Week of May 28, 2012

Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
National

Regional

General

Illinois
Indiana
Michigan
Minnesota
Other Breaking News Items

 

       Weekly News Archives

                         or

       New Product  Archives

Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Bushnell New Two Power Tactical Electronic Sight

Overland Park, Kan. - Bushnell Outdoor Products, an industry-leader in high performance sports optics for more than 60 years, has introduced a new electronic sight with two power magnification. The new 2X MP sight features a 3 MOA dot and T-dot reticle for fast target acquisition.

With the ability to display the T-dot reticle in green during
 

low light and red during bright light, the 2X MP offers the
versatility shooters demand from electronic sights. With two power magnification and multi-coated optics, the sight is ideal for acquiring close- to mid-range targets.

 

Featuring a 100 percent waterproof, fog proof and shock proof construction, the 2X MP is built to withstand serious tests from the field and Mother Nature. The 2X MP features a built-in mounting system that quickly attaches to Weaver-style bases or Picatinny rails.

About $ 229.99

800-423-3537    www.bushnell.com


National

Asian Carp Sampling Summary of April 30

Below is the Asian Carp sampling summary of the Chicago Area Waterway (CAWS) for the week of April 30, 2012.

 

In summary:

Monitoring occurred in the CAWS and upper Illinois Waterway upstream and downstream of the Dispersal Barrier. NO BIGHEAD OR SILVER CARP were reported captured or observed upstream of the Barrier, nor were any found in new locations downstream of the Barrier.

 

Random Site Sampling Upstream of the Dispersal Barrier Area 1:

Lake Calumet Connecting Channel and Calumet River above O’Brien Lock

Area 2: Calumet-Sag Channel

Area 3: Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, Western Ave. to Dispersal Barrier

Area 4: North Shore Channel, North Branch Chicago River and Chicago River

A crew from the IDNR completed 30 15-minute electrofishing runs at five fixed sites and 12 15-minutes runs at randomly selected locations in the four random site areas upstream of the Dispersal Barrier. In addition, two contracted commercial fishing crews and assisting IDNR biologists set 3.6 miles of net (24 sets) at the five fixed sites and set 0.7 miles of net (6 sets) at random sites upstream of the Barrier.

No bighead or silver carp were reported captured or seen above the Barrier.

 

Fixed Sites Downstream of the Dispersal Barrier Site A

Lockport Pool – Lockport Lock and Dam to Electric Barrier

Site B: Brandon Road Pool – Brandon Road Lock and Dam to Lockport Lock and Dam

Site C: Dresden Island Pool – I-55 Bridge to Brandon Road Lock and Dam

Site D: Marseilles Pool – Rt. 47 Bridge (Morris) to Dresden Lock and Dam

 

Contracted commercial fishers and assisting IDNR biologists set 1.8 miles of net (12 sets) at the four fixed sites downstream of the Barrier. No Asian carp were captured at Sites A and B, nor were any found in new locations downstream of the Barrier.

 

Additional Netting Downstream of the Dispersal Barrier

Two contracted commercial fishing crews and assisting IDNR biologists set 0.9 miles of net (6 sets) in Marseilles Pool. No Asian carp were captured in new locations downstream of the Barrier.

 

Upper Des Plaines River Monitoring Project

 A crew from the USFWS-La Crosse Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office with assistance from MWRD and IDNR electrofished and netted at three station in the upper Des Plaines River downstream from the Hofmann Dam. Sampling included 6 hours of electrofishing and 0.8 miles of net set. No Asian carp were captured or seen.

Telemetry Monitoring Project

Crews from USACE successfully downloaded data from VR4 receivers located in the CSSC near the Dispersal Barrier.

 

Monitoring Asian Carp Population Metrics and Control Efforts

A crew from SIUC and a contracted commercial fishing crew with assisting IDNR biologist sampled and tagged

bighead and silver carp in a private backwater of the Illinois River near Morris, IL. A total of 9.5 miles of net were deployed over the course of three days and a total of 320 Asian carp (279 bighead carp, 34 silver carp and 7 hybrids) were tagged with $5 reward jaw tags. The tagging study will assess Asian carp movement patterns, estimate population size of Asian carp in the backwater, and provide an exploitation estimate for carp removed during the Barrier Defense Removal Program.

 

Remote Sensing Transects at the Barrier

A crew from SIUC with assistance from the USACE and IDNR conducted two remote sensing surveys between the high-field electric array of Barrier 2A and Barrier 1. The surveys occurred within 24 hours of  a power outage at the barrier. Each survey consisted of three transects using a combination of side-looking split-beam hydroacoustics and side-scan sonar that covered an estimated 97.6% of the entire water column. Results indicated that there are a minimum of four fish >12 inches (species unknown) present between Barrier 2A and Barrier 1. These fish could have potentially entered this area from downstream during the 13 minute barrier outage. Although a meeting of MRRWG action agencies determined there is a low probability that these fish are Asian carp, the workgroup will further assess the situation and make recommendations regarding appropriate actions in the near future.

 

Gear Evaluation Study

One INHS boat and crew sampled with multiple gears in the LaGrange Pool of the Illinois River at Matanza Backwater (River mile ~120) and the Havana area (River mile 119-122). In addition to the standard gears, crews at the Havana site evaluated 4-6’ hoop nets (set for two net nights) and surface-to-bottom gill nets (4 sets). The table below shows the gear evaluated and amount of effort at each location.

 

Gear/Method

 

 

 

DC electrofishing

6 x 15-min. runs

Mini-fyke net

8 net-nights

Trammel net w/ pounding

4 sets

Small mesh purse seine

4 hauls

Small mesh gill net -sinking

4 x 4-hr. sets

Large mesh purse seine

4 hauls

Small mesh gill net -floating

4 x 4-hr. sets

Beach seine

4 hauls

Large mesh gill net -sinking

4 x 4-hr. sets

Cast Net

4 throws

Small mesh hoop net

8 net-nights

Midwater trawl

4 x 5 min. tows

Large mesh hoop net

8 net-nights

Hydroacoustics

15 min. runs

Trap Net

8 net-nights

 

 

 

Larval Fish, Zooplankton, and Productivity Monitoring

Crews from INHS and Western Illinois University completed sampling for fish eggs and larvae, zooplankton, and phytoplankton productivity at the stations listed in the table below. Effort included four 5-minute tows for fish eggs and larvae with a 0.5 meter diameter ichthyoplankton push net, filtering 100 L of water for zooplankton, and taking water samples with an integrated tube sampler for productivity estimates.


Govt Wind Guidelines Are Meaningless

By Thomas Marks

The US Fish and Wildlife Agency does a lot of great work however, it has missed the mark on its voluntary guidelines for siting wind turbines.

 

The 5 tired approach offered in the FWS Wind Turbine siting guidelines are inadequate to protect wildlife and habitat. Wind turbine power plants occupy extensive tracts of land measured in square miles as opposed to acres as any conventional power plant. The majority of wind turbine projects are located on rural hilltops, or on vast open spaces. Road, power line construction and siting turbines are invasive and destructive to any habitat. It is also naive to believe that wind developers will adhere to voluntary guidelines. Cost for property, leases and access are driving factors, which will play a major role in site selection.

        

The primary reason the Obama Administration is investing huge sums of taxpayer money for wind energy is to reduce CO2 emissions (countermeasure for Global Climate Change). It is a wide spread myth that wind energy reduces CO2 emissions. The wind industry knows this so now they explain that we need to use wind energy to increase our energy portfolio. Worldwide the wind industry can not supply one bit of data to support their mythical claim, which fails to figure in that ALL wind power plants need to be backed-up with large dispatchable electric power generation capacity. Frequently the back up is coal or gas-fired power plants.

 

These plants can not efficiently be ramped up and down at the whim of the wind so they are kept “hot” to be ready at a moment’s notice to provide power when the wind fails. Denmark, the poster child for wind energy, has not seen CO2 emission reductions. Denmark has set a goal to be energy independent however since it has embarked on a wind energy policy has not reduced its reliance on coal, all of which is imported. Denmark has the highest CO2 emission rate per kilowatt of electricity produced of any country in the world and the highest electric utility rates in the world. Wind Energy electric rates are 1.5 to 5 times conventional electric rates depending upon where the wind turbines are built. In this country the price of natural gas is at a ten year low, making it very difficult for coal power or wind energy prices to compete. Coal fired power plants are being replaced by much cleaner natural gas fired power plants. The market is selecting cleaner gas to replace coal (Fracking is another issue). Federal Production Tax Credits are supporting wind energy prices.

 

Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association said the U.S. needs wind energy for manufacturing and construction jobs. The promise of jobs in a country with over 8% unemployment is very appealing but the comment does not have any basis in reality. According to US Labor Department statistics wind generating capacity doubled in the U.S. since 2009 but the industry has eliminated 10,000 jobs. The U.S. has lead the world with installed wind energy capacity from the 1980’s to 2011. The installed wind generating capacity in the U.S. is greater than all of Europe combined! Yet, the U.S. has not been a significant player in the manufacture of wind turbines or the components. General Electric Corp. does have a large share of the turbine market however, the bulk of their manufacturing facilities are overseas. What makes anyone believe that developing wind energy that we will suddenly have manufacturing plants here? The issue of the loss of U.S. manufacturing prowess is much deeper than just building wind farms in here. Manufacturing left this country in large part because of trade and tax policies.

The Guidelines set by FWS will not protect wildlife; the intent is to define for developers what habitats and wildlife are expendable. According to the American Wind Energy Association, wind turbines kill about 6 birds per megawatt of installed wind power. The goal of reaching 20% of our electrical generation by 2030 means we will have to install over 300,000 megawatts of wind capacity. This will result in over 1.8 million birds being killed every year. A single 44-turbine wind farm in West Virginia killed over 4000 bats in 2004. It is not unrealistic to project that one half billion bats will be killed annually by wind turbines in 2030. These estimates are from the wind industry and may be biased to the low side.

 

All forms of energy have their negatives; energy is a dirty business, even wind energy. All rely on oil; huge amounts of mined materials, and industrial processes detrimental to the environment. Our goal should be to power our society as cleanly and cheaply as possible. It should not be the government’s authority to favor one industry over any others with subsidies. The government’s authority should be to set targets on emissions as it did for the auto industry. Let the industry find the technology to reach those objectives, let competition in the market find the best “quality” and price. It was the availability of plentiful cheap power that made our standard of living and quality of life the envy of the world. There is no reason we have to abandon what has worked to emulate Europe or Asia.

 

The guidelines developed by the USF&W are for on shore wind projects. There are no guidelines for the offshore projects proposed for our Great Lakes. There is tremendous pressure from the current administration, wind developers, ill-informed politicians and public to pursue these projects. The new agreement signed by ten federal agencies and 5 Great Lakes states does nothing to keep the Lakes safe from becoming industrial waste lands. LEEDCO and LEAP are two groups that want to put thousands of wind turbines in Lake Erie. There are all sorts of issues regarding access, water quality, fish, habitat, avian and bat impacts, navigation, safety and cost which we have not begun to explain here. 

   

It has to be understood wind energy has no capacity value; it requires back-up generation from coal, natural gas, nuclear, or hydro plants which all have nearly 100% capacity value. Wind can not promise delivery of power (capacity value) because who knows when, how hard or for how long the wind will blow. Worldwide, wind energy produces power only 25% of the time and often less.

 

Wind energy only adds cost to our energy supply. It can not promise delivery, it is variable in intensity and it creates significant environmental problems. When you add wind turbines to the energy generation mix you essentially buy yourself two power plants to supply power when one would have been sufficient. It is an extreme waste of resources and money.

     

Offshore wind projects on border waters will raise Homeland Security issues. We can not allow just anyone to have access to the base of any wind turbine tower. There will be restrictions as to how close you can get to a tower with a boat. Essentially this reduces your access to fishing waters in the Great Lakes. If thousands of wind turbines are in Lake Erie’s future we could lose hundreds of square miles of water we fish today. 

 

FWS Wind guidelines: www.fws.gov/windenergy/docs/WEG_final.pdf

Thomas Marks is NY Director, Great Lakes Sports Fishing Council


Two invasive Asian carp netted in Garfield Park Lagoon
CHICAGO (AP)--Biologists netted two Asian carp in a Chicago lagoon Thursday as part of a stepped-up effort to track - and remove - the invasive species from Illinois waterways. The bighead carp that were found in the Garfield Park Lagoon were about 60 lbs apiece and probably had been there for many years, perhaps brought there when the pond was stocked or by a fisherman's bait bucket, state DNR spokesman Chris McCloud said.

 

The lagoon isn’t connected to Lake Michigan or canals that connect the lake to the Illinois River, and the fish couldn’t have gotten out on their own and could not breed in the still water, McCloud said. But the DNR wants to find and remove any live bighead or silver carp in the Chicago area.

 

“From public fishing ponds to fish markets, we need to find and remove live Asian carp from these systems in order to minimize their spread,” said John Rogner, assistant DNR director.

 

The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee plans to spend $12 million this year on efforts to stop the voracious eaters from reaching Lake Michigan, where scientists fear they could out-compete native fish for food and wreak havoc on the Great Lakes fishing industry. Plans include sampling urban fishing ponds, surveying fish markets for live fish and random electrofishing and netting along a network of canals that connect Lake Michigan to the Illinois River.

McCloud said the DNR will visit bait shops and fish markets to make sure there are no live carp and will sample around 20 lagoons. He said anyone who nets an Asian carp should get it out of the water and make sure it’s dead. He also asks that they take a photo of the fish and call the DNR.

 

The management plan for Asian carp also includes evaluating the effectiveness of electronic barriers in Chicago-area canals that hold the fish at bay with nonlethal jolts and other technologies that could repel them. Biologists also will monitor the canals and the Illinois and Des Plaines rivers and test for carp DNA.

 

Earlier this month the Obama administration promised to speed up its search for a way to stop Asian carp and other invasive species from using those waterways to travel between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it would release a short list of options by the end of next year.

 

Environmental activists and many elected officials say the only certain solution is physically separating the two giant drainage basins by placing dams or other structures at key points in Chicago-area waterways that form a direct link between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi. That method is sought in a federal lawsuit filed by Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

 

 

 


Support traditional Ammunition Amendment
U.S. Sens. Inhofe and Manchin will offer an amendment to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from banning traditional ammunition containing lead components under the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA). This amendment is the same language that passed by voice vote en bloc in the House Armed Services Committee last week.

 

The National Shooting Sports Foundation asks you to support the cost-saving Inhofe-Manchin amendment to the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act. Preventing a ban on traditional ammunition will stop ammunition costs from skyrocketing for not only the U.S. military, but also

for hunters, shooters and law enforcement. If hunting and

target shooting become too expensive, people will hunt and shoot less and funding for conservation will be severely impacted.

 

Recent estimates show that if the EPA banned lead in traditional ammunition, it would lead to over a billion dollar a year increase in ammunition costs for the military in a time when the defense budget is being cut.

 

Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and urge your senators to vote YES on the Inhofe-Manchin Amendment to keep our military and civilian ammunition costs from skyrocketing.


Regional

Free Fishing Weekend is June 2-3

For Hoosiers and Wisconsinites who have never cast a fishing line or haven’t cast a line in a while, Free Fishing Weekend, June 2-3, is a great opportunity. That's because adult residents do not need a fishing license or a trout/salmon stamp to fish these state waters during Free Fishing Weekend.

 

Clint Kowalik, DNR Go FishIN coordinator, suggested several Free Fishing Weekend options for adults and families. “Go alone to a quiet, secret spot, explore new waters with your family, or take a kid to a local fishing derby or city park pond," Kowalik said. 

 

To celebrate Free Fishing Weekend, recreation areas across the state are planning fun fishing derbies, casting clinics, fish-cleaning demonstrations and cooking classes. For more info: www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3598.htm   Children age 17 and younger do not need a fishing license in Indiana at any time.

 

In Wisconsin try fishing for the first time or rediscover the fun during Free Fishing Weekend, June 2 and 3, when anybody can fish anywhere in Wisconsin for free.

 

 “Free Fishing Weekend is a great opportunity to spend

 time with family and friends on the water,” says Theresa Stabo, who directs Wisconsin’s aquatic education. “Fishing’s fun, it’s easy, and it’s cheap, and there are places to go fishing virtually right outside your back door.”

 

Wisconsin has more than 15,000 lakes, 42,000 miles of flowing rivers, and is bordered by two Great Lakes and the Mississippi River.

During Free Fishing Weekend, rules governing the number and size of fish anglers can keep are still in place, as are fishing season dates Go to DNR’s online fishing regulations to look up the rules for inland lakes.

 

The fishing clinics, some conducted by DNR staff and others by fishing clubs and civic organizations, are free and provide equipment during the instruction and fishing time.   People who don’t have their own fishing gear can borrow rods and reels and other gear from nearly 50 DNR tackler loaner sites across the state.

 

A list of fishing clinics, tackle loaner sites, and other information to help make Free Fishing Weekend a weekend of fun with family and friends are available on the Wisconsin DNR Free Fishing Weekend web page.

 

 


Great Lakes Water Levels for May 28, 2012 

WEATHER CONDITIONS

The Lake Superior basin experienced heavy precipitation this past week, with gages recording over an inch of precipitation since last Saturday. The remaining parts of the basin experienced little to no precipitation. For the holiday weekend, additional heavy precipitation is forecasted for parts of the Superior basin, while scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible throughout the rest of the region. Showers will cool off temperatures in the northern parts of the basin, while the rest of the region will experience above seasonal average temperatures.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior is near last year's level and Lake Michigan-Huron is 3 inches lower than its level of a year ago. Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 9, 10, and 16 inches, respectively, lower than their levels of a year ago. Over the next month, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are forecasted to rise 3 and 2 inches, respectively, from their current levels. The water levels of Lakes St. Clair and Erie are expected to fall 1 and 2 inches, respectively, while the level of Lake Ontario is expected to remain near its current level over the next thirty days.

FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior's outflow through the St. Marys River is projected to be below average for the month of May. Lake Huron's outflow into the St. Clair River and the outflow from Lake St. Clair into the Detroit River are expected to be 

below average throughout the month of May. Lake Erie's outflow through the Niagara River is forecasted to be above average and the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River is predicted to be below average in May.

ALERTS

The water level of Lake Superior is below chart datum and is forecasted to remain below chart datum through July. 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 28

600.62

577.62

574.08

571.78

245.77

Datum, in ft

601.10

577.50

572.30

569.20

243.30

Diff in inches

-6

+1

+21

+31

+30

Diff last month

+2

+1

0

0

0

Diff from last yr

0

-3

-9

-10

-16


Chicago Outdoor Sportsmen Show Returns to Rosemont

Home to Chicagoland’s Largest Fishing, Hunting and Outdoor Sports Shows for more than 30 years

The Outdoor Sports Group is returning to Chicago, January 23-27, 2013 for the Chicago Outdoor Sportsmen Show at the Donald E. Stephen’s Convention Center After a wildly successful 2012 show that was put together in just three months, we now have a full year to prepare for the best event yet.

 

With a newly designed floor plan, a larger hall, and expanded show hours the 2013 show is proud to boast its many hunting and fishing seminars, tons of new family friendly attractions and more quality vendors and exhibitors preferred by the outdoor enthusiast. The 2013 show promises to be the most valuable and exciting event yet and attendances is anticipated to be strong.

 

The Chicago Outdoor Sportsmen’s goal is to deliver top

seminars, attractions and exhibits to speak to sportsmen and women of all ages with a focus on activities that the entire family can enjoy. In addition to all of the great in-booth education and attractions on the exhibit floor, the Show will offer classrooms for education by professional sportsmen. The seminars will be ongoing each day of the show.

 

Attendees will have an opportunity to shop amazing show deals at "Chicagoland’s Most Complete Outdoors Experience". Deals on fishing, hunting, archery, mega tackle, retailers, hunting suppliers, RV's, ATVs, camping, boats, charters, paddle sports, lodges, outfitters, wildlife art, safaris, outdoors cooking, lodges, tourism, rafting, gun safes, knives, taxidermy plus much more!

 

For the latest updates on the Chicago Outdoor Sportsmen Show visit www.ChicagoSportsmenShow.com

 

 


General

FWS ranks Chronic Wasting Disease #1 Wildlife Issue

The Association of Fish and Wildlife (AFWA) federal appropriations recommendations for the 2014 budget still put chronic wasting disease (CWD) as the number one wildlife health issue, with funding recommended at $20 million. Despite the rise in CWD throughout wildlife populations, it has become a lower priority for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as it has decreased in captive cervid herds.

 

Chronic Wasting Disease is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) of whitetailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. TSEs are caused by unusual infection agents known as prions, and have only been found in the cervids

(members of the deer family). CWD was first recognized in 1967 in mule deer and has continued to spread across the country since, with a recent detection in Washburn County, WI in the northwestern part of the state. In the endemic area of south-central Wisconsin, prevalence of the disease in adult male deer has increased from 8% to 18%.

 

The USDA suggests the next major driver for their wildlife disease program may be feral swine, due to their environmental and agricultural damage in the United States. Other wildlife health issues such as African swine fever have become major concerns in Europe, though not in the United States.

 


Illinois

Two invasive Asian carp netted in Garfield Park Lagoon
CHICAGO (AP)--Biologists netted two Asian carp in a Chicago lagoon Thursday as part of a stepped-up effort to track - and remove - the invasive species from Illinois waterways. The bighead carp that were found in the Garfield Park Lagoon were about 60 lbs apiece and probably had been there for many years, perhaps brought there when the pond was stocked or by a fisherman's bait bucket, state DNR spokesman Chris McCloud said.

 

The lagoon isn’t connected to Lake Michigan or canals that connect the lake to the Illinois River, and the fish couldn’t have gotten out on their own and could not breed in the still water, McCloud said. But the DNR wants to find and remove any live bighead or silver carp in the Chicago area.

 

“From public fishing ponds to fish markets, we need to find and remove live Asian carp from these systems in order to minimize their spread,” said John Rogner, assistant DNR director.

 

The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee plans to spend $12 million this year on efforts to stop the voracious eaters from reaching Lake Michigan, where scientists fear they could out-compete native fish for food and wreak havoc on the Great Lakes fishing industry. Plans include sampling urban fishing ponds, surveying fish markets for live fish and random electrofishing and netting along a network of canals that connect Lake Michigan to the Illinois River.

 

McCloud said the DNR will visit bait shops and fish markets to make sure there are no live carp and will sample around 20 lagoons. He said anyone who nets an Asian carp should get it out of the water and make sure it’s dead. He also asks that they take a photo of the fish and call the DNR.

 

The management plan for Asian carp also includes evaluating the effectiveness of electronic barriers in Chicago-area canals that hold the fish at bay with nonlethal jolts and other technologies that could repel them. Biologists also will monitor the canals and the Illinois and Des Plaines rivers and test for carp DNA.

 

Earlier this month the Obama administration promised to speed up its search for a way to stop Asian carp and other invasive species from using those waterways to travel between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it would release a short list of options by the end of next year.

 

Environmental activists and many elected officials say the only certain solution is physically separating the two giant drainage basins by placing dams or other structures at key points in Chicago-area waterways that form a direct link between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi. That method is sought in a federal lawsuit filed by Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

 

 

 


Obama puts Anti-Gun Agenda above Illinois Residents’ Rights

Contact state Legislators immediately and Urge Opposition to SB 1034

The Illinois State Police are pushing legislation that could have a severe, negative impact on gun rights in Illinois.  Senate Bill 1034 introduced as an anti-drug bill has recently amended to cover Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) cards.

 

There's been lots of talk in the last couple of days about SB1034, a bill that has morphed from a child tattoo law into a FOID modifying power grab by Illinois State Police. In a routine audit of the FOID system by the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services, it was determined that the ISP was lacking in their reporting of people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors and prohibiting them from buying/possessing firearms. The CJIS reviewed the ISP's response to the audit and found it still inadequate.  Now the U.S. Department of Justice threatens that if the ISP does not address these issues, the FBI will not be able to continue to provide CJIS system access to the ISP.

 

That means that the ISP will no longer be able to run NCIS checks through the CJIS. Translated: No retail gun sales in the state of Illinois


Here we are at the eleventh hour of voting on bills before recessing for the summer and instead of just correcting their continued shortcomings, the ISP is using this as an excuse for a power grab that calls for much broader definitions of domestic violence than the federal laws do and adds more misdemeanor offenses to the list of DV convictions that prohibit firearm ownership. SB1034 also allows the ISP to enter into the judicial review process when appealing a FOID revocation where they were not involved before.

Illinois Carry has no problem with prohibiting possession of firearms for violent offenders and those who commit violence against family members. But for the guy/gal that was charged with DV by an overzealous State's Attorney in a nasty divorce case, and later pled to a non DV misdemeanor because he/she couldn't afford the fees or the time to fight it, this could mean the forfeiture of the FOID and would mean no gun ownership ever again

 

The problems with SB 1034 are numerous, and include unacceptable requirements that Social Security numbers be included with FOID card applications, overly broad expansion of the classes of people prohibited from purchasing a firearm, unclear residency requirements for lawful gun owners who move to Illinois, and potentially unconstitutional restrictions on individuals who object to providing a photograph for the FOID Card application due to religious reasons.  These are just some of the flaws contained in SB 1034.

 

Illinois Carry, the NRA, ISRA and others strongly opposes SB 1034, and we urge all law-abiding gun owners in Illinois to contact their state Representative and senator IMMEDIATELY to urge them to oppose this legislation. Contact information for your state legislators can be found by clicking here. 

 

While this bill has some useful provisions, there is far more contained within that is completely unnecessary, unwarranted, and possibly unconstitutional.  The ISP have been unwilling to accept NRA’s input to help fix the bill, so our only recourse at this time is to work with lawmakers to fix the problems or defeat this bill.  At this time, SB 1034 is moving quickly, and must be stopped NOW.


Find who your state legislators are and their contact information  by going to the IL State Board of Elections website.


Indiana

New black bass rules take effect this week

INDIANAPOLIS-Rule changes adopted earlier this year to provide increased protection for black bass in certain rivers and streams became effective on Friday (May 25).

 

With a few exceptions, a person catching black bass (smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass) from a river or stream may keep only those fish that are under 12" or over 15" long. The daily bag limit for black bass is five fish singly or in aggregate, which means the catch limit may include any combination of the three bass species. No more than two can be over 15".

 

The exceptions are:

 

►Rivers and streams in counties bordering the Ohio River still have a 12-inch minimum size limit, with an aggregate bag limit of five black bass. Those counties are Clark, Crawford, Dearborn, Floyd, Harrison, Jefferson, Ohio, Perry, Posey, Spencer, Switzerland, Vanderburgh and Warrick.

 

►The Blue River in Crawford, Harrison and Washington counties still has a 12- to 15-inch slot limit and an aggregate bag limit of five black bass, with no more than two being more than 15 inches.

►The minimum size limit on the Ohio River main stem (not bays and tributaries) remains at 12 inches for black bass, with a daily bag limit of six.

 

The changes are in response to public concerns regarding harvest pressure on smallmouth bass that were expressed during the Indiana Natural Resources Commission's comprehensive rule enhancement project.

 

The NRC Advisory Council, Indiana Sportsmen's Roundtable, fishing groups and individual anglers supported a rule change to further restrict the taking of black bass, especially smallmouth, to potentially provide a larger number of bass for anglers in the future. The protection for black bass that are 12- to 15" long is intended to limit harvest of these fish when they have the highest reproductive potential.

 

The new rule does not affect existing regulations on lakes or reservoirs (including Lake Michigan), where black bass must be at least 14" long to be kept. Black bass size and bag limits at specific locations such as state fish & wildlife areas, state forests, national forests and other sites outlined in Indiana Administrative Code 312 9-7-6 also remain unchanged.

 


Bear Lake offers good bluegill fishing

Bear Lake in Noble County has long been a favorite lake among northeast Indiana bluegill anglers, and a fish survey conducted there last summer by DNR biologists confirmed why.  Bear Lake is a 136-acre natural lake located seven miles southwest of Albion.

 

Among all fish caught in last summer’s Bear Lake survey, bluegills ranked first in number and overall weight. Largemouth bass ranked second in number and overall weight. Sport fish made up 93 % of the total catch and 78 percent of the total weight.  But what impressed biologists the most was the percentage of large bluegills.

 

Eight-inch and larger bluegills accounted for 25 percent of adult bluegills. Bluegills that size usually make up only 5 percent of the population in most lakes.   Based on the survey catch, 84 percent of the bluegills in Bear Lake were 7-inch and larger, a size anglers generally consider big enough to eat.

While some area lakes and farm ponds are plagued with small fish, bluegill size at Bear Lake has apparently increased over the past 25 years.

 

Biologists have conducted standard fish population surveys at Bear Lake four times since the 1980s. Each time the percentage of big bluegills has increased.

 

In the most recent survey, biologists used an electrofishing boat, gill nets and trap nets to capture 345 bluegills at Bear Lake during three days of sampling in mid-June 2011. In addition to bluegills and bass, Bear Lake also provides fishing for crappies, perch and bullheads.

Although the DNR stocked northern pike in the lake many years ago, none were found during the latest survey.

 

A DNR public fishing site with a boat ramp is located on the lake’s east side.

 

 


Upper Wabash properties to host kids fishing derbies, June 2
Children ages 2 to 14 are invited to have fun, win prizes, and learn to catch and release fish during fishing derbies on June 2 at Mississinewa and Salamonie lakes, J. Edward Roush Fish & Wildlife Area and Ouabache State Park.

 

The derbies are hosted by Upper Wabash Interpretive Services in recognition of the statewide Free Fishing Weekend. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with fishing from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. An awards ceremony follows.

 

Prizes, bait, and staffing support are being donated by Bozarth’s Campground and Country Store, Peace Pipe Bait, Woody’s Spillway, Riverside Sporting Goods, Indiana Conservation Officers, Bluffton Optimists, Walmart and the Friends of the Upper Wabash Interpretive Services group.  The derbies are free. Participants should register in advance for their derby of choice by calling (260) 468-2127.

“Each participating child goes home with a prize,” Marvin McNew, director of UWIS, said. “There are grand prizes for the largest fish caught and prizes for each of three age categories. Each child can win only one of these large prize packages.”

 

Children will be divided into age categories 2 to 5, 6 to 10, and 11 to 14. Prizes include fishing tackle, tackle boxes, fishing rods and reels, and many other items.

   

Salamonie’s derby will be in the Lost Bridge West Recreation Area. Mississinewa’s derby will be in the Miami Recreation Area. Roush’s derby will be in the Little Turtle Area off Indiana 5.

 

Upper Wabash Interpretive Services is at 3691 S. New Holland Road, Andrews, 46702

 

 


Michigan

DNR offers walleye fishing trip for women on Saginaw Bay June 2

The DNR’ Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program will offer women an opportunity to experience Saginaw Bay walleye fishing on Saturday, June 2, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

All equipment will be provided for this half-day adventure with Captain Jeff Godi of the Michigan-X, Captain Tim Bristol of Fishheads Charters and Captain Dick Donavon of Adventure One. The boats – which each can take four

participants – will depart from Linwood Beach Marina and Campground, located at 135 S. Linwood Beach Road in Linwood.

 

Each participant will need a valid fishing license and will be able to take up to five walleye. The cost is $125 per person and includes lunch and fish cleaning, which will be provided at the marina after fishing. For registration forms and information on this and other BOW events, visit www.michigan.gov/bow, email dnr-outdoors-woman@michigan.gov or call 517-241-2225.


DNR reminds anglers about bait restrictions
The Michigan DNR is
reminding anglers that the use of salmon eggs or minnows for bait is restricted in some waters, as part of a continuing strategy to slow the spread of viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS).

 

Anglers who purchase minnows for bait should make sure they are certified as VHS-free. Certified, disease-free bait is widely available and may be used anywhere for 14 days after purchase. Anglers are reminded to keep their bait receipts with them while they are using purchased bait.  

 

The use of uncertified bait is restricted on where it can be used and can only be used for three days after purchase or collection.  

  • Uncertified bait from the VHSv Free Management Areas can be used anywhere in the state.

  • Uncertified bait from VHSv Surveillance Areas can only be used in VHSv Surveillance or Positive Areas.

  • Uncertified bait from VHSv Positive Areas can only

be used in VHSv Positive Areas and are those waters where VHS has been detected and confirmed.

 

All bait collected by anglers is considered uncertified bait. Information on what waters are in which VHSv Management Areas is in the fishing guide and online at www.michigan.gov/vhs

 

VHS is a viral disease that causes fish to die from internal bleeding and has caused mortalities among a number of species of fish in Michigan waters. The disease has been found in the Michigan waters of lakes Erie, Huron and Superior and has been detected in Lake Michigan, though not in Michigan waters. It has been found in at least two inland lakes – Budd Lake in Clare County and Baseline Lake in Washtenaw County.

 

"At this point, there is no known treatment for VHS," said DNR fish production manager Gary Whelan, who monitors fish diseases for the department. "Our best defense against it is trying to prevent its spread."


Minnesota

MN and N. Dakota High School Fishing State Championships June 23

The Bass Federation will host the 2012 Student Angler Federation (SAF) Minnesota & North Dakota Dual High School Fishing State Championship. The event will be Saturday, June 23, on the Horseshoe Chain of Lakes launching out of the Lions Park Ramp near Cold Spring, Minn.

 

The championship is a two person team event for students in grades 9-12. Registration for anglers and their “coach,” who will provide the boat they compete in, is online at HighSchoolFishing.org.  All teams must check-in Friday,

June 22, from 6-7pm CST at the Lions Park Ramp near Cold Spring, Minn., with a mandatory rules briefing to follow at 7pm CST. We highly encourage all teams to preregister online or by phone in advance to avoid late registration fees.

 

If you’re not an SAF member, there’s a $25/per angler fee, which includes full TBF/FLW Outdoors membership benefits for the year, as well as, free entry to ALL SAF sanctioned events!  Takeoff & Weigh-in: Saturday, June 23, at the Lions Park Boat Ramp on the Horseshoe Chain of Lakes in Cold Spring, MN.


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

 

Report details illegal fishing
Treaty fishing violations involving subsistence and commercial fishing on the Bays de Noc came to conclusions during 2011, according to a report issued this month by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

 

LHS, DNR release 40,000 steelhead to the AuSable River
The Michigan DNR and a group of volunteers from Lake Huron Sportfishing, Inc. worked to help ensure the future of angling on the AuSable River and Lake Huron on May 16.

 

 

The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the GLSFC, its officers or staff. 

Reproduction of any material by paid-up members of the GLSFC is encouraged but appropriate credit must be given. 

Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.

arrowUSFWS Press Releases  arrowSea Grant News

State Fish Pages

Illinois - Indiana - Michigan - Minnesota - Ohio - Pennsylvania - New York - Wisconsin - Ontario

 

Home | Great Lakes States | Membership | Exotics Update | Great Links

Pending Issues | Regional News | Great Lakes Basin Report | Weekly News / Archives