Week of April 30, 2007

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

Words to Ponder
National

Regional

Canada
General

Lake Superior

2nd Amendment Issues
Illinois
Indiana
Michigan
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Wisconsin
 

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Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

2007 Striped Bass Season for the Roanoke River Extended

RALEIGH, N.C.) - The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission announced that the season for harvesting striped bass by hook and line in the Roanoke River Striped Bass Management Area will be extended through May 6. After that time, all striped bass caught in this area must be released immediately, regardless of condition.

 

The Roanoke River Striped Bass Management Area includes the Roanoke River and its tributaries downstream from the Roanoke Rapids Lake Dam to the mouth of the river at Albemarle Sound and includes the Cashie, Middle and Eastmost rivers. The striped bass harvest season had been

set to close on April 30 but due to high river flows and an unusually cool spring, striped bass have been late in arriving to the Roanoke River. The extended season will give anglers additional opportunities to harvest striped bass as allowed by North Carolina's Striped Bass Management Plan.

 

The daily creel limit for striped bass in the Management Area is two fish per person, the minimum length limit is 18", no striped bass between 22 - 27" in length may be possessed, and only one fish of the two fish creel limit may be greater than 27" in length. Upstream from the U.S. Hwy. 258 bridge near Scotland Neck, anglers may use only a single barbless hook or a single hook with the barb bent down.   For more info: www.ncwildlife.org .


Words to Ponder

Words to Ponder:

"A simple measure of a country is to look at how many want

in... And how many want out."

Tony Blair


National

U.S. House funds Asian Carp Barrier!

Sportsmen applaud House action; Senate now must move and move quickly

The U.S. House on April 19 passed the Water Resources Development Act (H. R. 1495) with a stunning majority (394 Yeas, 25 Nays, 14 Not Present).   The bill will provide for the conservation and development of water and related resources, to authorize the Secretary of the Army to construct various projects, including the Asian Carp Barrier, for improvements to rivers and harbors of the United States, and for other purposes.  The Senate version of the bill is currently on the Senate floor awaiting action. 

 

The President’s budget for FY 2008 recognized the priority of the permanent barrier and requested funding for the project. A summary of the budget request was included with the US Army Corps of Engineers language.

 

Currently, the old barrier is operational but badly in need of repairs and it only has funding to operate for another 4-6 months.  A new and improved barrier is under construction, but a lack of funding has stalled progress.  The new legislation would provide the funding and authorization needed to upgrade the current barrier and finish construction on the new barrier so it can be turned on while more permanent solutions are being explored.

 

Section 3047 of the bill specifically calls for:

1.       upgrade and make permanent Barrier I;

2.       construct Barrier II, notwithstanding the project cooperation agreement with the State of Illinois dated June 14, 2005;

3.       operate and maintain Barrier I and Barrier II as a system to optimize effectiveness;

4.       conduct, in consultation with appropriate Federal, State, local, and nongovernmental entities, a study of a range of options and technologies for reducing impacts of hazards that may reduce the efficacy of the Barriers; and

5.       provide to each State a credit in an amount equal to the amount of funds contributed by the State toward Barrier II.

 

Section 3450 calls for unlimited funding to get the job done. Specifically:

"There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out the Barrier II project of the project for

the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal Dispersal Barrier, Illinois, initiated pursuant to section 1135 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 (33 US Code. 2294 note; 100 Stat. 4251:

(d) Feasibility Study- The Secretary, in consultation with appropriate Federal, State, local, and nongovernmental entities, shall conduct, at Federal expense, a feasibility study of the range of options and technologies available to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and other pathways.

 

Sounds good, doesn’t it?   If the US Senate passes a similar bill we can thank the sponsor of this bill, Reps James Oberstar, MN; and co-sponsors:  Reps Richard Baker, LA; Eddie Johnson, TX; and John Mica, FL.

 

Asian carp are giant filter feeders which consume up to 20 percent of their weight in plankton per day.  They can grow to be over 100 pounds, can carry up to 5 million eggs and are only 50 miles downstream from Lake Michigan in the Mississippi River.  If you’re not scared yet, you should be.  Currently the only thing standing between this environmental nightmare and the Great Lakes is a failing electric barrier with no funding to keep it running, repair it, or finish the building of a new and improved barrier.  We need these bills to move! 

 

Of the 25 nay votes (all Republicans), six were congressmen from the Great Lakes, including one ea. from Indiana and Minnesota and four from Ohio.  Their names, if you’re interested are: Reps Mike Pence, IN; Michele Bachmann, MN; and Steven Chabot, Jim Jordan, John Boehner and Patrick Tiberi; all of Ohio.

 

The Water Resources Development Act also contains important provisions that would help protect and restore the Great Lakes, including the reauthorization of the Great Lakes Tributary Modeling Program, the Great Lakes Remedial Action Plan Program and improvements to the Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration Program.  It will also provide reforms to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers; ensuring that they do business in an efficient, effective and environmentally friendly.


SCI Joins the Wolf Fray - Again

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On April 24, 2007, Safari Club International, Safari Club International Foundation and the National Rifle Association asked a D.C. federal district court to grant the three organizations intervener status in the latest round of gray wolf litigation. 

 

SCI explained how the delisting of wolves enables the states of Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin to manage their wolf populations.  In doing so, the states can protect their game populations, as well as the safety and recreational opportunities of SCI and NRA members, all members of the general hunting community, and other residents of these states.  SCI detailed stories of how SCI members are increasingly affected by the growing wolf population, including being stalked by wolves and losing prey to wolves.

 

This is the fourth time in four years that SCI has participated in

litigation concerning gray wolf classification, management and conservation under the Endangered Species Act.  In this latest

suit, SCI, SCIF and the NRA seek to defeat the claims of Plaintiffs HSUS, Animal Protection Institute and Help Our Wolves Live.  These groups are asking the court to return the Western Great Lakes wolf population to the “endangered” species list.

 

SCI President Ralph Cunningham reacted to SCI’s latest legal pursuit: “Through litigation efforts such as this one, SCI supports the wolf recovery efforts of the FWS and the states of Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin and endorses the states’ authority to manage their own wildlife.  It is time for animal rights groups to acknowledge that the ESA was never intended to be a tool for permanently listing species.  Gray wolf recovery is a tremendous success story, but the latest chapter of that story involves proper management and control by the states of this predator species.”


Country's worst school Massacre

45 Grade-Schoolers; not with a gun

The Bath, Michigan school disaster, which killed 45 people and injured 58, occurred on May 18, 1927.  Most of the victims were children in second to sixth grades attending the Bath Consolidated School. Bath is a small rural community just north of Lansing.

 

Their deaths constitute the deadliest act of mass murder in a school in U.S. history. The perpetrator was school board member Andrew Kehoe, who was upset by a property tax that had been levied to fund the construction of the school building. He blamed the additional tax for financial hardships which led to foreclosure proceedings against his farm.

On the morning of May 18, Kehoe first killed his wife with a blow to the head, and then set his farm buildings on fire. As fire fighters arrived at the farm, an explosion devastated the north wing of the school building, killing many of the people inside. Kehoe used a detonator to ignite dynamite and hundreds of pounds of pyrotol which he had secretly planted inside the school over the course of many months. As rescuers started gathering at the school, Kehoe drove up, stopped, and detonated a bomb inside his shrapnel-filled vehicle, killing himself and the school superintendent, and killing and injuring several others.

 

During the rescue efforts, searchers discovered an additional 500 lbs (230 kg) of unexploded dynamite and pyrotol planted throughout the basement of the school's south wing.


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for April 27, 2007

Weather Conditions:

Cool and wet weather occurred in the Great Lakes basin this week.  The heaviest rain was confined to the southern half of the region, where many locations picked up well over 2".   High pressure over northern Ontario prevented precipitation from falling in the northern basin.  A wet start to the weekend is expected across the Great Lakes region, but sunny skies and warmer temperatures will follow for Sunday and continue into the work week.

Lake Level Conditions:

Lake Superior is 12" below its level of a year ago, while Lake Michigan-Huron is at the same level as it was last year.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 4 to 9" above last year’s water levels.  All of the Great Lakes, with the exception of Lake Erie, are forecasted to rise 1 to 3" over the next month.  Lake Erie is predicted to remain at the same level. During the next few months, Lake Superior is projected to remain well below its water level of a year ago, while water levels of the remaining lakes are expected to be similar or slightly above last year’s levels. 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

Outflow from the St. Marys River is predicted to be well below average for April. Flows through the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are also predicted to be lower than average this month. Flow 

in the Niagara River, as well as the St. Lawrence River, is expected to be above average.

Alerts:

Due to abnormally dry conditions on the Lake Superior basin over the last several months, | Lake Superior’s water level is currently below chart datum and is expected to remain below datum through September.  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.

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level Apr 27

600.0

577.6

574.2

572.2

246.3

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

-14

+ 1

+22

+35

+36

Diff last month

+3

+4

0

+2

+7

Diff from last yr

-12

0

+4

+8

+9


Canada

Beretta Awarded Government Contract

Canada Border Services to be armed with the Px4 Storm Pistol

Beretta USA on April 23 announced it has been awarded a multi-year contract from the Canada Border Services Agency effective immediately.  This government-to-business contract will provide the soon to be armed Canadian agency with the Beretta Model Px4 Storm semi-automatic pistol in 9mm, double action with tritium sights.

 

The contract’s initial order is for 2,400 units, with additional options allowing orders of up to 6,400 total units.  As part of the contract, Beretta U.S.A. will train the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Armourer Section to become a warranty center for the product in support of the Canada Border Services Agency.

 

Under previous administrations, Canada’s Border Patrol

agents have not been authorized to carry small arms. Their customs and immigration folks were forbidden from carrying arms while carrying out their duties.

 

The Beretta PX4 Storm offers a number of unique features including interchangeable backstraps that make it adaptable to different hand sizes, an ambidextrous manual safety lever ideally positioned on both sides of the slide for easy access by all shooters and a reversible magazine release button that can be mounted on either side and can quickly be replaced by a smaller or larger size button depending on the users preference.  The interchangeable backstrap and the ability to easily customize the Px4 Storm for individualized comfort and use make the pistol a versatile choice for law enforcement departments that have firearm users with a wide range of hand sizes.

 


General

Fishing surpasses basketball as No. 1 for eye injuries

Since 1982, emergency rooms and clinics across the nation have reported all eye injuries to a U.S. Eye Injury Registry at the Birmingham-based Helen Keller Foundation. Two years

ago, eye injuries from fishing surpassed eye injuries from basketball as the No. 1 sports-related eye injury, the doctors say


New NRA President Sworn in

John C. Sigler – Corp attorney, Navy vet and retired Police Captain

Fairfax, VA – John C. Sigler was sworn in as the National Rifle Association’s 59th President at the conclusion of NRA’s annual meeting in St. Louis, MO. 

 

“I am honored to assume the role of NRA President,” said Sigler.  “I am humbled by this distinction and look forward to continuing to work with NRA officers and the Board of Directors to preserve America’s first freedom.”      

 

A Delaware resident, Sigler has been an NRA Life Member for 30 years and a Benefactor Member since 2000.  A competitive shooter, avid hunter and long-time political activist, Sigler is active in the Friends of NRA program, the NRA-ILA Election Volunteer Coordinator Program, and Conventional Pistol and Police Combat Pistol shooting programs.  He is the chairman of the NRA Finance Committee, chairman of the Law Enforcement Assistance Committee and has served on the Executive Committee since 1997.  

 

Sigler is the co-founder and first president of the Delaware Law Enforcement Marksmanship Association.  He actively participates in NRA Police Nationals, where he was the chief referee for five years and the Chairman of the Protest Committee in 2006.   Furthermore, he was an NRA referee at

Camp Perry (pistol phase) for 11 years.  He was a member of the Dover Police Pistol Club (all NRA) and was on the Dover Police Pistol Team from 1972 to 1983.   He and his wife, Ingrid, are avid sporting clays competitors who shoot together as a team whenever their schedules permit.

 

A U.S. Navy veteran, Sigler served our Country from 1967 to 1971.  He completed five Polaris Deterrent Patrols in classified locations above the Arctic Circle aboard the nuclear fleet ballistic submarine U.S.S. The George Bancroft SSB (N) 643 and later served aboard the diesel-powered conventional submarine U.S.S. Hardhead SS 365 in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic during the cold war.   He was a Charter Member of the U.S.S. Hardhead Rod & Gun Club (all NRA). Sigler continues to offer pro-bono legal counsel for the U.S.S. George Bancroft SSB (N) Association. 

 

Mr. Sigler was a member of the Delaware House of Representatives Child Abuse Task Force from 1998 to 2000 and is a former member of the Board of Directors of Delaware Crime Stoppers.  He retired from the Dover Police Department in 1991 as a captain and now practices law in Delaware and Maryland as corporate in-house counsel.  Mr. Sigler resides in Delaware with his wife Ingrid.  

 

Sigler’s bio is available at www.nraila.org/News/Read/InTheNews.aspx?ID=5643


 

2nd Amendment issues

25 years murder-free in 'Gun Town USA'

Crime rate plummeted after law required firearms for residents

As the nation debates whether more guns or fewer can prevent tragedies like the Virginia Tech Massacre, a notable anniversary passed last month in a Georgia town that witnessed a dramatic plunge in crime and violence after mandating residents to own firearms.

 

In March 1982, 25 years ago, the small town of Kennesaw – responding to a handgun ban in Morton Grove, Ill – unanimously passed an ordinance requiring each head of household to own and maintain a gun. Since then, despite dire predictions of "Wild West" showdowns and increased violence and accidents, not a single resident has been involved in a fatal shooting – as a victim, attacker or defender

 

www.wnd.com reports the crime rate initially plummeted for several years after the passage of the ordinance, with the 2005 per capita crime rate actually significantly lower than it was in 1981, the year before passage of the law.

 

Prior to enactment of the law, Kennesaw had a population of just 5,242 but a crime rate significantly higher (4,332 per 100,000) than the national average (3,899 per 100,000). The latest statistics available – for the year 2005 – show the rate at 2,027 per 100,000. Meanwhile, the population has skyrocketed to 28,189

 

By comparison, the population of Morton Grove, the first city in Illinois to adopt a gun ban for anyone other than police

officers, has actually dropped slightly and stands at 22,202, according to 2005 statistics. More significantly, perhaps, the city's crime rate increased by 15.7 percent immediately after the gun ban, even though the overall crime rate in Cook County rose only 3 percent. Today, by comparison, the township's crime rate stands at 2,268 per 100,000.

 

This was not what some predicted.

 

In a column titled "Gun Town USA," Art Buchwald suggested Kennesaw would soon become a place where routine disagreements between neighbors would be settled in shootouts. The Washington Post mocked Kennesaw as "the brave little city … soon to be pistol-packing capital of the world." Phil Donahue invited the mayor on his show.

 

Reuters, the European news service, today revisited the Kennesaw controversy following the Virginia Tech Massacre.  Police Lt. Craig Graydon said: "When the Kennesaw law was passed in 1982 there was a substantial drop in crime … and we have maintained a really low crime rate since then. We are sure it is one of the lowest (crime) towns in the metro area." Kennesaw is just north of Atlanta.

 

The Reuters story went on to report: "Since the Virginia Tech shootings, some conservative U.S. talk show hosts have rejected attempts to link the massacre to the availability of guns, arguing that had students been allowed to carry weapons on campus someone might have been able to shoot the killer."   http://wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55288


 

Lake Superior

Huge wild rice bed threatened by lake's low water levels

ODANAH, Wis. -- Water in Lake Superior has reached a near-record low of 182.86 meters, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  A drop of about 6" will bring it within reach of the historic low of 182.69 meters set in 1926. Only a year ago, the water in the area known as Wisconsin's Everglades was 1 to 2' higher. Now, the Kakagon Sloughs, the largest coastal wetland in the Great Lakes, are turning into dry land.

 

The change threatens one of the largest wild rice beds in the world.

A lack of water in the growing season could destroy large portions of the bed, said Matt O'Claire, a game warden with Bad River's Natural Resources Department and a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. The tribe has harvested wild rice, a staple of its diet, from the bed for centuries. Now, some members may be forced to go off their reservation to find it, he said.

 

One expert said it would take years of steady precipitation to reverse the effect of warmer summers, less rain and a longer growing season.

 


Illinois

State awarded $700,000 in Boat Access Grants

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois awarded a total of $749,200 in Boat Access Area Development Grants to assist nine local communities in constructing new or improving existing boat/canoe access areas.  Projects being funded include construction of a new motorized boat access area on the Illinois River in Ottawa, a new canoe launch area on the DuPage River in Minooka, three projects to enhance current launch ramps to make them waterfront accessible to individuals with disabilities, and acquisition of land along the Rock River in the Village of Machesney Park.

 

The Boat Access grant program, administered through the Illinois DNR, can provide up to 100% funding for construction 

and/or improvements to public boat access facilities and up to 90% funding for land acquisition costs associated with providing such facilities.  The maximum grant per motorized boat launch project is $200,000 and the maximum grant per non-motorized/canoe launch project is $50,000.  Funds for this state-financed grant program are derived from revenues generated through taxes boaters pay on marine motor fuel purchases and boat and canoe registration fees.

 

The application period for submittal of project applications to IDNR is July 1 to September 1 of each year. Since the program's inception in 1968, grants for 437 local boating and canoeing projects valued at $35.3 million have been awarded.


ICF appoints new Executive Director

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF) today announced the appointment of Gregory Legan as the new Executive Director of the ICF.  Legan will begin his tenure as Executive Director May 15. Legan will be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the 13-year-old Conservation Foundation. 

 

Legan comes to the Conservation Foundation from John A.

Logan College, where he served as Executive Director of the college’s foundation since 1995.  In addition to his professional duties, Legan has also been heavily involved with programs benefiting conservation and the outdoors, including: Vice Chair of the Southern Illinois Hunting & Fishing Day Committee; Board of Directors for the Youth Outdoor Education Foundation; certified hunter safety and wingshooting instructor with the IDNR; as well as a being actively involved with a number of civic organizations.


Indiana

12 charged with running caviar ring

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - State conservation officers believed they broke up an illegal caviar ring Monday by arresting 12

southern Indiana residents on accusations of running a network that generated as much as $400,000 for some fishermen.


Michigan

Spring programs for Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center

The Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center located near Mitchell State Park in Cadillac has announced its programs for May and June.

 

On Saturday, May 12, there will be a program called Morels and Other Edibles and Non-Edibles with Heather Hallen-Adams. The program will be from noon to 2 p.m., and will focus on mushroom hunting.

 

On Saturday, May 19, there will be a boating safety class offered all day from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required, and can be completed by calling 231-779-1321.

 

On Saturday, May 26, there will be a program on Michigan snakes with Jim McGrath of Nature Discovery. Two programs will be offered - one from 10 a.m. to noon and the other from 1 to 3 p.m.

 

On Saturday, June 2, there will be a Family Fishing Fun event at the center from noon until 2 p.m. Bait and tackle will be provided, and participants should meet in the center’s lobby.

 

On Saturday, June 9, it’s Free Fishing Weekend in Michigan and Project “GO” - Get Outdoors. The center will have a full day of events geared toward outdoor recreation; including a fishing contest from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Participants must register at

the front desk of the center no later than noon on Saturday, June 9. Prizes will be awarded at 4 p.m., and you must be present to win.

 

Also on June 9, the center is planning other activities such as “live fire” at the center’s shooting range from 10 a.m. to noon; fishing simulations from noon to 3 p.m.; geo-caching from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 3 p.m.; and fishing videos will be displayed in the lobby during the day. Refreshments will be available throughout the day.

 

On Saturday, June 16, there will be a program about Michigan frogs with Jim McGrath of Nature Discovery from 10 a.m. until noon and from 1 to 3 p.m.

 

Also on June 23, the Wexsaukee Amateur Radio Club will hold its field day on the center’s grounds. The public is welcome to attend.

 

On Saturday, June 30, there will be a home study Women’s Hunter Safety Class from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the center. Participants must pick up materials and register in person at least two weeks in advance. Deadline for registration is June 16.

 

The Center is located near Mitchell State Park on M-115 in Cadillac. Most of the events are free, but there may be a nominal fee for others. For more info, call the center at 231-779-1321.


Two Convicted of Shooting Wolves in Upper Peninsula

Two men have been convicted for shooting wolves in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the Department of Natural Resources announced today. Both cases stem from last year’s firearm deer hunting season, and the individuals arrested were both found guilty of shooting wolves while hunting deer.

 

Robert Wudzinski, 70, from Richmond, MI, appeared on March 13 before Judge Anders B. Tingstad in the 98th District Court in Ontonagon County, where he pled guilty to shooting a radio-collared wolf while hunting on Nov. 16, 2006, near Trout Creek.  A wildlife biologist with the DNR was patrolling in an airplane tracking radio collar signals on wolves that day when the collar on that particular wolf went into mortality mode. DNR conservation officers were able to locate the carcass of the animal and conduct an investigation, which led to the arrest of Wudzinski. He pled guilty to one count of taking a protected animal.  Wudzinski paid a total of $2,150 in fines, costs and

restitution, was placed on probation for nine months and lost

his hunting privileges for the remainder of 2007.

 

In a separate case brought before Judge Michael Kusz in 98B District Court in Iron Mountain, William Jason Morgan, 28, of Iron Mountain pled guilty to shooting another wolf, also on Nov. 16, 2006, near Felch in northern Dickinson County. DNR conservation officers again were able to recover the animal and after evaluating evidence left at the scene of the shooting, arrested Morgan. On April 11, Morgan was ordered to pay $2,385 in fines, costs and restitution, lost his hunting privileges through 2010, was placed on six months probation and ordered to participate in the county’s tether program for 30 days, where he was confined to work and his residence only for that time period.

 

Michigan’s wolf population is around 434 animals, located in the Upper Peninsula. Wolves are a protected species in the state, and those found guilty of killing a wolf will be subject to criminal prosecution.


Ohio

Gander Mountain and DNR sponsor free fishing weekend May 5-6

Activities slated for nine Ohio State Parks and all Gander Mountain stores in Ohio

 COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio DNR and outdoor retailer Gander Mountain have announced joint plans to promote fishing during Ohio’s “Catch the Outdoors Fun” free fishing weekend on Saturday and Sunday, May 5-6.  During the weekend, anglers can fish any of Ohio’s public waters without a fishing license. The program is aimed at introducing new anglers to the sport of fishing and to get more young people to appreciate and participate in outdoor activities of all kinds.

 

Catch the Outdoors Fun activities at all Ohio Gander Mountain stores on May 5-6:

• Beginning at 8 a.m. each day, stores will distribute free cans of bait to the first 100 customers. The first 50 customers will also receive coupons for one night of free camping in an Ohio State Park campground when a second night of camping is purchased at the regular price.

 

• From 9 - 10 a.m. and 3 - 4 p.m, stores will offer “how to fish” seminars to beginning anglers of all ages.

 

• From 10 - 2 p.m. each day, ODNR Division of Watercraft personnel will be at all stores and at the Lake Erie Regional

Welcome Center in Port Clinton to provide free boat safety inspections.

 

Catch the Outdoors Fun activities at Mosquito Lake, Deer Creek, Caesar Creek, Alum Creek, Salt Fork, Maumee Bay, East Harbor, Geneva and West Branch state parks on May 5-6:

 

• 8 - 11 a.m. each day, Gander Mountain associates and ODNR staff will help celebrate the weekend with free coffee and doughnuts. They will also distribute free packages of bait to the first 50 anglers.

 

• 8 - 9 a.m. each day, parks will offer free fishing seminars, along with demonstrations and hands-on activities for novice anglers.

 

• Beginning at 9 a.m. each day at each park, two-hour, biggest fish contest for all anglers. Winners will receive $20 Gander Mountain gift cards.

 

In addition to store and state park activities, the Lake Erie Islands Regional Welcome Center in Port Clinton will host a fishing trade show during the weekend. The event will showcase Ohio’s fishing tackle manufacturers, along with new products and gear designed for Ohio anglers.  For more info: www.Gandermountain.com.


Ohio works to control Lake Erie Commercial Fishing

S.B. 77 COMMERCIAL FISHING introduced by Sen. Tim Grendell of Chesterland, would increase regulations and rein in a wayward commercial fishing industry. The bill would tighten controls on commercial trapnetting operations on Lake Erie raise the license fees for commercial fishing; revise the penalties for violations of certain commercial fishing statutes, and to make other changes to the law governing commercial fishing.

 

A summary of the bill:

The bill increases the annual fees for licenses for commercial fishing devices.

► Revokes by operation of law all commercial fishing licenses and all permits to handle fish at wholesale issued under the Hunting and Fishing Law to a person when the person is convicted of a felony related to commercial fishing activities for a violation of state or federal law, and prohibits the issuance of any new commercial fishing licenses or permits to handle fish at wholesale to such a person.

► Replaces certain existing provisions related to suspension and revocation of a commercial fishing license or a permit to

handle fish at wholesale with new suspension and revocation

requirements for such licenses and permits, and consolidates them in one statute.

► Prohibits the transfer of a commercial fishing license issued under Ohio law.

► Prohibits a commercial fishing licensee, on and after March 1, 2008, from using or engaging in fishing with commercial gear unless the licensee uses vessel and catch monitoring devices in accordance with requirements and procedures established by the Chief of the Division of Wildlife, requires the Chief to establish by rule requirements and procedures for such devices, and requires a commercial fishing licensee to pay the cost of purchasing, installing, and maintaining the devices.

► Revises certain requirements that guide the Chief and the Wildlife Council in determining the apportionment of the maximum allowable annual taking of fish between the sport and commercial interests under the quota management system, and revises certain requirements that the Chief and the Council must consider in determining the distribution of the apportionment of fish within the commercial industry under the system.


Ohio awards $3.6 million to improve public boating access

Another $600,000 in dredging grants also awarded

COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio DNR has awarded a total of $3.6 million in Cooperative Boating Access Facility Program grants to improve public boating access at 13 sites across the state.

 

The grant awards range from $15,000 for improvements at a boat ramp in Portage Lakes State Park in Summit County to $1,140,000 for continued construction of a new state park marina facility on Middle Bass Island in Lake Erie’s western basin. The grants also included $780,000 awarded to the City of Sandusky for construction of 92 boat slips in the new Paper District Marina.

 

The Cooperative Boating Access Facility Grant Program is

funded through the Ohio Waterways Safety Fund, which is

comprised of a portion of the state motor fuels tax, watercraft registration and titling fees, and funding from the U.S. Coast Guard. The grants are awarded on a competitive basis and administered by the ODNR Division of Watercraft to improve public recreational boating access for the state’s estimated 3 million boaters.

 

The Division of Watercraft also awarded $600,000 in Recreational Harbor Evaluation Grants for dredging in the Vermillion River and in the main access channel to the Giant Run launch ramp and Holiday Point Marina on the Ohio River in Scioto County. The grants are also funded through the Waterways Safety Fund.

 


Pennsylvania

Game Commission names new commissioner

Jay Delaney, of Wilkes-Barre, will be officially sworn in as a member of the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners, May 3, at the Game Commission Northeast Region Office.

 

Nominated by Governor Edward G. Rendell on March 12,

Delaney was unanimously confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate on April 17.  Delaney fills the vacant seat for District 7, which comprises Carbon, Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties.  His term expires on April 17, 2015.


Wisconsin

Walleye bag limits revised for Ceded Territory lakes

MADISON -- The daily walleye bag limits have been adjusted on 271 lakes in the Ceded Territory of Wisconsin in response to harvest declarations made by the six bands of Chippewa Indians. Adjusted bag limits are effective May 5, 2007 through March 2, 2008.

 

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 adjusts bag limits for recreational hook and line anglers in lakes declared for harvest by the Chippewa bands. The state is entering its 22nd year of the joint tribal and recreational fishery.

 

There will be a three-walleye bag limit on 129 lakes, a two-walleye daily bag limit on 137 lakes, and five lakes will have a daily bag limit of one walleye.

 

All lakes declared by the Lac du Flambeau Band have a daily

bag limit of three walleye for sport anglers. In 1997, the DNR

and the Lac du Flambeau Band signed an agreement that gave 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.

 

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. DNR will review tribal harvest following the spring spearfishing season and revise bag limits upwards on lakes lightly or not speared.

 

The adjusted walleye bag limits are available on the DNR Web site and are being published as an insert to the Guide to Wisconsin Hook and Line Fishing Regulations 2007-2008. 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.

 


Public asked to give input on fish & wildlife priorities

Survey will help guide management over next six years

MADISON –People who care about fish and wildlife in Wisconsin are reminded there is still time to fill out an online survey on what the state’s management priorities should be over the next six years. Completed surveys will be accepted until May 11, 2007 and will be compiled and presented to the Natural Resources Board.

 

“Those who buy hunting and fishing licenses in Wisconsin, and everyone who cares about how our fish and wildlife are managed, can help guide how priorities are set for the next few years,” said Department of Natural Resources Secretary Scott Hassett.

 

Each year, the DNR receives about $15 million in federal grants to help manage sport fish and wildlife populations. To receive the federal grants, the department is required to

prepare a “Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Management Plan” to

show how those funds will be spent over the next six years.

 

DNR staff has begun to identify challenges and priorities for the next six years. These include land use patterns and habitat loss, conflicts among outdoor recreation users, conserving declining species and threatened habitats, non-native invasive species and wildlife diseases.

“These are some of the challenges and priorities from our perspective, but we need to hear from the public and what you think is important. You can rank your interest and concerns about these and other issues, as well as write in your own,” Hassett noted.

 

To complete the survey, go to: http://dnr.wi.gov/invest/fwhplan/survey.html  or print a questionnaire off the Web site and mail it to the department. The survey takes just a few minutes to complete.


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