Week of March 27, 2006

Club News

World

National

Regional

General

Lake Huron

Lake Erie

Illinois

Indiana

Michigan

Ohio

Pennsylvania

Wisconsin

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Club News

Milwaukee Muskies Inc.

Annual Banquet and Fund Raiser

Monday April 10, 2006

 

Klemmer’s Banquet Center

10401 West Oklahoma Ave, Milwaukee, WI  53227

All proceeds to benefit children's and community programs

Tickets, $45 per Person, Couples  - $85.  Doors open at 5:30 PM , Dinner at 7:30 PM

 

ADVANCE TICKETS ONLY -  SEATING IS LIMITED

 

Raffles & Auctions include:

Gun Board, 6 of the finest

Rod & Reel Board, 7 of the best

Flat Screen TV

Musky package, Rods, reels, net, tackle for 2

Sears 12", laser guided miter saw

Super Grill, Stainless Steel, gas, tools

Milwaukee Electric Tool

$500 Cash Raffle

Silent Auction

Much more…

 

For more info go to: www.milwaukeemuskiesinc.com  or Ron Groeschl, 262-789-1255, Rgroeschl@wi.rr.com

 


 

World

Scientists Dispute Link between Hurricanes and Global Warming

A Warmer World Should Have Fewer, Not More, Hurricanes

WASHINGTON, DC – Though hurricane season is still more than two months away, studies are appearing in science journals which attempt to link the occurrence of hurricanes to global warming. Most recently, an article was published in Sciencexpress, claiming hurricane intensity is linked to increasing tropical sea surface temperatures. The majority of climate scientists and hurricane experts dispute this conclusion and say there is no link between global warming and hurricane activity.

 

-Dr. William Gray, Colorado State U, Director, Tropical Meteorology Project

“The rise in water temperature has negligible connection to the hurricanes.” (Valerie Bauerlein, “Hurricane Debate Shatters Civility of Weather Science,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/2/06)

 

-Dr. James O’Brien, Florida State U, Director, Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies

“A hurricane will also grow stronger as it moves over water warmer than 80 degrees F (26.5 C). This is why some people believe that global warming will increase hurricane intensity, but there are no scientific calculations that show the areas of water this warm increasing in size.” (Orlando Sentinel, “Global Warming has nothing to do with Hurricanes”, 7/20/05)

 

-Dr. Pat Michaels, Virginia State Climatologist; U. of Virginia, Research Professor, Environmental Sciences

While the impacts of the currently active hurricane period are being felt especially hard in the U.S., there remains no scientific proof that human contributions to an enhanced 

greenhouse effect are the root cause.  (TCS Daily, “Global Warming and Hurricanes: Still No Connection” 9/16/05)

 

-Dr. Anthony Lupo, U of Missouri-Columbia, Professor, Atmospheric Science

“There are more than enough studies to demonstrate that hurricane activity has not been rising or falling worldwide. Studies on hurricane dynamics also suggest that warm water alone will not create more or stronger hurricanes. The atmosphere needs to cooperate as well.” (Statement, 2/16/06)

 

-Dr. Roy Spencer, U of Alabama, Principal Research Scientist

“It is a popular misconception that the rapid rise in hurricane related damage in the last century has been due to global warming.  In fact, there has been no long term rise in hurricane activity.   What we do know with much more confidence is that we have indeed entered a new upswing in the natural cycle of hurricane activity.”  (Saturday Evening Post, “Tropical Twisters: Hurricanes”, Sept. /Oct. 2005)

 

-George Taylor, Oregon State Climatologist; Oregon State U, Faculty Member, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences

“There is no reason to expect increases in hurricanes due to greenhouse warming. Climate models, for all their problems, are unanimous in at least one respect: they predict that most of the future warming will be in high latitudes, in the polar regions. This will reduce the north-south temperature gradient and make poleward transfer of heat less vigorous -- a task in which tropical storms play a major role. All other things being equal, a warmer world should have fewer, not more, hurricanes.  The same effect should reduce the overall intensity of mid-latitude storms as well.” (TCS Daily, “Hurricanes and Global Warming: Is there a link?” 9/14/2004)


National

Idaho Governor picked for Interior Secretary

Kempthorne has history of seeking compromises

President Bush has named Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne as the new Secretary of the Interior, choosing a popular Western Republican with Washington experience to oversee the nation's parks, resources and public lands.  If confirmed, Kempthorne would succeed Gale Norton, who announced her resignation this month.

 

Kempthorne, 54, is a two-term governor who spent his career as a U.S. senator and Idaho governor seeking to make the federal Endangered Species Act work better for people and

critters. He would be the nation's top wildlife manager. Rewriting the Endangered Species Act will be one of the challenges where he can apply his collaborative style and instinct to let states solve their own problems.

 

As Interior secretary, Kempthorne would be federal landlord of more than 507 million acres of national parks, rangeland and wildlife refuges. He would manage more than 600 dams that bring water to 31 million Westerners and irrigate 60 % of all the vegetables grown in the United States.  He would be responsible for 68 % of the nation's oil and gas reserves and millions of acres of federal mining lands.


NMMA and RBFF kick off national tour 

The National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation on Thursday March 17, kicked off their fourth annual mobile marketing tour in Miami. The Discover Boating & Take Me Fishing Tour, which lasts 210 days and covers 35,000 miles, runs from March through October. The first of the tour’s 14 stops is the Miami Dade County Fair, which runs through April 2.

 

The tour hits the road early this year in support of the Discover Boating marketing campaign. Discover Boating, the consumer arm of the industry’s Grow Boating Initiative, launched an aggressive, multimillion-dollar national advertising campaign earlier this month. The tour is financed by NMMA, RBFF and industry sponsors. It is not sponsored with Grow Boating dollars, according to the NMMA.

 

“The idea behind the tour is to bring boating to people who

may not otherwise be privy to actual on-the-water experiences,” Amy Murray, event marketing director for Discover Boating, said in a statement. “We’ve created an environment on land that provides a glimpse into the fun of being out on the water on a boat and getting people excited about the possibility of life with a boat.”

 

The 2006 Discover Boating & Take Me Fishing Tour features a 34-foot trailer with approximately 6,000 square feet of display space, in addition to an outdoor showroom displaying the latest boats and marine accessories.

 

For more information on Discover Boating and a complete 2006 tour schedule, visit www.discoverboating.com   or www.takemefishing.org , or contact Amy Murray at (312) 946-6291 or amurray@nmma.org .

 


Record-Breaking Rainbow Trout

RALEIGH, N.C. (March 14) - The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission announced that Sapphire angler Leah Johnson landed a new North Carolina State Freshwater Fishing Record, after hauling in a 20.3 oz rainbow trout from Horsepasture River in Jackson County on Jan. 28. 

           

Johnson caught her record-breaking rainbow, which measured 34½" and 23½" in girth, using a Rapala lure on a

 

Shakespeare Microspin rod with a Wally Marshall reel.  The

fish was weighed on certified scales at Ingles in Brevard and verified by Powell Wheeler, a fisheries biologist with the Commission.

 

The previous North Carolina state record rainbow, caught by Terry Gregory of Franklin on Dec. 20, 1989, weighed 16 pounds, 5 ounces.  According to International Game Fish Association records, the largest rainbow trout on record weighed 42.2 oz and was caught from Bell Island in Alaska in 1970.

 


Eating Oily Fish Cuts Spread of Prostate Cancer

Eating oily fish and other foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce the spread of early prostate cancer, according to new studies from Britain.  Dr Mick Brown, chief scientist  at the Paterson Institute in Manchester, England said the studies strongly suggest that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids might help to inhibit the spread of the disease in men with early prostate cancer.

 

"Omega-6 fats, found in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, increased the spread of tumor cells into bone marrow. This invasion was blocked by omega 3 fats - the ones found in oily fish," Dr. Brown said.  "It is possible to have a healthy balance

of these two types of fat - we only need about half as much omega-3 as omega-6 - that will still stop cancer cells from spreading," he added.

 

The researchers believe omega-3 fatty acids interfere with functions of omega-6, which may be used as a source of energy  by cancer cells.  "Eating a diet with the right balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fats may well help to keep prostate cancer within the prostate gland where it may be monitored safely or more easily treated with surgery or radiotherapy," said study co-author  Dr. Noel Clarke.

 

The study appeared in the British Journal of Cancer.


Regional

18th Annual Baileys Harbor Brown trout Tournament April 21-23

The Baileys Harbor Community Association will once again host the Brown Trout Tournament this spring for the 18th consecutive year.  This event has developed into one of the premier fishing contests on Lake Michigan and many of the Great Lakes anglers view it as the “kick off” to their season of fishing.

 

Cash prizes will be paid to the top 60 fish weighed.  A grand prize valued at more than $1500.00 will be awarded for the heaviest fish. The grand prize includes a $600.00 cash, two night stay for four at the beautiful Baileys Harbor Yacht Club Resort, a free mount of the winning fish from Twin Rivers Taxidermy, 18 holes of golf for four at Maxwelton Braes Golf Resort and gift certificates from some of Baileys Harbor's finest dining establishments.

Baileys Harbor Marina is a full service marina located in the heart of Baileys Harbor. This facility features four launch ramps with boat trailer parking only one block away. The marina has slips for 45 boats up to 40 feet in length and offers gas & diesel fuel, waste pump out, a dock house with boaters lounge, heads, laundry, and a state of art fish cleaning station.

 

Tournament rules require that all fish be taken from the waters surrounding Door County.  Tickets must be purchased in advance of registering the fish at a cost of $25.00 per fisherman. Tickets may be purchased at most of the local businesses in Baileys Harbor.

 

For more info:  www.baileysharbor.com   Elwyn Kropuenske, Chair: campnowwi@yahoo.com

 


Gray Wolf Proposed for Delisting in Western Great Lakes Region

USFWS has announced a proposal to remove the gray wolf in the western Great Lakes region from the federal list of threatened and endangered species.  Under the proposal, wolves in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and portions of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio would be delisted. Wolves in the contiguous U.S. outside these specific areas would remain listed as endangered.

 

 "This proposal reflects the successful recovery of the gray wolf in the western Great Lakes region," said Department of Natural Resources Director Rebecca Humphries.  "Michigan has been prepared for this step for some time, and we are pleased that the step was taken."

 

When the gray wolf was listed as endangered in 1974, the entire range of the species in the contiguous U.S. was limited to northeastern Minnesota.  The major threat was persecution by humans resulting from negative perceptions of wolves.  With legal protection under the Endangered Species Act coupled with a favorable shift in public attitudes toward the 

species, wolves were able to expand into much of their former Great Lakes range.  Re-establishment of a resident population in Michigan was documented in 1989 when three animals established a territory in the western Upper Peninsula. 

 

Since that time, the wolf population has grown rapidly.  During the winter of 2004-2005, at least 405 wolves occurred in the state.  Survey efforts to determine present population size are currently underway.

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public input on the delisting proposal.  A 90-day comment period will begin upon official publication of the proposal in the Federal Register.  Comments may be submitted by email to WGLwolfdelist@fws.gov  , by letter to Western Great Lakes Wolf Delisting, USFWS, 1 Federal Dr, Ft Snelling, MN 55111-4056, or by fax to 612-713-5292.  To receive additional public input, the USFWS has also scheduled four public hearings.  Two of the hearings will take place in Michigan:  Marquette on May 16; and Grayling on May 17.


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for March 24, 2006

Lake Level Conditions:   

All of the Great Lakes except Lake Ontario are 3 to 7 inches below the levels of a year ago.  Lake Ontario is currently at a similar level as last year.  Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are below chart datum and are expected to rise 1 and 4 inches respectively in the next month.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are expected to rise 3 to 4 inches over the next month.  All of the Great Lakes have begun their seasonal rises, but levels over the next few months on all the Great Lakes are expected to remain lower than 2005.  See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.
 
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 and about average during March respectively. The Niagara River and St. Lawrence River flows are expected to be above average in March

 

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 information can be found at the National Ice Center web page.

 

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels Data Summary

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Expected levels for 3/24 in ft

600.8

577.3

573.7

571.4

245.5

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff from chart datum, in inches

-4

-3

+17

+26

+27

Diff from last month, in inches

-2

+2

+3

+3

-2

Diff from last year in inches

-3

-6

-7

-6

0


General

Perch Tips & Perch Tackle Tips

By W. Scott Leuthe

Line:  Your most important tool. It’s what is between you and your quarry. Change often, easily and cheaply by just replacing the last 50 yards or so. Keep line out of direct sunlight and high temperatures for longer life and a better performance. I believe 4-6 lb. fluorocarbon line is best and a low visibility, no stretch 4-6 lb. is OK. Keep your spare spool filled with 10-12 lb. test for rough days so you can change quickly to the “Fast Eddie” approach. (More on this later.)

 

Rods:   I always fish two rods unless the fish won’t let me (‘cause the action is too fast and furious) or it’s too rough. Make sure the rod is comfortable for you and never store a hook inside the line guides.

           

A one-piece 5½ - 6 ft. fast tipped (stiff) light or medium light action rod with graphite through the blank is best. Two-piece rods don’t have the “feeling” that a one piece does, but sometimes you have to fit a rod into the trunk of a car.

 

Reels:   After graduating from a Zebco 202 closed face spinning reel at the age of 12, I fished open faced spinning reels for 25 years for perch. I then forced myself to try a good, small profile 4:1 bait caster. I can’t believe how stupid I was for 25 years. A bait-casting reel is the easiest way to fish for perch. It’s easy because you press the button and the line goes down. No bail to flip. It’s easier to control line speed drop. It’s easier to change line. It adds months to the life of your line because there are fewer parts to snag your line on. The one bad thing about a bait caster is it will take you about two weeks of casting practice and 1 to 2 spools of line before you learn how to “thumb the spool” to prevent “bird nest.” Bust, let me ask you this, do you cast for perch?

 

Hooks:   Don’t buy junk. Don’t buy expensive. Do buy a handy hook sharpener and keep on a lanyard or rubber band for easy access. If the hook won’t stick in your thumbnail with slight pressure, hone it ‘til it does. Keep an assortment of at least red and gold regular color, #4 and #6 snelled leaders in your box. Fish with 2 hooks on each line out, and alternate red/gold on top or bottom between 2 lines out.

 

Ball Barrel Swivels: Buy the good ones that cost almost a buck apiece. Buy them just big enough so you can operate the snap clip comfortably. The older I get, the bigger they get. Buy black and silver. “Clips” are easier to use and therefore harder to find than the “snaps.”

 

Weights:  Thanks to the politicians and environmental nuts, lead weight are banned over a certain size. All I know is that this had made it increasingly more difficult to find the size and type of weights that I like to fish perch with. You will need a variety of sizes for the variety of conditions you will fish in. However, ¼ through ¾ oz. sizes are a must.

 

Perch Tips

First, ask your bait man at what depth of water the perch are. He knows. Once on the water, find the boat clusters. Scan the parking lots. A lot of trucks and trailers mean plenty of help finding perch. The boats for those trailers are out there somewhere. If you see a cluster of boats, quietly approach and watch with your binoculars. Are they intent or just content? I won’t start dropping the 70 to 150 feet of anchor line until I see guys catching fish or at least a bumpy bottom (if no one is out).

 

On average, I find perch deeper in the morning at 60-80 ft. and shallower in the evenings at 35-60 ft. I have never caught a perch in foggy conditions (I mean the weather, not my mental

state). I have never caught a perch after the sun has completely set. Believe it or not, I have caught most of my perch in still or slightly rippled water two hours before and after 12:30 p.m.

 

When you’ve dropped anchor and are fishless for 15 minutes, let out more anchor line and/or change grommet line position. If still fishless and you’ve exhausted your anchor line position options, move. If you don’t see many boats, try 60 feet and work in and out of 60 feet until you score. This may take eight or ten moves. Keep at it. The fish are in the water somewhere.

 

If you are tired of moving or it’s too rough to keep moving, it’s time to break out a can of cat food or mackerel chum attractant and institute the “Fast Eddie Do Nothing” fishing technique of napping, eating and bull talk until the perch come to us. This do nothing perch approach features using civil war era rods and reels perched out over the rocking boat, 25-year-old 15-lb. test line with rusting hooks and 50-year-old swivels and weights fished in a do nothing wait. Bait and watch and “do nothing.”

 

Either tie and weight the chum/attractant first and smack several holes in the can with a Phillips or dump it into a nylon mesh and tie and weight it. Send this down on line with your junker rod and reel. Jig it often in hopes of hooking a sturgeon. So far, the sturgeon has eluded me.

 

“Fast Eddie” Semlitch out of  West Seneca is the master when it gets to be do-nothing time. On slow days he almost always outfishes me. I do believe it has to do with the heavier line slowing the rise and fall action of the minnows. Time to bring that spare spool with the 1.5 lb. test out and re-rig.

           

Hook the minnow through the bottom lip and through one nostril. Keep minnows happy. Change water frequently. The only time I tail hook is during ice fishing season, when they are finicky. You’ll get fewer hooks to set in though. When the perch are finicky and just mouthing the bait and not striking hard, you have to give them a chance to get hooked. Do this by being patient and waiting for them to get greedy. When you first feel a “tick or nudge,” dead weight, or your rod tip is just acting differently, gently and slowly raise your rod tip up 6 inches or so. Keep it there and wait to feel the weight of the hanging fish. When you do, set the hook.

           

If you catch a mudpuppy or a goby, move. They don’t play well with perch. If you catch a smallmouth, sheepshead, white perch or bass, stay where you are. They do play well with perch.

           

Learn to tie a polymer knot, improved cinch and a loop knot. This is all you should ever need to know to tie.

           

We take for granted that everyone knows how to catch perch in the lake. Why is it that year in and year out we know of fishermen who continuously catch many big perch by boat and through the ice. The answer is practice, time, patience, and yes, by learning some of the close secrets from those very few great fishermen in Lake Erie who have dedicated hundreds of hours on a sport they love while at the same time feeding their families. They are very similar to walleye fishermen.

 

The next time you are at the walleye meeting, strike up a conversation with an angler who is also a perch fisherman. You may just learn another trick or two. 

 

Courtesy; The Fishline, Southtowns Walleye Association of WNY.


Submerged objects cause most accidents 

After reviewing five years of its own claim files, BoatU.S. Marine Insurance lists the most common causes for insurance claims among boat owners. The top nine claims are: striking submerged objects; sinking; fire and explosion; wind and weather; collisions; grounding; lightning; theft of the boat; and theft of equipment. Both the individual number of

claims, as well as insurance claim dollar amounts, were factored in to compile the list. 

 

The list was published in the January 2006 issue of Seaworthy, the damage avoidance newsletter from BoatU.S. Marine Insurance.


 

Lake Huron

Lake Huron Regional Fisheries Workshops April 8 and 22

Michigan Sea Grant and Michigan State U, in partnership with fisheries management agencies and other organizations, will be hosting two public information workshops.

 

These workshops will offer current research and information related to the status of the Lake Huron fishery, including specific updates related to salmon management in Lake Huron, walleye in Saginaw Bay, cormorant management efforts in Michigan, among other Lake Huron related topics.

 

The Lake Huron fishery has undergone significant changes in the recent years – these changes affect ecological fish communities, fishery stakeholders, and Lake Huron communities that benefit from these fisheries.

 

Workshops are open to the public, and will provide valuable information for anglers, charter captains, resource

professionals, and others who are interested in the Lake Huron fishery.

 

The two full-day Workshops will be hosted on:

Saturday, April 8, 2006 in Alpena, MI, 9:00-4:00 PM, registration deadline: March 31,  F.O.E. Meeting Hall, 1960 M-32 West, Alpena, MI 49707

 

Saturday, April 22, 2006 in Sandusky, MI (9:00-4:00 PM, registration deadline: April 14, Westpark Inn, 440 W. Sanilac Rd.

Sandusky, MI 4847

 

Registration fee for each full day workshop is $15 in advance ($20 at the door).  For additional workshop details including agenda, locations, and registration forms, go to: www.miseagrant.umich.edu/fisheries/ , or Cindy Anderson, Secretary, 989-984-1060  ande1172@msu.edu   or  Brandon Schroeder, 989-984-1056 schroe45@msu.edu


 

Lake Erie

Lake Erie Committee announces 2006 TAC for Walleye

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission's Lake Erie Committee met in Windsor March 20-21, 2006 and presented the following:

 

Walleye --  Ohio: 5.081 million walleye  (51.4% of TAC)

                    Ontario: 4.281 million walleye (43% of TAC)

                    Michigan: 524,000 walleye

 

(Note - the Total Allowable Catch {TAC} is the portion of the population of catchable-size fish that managers determine can be sustainably or safely harvested in a year without negatively impacting the population.  It should be remembered that even without harvest, natural mortality typically removes over 40% of a population each year, making fish very hard to stockpile for a future year.)

 

The total walleye catch from Lake Erie's TAC area in 2005 was 3.581 million fish, or 61.6% of the 2005 TAC of 5.815 million walleye. 

Michigan harvested only 12% of its walleye TAC last year, and Ohio harvested about 20% of its TAC, partly because of a 15" minimum size limit that caused most age-2 walleye to be released.  Together, these states harvested about 730,000 walleye, the lowest harvest since 1977.

 

Ontario harvested about 2.9 million walleye in 2005, primarily by commercial fishing, which was about 16.5% above its TAC allocation of  2.5 million walleye.  The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) converts its TAC number of walleye into a poundage allocation for the Ontario commercial fishing industry.  Smaller fish in 2005 caused the poundage to exceed the TAC quota in number of walleye.  OMNR will adopt a new method for converting numbers in 2006 to make weights fit with TAC numbers.

 

This TAC is about 21% of Lake Erie's catchable walleye population of 46.129 million fish.  As previously mentioned, natural mortality typically exceeds 40% per year, a figure considerably larger than the TAC.


Illinois

Forest preserves boat rentals open for business

Visitors to the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s Silver Lake at Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville and Herrick Lake at Herrick Lake Forest Preserve in Wheaton will soon be able to enjoy the lakes from the best possible location — on the water.

 

Weekend-only boat-rental operations will open at Blackwell on April 1 and at Herrick Lake on May 6, operating from 8 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. at both lakes. From Memorial Day, May 29, through Labor Day, Sept. 4, boat rental at both lakes will be open daily, operating from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays and from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekends. After Labor Day, boat rental will return to weekends only through Sept. 30, operating from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

A variety of boats can be rented for a fee by the hour or by the day. Canoes, kayaks and rowboats are $5 per hour and $25 per day. Rowboats with trolling motors are available only at Blackwell, and rental costs are $10 per hour and $50 per day. Night crawlers and wax worms will also be available for purchase by eager anglers.

Personal flotation devices, oars and paddles are provided with rental boats, canoes and kayaks. No boats will be rented during the last hour the boat-rental facility is open.

 

With over 25,000 acres, 140 miles of trail and 60 preserves all right at your feet, there's a perfect way to enjoy DuPage County's forest preserves that's just waiting for you. For information, call (630) 933-7200 or visit www.dupageforest.com.


Illinois trout season to begin April 1

SPRINGFIELD, IL - Illinois Department of Natural Resources Acting Director Sam Flood announced today the 2006 spring trout fishing season in Illinois opens at 5 a.m. on Saturday, April 1. "The spring trout opener is always a big day in Illinois," Flood said.  "It is a great way to begin our new fishing season." 

 

More than 60,000 rainbow trout will be stocked in more than 40 bodies of water where spring trout fishing is permitted.  The trout-stocking 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 DNR Direct license and permit vendors, IDNR offices in Springfield,

Chicago, Alton, Benton, Clinton and Sterling, and may be purchased with a credit card through the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us .

 

Anglers may not take trout from any of the stocked sites from now to the opening of the season on April 1 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 1, some locations may have a later opening time.


Indiana

Atterbury FWA shooting range closed for upgrade

Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area's public shooting range closed today in order to begin construction of a modern state-of-the-art state shooting facility. Planned upgrades at the DNR property's range in Johnson County include 72 covered stations for shooting rifle and pistol, modern accessible restrooms and a voice-activated combination trap and skeet range.

 

"A modern shooting range in Johnson County will draw recreational shooters from miles around," said DNR Director Kyle Hupfer. "The range will also offer marksmen and women from nearby Indianapolis, Columbus and Franklin a much-needed, convenient and safe public practice range."

 

Hupfer added that target and clay pigeon shooters should try

out similar recent range upgrades at J Edward Roush Lake near Huntington and Kingsbury FWA near LaPorte. "These are exciting times for Hoosier shooters," said Hupfer.

 

To practice their marksmanship during the yearlong range upgrade can find alternate public shooting ranges at: www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/huntguide1/range.htm

 

Atterbury FWA's shooting range project is a partnership between the Indiana DNR and the USFWS Federal Assistance program. The USFWS is providing 75 % of the upgrade funding.

 

Atterbury FWA is west of Edinburgh in southern Johnson County. Atterbury FWA map:

www.IN.gov/dnr/fishwild/publications/att.htm


Catch a combo for wildlife

DNR leader explains how citizens can earn federal conservation funds

Indiana can earn millions more federal dollars for wildlife conservation.  Here's how.

 

Federal wildlife management funding is based on state sport license sales. So if more Hoosier wildlife conservationists, even those who do not consider themselves hunters or anglers, purchase Indiana hunting and fishing licenses, then the state earns more federal wildlife conservation funds.

 

For example, your $25 Resident Combination Fishing and Hunting License contribution to wildlife earns the state another $20 from Uncle Sam.  If just 30 caring people from each Indiana county bought a combo license every year for the next ten years, they would earn wildlife more than an extra million dollars.

 

Hoosiers who spend their time afield with binoculars, cameras and hiking boots instead of shotgun shells and fly rods should recognize how many of our wildlife habitat purchases are funded.  Annual sport license funds help buy critical wildlife habitat, like the new 8,000-acre Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area in Greene County.

 

Also, with each gun, bow or fishing pole bought, a portion of the purchase price goes to the federal government as an excise tax. Indiana then gets a share of those taxes back,

based on the number of fishing and hunting licenses sold. This federal money is committed to wildland acquisition and habitat management.

 

Your purchase of an Indiana Resident Combination Hunting and Fishing License provides instant leverage of your original dollars, even if you choose not to hunt or fish. A $25 contribution becomes a $45 contribution. 

The DNR can then take that pool of funds and leverage it even further with private dollars to buy and manage land. That is exactly how Goose Pond became a reality.

 

Leveraging your dollars and spending money that comes from outside Indiana on Hoosier projects seems like a pretty good idea to me.

 

Another great way for conservationists around the state to support the environment is by purchasing the Environmental License Plate for their vehicles.  The money this generates ($1.5 million in 2005) goes directly into the Indiana Heritage Trust. Last year that fund allowed for the purchase or protection of 38 properties in 25 counties around the state.

 

The Heritage Trust also leverages funds with matches from private individuals, not-for-profit organizations, and other governmental entities. This leverage lets every Indiana Heritage Trust dollar buy $5 worth of habitat.

 


Michigan

Gillette Visitor Center offers Spring Break Programs April 4 - 8

The Gillette Visitor Center at Hoffmaster State Park near Muskegon is offering programs geared toward families and children during the first week in April for those spending the spring break from school close to home.

 

The programs include:

*       Spring Dune Exploration, Tuesday, April 4. Participants will meet at the Gillette Visitor Center at 1 p.m. for an exciting guided spring hike into Hoffmaster's dune habitats. The program is approximately one hour.

 

*       Art in the Park, Wednesday, April 5. This is a program for children who want to learn basic art techniques. Participants also will practice techniques on the park's trails. All supplies are included, and this program will last approximately two hours. Participants should meet at 1 p.m. at the Gillette Visitor Center.

 

*       Wake Up, Wildlife! Thursday, April 6. Come to Gillette

Visitor Center to learn more about spring changes in nature. Participants will take a stroll through nature in search of changes. This program is 1.5 hours.

 

*       Rare and Endangered Species of Michigan, Saturday, April 8. Participants will learn more about protected plants and animals and what we can all do to help them. Children will make piping plover puppets to take home. This program is approximately one hour.

 

The nature-related activities will be offered free, but a State Park Motor Vehicle Permit is required for entry to the park. Motor vehicle permits are $6 for a day; or $24 for an annual pass valid for entry at state park in Michigan. All children must be accompanied by an adult at the programs. Advance registration is required and can be completed by calling the Gillette Visitor Center at 231-798-3573 between 12 and 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday or from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

 


Water Education Program for Teachers Offered May 6

at Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center in Oden

A workshop on water education for educators will be offered at the Department of Natural Resources' Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center on Saturday, May 6. Maureen Jacobs, DNR interpreter for the visitor center, will be the workshop facilitator for Project W.E.T., Water Education for Teachers.

 

The Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center is located on US Highway 31 in Oden, about five miles east of Petoskey. The program is a six-hour workshop and will begin at 9 a.m.

 

Since 1991, Project W.E.T. has served new and veteran

instructors seeking new ideas to infuse into their curricula. Project W.E.T. provides learning activities, programs and ideas for teachers to use in their classrooms. Participants will be introduced to water education involving a variety of teaching strategies for students in first through eighth grade.

 

The cost of the workshop is $25, which includes a 517-page Project W.E.T. Curriculum and Activity Guide given to all participants who complete the course.  Pre-registration is required as space is limited. Refreshments and lunch will be served.

 


Fly Fishing Club partners with Huron Pines to protect Au Sable

Good stream habitat, for coldwater species like brook trout, includes cool water temperatures; stable stream flows; a suitable amount of woody material in the stream; and areas with pools, riffles, and a gravel bottom. These are the key requirements for protecting and enhancing the great coldwater fishery found in Northeast Michigan.

 

Contributing factors to this great fishery are the sandy soils found in much of the region (which help promote infiltration of water and ensure stable flows and cold water), a general lack of development in many of the watersheds, relative to the more urbanized streams in lower Michigan, and the efforts of many conservation partners who work to make sure river improvement projects are conducted each year.

 

Good streams don’t just stay “good,” and that’s due to impacts from recreation and development, as well as impairments from past land use practices. In recent years, the Michigan Fly Fishing Club has supported several river restoration projects coordinated through Huron Pines, including the Au Sable River Large Woody Debris stream enhancement project on both the North Branch and Mainstream of the river, improvement of the road-stream crossing where the South Branch of the Au Sable River is crossed by Pine Drive, ongoing support for the Grayling Stormwater Project, and 

stream bank erosion control projects utilizing natural methods suitable to Northern Michigan rivers.

 

The group’s dollars have been leveraged with many other contributions and ensured that several key coldwater stream improvement projects have been implemented, according to

 

“The dollars from the Michigan Fly Fishing Club are always directed to projects which are large in scale or serve as demonstration projects to be duplicated in other areas. Their funding helps generate additional support from many other sources,” said Huron Pines Restoration Ecologist Kris Bruestle.

 

In March of 2006, the Michigan Fly Fishing Club further demonstrated their commitment to river protection in Northern Michigan by making four grant awards:

 

• $5,000 for instream improvement on the main branch of the Au Sable River

• $4,000 to reduce polluted stormwater runoff entering the Au Sable River from the City of Grayling

• $2,000 to improve aquatic stream buffers by supporting the Cedars for the Au Sable project

• $3,000 to implement erosion control projects on the North Branch of the Au Sable


Ohio

Lake Erie Committee announces 2006 TAC for Walleye

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission's Lake Erie Committee met in Windsor March 20-21, 2006 and presented the following:

 

Walleye --  Ohio: 5.081 million walleye  (51.4% of TAC)

                    Ontario: 4.281 million walleye (43% of TAC)

                    Michigan: 524,000 walleye

 

(Note - the Total Allowable Catch {TAC} is the portion of the population of catchable-size fish that managers determine can be sustainably or safely harvested in a year without negatively impacting the population.  It should be remembered that even without harvest, natural mortality typically removes over 40% of a population each year, making fish very hard to stockpile for a future year.)

 

The total walleye catch from Lake Erie's TAC area in 2005 was 3.581 million fish, or 61.6% of the 2005 TAC of 5.815 million walleye. 

Michigan harvested only 12% of its walleye TAC last year, and Ohio harvested about 20% of its TAC, partly because of a 15" minimum size limit that caused most age-2 walleye to be released.  Together, these states harvested about 730,000 walleye, the lowest harvest since 1977.

 

Ontario harvested about 2.9 million walleye in 2005, primarily by commercial fishing, which was about 16.5% above its TAC allocation of  2.5 million walleye.  The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) converts its TAC number of walleye into a poundage allocation for the Ontario commercial fishing industry.  Smaller fish in 2005 caused the poundage to exceed the TAC quota in number of walleye.  OMNR will adopt a new method for converting numbers in 2006 to make weights fit with TAC numbers.

 

This TAC is about 21% of Lake Erie's catchable walleye population of 46.129 million fish.  As previously mentioned, natural mortality typically exceeds 40% per year, a figure considerably larger than the TAC.


Pennsylvania

5 year investigation nets 22 people

117 violations of game and wildlife

HUNTINGDON -- On March 2, Matthew Ronald Baker, 40, a Huntingdon County deer processor, was found guilty before District Judge Richard Wilt of eight counts of illegal possession of deer and ordered to pay fines of $6,400 plus costs.

 

Those charges against Baker were discovered when Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife officers conducted a deer biology data inspection of his Hopewell Township business on Nov. 29, and were not part of a larger ongoing investigation that recently was concluded.   Due to missing carcass tags, several deer stored at the butcher shop appeared to have questionable ownership.   At the hearing, Game Commission plainclothes investigators revealed that Baker had later approached them to provide tags for the above-mentioned deer found on his property.

In December of 2000, information received by the Game Commission regarding possible illegal activities prompted an investigation by the agency's Special Investigations Division into Baker's meat processing business. 

 

Due to the lengthy amount of time it took to properly complete their investigation, Game Commission officers witnessed vast numbers of instances of illegal taking of various species of wildlife plus other major infractions.

 

The large-scale violations included deer and protected birds, as well as infractions of the state Fish and Boat Code.  On March 17, District Wildlife Conservation Officer Richard Danley Jr. filed before District Judge Wilt an additional 117 citations on Baker and the 21 others implicated in violations during the investigation.

 


Salamonie Reservoir to host Spring Break Day Camp April 3 through 7

Are your kids ready for some "wild" fun? Children ages 7 to 12 are invited to come to Salamonie Reservoir for a fun and exciting week, April 3 through 7. Each day will offer a variety of fun activities during the 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. camp.

 

Join us for week of fun learning about nature and the reservoir's history. Activities will focus each day on a theme. The campers will enjoy learning about wetlands and canoes, exploring the arts through nature, learning about the reservoir's past and they will see how forests are fun. Campers will even have a spring cleanup day to do projects on the reservoir property for wildlife and have a cook-out.

 

Advance registration is required and space is limited. Call

260-468-2127. The week-long activities will be guided by interpretive naturalists who are trained to provide a safe and fun environment to learn about our world. A small snack will be provided but children need to bring a sack lunch with drink each day. The camp requires a $20 participation fee for each child. Parents will be asked to fill out health/participation forms before their child enjoys activities on the first day. The property gate is not charging admission at this time.

 

The Spring Break Day Camp will be held at The Upper Wabash Interpretive Services, Salamonie Interpretive Center, 3691 S. New Holland Rd., Andrews, Ind. Call the Upper Wabash Interpretive Services at 260/468-2127 to register for the spring break day camp. Visit our Web site at www.dnr.IN.gov/uwis  for more information about available programs.


Wisconsin

Dam re-licensing negotiations pay off for fish, anglers, boaters

LADYSMITH – Anglers, boaters and paddlers enjoying the Flambeau River and the Red Cedar River are the latest to benefit from state biologists’ efforts to assure Wisconsin’s largest working dams generate more benefits for people and less environmental damage.

 

Capitalizing on a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, Department of Natural Resources staff, often working with conservation groups, have negotiated operating conditions that benefit recreational users at dozens of dams as the dams seek renewal of their federal operating licenses.  Their efforts have resulted in dozens of new boat ramps, fishing piers, canoe portages and other recreational facilities.

 

Federally-licensed hydroelectric dams comprise less than 4 percent of Wisconsin’s 3,800 dams, most of which are small, privately owned and built to create ponds or reservoirs for recreation and aesthetic purposes, according to Meg Galloway, Wisconsin chief dam safety engineer.

 

The 130 federally regulated hydro dams in Wisconsin are located on the state’s largest, most popular waters, and most of them continue to generate electricity to serve local communities, to sell on the market, or to power the paper industry, although today, hydropower accounts for only about 3 percent of electricity produced in the state.

 

Between 1989 and 2010, more than 70 dams will have had their federal operating licenses renewed in Wisconsin, more than in any other state. As the licenses have come up for renewal, Wisconsin has been using a landmark 1994 U.S. Supreme Court decision to obtain more favorable operating conditions. The court ruled that states had broad authority under the Clean Water Act to protect not only water quality but water quantity that flows in rivers and streams.

 

“We appreciate the willingness of power companies to work with us,” says Heath Benike, a DNR fish biologist stationed in Barron who has been involved in several dam re-licensing cases. “That dam owners made these improvements while 

preserving the capacity ratings of the hydroplants is good news for the environment and good news for local energy users.”

 

DNR has never opposed license renewal, believing hydropower provides a reliable source of clean and renewable energy, says Jeff Scheirer, another DNR fisheries biologist who is a veteran of dam re-licensing negotiations. “But we try to assure that the requirements placed in the new licenses will adequately protect fish wildlife habitat, water quality and recreation.”

 

“Anglers, canoeists, boaters and other recreation users should notice that water levels and flows fluctuate less throughout the day,” Scheirer says. “Stable flows mean more suitable habitat, more fish production and better fishing.”

 

DNR negotiations with Xcel Energy regarding the Tainter Lake and Lake Menomin dams near Menomonee in Dunn County produced changes that will benefit fish, anglers and other recreational users as well as local energy users. During fall 2005, the utility replaced outdated flashboards with a more effective rubber bladder dam on Tainter Lake to avoid the flashboards washing out during large floods, causing the lake level to drop five feet before the flashboards could be replaced. This often happened during peak spawning periods for panfish and bass.

 

“We’re optimistic that fish spawning activities as well as fishing opportunities will no longer be interrupted by fluctuating water levels and that sport fish populations will benefit from stable water levels beginning in 2006,” says Benike, who participated in the negotiations.

 

He also believes that Xcel’s new agreement to operate the two dams will allow more natural flows in the Red Cedar River downstream of Menomonee. More specifically, it will significantly improve aquatic habitat for many endangered and threatened fish and wildlife species located in Lower Chippewa River State Natural Area as well as recreational use opportunities for local tubers, canoeists, paddlers and owners of small motor boats.


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