Week of June 25, 2007

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World

Saskatchewan Boasts World-Record Rainbow Trout

REGINA:  Saskatchewan’s status as a premier North American destination for fresh water fishing was just re-established by the June 6, 2007 catch of a world record rainbow trout in Lake Diefenbaker, located in the province’s southwest.

 

Caught by Adam Konrad of Saskatoon, the record breaker weighed in at 43.6 lbs, with a length of 38.75" and a girth of 34".  The previous world record, weighing 43.2 lbs, was caught in Alaska in 1970.  The fish was caught on a Mepps Syclops spoon and ANDE line. The rod was a Rhino Indestructible and the reel was an ABU Garcia Ambassador reel. The fish was landed on

six pound test...an incredible feat in itself.

 

Konrad and his twin brother Sean have made past news headlines, breaking the provincial rainbow trout record three times last July with catches weighing 28.39 lbs, 30 lbs and 33.3 lbs.  By fall, the brothers smashed their own record with a 34.5 lb catch.  In the past two fishing seasons, the Konrads have reportedly caught and released back into Lake Diefenbaker more than 200 rainbow trout exceeding 20 lbs and at least a dozen more weighing over 30 lbs.

 

Recreational anglers spend an estimated $200 million annually in Saskatchewan.  The province is home to 100,000 lakes, boasts an abundance of species and offers some of the most unique fishing environments in Canada.


National

Ruffe Surveillance activity

June 2007 FWS report shows limited expansion

The USFWS reports along the south shore of Lake Superior, surveillance activity confirmed a major Ruffe expansion 226 km east of Marquette Harbor, Michigan, the previous eastern boundary of the Ruffe range. An Ashland FRO crew captured one adult Ruffe near Grand Marais, Michigan, 120 km east of Marquette Harbor. The MIDNR confirmed one adult Ruffe captured by an angler in Little Lake Harbor, Michigan, 167 km east of Marquette Harbor.

 

The Ashland FRO confirmed two adult Ruffe captured by an angler in the Tahquamenon River estuary, a tributary on the west shore of Whitefish Bay, 226 km east of Marquette Harbor and 55 km west of the Soo Locks. The OMNR confirmed that Ruffe span the entire length (13 km) of Thunder Bay Harbor of Thunder Bay, Ontario, the eastern boundary of the Ruffe range along the north shore. OMNR also reported that a commercial fisherman captured three adult Ruffe in a 120 mm (4.75 inches) stretch mesh gill net near the Welcome Islands in

Thunder Bay, 3.5 km east of the Mission River estuary. OMNR also captured one adult Ruffe 42 km upriver from the mouth of the Kaministiquia River, a tributary of Thunder Bay Harbor.

 

In Lake Huron, no Ruffe have been captured since 2003 and their status is uncertain.

 

In Lake Michigan, no Ruffe were reported from new locations or Big Bay de Noc, where they were first detected in 2004. However, MIDNR captured a total of 40 Ruffe from Little Bay de Noc, 18 more than were captured there in 2005. Little Bay de Noc and Big Bay de Noc of Green Bay continue to comprise the Ruffe range in Lake Michigan.

 

Ruffe remain undetected in the Lower Great Lakes, and in all inland lakes and streams within the Great Lakes Basin.

The following report summarizes Ruffe surveillance and other reported fish sampling capable of incidentally capturing Ruffe on the periphery and outside of the detected range of Ruffe in the Great Lakes Basin during 2006.


U.S. Weighs Reducing Spotted Owl Habitat

GRANTS PASS, OR (AP)  -- The Bush administration last week proposed cutting 1.5 million acres from Northwest forests in proximity to the northern spotted owl, reopening the 1990s battle between timber production and wildlife habitat on public lands.

 

The owl, which became a symbol of the decline of the Northwest's timber industry, was contentiously declared a threatened species in 1990 due primarily to heavy logging in the old growth forests where it nests and feeds. Recent research has noted that while old growth forests suitable for owl habitat have increased, owl numbers have continued to decline, and that the owl faces a new threat from a cousin, the

barred owl, that has been invading its territory - not from any

human activity.

 

The proposal by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was published in the Federal Register. It calls for cutting critical habitat for the owl from the 6.9 million acres designated in 1992 to 5.4 million acres.

 

Under court order, timber production on national forests in Washington, Oregon and Northern California was cut by more than 80 % in 1994 to protect owl habitat, contributing to mill closures and many job losses that were particularly painful in rural areas with no other industry. Those rural areas continue to struggle.


Americans Spent $120 Billion on Recreation in 2006, USFWS reports

 In 2006, more than 87 million Americans, or 38 % of the United States' population age 16 and older hunted, fished or observed wildlife. They spent $120 billion that year pursuing those activities - an amount roughly equal to Americans' total spending at all spectator sports, casinos, motion pictures, golf courses and country clubs, amusement parks and arcades combined.

 

"This very important survey shows in real economic terms the impact that wildlife has on the nation's economy, but simply talking about dollars and cents doesn't fully capture the importance of wildlife to our nation. Wildlife related recreation rejuvenates our spirit and gets us outside pursuing healthy activities," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director H. Dale Hall. "Americans should be proud that the outdoor tradition continues to be such a prevalent part of our lives."

 

Data from the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation shows the importance of wildlife-related recreation to the American people. Of all Americans age 16 or older,

 

►30 million or 13 % fished and spent $41 billion on their activities,

►12.5 million or 5 % hunted and spent $23 billion, and

►71 million or 31 % observed wildlife and spent $45 billion.

 

The National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation has been conducted every 5 years since 1955 and is one of the nation’s most important wildlife recreation databases. It is considered to be the definitive source of information concerning participation and expenditures associated with hunting, fishing and other forms of wildlife recreation nationwide.

 

"This expenditure of $120 billion highlights the benefits of these activities on national and state economies," said research analysts. "It is roughly equivalent to one out of every one hundred dollars of goods and services produced in our economy. And much of this activity occurs in places which rely significantly on wildlife-related recreation expenditures for their economic well being."

The preliminary data shows decreases in both angling and hunting participation from 1996 to 2006. In 1996, 35.2 million anglers fished compared to 34.1 million in 2001 and 30.0 million in 2006, representing a 15 % decline in participation of the ten year span. "Participation levels in 2006 were likely reduced due to several factors: higher gas prices, hurricanes, the increasing age of baby boomers, and continuing urbanization," said Leonard.

 

Anglers spent $40.6 billion last year, which is similar to 2001 but 16 % lower than 1996. While overall spending -- including trips, fishing equipment, special equipment, and other related items -- was flat from 2001 to 2006, spending on fishing equipment such as rods and reels and travel-related items such as food and lodging were up.

 

For hunting, there was a 10 % decline in participation from 1996 to 2006. In 1996, 14.0 million Americans hunted compared to 13.0 million in 2001 and 12.5 million in 2006. Hunters spent $22.7 billion last year, 3 % lower than 2001 and 14 % lower than 1996. Similar to fishing, while overall spending was down, expenditures on hunting equipment such as rifles and ammunition were up 3 % since 2001.

 

After losing ground in the early 1990s, wildlife-related activities such as bird watching and photography increased 13 % over the last decade. In 1996, 62.9 million Americans observed wildlife; 66.1 million did so in 2001, and 71.1 million in 2006. Wildlife watchers spending increased 19 %, from $37.5 billion in 1996, $43.7 billion in 2001 to $44.7 billion last year.

 

It is important to note that the National Survey is a snapshot for the specific year in which it is conducted and does not necessarily represent the total number of anglers, hunters, and wildlife watchers in the U.S. because they do not consistently participate every year. For example, examination of survey data shows that over the five year period from 2002 to 2006, cumulatively over 44.4 million fished and 18.6 million hunted. However, this information serves as a valuable tool to gauge general trends in the participation of Americans in wildlife related activities and related expenditures.  Report: http://library.fws.gov/nat_survey2006.pdf.

 


Regional

FWS Biologists implant trackers in Asian carp

MARSEILLES (AP) — Greg Conover scraped away some of the fish’s belly scales and made a smooth 2” incision, declaring that this particular 3-ft, 20-lb bighead carp was one of the lucky ones. It and other species of invasive Asian carp that have overrun the Illinois and Mississippi rivers, after all, don’t often make it back to the water once they’ve been in contact with man.

 

Considered a scourge by fish biologists like Conover and anglers alike, many carp have flopped their last on the decks of boats, only to be unceremoniously tossed back overboard. But not this monster, now known as No. 1047 to Conover and his teammates — which over the next two years will help scientists learn more about the behavior of Asian carp and, perhaps, prevent the species from invading the Great Lakes.

 

After Conover, USFWS Assistant Project leader Marion, IL cut into the fish, he inserted a mini sonic transmitter that emits a signal once every 30 seconds to one minute.

Receivers submerged every eight miles in the Illinois River from near Peoria to Joliet will pick up the signal and relay it back to biologists and other scientists studying the carps’ movement toward the Great Lakes, providing previously undocumented details of how quickly the fish are migrating northward.

 

Conover said bighead and silver carp are invasive species with the potential to disrupt food chains and native ecosystems. Silver carp also can jump 10 feet out of the water, behavior that has injured boaters and jet-skiers.

 

Conover and fellow fish biologist Nate Caswell, n, tagged 30 bighead and silver carp one week this spring from two Illinois River pools near what is thought to be the species’ current northernmost reach: the Starved Rock and Marseilles pools in LaSalle County.  A fin also was tagged with an orange marker to notify fishermen who may catch it to release it.

 


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for June 22, 2007

Lake Level Conditions:

Lake Superior is presently 13 inches below its level of a year ago, while Lake Michigan-Huron and St. Clair are 2 inches lower than it was at this time last year.  Lake Erie is an inch below its level of a year ago, but Lake Ontario is 4 inches higher than it was last year.  Lakes Superior is predicted to rise 2 inches over the next 30 days.  Lake Michigan-Huron is expected to hold steady.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are projected to drop 2 to 3 inches over the next month. During the next few months, Lake Superior is forecasted to remain well below its water level of a year ago, while the lower lakes are expected to be similar or below last year’s levels. 

 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

Outflow from the St. Marys River is predicted to be well below average for June. Flows through the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are also predicted to be lower than average this month. Flow in the Niagara River is expected to be above average, while flow in the St. Lawrence River is forecasted to be below average.

 

Alerts:

Due to abnormally dry conditions on the Lake Superior basin

over the last several months, | Lake Superior ’s water level is currently below chart datum and is expected to remain below datum over the next six months.  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 22

600.2

577.7

574.0

571.7

246.0

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

-10

+3

+21

+30

+32

Diff last month

+4

+1

-2

-4

-3

Diff from last yr

-13

-2

-2

-1

+4

 


Lake Huron

Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw Rescues 2 Canoers

CHEBOYGAN, Mich. -- Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw and Coast Guard Station St. Ignace rescued two people after their canoe was overturned by 25 knot winds on June 19.

 

Two 21-year-olds were canoeing in the South Channel of Lake Huron when they were overpowered by strong westerly winds and overturned into the water approximately two miles away from the Mackinaw.   The Mackinaw's crew received a call at 1:35 p.m. from Station St. Ignace that a woman reported that two of her children, both wearing life jackets, were adrift offshore, had turned over their canoe and were barely in sight.  

 

Cutter Mackinaw's crew set its rescue and assistance bill and

immediately launched its small boat to search for the pair.  The crew also deployed two shore side teams with marine radios and emergency medical equipment to vector the small boat to the waterborne pair.

The small boat crew located the two and safely brought them aboard.  The pair were transferred to a 47-ft patrol boat from Coast Guard Station St. Ignace where they were then transported to awaiting Emergency Medical Services at the Cheboygan County Marina. 

 

The pair were in the water for approximately one hour and are being treated at Cheboygan Memorial Hospital for hypothermia.

 


 

Lake Michigan

Coast Guard rescues boater from Lake Michigan

INDIANA HARBOR, Ind. -- The Coast Guard rescued one person and a good Samaritan rescued two after their small boat submerged near Indiana Harbor at approximately 3:00 p.m. on June 21.

 

A boat crew from Station Calumet Harbor and a flight crew from Coast Guard Air Facility Waukegan were diverted from a training mission to assist Sean Malone after he swam to the breakwall in the harbor. Good Samaritan, Chuck Weiss, assisted the other two people in the water to safety onboard

his 25-foot pleasure craft.  

 

The Coast Guard rescue helicopter hoisted Malone from the breakwall to the helicopter, then transferred him to the Station Calumet Harbor 41-foot small boat.  The Coast Guard and the Good Samaritan then transferred the three men to shore at the East Chicago Marina.

 

For further information, please contact Petty Officer Matthew Schofield, a Ninth Coast Guard District spokesman at (216) 310-2608.


Michigan

Legislature to hold hearing on License Fee Increases June 25

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Natural Resources will hold a public hearing on the proposed hunting and fishing license fee

increases at 4 p.m. Monday, June 25, at the St. Ignace Public Library located at 110 W. Spruce St. in St. Ignace.

Natural Resources Commission Chair Keith Charters of Traverse City and NRC members Frank Wheatlake of Reed City and John Madigan from Munising will be present, along with legislators from the subcommittee. The public is invited to attend the hearing on the fee increases. An opportunity to testify before the subcommittee will be offered to those attending.


Fish Flies Return to Michigan Shorelines

They're swarmy and stinky, and they're sticking around longer. Fish flies have invaded the shorelines of Lake St. Clair, the Detroit and St. Clair rivers, and points beyond. Known

elsewhere as May flies, the bugs emerged from the rivers and lakes around June 1 and are expected to hang around for six weeks.


Ohio

Over 9 million Walleye stocked into Ohio waters

COLUMBUS, OH - A recently completed stocking of more than 9,100,000 fish in state waterways by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife will provide anglers with many great fishing opportunities in future years. 

 

Fifty-five reservoirs around Ohio each received a share of 7,800,000 fingerling saugeye; more than 1,300,000 fingerling walleye were stocked into an additional 15 lakes.  Fish were stocked from mid-May through the first week of June.

 

Saugeye are a hybrid cross between a female walleye and a male sauger.  These hardy hybrids obtain consistently better survival rates than walleye and have replaced walleye stockings in many reservoirs to provide better fishing opportunities.  Saugeye fishing is a year-round pursuit and is productive in many lakes, as well as in the tailwaters below

dams.

 

Saugeye were stocked in a number of popular fishing spots, including Alum Creek Reservoir, Hoover Reservoir, Deer Creek Lake, Buckeye Lake, and Indian Lake in central Ohio. C. J. Brown Reservoir at Buck Creek State Park in southwest Ohio, and Berlin and Mosquito reservoirs in northeast Ohio were some of the more popular locations stocked with walleye. 

 

Adult saugeye and walleye can be caught with both artificial and live bait.  Jigs tipped with minnows or night crawlers and night crawler harnesses probably account for most of the inland saugeye and walleye caught by anglers.  Another popular and effective method is to troll shad-imitating crankbaits, especially during the late spring to early-summer months.


Ohio youth archer is champion at National Tournament

Ohio sends 10 teams to National Invitational in Kentucky

COLUMBUS, OH – Devin Osborn, 14, of Maysville School in Muskingum County placed first among middle school boys at the inaugural Archery in the Schools (NASP) National Invitational Tournament, held on June 9 in Kentucky. Twenty states were represented, with 1,577 students participating.

 

Osborn shot 16 “bulleyes” or “10s” and mounted an overall score of 284 in an especially impressive performance. He was in a tie for first place at the end of the regular round.  He emerged from a subsequent “shoot off” as the first-ever Middle School Male National Champion.

 

Maysville also produced two other significant individual finishes, with Matt Good, 17, finishing second in the Individual High School Male Division and Marianne Arnold, 13, taking

fourth place in the Individual Middle School Female Category.

 

In Ohio team standings, Maysville Elementary finished third in the National Elementary Division and also won the tournament’s Spirit Award.  Maysville 6-12 School took second in the National High School Division.  All three Ohio elementary teams participating, Meigs Intermediate (Meigs County), Granville Intermediate (Licking County), and Maysville Middle School (Muskingum County) finished in the top 10.  In all, 10 Ohio teams participated in the tournament, with approximately 200 students shooting.  Only Kentucky, where the NASP was established, fielded more teams.

 

The NASP program teaches target archery right in the school gym to elementary, middle, and high school students.   The curriculum covers archery safety, equipment, technique, concentration skills and self-improvement.


Wisconsin

Panfish spawning season can be a rewarding fishing experience for young anglers

MADISON -- Panfishing is considered one of the easiest kinds of fishing you can do and fishing during the panfish spawning season makes it even easier. That is why state fisheries specialist say the next couple of weeks is the perfect time to take young anglers out on a fishing adventure and to connect with their natural world.

 

“During the spawning season, there are lots of active fish to be caught,” says Rachel Piacenza, an aquatic education assistant with the state DNR.. “Panfish move into the shallows to spawn, so shore fishing is ideal. This is perfect for families who do not have access to a boat. With many active fish near shore, children will have a great time catching many different types of fish.”

 

The better known kinds of panfish in Wisconsin are bluegill, perch and crappie and although the spawning seasons of

perch and crappie are over, plenty of bluegills can still be

found along the shorelines. Wisconsin waters are a paradise for panfishers and it's a great time to take the kids out. The fish are easy to see and easy to catch, making it a very rewarding fishing experience.

 

Even when the panfish spawning season comes to a close, panfishing remains a great way to introduce children to fishing. They’re still relatively easy to catch and with simple equipment and just a shallow body of water, you can start creating family traditions.

 

“Fishing is a great way to connect one-on-one with children, teach them something they can do for the rest of their lives and then hopefully pass on to their own kids,” says Piacenza. “I remember the numerous times my uncle took me fishing. There were times we didn't catch a thing, but it was still fun and I wouldn't have traded it for anything else. Those are memories I will remember for the rest of my life.”


Spring turkey hunters register record turkey harvest

Fall season permit applications due August 1

MADISON – Preliminary figures show that hunters set a new harvest record, registering 51,306 turkeys during Wisconsin’s 2007 spring wild turkey season. This is a 9 percent increase from the 2006 spring harvest of 46,662 birds. The statewide hunter success rate for all hunting periods was 25 percent, compared to 23 percent in 2006.

 

The increase in harvest is likely due to several factors, says Scott Hull, Department of Natural Resources upland ecologist. “This spring’s season was kind of a perfect storm,” says Hull. “The combination of an expanding turkey population, an increased number of permits and hunters, and good weather except for the first few days of the first period, allowed a lot of hunters to get within shooting range of a tom.”

 

A total of 205,306 permits were issued for the spring hunt according to licensing officials. Over the counter sales amounted to 42,251 of the total.  As in past years, success rates were highest during the early and middle hunting periods. “Despite a late spring snowstorm across the southern part of the state on the opening of the first period, hunters recorded a 34 % success rate during the first period,” Hull says. “Success then dropped to 29 and 24 percent for the second and third periods, still pretty decent hunting for the most part.”

 

The preliminary counts showed that adult toms were 75 percent of the total harvest, which is pretty close to the long

term average of 72 %. In 2005, adult toms made up 87 percent of the harvest, which was high due to a poor production year in 2004 -- meaning there were fewer jakes in the spring 2005 population.

 

Zones 22 and 23 once again appear to have produced the highest overall turkey harvests at 5,664 and 2,715 respectively. The best hunter

success rate in units recording more than 100 turkeys appears to be in unit 34 with a preliminary success rate of 34 % followed by several units (33, 34, 19) at 33 % success.

 

The fall 2007 wild turkey season will run from Sept. 15 through Nov. 15. The deadline for applying for a fall permit through the lottery process is August 1. Regulations for the 2007 fall turkey season will be available online beginning June 12 and will be available in hard copy at license vendors and DNR Service Centers shortly.

 

Applications cost $3 and are can be purchased: through the DNR Web site, at any DNR Service Center, and at authorized sales locations.

 

New Zones for 2008

Turkey hunters are reminded that beginning with the fall 2008 season, the number of turkey hunting zones will be reduced to seven large

 

zones instead of the more than 50 small zones currently in place.


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. 

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