Week of July 3, 2006

National

Canada

Regional

General

Illinois

Indiana

Michigan

Minnesota

Ohio

Pennsylvania

Wisconsin

Ontario

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National

Happy 4th of July 

Lest we forget that the freedom we celebrate on the 4th of July, with barbecues and fireworks, was paid for -- and is still being

bought -- with the blood of our finest;  God Bless our troops and God Bless America.


Young Anglers Win Lifetime Fishing Licenses in N. Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. - Three young anglers will be able to fish for free in North Carolina for the rest of their lives, thanks to the cooperative efforts of the Tarboro Association of Saltwater Sportsman and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

 

The anglers' names were drawn from more than 2,800 other participants to win lifetime comprehensive fishing licenses, the grand prizes offered in a statewide drawing for participants in 38 "Fish for Fun" events held during National Fishing and Boating Week, June 3-11.

 

The licenses, donated by the Tarboro Association of Saltwater Sportsman, are valued at $250 each. They give the young anglers lifetime fishing privileges in all North Carolina public freshwaters, including designated Public Mountain Trout Waters. The grand prize winners and the event locations where they registered are:

 

• Taylor Holland, 11, of Franklin, Kids' Fishing Day at Cliffside Lake

• Cameron McAuley, 14, of Albemarle, Parent/Child Fish for

Fun Day at City Lake Park

• Erika Joe, 6, of Jacksonville, Kids' All-American Fishing Derby at Equine Park

 

In addition to the three grand prize winners, 100 other young anglers netted prizes at the fishing events.

 

Bass Pro Shops donated 50 fishing-related prizes, including tackle boxes, rods and reels and spools of fishing line. The Wildlife Resources Commission also contributed prizes, including mini tackle boxes, fishing towels and decks of playing cards featuring 13 popular game fish found in North Carolina. The events, coordinated by the U.S. Forest Service and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, gave kids and their parents opportunities to learn about protecting and conserving aquatic resources while enjoying the thrill of reeling in a variety of game fish. 

 

For more information on fishing in North Carolina's inland, public waters, visit the Commission's Web site, www.ncwildlife.org , or call (919) 707-0220.


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for June 30, 2006

Lake Level Conditions: 

Water levels on Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, and Ontario are 3 to 6 inches below the levels of a year ago, while Lakes St. Clair and Erie are at the same level as last year.  The water level in Lake Superior continues to rise and is expected to be 1 inch higher next month, while the remaining lakes are nearing their seasonal peak, and will remain the same or drop up to 2 inches by late July.  Over the next few months, all of the Great Lakes are predicted to remain at or approach water levels similar to 2005.

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

The Lake Superior outflow through the St. Marys River into Lake Huron is expected to be near average in July.  Flows in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are expected to be below average during July.  Flows in the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers are expected to be near and below average, respectively, in July.

Alerts:

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

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for June 30

601.4

577.9

574.2

571.8

245.7

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

+3

+5

+24

+31

+29

Diff last month

+1

0

+3

0

+1

Diff from last yr

-6

-3

0

0

-4


Survival of large lake trout as good as the small ones in Lake Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI — Great Lakes' lake trout populations are being enhanced through stocking of hatchery-reared fish to rebuild populations and develop self-reproducing stocks.

 

In Lake Michigan over 2 million lake trout have been stocked annually for decades by the USFWS for this restoration effort. These fish enter the lake as yearlings (about 14 months old) and were previously stocked at size of 44 fish/kg. It was thought that raising and stocking larger fish (about 24 fish/kg) would increase the post release survival of these fish in the lake, which would require fewer fish to be raised and reduce crowding at the national fish hatcheries.

Fishery biologists from the USFWS and the Wisconsin DNR teamed up to test whether survival of the larger lake trout was greater than the smaller fish. Paired stockings of uniquely tagged small and large lake trout were released in Lake Michigan and recovered over many years to determine relative survival. Recapture rates indicated that relative survival of the two groups was similar, and that stocking larger fish did not benefit the restoration program.

 

"Apparently the size difference we tested did not benefit survivorship of lake trout, and their overall health condition at stocking is likely more important than size," according to FWS Biologist Charles Bronte.


Canada

Shipping Act to reduce invasion of Canada's waterways

Exempts the Great Lakes from new protection

Transport Canada last week announced new regulations under the Canada Shipping Act to reduce the introduction of aquatic invasive species and pathogens into Canadian waters through ship ballast water discharges. The regulations, which have been under development since 2000, set new ballast water management requirements for all ships entering waters under Canadian jurisdiction, and represent Canada’s first step towards implementation of the International Maritime

Organization’s Convention for the Control and Management of

Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments.

 

However, Canada has exempted ships entering the Great Lakes loaded with goods, as well as with the lack of enforceable deadlines for treatment standards.

 

It is estimated that invasive species currently costs Canada billions of dollars each year. The economic cost associated with the invasion of just one species, the zebra mussel, has been estimated at over $1 billion for the Great Lakes region alone.


General

Top Five tips for trailer boaters

BoatU.S. has five hot tips to help prevent trailer boat owners from be coming a roadside statistic this summer.

•  Make sure your trailer tires were made for trailering. A “ST” designation on the sidewall indicates “special trailer” used for boat trailers. These tires have stronger sidewalls than “P” (passenger) and “LT” (light truck tires). Also , never mix bias ply (commonly used for short trips or when a trailer is parked for long periods) with radial tires (preferred for high-mileage trips).

 

•  Inflation is the most basic tire maintenance issue. Tires should be inflated while cold, before the trip — not during. Buy a spare tire but b e sure to bring a tire and rim combo when shopping for your spare as not all are alike. Ensure your jack can handle the trailer as well.

 

•  A tire's worst enemy is dry rot caused by the sun's UV rays. If

you store your boat and trailer outside during the winter, remove the tires and keep inside if possible. Tire covers can also help.

 

• Moisture can also doom a tire, especially if the trailer sits idle for a long time on grassy, damp ground. Again, removing the tire is best but parking on plywood can also help. If parking on a hard surface such as concrete, ensure that water freely drains away from the trailer after a rainstorm.

 

•  Lastly, ensure that you know your boat and trailer weight, as overloading can lead to premature wear and potentially dangerous blowouts.

 

The number one most common call for assistance reason is for flat tires. The percentages for all trailer breakdowns were : Flats: 47% ; Bearings: 26% ; Axle: 13% ; Tow Vehicle: 9% ; Miscellaneous: 5%.


Be Bear Wise

Prepare and be aware at your campsite.

When enjoying Ontario’s campsites, lakes, forests and hiking trails, it’s wise to remember that you’re in the natural habitat of black bears. Bears have a keen sense of smell, and are attracted by the odor of human food and garbage.

 

To avoid conflicts with bears, prepare … and be aware.

What campers can do:

 ▪ Reduce or eliminate odors from yourself, your camp, your clothes and your vehicle

 ▪ Cook and store your food well away from your tent site

 ▪ Clean fish and store food remains away from your campsite

▪ Burn food scraps and fat drippings thoroughly in a fire

 ▪ Never cook, eat or store food in your tent –this includes snacks

 ▪ Store food so that bears can't reach it – in your car trunk or hang at least 4 metres (13') above ground

 ▪ Sleep in clothes other than those you have cooked in

 ▪ Properly store and pack all garbage

 ▪ Handle and store pet food with as much care as you do your own

 

In an immediate emergency call your local police or 911. To report bear problems call: 866-514-2327 (866-514-BEAR)

For more info: www.bears.mnr.gov.on.ca 


 

Illinois

Northerly Island today

Northerly Island, for fifty years was a local Chicago lakefront airport with more activity than most others that size. It was often used by corporate jets and helicopters bringing their passengers to the downtown area, thus avoiding the time-delaying congestion attributed to the overcrowded O’Hare Airport.

 

Part of Chicago’s lake front and once a part of the park system, an island that was converted to a peninsula with a causeway that was built by the Chicago Park District, has now been converted in part back to a park. That park is now a part of the Chicago Park District; it is also a part of the Openlands project.  The city is moving along with its conversion project, and the last we heard the $30,000 fine from the FAA against the city for closing the airport without approval from the feds is under appeal.

 

Northerly Island is a 91 acre peninsula, with a majority of the   

space dedicated to nature. The nature area at Northerly Island features beautiful strolling paths and casual play areas.  It is open in large part to fishing and The Park District is holding some of its summer tournaments there, under the guidance and supervision of Bob Long, Jr.

 

It was a part of the Daniel Burnham plan, and is reverting back to it. Under his plan it was originally a part of the Second World’s Fair, along with Burnham Park. It was attached to the mainland with a walk bridge.

 

Today, Northerly Island field house is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM. Staff is available during these hours to answer questions about the island and provide information on tours. In June 2005, a temporary, yet state-of-the-art concert venue was built at the northern end of the island. The 7,500 seat Charter One Pavilion hosts concerts from popular artists along with family matinee events.  Tickets to the concerts at Charter One Pavilion are available through Ticketmaster.


Archery deer hunting program at Sahara Woods State Fish and Wildlife area

Site Permit applications now available - deadline to apply is August 31

SPRINGFIELD, IL - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has scheduled an archery deer hunting program on designated portions of the Sahara Woods State Fish and Wildlife Area in southern Illinois for this fall.  Sahara Woods is located five miles west of Harrisburg on Illinois Route 13.

 

Designated areas at Sahara Woods will be open for archery deer hunting by site permit only during 15 one-week periods from October 1, 2006 through January 11, 2007.  This special hunt will be available to both Illinois residents and non-residents.  All statewide rules and regulations will apply unless stated otherwise.  The site will be closed during the firearm deer season (Nov. 17-19 and Nov. 30-Dec. 3).

 

Hunters may apply to participate in the 15 one-week hunting periods through a mail-in drawing. Applications are now available at the Saline County State Fish and Wildlife Area near Equality and at the IDNR Regional Office in Benton.  Application forms are also available on the IDNR web site at

http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/hunter_fact_sheet/

r5hfs/shw.htm

 

Applications must be received at the IDNR Regional Office in Benton by the close of business on Aug. 31.  Successful   

applicants only will be notified by mail by Sept. 15 and will be assigned one of the 15 one-week hunting seasons.  All hunters will be required to show proof of a current hunting license, state-issued archery permit and site-issued windshield permit.

 

Hunters will receive a free windshield card which must be displayed in their vehicle windshield when hunting at the Sahara Woods unit.  Site permits must be returned to Saline County State Fish and Wildlife Area by Feb. 1, 2007.  Failure to return the permit will result in a loss of hunting privileges for next season.

 

A maximum of 30 hunters per week may harvest a maximum of two deer each during their assigned hunting season.

 

Except for the planned archery deer hunting program this fall, the Sahara Woods State Fish and Wildlife Area is not yet open to the public.  A former coal strip mine, Sahara Woods encompasses more than 4,000 acres.  Approximately 1,200 acres will be open to hunters with site permits during the fall archery deer hunting program.  Mine reclamation work continues at Sahara Woods and limits public access on other portions of the site.  For safety reasons, vehicles of those participating in the archery hunt must remain on two primary access roads.  Other areas of the site are restricted areas and are closed to public access.


Indiana

DNR revises mute swan control strategy

In a move designed to better protect the general public and control Indiana's mute swan population, the DNR has enacted a temporary law that keeps a tight rein on the killing of these exotic birds that sometimes hurt lake ecosystems and native wildlife.

 

The new law still allows mute swans to be lethally removed by authorized DNR employees at any time. The law has been changed so that nuisance wild animal control permits to lethally remove mute swans will be issued only to resident landowners or tenants, or to individuals who have obtained approval from a conservation officer.

 

Control permit applicants must provide specific information before being considered for a permit, including (1) the nature of the problem, (2) its exact location, (3) confirmation that the bird is a mute swan and not another species, (4) the method to be used for lethally removing the mute swan, and (5) how many mute swans are to be removed from that property.

 

Permits will be issued on a very limited basis and will be very restrictive in how, when and where a nuisance swan can be taken. If issued a permit, the holder would be required to notify law enforcement before lethal removal. Special restrictions will be placed for time of day, time of year and method to be used, depending on the location.

The DNR anticipates that only "nuisance" mute swans having aggressive, negative interactions with the public will be lethally removed during the traditional recreation season, which ends Labor Day. More concentrated, deliberate efforts by authorized DNR staff will be made to reduce the mute swan population when fewer people are using the lakes.

 

While it's impossible to know the exact number of mute swans in Indiana, DNR biologists estimate the number at more than 1,000. Other states are also dealing with the problem.

 

Maryland, which has the largest mute swan population in the country, has lethally removed 800 mute swans from Chesapeake Bay, primarily due to conflicts with endangered shorebirds and other native waterfowl. Michigan recently gave its DNR the authority to reduce mute swan populations to prevent interference with native species and "to protect public health, safety and welfare."

 

Ohio has lethally removed 50-60 mute swans per year to prevent and reduce conflicts with their native trumpeter swans (a federally protected species). Wisconsin has an aggressive removal policy that includes shooting (where feasible), egg addling, and the issuance of permits to private landowners.

 

More mute swan information:  http://www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/muteswans.html


Children's day camp at Salamonie Reservoir, July 17-21

Parents with children ages 7 to 12, who are looking for some "wild" fun should note the day camp coming to Salamonie Reservoir, July 17-21.

 

From 9 a.m. to noon each day that week, camp participants will learn about the environment. Lessons will be given on photography, endangered species and reintroduction, succession, earth care, making recycled nature scrapbooks and more. The activities will be guided by interpretive

naturalists trained to provide a safe and fun environment. Children need to bring a sack lunch and drink each day.

 

Advance registration by calling (260) 468-2127 is required. There is a $10 participation fee for each child. Space is limited. The usual gate fee to enter the property each day will be waived for registered youth. Parents must complete health/participation forms on the first day.

 

For more information about other programs offered by Upper Wabash Interpretive Services, go to www.dnr.IN.gov/uwis .


DNR revises strategy for controlling mute swans        

In a move designed to better protect the general public and control Indiana's mute swan population, the DNR has enacted a temporary law that places more restrictions on who can lethally remove the exotic invasive species and when.

 

The mute swan threatens lake ecosystems and native wildlife. "In dealing with this or any other invasive species, our ultimate goal is to protect the public, our native wildlife and their habitat," said DNR Director Kyle Hupfer. "Our previous law allowed too much leeway for lethally removing these aggressive birds.

 

"This change reflects the concerns and comments we've received, allows mute swans to be taken, and maximizes our level of control over who, when and where that can happen."

 

Just as with the previous law, mute swans may be lethally removed by authorized DNR employees at any time.  The change is that nuisance wild animal control permits to lethally remove mute swans will be issued only to resident landowners or tenants and to other individuals who have obtained approval from a conservation officer. 

 

Applicants must provide specific information before being considered for a permit, including (1) the nature of the problem, (2) its exact location, (3) confirmation that the bird is a mute swan and not another species, (4) the method to be used for lethally removing the mute swan, and (5) how many mute swans are to be removed from that property.

Permits will be issued on a very limited basis and will be very restrictive in how, when and where a nuisance swan can be taken. If issued a permit, the holder would be required to notify law enforcement before lethal removal. Special restrictions will be placed for time of day, time of year and method to be used, depending on the location.

 

The DNR anticipates that only "nuisance" mute swans having aggressive, negative interactions with the public will be lethally removed during the traditional recreation season, which ends Labor Day.  More concentrated, deliberate efforts by authorized DNR staff will be made to reduce the mute swan population when fewer people are using the lakes.

           

While it's impossible to know the exact number of mute swans in Indiana, DNR biologists estimate the number at more than 1,000. Other states are also dealing with the problem. Maryland, which has the largest mute swan population in the country, has lethally removed 800 mute swans from Chesapeake Bay, primarily due to conflicts with endangered shorebirds and other native waterfowl. Michigan recently gave its DNR the authority to reduce mute swan populations to prevent interference with native species and "to protect public health, safety and welfare."

 

Ohio has lethally removed 50-60 mute swans per year to prevent and reduce conflicts with their native trumpeter swans (a federally protected species). Wisconsin has an aggressive removal policy that includes shooting (where feasible), egg addling, and the issuance of permits to private landowners.


Michigan

Construction Improvements Impact Boating Access Sites

Two boating access sites in Montcalm County will be closed in July for construction upgrades, DNR officials announced.

The access site on Tamarack Lake in Cato Township will be closed from July 10 to July 14 to replace a damaged cement pad and add a skid pier. Minor upgrades to the parking area

will allow the site to be universally accessible.

 

The access site on Little Whitefish Lake in Pierson Township will be closed from July 17 to July 21 for a renovation that will add a concrete launch pad to replace the current gravel and upgrade the parking area.


Bear and Elk Hunting Opportunity for Youth and Hunters with an Advanced Illness

The Michigan DNR reminds bear and elk license lottery applicants that they have the opportunity to transfer their drawing success to a qualified youth or adult applicant with an advanced illness.

 

“This is a great opportunity for hunters to help a youth experience what may be his or her first hunt, or to be compassionate and offer their hunting opportunity to someone who may never have another chance to hunt,” said Bill Moritz, DNR Wildlife Division chief.

 

In 2005, 73 successful applicants donated their drawing success. However, several of those licenses were left unfilled because the pool of eligible applicants was too small. The DNR recommends that hunters who are willing to donate their

drawing success do so as early as possible.  Eligible participants with flexible schedules may have greater opportunity to accept a donated hunt.

 

Eligible applicants who wish to receive another’s drawing success must register online at www.michigan.gov/dnr  by July 15.  Those eligible to receive a transfer of drawing success include unsuccessful youth applicants (ages 12-16 for bear and 14-16 for elk), and unsuccessful applicants of legal hunting age with an advanced illness. Advanced illness is a specific medical condition and eligibility under this provision requires a written statement of advanced illness authorized by a physician. 

 

Successful applicants who wish to transfer or donate their drawing success should contact the DNR at 517-373-3904. 


Drunken boaters could face tougher DUI laws in Michigan

Ontario passes boating DUI law – same as Highway law

Two bills introduced in the Michigan House would lower the blood alcohol threshold from 0.10 percent to 0.08 percent, the same standard in the state’s drunken driving law.  The bills were sparked in part by a fatal boating accident on Donnell Lake in southwest Michigan last summer, according to the Insurance Journal, headquartered in San Diego, Calif.

 

A 7-year-old boy riding a tube was killed when he was hit by a 34-year-old PWC driver. The PWC driver had a blood alcohol content of about 0.08 when tested after the accident, which would have led to an arrest for drunken driving on a highway, according to the Journal.

 

Ontario boaters caught operating a vessel while drinking can now lose their motor vehicle driver’s licence. A private member’s bill, introduced at the provincial legislature by Liberal backbencher David Zimmer, passed without opposition June 29, and was signed into law immediately. “It

was crucial to try and get this bill through this spring before we adjourned so it caught this summer’s boating season,” said Zimmer.

 

The new Ontario law essentially extends the Highway Traffic Act to boaters. That means police can issue on-the-spot, 12-hour driver licence suspensions to anyone operating a boat under the influence of alcohol. People who are charged with boating while intoxicated will automatically have their driver’s licence suspended for 90 days.

 

In Ontario, alcohol is a factor in 40 per cent of recreational boating fatalities. The bill was passed quietly without opposition in a flurry of last-minute activity on the final day of the legislative session.

 

In Michigan alcohol is a factor in about a third of reported boating deaths, according to the Michigan Association of Insurance Agents. The association based its findings on data from the state Department of Natural Resources


Minnesota

Ontario-Minnesota border waters sturgeon season reopens July 1

As the lake sturgeon harvest season reopens July 1, the Minnesota DNR reminds prospective anglers that a $5 lake sturgeon tag is required for harvesting the fish. The summer harvest season on Minnesota-Canada border waters runs from July 1 - Sept. 30.

 

The harvest tags, which can be purchased at any Electronic Licensing System (ELS) agent, help the DNR gain better information on total lake sturgeon harvest statewide. The lake sturgeon tag allows an angler to harvest one lake sturgeon per license year under the existing seasons.

 

The lake sturgeon tag must be purchased prior to possessing a lake sturgeon. Anglers applying for a tag must either possess a valid Minnesota fishing license or must be specifically exempt by law from the fishing license requirement. Anglers under 16 will need to establish a DNR registration number upon applying for a sturgeon tag. Anglers not intending to harvest a lake sturgeon may practice catch and release for the species during the open season.

 

The DNR issues the following instructions for using the ELS tags:

- anglers may only tag fish they personally catch

- immediately after reducing a lake sturgeon to possession, the angler must validate and attach the tag to the fish

- to validate the tag, the angler must cut out or sign off the time, day and month when the fish was taken

- angler must attach validated tag to the caudal peducle (narrow portion of the body just in front of the tail fin using string, wire, plastic tie or similar device so that it can not be removed or lost

- catch must be registered by the tag holder within 48 hours by mailing in the registration card to the DNR Northwest Region Fisheries

  office in Bemidji; the registration card is printed out with the ELS tag at the time of purchase.

 

Anglers registered 104 lake sturgeon weighing an estimated 2,539 lbs during the April 24 through May 7 spring season on the border waters. The fish averaged 47.6" long with an estimated average weight of 24.2 lbs. Ninety-four sturgeon were harvested from the Rainy River and 10 from Lake of the Woods.

 

For more info: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/areas/fisheries/baudette/index.html


Minnesota's Canada Geese

Since 2001, the DNR has conducted a helicopter survey of nesting Canada geese during April. This year's estimate was 358,000 Canada geese, 12% higher than last year. The survey, which includes most of the state except for the Twin Cities metropolitan area, counts Canada geese on randomly selected 160 acre plots located in prairie, transition and forested areas.

 

 "In general, the results show that 80 % of the breeding geese

occur in the prairie and transition area, excluding geese that breed in the seven-county metro area," said DNR goose specialist Steve Maxson. "Remaining geese breed in the forest region. Canada goose abundance is very high across the state and the survey suggests that the population may still be increasing slightly."

 

The report can be viewed at: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/waterfowl/index.html .


Ohio

DNR extends e-renewal watercraft registration service

Ohioans have until September 30 to register their boats online

COLUMBUS, OH - Ohio boaters now have until September 30 to renew their watercraft registrations electronically via the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

 

 “We have registered this year more than 9,000 Ohio watercraft through the e-renewal system, extending this registration option improves our scope of customer services,” said Rick Barrera, registration and titling manager for the ODNR Division of Watercraft.

 

That number represents nearly twice as many e-renewals

than were made last year when a total of 5,890 watercraft

registration renewals were processed through the ODNR web site. This year, kayaks and canoes may be renewed electronically for the first time.

 

While address changes for watercraft owners can be made through the online system, incorrect or outdated registration information must be corrected in person through a watercraft registration agent. A list of state watercraft registration agents is also available at ohiodnr.com. 

 

All new and renewed watercraft registrations must include a valid 12-character hull identification number. Boat owners also may call the ODNR Division of Watercraft toll-free at 877-4BOATER (877-426-2837) for additional information.


Pennsylvania

Bald Eagle nests top 100, first time in more than a century

Once a federally- and state-endangered species, the raptor's comeback is virtually complete!

HARRISBURG - The bald eagle, as symbolic of American freedom as the Fourth of July and Old Glory itself, is nesting in more than 100 locations across the Commonwealth for the first time in more than a century, the Pennsylvania Game Commission announced today. 

 

The Game Commission started Pennsylvania's seven-year bald eagle reintroduction program in 1983, when three nesting pairs remained in the Commonwealth. The agency sent employees to Saskatchewan to obtain 12 eaglets from wilderness nests in the first year. With financial assistance from the Richard King Mellon Foundation of Pittsburgh and the federal Endangered Species Fund, the project spurred the release of 88 Canadian bald eagles into the wilds of Pennsylvania at Haldeman Island in Dauphin County and Shohola Falls in Pike County.

 

"Pennsylvanians have every right to be excited and proud about the bald eagle's comeback, because their increasing presence in the Commonwealth symbolizes that wildlife conservation is working here and that Pennsylvanians care," noted Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe. "We have reason to believe this remarkable story will continue to get better in subsequent years, because our state still has plenty of unoccupied bald eagle habitat.

 

"It's entirely appropriate that we celebrate the bald eagle's historic milestone of more than 100 nests in Pennsylvania as we prepare to commemorate our country's birthday. America will be 230 years old on the Fourth of July, and the bald eagle has symbolized America for most of that time, as per our forefathers' wishes. Bald eagles imbue that rugged spiritedness that characterizes our United States and Keystone State." 

 

The Game Commission, partnering with other states and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), helped to bring bald eagles back from the brink of extinction with reintroductions throughout the Northeast in the 1980s. The effort dovetailed with important gains made in improving water quality, which led to increases in the quality and quantity of freshwater fish, a staple in the eagle's diet. Pennsylvania's eagle resurgence also was likely stimulated by young eagles dispersing from the Chesapeake Bay, which now has more than 600 nesting pairs, and neighboring states that also reintroduced eagles.

 

Bald eagles are nesting in at least 31 of the state's 67 counties, according to preliminary census tabulations. There 

are at least 106 active nesting pairs (99 confirmed in 2005), and an additional 20 pairs appear to have established territories, which typically is a prerequisite task to nest-building. New nests have been confirmed in Bucks, Columbia, Fulton and Sullivan counties. Field staff also is looking into reports of new nests in Adams, Lawrence, Luzerne, Mercer, Montour and Wayne counties. 

 

"I fully expect to add more eagle nests to our preliminary total, because there are plenty of unanswered questions about a substantial number of nests," said Doug Gross, Game Commission ornithologist.  "Agency Wildlife Conservation Officers are following up reports from birders, many participating in the 2nd Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas, about eagle nests, but their ability to confirm eagle nesting is compromised by the camouflage of leaf-out and the rugged, hard-to-reach areas nesting eagles use."

 

The bald eagle is listed as a "threatened species" by the federal government and Pennsylvania. Bald eagles were upgraded from "endangered" to "threatened" nationally in 1995; the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners upgraded them on Oct. 4, 2005. The USFWS recently closed a public comment period to remove the bald eagle from federal threatened species list. However, bald eagles still would be protected by the Bald Eagle Protection Act and other federal and state laws, even if it is delisted.

 

"The best available scientific and commercial data available indicates that the bald eagle has recovered," the USFWS reported in the Feb. 16, 2006, edition of the Federal Register. "The bald eagle population in the lower 48 States has increased from approximately 487 active nests in 1963, to an estimated minimum 7,066 breeding pairs today."

 

Last year, 118 eaglets were fledged from 99 Pennsylvania active nests. The state's eagle nests are expected to fledge just as many or more in 2006. This trend illustrates the bald eagle is back in the Commonwealth and their future looks brighter than it has for many decades.

 

The state's largest concentrations of bald eagles are found in three geographic areas:  the expansive wetlands of Crawford, Mercer and Erie counties; along the lower Susquehanna River in Chester, Lancaster and York counties; and the Poconos and Upper Delaware River region.  For years, Crawford County - particularly the Pymatuning region - had represented the state's last stand for and largest concentration of bald eagles. This year, Crawford has at least 14 active nests (14 in 2005); lower Susquehanna River, 20 (16). In the Poconos, there are 21 nests (15).

 

Photo; courtesy PA Game Commission


Wisconsin

DNR to enforce boat-cleaning law on July 4th

WAUSAU, WI (AP). - State wardens plan tougher enforcement during the July Fourth holiday of a law requiring people to clean their boats to avoid accidentally transporting invasive species into more Wisconsin waters.

 

Boaters who don't follow the law can expect citations, said Randy Stark, chief conservation warden for the DNR, "It is a growing problem," he said. "All the wardens in the state are aware of this initiative."  Until now, wardens have issued only a handful of citations, Stark said. They now have evidence a growing number of boaters are simply ignoring the law, meaning they must move from educating people to cracking down with citations, he said.  "We'd prefer that people come to understand the law and just do what's right because it's the right thing to do," he said.

 

About 500 bodies of water, including Lakes Michigan and Superior, have either zebra mussels or Eurasian water milfoil

- two of the invasive species that threaten the recreational quality of the waters, according to the DNR.

 

A law passed five years ago makes it illegal for people to launch a boat or boating equipment with an aquatic plant attached. The fine for the first violation is $150. Wardens will check boats at landings during the Fourth of July holiday to enforce the law. They also will hand out information about aquatic invasive species and show people how to clean their boats before they launch them or as they leave the water, Stark said.

 

Lakes Superior and Michigan and 92 inland waters have reproducing populations of zebra mussels, Martin said. A total of 458 waters, including Great Lake bays and harbors, have Eurasian water milfoil.  In 2000, 40 water bodies had zebra mussels and 312 had Eurasian water milfoil. In 1995, only seven water bodies were infested with zebra mussels and 280 had Eurasian water milfoil.


Ontario

Be Bear Wise

Prepare and be aware at your campsite.

When enjoying Ontario’s campsites, lakes, forests and hiking trails, it’s wise to remember that you’re in the natural habitat of black bears. Bears have a keen sense of smell, and are attracted by the odor of human food and garbage.

 

To avoid conflicts with bears, prepare … and be aware.

What campers can do:

 ▪ Reduce or eliminate odors from yourself, your camp, your clothes and your vehicle

 ▪ Cook and store your food well away from your tent site

 ▪ Clean fish and store food remains away from your campsite

▪ Burn food scraps and fat drippings thoroughly in a fire

▪ Never cook, eat or store food in your tent –this includes snacks

 ▪ Store food so that bears can't reach it – in your car trunk or hang at least 4 metres (13') above ground

 ▪ Sleep in clothes other than those you have cooked in

 ▪ Properly store and pack all garbage

 ▪ Handle and store pet food with as much care as you do your own

 

In an immediate emergency call your local police or 911. To report bear problems call: 866-514-2327 (866-514-BEAR)

For more info: www.bears.mnr.gov.on.ca 


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

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

Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.

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