River is forecasted to be near average. Near average flows are expected for the Detroit River and Niagara

River. The St. Lawrence River is expected to have above average flows in March. Ice build-up in the connecting channels can greatly affect flows and may cause significant fluctuations in water levels.

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.   Ice charts can be accessed via the National Ice Center's website. Due to changing ice conditions lake levels may fluctuate rapidly.

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for March 5

 

600.69

 

577.72

 

 

573.10

 

570.51

 

244.42

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

 

-5

 

+3

 

+10

 

+16

 

+13

Diff last month

 

-3

 

 

-1

 

-3

 

-4

 

-3

Diff from last yr

 

+1

 

+2

 

-10

 

-10

 

-14


Illinois

Registration Opens March 15 for Becoming an Outdoors Woman Workshop

Workshop to be held June 11-13

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois DNR will host another session of the popular Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) workshop on June 11-13 at the Lorado Taft Field Campus near Oregon, Illinois.  

 

BOW is designed to provide women an opportunity to learn introductory skills in outdoor related activities such as archery, canoeing, outdoor cooking, fishing, firearm safety, and many more.  The workshop class instruction is offered in a non-competitive and fun environment. 

 

Registration for the June 11-13 BOW session begins on March 15 for new participants and on April 5 for returning participants.  The cost is $195 per participant, which includes four classes, all meals and lodging, use of equipment, transportation during the event, and giveaways. 

 

Registration packets for the BOW workshop can be downloaded from the IDNR website at www.dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/bow.

 

For more info: mitch.ingold@illinois.gov or 217-782-7026.

 


Soldier Field Boat & Tackle Market May 23

Soldier Field invites you to the 2nd Annual Boat & Tackle Market on Sunday, May 23rd.  The market is open to all to buy, sell or hook a deal on new and used boating, fishing and other outdoor equipment.  There will be all kinds of games and activities for kids and adults throughout the day to add a fun festival atmosphere to the day.  The event will take place in the South Festival Lot.  There is a $5 entry fee at the entrance (free for kids under 12), but parking in the South Parking Lot is FREE! 

 

Booth space is available to ALL!  No matter if you are a large retailer or just have too much stuff filling your garage, this is your outlet.  Come join all types of vendors, companies and

organizations that will be on hand to showcase great deals

and offerings for fishing, boating and outdoor enthusiasts.  Booth and display fees begin at $25 for a 10x10 area (including parking).  Click here for a Registration Form. 

 

Specifics:

Date: 05/23/2010 - 9:00 AM

Parking Info:

FREE in the Soldier Field South Parking Lot

Contact Info:

Contact Luca Serra at 312.235.7149 or lserra@soldierfield.net for more information.

Pricing: $5 for general public entry; booth space begins at $25 for a 10x10 space


Indiana

Register now to "Become an Outdoors Woman"

Women who already love outdoor sports, would like to try them, or improve their ability to do them under expert supervision and instruction can do so at the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshop, April 30-May 2, at Ross Camp in West Lafayette.  The 15th annual workshop is limited to the first 100 women, 18 years old or older, who register at www.indianabow.com/

 

The program is designed for women to learn outdoor skills in a relaxed, low-pressure environment. Activities range from shooting clay targets, paddling a canoe, catching a trophy bass, becoming a campfire gourmet cook, making a fur hat,

and spotting rare wild birds, to learning to track deer.

Participants design their own outdoor experience to match their interests. The workshop is for women who have never tried these activities, but have hoped for an opportunity to learn; who have tried them but are beginners hoping to improve; or know how to do some of the activities, but would like to try new ones.

 

Women who enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded individuals and who you seek time away to reconnect with nature are also prime candidates for BOW. For more info: www.in.gov/dnr/lawenfor/5810.htm


Michigan

Applications on Sale Now for the 2011 Pure Michigan Hunt

Pure Michigan Hunt Applications are now on sale for the 2011 hunting season. Visit www.michigan.gov/puremichiganhunt or a license agent to purchase a Pure Michigan Hunt application. Applications for the 2011 Pure Michigan Hunt are on sale through December 31, 2010.

 

The Pure Michigan Hunt is a drawing that allows three applicants to participate in every restricted-access hunt available - elk, bear, spring and fall wild turkey and antlerless deer. In addition, those chosen in the drawing will get the first pick in a managed waterfowl area reserved hunt. Winners also receive hunting equipment and other donated items.

 

Pure Michigan winners can hunt in any open season until their tag is filled. Hunters, for instance, who attempt to take an elk

during the early hunt but are not successful, are allowed to try again during later hunt periods.

 

Applicants selected for the Pure Michigan Hunt will not lose any preference points or weighted advantages for future limited-access hunts. Hunters who are ineligible to apply for elk licenses because of past success may participate in the Pure Michigan Hunt, and hunt elk again.

 

Applications cost $4 and individuals may enter as often as they like.  Anyone who is 12 years old or older may participate, as long as their hunting privileges have not been suspended by the courts.

 

For more information, visit the DNRE Web site at www.michigan.gov/puremichiganhunt.


Ohio

New Crappie Limits In Effect on 38 Ohio Lakes

With spring just around the corner, Ohio crappie anglers are reminded that new size and bag limits went into effect on March 1. A total of 38 lakes were added to the six lakes that already had a 9-inch minimum size limit on crappies.  A 2008

on-line angler survey indicates 81 percent of crappie anglers favor the 9-inch length limits. An on-the-water creel survey from the spring of 2009 lends solid support for daily crappie limits, with 80 percent of the anglers favoring a daily bag restriction.


Ohio Wildlife Verify Bobcat Sightings

Increased evidence of bobcats living in Ohio's southeastern

 

counties continues with the confirmation of 92 sightings by state wildlife officials during 2009.


Ohio hunters bag record 261,314 deer

A total of 261,314 deer were killed during Ohio's 2009-10

hunting season, according to the Ohio Division of Wildlife. This season's total surpasses the 2008-09 record of 252,017.


Wisconsin

Fishing tournament application deadlines coming up

Submit requests starting April 1 for 2011 events

MADISON – Organizers of certain fishing tournaments planning events for 2011 will want to apply for a permit starting April 1, 2010.

 

“If you plan on holding a fishing tournament in 2011, we recommend that you apply in the open period that starts April 1 and runs through June 30, 2010, to have the best chance of getting your desired dates and waters,” says Joanna Griffin, tournament coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources.

 

All applications received during the open period will be reviewed by Aug. 1, 2010, and in the unlikely event that another tournament conflicts with an organizer’s choice of dates or waters, DNR fisheries biologists will discuss options with the tournament organizers, Griffin says.

 

Permit applications from tournament organizers applying after June 30, 2010, for events in 2011 will be considered on a first-come first-served basis.

 

Under the state rule that became effective in May 2009, some tournaments in Wisconsin must get a permit and there is a cap on the maximum amount of tournament fishing allowed on individual waters.

 

Tournaments need a permit if any of the following apply:

►The tournament involves 20 or more boats, or 100 or more participants;

►The tournament targets any trout species on waters classified as trout streams;

►The tournament is a catch-hold-release tournament with an off-site weigh-in; or

►The total prize value is $10,000 or greater.

►An application fee must accompany all permit applications. Fees vary by type of tournament and total prize value.

 

Organizers can still apply for 2010 tournaments

Tournament organizers can still apply for 2010 tournaments, but the DNR must receive completed applications at least 30 days before the start of the applicant’s tournament. These applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

For more details on the fishing tournament rule, to submit an application, or to view a tournament event calendar, visit the fishing tournaments page of the DNR Web site.

 

A 2004 law passed in response to growing citizen complaints about tournaments and perceived problems with crowding at boat ramps, concern over fish that died after being caught during tournaments, and other factors, instructed DNR to update tournament fishing rules where there were significant, documented problems.

 

DNR worked with an advisory group including fishing clubs, lake associations, fishing tournament organizers and the Wisconsin Conservation Congress to develop the rules.  For more info: Joanna Griffin (608) 264-8953; Jon Hansen (608) 266-6883


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

Sex hormones tested in fight against lamprey

The next phase of the decades-long fight against sea lamprey was expected to begin Monday when researchers were to pump a man-made love potion into more streams after experiments from last spring showed it helped lure the lamprey into traps.

EPA issues stricter limitations on fish

The Ohio EPA released new, stricter limitations on fish consumption in local waterways, advising anglers to limit meals of Lake Erie-caught channel catfish and common carp larger than 27 inches to once every two months because of PCB levels

 

 

 

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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