Week of March 21, 2005

Club News

World

 

National

Regional

General

Veterans Issues

Lake Michigan

Illinois

Michigan

Minnesota

Pennsylvania

Ontario

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Club News

S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie’s ICE OUT PARTY

The SONS of Lake Erie’s ICE OUT PARTY will  be held Sunday, April 3 at the East Erie Turners at E. 9th and  Parade Sts, Erie, PA , from 1-6 PM. Admission is $5.00 for adults and 33.00 for kids under 12, payable at the door. 

 

Free hot dogs and refreshments will be furnished throughout

the afternoon. There will be numerous door pries and games

for our enjoyment.  The highlight of the day will be the “FANTASTIC FIN AND FUR DRAWING”.  Raffle tickets for the drawing are $5.00 each, which will give you a chance to win one of 12 great prizes. The grand prize is a 2004 Yamaha “Bruin” 4x4 automatic with trailer.  For more info call: 814-453-2270


World

Some People never learn

Law-abiding citizens continue to be targeted

In their efforts to "control crime," Britons incrementally were prevented from owning certain kinds of guns and then eventually prohibited from owning any kind of gun. The crime rate increased because "control" efforts addressed only guns 

and not criminals. 

 

Now, British subjects last week  were told that because of increasing gang-related crimes, knives may no longer be purchased by anyone under the age of 18.


Marc Marcantonio lands line class world record Walleye

The IGFA has now certified Marc Marcantonio’s Columbia River Walleye as the official World Record for the 6 lb-test line class. The record fish weighed in at 13.75 lbs, beating the previous 6 lb line class world record of 12 lbs caught in 1995.

 

The walleye was caught in Washington State's Columbia River in the Lake Wallula section at TriCities during a Northwest Bass Tournament on September 25, 2004.  The

walleye was caught while vertically dropshotting the edge of the main river channel in 27 ft of water. It was caught using the following tackle: 

-Lamiglas Titanium TBS663 spinning rod

 -Shimano Stradic 2500MG reel

 -Gary Yamamoto Sugoi 6 lb test fluorocarbon line 

 -Gamakatsu #4 Dropshot Hook 

-3/8-ounce QuickDrop Dropshot Sinker 

-4" Clearwater Tackle Tapeworm (Sand #110)

 

The fish was released alive at the same spot after weighing on certified scales, and taking measurements and photos."

 


National

California now top boat registration state

The top 20 boating states accounted for three out of every four of the nearly 12.8 million boats registered in the U.S. in 2003, according to NMMA's 2003 U.S. Recreational Boat Registration Statistics Report.

 

NMMA uses registration data supplied to the U.S. Coast Guard by the states to develop the registration statistics report.

The top five states, in terms of registered boats in 2003 were:

California 963,379,

Michigan 953,554,

Florida 939,968,

Minnesota 845,279,

Texas 619,088.

 

California added more than 65,000 boats to its registration total in 2003, moving up two places to claim the top spot from Michigan, which lost roughly 47,000 from its fleet.

 

Regionally, the South Atlantic region (DE, D.C., FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV) is now number one in rank, eclipsing the Eastern North Central region (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI). There were 2.558 million boats registered in the South Atlantic Region in 2003; a 1.0 percent increase compared to 2002. Total registered boats fell 3.6 percent in Eastern North Central region, which counted 2.554 million registered boats.


Call of the Mild – a benefit to American security

The need to open the 1002 area

By Gale A Norton
WWashington — Even though it is noon, the landscape is pitch black. The wind chill stands at 70 below zero. A lone man drives across a vast frozen plain on a road made of ice. He sits atop a large, bug-like machine with enormous wheels. He is heading for a spot on the tundra pinpointed by satellite imagery to explore for oil. When the spring thaw comes and the road melts, any evidence that a man or a machine ever crossed there will be gone.

 

This is the world of Arctic energy exploration in the 21st century. It is as different from what oil exploration used to be as the compact supercomputers of today are different from the huge vacuum tube computers of the 1950s. Through the use of advanced technology, we have learned not only to get access to oil and gas reserves in Arctic environments but also to protect their ecosystems and wildlife.

 

Technological advances in oil exploration are at the heart of a debate over America's energy future. Congress will soon decide whether to open up a sliver of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - called the 1002 area - to energy development. Opponents will pretend that new, less invasive technology doesn't exist. It is important for Americans to understand that it does, and that it works.

 

In past decades, Arctic oil development involved huge amounts of equipment that had to be moved over gravel roads and laid upon large gravel pads. The machines that transported this equipment often scarred the land, especially in spring and summer.

 

American ingenuity has tackled this problem. Today, oil exploration in the Arctic occurs only in the frozen winter. Workers build roads and platforms of ice to protect the soil and vegetation. Trucks with huge tires called rolligons distribute load weights over large areas of snow to minimize the impact on the tundra below.

 

Meanwhile, innovations in platform development and directional drilling mean that we need fewer and smaller pads

to tap into oil and gas reserves. From a single platform, we can explore an underground area nearly the size of the District of Columbia. Likewise, satellite infrared imaging helps energy companies to avoid key wildlife habitat and environmentally sensitive areas while 3-D seismic data imaging improves the chances of drilling a successful well by 50%, meaning fewer wells.

 

In 1980, when Congress created the refuge, it set aside the 1002 area for possible future energy development. To date, Congress has not approved this development because of environmental concerns. In the meantime, America's domestic production of energy has declined and we have become more and more dependent on imported oil.

 

As part of a comprehensive energy strategy of promoting conservation and reducing dependence on foreign oil, we must increase our energy production here at home. The 1002 area is potentially the largest untapped source of oil and gas on American soil. While we cannot promise that there will be no impact on the wildlife and habitat of the 1002 area, we can promise no significant impact.

 

In fact, legislation to open up the area passed last year by the House of Representatives laid down the strictest environmental standards ever applied to energy development and flatly stated that development must "result in no significant adverse effect on fish and wildlife, their habitat, subsistence resources, and the environment."

 

We can meet this standard because of the extraordinary advances in oil field technology. If approved by Congress, the overall "footprint" of the equipment and facilities needed to develop the 1002 area would be restricted to 2,000 acres, an area about the size of a regional airport in a refuge the size of South Carolina.

 

With this advanced technology and the strict requirements of the legislation, the American people will have access to much needed energy to heat our homes and run our businesses while being assured that the Arctic environment and its wildlife will be protected.

Gale A. Norton is secretary of the interior.


Missing Documents in Chambers Case suddenly found

 Interior Still Deciding Whether to Release Newly Located Records

Washington, DC — Under the pressure of a federal lawsuit, the Department of Interior has reversed itself and announced that the documents sought by Teresa Chambers do in fact exist and have not been destroyed, according to a letter released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Two weeks ago, Teresa Chambers filed suit in federal district court after the Interior Department said it no longer had the documents which show charges used as the basis to remove her as Chief of the U.S. Park Police last year were trumped up.

 

The key document being sought is a performance evaluation of Chambers prepared by Deputy Park Service Director Donald Murphy, who later charged Chambers with misconduct relating to breaches of chain-of-command and other performance-related issues. According to Murphy’s sworn testimony in depositions taken prior to Chambers’ first hearing seeking reinstatement, his evaluation covered the periods during which her supposed misconduct occurred but his evaluation did not mention the issues or incidents that were later used as a partial basis for her firing last July.

 

“This latest about-face is just another illustration of duplicitous behavior by top Interior officials bent on removing Chief Chambers come hell or high water,” stated PEER General Counsel Richard Condit, who filed the suit on Chambers’ behalf. “Chief Chambers should not have to go to federal court to get something that is supposed to be in her personnel file.”

While the Interior Department now admits that the document exists, it is still deciding whether or when to release it. Chambers is suing under the Privacy Act which entitles individuals to see records about them maintained by federal agencies, particularly records created as part of a federal employee’s personnel file. Chambers is suing the Interior Department because it is the parent agency of the National Park Service.

 

At the same time in a different forum, Teresa Chambers is also seeking reinstatement. Her appeal is now before the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board. Two of the six administrative charges that the Interior Department had leveled against Chief Chambers were thrown out at the trial level. If produced, Murphy’s evaluation could knock out two of the remaining four charges. The remaining two charges involve an interview Chief Chambers gave to The Washington Post, and those charges will also be subject to First Amendment and other separate federal court challenges if they are upheld at this stage.

 

“Now that they have found the documents that Chief Chambers has a right to see by law, what is Interior waiting for?” Condit asked, noting that Chief Chambers was stripped of her badge, credentials and side arm and marched out of Interior headquarters under armed escort on December 5, 2003. “Teresa Chambers’ case is about whether a public servant can be fired for telling the truth but it is apparent that there is no sanction in the Interior Department for avoiding the truth.”

 


Senators pledging to help Boy Scouts
Introduce bill to protect organization from legal attacks by ACLU, others
A bipartisan group of lawmakers, led by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., introduced legislation yesterday to make sure the Boy Scouts of America can use government facilities for gatherings, meetings and events.

 

The ''Support Our Scouts Act of 2005" would protect the organization from attacks by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups challenging federal support for the BSA because the organization administers a religious oath and prohibits homosexuals as scout masters. The bill says no federal law, directive, rule, instruction or order should limit any federal agency from providing support to the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. The legislation removes any doubt that federal agencies may welcome Scouts to hold meetings and go camping on federal property.

An ongoing lawsuit by the ACLU says federal support of the group, including about $2 million annually for the National Scout Jamboree, amounts to religious discrimination and violates the separation of church and state.

The Pentagon last year settled one such lawsuit by telling military bases around the world not to become direct sponsors of Boy Scout troops or Cub Scout dens. Military personnel can now sponsor Boy Scout groups only in their civilian capacity.

 

The threat of lawsuits by the ACLU has forced the BSA to pull the charters of thousands of scouting units from public schools. In a letter sent to the BSA last month, the ACLU vowed to take legal action against public schools and other taxpayer-funded governmental agencies that charter Scout groups.

 


Right-to-Carry 2005

There are 38 RTC states, an all-time high. Gov. Bob Taft signed Ohio’s RTC bill into law on Jan. 8, 2004. Two days earlier, New Mexico’s Supreme Court upheld that state’s RTC law. New Mexico had adopted its RTC law in 2003, as did Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, where legislators overrode Gov. Bob Holden’s veto of the state’s RTC bill. Of the 38 RTC states, 34 have "shall issue" RTC laws, which provide for carry permits to be issued to applicants who meet uniform standards established by the state legislature.

 

Alabama, Connecticut and (as indicated by a recent survey of issuing authorities) Iowa have fair discretionary-issue systems, and Alaska and Vermont respect the right to carry without a permit. Alaska added its no-permit-required law in 2003, but still has its shall-issue provision. Sixty-four percent of Americans live in RTC states.

 

  • The right to self-defense is a fundamental right. The U.S. constitution, the constitutions of 44 states, and the laws of all 50 states recognize the right to use arms in self-defense. RTC laws respect the right to self-defense by allowing individual citizens to carry firearms for protection.

  • More RTC states, less crime. The nation`s violent crime rate has decreased every year since 1991 and in 2002 hit a 23-year low. In the same period, 17 states adopted and 13 states improved RTC laws. RTC states have lower violent crime rates, on average: 24% lower total violent crime, 22% lower murder, 37% lower 

robbery, and 20% lower aggravated assault. The five states with the lowest violent crime rates are RTC states. (Data: FBI)

  • RTC and crime trends. Studying crime trends in every county in the U.S., John Lott and David Mustard found, "allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crimes and it appears to produce no increase in accidental deaths. If those states which did not have Right to Carry concealed gun provisions had adopted them in 1992, approximately 1,570 murders; 4,177 rapes; and over 60,000 aggravated assaults would have been avoided yearly....(T)he estimated annual gain from allowing concealed handguns is at least $6.214 billion....(W)hen state concealed handgun laws went into effect in a county, murders fell by 8.5 percent, and rapes and aggravated assaults fell by 5 and 7 percent." ("Crime, Deterrence, and Right To Carry Concealed Handguns," 1996.)

 

The following indicate permit revocation rates for states that report such data.

  • Florida: 798,732 issued, 146 (0.02%) revoked due to firearm crimes by licensees. (Dept. of State, 10/1/87-2/29/02)

  • Kentucky: 71,770 valid permits, 585 (0.8%) revoked for any reason. (State Police, 10/1/96-12/31/01)

  • Louisiana.: 15,319 issued, 67 (0.4%) revoked for any reason. (State Police, (11/1/96-2/28/02)

  • Oklahoma: 35,329 issued, 108 (0.30%) revoked for any reason. (SBI, 2/28/ 2002)

  • North Carolina: 47,046 issued, 242 (0.5%) revoked for any reason. (SBI, 12/1/95-9/29/01)

  • South Carolina: 33,492 issued, 164 (0.5%) revoked for any reason. (SLED, 8/96-5/26/02)

  • Texas: 223,584 issued, 1,772 (0.8%) revoked for any reason. (DPS, 1/1/96-5/1/02)

  • Tennessee.: 130,187 issued, 1,126 (0.9%) revoked for any reason. (DPS, 12/96-5/4/02)

  • Utah: 44,173 issued, 565 (1.3%) revoked for any reason. (Dec. 31, 2001)

  • Virginia: 172,347 issued, 372 (0.2%) revoked for any reason. (State Police, 7/95-4/02)

Wyoming: 7,480 issued, 20 (0.3%) revoked for any reason. (Dept. of Criminal Investigation, 10/1/94-2/02)


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for March 18, 2005

Current Lake Levels: 

All of the Great Lakes are 4 to 13 inches above last year’s levels.   Lake Superior is 1 inch below its long-term average, while Lake Michigan-Huron is 10 inches below its long-term average. Lake St. Clair is 2 inches above its long-term average, while Lakes Erie and Ontario are 9 and 7 inches above their long-term averages, respectively.


Current Outflows/Channel Conditions: 

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

 

Temperature/Precipitation Outlook: 

A storm system developing in the central plains will push

toward the Great Lakes basin on Thursday.  Several inches of snow are forecasted to fall across the western basin late Thursday and into Friday.  A rain and snow mix is expected across the region Saturday and Sunday.

 

Forecasted Water Levels: 

Lake Superior is nearing the end of its seasonal decline and should rise an inch during the next month.  Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are beginning their seasonal rises and should increase 3-4 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.


Carp Fund Barometer

Donation          Ranking

$    1 – 10   Alewife

 

$  11 – 20  Yellow Perch

 

$  21 – 50   Black Bass

     Berg, Jeffrey W.

     Cozzie, Ken

     Fuka, John J.

     Gold Coast Charter Service

     Reider, Robert

 

$  51 – 100   Coho Salmon

     Couston, Tom

     Yahara Fishing Club

$  101 – 200   Walleye

     Chagrin River Salmon Association

 

$  201 – 500   Brown Trout

     Northeast Wis. GL Sport Fishermen

     Detroit Area Steelheaders 

     Klavon, Patrick  

 

$  501 – 1000   Steelhead

 

$  1001 – 5000   Chinook Salmon

 

$  5001 – UP   Lake Trout

 

Current Total= $1,315.00


General

More Record Fish Caught on Rapalas in 2004 than on Any Other Lure

International Game Fish Association Announces 2004 Records

MINNETONKA, Minn. (March 15, 2005) - Minnetonka-based Rapala Corporation, member of the Rapala VMC Group, announced that the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) recognized that more record fish were caught on Rapala lures in 2004 than on any other lure.  Rapalas were responsible for 14 IGFA tracked records including five new world records. 

 

The new records only help bolster Rapala’s standing as the brand of lure which has caught the most world record fish as recorded by IGFA.  Rapala continues to hold the record for world records!  Among the new world records was a Barracuda (Guinean) in line class 30lb/15kg caught on a Rapala CDMag 18. The Barracuda was caught in Macha Branca, Luanda, Angola and weighed in at 38lb 8oz.

 

IGFA maintains and publishes world records for saltwater, freshwater, fly fishing catches, U.S. state freshwater records, and junior angler records, awarding certificates of recognition to each record holder.  IGFA is recognized as the official keeper of world saltwater fishing records since 1939. IGFA

entered the field of freshwater record keeping when Field & Stream transferred its 68 years of records to the association in 1978.

 

“The records are a feather in our cap,” says Lori Peterson, director of marketing for Rapala. “We build our lures to catch fish big and small, but it is gratifying that the lures are able to attract and land the big ones in various species - the really big ones.”

 

Mike Leech, Ambassador at Large for IGFA stated, “Rapala lures seem to consistently be the leading brand we see on record applications.” 

 

Rapala will receive an award recognizing having set the most records at the Second Annual World Record Achievement Awards Celebration to be held at the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum on Saturday, April 9, 2005, in Dania Beach, Florida.  Each year the IGFA recognizes tackle companies for setting the most records with their various products.

 

For more information on IGFA, or records tracked, contact IGFA directly at 954-927-8628, or visit  www.Igfa.org .


60 more boating writers join BWI

Boating Writers International says it has added more than 60 new members during the past year, bringing its roster to 430. BWI attributes the gain, in part, to its annual writing contest, which brought awards to 42 members at last month’s Miami International Boat Show. Supporting membership also has risen, and now includes nearly 90 companies.

 

Undoubtedly, there continues do be some serious fallout over the flap yet to be resolved between OWAA and once major supporter the National Rifle Association. To read the NRA

position statement click here: www.greatlakes.org/Wkly_news/02-07-05.html#OWAA_Loyalty_to_Sierra_Club_Forces_NRA_to_

Withdraw_Support

 

For more info on BWI contact: 

Greg Proteau, Executive Director
Boating Writers International

info@bwi.org     www.bwi.org
847-736-4142


 

Veterans Issues

Soldiers Offered No-Cost Degree Planning and Counseling

Many young soldiers and recent veterans spend countless hours trying to figure out which degree best suits their training, experience and interests. This can result in wasted time, money and effort, making it hard for military students to get started working toward the right degree for their unique needs and desires.

With this in mind, AutoDP® (Automated Degree Planning) supports military students with the Virtual Counseling Center (VCC) – with free counseling.  The VCC will put your Army (AARTS) transcripts to work for you and identify which degrees allow maximum application of all the credit earned you have earned -- in other words the quickest path to a cap and gown. AutoDP has already assisted tens of thousands of military students, by taking the guesswork out of setting their education goals and planning their degrees.

Here's How It Works:

The staff at the VCC uses the official AARTS transcript to create an electronic education record to determine which degree best meets the needs and desires of the individual military student. The VCC then identifies the most cost-effective colleges and universities that offer the degree programs that best match the student's needs.

 

This VCC support is free of cost, because it is built into both the Strategies for Success in College and Strategies for Veterans' Success in College, college courses offered by many colleges and universities including those belonging to the Service members Opportunities Colleges (SOC) and SOCAD. Both the Army Tuition Assistance Program and the GI Bill currently cover these courses, making this benefit free to the military/veteran student.

Remember - Virtual Counseling Center support is absolutely free for the duration of the course, plus one year thereafter. Visit www.virtualcounselingcenter.com for more information.


 

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan Stocking Conference – April 9

The four Lake Michigan Management Agencies (ILL, IN, MI and WI) are sponsoring a chinook stocking conference April 9 in

Benton Harbor Michigan. To read the announcement, view the agenda or download the registration form click here:

 


Illinois

Spring Trout Season Opens April 2

Illinois DNR Stocks Some Lakes

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The 2005 spring trout fishing season in Illinois opens at 5 a.m. on Saturday, April 2, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Joel Brunsvold announced.

Stocking for the rainbow trout fishing program in Illinois is made possible through the sale of inland trout stamps to those anglers who participate.  The stamps are available for $6.50 each at IDNR offices in Springfield, Chicago, Alton, Bartlett, Benton, Clinton and Sterling, at many municipal, township and county clerks' offices, and at a large number of sporting goods stores and bait shops. 

 

Inland trout stamps, as well as fishing licenses, also may be purchased with a credit card at: http://www.great-lakes.org/licenses.html

           

To legally participate in the trout fishing program, anglers must have a valid Illinois fishing license and an inland trout stamp.  Annual fishing licenses for the 2005 season will be

valid through March 31, 2006. Illinois' 24-hour fishing license includes trout fishing privileges for the 24-hour period the license is valid.  A license is required unless the angler is under age 16, blind or disabled, or is an Illinoisan on active military service home on leave.

 

Anglers may not take trout from any of the stocked sites from March 15 until the opening of the season on April 2 at 5 a.m.  Anyone attempting to take trout before the legal opening will be issued citations.  Once the season opens, the daily possession limit for the spring trout season is five fish.

 

Anglers are reminded to check in advance for any site-specific regulations and the opening time of their favorite trout fishing location.  While the statewide spring trout season opens at 5 a.m. on April 2, some locations may have a later opening time.

           

For more information about the trout stocking program, contact the IDNR Division of Fisheries at 217/782-6424 or check the web site at www.ifishillinois.org.


Red Hills Lake Temporarily Closed to Fishing

Lake to Be Treated for Aquatic Species Invasion

A popular Southern Illinois state park will be closed to fishing while aquatic biologists take steps to control an exotic weed that is interfering with the natural ecosystem.  Fishing will be prohibited at Red Hills State Park from 8 a.m. Monday, March 21st until 8 am. Thursday, March 24th.

 

Biologists from IDNR will be applying aquatic herbicides to  the lake in an effort to control curleyleaf pondweed.  It's an exotic weed that inhibits the growth of native plants in the lake. 

 

The 40-acre lake at Red Hills State Park is popular among

both anglers and those who enjoy boating. A dam constructed across Muddy Creek, a tributary of the Embarras River in 1953 created the 40-acre lake with a maximum depth of 30 feet and 2.5 miles of shoreline. Those who fish are likely to pull out largemouth bass, channel catfish, crappie, blue gill, and bullhead.

 

Red Hills State Park is located in southeastern Illinois, midway between Olney and Lawrenceville, on U.S. Route 50.  The 948-acre park includes high wooded hills, deep ravines, and springs that flow year-round.  The Red Hill is the highest point of land between St. Louis and Cincinnati.    A 120-foot tower and cross rise from the summit.


Michigan

DNR planning to reauthorize wolf management

Applying for Permit Following Court Decision

Following a recent court decision, state wildlife officials are seeking to regain the necessary tools to effectively conserve and manage wolves in Michigan. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is preparing a federal permit application to restore its authority to use lethal control to deal with wolf-related livestock depredation.

 

In January, a federal district court in Oregon withdrew a 2003 federal decision that had reclassified gray wolves from endangered to threatened status throughout much of the United States. Due to the change, management actions pertaining to the species are now more restricted. The DNR lost the legal authority to use lethal control to deal with wolf-related livestock depredation. In response, the department is preparing the federal permit application to restore its authority to use lethal control.

 

Although the wolf populations in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota have been exceeding recovery goals for several years, the status of wolves elsewhere in the country drove the court’s decision. As a result of this ruling, the federal status of wolves in Michigan has reverted to endangered.

 

"We are seeking this permit to regain our ability to manage the

wolf population in both an ecologically and socially responsible manner," said DNR Director Rebecca Humphries.

 

DNR officials indicate the best interests of Michigan residents and the wolf population are served when the agency possesses the tools necessary to address depredation and human safety concerns. The ability to respond effectively can minimize the development of negative public attitudes and better ensure the persistence of the wolf population as a whole.

 

"Public support is absolutely necessary for the long-term persistence of the wolf population in Michigan," said Humphries. "By being able to deal with problem wolves effectively, we stand a much better chance at preventing that support from eroding."

 

Although lethal control may not be used in response to depredation until a federal permit is granted, the DNR can still offer help with regard to depredation or habituated wolves. The DNR encourages residents in need of assistance to call a local Operations Service Center or the RAP hotline 1-800-292-7800.

 


Minnesota

DNR Seeks Comments on Lake Management Plans in the Tower Fisheries Area

The Minnesota DNR has drafted revised individual fisheries lake management plans for several lakes in the Tower Fisheries Area.  Lake management plans are used by fisheries managers to describe the past, present, and future conditions of the lake.  The plans identify specific management activities planned for that lake in the next five to ten years.

  

These plans are available for review at the DNR Area

Fisheries Office, 650 Hwy 169, Tower during normal business hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday thru Friday).  To request a copy of a plan call 218-753-2580 ext. 221 or send an email to: dena.weber@dnr.state.mn.us .   Stop in or call (218) 753-2580 ext. 222 to discuss any of these plans with fisheries staff. 

 

Comments are due to the Area Fisheries Office in Tower by March 28, 2005 and may be sent by mail or email.

 


Walleye Regulation Change Proposed For Lake Vermilion

 In an effort to maintain high-quality walleye fishing at Lake Vermilion in northeastern Minnesota, the DNR is proposing a new regulation to protect the walleye population by reducing harvest starting in 2006.

 

Surveys of anglers in 2002 and 2003 documented the highest walleye harvest ever observed on Lake Vermilion, well above a sustainable level, says Joe Geis, DNR Area Fisheries Supervisor in Tower. The proposed regulation would keep walleye harvest at or below the long-term goal for the lake.

 

Two potential regulations are being offered for consideration:

•         A 17 to 26” protected slot with one fish allowed over 26 inches. 

•         A 17-26” protected slot with one fish allowed over 26 inches, and a 4-fish daily and possession bag limit. 

 

Geis says adding the four-fish bag limit offers the best chance to keep harvest at a safe level and maintain fishing quality.  A four-fish bag limit would also be consistent with regulations recently adopted on other large walleye lakes in Minnesota.

There will be a formal public input process in September of 2005, including public input meetings and a time period for submitting written or verbal comments.

 

Signs will also be posted at public accesses and resorts this spring informing anglers a regulation change is under consideration. If adopted, the new regulation would go into effect on May 13, 2006.  Any questions about the proposed regulation change can be directed to the Area Fisheries office at Tower MN.

 

Joe Geis, Area Fisheries Supervisor         

650 Hwy. 169, Tower, MN 55790

218-753-2580 ext. 222

joe.geis@dnr.state.mn.us

 

Duane Williams, Large Lake Specialist

650 Hwy. 169, Tower, MN 55790                                                

218-753-2580 ext. 224

duane.williams@dnr.state.mn.us

 

 


Three fined $1,300 for exceeding legal perch limit

Three non-resident anglers were recently fined $1,300 each for taking more than their legal limit of perch from Lake Winnibigoshish.

 

David S. Lape, 54, of Van Wert, Ohio, Dennis J. Lape, 48, and Julie A. Kleinknight, 47, both of East Lake, Mich., were caught with 249 perch in their possession on March 5. That is 129 perch over their legal limit. Perch possession limit is 20 daily and 40 in possession.

 

Minnesota DNR Conservation Officer Larry Francis, Remer, received a call March 4 that two men and a woman were overheard at a resort bragging about the fish they had caught in the northeastern Minnesota lake.  The next day, Francis and Conservation Officer Gary Sommers, Walker, stopped the suspects' vehicle after it left the resort. The bed of the truck contained 26 bags with 249 perch.  "After doing the math," Dennis Lape stated to Francis, "we must have miscounted."

Each person received a citation for being 43 perch over the limit and had their licenses seized under the state's gross over limits law. Each citation carries of a fine amount of $960 and a restitution amount of $430 for a total penalty of $1,390 per violator. Upon conviction, the individuals also face a three-year revocation of their fishing privileges.

 

"This is another example of how the Turn In Poachers (TIP) hotline and concerned Minnesota sportsmen and women can assist state conservation officers in protecting our natural resources," Sommers said.

 

Established in 1981, the TIP program allows Minnesotans to call a toll-free number from anywhere in the state to report natural resource violations. Calls regarding violations can be placed anonymously at 1-800-652-9093, cash rewards are given for tips.

 


Plan describes big boost in pheasant habitat, harvest

Capitalizing on well-funded farm programs would boost Minnesota’s average pheasant harvest 24 percent to 450,000 birds by 2008, under a plan announced today by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Furthermore, the plan lays groundwork to increase the average pheasant harvest to 750,000 by 2025, which would require 1.5 million additional acres of farmland habitat, supporting a population of 3 million birds.

 

“Pheasant populations depend largely on our ability to influencing land-use practices on private farmland,” said Bill Penning, DNR farmland wildlife program leader. “One way the DNR and other agencies are doing that is by funding technicians who promote landowner enrollment in programs available through the federal farm bill.”

 

In addition, the DNR will accelerate land acquisition to protect critical pheasant habitat and direct farmland research toward better understanding of winter habitat and other pheasant

needs.

 

Minnesota’s current pheasant harvest averages about 360,000 birds, Penning said. Given the limits of current farm programs and acquisition funding, 330,000 new acres of undisturbed grass might be established by 2008, yielding a projected increase of about 80,000 roosters in the annual harvest.

 

“An additional 10,000 roosters may be added to the harvest by maintaining and improving quality of existing habitats,” Penning added. “Thus, a realistic goal is to raise the average annual harvest to 450,000 roosters by 2008.”

 

The plan was a three-year effort developed in partnership with Pheasants Forever, the DNR’s Farmland Committee and the Pheasant Habitat Stamp Oversight Committee.

 

For more info: www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/pheasant/index.html .


Mike Carroll named DNR Northwest Region director

Mike Carroll has been named Northwest Region Director for the Minnesota DNR by Commissioner Gene Merriam, effective June 1.   Carroll is currently the DNR's Forestry Division director. He and his family live in Park Rapids. His new position will be based in the DNR's regional office in Bemidji.

 

"Mike has done outstanding work as our Forestry Division director during challenging times," Merriam said. "His experience makes him ideally suited to direct our work in Northwestern Minnesota. He has a keen understanding of our regional issues."

 

Carroll is a 25-year DNR veteran who has served in a variety of forestry positions, including area forestry supervisor in Park Rapids, superintendent of the Badoura State Forest Nursery, Forest Resource Management Program supervisor, and regional forest health specialist.

"I look forward to working with the dedicated staff and cooperators of the northwest in conserving the diverse natural resources of the region," Carroll said. "I will draw heavily on my Northwest Initiative and Blandin Community Leadership Training to reinforce DNR's role as a neighbor and long-term contributor to the economic, social and environmental health of the region."

 

Carroll holds a bachelor's degree in forestry from Syracuse University and a master's degree in entomology with academic distinction from the University of Missouri-Columbia. In 1995, he served as Minnesota chair for the Society of American Foresters. During his DNR tenure, he has received numerous awards for outstanding achievement.

 

Carroll replaces acting regional director Roger Tietz, who will return full time June 1 to his job as the DNR Enforcement Division's regional supervisor in Bemidji.


Songbird deaths caused by salmonella B

The Minnesota DNR has received numerous reports of sick and dead common redpolls and other members of the finch family at bird feeders. According to Carrol Henderson, supervisor of the DNR Nongame Wildlife Program, similar die-offs are occurring in Quebec and in states ranging from Michigan to New York to Vermont and south through Virginia and North Carolina.

 

The DNR's Division of Ecological Services has determined the birds are dying from a bacterial disease called salmonella - Type B. This disease is transmitted by contact between birds, especially where they are concentrated at feeders. It can also be transmitted through their droppings onto birdseed and subsequently ingested by other birds.

 

"It is extremely important to clean up the areas under the bird feeders, where fallen seed could be contaminated," Henderson said. Henderson noted the redpolls, pine siskins

and other northern finches should be migrating northward this month. The problem will subside as they disperse through their northern woodlands for nesting.

 

"People can help by removing their finch feeders for a week or so to force the birds to disperse their feeding activities over a larger area," Henderson said.

 

The feeders should be cleaned with a solution of two ounces of bleach with one gallon of water, followed by a scrubbing or brushing of the entire surface. Feeders can be put out after about a week, when the redpoll numbers have diminished. According to Henderson, house cats can contract this disease from eating sick songbirds. Veterinarians in Quebec have reported receiving sick cats diagnosed with salmonella B. To protect their pets, people should keep their cats indoors because they can become infected with salmonella B when they kill and eat the sickened birds.


Pennsylvania

Black Bass Workshop Scheduled for April 22-23

Marks 5th year of resource mgmt, angling instruction

HARRISBURG: Officials from Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) and the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) announced that registration has begun for the 5th Pennsylvania Black Bass Workshop, April 22-23 at Blue Spruce County Park, near Ernest, Indiana County.  

           

The workshop is designed to offer anglers, resource and facilities managers an opportunity to hear discussions on both black bass and habitat management, angling and other aquatic resource subjects.  Boat launches and weigh-in facilities will also be covered.

           

Besides the PFBC and DCNR’s Yellow Creek State Park in Indiana County, other workshop co-hosts include: the Pennsylvania BASS Federation; U. S. Army Corps of Engineers; Marsh Creek Bass Club Ltd.; and Indiana County Parks and Trails.

           

Started in 1999 and held at different parks every year, the

workshop is designed to offer bass anglers, biologists, conservation officers, resource and facility managers a chance to exchange ideas and information pertaining to the management of bass fisheries, bass habitat, bass angling and recreational facilities.

 

The “Black Bass Habitat” theme focuses on black bass fisheries habitat management at national, state and local levels.  Discussions on black bass habitat management methods in lakes, impoundments and rivers are planned. Other topic discussions include: Keeping Bass Alive, Aquatic Vegetation Propagation and Answering Resource Questions.

           

The workshop is open to anyone interested in black bass conservation. Organizers invite attendees to share their knowledge and experience with other bass anglers, tournament organizers, fisheries biologists, park managers and state and federal agency administrators.

           

For more info and registration: Denise Darnley, Yellow Creek State Park, 170 Route 259 Highway, Penn Run, PA  15765-5941. Tel:  (724) 357-7913 or email: ddarnley@state.pa.us .


Commission Moves to Boost Stocked Trout Size       

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission took action last week to boost by 30% the average size of the trout stocked from State Fish Hatcheries.     

       

Starting in 2007, the average trout stocked by the Commonwealth will weigh in at just under 2/3 of a pound, up from the present average of 0.44 pounds.   In addition to 3.2 million 11-inch trout, the Commission’s new production plan also calls for 30,000 trout averaging a whopping 2 pounds and 16 inches in length along with 9,000 golden rainbow trout averaging 14 inches and 1.5 pounds.  The Commission’s system-wide production goal will remain at the present 1.9 million pounds of adult trout annually.       

       

The Commission action is in direct response to angler preference documented by participants in the 2002

Pennsylvania Trout Summit and a working group of trout fishing interests who advise the Commission on management issues.  Given the cap of 1.9 million pounds of fish produced at State Fish Hatcheries, anglers indicated a strong preference for bigger, but slightly fewer trout as compared to more and smaller fish.  The production shift approved today increases the average weight of adult trout to be stocked by 30%, while only requiring a 20% cut in the total number raised.  Other shifts include increasing the percentage of rainbow trout in the stocking mix and some operational changes in feeding and breeding.

 

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).


PFBC commission looking for public input

Looking for name changes and a new catch/release program

PFBC Commissioners are soliciting public comment on potential changes in special trout fishing regulations for consolidation.  The Commission is asking for anglers to provide input on a proposed consolidation and simplification of existing special regulations programs, as follows:

       

1. 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.

2. Rename All-Tackle Trophy Trout to Trophy Trout All Tackle.

This program will offer year-round angling with a 24-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.

 

3. 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 24-inch minimum length limit and a one trout per day creel limit also will apply.

 

4. 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.  Existing prohibitions on wading, barbed hooks and hours of fishing on waters in various special regulation programs are also being considered for elimination.


Sunbury Access Closed for Improvements

Work to improve the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s (PFBC) Sunbury Access Area is underway.

       

PFBC construction crews will spend approximately six weeks replacing the existing boat launch ramp with a cast-in-place concrete ramp, installing gabion baskets to stabilize the shoreline, paving the parking lot and enhancing shoreline fishing opportunities. The completed project will cost

approximately $106,000.

 

The Sunbury Access site is located along Route 147 at the south end of Sunbury and provides free public fishing and boating access to the Susquehanna River.  The access will be closed during construction, so boaters and anglers looking for alternative launch sites can visit the “County Guides” section of the PFBC’s web site at www.fish.state.pa.us .


Ontario

Province ensures Conservation of Ontario Wolves

Introduces New Closed Season for Hunting and Trapping in two regions

TORONTO — The Ontario government is implementing the strongest measures ever taken to conserve and protect the province’s wolf population, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced today.

 

"By introducing a closed season in central and Northern Ontario, we are protecting wolves in areas that have resident wolf populations," said Ramsay. "We want to ensure that wolves continue to play a key role in Ontario’s ecosystems."

 

Effective this year, the closed season will run from April 1 to

 September 14 and will cover all of central and northern Ontario, excluding the islands of Manitoulin, Cockburn and St. Joseph, which do not have resident wolf populations. These restrictions also apply to coyotes due to the difficulty in distinguishing between the two species in the wild. The coyote season in southern Ontario remains open all year.

 

The announcement reflects public input into a November 2004 posting on the Environmental Registry website of the proposed wolf strategy and conservation actions. The government is continuing to review comments about other aspects of the wolf strategy and conservation actions.

 


Robbery victim charged after shooting at thief with own gun

Canada's National Post reports that Toronto Police last week arrested a man who allegedly disarmed an assailant who was attempting to rob him. The man then tried to shoot him with his own gun. Officers arrived at an apartment building at 200 Sherbourne St. at around 10:40 a.m. after receiving

reports of gunfire, Toronto police Sergeant Barry Radford said.  While there they discovered that a 48-year-old man who had been the victim of an attempted robbery had successfully disarmed one of his two assailants before trying to gun him down. He now faces a number of weapons-related charges. His two assailants escaped on foot.

 


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