Week of June 16, 2008

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes
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Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

Animal Rights Law Passed in Switzerland

Catch and Release Fishing now Banned

Switzerland has recently passed a law with the intention of clarifying acceptable treatment of “social animals.” The law that goes into effect September first establishes desirable treatment of animals such as dogs, fish, horses, and even rhinoceroses. An array of animals has been included under the bracket of “social animals” and a part of this new law states that any of these animals will be considered abused if they are not able to cohabit with another of their species.

Swiss fisherman will now be required to participate in a course that teaches them how to catch fish humanely. Catch and Release fishing has been banned; instead fishers must now kill the fish immediately after being caught with “a sharp blow to the head with a blunt instrument.”

           

This law affects farmers as well, who are barred from restraining horses, sheep, and goats.

 


National

NOAA Proposes Rule to Require Saltwater Angler Registration

NOAA’s Fisheries Service is seeking comment on a proposed rule that requires anglers and spearfishers who fish recreationally in federal ocean waters to be registered before fishing in 2009.   The rule would also require registration by those who may catch anadromous species anywhere, including striped bass, salmon and shad that spawn in rivers and streams and spend their adult lives in estuaries and the ocean.

 

The proposed rule satisfies the National Academy of Science National Research Council recommendations to establish a national database of saltwater anglers, and meets the requirements under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The proposed rule is a part of a larger initiative of NOAA’s Fisheries Service to improve the quality and accuracy of data on marine recreational fishing and catches.

The registry will also help measure the economic effects of recreational fishing on the national and local economies.

 

“The national registry of saltwater anglers is the key to closing a major gap in information on recreational fishing,” said Jim Balsiger, NOAA acting assistant administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service. “It will help us conduct surveys to get a more complete picture of how recreational fishing by an estimated 14 million people is affecting fish stocks. This will lead to better stock assessments and more effective regulations to rebuild and manage these valuable fish.”

 

NOAA may exempt anglers from registration if they already have a state-issued saltwater fishing license or registration, and the state provides sufficiently complete information to place in the national registry. In certain instances, anglers in states participating in regional surveys of marine recreational fishing may also be exempted. The new rule allows states to apply for exemptions.

States on the West Coast (including Alaska), the Gulf Coast, and the South Atlantic offer saltwater fishing licenses. Hawaii and the states from New Jersey to Maine do not.

 

“States without saltwater licenses have a strong incentive to adopt licenses,” said Balsiger. “Any fee that a state collects though a license can be used for restoration and fishery management in the state. By law, the registry fee taken by NOAA will offset the cost of issuing the registration. It can not be specifically directed to fisheries management.”

 

Fishermen would be required to be registered annually and NOAA will not charge a registration fee in the first two years. Beginning in 2011, the annual fee will be an estimated $15 to $25 per angler. Anglers under the age of 16 would be exempt from registering and fees would be waived for indigenous

people, such as members of federally recognized tribes. NOAA’s Fisheries Service recognizes that many indigenous people fish for food as part of ancient cultural traditions.

 

Anglers who fish only on licensed party, charter, or guide boats would also be exempt, since these vessels are surveyed separately from the angler surveys. Also, persons who hold commercial fishing licenses or permits, and are legally fishing under them, will be exempt from the registration requirement.

 

Registrations will include an angler’s name, address, telephone number, and the regions where fishing is conducted. This information will not be made public; it will be used only by NOAA to conduct surveys.

 

The National Academy of Science’s National Research Council advised NOAA’s Fisheries Service in 2006 to redesign its surveys of recreational fishermen for more accuracy, precision, and transparency. The NRC’s independent scientific review resulted in more than 200 recommendations for improving marine recreational surveys, including the recommendation to establish a national database of saltwater anglers. This recommendation became law in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the primary fisheries law for U.S. ocean waters, which was reauthorized in 2007. Please see www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/mrip for additional information on this effort, the Marine Recreational Information Program.

 

For the last 28 years, NOAA’s Fisheries Service has conducted recreational fishing surveys through random telephone interviews with residents living in coastal counties. NOAA and its regional and state partners conduct an extensive program of dockside interviews of anglers to obtain data on their catch.

 

The national saltwater registry will enable surveyors to interview only those people who fish, and will reach all anglers, not only those who live near the coast. To read the proposed rule, go to www.countmyfish.noaa.gov.

 

Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until Aug. 11. They can be mailed to:

 

John Boreman

Director, Office of Science and Technology

NMFS

1315 East-West Highway

Silver Spring, MD 20910

Attn.: Gordon Colvin

 

Comments can also be submitted electronically at www.regulations.gov.


FWS proposes to expand Hunting/Fishing on Wildlife Refuges

The USFWS last week opened a 30-day public comment period on a proposal to add one national wildlife refuge to the list of areas open for hunting during the 2008-09 season and increase hunting opportunities at six other refuges.

 

The Service today also published a final rule that opens Cape May National Wildlife Refuge (New Jersey) to fishing, makes minor administrative changes, and modifies existing regulations.

 

Initially proposed in July 2006, the hunt program changes were withdrawn because of a lawsuit and subsequent court decision requiring some refuges to revise Environmental Assessments to incorporate cumulative impact analyses.  Refuges named in the lawsuit have completed the revised assessments, as have the seven refuges included in today's proposed rule. 

 

The proposed rule, published in the June 11, 2008 Federal Register, would open Hamden Slough National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota to migratory bird and big-game hunting.  In addition, the rule increases hunting opportunities to include migratory birds and upland game at Agassiz and Blackwater national wildlife refuges, in Minnesota and Maryland, respectively.  At the Whittlesey Creek (Wisconsin) National Wildlife Refuge, big-game hunting would be permitted. 

Hunting opportunities at three refuges in Louisiana (Bayou Cocodrie, Tensas River and Upper Ouachita) would be increased because land has been added to the refuges.  No regulatory changes, however, are proposed for Bayou Cocodrie.  The rule also adds a turkey hunt at Upper Ouachita.

 

The Service also proposes removing Stillwater Wildlife Management Area (Nevada) from the list of areas open for hunting.  The land has reverted to U.S. Bureau of Reclamation management after expiration of a 50-year agreement under which the Service managed the land in partnership with two state agencies.

 

Some of the nation’s finest hunting can be found on national wildlife refuges, as well as excellent opportunities for fishing, wildlife photography, wildlife observation, environmental education and interpretive programs. More than 300 national wildlife refuges currently have hunting programs and more than 270 refuges have fishing programs.

 

To view the final rule, visit: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-12188.pdf  

 

To view the proposed rule, visit: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-12193.pdf  

 

www.fws.gov/news/NewsReleases/showNews.cfm?newsId=7839040F-9455-62F5-625C3CE5F322AD38


NWRA applauds House Subcommittee for proposed increase in Refuge System funding

Washington, DC - The National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA) applauds the House Appropriations subcommittee on Interior,  Environment and Related Agencies for its proposed increase to the annual budget for the National Wildlife Refuge System for Fiscal Year 2009  (FY09). The proposed increase of $35 million would take the operating budget for the Refuge System to $469 million, roughly $4.69 per acre for the 100 million-acre System.

 

"If enacted, this allocation will help the Refuge System regain its footing in achieving its core wildlife conservation and public outreach priorities," said Evan Hirsche, President of the National Wildlife Refuge Association. "Many wildlife and public programs that have been terminated due to inadequate funding will be resurrected."

 

The recommended funding level for FY09 makes national wildlife refuges one of Congress's leading conservation priorities and builds upon the significant $39 million increase approved in FY08.

 

"Because of the remarkable leadership in Chairman Norm

Dicks (WA) and Ranking Member Todd Tiahrt (KS), communities that depend on refuges for economic prosperity and a higher quality of life, will greatly benefit," said Hirsche. "The NWRA expresses special appreciation to all members of the subcommittee for making refuges a priority in the FY09 budget."

 

The Cooperative Alliance for Refuge Enhancement (CARE), chaired by the NWRA, requested $514 million for FY09. Prior to this year's increase, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was forced to implement downsizing plans at refuges calling for a 20% reduction of the workforce nationwide, equating to 565 jobs. The Refuge System needs at least $15 million annually to keep up with the rising costs of inflation and without it; refuges were forced to close, while visitor services were sharply reduced. CARE estimates the NWRS would need at least $765 annually to meet fundamental wildlife conservation and public use mandates.

 

The full House Appropriations Committee House will take up the measure on June 18th after which the proposal will move to the full House.

 


Regional

USCG proposes temporary regulated navigation and safety zone near Romeoville, IL

CLEVELAND - The Coast Guard proposes to establish a temporary regulated navigation area and safety zone on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal near Romeoville, IL.  This proposed regulated navigation area and safety zone places navigational and operational restrictions on all vessels transiting through the electric dispersal barrier IIA.

 

Click here for a complete copy of the proposal: Regulated Navigation Area and Safety Zone, Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, Romeoville, IL Docket No. USCG-2008-0470

 

http://piersystem.com/posted/443/USCG_2008_0470_RNA

_and_SAFETY_ZONE.206301.pdf

 

Comments and related material concerning the proposed 

regulation must be submitted to the Coast Guard on or before June 27, 2008. You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number USCG-2008-0470 to the Docket Management Facility at the U.S. Department of Transportation. 

 

To avoid duplication, use only one of the following methods:

► ON-LINE: www.regulation.gov

► MAIL: Docket Mgmt Facility (M-30), U.S. DOT, West Bldg Ground Floor, Rm W12-140, 1200 New jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, D.C. 20590-0001

► FAX: 202-493-2251

If you have questions on this proposed rule, contact Cmdr. Tim Cummins, Deputy Prevention Division, Ninth Coast Guard District, telephone 216-902-6045. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact  Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for June 13, 2008

Weather Conditions

A very active weather pattern brought numerous slow moving systems through the Great Lakes basin this week, with very heavy rain reported across Wisconsin and Michigan.  Milwaukee, WI has recorded almost 10 inches of rain already this month.   The Great Lakes as a whole have seen above average precipitation to date in June.  Still another slow moving frontal system is poised to bring more heavy rain to the Great Lakes Thursday and into Friday.  A chance of showers and thunderstorms also exists for the weekend.

 

Lake Level Conditions

All of the Great Lakes are higher than they were at this time last year. Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 15 and 3 inches higher, respectively.  Lakes St. Clair and Erie are 2 inches above last year's levels, while Lake Ontario is 8 inches higher.  Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are projected to rise 3 and 2 inches, respectively, over the next month.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are forecasted to fall 2 to 4 inches during the next 30 days.  Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are predicted to stay above last year's water levels through November.  Lakes St. Clair and Erie will remain near last year's levels over the next several months, while Lake Ontario is predicted to remain higher than last year's level.  See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions

Outflows from the St. Mary's, St. Clair, and Detroit Rivers were below average for May.  The outflows through the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers were above average.

 

Alerts

Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels.  Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for June 13

 

601.4

 

578.0

 

574.3

 

572.0

 

246.8

Datum, in ft

 

601.1

 

577.5

 

572.3

 

569.2

 

243.3

Diff in inches

 

 +3

 

+5

 

+24

 

+33

 

+41

Diff last month

 

+4

 

 +5

 

+2

 

-2

 

-4

Diff from last yr

 

+15

 

+3

 

+2

 

+2

 

+8


Carp Corral/Goby Roundup resumes in the Illinois Waterway

New transmitter technology allows real-time tracking of Asian carp movements

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its federal, state and regional partners, including Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, will resume annual search efforts in the Illinois Waterway from the Chicago suburbs to near Havana, Ill., for three species of invasive fish, as well as for lethal fish pathogens.

 

During the 13th annual “Carp Corral/Goby Roundup,” biologists will estimate the relative abundance and upstream distribution of bighead carp and silver carp—two types of Asian carps—and chart the downstream range of the round goby.

 

This year the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers will also be working with the USFWS to expand an existing monitoring study of Asian carp movements to an upstream portion of the Illinois Waterway.  Bighead and silver carp captured here will be implanted with ultrasonic transmitter tags and then released in order to detect the proximity of these fish to the Aquatic Nuisance Species Dispersal Barrier in Romeoville.  The USACE will use information from this tagging study to develop a long-term monitoring plan that will evaluate the effectiveness of the electric barrier.

 

Interconnected man-made channels and natural rivers of the Illinois Waterway System in metropolitan Chicago provide a direct link for water-borne movement of non-native aquatic nuisance species between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins.  Together these watersheds encompass parts of 31 states and four Canadian provinces. 

 

Sampling will cover nearly 200 miles, more than half the length of the Illinois Waterway, from Alsip downstream to Havana. Round goby are most abundant and likely to be seen at upstream sample sites like Alsip and Lockport while bighead and leaping silver carp are more common and likely to be encountered at a downstream area like LaSalle-Peru, Morris or Havana. 

 

The potential economic and environmental impacts of Asian carp, round goby, fish disease pathogens and other invasive species like zebra mussels are widespread and significant.  The “Carp Corral/Goby Roundup” surveillance effort is critical in determining whether Asian carp have moved upstream of an electrical barrier near Romeoville, Ill., toward Lake 

Michigan, and whether round goby have made their way farther downstream toward the Mississippi River.

 

“Invasive Asian carp can upset the natural balance of aquatic ecosystems, and in addition, the silver carp can actually leap high out of the water and may collide with anglers, boaters, water skiers, or others who recreate on rivers, posing a serious safety hazard to all,” said Pam Thiel, project leader for the Service’s La Crosse, Wis., National Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office and coordinator of the “Carp Corral/Goby Round Up.” 

 

An electrical fish barrier near Romeoville in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal--designed to prevent and slow the spread of nonindigenous aquatic species--has been operational since 2002.  This experimental prototype consists of a single array of 14 electrodes.  One of the electrodes failed soon after installation.  The 13 remaining electrodes are still functional but are wearing out due to corrosion.

 

Construction of a permanent barrier is complete just downstream from the prototype. University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute’s Dr. Phil Moy, co-chair of the Dispersal Barrier Advisory Panel, explained, “The new barrier has 46 electrodes, has the capability to operate at higher voltage to more effectively repel small fish, and has five- by five-inch steel bar electrodes with a design life of 20 years.”  It is hoped that the new barrier will become fully operational later in 2008. 

 

Biologists found one bighead carp 15 miles below the electrical barrier in 2007, about 50 miles from Lake Michigan.  To date no bighead or silver carp have been collected above the barrier.  However, reproducing populations of bighead and silver carp have expanded from lower portions of the Illinois River to as far upstream as the Starved Rock Lock and Dam near Utica.

 

Native to large rivers of Asia, bighead and silver carp were brought to the United States in the early 1970s and began appearing in public waterways in the early 1980s.  These species feed on plankton (microscopic plants and animals), consuming three to five times their body weight per day and can reach weights of more than 80 pounds.  A 92-pound bighead carp was recently captured in the Illinois River while bow-fishing.  Asian carps compete for food with larval and juvenile fish, as well as adult paddlefish, gizzard shad, bigmouth buffalo and native mussels.


IJC holding hearing on Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River levels

The IJC is holding public hearings throughout the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence region in June 2008.   The IJC is opting for Plan 2007 for regulation of water levels and flows for Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, claiming the proposed new Order is the best option that can be developed at this time, given the requirements of the Boundary Waters Treaty and the goals set by the two federal governments when the Project was developed in the 1950s.

 

Conservation group claims include the IJC Plan 2007 mirrors the current 50 year old plan.  Plan 2007 represents ‘business as usual’ for the Lake and River environment, and is therefore an unacceptable direction for the region.

Specifically, Plan 2007:

►Fails to provide critical access to fish spawning grounds during breeding season

►Fails to provide access for over-wintering mammals that are essential for wetland health

►Fails to provide the natural variability necessary for improved wetland biodiversity

 

Conservation groups from New York are opting for Plan B+, including The Lake Ontario Fisheries Coalition, Save The River and many others including NYS Governor Paterson, NYS DEC and Congressman John McHugh.   Plan B+ supports environmental that has been seriously neglected while not damaging hydro, commercial, shoreline or recreational interests.

 

Despite overwhelming public and scientific support, the IJC has rejected the environmentally responsible choice for the Lake and River – Plan B+.  The IJC needs to hear from you that another damaging management plan for the region is unacceptable. Keep in mind the national river advocacy group American Rivers named the St. Lawrence River one of the Top Ten Most Endangered Rivers in the U.S. this spring.

For more info go to: www.ijc.org/rel/news/2008/080328_e.htm

 

All meetings are 7-9 PM; seven remain:

June 17, 2008: Montréal, QC

Botanical Garden, 4101 rue Sherbrook Est

 

June 18, 2008: Sorel-Tracy, QC

Auberge de la rive, 165 chemin Sainte-Anne

 

June 19, 2008: Massena, NY

Quality Inn, 10 West Orvis Street

 

June 23, 2008: Belleville, ON

Banquet Centre, 1 Alhambra Square

 

June 24, 2008: Kingston, ON

City Hall, 216 Ontario Street

 

June 25, 2008: Alexandria Bay, NY

Bonnie Castle Resort, 31 Holland Street

 

June 26, 2008: Oswego, NY

American Foundry, 246 West Seneca Street

 

The IJC will accept written comment until July 11, 2008.

 

U.S. Section

The Secretary, U.S. Section, IJC

2401 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Fourth Floor

Washington, DC 20440

 

Canadian Section

The Secretary, Canadian Section, IJC

234 Laurier Avenue West, 22nd Floor

Ottawa ON K1P 6K6

 

Or by E-mail - comment@ottawa.ijc.org


General

USFWS launches new quarterly magazine

“Eddies: Reflections on Fisheries Conservation”

Eddies highlights the aquatic conservation work of the Service’s Fisheries Program and its partners. Eddies is written for audiences not necessarily trained in science, but with a keen interest in science, natural history, fishing, nature, and aquatic conservation. Inside the pages of Eddies, readers will find compelling stories in fisheries conservation – how the Service resolved or seeks to resolve conservation challenges– and exactly what resolution means for our aquatic resources and the American people.

 

Eddies is a key component of the Service’s efforts to better communicate with the American public. Eddies is a full-color magazine. You can read it online, subscribe to email alerts or print copies, all at www.fws.gov/eddies

 

Included in the inaugural issue are stories on recreational fishing and endangered species recovery with a glance at the past, as well as the use of science and technology today and in the future – subjects that will recur in each issue. Readers will learn about the aesthetic and intrinsic values of fish and fishing, the value of fish habitat conservation at its deepest level, and about how anglers have quietly provided more than $5 billion for aquatic conservation efforts across the country.

 

“Fish and fishing anchor people to place,” says Assistant

Director for Fisheries and Habitat Conservation, Gary Frazer. “Eddies anchors its readers to the future of fisheries conservation in the U.S. Perhaps our greatest gift to the future is to do our best right now – and that’s what Eddies is about – communicating to those we serve and to those we work alongside.”

 

Responsibilities of the Fisheries Program have grown in the past 137 years to cover a diverse range of stewardship activities – from endangered species recovery to restoration of aquatic fish habitats. Recreational anglers and the boating and fishing industry form the core of the Program’s partners and remain steadfast in their shared commitment with the Service’s conservation mission.

 

Eddies seeks to strengthen our connections with this important constituency and speak to the increasingly diverse population of American people. In the end, Eddies seeks the engagement of its readers in conserving America’s fisheries.

 

Eddies is a full-color magazine. You can read it online, subscribe to email alerts or print copies, all at www.fws.gov/eddies

 

For more information on Eddies, contact Craig Springer, editor at 505 248-6867 or email him at craig_springer@fws.gov.


2nd Amendment issues

BB Gun Shooting Poster Series Now Available

The Civilian Marksmanship Program has just released a series of eight 11" x 17" marksmanship in­structional posters for use by instructors and coaches who are teaching BB gun marks­manship to youth. 

  

The poster series highlights the most important teaching points for getting young BB gun shooters started in four-position marksmanship.   Poster top­ics are:  1) Safe BB Gun Shooting, 2) Firing the Shot, 3) Supported Posi­tion, 4) 

Standing Position, 5) Proper Sling Use, 6) Prone Position, 7)Kneel­ing Position and 8) Sitting Position.  The full-color posters are designed so that they can be used in presenting instruction or they can be posted on the range.  The CMP BB Gun Shooting Poster Series can be ordered from the CMP for $9.95 for the set of eight posters.   Ask for NLU #746.  Shipping is included in the price. 

 

 Visit www.odcmp.com/Programs/publications.htm  to view CMP Publications and download order information.


New/Improved Facilities await 2008 National Matches competitors

Several new Camp Perry facilities, building renovations and facility improvements are now in their fin­ishing stages and will be ready when 2008 National Matches competitors, volunteers and visitors begin to arrive in early July.  Among these new or revitalized facilities are an 80-point CMP air gun 

range, an expanded National Guard electronic skills trainer, a bathhouse to support RV and tent camping, a new Shooters Memorial Plaza, a new speaker system for the Viale Range pits, CMP Store renovations and major renovations to CMP administrative facilities in its Camp Perry headquarters building. New beach cottages also are under construction, but will not be finished in time for the National Matches.


Illinois

DNR announces summer Urban Fishing Clinics

Clinics provide free fishing instruction and fun for kids - “Access to Fishing” gear also available

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Youngsters are invited to learn to fish and have a great time outdoors this summer by attending a free Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Urban Fishing Program fishing clinic, planned for more than 40 locations throughout the state. 

 

In addition to the fishing clinics, the IDNR provides fishing opportunities to anglers of all ages through the popular “Access to Fishing” initiative in which fishing gear can be borrowed at dozens of locations statewide.

 

“Our free Urban Fishing Clinics have been a big hit for years, and have helped introduce thousands of kids to the fun of fishing each summer,” said IDNR Acting Director Sam Flood.  “Experience tells us that once young people get some basic instruction, get a chance to fish, and feel a tug on the line, they are hooked on fishing.”

 

The free Urban Fishing Program clinics are targeted toward children ages 16 and younger, but anyone interested in learning basic fishing techniques may attend.

 

“During the past 23 years, the Urban Fishing Program has evolved into one of the more popular programs we offer,” said IDNR Southern Illinois Program Coordinator Mark Yehling.  “Each year, thousands of children take advantage of the program and learn the basics of fishing and get a chance to experience Illinois’ wonderful outdoors.”

 

Fishing clinic instructors present information on fish and other aquatic life, rules and regulations for fishing, as well as basic instruction on baiting a hook, tying a knot, casting, and how to handle and return fish to the water.  As part of each clinic, participants are provided with rods, reels, bait and tackle for

90 minutes of catch-and-release fishing.

 

Urban Fishing Clinics are presented on weekdays during the late spring and summer months.  In addition to the scheduled clinics outlined below, fishing clinics can also be arranged for scouts, seniors, civic clubs and groups with special needs.

 

Science and physical education teachers interested in starting a fishing program in their schools can also contact the IDNR Urban Fishing Coordinator in their area to get more information.

 

“We hope that the positive experience the program provides will encourage kids to take up fishing as a great way to spend time in the outdoors,” Yehling said.

 

The Illinois Urban Fishing Program was introduced in Chicago in 1985 to teach individuals of all ages to fish, to provide better local fishing opportunities, and to give participants an understanding of and a greater appreciation for natural resources.  The backbone of the program consists of the free summer fishing clinics that include fishing at nearby stocked ponds.  Urban Fishing Program coordinators also hold non-fishing Conservation Education Programs and visit schools during the fall, winter, and spring to teach and promote fishing and the appreciation of natural resources.

 

The IDNR Access to Fishing program provides loaner fishing gear to anglers of all ages.  The loan program provides the opportunity to borrow rods, reels and tackle packs.  Participating loaner locations include many public libraries, park and forest preserve districts, bait shops, recreation departments and other locations.  A list of sites offering access to fishing gear is available by checking the web site at www.ifishillinois.org or by phoning the IDNR Urban Fishing Program at 217/782-6424.


Newest high school competition – Bass Tournaments

Illinois high schools have approved a new interscholastic competition for high schoolers – bass fishing. Sectional

qualifiers and finals will take place in April and May of 2009. Schools may enter up to two boats with three anglers per boat, though only two can fish at a time.


Michigan

DNR Offers Lake Fishing Workshop for Women

The DNR Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program announced a few slots remain for an inland lake fishing workshop for women 18 and older, June 21-22, in the beautiful Crystal Falls/Iron River area of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

 

This is an advanced level Beyond BOW workshop. Participants will meet at DNR Field Office in Crystal Falls at 6:30 a.m. each day for transport to an area lake. Saturday’s

fishing will target panfish and bass. On Sunday, participants will travel to a different lake to fish for walleye. A Michigan fishing license is required.

 

The workshop fee is $75 and enrollment is limited to six participants. The registration form is available online at www.michigan.gov/bow , and participants can obtain additional information from Sharon Pitz at the DNR Marquette Operations Service Center at (906) 228-6561.


DNR/Nature Conservancy Finalize Easement for more than 36,000 Acres in U.P.

The Michigan DNR and The Nature Conservancy have finalized the fourth phase of the 271,338-acre Northern Great Lakes Forest Project in which the DNR is acquiring a conservation easement and public access rights in the Upper Peninsula. This fourth phase involves completion of a conservation easement protecting 36,716 acres in a project that stretches across seven U.P. counties from the Tahquamenon River west to the Porcupine Mountains.

 

The DNR received a $3,540,000 grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and a $1.97 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Legacy Program to acquire the conservation easement and public access rights to the land from The Nature Conservancy. The project represents the largest conservation corridor in the Midwest and prevents land fragmentation. The project encompasses more than 68 lakes, including 17 that are over 10 acres in size; 21.5 miles of Class I trout streams; approximately 3,344

acres of the Two Hearted River watershed; 1,357 acres of forested wetlands; and 708 acres of emergent shrub wetlands.

 

The overall project will include purchase of a working forest conservation easement on approximately 248,000 acres and acquisition by The Nature Conservancy of 23,338 acres in the Two Hearted River watershed in Luce County.

 

Under the conservation easements, the forest lands will be managed as a working forest to protect timber and tourism jobs. An annual plan and meeting with the easement holder are required under the easement agreements. The easements also will enhance the legal rights of the public to access the land for outdoor recreation. The land will remain open for hunting, fishing, hiking, snowmobiling, horseback-riding and non-motorized mountain biking along designated trails. Non-motorized boating and canoeing also will be permitted.


Ohio

HP Limits raised on wildlife area lakes in Knox, Williams, Defiance and Vinton counties

COLUMBUS, OH - Boaters and anglers are reminded that horsepower regulations on several state wildlife area lakes will increase on July 1.

 

Beginning July 1, boats with motors greater than 10 horsepower will be allowed on Knox Lake in Knox County, Lake La Su An in Williams County, Oxbow Lake in Defiance County and Rupert Lake in Vinton County as long as they are operated at idle speed.

 

In addition, new regulations will allow gasoline motors with ratings of 10 horsepower or less to operate on Zepperneck Lake in Columbiana County, as well as Greenfield and Rockmill lakes in Fairfield County. Only electric motors were allowed on these lakes previously.

 

Another administrative rule taking effect on July 1 will allow the

Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Watercraft to issue "contingent registrations" to boaters when there are situations that would delay the registration process.  These registrations would be free of charge and allow the boater to get out on the water while the division conducts the reviews required to issue a standard registration. 

 

State watercraft officers may also issue "contingent registration" tags for newly purchased watercraft operating under the state's "bill-of-sale" provisions. These provisions grant a new owner permission to operate a boat without Ohio numbers for a period of either 30 or 45 days following purchase in order to allow time for title and other transfer documents to be processed.

 

Contingent registration tags are good for 15 days from the date of application or until the "bill-of-sale" provision ends. The decision to issue a contingent registration lies solely with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft.


Wisconsin

Walleye bag limits will increase on some northern lakes

MADISON – Daily walleye bag limits will increase June 13 on 258 lakes in the Wisconsin Ceded Territory to reflect spring spearing harvest by six Wisconsin bands of Chippewa Indians.

 

A daily bag limit of two walleye will increase to three walleye per day on 93 lakes. In addition, 165 lakes will go from an initial bag limit of two or three walleyes per day to the state daily bag limit of five, according to Joe Hennessy, who coordinates the treaty fisheries management program for the DNR. Anglers should consult the 2008-09 Guide to Wisconsin Hook and Line Fishing Regulations, signs at boat landings, and the 2008-2009 Revised Ceded Territory Walleye Bag Limits pamphlet for lake-specific information.

 

“This is good news for sport anglers and for local and state economies” said DNR Secretary Matthew Frank. “Increasing bag limits after the spring spearing season -- the time when Chippewa bands make most of their yearly harvest -- gives sport anglers more opportunities and more reasons to head north for a great day of fishing on Wisconsin waters while

assuring that the tribes maintain their harvest rights.”

 

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. To assure the combined tribal and recreational angler harvest does not exceed a sustainable level, the state sets recreational bag limits in lakes declared for harvest by the Chippewa bands.

 

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.

 

Of the 152 lakes with bag limits less than five, one lake will have a bag limit of one walleye per day, 66 lakes will have a bag limit of two walleye per day, and 85 lakes will have a daily bag of three walleye per day. The six Chippewa tribes together declared a harvest of 51,683 walleye for 2008 and had harvested 27,856 as of May 19, 2008.


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