Week of May 4, 2009

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Illinois
Indiana
Michigan
Wisconsin

 

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National

Illinois High School Assn hosts world's first statewide high school bass-fishing derby May 8-9

The Illinois High School Association will host the world's first statewide high school bass-fishing tournament at Carlyle Lake on May 8-9. Sectionals to determine advancing teams were held at 18 locations April 24. Some 199 Illinois high schools are officially entered in the 2008-09 IHSA Bass Fishing State-wide Tournament.

 

The Board approved a recommendation to add three safety measures to the Bass Fishing Terms and Conditions.

      A) All participants and coaches must wear a coast guard approved life jacket and sunglasses, safety glasses or some type of eye protection the entire time they are on the water.  If they do not, disqualification will occur.

      B) There will be a speed limit applied to all sectional and state final tournaments.  The speed limit will be no faster than 35 mph or the lake requirements, if slower than 35 mph.

C) All boats must go through a safety check prior to the start of each tournament.

 

A school may enter one or two boats for the State Bass Fishing Tournament.  One boat will consist of at least one student and no more than three students listed on that boat roster.  Only two students in a boat may fish at any one time.  The boat may go back to the dock and exchange one student for another anytime during the tournament fishing hours

 

Each school will be responsible to provide the boat and one adult driver (coach) for that boat.  No student will be allowed to operate the outboard motor on the boat.  The adult will be responsible for operating the outboard motor and may not exceed a speed limit of 25 miles per hour or the lake limit if the speed limit is below 25 miles per hour. Either a student or the coach/adult may operate the trolling motor.


Traveler’s Health Alert Notice

Risk of Swine Flu Associated with Travel to Affected Areas

Public health officials within the United States and throughout the world are investigating outbreaks of swine influenza (swine flu).

Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by a type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza among pigs. Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans; however, human infections with swine flu do occur. Public health officials have determined that this strain of swine flu virus spreads from human to human and can cause illness.

 

The outbreak is ongoing and additional cases are expected. For more information concerning swine flu infection, please see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website: www.cdc.gov/swineflu/ . For specific information on travel precautions and an update on the affected areas, please visit: www.cdc.gov/travel

 

The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu in humans and may include:

• Fever (greater than 100°F or 37.8°C)

• Sore throat

• Cough

• Stuffy nose

• Chills

• Headache and body aches

• Fatigue

 

Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. Severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.

 

People entering the United States who are experiencing

symptoms consistent with swine flu and have traveled to an

affected area (see www.cdc.gov/swineflu/investigation.htm for affected areas), or have been exposed to someone possibly infected with swine flu, during the last 7 days should report their illnesses to their health care provider immediately and inform them of their recent travel.

 

People traveling from the United States to affected areas should be aware of the risk of illness with swine flu and take precautions.

To prevent the spread of swine flu:

• Avoid contact with ill persons

• When you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve (if you do not have a tissue)

• Throw used tissues in a trash can

• After you cough or sneeze, wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand gel

• If you think you are ill with flu, avoid close contact with others as much as possible

 

 Stay at home or in your hotel room. Seek medical care if you are severely ill (such as having trouble breathing). There are antiviral medications for prevention and treatment of swine flu that a doctor can prescribe. Do not go to work, school, or travel while ill.

Swine Flu Travel Health Alert Notice

 

For more information:

• Contact your local or state health department

• Visit www.cdc.gov/swineflu/

• Contact CDC 24 Hours/Every Day

• 800-CDC-INFO   (800-232-4636)

• TTY: (888) 232-6348

cdcinfo@cdc.gov

 


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for May 1, 2009

Weather Conditions

A series of large storm systems brought heavy rain to the Great Lakes basin this week, with the heaviest rain falling early Tuesday and again during the day Thursday. This latest round of wet weather pushed April rainfall totals for Great Lakes basin as a whole to above average.  Look for dryer weather to arrive for the upcoming weekend and persist into early next week.  Daytime high temperatures are forecasted to reach into the low to mid 60s across much of the region.

Lake Level Conditions

Lake Superior is presently 3 inches above its level of a year ago.  Lakes Michigan-Huron and St. Clair are 11 inches higher than what they were a year ago.  Lake Erie is 6 inches above last year's level, while Lake Ontario is 6 inches below last year's level.  Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are predicted to rise 4 inches over the month.  Lakes St. Clair and Erie are forecasted to drop 2 and 1 inches, respectively, during the next 30 days, while Lake Ontario is projected to be at its current level.  Over the next several months, Lake Superior is predicted to be around its level of a year ago. Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are forecasted to remain at or above last year's levels.  Lake Ontario is forecasted to be at or below its levels of a year ago over the next six months.  See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions

In April, the outflow from Lake Superior through the St. Mary's

was lower than average.  The outflows through the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers were below average as well, while the Niagara and St. Lawrence River outflows were above average. 

Alerts

Lake Superior is below its chart datum elevation and is expected to be below datum through this month. 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 for May 1

601.0

578.4

 

575.0

572.54

246.6

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

 

 -1

 

   +10

 

+32

 

+40

 

+40

Diff last month

 

+4

 

 +6

 

+8

 

 +6

 

+7

Diff from last yr

 

+3

 

+11

 

+11

 

+6

 

-6

 


General

 21 year old Youngest Ever to Win FLW Tour Event

Twenty-one year old Team Berkley pro Stetson Blaylock of Benton, Ark, caught a final-round total of 10 bass weighing 23 lbs, 15 oz to win $200,000 in the $1.1 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour National Guard Open on Lake Norman. Blaylock topped

his closest rival, Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tennessee, by one pound to earn the win and 200 points toward qualifying for the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by Castrol and BP, which will be held July 30-August 2 on the Three Rivers in Pittsburgh, PA.


Fewer Anglers Plan Out-of-State Trips

Striped Bass and Flounder Top List of Favorite Saltwater Species

Fewer anglers are planning out-of-state fishing trips in 2009 than in 2008, according to a recent survey.  In a February 2009 survey from AnglerSurvey.com, only 54% of anglers reported planning fishing trips outside their home states this year. This is a drop from February 2008 when, in a similar survey, more than 59% of anglers reported that they were planning out-of-state trips. The ongoing economic recession may be putting a crimp in anglers’ travel plans.

 

In other news from the February AnglerSurvey.com results, striped bass is America’s most popular saltwater gamefish, with 20% of surveyed anglers reporting that they targeted striped bass at least once. Flounder (of which several species live in American waters) were the second most popular, with 19% of anglers reporting that they targeted the tasty flatfish.

This survey (on which multiple answers were allowed) reported which gamefish species were the most sought-after, not necessarily the most frequently caught. Other popular gamefish that anglers reported targeting were grouper, snapper, and sea bass (14%); redfish, also called red drum or channel bass (13%); spotted seatrout and weakfish (13%); and bluefish (12%). The survey inquired about the most commonly targeted species, which is not necessarily the most commonly caught or kept species.

 

By participating in the surveys, you will be automatically entered to win a monthly drawing for a $100 gift certificate at your favorite fishing tackle retailer. Better yet, you will also be automatically entered in the annual drawing for a $1,000 fishing tackle shopping spree! To get started, go to AnglerSurvey.com and click Take the Survey.

 


Illinois

High School Assn hosts world's first statewide high school bass-fishing derby May 8-9

The Illinois High School Association will host the world's first statewide high school bass-fishing tournament at Carlyle Lake on May 8-9. Sectionals to determine advancing teams were held at 18 locations April 24. Some 199 Illinois high schools are officially entered in the 2008-09 IHSA Bass Fishing State-wide Tournament.

 

The Board approved a recommendation to add three safety measures to the Bass Fishing Terms and Conditions.

      A) All participants and coaches must wear a coast guard approved life jacket and sunglasses, safety glasses or some type of eye protection the entire time they are on the water.  If they do not, disqualification will occur.

      B) There will be a speed limit applied to all sectional and state final tournaments.  The speed limit will be no faster than 35 mph or the lake requirements, if slower than 35 mph.

   C) All boats must go through a safety check prior to the start of each tournament.

 

A school may enter one or two boats for the State Bass Fishing Tournament.  One boat will consist of at least one student and no more than three students listed on that boat roster.  Only two students in a boat may fish at any one time.  The boat may go back to the dock and exchange one student for another anytime during the tournament fishing hours

 

Each school will be responsible to provide the boat and one adult driver (coach) for that boat.  No student will be allowed to operate the outboard motor on the boat.  The adult will be responsible for operating the outboard motor and may not exceed a speed limit of 25 miles per hour or the lake limit if the speed limit is below 25 miles per hour. Either a student or the coach/adult may operate the trolling motor.


Indiana

Numerous fish await anglers in Lake Wawasee

Many opportunities to catch bluegills, largemouth bass, and yellow perch, as well as well as one of the largest northern pike populations in the state, await anglers in Lake Wawasee, Indiana’s largest natural lake.

           

The Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) surveyed the lake last June and July. Sampling included 5˝ hours of electro-fishing along the shore with a boat-mounted electrical generator that temporarily stuns fish. In addition, 18 gill nets and 15 trap nets were set at various locations throughout the lake.

 

Biologists caught 2,278 fish during the survey, 47 % of which were bluegills. They also caught 269 largemouth bass and 186 perch.

 

Several bluegills were 8" long, some up to 9˝ inches. Their growth rate is typical of northern Indiana natural lakes, with bluegills reaching 6 inches at age 4 and nearly 8 inches by age 6. Bluegills were captured during electrofishing at the rate of 140 per hour, a rate also typical of Indiana natural lakes.

 

Largemouth bass caught during the survey were 4 to 19˝ inches long, including 35 that were legal size (14 inches or

larger).  Most of the perch were 6 to 8 inches long, some up to 11 inches.  Eighty-six northern pike were caught during sampling in June. Another 22 pike were caught in July. The pike ranged from 14˝ to 33˝ inches long. Their combined weight made up 25 percent of the weight of all fish captured in the survey.

 

Based on comparisons to previous surveys dating back to 1975, biologists say the overall fish population in Lake Wawasee has been relatively stable, with the exception of the increase in white bass. Three white bass were captured in a 2004 survey; 18 were caught last summer.

 

“By most accounts, white bass were not native to Lake Wawasee,” said Jed Pearson, a DFW biologist who has worked on the lake since 1975. “An old document from 1875 says white bass were present, but no records after that ever verified it.”

 

Pearson said that white bass were probably stocked illegally sometime before 2004. “If white bass continue to increase, they may eventually compete for food with other sport fish and could eventually affect the growth rate and size of other fish,” he said, "That's why permits are required to stock fish in a public lake.


Take Mom on a family fishing trip, May 10

Fishing for a perfect Mother’s Day gift? Sure, literally. Flowers and candy are played. Try something different—take Mom fishing.

     

Mother’s Day is about bonding with family and celebrating appreciation for all Mom does. Sure, Mom would probably be happy enough receiving another basket of lotion, but what gift could be better than bonding with those she loves while spending a spring day soaking up the soothing effects of nature?                 

     

Fishing is a great way to combine many elements of the outdoors. Time spent fishing can also provide opportunity to observe birds, wildlife, wildflowers, and many more of Indiana’s natural gifts. Spring is a special time outdoors.      

     

Pack a lunch. Bring out the lawn chairs. Plan everything. Make

sure all Mom has to do is show up and have fun. Remember, fishing isn’t just about catching fish. It's fun even if no one catches any. Talking, laughing, and just spending quality time make the day

 

To stack your odds in favor of catching fish, visit www.IN.gov/dnr/fishwild/ . Explore the Indiana DNR’s “Where to Fish Finder.” This online tool provides information on fishing spots across the state.     

     

While online, buy a fishing license for anyone who needs one. Indiana resident annual licenses are $17. A one-day license is $9. A license is required to fish in Indiana for anyone older than 16. Licenses also may be bought at most places fishing equipment is sold. The 2009 Indiana Fishing Guide also lists places to fish. The free guides are available at license vendors, DNR properties and online at www.IN.gov/dnr/fishwild .


Michigan

Wolves Removed from Michigan's Endangered and Threatened Species List

Gray wolves have officially been removed from Michigan's endangered and threatened species list.  The reclassification of wolves from a threatened species to a protected nongame species at the state level comes in anticipation of the federal government's plan to remove wolves from the federal endangered species list on May 4, 2009.

 

"Wolves will remain under management of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service until May 4," said Department of Natural Resources wolf program coordinator Brian Roell. "At that time, management authority will transfer to the state, assuming the process is not held up by litigation from a third party."

 

The Humane Society of the United States, joined by four additional parties, has already filed a Notice of Intent to Sue in

federal court.

 

Under state management authority, the DNR will have the ability to use lethal control methods, when appropriate, when managing wolves under provisions in the state's wolf management plan - at www.michigan.gov/dnr.  Livestock and pet owners also will be able to kill wolves in the act of attacking domestic animals on their property as a result of legislation passed last year. More information detailing legal methods for managing situations involving wolves, including lethal control, will be available upon official federal delisting.

 

"Wolves are still a protected species, whether under federal or state management," Roell said. "Any poaching incidents should be reported immediately to the DNR's Report All Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800."


Wisconsin

New law restores longtime bass and musky season structures

MADISON - Wisconsin’s longstanding season structures for bass and musky have been officially restored and the early-season barbless hook requirements eliminated for some catch-and-release seasons under a bill Gov. Jim Doyle signed into law earlier this month. As a result of the changes made by 2009 Wis. Act 6 (Assembly Bill 4):

 

The normal musky season opening dates will remain in effect. This means the northern zone musky season opens May 23 and no person may actively fish for musky before that date in waters north of Highway 10. Southern zone musky season opens May 2.

 

The largemouth/ smallmouth bass season opened May 2 on most state waters. In the northern zone, anglers may fish for bass but as in the past, must release all bass they catch until

June 20. Anglers are NOT restricted to barbless hooks and artificial lures during this catch and release portion of the season in the northern zone or on other waters which have a catch and release bass season.

 

This bill was initiated and adopted in response to a statutory change – not a DNR rule change -- in the 2007 budget bill that would have required the DNR to create an early musky catch-and-release season and required anglers to use barbless hooks during that season and any bass catch-and-release season.

 

“Both of these statutory requirements caused considerable consternation among the angling public, and we are grateful that those laws have been repealed before the May 2 fishing opener,” says Joe Hennessy, the DNR fish biologist who coordinates fisheries regulations.


VHS waters extended as two dams fail to stop fish 

MADISON – The hundreds of thousands of anglers expected to fish the May 2 opening day of the inland fishing season can help protect their fishing future by taking steps to avoid accidentally spreading VHS fish disease and aquatic invasive species. 

       

“It’s important to take steps to prevent VHS from spreading every time you’re on the water, but particularly now when the disease is most active with the cold water temperatures,” says Karl Scheidegger, the Department of Natural Resources fish biologist who leads DNR’s fisheries outreach efforts. “Anglers did a great job last year in taking precautions, and with your help again this year, we think we can continue to contain the disease.”

       

VHS fish disease is not a human health threat but can kill 37 different species of fish, including trout, musky, bass and bluegill, and it caused large fish kills in some Great Lakes waters in 2005 and 2006. The disease was first detected in Wisconsin in 2007 in fish from the Lake Winnebago system and the Lake Michigan system; tests since then suggest the disease hasn’t spread beyond those waters.

      

 Anglers inadvertently moving infected live bait are a main way that VHS fish disease can spread to new waters; and with more than 400,000 fishing licenses sold by mid-week, the risk of spreading the disease is real, Scheidegger says.

       

Anglers leaving boat launches with Eurasian water-milfoil and other plants attached to their boats or trailers, or juvenile zebra mussels in bilge water and live wells, also are at risk of spreading these and other invasive species to new waters.  These and other invaders can take a toll on fish and fishing. 

       

Many of the same steps that will prevent the spread of VHS also prevent the spread of these invaders, Scheidegger says.   Those steps are:

•        Inspect boats, trailers and equipment and remove visible aquatic plants, animals and mud before leaving the water access.

•        Drain water from your boat, motor, bilge, life wells and bait containers before leaving the water access.

•        Don’t move live fish away from a waterbody. Buy

minnows from a Wisconsin bait dealer and use leftover

minnows on another water only if you have not added to the bait container fish or lake or river water.

 

VHS rules and more information on the fish disease is found online at http://dnr.wi.gov/fish/vhs; lists and maps showing which waters have zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species are found online at http://dnr.wi.gov/lakes/ais/.

 

Longer stretches of the East Twin River and its tributaries in Manitowoc and Kewaunee counties, and Clark Lake, Logan Creek and Lost Lake in Door County are now considered to have VHS fish disease present and, therefore, have restrictions on bait harvest.

       

The extension of VHS-positive status to these waters reflects only a determination that low head dams on these waters are not preventing fish from Lake Michigan from reaching them. Fish from these waters have not so far tested positive for VHS. 

 

DNR fish crews netting Clark Lake in Door County earlier this spring found fresh run steelhead, indicating that the low head dam on that lake is not an effective barrier for steelhead. And Logan Creek and Lost Lake are upstream from Clark Lake.

       

In Manitowoc County, DNR staff witnessed steelhead jumping over the dam at Mishicot on the East Twin River. There are no other dams upstream from Mishicot and as a result, the entire East Twin River and all of its tributaries in Manitowoc and Kewaunee counties are now considered to be VHS positive.

       

VHS rules consider VHS-positive waters to include all waters testing positive for VHS and all tributaries flowing into those waters upstream to the first dam capable of blocking upstream fish movement. Fish from Lake Michigan were found to have VHS in 2007 and 2008.  VHS affected waters are closed to all minnow harvesting. The only exception is that suckers can be taken but may not be transported away alive.

 

The revised Lake Michigan drainage map is online at http://dnr.wi.gov/fish/documents/vhs_lakemichigandrainage.pdf.

VHS rules are found online at http://dnr.wi.gov/fish/vhs.


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