Week of July 22, 2013

Words to Ponder
Beyond the Great Lakes
Misc New Fishing-Boating Products
National

Regional

Lake Huron

Illinois
Michigan
Minnesota
Ohio
Other Breaking News Items

 

       Weekly News Archives

                         or

       New Product  Archives

 

Words to Ponder

Words to Ponder

“Allegiance to the United States Constitution is not an option", said Al Garza, founder of "Conservative Hispanics of America" in response those

who would put loyalty to the U.S. in second place behind allegiance to a culture or ancestral home.


Beyond the Great Lakes

Colorado Town declares Open Season on federal drones

DENVER (PLD)--The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is going after people who shoot domestic surveillance and reconnaissance drones out of the sky, reacting to word that people are organizing bounties that reward anyone who turns up with the dismantled scraps of any unmanned aircraft they’ve successfully taken down.

 

The move is likely a pre-emptive show of power to curb a precedent set by the small Colorado town of Deer Trail, where privacy advocates are preparing an ordinance that, if approved by town leaders, would establish a municipally paid bounty of up to $100 to residents and nonresidents alike for every Federal drone they take out of commission. All that would be required is a $25 annual “drone-hunting license,” issued by the town, permitting bounty hunters to declare open season on drones anywhere within Deer Trail airspace.

 

It’s highly illegal, and the ordinance’s main proponent, Phillip Steel,

knows it.

 

“Is it illegal? Of course it is,” Steel told CNN. “But it’s also illegal to spy on American citizens. If they fly in town, we will shoot them down.”

Steel wrote the ordinance himself, which sets rules on what kinds of firearms can and can’t be used, as well as a number of other parameters that seem to combine humor (such as forcing people who shoot down’ a child’s RC helicopter by mistake to reimburse the cost — unless it was flying above their own property) with a serious-minded statement about what it means to be a free American.

 

The town clerk stated that a petition to bring the ordinance to a vote had collected “way more” signatures than required under the law. The Deer Trail town board of trustees will take up the ordinance at its Aug. 6 regular meeting. The clerk said the board is actually considering passing the ordinance outright.


Misc New Fishing-Boating Products

Fishing Tackle Trade Show new product awards

Las Vegas--This year, the New Product Showcase the tradeshow’s flagship event, held during ICAST, was as competitive as ever. Sponsored by Fishing Tackle Retailer, nearly 200 companies entered more than 700 tackle products, accessories and apparel into the New Product Showcase.

 

ICAST 2013 Overall Best of Show – JL Marine Systems, Inc.
Product - Power-Pole Micro Anchor

 

Best of Show – Apparel – Shimano American Corporation
Product - Dryfender Insulated Raingear
 

Best of Show - Boating Accessory – JL Marine Systems, Inc.
Product - Power-Pole Mirco Anchor
 

Best of Show – Boats – Johnson Outdoors Watercraft, Inc.
Product - Predator 13

 

Best of Show – Combo – 13 Fishing
Product - White Out
 

Best of Show – Electronics – Johnson Outdoors
Product - Humminbird Bow Mount 360 Imaging
 

Best of Show - Eyewear – Costa
Product - Tuna Alley
 

Best of Show - Fishing Accessory – American Tackle Company
Product - Tidal Wave-Micro Wave System
 

Best of Show - Fishsmart Tackle – Foreverlast, Inc.
Product - G2 Floating Wading Net
 

Best of Show - Fly Fishing Accessory – Columbia Sportswear
Product - Henry's Fork V Vest

Best of Show - Fly Fishing Reel – Beam Outdoors
Product - Elite 21 Reel

Best of Show - Fly Fishing Rod – G. Loomis, Inc.
Product - PRO4x

 

Best of Show - Freshwater Reel – Shimano American Corporation
Product - CHRONARCH C14+
 

Best of Show - Freshwater Rod – G. Loomis, Inc.
Product - NRX Umbrella Rig

Best of Show – Giftware – Rapala
Product - Original Floating Bottle Opener
 

Best of Show - Kids’ Tackle – Pure Fishing, Inc.
Product - Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Youth Combo
 

Best of Show – Line – PowerPro
Product - PowerPro Zero-Impact
 

Best of Show - Hard Lure – Koppers Fishing & Tackle Corporation
Product - LIVETARGET Baitball
 

Best of Show - Soft Lure – Lunkerhunt
Product - Lunker Frog
 

Best of Show - Saltwater Reel – Shimano American Corporation
Product - Stella SW 30000
 

Best of Show - Saltwater Rod – St. Croix Rods
Product - Legend Xtreme Inshore

Best of Show - Tackle Management – Plano Molding Company
Product - 3700 Guide Series Tackle Bag
 

Best of Show - Terminal Tackle – Mustad
Product - Grip-Pin Swim
 

ICAST 2014 will be held at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla., July 15 – 18, 2014.


National

CDC Study: Use of Firearms for Self-Defense is ‘Important Crime Deterrent’

CNSNews) – “Self-defense can be an important crime deterrent,” says a new report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The $10 million study was commissioned by President Barack Obama as part of 23 executive orders he signed in January.

 

“Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies,” the CDC study, entitled “Priorities For Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence,” states.

 

The report, which notes that “ violent crimes, including homicides specifically, have declined in the past five years,” also pointed out that “some firearm violence results in death, but most does not.” In fact, the CDC report said, most incidents involving the discharge of firearms do not result in a fatality.

 

“In 2010, incidents in the U.S. involving firearms injured or killed more than 105,000 Americans, of which there were twice as many nonfatal firearm-related injuries (73,505) than deaths.”

 

The White House unveiled a plan in January that included orders to the CDC to “conduct research on the causes and prevention of gun violence.” According to the White House report, “Research on gun violence is not advocacy; it is critical public health research that gives all Americans information they need.”

 

The Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council released the results of their research through the CDC last month. Researchers compiled data from previous studies in order to guide future research on gun violence, noting that “almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year.”

 

“Most felons report obtaining the majority of their firearms from informal sources,” adds the report, while “stolen guns account for only a small percentage of guns used by convicted criminals.” Researchers also found that the majority of firearm deaths are from suicide, not homicide. "Between the years 2000 and 2010, firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups. It annually accounted for 61% of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearm-related violence in the United States.”

 

African American males are most affected by firearm-related violence, with “32 per 100,000” deaths. Risk factors and predictors of violence include income inequality, “diminished economic opportunities . . . high levels of family disruption” and “low levels of community participation.”

The report expresses uncertainty about gun control measures, stating

that “whether gun restrictions reduce firearm-related violence is an unresolved issue,” and that there is no evidence “that passage of right-to-carry laws decrease or increase violence crime.” It also stated that proposed “gun turn-in programs are ineffective.”  Instead, researchers proposed gun safety technologies such as “external locking devices and biometric systems” to reduce firearm-related deaths.

 

“I thought it was very telling that this report focused so heavily on . . . futuristic technology that’s not been brought to the market in any kind of reliable form that consumers have any interest in,” John Frazer, director of research and information at the National Rifle Association (NRA), told CNSNews.com.

 

These “smart gun” technologies are “designed to prevent misuse, to prevent either accidents or crimes committed with stolen guns,” Frazer noted. “Obviously it wouldn’t have any effect on crimes committed with a gun purchased by the criminal. It obviously wouldn’t have any effect on suicides by people who bought the guns themselves.” However, “it could have a huge burden on self-defense rights of law-abiding people if they’re forced to use an unproven technology.”

 

The CDC’s findings - that guns are an effective and often used crime deterrent and that most firearm incidents are not fatal - could affect the future of gun violence research.  The report establishes guidelines meant only for future “taxpayer-funded research,” Frazer said. However, “the anti-gun researchers out there who want to study and promote gun control are perfectly free to get funded to do that by [New York] Mayor Bloomberg or by any number of other organizations or foundations.”

 

“It depends on who’s doing the research,” Frazer added. “I would be very concerned that a lot of the follow-up research that might come from this agenda would be more of what we’ve seen from the anti-gun public health establishment in the past.”

 

According to a National Academies press release, organizations supporting the CDC study have close ties to Obama.  When contacted by CNSNews, the Annie E. Casey Foundation issued a statement reaffirming its support for the study, which “is in keeping with our work to collaborate with public agencies, nonprofit organizations, policymakers and community leaders to make a positive impact on the lives of kids, families and communities.” Patrick Corvington, the foundation’s former senior associate, was nominated by Obama and confirmed in 2010 as CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

 

Other supporters include The California Endowment, which has been  promoting Obamacare; The Joyce Foundation, on whose  Board of Directors Obama served for eight years prior to his Senate run;  and Kaiser Permanente, which contributed over half a million dollars to his presidential campaign.


Regional

Recent summary of Asian carp project activities

Monitoring continues in the CAWS (Chicago Area Waterway System and upper Illinois Waterway upstream and downstream of the Dispersal Barrier.  No BIGHEAD or SILVER carp were reported captured or observed upstream of the Barrier, nor were any found in new locations downstream of the Barrier. 

 

A total of 22 common carp were captured and removed from between the barriers.  All fish (but one injured in netting) were floy tagged and released downstream of Romeo Road bridge, below the electric barrier array.   Additional by-catch during these efforts included one oriental weatherfish, two bluegill, and two green sunfish. 

 

The recommendation from the action agencies is that after these efforts, we believe there is a low risk of Asian carp within the barrier that these efforts represent a successful clearing.  Although a few fish targets remained, the overwhelming evidence from the collections and remote sensing evidence suggest these to be Common carp.  These results are further supported by the established monitoring results from Lockport and 

Brandon Rd Pools of the Illinois Waterway since 2010 that also suggest the Asian carp abundances in this area to be low or non-existent.

 

Recently completed intense surveillance of Lake Calumet summary totals showed No bighead carp or silver carp were observed or captured during this Planned Intensive Surveillance. The event was a planned intensive surveillance activity as outlined by the Monitoring Response Plan for Asian Carp in the Upper Illinois River and Chicago Area Waterway System.

 

To date, intensive sampling during response actions triggered by detection of Asian carp eDNA has resulted in no Asian carp being observed or captured.  At present, the detection of eDNA evidence cannot discern the source of the eDNA or the characteristics of the fish, verify whether live Asian carp are present, the number of Asian carp in an area, or whether a viable population of Asian carp exists.  As further calibration of the eDNA method is completed the MRWG (Monitoring and Response Work Group), has suspended the use of eDNA as a trigger for responses, instead using this information to establish planned intensive surveillance at key locations where Asian carp eDNA has been found to accumulate. 


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for July 19

WEATHER CONDITIONS

Hot air temperatures were felt across the entire Great Lakes basin this past week. Some precipitation fell in parts of the Superior basin last weekend while the rest of the region was relatively dry. Hot and muggy conditions will persist into Friday and scattered thunderstorms will move across the Great Lakes Thursday through Saturday. Expect partly sunny conditions and a drop in temperatures to arrive for Sunday through the early part of next week.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

The water levels of Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are each 2 inches above their levels from this time last year. Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 6, 8, and 15 inches, respectively, above their levels of a year ago. Over the next month, Lake Superior is forecasted to rise 1 inch and Michigan-Huron is forecasted to remain near its current level. Lake St. Clair is expected to fall 3 inches over the next month while lakes Erie and Ontario are each predicted to fall 4 inches.

FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS

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

Erie’s outflow through the Niagara River is predicted to be near average and the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River is expected to be below average in July.

ALERTS

Official records are based on monthly average water levels and not daily water levels. 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 July 19

601.54

577.72

574.44

572.01

246.52

Datum, in ft

601.10

577.50

572.30

569.20

243.30

Diff in inches

+5

+3

+26

+34

+39

Diff last month

+4

+1

+2

+4

0

Diff from last yr

+2

+2

+6

+8

+15


Lake Huron

Progress toward the Rehabilitation of Lake Trout in Northern Lake Huron

During May and June, staff from the Alpena Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (Alpena FWCO) conducted a juvenile lake trout survey in 1836 treaty waters of northern Lake Huron (Alpena north to Hammond Bay). This study was designed to index juvenile lake trout abundance and collect biological data on juvenile lake trout for population models developed for lake trout stocks in northern Lake Huron.

 

During the survey, Alpena FWCO staff conducted 20 gradedmesh (2.03.5”) gill net lifts at randomly selected locations (Figure 1) in two Lake Huron lake trout management units: MH1 (Rogers City north) and MH2 (Rogers City south to Black River). Biological data were collected from all lake trout encountered, including length, weight, sex and maturity, diet, visceral fat index, and lamprey wounding. Similar biological data were collected from nontarget species. Tissue samples were taken from unclipped (presumably wild) lake trout for future DNA analysis.

Fiftyfour lake trout less than 500 mm (a commonly accepted size cutoff

for juveniles) were captured during 2013. Thirtysix of the 54 juveniles

were of wild origin, based on the absence of fin clips. Lake trout between 350 and 450 mm in length dominated the catch in 2013, providing continued evidence for the strong year classes that dominated the 2012 survey (Figure 2). All lake trout less than 350 mm in length were of wild origin. Juveniles were evenly dispersed among the depth strata sampled (100150’ and >150’) and were captured at all of the ports surveyed, though catch rates for wild juveniles were highest near Rogers City, where 58% of the wild juveniles were captured. Total catchperuniteffort (CPUE) of juvenile lake trout (wild plus hatchery) was 1.7 fish per 1000 ft. of net in 2013. CPUE of wild juveniles increased twofold from 2012 to 2013 (0.56 to 1.13). Hatchery juvenile CPUE increased from 0.12 in 2012 to 0.56 in 2013.

 

Multiple cohorts of wild juvenile lake trout continue to be observed in the population, suggesting that mechanisms that favor natural reproduction remain in place. These results demonstrate continued progress toward the rehabilitation of lake trout in northern Lake

Huron.


Illinois

Angler Fails at World Record Attempt

Hooks 2,011 Fish in 24 Hours

The day after America celebrated its independence, Chicago angler Johnny Wilkins, 46, took up his cane pole and a massive cooler filled with bait and headed out to Lake View Nature Center to try to break the world record for most fish caught in a 24-hour period.

 

Sitting at the edge of the Center’s large pond, he brought up bass, carp, and his target fish, bluegill, by the thousands. The current record is held by extreme angler Jeff Kolodzinzki, at a mind-boggling 2,649 caught in a single day. Wilkins failed to match that number, but still clocked in with 2,011 fish.

 

In order to beat the previous record, Wilkins would have had to catch 1.8 fish per minute. Astounding as it may sound, the Chicago resident had exceeded that ratio before. In fact, Wilkins, the founder of the Chicago Fishing School and a world championship angler, had a personal best of catching 203 fish over a period of 30 minutes. That amounts to more than

 

six fish per minute. It was not surprising then that Wilkins approached the challenge with optimism.

 

Unfortunately, the conditions at the pond were less than ideal. The first thing Wilkins noticed was that carp were keeping the smaller bluegills away. In order to reach his target goal, Wilkins had planned to hook as many bluegills as possible. The physical toll of the attempt also began to wear on him. The angler was careful not to harm any of the fish, but inevitably the barbs on some of his catches–as well as the water–took a toll on his hands. By early morning on June 6, Wilkins was exhausted.

 

“I ended up with 2,011 fish. I was kind of heartbroken about 4 a.m. when I was doing the math in my head and I am really tired and I just thought, ‘There is no way,’” he said.

 

Wilkins spent the weekend resting, but will be hitting the water again soon to fish with the volunteers who helped him keep his long vigil.


Review of Right to Carry law

On December 11, 2012, a ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit invalidated Illinois’ total ban on carrying firearms in public for self-defense.  House Bill 183 with Senate Amendments 56 and 7 passed in the Illinois Senate on May 31 by a 45 to 12 vote, and the state House concurred with the Senate amendments by an 89 to 28 vote.  This Tuesday, on the court-ordered deadline for Illinois to enact a  law that would provide for the lawful carrying of arms, the state House voted 77 to 31 and the state Senate 41 to 17 to override the Amendatory Veto by Governor Pat Quinn (D) on House Bill 183, making concealed carry a legal possibility in the Land of Lincoln. 

 

Additionally, Governor Quinn attempted to push a trailer bill with even more restrictions on concealed carry, but it was summarily rejected, just as his deeply flawed amendatory veto was soundly overridden.  More attempts by anti-gun extremists to restrict concealed carry and target responsible citizens will likely occur, but your NRA-ILA will continue to fight to ease restrictions on the law-abiding interested in self-defense, while addressing real solutions to crime, such as pushing for the prosecution of violent criminals. 

 

The provisions in House Bill 183 were effective immediately upon the state legislature’s veto override; however, the Illinois State Police has an additional 180 days to implement the actual licensing process.  In the meantime, the general ban on the unlicensed carrying of loaded weapons continues to exist. 

 

Below is an overview of the provisions in House Bill 183:

Concealed Carry Licensing:

  • Five-year concealed carry permits will be issued to Illinois residents at least 21 years of age with a valid FOID card 90 days after a qualified application is submitted. 

  • Illinois will not recognize carry licenses or permits from other states at this time; however, non-resident Illinois Concealed Carry Licenses will be available with an increased fee of $300 if the interested applicant’s state’s concealed carry license laws are “substantially similar” to Illinois’.  Illinois State Police must first establish which elements of other state’s permits meet the “substantially similar” requirement.

To qualify for a license to conceal carry, an Illinois resident must:

  • Pay a $150 fee;

  • Be subjected to fingerprinting for an additional fee in order to avoid delayed processing of one’s application;

  • Undergo 16 hours of training (which includes a “live fire” component).  Eight hours of prior training may be credited   if it is “approved by the Department [of State Police] and recognized under the laws of another state or if the applicant is an active, retired, or honorably discharged member of the Armed Forces.”

An applicant will be disqualified if:

  • Convicted or found guilty in Illinois or any other state of:

    • 2 or more violations related to driving while under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, intoxicating compound or compounds, or any combination thereof, within the last 5 years.

    • A misdemeanor involving the use or threat of physical force or violence to any person within the last 5 years.

  • Applicant is the subject of a pending arrest warrant, prosecution, or proceeding for an offense or action that could lead to disqualification.

  • Applicant has been in a residential or court-ordered treatment for alcoholism, alcohol detoxification, or drug treatment within the last 5 years.

  • Any law enforcement agency may object to the issuance of a

license to an otherwise qualified applicant on the basis of reasonable suspicion that the applicant presents a danger to self or

others or is a threat to public safety.    Such an objection sends the application for review by the Concealed Carry Licensing Board, which consists of a total of 7 judicial, law enforcement, and mental health professionals appointed by the Governor.  The Board generally will issue a decision in 30 days as to whether it has determined, by a preponderance of the evidence, if the applicant is eligible or ineligible for a license.  

 

Training:

  • HB 183 mandates that the Illinois State Police begin approval of certified firearms instructors and firearm training courses within 60 days of enactment.  At that time, ISP will provide a registry of instructors and approved classes.

Preemption:

  • The language of HB 183 contains comprehensive preemption of handgun and handgun ammunition-related local ordinances for anyone with a valid FOID card, and preemption of “assault weapon” bans enacted after July 19th (see here for more information).   Regulation of laws relating to the concealed carrying of handguns is now reserved to the state.

  • Illinois law now contains increased protection for those who are traveling with firearms, since the preemption of local firearms ordinances applies to all individuals with a valid FOID card who are transporting firearms in compliance with all state regulations. A personal vehicle is also a safe haven for transport of firearms by non-Illinois residents not otherwise prohibited from possession.

Storage:

  • In addition to the safe harbor found in one's vehicle, licensees who wish to store their firearm in the trunk of their vehicle while visiting an otherwise prohibited location may exit their vehicle while in the parking lot in possession of the firearm for the purposes of storing it in the trunk. They may also store the firearm in the passenger compartment of their vehicle in some sort of container as long as either the vehicle or container is locked and the firearm remains out of plain view.

Prohibited Places:

Under HB 183 there is an extensive list of places where carrying firearms is prohibited, even with a concealed handgun license.  Three or more violations will result in a permanent revocation of license. The list of prohibited places includes, but is not limited to:

  • Schools and child care facilities

  • Colleges and Universities

  • Courthouses

  • Libraries

  • Government buildings

  • Public playgrounds

  • Public parks (trails excluded)

  • Bars (and any restaurant deriving more than half of its profits from alcohol)

  • Public transportation

  • Permitted public gatherings, such as festivals or parades

  • Museums

  • Stadiums

  • Zoos

Serious concerns remain about the implementation, cost and issuance of concealed carry licenses in Illinois.  Your NRA-ILA will continue to update you on developments related to concealed carry in Illinois and fight to ensure that licenses are issued in a timely manner to those law-abiding Illinoisans interested in their inherent right to self-defense.

 


Michigan

Livingston County Club recognized by IGFA

Livingston County Wildlife & Conservation Club accepted as member of National group

The Livingston County Wildlife & Conservation Club (LCWCC) is pleased to announce our new affiliation with the International Game Fish Association (IGFA).

 

Since 1950 LCWCC has proudly served as a valued member of Michigan's outdoor sporting community, that entire time a Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) member. Traditionally supporting the purposes and objectives of the MUCC, LCWCC promotes hunting, fishing, shooting sports and natural resource conservation within our community through a number of public education programs, open social activities, service and philanthropic projects.

 

Recognizing the IGFA’s significant long-standing conservation efforts and goals being parallel to our own and the MUCC’s,  LCWCC petitioned for IGFA Fishing Club Membership, and as of April 2013 was formally accepted.

 

Conservation based and focused on protecting sport fishing interests, the IGFA, since 1939 has been a primary focal point for sport-fishing record

 

keeping, scientific research and commercial fishing data. Due to their vast statistical resources, the IGFA works as a recreational angler representative and advocate among sporting, commercial, scientific and governmental organizations and is consulted on 6 continents, in 140 countries and territories, and by 44 International Regional Fishing Bodies, including the United Nations.

 

Livingston County Wildlife & Conservation Club joins less than 300 active IGFA member fishing clubs worldwide, roughly a scant 70 in North America.  We are currently the only active member club in Michigan and all of the Great Lake connecting states including Ontario and Quebec, Canada. 

 

Livingston County Wildlife & Conservation Club’s goal is simple.  To preserve and protect our sporting outdoor heritage through responsible wildlife and natural resource stewardship.  Our outdoor sporting legacy to future generations thrives with educated ethical use...not apathetic waste or neglect.

 

Livingston County Wildlife & Conservation Club: http://www.lcwcc.org/

LCWCC-IGFA Liaison: lcwcc-igfa@charter.net  

Michigan United Conservation Clubs: http://www.mucc.org/

International Game Fish Association: http://www.igfa.org/


Chasing Lake Sturgeon in the Detroit River

There are 26 different sturgeon species worldwide. We are fortunate enough to have one of these species call the Great Lakes home. The distribution of lake sturgeon extends throughout the Great Lakes, into the Mississippi River basin, along with Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence Seaway. Lake sturgeon are the largest fish species within the Great Lakes, growing up to 7 feet in length and living to over 100 years of age.

 

The history of the Great Lakes is riddled with stories of lake sturgeon. Once, so abundant, lake sturgeon were considered to be a nuisance fish species damaging commercial fishing gear due to their large size. Fisherman began to harvest them for their meat and eggs, which are used for caviar. Overfishing, along with pollution and habitat loss have all  contributed to the decline of the population which is estimated to be at less than 1% of their original numbers.

 

Fish biologists working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) out of the Alpena Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office – Waterford Substation are in the process of obtaining data to better estimate the population of lake sturgeon in the Detroit River. The Service has finished their spring lake sturgeon monitoring for the 2013 field season. This year

 

almost 40 lake sturgeon were caught in the Detroit River. In 2008, the Service, along with project partners, constructed an artificial spawning reef within the Detroit River near Fighting Island to increase the amount of habitat for native species, such as lake sturgeon, to spawn. Many of the lake sturgeon were captured near this reef in the Detroit River. The largest lake sturgeon caught this year was 5 feet 9 inches weighing in at just over 100 lbs.

 

The Service has been monitoring lake sturgeon in the Detroit River since 2003. With the information collected this year and previous years, it is estimated that 5,000 individual lake sturgeon utilize the Detroit River during the spawning season. While being an important historical figure in the Great Lakes past, lake sturgeon are also considered an indicator species. Lake sturgeon have specific parameters for them to survive within a river system. Clean water, an abundant food source, and special spawning habitat, such as a rocky bottom and fast flowing water, are just a few of the necessities for lake sturgeon. The Service, along with many partners are currently in the process of creating more lake sturgeon spawning habitat in the St. Clair Detroit River System in an effort to increase the size of this population.


Eurasian Ruffe eDNA Sampling Expanded in Northeastern Michigan

During spring 2013, staff from The Nature Conservancy (Andrew Tucker), Central Michigan U (Jennifer Bergner and Allison Snider) and the Alpena Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office (FWCO; Anjanette Bowen and Steven Gambicki) collected and filtered water samples from a number of northern Michigan locations in eastern Lake Superior, the upper St. Marys River and northwestern Lake Huron. The samples will be processed in an effort to detect the presence of Eurasian Ruffe (Ruffe) genetic material in the form of environmental DNA (eDNA). This effort expanded Ruffe eDNA sampling that was originally conducted during the fall of 2012 on northwestern Lake Huron.

 

Ruffe are an invasive fish species that was first captured in the Great Lakes from western Lake Superior in the mid1980s and have since spread across the southern shore of Lake Superior to Tahquamenon Bay, and into areas of Lakes Huron and Michigan. Ruffe are thought to compete with native species for habitat and food resources. They were first captured in northeastern Michigan at the Thunder Bay River in Alpena during 1995. Traditional sampling captured Ruffe until 2003, however, Ruffe have been absent from the catch in recent years. Ruffe were also reported from other tributaries to northern Lake Huron in 2008 (Trout River in Rogers City) and 20112012 (Cheboygan River in Cheboygan). The status of these sightings is unknown. Subsequent traditional sampling in these areas has not captured Ruffe.

 

In 2006 Ruffe were found at the eastern edge of Lake Superior at the mouth of the Tahquamenon River. This location is near the origin of the St. Marys River – the connecting pathway between Lake Superior and

northern Lake Huron. Should Ruffe enter the St. Marys River, they could

pose a new risk of invasion into Lake Huron. Traditional sampling in the St. Marys River has not captured Ruffe. The presence or absence of eDNA is another tool that can potentially be used to help determine the status of Ruffe in specific areas of northern Michigan.

 

The goal of sampling on Lake Superior from the upper St. Marys River to the Tahquamenon River was to use eDNA to detect whether Ruffe have expanded their range from the Tahquamenon area into the St. Marys River. Ruffe are known to exist in the Tahquamenon River and Tahquamenon Bay, however, have not been detected in the St. Marys River with traditional gear. The goal of sampling on northern Lake Huron was to use eDNA to detect whether Ruffe continue to persist in areas where they have been reported but not captured with traditional gear.

 

A total of 314 2-liter water samples were collected including 101 samples from the upper St. Marys River, 73 samples from eastern Lake Superior, and 140 samples from northwestern Lake Huron (Table 1,

Figures 1 and 2). Sampling was conducted in areas described as favorable habitat for Ruffe – slow flowing river and side channels, river mouths, and back water areas. Both surface and bottom water samples were collected. The water samples were filtered in Alpena FWCO’s eDNA processing trailer. Lake Superior State University’s Aquatic Research Laboratory in Sault Ste. Marie and Bay Mills Indian Community in Brimley partnered in this effort by providing water and space to park the eDNA processing trailer. The filtered samples will be analyzed by Central Michigan University to determine the presence or absence of Ruffe eDNA.

 

Results should be available during the summer of 2013.


Minnesota

Plans set for 2013 Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener

The south-central Minnesota city of Madelia will be the home of the 2013 Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener, to be held Friday, Oct. 11 and Saturday, Oct. 12, the Minnesota DNR said.

 

“We’re excited and honored to be home of this year’s celebration,” said Dan Madsen, Madelia city administrator.  “We are proud to be the ‘Pheasant Capitol of Minnesota’ and look forward to showcasing all that our city and area have to offer.”

 

Madsen pointed out there are 8,600 acres of public hunting land within 20 miles of Madelia.  Pheasant research for the DNR is also headquartered in the community.

This is the third annual Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener, initiated by Gov. Mark Dayton in 2011. Previous host communities were Montevideo and Marshall. The event highlights the many hunting, recreational, travel and local opportunities that host communities have to offer visitors.

Dayton plans to again lead elected officials, dignitaries and celebrity hunters who will participate in the event. The public will also be invited to take part in activities throughout the weekend.

 

The event is being coordinated by the city of Madelia, Madelia Chamber of Commerce, Explore Minnesota Tourism and the DNR. Madelia has a population of 2,319 and is 20 minutes west of Mankato and about an hour and a half southwest of Minneapolis.  More information and updates can be found at www.mnpheasant.com


Ohio

Public Invited to Comment on Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Changes

Open House August 10, input also accepted online at www.wildohio.com

COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio DNR is seeking public comments regarding fishing, hunting and trapping rule changes on Saturday, Aug. 10, 12-3 PM at seven locations around the state. Input concerning proposed changes to the Ohio Wildlife Council from the July 17 meeting will be accepted.

 

Among proposed rule changes are decreasing the statewide yellow perch limit to 30, adding or removing boat engine limitations on several lakes and clarifying hunting and trapping language.

 

These events are open to the public. Anyone interested in providing input and participating in Ohio’s professional wildlife management process is welcome. ODNR Division of Wildlife staff will be available to answer questions and receive comments.  People who are not able to attend an open house at one of the seven locations can provide input online. Comments are accepted through Aug. 10 at wildohio.com. Click on Open House Comments to submit a response.

 

Public input gathered at these open houses and through the online form will be considered during the formulation of regulations. For more information or directions to the open houses, visit wildohio.com or call 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).

 

Open house location information for Aug. 10:

• Central Ohio: Wildlife District One office, 1500 Dublin Rd, Columbus 43215; 614-644-3925;

• Northwest Ohio: Wildlife District Two office, 952 Lima Ave, Findlay 45840; 419-424-5000;

• Northeast Ohio: Wildlife District Three office, 912 Portage Lakes Dr, Akron 44319; 330-644-2293;

• Southeast Ohio: Wildlife District Four office, 360 E. State St, Athens 45701; 740-589-9930;

• Southwest Ohio: Greene County Fish and Game, 1538 Union Rd, Xenia 45385; 937-372-9261;

• Lake Erie (east): Fairport Fisheries office, 1190 High St, Fairport Harbor 44077; 440-352-4199; and

• Lake Erie (west): Lake Erie Shores and Islands Regional Welcome Center – West, 770 SE Catawba Rd, Port Clinton 43452; 419-625-8062.

 

A statewide hearing on proposed rules will be held on Thursday, Sept. 19, at 9 AM. at the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s District One office. This hearing is open to the public, and comments on the proposed rules will be accepted.

 

After considering public input, the Ohio Wildlife Council will vote on the proposed rules during its meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 16. Council meetings are open to the public. Individuals who want to provide comments to the council must preregister at least two days prior to the meeting by calling 614-265-6304. All comments are required to be three minutes or less. Emailed or written comments will not be presented at this meeting, but will continue to be an important mechanism for input in regularly scheduled wildlife open houses.

 

 


Other Breaking News Items

Other Breaking News

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IJC Chair: U.S. and Canadian governments have final say on water plan for Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River
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DNR: Die-off of alewives in northern Lake Michigan sign of healthy sport fishing environment
Dead fish that have been washing up on Lake Michigan beaches in the northern Lower Peninsula have inconvenienced cleanup crews, but an expert says they're also a sign of the lake's health.

 

Invasive zebra mussels found in two more Minnesota lakes
The state Department of Natural Resources is reminding boaters and property owners to take precautions to avoid spreading the invasive species, the Brainerd Dispatch reported.

 

 

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