Week of April 28, 2008

World
Regional

Lake Huron
Lake Michigan
Lake Ontario

Indiana
Michigan
Ohio
Wisconsin
Word to ponder

 

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World

Local girl captures Bronze at Beijing

Springfield, MO—(April 23)—Like most college students, Haley Dunn leads a very busy life.  As a 23-year-old recent graduate from University of Missouri—Columbia with an Agriculture Business Management degree, she has been active in FFA, 4-H, band, student council and athletics.  She is involved with her church and social life and works for the family business guiding hunts and managing the club house. 

Oh yes, and she shoots too.

 

So well in fact, that Haley just returned from the 2008 World Cup in Beijing, China with the bronze medal in International Skeet Shooting.   And that’s something not every college senior can brag about. “I was really excited to come out of this World Cup with a medal,” said Haley.  “This is one of the toughest competitions of the year because all the Olympians and alternates from every country are there.  To come out third was exciting.”

 

Dunn has a passion for the shooting and hunting sports and helps the industry by supporting firearms and hunting.  Since January, 2006, she has been a member of the local Hunting

Pro Team for Bass Pro Shops in Columbia, Missouri. She was recently selected to be a member of the Bass Pro Shops Next Generation Pro Staff which includes filming for the TV show of the same name. “The level of support I have received from everyone at Bass Pro Shops has made a big impact on my shooting career,” said Haley.

 

She works hard to promote shooting and hunting with women and youth as well as men.  Some of her accomplishments include a gold medal for the 2007 Pan American games, a silver for the Dominican Republic World Cup in 2007 and a first place finish for the 2007 World Championship Team selection.  So far, in 2008 she has been the Miami Cup Women’s Champion and the Barbados Open Women’s Champion.  And now, the Bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing World Cup.

 

Bass Pro Shops would like to congratulate Haley Dunn for her accomplishments and salute her for being such a positive role model for the industry as a whole.  For more information regarding Haley go to: www.HaleyDunn.com


Regional

USCG says no live fire weapons drills on Great Lakes this year

The Coast Guard says it will not try to conduct live ammunition training on the Great Lakes this year.  There will not be any live ammunition or weapons training on the Great Lakes this year. Criticism of the drills has the Coast Guard to seeking alternatives.

Right now, Great Lakes Coast Guard crews are getting live-ammunition fire training on the Salt River in Fort Knox, Kentucky. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Robert Lanier says it's more expensive than training on the Great Lakes and takes crews from their stations. Each crew is required to trailer its own vessel and drive down to the Salt River, taking them away from their appointed duties in the Great Lakes region.


Meijer Supporting Anti-Hunting Movement with Photo Contest

(Columbus, Ohio) - Meijer, a Michigan-based regional chain of retail superstores, has aligned itself with the anti-hunting group, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), in an online pet photo contest.  It has refused a U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) request to abandon the partnership.

 

According to information on the Meijer website, for each person that enters the contest, Meijer will donate $1, up to a maximum of $5,000, to the HSUS Foreclosure Pets Fund.  The money donated to HSUS through this promotion, while not going directly to its anti-hunting campaign, will free up money from the organization’s general fund that can be used to attack the rights of sportsmen.

 

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, the nation’s leading sportsmen’s advocacy organization, has urged Meijer to end its support of HSUS, but the company refused.

 

“While my answer probably isn’t going to completely satisfy you, it is important that you (USSA) and your members understand that we understand what you are saying.  We believe that we have funneled this money away from the Humane Society and instead put it to use where we really wanted it, which is helping families and helping rescued animals,” said Meijer vice president of corporate communications and public affairs, Stacie Behler.  “Our goal here was not to provide funding for the Humane Society of the United States, but instead for a fund that would be funneled out nationally.”

 

Behler did recognize that hunters and sportsmen are a huge customer base for Meijer and mentioned that the company has already received messages and emails from concerned sportsmen and some of those messages identified other

sportsmen-friendly national organizations that will be helped in future programs.

 

“Sportsmen must send Meijer a strong message that its support of HSUS, the largest anti-hunting organization in the world, is not appreciated,” said Bud Pidgeon, president of USSA.  “I encourage everyone to call and write the company to express your disappointment at the alienation of sportsmen this collaboration causes.”

 

The HSUS is America’s leading opponent of hunting, fishing and trapping.  It led the charge in a 2006 ballot campaign to ban dove hunting in Meijer’s home state of Michigan, contributing $1.6 million to the effort.  It opposes hunting on National Wildlife Refuges and other public lands.  In fact, the organization is a plaintiff in an ongoing federal lawsuit to ban hunting on the refuges, and is the lead plaintiff  in other suits to manipulate the Endangered Species Act to ban outdoor sports.  HSUS does not operate or oversee animal shelters or have any legal controls over them.

 

Meijer is a seller of sporting goods and hunting licenses and indicates on its website that it operates 184 locations throughout Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.

 

Sportsmen can make a difference.  Companies such as Iams, General Mills, Accor Hotels, Pet Safe, Sears and Ace Hardware ended relationships with HSUS after thousands of sportsmen levied strong protest.

 

Sportsmen should contact Meijer CEO and President Hank Meijer at 2929 Walker Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49544-9428; phone – (616) 453-6711; fax – (616) 791-2572; email – hank.meijer@meijer.com and demand that the company end its financial support of HSUS.


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for April 25, 2008

Weather Conditions

High pressure meant tranquil weather across much of the Great Lakes basin this week.  Temperatures reached the upper 70s in many locations, even as far north as Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  A large storm system will bring heavy precipitation to much of the region starting Thursday.  Locations across the far northern tier of the Great Lakes may even see some heavy snow.  An unsettled weather pattern is expected to hold until early next week.

Lake Level Conditions

Lake Superior is presently 8 inches higher than it was at this time last year, while Lake Michigan-Huron is 2 inches lower than last year's level.  Lake St. Clair is at the same level as it was one year ago, while Lakes Erie and Ontario are 2 and 9 inches, respectively, higher than they were a year ago.  Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are predicted to rise 4 inches over the next month.  Lake Erie is predicted to fall one inch, while Lakes St. Clair and Ontario are projected to rise 1 inch, during the next 30 days.  Lakes Superior and Ontario are forecasted to stay above last year's water levels through September, while the remaining lakes are forecasted to remain at or below their levels of a year ago over the next several months. 
Current Outflows/Channel Conditions

Just as in February, outflows from the St. Marys and St. Clair Rivers were below average for March.  Outflows from the

Detroit, Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers were above average last month.

Alerts

Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are below chart datum and forecasted to remain below datum through June and May, respectively.  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's webpage.

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for Apr 25

 

600.6

 

577.3

 

574.1

 

572.2

 

247.0

Datum, in ft

 

601.1

 

577.5

 

572.3

 

569.2

 

243.3

Diff in inches

 

-6

 

-2

 

+21

 

+36

 

+44

Diff last month

 

+4

 

 +7

 

+3

 

+3

 

+14

Diff from last yr

 

+8

 

-2

 

 0

 

+2

 

+9

 


Lake Huron

MI - DNR Seeks Input on Requests for Changes in Salmon Daily Bag Limits

The Michigan DNR on April 28 announced the Fisheries Division is seeking public input on a draft proposal to increase the daily bag limit for Chinook salmon and Coho salmon to five fish per day.  If adopted, the regulation would apply on all Great Lakes and rivers.

 

The regulations currently in place for trout and salmon in all waters of the State set the daily bag limit at five fish in any combination but no more than three of any one species, except that up to five pink salmon may be harvested. The proposed change would increase the harvest limit for Chinook salmon and Coho salmon to five daily in combination or for either species.  The DNR does not believe that any increase to the daily bag limit for these two species would be biologically harmful. Bag limits for all other species of trout and salmon would remain unchanged.

 

The current regulations for salmon have been in place since 1989. Prior to 1989, the daily limit was five fish in any combination for all trout and salmon species except lake trout.  The limit was changed due to bacterial kidney disease decimating Chinook populations in the late 1980s, and anglers voicing the opinion that three fish of any species was a reasonable daily harvest.

 

“A higher daily bag limit for these two species could result in a limited number of additional fish being harvested, but only when populations are high and catch rates are high,” said DNR Lake Michigan Basic Coordinator Jim Dexter. “This situation may be experienced in localized areas or waters.”

Dexter added that if large increases in river harvest became the norm that reproductive potential could be lost.  While there is currently no information available to quantify this possibility, there is no reason to believe that reproductive potential will be lost by increasing the daily bag limit. 

 

DNR Fisheries Division Chief Kelley Smith said that because Lakes Superior, Huron and Erie have low salmon populations and catch rates, this type of change would mean little to anglers in those waters. This is about providing consistent opportunity for anglers and maintaining our commitment to simplify regulations.  Any bag limit change for these two species will not be harmful to their populations,” said Smith.  Smith added that the current limit is not effective in terms of limiting catch in most years or controlling populations.  Natural mortality exerts much more control than angler harvest.

 

“For all reasonable purposes this is a social question,” said Dexter.  “Most anglers never catch a daily limit, although in times of high abundance their catch rate can increase.”

 

A “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) list has been posted to the DNR Web site and is available at www.michigan.gov/dnr  under the Fishing menu.  The angling community is invited to review this document and send email comments on the proposal by June 13 to DNR-Fish-Salmon-limit@michigan.gov.   For those who do not have internet access, a copy of the FAQ can be obtained by calling one of the contacts listed:  Todd Grischke 517-373-6762, Jim Dexter 269-685-6851, Kelley Smith 517-373-3375 or Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014.


MI - DNR Considers Increase in Lines Allowed for Fishing

Public input is request and due by June 13

The Michigan DNR last week announced that its Fisheries Division is seeking public input on a draft proposal to increase the number of lines (rods) allowed for use while fishing.  If adopted, the regulation would apply on all Great Lakes and inland waters.

 

Currently, recreational anglers are limited to two single lines or two single rods and lines while fishing.  One exception exists that allows anglers trolling for trout or salmon in the Upper Great Lakes to use three lines.  The regulation change under consideration is to allow anglers the use of three lines statewide.  The existing regulations have been in place for more than 80 years. The DNR views this proposal as an opportunity to increase angler satisfaction by allowing additional effort, without harming the resource. 

 

 “It is highly unlikely that a change in the regulation to allow three lines per angler statewide will have any adverse biological consequences for the state’s fishery resources, although we do have some concerns related to ice fishing,” said DNR Fish Chief Kelley Smith. “Currently three lines are

allowed on the Great Lakes while trolling for trout and salmon, so the new proposal would simplify our regulations from an enforcement perspective.”

 

DNR staff have identified limited areas where an increase in the number of lines may present difficulties, namely piers and during ice fishing.

 

“Because this is not a biological issue regarding potential threats to overharvesting populations of fish, this really comes down to social issues and perspectives,” said Jim Dexter, DNR Lake Michigan Basin coordinator.  “Some anglers may be able to manage three lines quite efficiently and harvest their limit faster, but others may find trying to manage three lines difficult.” 

 

A “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) list has been posted to the DNR Web site and is available at www.michigan.gov/dnr under the Fishing menu.  The angling community is invited to access this document and send email comments on the proposal by June 13 to DNR-Fish-3lines@michigan.gov.   For those who do not have internet access a copy of the FAQ can be obtained by calling one of the contacts listed.


Lake Michigan

Record breaking harvest of Lake Michigan chinook salmon

MADISON – Chinook, or king salmon, once again reigned in Lake Michigan’s waters, with anglers reeling in a record-breaking harvest of 431,000 salmon in 2007, according to angler (creel) surveys.

 

“It was really a phenomenal year once again,” says Brad Eggold, Wisconsin DNR fisheries supervisor for southern Lake Michigan. “Anglers were catching one chinook after another.”  Last year’s harvest is the highest number of chinook anglers reported catching since creel surveys began in 1969, making this not only a record year, but also the sixth straight year of outstanding chinook fishing. Lake Michigan anglers reported catching 398,905 chinook in 2006, and 418,918 in 2005.

 

Fantastic fishing over the last six years is credited to collaborative efforts between DNR fisheries staff, sports groups, anglers and other agencies to closely monitor the fish populations in Lake Michigan and make adjustments to stocking levels when appropriate.

 

“Excellent management practices have helped to bring the Lake Michigan fishery to the level it’s at today,” says Eggold. “This year, there was not only a record harvest of chinook, but there were also increases in the harvests of brown, lake, and rainbow trout and coho salmon.”

 

A good combination of weather patterns, like spring warming rates and westerly winds, and the migration patterns of salmon and trout as they followed the forage (alewives) made them easily accessible to anglers, according to Eggold. In addition, when the fish are hungry, they’re more easily tricked

into thinking lures are forage and more aggressive when it comes to biting.

 

The downside of this assertive biting behavior is that the fish are hungry and can’t track down the forage that they’re looking for.  “While the catch rates are nice and extremely high, and the chinook fairly healthy,” says Eggold, “they are smaller than they should be. It’s likely that there are just too many chinook in Lake Michigan for the forage base to support. What we’d like to see is fewer but larger fish caught.”

 

A 2006 lake-wide reduction in stocking to balance these factors and stop the downward trend of the conditions of fish may be noticed by anglers this year. Because of the salmon’s maturity schedule, there was little or no effect in 2007.  “I don’t anticipate there being a massive drop off in catch rates. However, I would be surprised if we caught as may as we did in 2007,” says Eggold. “And even though we may see slightly lower catch rates, we could also see anglers reeling in more trophy catches.”

 

A reduction in stocking has a history of being beneficial to anglers in terms of larger fish and plenty of them, according to Eggold.  “Every time stocking is reduced, the fishing gets better,” says Eggold. “I think it’s going to be a solid season with plenty of angling success.”

 

Additional information on chinook fishing can be found on the DNR Web site, including a chart showing overall trout and salmon harvests, and harvests broken down by species, in addition to more information on chinook salmon;. the best seasons for Lake Michigan year-round chinook shore fishing.

 


MI - DNR Seeks Input on Requests for Changes in Salmon Daily Bag Limits

The Michigan DNR on April 28 announced the Fisheries Division is seeking public input on a draft proposal to increase the daily bag limit for Chinook salmon and Coho salmon to five fish per day.  If adopted, the regulation would apply on all Great Lakes and rivers.

 

The regulations currently in place for trout and salmon in all waters of the State set the daily bag limit at five fish in any combination but no more than three of any one species, except that up to five pink salmon may be harvested. The proposed change would increase the harvest limit for Chinook salmon and Coho salmon to five daily in combination or for either species.  The DNR does not believe that any increase to the daily bag limit for these two species would be biologically harmful. Bag limits for all other species of trout and salmon would remain unchanged.

 

The current regulations for salmon have been in place since 1989. Prior to 1989, the daily limit was five fish in any combination for all trout and salmon species except lake trout.  The limit was changed due to bacterial kidney disease decimating Chinook populations in the late 1980s, and anglers voicing the opinion that three fish of any species was a reasonable daily harvest.

 

“A higher daily bag limit for these two species could result in a limited number of additional fish being harvested, but only when populations are high and catch rates are high,” said DNR Lake Michigan Basic Coordinator Jim Dexter. “This situation may be experienced in localized areas or waters.”

Dexter added that if large increases in river harvest became the norm that reproductive potential could be lost.  While there is currently no information available to quantify this possibility, there is no reason to believe that reproductive potential will be lost by increasing the daily bag limit. 

 

DNR Fisheries Division Chief Kelley Smith said that because Lakes Superior, Huron and Erie have low salmon populations and catch rates, this type of change would mean little to anglers in those waters. This is about providing consistent opportunity for anglers and maintaining our commitment to simplify regulations.  Any bag limit change for these two species will not be harmful to their populations,” said Smith.  Smith added that the current limit is not effective in terms of limiting catch in most years or controlling populations.  Natural mortality exerts much more control than angler harvest.

 

“For all reasonable purposes this is a social question,” said Dexter.  “Most anglers never catch a daily limit, although in times of high abundance their catch rate can increase.”

 

A “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) list has been posted to the DNR Web site and is available at www.michigan.gov/dnr  under the Fishing menu.  The angling community is invited to review this document and send email comments on the proposal by June 13 to DNR-Fish-Salmon-limit@michigan.gov.   For those who do not have internet access, a copy of the FAQ can be obtained by calling one of the contacts listed:  Todd Grischke 517-373-6762, Jim Dexter 269-685-6851, Kelley Smith 517-373-3375 or Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014.


MI - DNR Considers Increase in Lines Allowed for Fishing

Public input is request and due by June 13

The Michigan DNR last week announced that its Fisheries Division is seeking public input on a draft proposal to increase the number of lines (rods) allowed for use while fishing.  If adopted, the regulation would apply on all Great Lakes and inland waters.

 

Currently, recreational anglers are limited to two single lines or two single rods and lines while fishing.  One exception exists that allows anglers trolling for trout or salmon in the Upper Great Lakes to use three lines.  The regulation change under consideration is to allow anglers the use of three lines statewide.  The existing regulations have been in place for more than 80 years. The DNR views this proposal as an opportunity to increase angler satisfaction by allowing additional effort, without harming the resource. 

 

 “It is highly unlikely that a change in the regulation to allow three lines per angler statewide will have any adverse biological consequences for the state’s fishery resources, although we do have some concerns related to ice fishing,” said DNR Fish Chief Kelley Smith. “Currently three lines are

allowed on the Great Lakes while trolling for trout and salmon, so the new proposal would simplify our regulations from an enforcement perspective.”

 

DNR staff have identified limited areas where an increase in the number of lines may present difficulties, namely piers and during ice fishing.

 

“Because this is not a biological issue regarding potential threats to overharvesting populations of fish, this really comes down to social issues and perspectives,” said Jim Dexter, DNR Lake Michigan Basin coordinator.  “Some anglers may be able to manage three lines quite efficiently and harvest their limit faster, but others may find trying to manage three lines difficult.” 

 

A “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) list has been posted to the DNR Web site and is available at www.michigan.gov/dnr under the Fishing menu.  The angling community is invited to access this document and send email comments on the proposal by June 13 to DNR-Fish-3lines@michigan.gov.   For those who do not have internet access a copy of the FAQ can be obtained by calling one of the contacts listed.


Lake Ontario

Future Lake Ontario Water Regulatory Program

IJC schedules Informational and Public Hearings

A list of the information sessions and public hearings: www.ijc.org/en/activities/losl/public_meetings.php

The International Joint Commission is considering the future of water levels and flows regulation for the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River system. It released a proposed new Order of Approval and regulation plan for public comment at a webcast news conference on March 28, 2008. Learn more about the issues at information sessions being held from April 21 to May 8, 2008.

 

Very important information and public hearing meetings on

how Lake Ontario's water level will be regulated for the next 50 years is now taking place. More information will be coming but it is important to get the public out in force at these hearings to voice their support for either Plan 2007, which is very similar to the existing plan of the past 50 years, or Plan B+ which is considered by many conservation groups to be the most beneficial plan to improve environmental conditions around the lake.

 

For a list of the meeting dates and locations: www.ijc.org/en/activities/losl/public_meetings.php

 


Indiana

Law clarifies DNR's lake jurisdiction

A new law that takes effect in July helps clarify which Indiana lakes fall under Department of Natural Resources authority to regulate various  construction projects.

 

Senate Enrolled Act 41 (SEA41), authored by Sen. Robert Meeks, R-LaGrange, provides legal standards for lakes classified as “public  freshwater lakes.”

 

Under current law, anyone wishing to build a seawall, create an underwater beach, dredge the lakebed, or install certain piers or other structures  in a lake legally defined as a public freshwater lake must first get a permit from the DNR Division of Water. The permit authority allows the DNR  to review projects that may potentially damage a lake or cause conflicts among lake users.

 

A landowner who undertakes a construction project at a public freshwater lake without DNR approval can face civil action and fines.  SEA41  was prompted by confusion that left local landowners, lake residents, contractors, conservationists, and DNR officials unclear where and when  DNR permits are needed.

 

"After several years of study, this was the recommendation of a sub-committee of the Indiana Lakes Management Work Group chaired by  former Indiana Conservation Officer Ralph Taylor and I was happy to carry it forward," Meeks said. "It should go a long way toward clearing  up some of the legal questions involving our lakes."

 

Although the DNR has had authority to regulate construction activities in public freshwater lakes since 1947, under IC 14-26-2, disputes over  rights of lakefront property owners and the regulatory authority of the DNR have often ended up before administrative law judges, who must  first decide whether a lake is, by law, a public freshwater lake. While the new law won't prevent such disputes, it should make them less  common.

 

"What this new law does is help landowners determine whether they need a permit for a seawall or other construction project and tells the DNR  which lakes they can and cannot regulate," Meeks said.

 

SEA41 has four basic components.

 

 

First, to be classified as a public freshwater lake, the body of water must be at least 5 acres in size, including bays and coves. It also had to be  present prior to March 12, 1947, when the original lake preservation laws were enacted. This requirement removes DNR control of certain  construction activities at small bodies of water of less than 5 acres.

 

Second, for a lake to be classified as a public freshwater lake, a riparian owner (i.e., a lakefront property owner) must be acquiescent to use of  the lake by the public. "Acquiescence" means an owner accepts, or has been tacitly compliant to, use of a lake by the public for recreational  purposes.

 

While acquiescence can be a hard concept to grasp, even more complicated is establishing what actions or factors constitute acquiescence by  a lakefront property owner.

 

The new law establishes that indicators of acquiescence include evidence that the general public has used the lake for recreational purposes or  that a lakefront property owner did not object to the operation of a privately owned boat rental business, a campground, or a commercial  enterprise that allowed non-lakefront property owners to gain access throughout the lake.

 

Acquiescence also occurs where there is a previous record of regulation of construction activities at the lake by the DNR or its predecessor, the  Department of Conservation.

 

Third, the new law requires the DNR to create and maintain a list of public freshwater lakes that includes the name of the lake and its specific  location within each county. The list would be similar to the state's listing of navigable waterways.  The list would be published in the Indiana  Register and maintained on the Web site of the Natural Resources Commission (nrc.IN.gov).

 

Last, the new law provides the opportunity for the owner or owners of the shoreline of a lake to petition the DNR to declare the body of water a  public freshwater lake. Taking such a step could help settle disputes between lakefront property owners over construction activities in the lake.


Nuisance weed targeted at Sylvan Lake

Curly-leaf pondweed is still affecting Sylvan Lake in Noble County, so, for the second year in a row, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will fund a large-scale herbicide application there.

 

A low-dose concentration of Aquathol, a product approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, will be applied to areas in the lake that are infested with the aquatic weed. Treatment will likely occur late this month or early May, when water temperature is climbs to about 50 degrees.

 

Curly-leaf pondweed is an aquatic weed that is not native to Indiana lakes. It develops quickly in the spring as temperatures warm. Left untreated, the invasive plant can shade out native plant species.   At several locations at the lake, curly-leaf pondweed forms a dense mat across the water surface, impairing boating and fishing.

 

By late May, the pondweed forms seedlike structures called turions that sprout new growth the next spring. Turions can remain viable on the lakebed for several years.

 

Although this invasive weed grows quickly in the spring, it dies by mid-summer; however, it continues to cause damage. As the pondweed decays, nutrients bound up in its plant tissue are released into the water, potentially increasing summer algae blooms.  By controlling growth of curly-leaf pondweed at  Sylvan Lake, biologists hope that native plants will flourish to

provide fish habitat and to reduce the severity of the algae blooms. 

 

Last year Aquathol was applied to 265 acres at the lake, under contract to Weed Patrol, Inc., of Elkhart. Because of the presence of turions, a similar acreage will likely be treated this year and again in 2009.  By applying a low-dose (up to 1 part per million) of Aquathol early in the season, damage to native plants can be avoided.

 

“We were happy with the result of the treatment last year,” said Angela Sturdevant, a LARE aquatic biologist. “By late May most of the curly-leaf pondweed was gone. Areas that were once choked with it were open to boating and fishing.”  As a result, coontail and other native plants grew in areas previously dominated by curly-leaf pondweed. By late July coontail covered 56 percent of the near-shore area of the lake. Seven other native species were present.

 

“Coontail grew so well in a few locations that we got complaints about it,” Sturdevant said. “We are going to permit some coontail to be treated this year but we want to see first how well the lake responds to the curly-leaf pondweed treatments.”

 

The long-term goal, according to Sturdevant, is to have a balanced, native, healthy plant community in the lake.

 


Drumming up fishing opportunities at Roush Lake

Freshwater drum are more abundant than ever at Roush Lake, according to a recent fisheries survey report. The report summarizes the results of a fish population survey conducted last July by DNR fisheries biologists.

     

“The number of drum collected this past summer almost doubled the number collected during the 2001 survey,” according to Rod Edgell, DNR assistant fisheries biologist. “These fish are not only plentiful, but are capable of reaching weights of over 5 lbs.”

 

Freshwater drum are silvery, deep-bodied fish that inhabit large rivers and reservoirs. They are also known as sheepshead. There is no size limit or daily bag limit on drum. Drum are good to eat and are commercially harvested in some Indiana rivers. Drum are typically found along the bottom, feeding on invertebrates, mollusks and fish, and are

most often caught by anglers fishing on the bottom with live bait rigs. A simple slip sinker placed above a hook baited with night crawlers or crayfish can be productive.

 

This type of live-bait rig can also be productive for channel catfish, which are also common at Roush Lake.

“Channel catfish, along with white crappie, are what the majority of anglers fish for at Roush Lake,” Edgell said, “and for good reason.”

           

Nearly 25 % of the channel catfish collected during the survey were 16 inches and larger, with the largest measuring 28.3".  White crappie are also abundant at Roush Lake, with some individuals reaching up to 13 inches in length.  Crappie are most commonly targeted with slip bobber rigs baited with live minnows. When searching for crappie, especially in the spring, target shallow bays and woody debris.     


Michigan

MI - DNR Seeks Input on Requests for Changes in Salmon Daily Bag Limits

The Michigan DNR on April 28 announced the Fisheries Division is seeking public input on a draft proposal to increase the daily bag limit for Chinook salmon and Coho salmon to five fish per day.  If adopted, the regulation would apply on all Great Lakes and rivers.

 

The regulations currently in place for trout and salmon in all waters of the State set the daily bag limit at five fish in any combination but no more than three of any one species, except that up to five pink salmon may be harvested. The proposed change would increase the harvest limit for Chinook salmon and Coho salmon to five daily in combination or for either species.  The DNR does not believe that any increase to the daily bag limit for these two species would be biologically harmful. Bag limits for all other species of trout and salmon would remain unchanged.

 

The current regulations for salmon have been in place since 1989. Prior to 1989, the daily limit was five fish in any combination for all trout and salmon species except lake trout.  The limit was changed due to bacterial kidney disease decimating Chinook populations in the late 1980s, and anglers voicing the opinion that three fish of any species was a reasonable daily harvest.

 

“A higher daily bag limit for these two species could result in a limited number of additional fish being harvested, but only when populations are high and catch rates are high,” said DNR Lake Michigan Basic Coordinator Jim Dexter. “This situation may be experienced in localized areas or waters.”

Dexter added that if large increases in river harvest became the norm that reproductive potential could be lost.  While there is currently no information available to quantify this possibility, there is no reason to believe that reproductive potential will be lost by increasing the daily bag limit. 

 

DNR Fisheries Division Chief Kelley Smith said that because Lakes Superior, Huron and Erie have low salmon populations and catch rates, this type of change would mean little to anglers in those waters. This is about providing consistent opportunity for anglers and maintaining our commitment to simplify regulations.  Any bag limit change for these two species will not be harmful to their populations,” said Smith.  Smith added that the current limit is not effective in terms of limiting catch in most years or controlling populations.  Natural mortality exerts much more control than angler harvest.

 

“For all reasonable purposes this is a social question,” said Dexter.  “Most anglers never catch a daily limit, although in times of high abundance their catch rate can increase.”

 

A “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) list has been posted to the DNR Web site and is available at www.michigan.gov/dnr  under the Fishing menu.  The angling community is invited to review this document and send email comments on the proposal by June 13 to DNR-Fish-Salmon-limit@michigan.gov.   For those who do not have internet access, a copy of the FAQ can be obtained by calling one of the contacts listed:  Todd Grischke 517-373-6762, Jim Dexter 269-685-6851, Kelley Smith 517-373-3375 or Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014.


MI - DNR Considers Increase in Lines Allowed for Fishing

Public input is request and due by June 13

The Michigan DNR last week announced that its Fisheries Division is seeking public input on a draft proposal to increase the number of lines (rods) allowed for use while fishing.  If adopted, the regulation would apply on all Great Lakes and inland waters.

 

Currently, recreational anglers are limited to two single lines or two single rods and lines while fishing.  One exception exists that allows anglers trolling for trout or salmon in the Upper Great Lakes to use three lines.  The regulation change under consideration is to allow anglers the use of three lines statewide.  The existing regulations have been in place for more than 80 years. The DNR views this proposal as an opportunity to increase angler satisfaction by allowing additional effort, without harming the resource. 

 

 “It is highly unlikely that a change in the regulation to allow three lines per angler statewide will have any adverse biological consequences for the state’s fishery resources, although we do have some concerns related to ice fishing,” said DNR Fish Chief Kelley Smith. “Currently three lines are

allowed on the Great Lakes while trolling for trout and salmon, so the new proposal would simplify our regulations from an enforcement perspective.”

 

DNR staff have identified limited areas where an increase in the number of lines may present difficulties, namely piers and during ice fishing.

 

“Because this is not a biological issue regarding potential threats to overharvesting populations of fish, this really comes down to social issues and perspectives,” said Jim Dexter, DNR Lake Michigan Basin coordinator.  “Some anglers may be able to manage three lines quite efficiently and harvest their limit faster, but others may find trying to manage three lines difficult.” 

 

A “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) list has been posted to the DNR Web site and is available at www.michigan.gov/dnr under the Fishing menu.  The angling community is invited to access this document and send email comments on the proposal by June 13 to DNR-Fish-3lines@michigan.gov.   For those who do not have internet access a copy of the FAQ can be obtained by calling one of the contacts listed.


Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center Announces Programs for May

The Michigan DNR Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center in Cadillac has announced its programs for May. The center is located next to William Mitchell State Park on M-115.

 

The programs for May include:

● Float Fishing on Saturday, May 3, from noon to 2 p.m

● Morel Mushrooms and Other Edibles with Heather Hallen Adams on Saturday, May 10, from noon to 2 p.m

● Boater Safety Class May 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Pre-registration is required: call center at 231-779-1321

● Memorial Day Weekend Programs on Saturday and Sunday, May 24 and 25.

 

On Saturday, there will be a Nature Discovery program on Michigan snakes with Jim McGrath on 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.; Pellet Gun and Archery Range Shooting from 3 to 5 p.m.; and

Float Fishing from 6 to 8 p.m. On Sunday there will be a Wetland Wonders Nature Walk from noon to 2 p.m.; Indoor Laser Shot Shooting Simulations and Sportfishing Simulations from 3 to 5 p.m. and Pellet Gun and Archery Shooting from 6 to 8 p.m.

 

● On Saturday, May 31, the Archery Range will be open from noon to 2 p.m.  There will be Float Fishing from 3 to 5 p.m. and Pellet Gun Ranging Shooting from 6 to 8 p.m.

 

All activities are free, and no Motor Vehicle Permit is required to visit the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center. The center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from May 1 to Nov. 30. It features several displays on Michigan wildlife, hunting, fishing and Native Americans.  The center is universally accessible. For more information on programs at the center, please call 231-779-1321.


Two Meetings Planned in U.P. to Form Citizens Advisory Councils

Two regional public meetings are planned in May to bring together conservation organizations and interested citizens with the Department of Natural Resources and the Natural Resources Commission to work together on Upper Peninsula natural resources issues.

 

The first meeting will be for the Western UP Citizens Advisory Council (CAC) at 1 PM Saturday, May 3, at Northern Michigan University’s Don H. Bottum University Center, in the Charcoal Room. The facility is located at 1401 Presque Isle Ave. in Marquette.

 

The second meeting for the Eastern UP CAC will take place at

10 AM Saturday, May 10, at the McMillan Township Hall located at 405 Newberry Ave. in Newberry.

 

“The purpose of these regional meetings is to work more closely with the conservation leaders and interested citizens of the Upper Peninsula to make the DNR more responsive to local concerns, and to help the department operate more efficiently and effectively,” said DNR Director Rebecca Humphries, who will attend both meetings along with members of the NRC and local DNR staff from across the UP. “I look forward to fully involving citizens and outdoorsmen and women in the department’s decision-making process when it comes to local and regional issues in the UP.”  The meetings are open to the public.


Van Riper State Park Opens a New Rustic Campground

A rustic group campground is a new camping option that will be available this year at Van Riper State Park,  located near the village of Champion in Marquette County. The new group campground is a perfect “GO-Get Outdoors” opportunity for organizations such as churches, youth groups and scouting groups, who may prefer a more scenic location for camp outings. 

 

The campground is located near the Peshekee River, about one mile west of the park’s modern facilities. The location provides easy access for fishing, canoeing, and the parks hiking trails. 

 

The new group campground has eight sites, each with a fire ring and picnic table.  There also is a vault toilet and water pump located nearby.  Total capacity for the group campground is 64 people. The rustic Peshekee River Cabin is only a short walk from the new group campground and can be

rented for those in the group looking for additional or alternate lodging.       

 

“There is a high demand for blocks of campsites that accommodate large groups,” said Doug Barry, manager of Van Riper State Park.  “We hope the groups who camp at our park will appreciate the natural beauty and more rustic setting we have available for them.”

 

Contact Van Riper State Park at 906-339-4461 to make reservations for the rustic group campground.  The rental fee for a youth group is $2.50 per person; while the non-youth group fee is $12 for four people.

 

All motor vehicles entering a state park or recreation area must display a Motor Vehicle Permit, available for purchase at the entrance. Cost is $24 for resident annual and $6 for resident daily. A non-resident annual is $29 and a non-resident daily is $8.


Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery Visitor Center Hosts Special Programs

DNR officials announced special programs being offered in spring at the Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery Visitor Center near Kalamazoo.

 

● Wolf Lake Discovery Walk - Saturday, April 26, 10 a.m.  Explore the hatchery’s nature trails and see a variety of plants and wildlife including birds, frogs, turtles and more. The program is for all ages and will last approximately one hour. 

 

● Learning to Live with the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake - Saturday, May 3, 1 p.m. Join experts in learning the life history, conservation and how to identify Michigan’s only venomous snake. Participants will learn how to identify the massasauga and have an opportunity to observe a live massasauga and other “look-alike” snakes.  A short hike to explore typical massasauga habitat will take place on trails, weather permitting.  Pre-registration is recommended.

● Spring Cleaning for the Earth - Saturday, May 10, 10 a.m. Shawna Wilder of Shaklee Inc., invites individuals to get the Real Dirt on Clean. Participants will learn how to create a healthy home for their families and the environment by using natural, non-toxic cleaners.

 

● Wolf Lake will again be offering its popular summer fishing program, when children ages 5 to 16 can take part in catch-and-release fishing every Saturday from June through August, and the center’s annual Fish Festival is scheduled for July 19-20. McMillan said this year’s event will be bigger and better than ever.

 

The Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery Visitor Center is located in Mattawan at Hatchery Road and M-43, six miles west of US-131. For information about events and programs, contact Shana McMillan at (269) 668-2876.

 


Ohio

Save the Date! May 10 kicks of Ohio DNR's Explore the Outdoors" Campaign

A program for pre-teens to re-discover the fun of outdoor recreation

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources kicks off a statewide campaign on Saturday, May 10 at Alum Creek State Park that encourages children - especially those in grades K-5 - to spend the coming summer rediscovering the fun of outdoor recreation. An "Explore The Outdoors" Activity Guide is the cornerstone of the campaign. The full-color, 34-page guide lists 10 outdoor activities such as "Catch A Fish," "Spot A Bird," and "Hike/Bike A Trail" and challenges kids to complete at

least eight before September 1.

 

ALUM CREEK KICK OFF

ODNR will host an afternoon of outdoor fun at Alum Creek. Activities will include fishing demonstrations for kids, with each child receiving a free rod/reel from Gander Mountain; a Paddle Quest youth canoeing class with spectator boats available for media; beach treasure hunt; beach football; disc golf; kite flying and a naturalist class.

 

A short ceremony at 2 p.m. will feature remarks by ODNR Director Sean Logan .


New Lake Erie Shipwreck Website Now Available Online

Lorain, OH – Ohio Sea Grant has launched a new interactive website, Shipwrecks and Maritime Tales of the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail, available to browse at www.ohioshipwrecks.org . The website was designed to help promote the protection of Lake Erie’s shipwrecks and increase awareness of its rich maritime history. With the help of Sea Grant Extension, divers now have the information necessary to discover shipwrecks in Lake Erie.

 

“There was a pressing need for a website such as this,” says Joe Lucente, Ohio Sea Grant Extension Educator. “Now an online database of Lake Erie shipwrecks exists for people to access and learn about Lake Erie’s maritime history or find a wreck to explore.” The site gives those who may be unfamiliar with Lake Erie shipwrecks access to details of the wrecks in a convenient location. The hope is that people will be inspired to go out and explore the shipwrecks and enjoy the history and opportunities Lake Erie has to offer.

 

The website features the locations of many of the 277 known wrecks and more detailed information on 28 specific wrecks, including GPS coordinates, location information, and the history of each ship, as well as photographs. The interactive

map allows users to browse and discover the locations of every known wreck, including the Morning Star, whose remains lie 70 feet under water after a collision with another ship in 1868. Some of the shipwreck listings feature underwater videos, so a website visitor can get a glimpse at the sites beneath the surface.

 

 “Whether you are a seasoned scuba diver or a maritime history aficionado, we believe you will not only learn more about Lake Erie's maritime heritage but will also gain an increased respect for the need to preserve and protect Ohio's historic shipwrecks,” states Dave Kelch, Ohio Sea Grant Extension Specialist.

The project is linked to the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail, one of 126 national scenic byways designated by the Federal Highway Administration. This signed route travels from Conneaut to Toledo and celebrates the natural resources and historic treasures along Lake Erie.

 

Lake Erie claims more shipwrecks than any other Great Lake with over 1,700. To date only 277 have been found, salvaged or located by divers. The remains of these wrecks lay scattered across the Lake’s floor and provide an exciting opportunity for outdoors people, tourists and scholars alike.


Wisconsin

Record sauger caught

First record fish of 2008

MADISON -- It didn’t take long for the first state record fish to fall in 2008.  Donald Peyer of Whitewater reeled in a 6-pound, 4.8-ounce sauger on April 2 from the Mississippi River in Pierce County. The fish, which measured 23.75 inches long, weighed nearly half a pound more than the previous record sauger of 5 pounds, 13 ounces.

 

 Peyer of Whitewater reeled in the record sauger on April 2 from the Mississippi River in Pierce County, establishing a new state record for sauger. “It was a pretty good fight,” says Peyer. “The fish took it (bait) back under the boat.” 

 

Peyer had been fishing for three days on the river with family and friends, and the group had been planning to leave at 11 a.m. that day when the fish bit around 10 a.m. on an artificial bait. Peyer wrestled with the fish for a while and then landed the sauger, much to the delight of his fishing companions. “Wow! That’s gotta be a state record,” Peyer recalls them

saying. “I said, ‘I doubt it.’”

 

He thought the fish was a walleye and was about to release it back into the water because he doesn’t keep walleyes over 6 pounds for eating. When his nephew noticed the fish bleeding, Peyer decided to keep it. His son pulled alongside in another boat and said, “Let me see that big fish. Oh my God, it’s a sauger.”

 

DNR fish biologists confirmed that the catch was indeed a sauger. The key characteristic for distinguishing sauger from walleye is the crescent-shaped spots on sauger dorsal fins. Walleye have no such spots.

 

News of the big catch was in the local paper, and the phone has been ringing since, Peyer says. Asked for any advice on how to catch a state record fish, Peyer, who’s been fishing for most of his 57 years said, “You just gotta fish to catch them. I never catch any if I don’t go.”


Walleye bag limits adjusted for Ceded Territory lakes

MADISON -- Daily walleye bag limits have been revised on 412 lakes in the Wisconsin Ceded Territory in response to harvest declarations made by six bands of Chippewa in Wisconsin, the state Department of Natural Resources has announced. These bag limits are effective between May 3, 2008 and March 1, 2009, inclusive.

 

There will be a three walleye bag limit for sport anglers on 88 lakes, a two-fish daily bag limit on 324 lakes, and one lake will have a daily bag limit of one walleye.  The number of lakes spearers have actually harvested annually has typically been in the range of 150 to 170. DNR will review tribal harvest following the spring spearfishing season and where possible revise bag limits upwards on lakes lightly or not speared.

 

The adjusted bag limits are available in portable document format on the regulations page of the DNR Fishing Wisconsin Web site and are being published as an insert to the 2008-2009 Guide to Wisconsin Hook and Line Fishing Regulations. Lakes not listed are subject to the regulations printed in the regulations pamphlet. The statewide daily bag limit for walleyes on many Wisconsin lakes remains at five fish per day, but anglers should check the regulations for special size and bag limits that are in effect on specific waters.

 

Most Chippewa tribal harvest takes places during the spring spearfishing season. An administrative rule passed by the state Natural Resources Board in 1998 allows the department to adjust initial bag limits annually to reflect actual spring spearing harvests and projected summer harvests.

Lakes declared by the Lac du Flambeau Band have a daily bag limit of three walleye for sport anglers. The DNR and the Lac du Flambeau Band have an agreement giving the Band authority to sell tribal licenses honored statewide in return for making declarations at a level that allows a three walleye per day recreational angler bag limit. This year, the Lac du Flambeau Band may be spearing on some segments of larger rivers on a one-year experimental basis.

 

As part of a 1983 federal Appellate Court decision affirming Chippewa off-reservation hunting, fishing, and gathering rights, the six bands of Wisconsin Chippewa set annual harvest quotas for off-reservation lakes in the Wisconsin Ceded Territory. As part of court agreements, to assure the combined tribal and recreational angler harvest does not exceed the ability of walleye to sustain its population in any lake, the Department of Natural Resources reduces bag limits for recreational hook and line anglers in lakes declared for harvest by the Chippewa bands. The state is entering its 23nd year of the joint tribal and recreational fishery.

 

For background information on Chippewa treaty rights, a description of the management and monitoring system used to ensure the long term viability of fisheries in the Ceded Territory, and to see data collected as part of that monitoring system, including walleye population estimates and creel survey summaries for all game fish, see the DNR Bureau of Fisheries Management Internet pages regarding the joint tribal and recreational fishery in the Wisconsin Ceded Territory.


Words to ponder

Words to ponder

Put up with the green agenda and you richly deserve the

poverty you are about to get


 

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