Week of June 30 , 2003




2nd Amendment issues





New York





       Weekly News Archives


       New Product  Archives


Nat'l - Anti-Telemarketing List Opens for Registration

Dinnertime now safe from telemarketers

WASHINGTON - Households frazzled by unwanted telephone sales calls could soon be enjoying the sounds of silence, thanks to a popular anti-telemarketing list that opened for registration on Friday, June 27.


Federal officials said consumers are now able to place their home and mobile telephone numbers on a free, national "do not call list" of households that do not want to receive telephone sales calls, by logging on to http://donotcall.gov  or calling 888-382-1222. Telemarketers who call numbers on the list after Oct. 1 will face penalties of up to $11,000 per call, as well as possible lawsuits from consumers and state attorneys general.


Residents living in states west of the Mississippi River, including Louisiana and Minnesota, were able to sign up by phone starting June 27. Those living east of the Mississippi will not be able to sign up until July 7, though they will be able to sign up through the Web site




Those who sign up through the Web site will be able to register up to three phone numbers at once, while those who register by phone will only be able to register the phone number from which they are calling. 


Consumers who sign up for the list by August 31 should see a sharp drop-off in calls starting October 1, while those who sign up later will face a three-month wait before telemarketers add their numbers to the list.


Consumers will not have to pay for the list, as it will be funded by telemarketers.  The list does not cover all callers. Nonprofit and political callers will be free to ignore it, but will have to honor consumer requests not to be called back. Businesses will be free to call customers for 18 months after making a sale, but they too will have to honor opt-out requests.


Telemarketing groups have sued to scratch the effort, arguing that it abridges free-speech rights.


Nat'l - USFWS and partners compile a fish-barrier database

The USFWS and its partners have unveiled the first online national database of barriers to fish passage. Managers throughout the United States involved in resource planning and habitat restoration will use the inventory.


"This system will also be a living database," said Dr. Mamie Parker, assistant director for Fisheries and Habitat Conservation. "With just a few clicks of the mouse, the user can quickly see what kind of stream mileage can be made available. There will be constant updates of information. It's a user-friendly system and one we are very excited about."


The Service will spend $2.3 million this year to help reopen 837 miles of fish habitat and spawning grounds in 29 states, either removing or modifying small dams or other obstructions. Many of the small dams date to the beginnings of two revolutions — the American and the industrial — and long ago fell into disuse. Some dams are not removed  but "notched" — cut with an access point — to allow fish passage. Dams that are still serving a function may be bypassed with the aid of a weir or fish ladder.


Known formally as the Fish Passage Decision Support System, the database is available online and provides barrier information such as location, type, size, name of the owner, passage capability, fish species affected, and local habitat information. It includes all barriers that prevent or inhibit fish or other aquatic species from reaching

historic habitat or spawning grounds.


The Service's Fish Passage Program, initiated in 1999, works with federal, state, local, and civic agencies and organizations to restore fish and other aquatic species by reopening habitat that has become fragmented by artificial barriers. Partners in the Fish Passage Program contribute matching funds to the government's share.


"One of the most damaging things for fish and other aquatic systems are barriers that inundate habitat and block access from spawning grounds," said Elizabeth Maclin of American Rivers. "We're pleased to see the Fish and Wildlife Service and their partners pulling this database together. This program is already working well, and the database will enable it to work that much better."


The Fish Passage Decision Support System database currently includes the Army Corps of Engineers' National Inventory of Dams, state dam databases from North Carolina and Tennessee, and a list of barriers compiled in the Pacific States Marine Fishery Commission's StreamNet database. Service biologists are also entering data from recent inventory projects. New data on dams, culverts, dikes, and irrigation diversions from a number of cooperating agencies and organizations will be added to the system on a continuing basis.


Click here for the Fish Passage Decision Support System (FPDSS):    https://ecos.fws.gov/fpdss/index.do


Nat'l - Commerce Committee Marks-up Wallop-Breaux,

"Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act" Bill
On Thursday, June 26th, the Senate Commerce Committee began the process of reauthorizing the federal highway bill by marking-up portions of the legislation, including Boating Safety and Sport Fish restoration programs. These programs fund the Sport Fish Restoration Program Grants to the states, Boating Safety Grants to the states, boating access, clean vessel act grants, etc.

Lead by Senator John Breaux, language that passed out of

the Commerce Committee reflected the agreement reached earlier this year by the American League of Anglers and Boaters, an ad hoc group of 34 organizations that represents the angling/boating community and was organized in the early 80's to advocate, protect and insure the integrity/viability of the Wallop-Breaux program. Portions of the Wallop-Breaux reauthorization that include fuel tax transfers and distribution of existing funds in the current boat safety account come under the jurisdiction of the Senate Finance Committee and are likely to be taken up later this summer.


Nat'l - Appropriations Committee Passes FY 04 Interior and Agriculture Funding Bills
On June 25 the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY 04 funding bills for the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture as recommended last week by the respective Appropriations Subcommittees.


The House Interior Appropriations subcommittee passed a $19.63 billion funding bill for the Department of the Interior and related agencies and a $17.01 billion bill for the Department of Agriculture (USDA). The bills are expected to be voted on by the full House after the July 4th recess. Detailed funding levels for the Department of Interior agencies can be found at: http://www.sportsmenslink.org/articles/FY04IntAppropsTables.pdf


The USDA funding levels would decrease the FY '03

amount by $393 million and fall $136 million below President Bush's request, which lead to cuts in two of the farmland conservation programs as contained in the 2002 Farm Bill. The Conservation Security Program (CSP), a new program that would have paid farmers for improving their ecological management of working lands, was slated to receive $53 million under the Farm Bill but was eliminated in the FY '04 spending bill.


The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) was also reduced in the subcommittee to $975 million, down $25 million from the Farm Bill authorized level of $1 billion. Highlights of the Agriculture Appropriations bill can be found at: http://www.house.gov/appropriations/news/108_1/04agfull.htm



Nat'l - Caucus Leadership Urges Opposition to Bear Baiting Bill
This week the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus current and former leaders sent a "Dear Colleague" letter to all 435 members of the House of Representatives urging them to

oppose HR 1472, legislation that would prohibit the practice of regulated use of bait for hunting bears on federal public lands. At this time, the House Resources Committee has not scheduled a date to vote on the bill.


U.S. federal timber sales down 74% since 2000, says GAO
WASHINGTON — The amount of timber from federal lands sold to lumber companies fell by 74 percent during the past 12 years as the Interior Department focused on improving forest health instead of timber sales, a government watchdog report said this week.


The study by the General Accounting Office, the nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, comes at a time when environmental groups have accused the Bush administration of trying to boost timber sales from federal lands.  The total volume of timber offered for sale by the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management fell from 101 million board feet in fiscal 1990 to 26 million board feet in 2002, the GAO said.


The GAO study examined forest sales by the Bureau of Land Management, which oversees a total of 261 million acres of public lands, including 55 million acres of forests.


A separate agency, the U.S. Agriculture Department's Forest Service, controls 192 million acres of national forests and has seen a similar decline in timber sales, the GAO said.  The decline in timber sales occurred because in the late 1980s, the Bureau of Land Management's


programs shifted its focus to protecting wildlife habitat, improving stream quality, and preserving public recreation areas, the GAO said.


The Bureau of Land Management told the GAO the Bush administration has proposed a $1 million increase in funding for forest management in the fiscal year 2004 budget. The extra funding "will be used to improve utilization of small-diameter wood materials, improve forest health, and provide entrepreneurial opportunities in the wood product industry," the GAO said.


In May, the administration announced sweeping changes to expand the removal of small trees and brush on federal lands that it said could exacerbate wildfires. The plan was criticized by environmental groups and some Democrats, who said the changes would allow the administration to skirt environmental laws and shift forest-thinning efforts to areas where lumber companies are eager to harvest timber.


The administration also this month announced plans to modify a Clinton administration rule barring new road construction in federal forests. States will be allowed to seek exemptions from the road ban to allow oil, gas, mining, and timber companies access to forests.

Bush Administration recommends strengthening of Magnusson-Stevens Act

As Congress prepares to review and re-authorize the  Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, NOAA Fisheries, offers recommendations to strengthen and build upon the success of existing fisheries management programs.


"The proposals we're submitting seek to improve some of the provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act so we can continue to strengthen our science and management capabilities and better adapt to the ever-changing needs of our environment and fishing communities," said Bill Hogarth, director of NOAA Fisheries.


Hogarth explained that the last re-authorization provided the tools to make dramatic changes in fisheries management that focused on goals and improved operations. "As evidenced in our recent report to Congress, the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996 - which has been in place only six years - is working to rebuild fish stocks," said Hogarth.


The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act is the nation's premier fisheries conservation law.  Originally developed in 1976, the act provides for federal management of fisheries in the 200 mile U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone.  The act established authority with the Department of Commerce, through NOAA Fisheries and the eight regional fishery management councils, for management of U.S. fishing operations.


Throughout the 1980s and early '90s, America experienced burgeoning fisheries in these waters as the demand for seafood worldwide rose.  During that same period, technology made fishing more efficient and profitable, and more Americans began participating in both commercial and recreational fishing.


Responding to the increasing challenges facing fisheries management, Congress overhauled the provisions of the act in 1996 - through a re-authorization known as the Sustainable Fisheries Act - to place greater emphasis on fishery management regimes that rebuild overfished stocks, reduce the amount of fish caught unintentionally and discarded, protect fish habitats, prevent overfishing of our nation's fishery resources, and minimize adverse economic impacts on fishing communities.

The Administration's recommendations for this year's Magnuson-Stevens Act re-authorization contain seven key components:


The Administration believes the fisheries management system has by and large succeeded in engaging regional user groups and other constituencies in the regulatory process, and improving the information available to decision makers. The long-term objective is to make the management system more efficient by streamlining the public comment and Secretarial review and approval process.  Cost effective provisions for notifying the public have also been introduced.


Amendments to develop standards and requirements for the development of individual fishing quotas (IFQs).  IFQs could provide a means of bringing into better balance the harvesting capability of our fleets with the amount of fish available for harvest. 


An amendment that would improve the effectiveness of fishing capacity reduction programs.  This amendment would allow a fishing capacity reduction program to apply to several fisheries in a geographical area, allow the Secretary of Commerce to conduct a program without first receiving a request from a council or governor, which permits a program to span multiple fisheries.  Such buyback programs can help reduce harvesting capacity to biologically and economically sustainable levels. 


Tougher fines and penalties for fishery violations. 


Amendments to give the councils and the Secretary discretion in developing additional funding mechanisms for fishery observer programs. 

The removal of restrictions on access to essential economic data. 


A statutory distinction between the terms "overfishing" and "overfished". The act currently has a single definition that applies to both overfishing and overfished, whereas overfishing relates to the rate of fishing harvests, and overfished relates to the size of the stock of fish. 


Copies of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act fact sheets can be viewed at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov .



Schornack confirmation as Chair of U.S. Section of IJC - support needed

The confirmation of Dennis Schornack as chair of the U.S. Section of the International Joint Commission is pending on this week's calendar of the U.S. Senate, and we need your help.  Follows is an open letter to the Senate.  Schornack is an avid angler and boater and a firm supporter of the sport fishing community from all over the basin – and a big time adversary of invasive species.  He needs our support and endorsement. 


All you need to do is send your name and home town and state to: [email protected] and he will add your name to the letter below.


Dan Thomas, President
Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council


June 23, 2003


The United States Senate

Capitol Building

Washington, D.C.  20510


Dear Senators:


We urge you to confirm the Honorable Dennis Schornack as Chairman of the United States Section of the International Joint Commission (IJC).  He has most ably served in that position since April of 2002, has achieved much over that same period and is extremely well qualified to continue in this important post.  That’s why we join former Michigan Governor Bill Milliken, former Wisconsin governor Anthony Earl and former Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley in supporting his confirmation.


Under the leadership of Chairman Schornack, the IJC has

moved swiftly to raise awareness in the United States and Canada about the growing threat of aquatic invasive species.  For example, he played a key role in the installation of an electrical dispersal barrier in the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal to block the passage of the Asian carp – a huge filter-feeding fish that threatens to devastate the Great Lakes fishery.


In addition, under his thoughtful supervision, the IJC issued the first report in almost a decade on the status of polluted hotspots in the Great Lakes known as Areas of Concern and discussions are underway with both governments to make this report a living document on the Internet for the first time.  Moreover, as one of the original authors of Annex 2001 of the Great Lakes Charter, Chairman Schornack is uniquely suited to lead the IJC in discussions over how best to protect the waters of the Great Lakes from diversion.


We are also honored that Chairman Schornack has succeeded in scheduling the IJC’s Great Lakes Conference and Biennial Meeting in Ann Arbor this September, bringing this event to the heart of the Great Lakes for the first time since 1991. 


For more than a year, Chairman Schornack has patiently waited for the Senate to act and has served our president and our nation with grace and distinction.  Moreover, he has developed excellent relations with his counterparts in Canada, earning the respect and admiration of his fellow commissioners.  Therefore, we urge you to do what’s right for the Great Lakes and for America by confirming the Honorable Dennis Schornack as Chairman of the U.S. Section of the International Joint Commission.





Anti-gay stance costs Boy Scouts $100,000

PHILADELPHIA -- The Pew Charitable Trusts has taken back a $100,000 grant to the nation's third-largest Boy Scout council because of its refusal to let open gays be members or leaders.


After deciding last month that it would not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, the Cradle of Liberty Council bowed to pressure from the national organization this month. The new policy says the council, which serves Philadelphia and two suburban counties, will not ask applicants for membership or leadership positions about their sexual orientation -- but will not allow anyone who says he is gay to be a member or leader.


Pew President Rebecca Rimel said stopping the funding wasn't easy.  "It's a very difficult decision because we've been funding the local chapter for well over 50 years, but the board feels very strongly that this was an action we had to take," Rimel said. "We feel that all of our partners should be inclusive in their approach and should exercise tolerance and understanding."

The board of the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania was scheduled to meet to decide whether it wants to

continue giving the Cradle of Liberty Council $400,000 a year in light of its anti-gay stance. Pew's board decided to stop funding the local Scout council in December 2001 over the gay issue, but made the $100,000 grant this month because the local council had passed its nondiscrimination policy.


"We wanted to show our support for the leadership the board was showing," Rimel said. But once she learned the council had ousted an 18-year-old Scout who had publicly announced he was gay, she moved to withhold the money.


The Pew is not the first foundation to stop funding the council over the issue. William T. Dwyer III, the local council's executive director, said the William Penn Foundation stopped funding the council in 1996 and the Philadelphia Foundation followed suit two years ago. Both decisions were because of the exclusion of gays, Dwyer said.


"It hurts kids that need it most," Dwyer said. "We've laid off staff and ceased several other programs. The toll is high." The national Boy Scout organization had threatened to revoke Cradle of Liberty's charter and dismiss its directors if it continued to accept gays. The Boy Scouts are headquartered in Irving, Texas.


2nd Amendment issues

Gun Control Rally Draws Four Attendees
Last week, the Million Mom March had a shindig on the front steps of West Palm Beach City Hall to commemorate national

ASK Day, a day designed to remind parents to ask whether guns are in the houses where their children play. Four people came.

Firearms Industry Wins Another Court Victory
Dismissal of Spitzer's lawsuit against industry upheld by NY Appellate Court

In another significant legal victory for the firearms industry, a New York appellate court has upheld a trial court's August, 2001 order dismissing a lawsuit brought by New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer against gun makers.


The appellate court said manufacturers of lawful and non-defective products cannot be sued for allegedly creating a "public nuisance" when criminals misuse firearms. The appellate court acknowledged what the firearms industry has maintained all along — "that courts are the least suited, least equipped, and thus the least appropriate branch of government to regulate and micro-manage the manufacturing, marketing, distribution and sale of handguns.”


"We are extremely pleased and gratified that the appeals court has found that Attorney General Spitzer's politically motivated lawsuit lacks any legal merit, precisely what other courts around the county have concluded in dismissing similar 'junk' lawsuits filed against our industry," said Lawrence G. Keane, the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s vice president and general counsel. "These lawsuits are nothing more than an attempt to circumvent Congress and state legislatures to


impose through litigation an extreme anti-gun agenda repeatedly rejected by Congress and the American people."


The Appellate Court expressed well-founded fear that giving the green light to a common-law public nuisance cause of action will "likely open the courthouse doors to a flood of limitless, similar theories of public nuisance, not only against [gun makers], but also against a wide and varied array of other commercial and manufacturing enterprises and activities." The court also stated, "Such an explosion of litigation would inappropriately engulf the courts beyond their means in issues which the legislative and executive branches are vastly better designed, equipped and funded to address."


Despite a string of recent courtroom victories for the firearms industry, attorneys and groups seeking to drive the industry out of business continue to file suits based on the actions of criminals. Congress has moved to block these types of frivolous suits with legislation.


"This case is another clear example as to why the Senate should follow the House and pass the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act and prevent further manipulation of the judicial system by those seeking to circumvent the legislative process," said Keane.


IL - Archery licenses go on sale July 12

Attention non-resident Illinois deer hunters

Illinois archery deer hunting permits for non-residents of the state for the 2003-2004 season will go on sale on Saturday, July 12 at 8 a.m. The permits for non-residents will only be available by telephone using a credit card to complete the transaction.


Beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 12, non-resident archery deer permits will be available via toll-free telephone using a credit card at 888-6-PERMIT (888-673-7648).


The 2003 non-resident archery deer permit fee is $226 plus a processing fee. This permit includes an either-sex and an antlerless-only permit. In addition to their permit, non-resident deer hunters must also purchase a non-resident hunting license and a habitat stamp. Non-resident hunters may purchase either the annual license ($50.75) or a five-day license ($28.75) depending on the amount of time they will be hunting.


Non-resident archery deer hunters are limited to one archery deer permit for the 2003 hunting season. The sale of these permits is capped at 12,843 (the cap represents the number of non-resident permits that have been sold annually since the

2000-2001 archery deer season). Non-resident archery deer permits are not available over-the-counter at hunting license vendors.


During the 2002 permit sales period, these permits were completely sold out within four weeks. More than 2,000 hunters inquired about non-resident permits after they were sold out. Permits will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis until the quota is reached. Habitat stamps and hunting licenses will also be available to callers, who should have their hunter safety certificate number on hand if born after January 1, 1980. Applicants must also provide their social security and driver's license numbers.


A processing fee of $13 will be charged in addition to the normal issuing fees. If any permits remain unsold as of September 2, 2003, they will also be available from seven Illinois Department of Natural Resources offices until sold out. The offices are located in Sterling, Bartlett, Champaign, Alton, Benton, Springfield and Chicago. Addresses and phone numbers can be found at the IDNR web site (http://dnr.state.il.us ), by consulting an Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, or by calling 217/782-2965. Also, please visit our web site (http://dnr.state.il.us ) for updates.

IL - OutdoorIllinois explores fishing along Route 66

Let OutdoorIllinois magazine help you discover exciting locations to visit this summer. Take a fishing road trip down Route 66 from Lake Michigan to Mazonia. Learn about the amazingly quick healing powers of Mother Nature and the restoration of Illinois River backwater lakes. Find out how "cats"

are working to make a better world for Illinois waterfowl. Enjoy a magnificent cover image of a ruby-throated hummingbird feeding her nestlings. OutdoorIllinois is a great tool for learning about Illinois' natural, cultural and recreational resources and a bargain at $10 for a one-year magazine subscription. Call 1-800-720-3249 to subscribe. VISA and MasterCard are accepted.


IL - Contaminated water causing "beaver fever"

A severe intestinal disorder

A recent study funded by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program determined the presence of Giardia intestinalis in beavers in five watersheds in central and southern Illinois. Giardia cysts can be transmitted to humans who ingest contaminated water, causing severe intestinal disorders that are sometimes called "beaver fever" by hikers and other recreationists.


According to an article published in the Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science "Prevalence of Giardia intestinalis in Illinois Beavers" ,Giardia cysts were detected in


30.8 % of 107 beavers tested. This exceeded infection rates reported by past studies in the U.S. and Canada.


The authors concluded, "Whether beavers serve as initial sources of surface water contamination or as amplifying hosts, this intestinal parasite is likely to become more prevalent in Illinois' waterways as beaver populations increase statewide." Illinois’ annual beaver trapping season, the primary means of managing the beaver population in the state, is Nov. 5, 2003-March 31, 2004 in the north zone and Nov. 10, 2003-March 31, 2004 in the south zone. For more information on trapping regulations, contact the IDNR Wildlife Program Development office at 217/782-6384.


IN - Super-sized steelhead entering St. Joe River

The net poles are bending a little further as Indiana DNR biologists collect steelhead broodstock in the St. Joseph River this year.


"The fish are averaging two lbs heavier," said Bodine State Fish Hatchery biologist Bob Bell. "The 231 fish trapped so far have weighed an average of 11 lbs, and one out of ten fish are pushing 17 to 18 lbs -- some of the biggest Skamania steelhead we've ever trapped."  For the last ten years, Skamania broodstock trapped and transported to DNR's Bodine State Fish Hatchery near Mishawaka had an average weight of 9 lbs.


Each year, biologists collect 700 adult Skamania steelhead at fish ladders in Michigan and Indiana. These summer-migrating trout are kept at the hatchery until they are ready to release eggs in the winter. Some Skamania begin heading up Michigan's portion of the St. Joe in June, but the bulk of the Skamania run usually hits South Bend and Mishawaka in August and September.


DNR biologist David Meuninck speculates the fish are unusually hulky due to plentiful food, or that migrating fish may be older than usual. Alewives, one of the primary food fish for trout and salmon in Lake Michigan, have been very abundant in the past few years. But last year's lack-luster steelhead run may be the key.


Last summer, Lake Michigan's water level was low and the water temperatures were high - not ideal conditions for steelhead migrations.  Many steelhead may have stayed in the lake to forage, building up reserves for the grueling run up the river to spawn.


"The extra year of foraging might help account for the extra weight of the fish we are seeing this year," said Meuninck. Meuninck is guardedly optimistic about what this will mean for St. Joe Skamania anglers this summer and fall. "We could have some amazed anglers and a few more snapped lines," he said.


Lake Michigan and tributary fishing information: http://www.IN.gov/dnr/fishwild/fish/lkmich/open.html

IN - Lake Michigan coastal advisory board to meet July 9

The public is invited to attend the Indiana Lake Michigan Coastal Program advisory board meeting July 9th at the NIRPC Office, 6100 Southport Road, Portage, Indiana.


Starting at 6:15 p.m. the 28 member board will provide a forum for public input on regional issues affecting Lake Michigan coastal resources and reflect a balance between preservation, protection, restoration, and when possible, development for this and succeeding generations.


The board will discuss program staff proposals for the Lake Michigan Coastal Program's next grant cycle. In addition, program staff will present information regarding proposed funding cycle timelines and grant opportunities.


The following individuals serve on the Coastal Advisory Board:


Dr. Mark Reshkin, board chair, IU Northwest professor emeritus

Charlotte Read, board vice chair, Save the Dunes Council

J. Allen Johnson, board secretary, Lake County resident

Kevin Breitzke, Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission secretary and chairman of Environmental Management and Policy

Rudolph Clay, Lake County commissioner

John Evans, Porter County commissioner

William Hager, LaPorte County commissioner

Dorreen Carey, City of Gary environmental affairs coordinator

David Pilz, City of Valparaiso city engineer

Ian Steele, Michiana Shores town council

Edgar Corns, Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District board president

Tom Keilman, Northwest Indiana Forum president

Dionne Wisniewski, LaPorte County Convention and Visitors Bureau director

Stephen Mosher, Port of Indiana at Burns Harbor director

John Smolar, Portage Port Authority director

Jack Hires, Northwest Indiana Steelheaders

Tim Morgan, LaPorte County Park and Recreation Department superintendent

Paul Labus, The Nature Conservancy

Dale Engquist, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore superintendent

John Heidbreder, Lake County Sheriff's House Foundation president

Henry Bliss, Porter County resident

Tammy Steinhagen, LaPorte County resident

Adriane Blaesing, IDEM northwest regional office director

Jim Juricic, INDOT environment assessment manager,

Niles Parker, IDOC community development division manager

Bill Moran, NRCS district conservationist

Liz McCloskey, USFWS northern Indiana office

Brian Miller, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant associate director

Judy Beck, U.S. EPA Region 5 Lake Michigan regional team manager

Jan Miller, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes and Ohio River division, Chicago district.


IN - New Knobstone Trail map available in print and online

Indiana's longest footpath has upgraded features

The Knobstone Trail is Indiana's longest footpath, running up and down hills, through state forests, a county park, and past a state fish and wildlife area. At 58 miles, the trail has features used and enjoyed by all sorts of outdoors people, including hunters, anglers, campers and bird watchers.


But its primary use is as a very rugged hiking trail for people who seek challenging and well-mapped terrain through public lands.


After several years of upgrades-including a new trailhead and enhanced trail sections-the Knobstone Trail also has a new and more accurate map, enhanced in part through global positioning system technology.


The map is available as a printed version for $4 from the DNR Customer Service Center, 317-232-4180. An online .pdf version of the map is downloadable at www.IN.gov/dnr/knobstone ; the map files are big, greater than 6 MB each, and will take some time to download. Additional trail information, including directions and hiking tips are also available online.

Recent trail improvements, such as the re-routing of the

Jackson Road Trailhead north of Deam Lake are recorded on the new map, as well as the new Oxley Trailhead, a memorial to John Stuart Oxley, a trail lover who died in 1998.


The Knobstone is not only known for challenging terrain, but also for water preparation challenges. With a lake at the two beginnings and one in the middle, folks who choose to purify their own drinking water can meet many hydration challenges. Hikers should not expect to rely upon water in seasonal streams (water found after rainfall).


Hikers should carefully consider stashing water at places where roads cross the trail. That's where using one of the new $4 maps comes in handy. You can also drive to trailheads and stash a jug of water behind a tree or near an easily found rock.


Likewise, carrying the food you'll eat also can be a challenge, but modern food preparation techniques, especially those that employ dried foods and rehydration, help keep hikers healthy and well fed.


Volunteers also help groom the trail using people of all skill levels, including Scouts, senior citizens and local service clubs. To find out more about volunteering or Knobstone Trail information, contact Nila Armstrong at [email protected]   or 317-232-4070

IN - Hoosier Riverwatch to hold volunteer stream monitoring workshop July 10

The next volunteer stream monitoring workshop will be held in Floyd County on July 10, 2003.  The training is free, but class size is limited to 10 participants. Persons interested in participating must make a prior reservation.


"Education is an important mission of the DNR," said John Goss, DNR director. "These local stream monitor volunteers will take home knowledge and a commitment that they will pass on to others who will, in turn, bring more people into the circle of those committed to protecting and improving our resources. When we accomplish widening that circle we are successful."


A level one training workshop will be held Thursday, July 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The workshop will provide general education in water quality issues and introductory-level training in monitoring the health of rivers and streams through physical, chemical, and biological testing. After completion of this training, volunteers can perform stream

testing, submit data to the statewide volunteer stream monitoring database, and teach students how to monitor.


Hoosier Riverwatch, jointly sponsored by Purdue University and the Indiana DNR, through its division of soil conservation, is a statewide education program that focuses on local river and stream stewardship. To date, approximately 3000 people have participated in the program.


"The training is for anyone interested in learning about water quality and gaining hands-on experience in monitoring rivers and streams," according to Lyn Hartman, Hoosier Riverwatch coordinator. People interested in the environment, especially local educators, are invited to attend the workshop.


For reservations and directions, contact Sylvia Hottel at the Floyd County Soil and Water Conservation District at [email protected]    or call 812-945-9936.  www.in.gov/dnr/soilcons/riverwatch


MI - New Michigan club for salmon and trout anglers

Overview of the Great Lakes Professional Angling Association, "GLPAA".

The Great Lakes Professional Angling Association is a newly formed organization dedicated to establishing a professional arena within the Great Lakes for salmon and trout anglers.  The recognition that salmon and trout anglers on the Great Lakes deserve is long overdue.  Their skill, ability  and knowledge, are equal to that of professional bass and walleye anglers.  Collectively, salmon and trout anglers have a substantial economic impact on the United States and Canadian communities of the Great Lakes. 


This year the GLPAA is hosting an inaugural tournament trail on Lake Huron consisting of four regional qualifying tournaments, followed by a championship event.  The four regional tournaments are in Lexington, Harbor Beach,

Oscoda and Alpena, Michigan.  Qualifying teams will advance to the championship event in Rogers City, Michigan, "The Salmon Showdown"


Numerous sponsors have come forward to support this new concept including Big Jon Inc., Jack Daniels Country Cocktails, Fishlander, Pursuit Sports Inc., Jay's Sporting Goods, Luhr-Jensen, Michigan Stinger, Wolverine Tackle, Magna-Dyne(Northport Nailer), G-Fly, Shakespeare, Fowlplay, and others.


Visit www.glpaa.com  for tournament dates, rules, entry form, payouts, prizes, sponsors, results and other information.


Brian Kuhr is President of the Great Lakes Professional Angling Association, and can be contacted at 231-633-2564 or 231-578-1788, [email protected]

MI - 2003 Michigan elk hunt applications due July 15

 State DNR officials are reminding hunters that applications for a Michigan elk hunting license are available from June 15 to July 15.


The 2003 elk hunting season is Dec. 9-16, on both public and private lands, in several northern Michigan counties. A second hunting period in January will be considered after the December hunt, based on harvest and hunters_ field observations.


Only Michigan residents are eligible to apply. Hunters

must be 14 years or older to hunt elk in Michigan, but youth hunters can apply prior to age 14 as long as they will be 14 by the end of the December hunt period. Hunters can apply online at www.michigan.gov/dnr  or at any authorized license agent. A nonrefundable $4 fee is charged at the time of application.


Applicants may check the drawing results on-line beginning Aug. 1 at 10 a.m. See the 2003 Michigan Elk Hunting Guide for more details about the application process.



MN - DNR announces dates for 2003 bear hunting clinics

The Minnesota DNR is offering a number bear hunting clinics designed to provide hunters with an in-depth look at the Minnesota black bear.


Hunters and bear enthusiasts will learn from fellow bear hunters and research personnel what to look for when scouting for bear, selecting bait sites, and baiting bear based on the principle of timing and quality. An up-to-date black bear handbook will be given to all participants. The clinics also include information about the latest regulations and there will be an opportunity to ask questions.


Last year almost 2,000 people attended a bear hunting clinic. Clinics are not mandatory but are strongly recommended. There is no age restriction for attending a clinic. After attending one of these clinics, hunters should have a better understanding of the behavior of black bear and their habitat needs. Hunters will learn techniques that will eliminate protective surveillance, old bait burnout, and cut down on nocturnal bears. These techniques will increase hunters' enjoyment and success. According to the DNR, 35 % of Minnesota bear hunters harvest a bear.


Advanced Hunter Education certification can also be earned through a format of individual clinics. By completing a bear clinic, hunters will be a step closer to earning their Advanced Hunter Education certification. Part of the certification involves attending five approved single topic clinics, one of which must include a shooting activity. Also, a take home, open book examination must be completed. In addition to this clinic, hunters can choose topics including whitetailed deer, waterfowl, bear, planning a hunt, survival in the outdoors, map and compass, gun safety in the home and more.


Seminars for Advanced Hunter Education and Minnesota Bow-Hunter Education programs are listed on a telephone recording and the Internet.  Call (651) 296-5015 or visit www.dnr.state.mn.us . The listing is updated every two weeks. For a recording of Twin City area firearm safety classes,  call (651) 296-4819 or toll free 800-366-8917.



Date         City                                     Location 


July 12     Owatonna                            Cabela's  

                            1:00-4:00 p.m.

July 14     Owatonna                            Cabela's 

                             6:00-9:00 p.m.

July 15     Rosemount                          VFW 

                             6:30-9:00 p.m.

July 15     Aitkin                                  High School 

                             6:30-9:30 p.m.

July 15     Spicer                                 Mel's Sports Shop 

                             6:30-9:30 p.m.

July 15     Rochester                            PCA Building 

                             6:30-9:30 p.m.

July 17     Cambridge                           Middle School 

                             6:30-9:30 p.m.

July 17     Shakopee                            VFW 

                             6:30-9:00 p.m.

July 17  North Mankato  South-Central Technical College                  6:00-9:00 p.m.

July 22  Hermantown                Police Department 

                             6:00-9:00 p.m.

July 22  Mound                        VFW 

                             6:30-9:00 p.m.

July 22  Mora Kanabec            County History Center

                             6:30-9:30 p.m.

July 22  International Falls        High Schoolcafeteria

                             7:00-10:00 p.m.

July 22  St. Joseph                  LaPlayette Restaurant 

                             6:30-9:30 p.m.

July 23  Little Falls                  Camp Ripley 

                             6:30-9:30 p.m.

July 24  Thief River Falls          High School auditorium 

                             7:00-10:00 p.m.

July 24  Hutchinson                 Gopher Campfire 

                              6:30-9:30 p.m.

July 24  Brainerd Central Lakes Community College 

                               6:30-9:30 p.m.

July 24  New Ulm                     Public Library 

                               6:30-9:30 p.m.

July 24  Silver Creek         Silver Creek/Hasty Sports Club 

                               6:30-9:30 p.m.

July 26  Finlayson                   Giese Sportsmen's Club 

                               1:00-5:00 p.m.

July 29  Grand Rapids             Itasca Community College 

                               6:00-9:00 p.m.

July 29  Warroad                     Streiff's Sporting Goods 

                               7:00-10:00 p.m.

July 29  Hugo                          City Hall                      

                               6:30-9:30 p.m.

July 31  Bemidji                        High School

                              7:00-10:00 p.m.

July 31  White Bear LakeWhite Bear Lake (South Campus)                 6:30-9:30 p.m.

August 4  Hawley                     High School auditorium 

                              7:00-10:00 p.m.

August 5  Detroit Lakes             High School, Room 228 

                             7:00-10:00 p.m.

August 6  Alexandria                  Discovery Middle School 

                             7:00-10:00 p.m. 


MN - DNR reverses no-wake restrictions on St. Croix

The No Wake Zone on the St. Croix River has been reversed, based on a revised forecast from the National Weather Service.


Due to heavy rainfall over much of central Minnesota earlier this week, water levels in the St. Croix River were predicted to rise to the point where boaters would be required to slow down to minimize shoreline damage. The special restriction, authorized by state rules in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, is triggered when the level on the St. Croix reaches 683 ft above sea level at Stillwater.


Earlier forecasts predicted that the level of the lower St. Croix would exceed that trigger as of this afternoon and remain above that level until well into next week. However, the most current forecast is for a crest of 681.8 ft. 


DNR River Management Supervisor Steve Johnson explained, "It takes quite a bit of staff time to post signs at all the boat landings and marinas, and to notify the law enforcement community and the media when putting a high-water no-wake rule into effect. We have to make that decision based on the best available information at the  




Officials from Wisconsin, Minnesota and the National Park Service had posted signs regarding the slow no-wake requirement at all public accesses, and marina operators were notified. Those signs are now being removed.


The rule is aimed at reducing shoreline erosion and resulting property damage in areas not usually susceptible to wave action at lower water levels.


High water levels still mean that many islands in the St. Croix will be flooded and unusable for recreational purposes. Even without such restrictions, boaters are urged to slow down on the St. Croix River, Mississippi River and Minnesota River in order to minimize shoreline erosion and other property damage. Many area lakes also have risen to unusually high levels and may be susceptible to shoreline damage resulting from boat wakes.


Boat and water safety officials at the DNR also point out that rain-swollen streams often contain debris floating just below the surface that can pose serious hazards. Boaters should slow down and exercise extra caution in such conditions.

MN & WI - Minnesota, Wisconsin DNRs studying recreational boating on Mississippi

This spring and summer the Minnesota and Wisconsin DNRs will conduct a recreational boating study on the Mississippi River. The study area will include pool 4 through pool 9, which is about from Red Wing, Minn., to Lansing, Iowa.


The Minnesota DNR is conducting the survey on the west side of the study area and the Wisconsin DNR is doing the east side. Both agencies are using the same methodology. 


The study will involve field data collection of boating traffic at all boating sources in the study area: marinas, public boat launches, campgrounds, resorts, and riparian residences. In addition to boating traffic information


collection, all boating sources will be surveyed about, their activities on the river, the type of boating equipment they use, problems they encountered on the river, boating safety concerns on the river, and opinions about future management of the river. The boater interviews will target concerns about boating opportunities, boating safety, and exotic species awareness and control.


Among the study's goals is the monitoring of boating opportunities and boating conditions to ensure they remain acceptable to the state's boaters. Both states' DNR's have hired summer employees to carry out the lion's share of the data collection.


The data from the study will be compiled this winter and the results will be released in the spring of 2004.


New York

NY - Lake Level Headed for Above Average Summer in 2003

New York Sea Grant Looks at Historic Averages

Brockport, NY; 06-17-03  Above average precipitation in the Great Lakes Basin since early March, particularly on the lower Great Lakes, has caused the level of Lake Ontario to rise more than thirty-two inches since March 15th, about nineteen inches more than the "normal" seasonal rise for that time of year. Rain in the Great Lakes Basin was about 31 percent above average for May 2003 while in the Lake Erie and Lake Ontario basins it was more than 60 percent above average, says Coastal Resources Specialist Chuck O'Neill of New York Sea Grant.


"Much depends on the weather, but it now looks as though by mid-June the water level on Lake Ontario will be about five inches above the lake's long-term average for that date," says O'Neill, comparing the forecasted level to data which averages Lake Ontario water levels from 1918-2002.


According to O'Neill, Lake Ontario's water level moves through roughly a two foot range from a "normal" mid-winter low of around 244.5 ft above sea level on New Year's Day to a seasonal high of around 246.12 ft in mid-June. Between 1860 and 1960 (when lake level regulation began), water levels have fluctuated through a six-foot


range between 242 and 248 feet above sea level.


Since mid-March 2003, the lake has gone from being some 14 ˝" below average for that time of year to almost 5" above average for that time of year on June 11th.


A recent study by the Recreational Boating and Tourism Technical Work Group of the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Study Board indicates that marina operators dredge basins and channels during low water periods to be sure depths will handle the boats frequenting their marinas.


"Predicting water levels can be difficult because so much depends on the weather, but it now looks as though Lake Ontario is headed for a summer peak 4 - 6" above an "average" seasonal high level. Fall 2003 lake levels are more difficult to predict this early, but will most likely remain several inches above the lake's long-term average level," O'Neill says.


To see a chart showing recent lake levels plus forecasted levels for wet and dry weather conditions through October 2003, visit www.cce.cornell.edu/seagrant/gl-levels/ontario/ontario_forecast.gif



OH - Lake Erie health worries one noted scientist
Shore development, large-fish exploitation cited
CHICAGO - Scientists here last week were cautiously optimistic about the future of the Great Lakes, but Dr. Joseph Koonce, is downright nervous reports the Toledo Blade.

"It is my impression that Lake Erie is structurally and functionally unhealthy," said Koonce, a biology professor at Case Western Reserve U. in Cleveland. Koonce is one of about 650 people from 30 countries that attended the 40th annual International Association for Great Lakes Research conference.
Koonce, in one of many presentations during the five day conference, said he’s concerned about the level of stress being placed on Lake Erie in particular. He fears the lake could be victimized not so much by the chemicals that threatened it in the 1960s and early 1970s, but by a lack of coordinated vision.

Shoreline development is rampant, large species of fish are being exploited, and invasive species continue to disrupt the equilibrium while the Earth’s temperature is rising and water levels fluctuate. At the same time, farm fertilizers and sewage - plus airborne chemicals from miles away - get into the water and do everything from growing algae, choking oxygen supplies, and contaminating fish.


Lake Erie’s western basin between Monroe and Sandusky is the warmest and shallowest part of the Great Lakes, and one of the most productive for spawning fish - and one of the most complex regions to study, officials said.  "It is certainly less robust than it once was," Koonce said of the lake in general. "Officials need to do a better job of defining

which problems to address, because some - such as global warming - are beyond their grasp."


"It’s not hopeless, but we’re going to need a new set of management strategies," Koonce said. Lake Erie’s western basin has been one of the most talked-about regions at the conference.  Issues ranged from the ecological impact of dredging Toledo’s shipping channel to the habitat destruction on Lake Erie islands caused by the return of cormorants.

A recent USEPA report ranked western Lake Erie 19th out of 70 Great Lakes regions in terms of biological diversity. The top two were Ontario's northern shoreline of Lake Superior and northern Wisconsin’s Great Chequamagon region. The Keweenaw Peninsula and Grand Sable Dunes, both in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, rounded out the top five spots.

Officials learned that one of western Lake Erie’s symbols of recovery, the mayfly, could be headed for trouble as the Earth’s temperature continues to rise.Mayfly reproduction can be curtailed when the oxygen supply is diminished. That can happen during extended heat waves and when warm water near the surface doesn’t mix properly with cooler water near the lakebed. Such a situation can lead to "stratification" - a condition which has occurred in western Lake Erie three of the last six years, according to Thomas Bridgeman, a University of Toledo researcher.

"Stratification events are more important in western Lake Erie than previously thought," he said, comparing it to putting a lid over a jar. "It would be a cruel irony if we cleaned up the lake enough to bring back the mayfly and they got wiped out by stratification."




PA - Details finalized for upcoming Elk Season

HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners has given final approval to three measures that finalize the details for elk hunting.  Among the proposals adopted, the Board eliminated the cap on the number of nonresident elk licenses that may be awarded; established a preference system for those who apply for, but do not receive elk licenses in 2003 and subsequent years; and made it unlawful to drive or herd elk.


For the 2001 and 2002 elk hunts, based on previous year's nonresidents license sales, nonresidents were limited to receiving up to 2 and 5 elk licenses, respectively.  However, in the 2001 elk hunt, only one nonresident application was drawn, and in the 2002 elk hunt only four nonresidents applications were drawn.  Beginning with the 2003 elk hunt, nonresidents will no longer be limited.


Establishment of a preference system for the elk license drawing is something that previous applicants supported.  Beginning with the applications submitted for this year's drawing, individuals who are not awarded either an antlered or antlerless elk license in 2003 will be given preference in future drawings.  Consecutive applications will not be required to maintain previously earned preference points, but applicants will only be awarded preference points for each year in which an application is submitted.  Once a hunter is awarded an elk license - either an antlered or antlerless elk license - their preference points will revert to zero.


Lastly, based on certain situations involving elk hunters and guides driving elk from one management zone to another, or out of safety zones, the Board made it illegal to drive or herd elk.  This measure is intended to address concerns voiced by a few landowners in the elk range.


On April 30, the Game Commission began accepting applications for the public drawing of 100 elk hunting licenses (20 for antlered elk, 80 for antlerless elk) to be made available for this fall's season through "The Outdoor Shop" on the agency's website www.pgc.state.pa.us .  The public drawing is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 27, and the elk season is set for Nov. 10-15.


For those who prefer to complete a mail-in form, the agency also has posted a printable application on its

website.  In addition, applications will be included in the 2003-2004 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which is provided to each license buyer.


A $10 non-refundable fee must be submitted with the application.  On-line applications must be accompanied by a credit card payment (VISA, MasterCard, Discover or American Express accepted), and must be submitted by Sept. 12. 


Forms submitted through the mail must be accompanied by a check or money order (do not send cash) for $10 made payable to "Pennsylvania Game Commission," and must be received in the Game Commission's post office box by Aug. 22. Mail-in applications may be printed off the website, completed and mailed to: Pennsylvania Game Commission, Elk License Application, P.O. Box 61890, Harrisburg, PA 17106-1890. 


"By law, only one application per year is permitted per person," Ross said.  "If a person submits more than one application in any given year, all of his or her applications will be declared ineligible and the individual will be subject to prosecution.  All application fees are non-refundable."


Because the application period opened before the 2003-2004 hunting licenses go on sale July 1, individuals are not required to purchase a resident or nonresident general hunting license to apply for the drawing.  However, if they are drawn for one of the elk licenses, hunters then will be required to purchase the appropriate resident or nonresident general hunting license and attend a mandatory orientation program sponsored by the Game Commission before being permitted to purchase the elk license.  The elk license fees are $25 for residents and $250 for nonresidents.


Ross reminded those considering submitting an application for one of the 100 elk licenses available for this fall that the $10 fee from the first 10,000 applications received will go toward a special partnership project to improve habitat in the elk range.


The Game Commission has posted on its website a new feature offering a look back at the 2002 elk season.  To view the new section, go to the agency's homepage www.pgc.state.pa.us  and click on the "PA Elk Hunting Headquarters" icon.

PA - Board gives preliminary approval to Fluorescent Orange Rules

The Board of Pennsylvania Game Commissioners gave preliminary approval to a slate of regulatory changes that is designed to reduce the ongoing confusion associated with interpreting hunter fluorescent orange requirements. The changes will consolidate and streamline the hunter orange requirements - currently found in the Game and Wildlife Code and nine different subsections of Title 58 - as well as simplify which hunters must where what amount of orange clothing when. 


With four exceptions, the proposed hunter orange regulations would require hunters to wear 250 square inches of fluorescent orange clothing on the head, chest and back combined - visible in a 360-degree arc - when they hunt, or assist to hunt any game or wildlife, or move to or from a hunting location, from one hour before legal hunting hours to one hour after legal hunting hours, outside of any motorized vehicle.


The four exceptions are:


- You may hunt waterfowl, doves or crows without wearing fluorescent orange clothing;


- You may hunt groundhogs wearing only a solid fluorescent orange hat, except during big game seasons, when you must wear 250 square inches of fluorescent orange on the head, chest and back combined;


- You may move about or relocate during the spring gobbler season while wearing a solid fluorescent orange hat. When in a stationary calling position, no fluorescent orange clothing is required; and


- You must wear a solid fluorescent orange hat when

moving about or relocating - and you may remove the orange hat when stationary - during any archery season, unless the archery season runs concurrently with any firearms season for big game or squirrel. However, during any overlap with the previous listed seasons, bowhunters are required to wear 250 square inches of fluorescent orange clothing on the head, chest and back combined - visible in a 360-degree arc - when they hunt, or assist to hunt any game or wildlife, or move to or from a hunting location, from one hour before legal hunting hours to one hour after legal hunting hours, outside of any motorized vehicle.


Probably the biggest changes in the preliminarily-approved new hunter orange package are those for fall wild turkey hunters, and muzzleloader and archery deer hunters. In each case, hunters will be required to wear more orange clothing than they have in previous years. After-Christmas flintlock hunters and fall turkey hunters would be required to wear 250 square inches of fluorescent orange at all times. Archers, for the first time in years, would be required to wear 250 square inches of fluorescent orange clothing while on stand during the overlap with firearms big game seasons and the general small game season.


The new regulations will permit hunters to continue using camouflage fluorescent orange clothing - if they so desire, unless otherwise specified. They also will not take effect until the 2004-2005 hunting seasons, if they are adopted by the Board of Game Commissioners at the October meeting.




PA - Grant approved to assist wildlife nuisance research

The Pennsylvania Board of Commissioners has approved a grant of $30,770 to the Wildlife Management Institute as Pennsylvania's share in the Northeast Wildlife Damage Management Research and Outreach Cooperative.


The cooperative was formed in 1999, at the direction of the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agency Directors. Its goals are to develop cost-effective public and private solutions to wildlife damage conflicts through shared expertise, facilities and expenses between state and federal wildlife agencies, the Wildlife Management


Institute, universities and agricultural experiment stations and cooperative extension systems.


Since its formation, the cooperative has completed products related to the management of white-tailed deer in the suburbs; managing Canada geese in urban environments; managing nuisance bears and beavers, and a guide to the management of human-wildlife conflicts.


Calvin DuBrock, Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director, serves on the cooperative's steering committee.  The Northeast Wildlife Damage Management Cooperative website is www.wildlifecontrol.info/NEWDMC




WI - Cool weather a boon for some anglers, jury out for fish

Fishing fortunes about to change as temps rise

MADISON – Panfish fanciers and those who target cool water game species are seeing their fishing fortunes reverse -- now that water temperatures and the calendar are finally in agreement, state fish biologists say.


"The cooler temperatures we’ve had so far this year in much of Wisconsin extended the fishing season for walleye and other cool water species," says Mike Staggs, who directs Wisconsin’s fisheries management and habitat protection program.


"With water temperatures finally warming up, fishing for those cool water species has slowed and action should pick up for warmer water species like bass and bluegill."


Bass and bluegill typically spawn in May and June, and the cooler temperatures throughout the spring in much of Wisconsin delayed their spawning activity by a few weeks in many parts of the state, keeping them off their beds where anglers have most success catching them, Staggs says.


But that is changing, says Steve AveLallemant, Department of Natural Resources fish expert for northern Wisconsin. "Warm weather has finally arrived and water temperatures have rebounded so that conditions are pretty much normal now," he says. "The early cold water temperatures lead to protracted spawning periods for early spring spawners like walleye and to some extent muskies and crappies."


Warming waters means bluegills and pumpkinseeds are actively spawning on most waters in the north, and are currently in shallow water, AveLallemant says. “Males are defending the nests that they swept out earlier and anglers are taking advantage of these spawning concentrations.”

Bass have already spawned on most waters. There are still some male largemouth bass defending their nests but much of the spawning activity for bass has been winding down over the last week or so. This decreased the vulnerability of these fish to angling during the June 21-22 opening weekend of the catch and keep season for bass in the north.


In northeast Wisconsin, fish managers reported excellent fishing on Lake Winnebago. Bluegill spawning started one to two weeks later than normal due to the cooler than normal spring weather, reports Lee Meyers, DNR fish expert for northeastern Wisconsin. "Once bluegills move onto the shallow shoreline areas to build spawning beds, a drop in water temperature can move them off the spawning beds into deeper water. This may create problems for bluegill anglers trying to figure out where the fish are in order to catch some."


The long-term effects of the cool spring on fish populations won’t be known until fall, when DNR conducts its fall sampling for walleye and other game fish, Staggs says. "Generally, we’ve found later spawning for both cool water and some nesting species is bad because the fish haven’t had a long growing season and won’t be as big going into the winter."


But panfish fanciers should take heart, Meyers says. "Past studies have shown that bluegill populations will spawn from late May into July with several different spawning periods in a given year," he says. "With several spawning times, the chances of successful reproduction is increased (almost a guarantee), and this is one of the reasons for continued high production of young bluegill each year."


"And that is why bluegills continue to be our most abundant panfish species which Wisconsin anglers like to pursue ---plus they taste good!"

WI - Lake Michigan  Update

Here’s what fisheries biologists reported About Lake Michigan on June 20-23:

Lake Michigan fishing is slow right now due to weather. The thermocline has not setup yet and the water temperature is about 52 degrees from top to bottom so the fish are real scattered right now. The thermocline is the transition area between warm surface waters and cold bottom waters. If the surface is 75 degrees, that might reach down to 40 ft and then the temperature starts to drop until it reaches the 40s near the bottom. Of course the deeper the water you are in, the colder the bottom temperature will be.


This is important because most salmon and trout prefer


water temperatures in the mid-50s so when this band  appears the fish stay in this area and are easier to target. Of course lake trout stay deep in colder water and rainbow can come to the surface in the summer but they also can be found in this band of water. This is due to the unusually cold spring and early summer we have had; once the weather warms and the lake starts to stratify, the fish will congregate more and the fishing will pick up.


Coho salmon action has been good to excellent in the southern part of the lake. Racine and Kenosha anglers have been getting limits for weeks and they are good sized some over 10 pounds. Fishing remains slow north of Racine primarily due to the weather. -

Brad Eggold, fisheries supervisor, southern Lake Michigan.

WI - Record fish continue coming in at record rate

MADISON – Anglers have already reeled in some state record fish for 2003, repeating the fast starts of recent years.


On May 1, Shane Cassel of Tomah caught a state record white crappie in the Cranberry Marsh in Monroe County. Cassel’s catch weighed in at 3 lbs 13.1 oz and was 16.5" long, besting the previous record, a 3 lb, 2 oz white crappie caught in 2001 from the Black River in Clark County. His catch represents the tenth time this record has changed hands in less than a decade.


On May 27, Frank Brown of Chippewa Falls caught a 9.6" long, 1 lb, 2 oz pumpkinseed from Big Round Lake in Polk County, edging out the previous record fish by 1 ounce.

Records have been falling like rain in recent years – at least 20 of them in fact -- in a trend that may partly reflect the public’s increased awareness of existing state records.A Department of Natural Resources Web page

lists all records – and reveals a wealth of categories for state records beyond the big game fish people might expect, according to Karl Scheidegger, the fisheries biologist who maintains the state records.


"I think some of what we're seeing is that anglers may be targeting records that seem attainable or are more willing to wade through the paperwork if they think they've caught a record fish," he says.


The recent spate of state records also reflects Wisconsin’s diversity of fish: 159 fish species in 27 families, with 145 of those species native to the state. Fourteen are introduced nonnative species. State records have been established in recent years for the quillback carpsucker, the mooneye, the shortnose gar, the American eel, and the burbot, among others.


To read about these and other state record fish, go online to www.fishingwisconsin.org , then look under "Wisconsin fish" for "record fish."


WI - State Supreme Court to hear arguments on mourning dove hunt

MADISON – The Wisconsin Supreme Court announced Friday, June 13, 2003 that it would consider a petition from Wisconsin Citizens Concerned for Cranes and Doves (WCCCD) to review a Count of Appeals decision reinstating a mourning dove hunting season set to begin on Sept. 1, 2003.


The hunting season previously had been scheduled to


open on Sept 1, 2001 but had been halted by an injunction  issued by Judge Daniel Moser. The appeals court subsequently removed the injunction allowing the season to open this year.

It is not likely that the Supreme Court will issue a decision until after this fall’s dove hunt, according to Tim Andryk, an attorney with the state DNR. Information on the mourning dove hunting season dates, bag limits and regulations can be found on the DNR web site.



ON - Checking American anglers at Sarnia bridge

Fish And Game check nets $6,250 in fines

AYLMER - Twenty-five charges were laid, 31 coolers, one household freezer and 971 kilograms (2140 lbs) of fish were seized and $6,250.00 in fines levied after a joint enforcement blitz by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and Canada Customs and Revenue Agency Saturday, June 7 at the Blue Water Bridge in Sarnia.


The MNR set up the fish and game check station to determine if non-residents were violating provincial or federal regulations pertaining to fish and game.  Conservation and Customs Officers inspected 155 fishing parties returning to Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Kentucky and New York during the 4 ˝-hour operation.

Conservation Officers from MNR's Aylmer District laid 25 charges under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act for transporting fish unlawfully possessed. All of the charges were laid against recreational anglers who had fished in Ontario during the first week of June.  MNR  Conservation Officers occasionally use border points or roadside check stations in various areas of Ontario to enforce fish and wildlife regulations.


The operation was carried out with the co-operation of MNR's Lake Erie Management Unit and the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.  A fish and game check station at the Blue Water Bridge on May 24 had resulted in an additional 21 charges being laid at that time.


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 

All contents Copyright © 1995 - 2003, GLSFC All Rights Reserved.

Web site maintained by JJ Consulting