Week of August 1, 2005

Special Reports on ICAST, MAATS

Recipes for Anglers

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Canada

Regional

General

Lake Michigan

Indiana

Michigan

Minnesota

New York

Pennsylvania

Ontario

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Special Reports on ICAST, MAATS

Fishing Tackle Trade Show boasts best attendance in years

ALEXANDRIA, VA –The 48th  annual International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST), produced by the American Sportfishing Association, once again lived up to its’ reputation as the world’s largest industry showcase of fishing tackle and accessories all under one roof. ICAST, covering 250,000 square feet of the Las Vegas Convention Center, showcased the very latest innovations in sportfishing equipment and accessories for industry buyers and media.

 

ICAST 2005, with a sold-out floor show for the fourth consecutive year, featured nearly 400 exhibitors filling over 1,180 booths, a 7 % increase over 2004. The show boasted more than 1,600 buyers and over 300 registered members of the press.  Additionally more than 800 new products from nearly 170 companies vied for overall Best of Show and best in 12 separate categories in the flagship feature of ICAST, the New Product Showcase. Winners of the New Product 

Showcase are Shimano American Corporation; Gamakatsu USA Corp., Stren; Normark; SPRO; Plano Molding Company; Spinmaster; Lowrance Electronics, Inc.; XTOOLS; FisherGirl, Inc.; and DriDuds by Kappler.

 

The sold-out Industry Breakfast on Wednesday, July 20, was attended by more than 400 people who heard from Dave Pfeiffer, ASA Board chairman and executive vice president, Shimano American Corporation, along with Mike Nussman, ASA president and CEO, and Cindy Garrison, professional international angler and guide and ESPN TV host.

 

During Wednesday night’s Chairman’s Reception the Recreational Fishing and Boating Foundation announced the Manufacturer of the Year Award which, this year, went to Zebco/WCB, of Tulsa, Okla.

 

ICAST will return to Las Vegas, Nevada at the Las Vegas Convention Center July 19-21, 2006 and July 11-13, 2007.


ICAST 2005 New Product Best of Show Competition Goes to Shimano

(Las Vegas, NV)… The Shimano Torsa Reels won the Overall Best of Show Award, and Best of Show for the Reel category, in the ICAST 2005 New Product Showcase awards competition. The company also took top honors for the new Trevala Jigging Rods in the Rod category.

 

This year’s New Product Showcase winners also included three first-time ICAST exhibitors—DriDuds, Spinmaster and FisherGirl, Inc. Shimano won Best of Show awards in the reel category for the fourth year in a row.

 

Sponsored by Fishing Tackle Retailer/ESPN Outdoors, 170 companies entered more than 800 separate tackle products and accessories into the Showcase. The showcase is the flagship feature of the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST), the sportfishing industry’s premier trade event produced by the American Sportfishing Association. The 48th annual show, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, July 20 – 22, sold out the show floor months before the event. The show ultimately hosted close to 400 exhibitors with over 1,100 booths.

 

“No where else in the industry is there anything like the New Product Showcase,” said Mike Nussman, president and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association. “The Showcase offers exhibitors and buyers a chance to debut and preview hundreds of the next season’s innovations in gear and accessories. The creativity and ingenuity our members use to develop and produce new items to enhance the angling experience never fails to amaze me. On behalf of the thousands of ICAST attendees, we congratulate this year’s winners.”

 

Making up a special section of ICAST’s 250,000-square-foot

 

show floor, the New Product Showcase gives the industry’s latest innovations special visibility during the show, with nearly 6,500 representatives of the sportfishing community attending, more than 1,600 of them buyers.

 

Buyers and media representatives judged over 800 products based on their level of innovation, execution, workmanship and practicality to select Best of Show honors in 12 categories, as well as the Overall Best of Show winner.

 

2005 ICAST New Product Showcase Award Winners

Category  Company  Product
Overall Best of Show Shimano Torsa Reels
Rod  Shimano Trevala Jigging Rods
Reel Shimano Torsa Reels
Terminal Tackle Gamakatsu Magic Eye Treble Hooks
Line Stren DuraTuf
Hard Lure Normark Rapala X-Rap Series
Soft Lure SPRO  Dean Rojas Signature Frog
Tackle Management Plano Flip-Sider
Kid’s Tackle Spinmaster JetCast 3.0
Electronics Lowrance LCX-111CHD
Fishing Accessory XTOOLS Floating Pro Series Pliers
Reel/Rod Combo FisherGirl Mermaid
Clothing & Giftware DriDuds DriDuds

  

For the next two years, ICAST will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. In 2006, ICAST – July 10-21, 2006 - coincides with the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s Marine After-Market and Accessories Trade Show (MAATS). The dates for ICAST 2007 are July 11 – 13, 2007.


Top new products chosen at MAATS

LAS VEGAS — Seven new products on display at the Marine Aftermarket Accessories Trade Show here have won NMMA Innovation awards, and one was also tapped for the first Environmental Innovation Award.

 

The National Marine Manufacturers Association, producer of MAATS, and Boating Writers International announced the winners at an evening reception on July 21. The winners were selected from hundreds of new products on display during the three-day trade show.  

 

The big winner was Clean Water Solutions' Oil Eradicator, a foam carrier packed with oil-eating microbes that create a bio-reaction, removing oil from the surface of water. The Oil Eradicator won in the “boat care and coatings” category, and also took home the environmental award.

 

“This is a great biological solution for a common boating 

problem,” said judge Randy Vance, editor of Boating Life magazine. “That they can pour oil onto foam in a tank full of fish without killing the fish shows that this product works,” said judge Roger Marshall, technical editor of Dockwalk and president of Boating Writers International.

 

Other products honored were:

•           Navionic’s Charting System (Electronics)

•           Humminbird 987c SI Combo (Electronics)

•           Garelick Hydraulic Lift Outboard Motor Bracket (Hardware, Rigging, Rope & Anchoring)

•           Volvo Penta of Americas Q-L Boat Trim System (Propulsion)

•           Mari-Tech Industries Wireless Lanyard (Safety Products)

•           Air-Tight LLC E-Axle (Trailers, Parts & Accessories)

 

The products were judged by a panel comprising   members of BWI who perform product testing throughout the year.


Zebco receives Nat'l Award for Sportfishing Leadership

(Las Vegas, NV)…The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) recognized Zebco as the Take Me Fishing Manufacturer of the Year for its leadership in encouraging people, particularly children and families, to go fishing. The presentation was made during ICAST 2005, the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, July 20 – 22. ICAST is the world’s largest fishing trade show, with more than 6,000 representatives from the worldwide fishing community in attendance.

        

Zebco, headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was selected for the award based on its unequaled efforts in the use of the Take Me Fishing marketing materials in support of the industry’s national outreach effort by the same name. The Take Me Fishing campaign, administered by the RBFF, is a national advertising and education program to recruit and 

retain anglers. 

 

Bruce Matthews, RBFF president/CEO, presented the award, along with ASA Board Chairman Dave Pfeiffer, executive vice president of Shimano American Corporation, and Mike Nussman, ASA president and CEO. Accepting the award was Zebco President, Jeff Pontius.

 

“ICAST is the perfect venue to recognize Zebco for this prestigious honor, where we are among valued friends, peers and competitors,” said Matthews. “We all know how difficult it is to implement change and we congratulate Mr. Pontius and his staff for the wonderful job they’ve done of integrating the new Take Me Fishing marketing materials in such short order. Zebco receives this award for leading by example.” RBFF changed its marketing focus from Water Works Wonder to Take Me Fishing early in 2005. Plano Molding Company and Shimano American Corporation were the 2003 and 2004 recipients respectively.


Las Vegas, MAATS, ICAST and Bass Pro Shops

Las Vegas just recently hosted the annual Fishing Tackle Trade show (ICAST), and the Marine After Market Trade Show, and you would think that would have been enough for one week of fishing and boating products.

 

Maybe not; still can't get fishing/hunting out of your system? For many of us there was still room for more so we headed South on I-15, about 10 minutes from the Strip to a big adult toy shop - Bass Pro Shops.

 

Newly opened last December, General Manager Ron Lupert has made this shop stand out from the 20-some odd other Johnny Morris specialty shops.

As you enter the Las Vegas Bass Pro Store you're immediately impressed with the openness and user friendly atmosphere.  Wide, inviting aisles, from where you stand the shop offers very visible ceiling hung signs promoting every major department from boating to wearing apparel. As a western store, the 2nd level is devoted to predator sports - entirely. Handguns, rifles, shotguns, a fine gun room, archery; they're all here on one level. Hunting paraphernalia as you expect them.

 

The Las Vegas BPS is connected and easily accessible to Silverton Hotel & Casino.  That's 10 minutes on I-15,  off on BD Rd. (right lane). The complex is on your left. Spend the day and enjoy a buffet lunch or dinner at the Silverton.


Recipes for Anglers

Salmon Burgers with Smoked Cheese

1 ½ pounds skinless salmon

½ cup heavy cream

2 Tbs. cornstarch

2 Tbs. chopped shallots

1 Tbs. chopped fresh chives

1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. white pepper

Nonstick spray for spraying patties

6 sesame seed burger buns

½ lbs. smoked Gouda, Farmer’s or Jarlsberg cheese, cut into 6 slices

6 Tbs. pickle relish

Cut salmon into small pieces. In a blender or food processor, pulse in batches for about 10 to 15 seconds each, until coarsely ground, In a mixing bowl mix together ground salmon, heavy cream, cornstarch, shallots, chives, parsley, salt and white pepper until well blended. Shape salmon mixture into six ½ inch thick patties. Place patties on waxed paper. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and place in the refrigerator for 5 minutes. Place patties, sprayed side down, in the center of the cooking grate. Grill 6 to 8 minutes or until done.  (Recipe provided by Tim Wiening, Salmon Unlimited, Indiana)

 

 


National

Lead, Tobacco Exposure Down in U.S., Survey Finds

Refreshingly positive news about human health and the environment

WASHINGTON, Reuters — Levels of lead have dropped dramatically, exposure to second-hand smoke is down and most women are not burdened by unsafe levels of mercury, according to the latest U.S. government survey on chemical exposures. The report focused on 148 chemicals detected in the blood and urine of volunteers.

 

The third National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, released late last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has details on 148 different chemicals found in the blood and urine of 2,400 volunteers. The latest report finds that 1.6 % of U.S. children have elevated blood lead levels, compared to 4.4 % in 1991-94 and 88.2 % in 1976 to 1988.

 

"We don't know what is a safe level; so we continue to strive to ensure that all children are free of lead exposure," CDC director Dr. Julie Gerberding said, noting that the removal of lead from gasoline was the main reason for the decline.

 

The report, found on the Internet at http://www.cdc.gov/exposurereport/ , also looked at exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke, using a measure of a chemical called cotinine, a breakdown product of nicotine. It found that cotinine levels in blood have fallen 68 % in children aged 4 to 11 from a previous 1988-to-1991 test period, by 69 % in 12- to 19-year-olds and by 75 % in adults aged 20 to 74. But blacks and children still have higher levels than white adults, the survey found.

 

SAFE LEVELS OF MERCURY

The report also looked at mercury, specifically methylmercury,

which makes its way into people most frequently when they eat contaminated fish.  Levels in blood of above 58 micrograms per liter can cause nerve damage in developing fetuses. "None of the women in the survey has mercury levels that approached this level," Gerberding said.

 

About 5.7 % of the women had levels that were one-tenth of this, and the CDC said it would seek studies to find out if these levels might affect a fetus. The report also contains details on pesticides, weed killers, pollutants known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins, furans, polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs and phytoestrogens.

 

Gerberding said some people may have a genetic predisposition to be sensitive to some chemicals.   "So it is not just a matter of are you exposed to a chemical or not but how does your body or your unique composition respond to that chemical," she said.  "As the CDC cautions, the mere detection of a chemical does not necessarily indicate a risk to health," the American Chemistry Council said in a statement.

 

Toxicologist Tim Kropp of the Environmental Working Group, which conducts its own studies on chemicals, said he was interested on the information of a class of chemicals called phthalates.

 

His group has lobbied to force the cosmetics and plastics industries to at least label products that contain the compounds, which help make scents stick to the skin, make plastic malleable and perform other functions. They have been found to affect the reproductive systems of some animals.

 

"If you look at the phthalate metabolites, the large majority of phthalate material comes from fragrances and cosmetics," Kropp added.


Marine Corps Silver Dollar Released

Commemorates the Corps at Iwo Jima

QUANTICO, VA – History was made last week at the United States Marine Corps Base Quantico.

 

The United States honored a branch of the military for the first time with a commemorative coin, the Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollar. The image on the front of the coin features a rendition of AP photographer Joe Rosenthal's 

historic photograph depicting the raising of an American Flag by the Marines at Iwo Jima.

 

Following the ceremony, Quantico became the first place in the Nation where the public had the opportunity to purchase in person both proof and uncirculated Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Silver Dollars. The coin is now also available online, by telephone and by mail, from the United States Mint - http://www.usmint.gov/ .


Senate approves "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act"

Legislation to end reckless lawsuits against the gun industry

Lawsuits could end a critical source of supply of weapons for our armed forces

Legislation critical to the future of the firearms industry was approved in the U.S. Senate last week. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act would block predatory lawsuits that attempt to blame makers and sellers of firearms for the criminal misuse of lawfully sold products.

 

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn) announced "We will consider gun liability legislation before we leave. Given the profusion of litigation, the Department of Defense faces the very real prospect of outsourcing sidearms for our soldiers to foreign manufacturers.

 

"The Beretta Corporation, for instance, makes the standard sidearm for the U.S. Armed Forces. They have the long term contracts to supply these pistols to our forces in Iraq. Recently,

the company had this to say: 'The decision of the D.C. Court of Appeals . . . has the likelihood of bankrupting, not only Beretta U.S.A., but every maker of semiautomatic pistols and rifles since 1991' [the year Washington D.C. passed its onerous ban].

 

"Without this legislation it is probable the American manufacturers of legal firearms will be faced with a real prospect of going out of business, ending a critical source of supply for our armed forces, our police and our citizens.

 

"These frivolous suits threaten a domestic industry that is critical to our national defense, jeopardize hundreds of thousands of jobs, and put at risk that law abiding citizens have access to guns for recreational use. Many support this legislation...and I am hopeful that with the cooperation of members, we can complete all action on this legislation before the recess."

 

The bill now goes to the U.S. House for consideration.


Study Says Ethanol Not Worth the Energy

ALBANY, NY (AP). — Farmers, businesses and state officials are investing millions of dollars in ethanol and biofuel plants as renewable energy sources, but a new study says the alternative fuels burn more energy than they produce.

 

Supporters of ethanol and other biofuels contend they burn cleaner than fossil fuels, reduce U.S. dependence on oil and give farmers another market to sell their produce.

 

But researchers at Cornell University and the University of California-Berkeley say it takes 29 % more fossil energy to turn corn into ethanol than the amount of fuel the process produces. For switch grass, a warm weather perennial grass found in the Great Plains and eastern North America United States, it takes 45 % more energy and for wood, 57%.

 

It takes 27 % more energy to turn soybeans into biodiesel fuel and more than double the energy produced is needed to do the same to sunflower plants, the study found.

 

"Ethanol production in the United States does not benefit the nation's energy security, its agriculture, the economy, or the environment," according to the study by Cornell's David Pimentel and Berkeley's Tad Patzek. They conclude the country would be better off investing in solar, wind and hydrogen energy.

 

The researchers included such factors as the energy used in producing the crop, costs that were not used in other studies that supported ethanol production, said Pimentel. The study also omitted $3 billion in state and federal government

subsidies that go toward ethanol production in the United States each year, payments that mask the true costs, Pimentel said.

 

Ethanol is an additive blended with gasoline to reduce auto emissions and increase gas' octane levels. Its use has grown rapidly since 2004, when the federal government banned the use of the additive MTBE to enhance the cleaner burning of fuel. About 3.6 billion gallons of ethanol were produced last year in the United States, according to the Renewable Fuels Association, an ethanol trade group.

 

The ethanol industry claims that using 8 billion gallons of ethanol a year will allow refiners to use 2 billion fewer barrels of oil. The oil industry disputes that, saying the ethanol mandate would have negligible impact on oil imports. Ethanol producers dispute Pimentel and Patzek's findings, saying the data is outdated and doesn't take into account profits that offset costs.

 

Michael Brower, director of community and government relations at SUNY's College of Environmental Science and Forestry, points to reports by the Energy and Agriculture departments that have shown the ethanol produced delivers at least 60 % more energy the amount used in production. The college has worked extensively on producing ethanol from hardwood trees.

 

Biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine with few or no modifications. It is often blended with petroleum diesel to reduce the propensity to gel in cold weather.


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for July 29, 2005

Lake Level Conditions:

Lake Superior is currently at the same level as last year, while the remaining lakes are 3 to 7 inches below the levels of a year ago.  Dry conditions this spring and summer are the main reason that water levels on the lower Great Lakes are below last year’s levels.   Looking ahead, Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are expected to remain steady over the next month.  Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are all expected to fall 3 to 4 inches over the next month.  Levels on Lake Superior over the next few months will be similar to the summer of 2004, whereas levels on the lower Great Lakes are expected to be lower than the summer of 2004. See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.

 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions:

The Lake Superior outflow through the St. Marys River into Lake Huron is projected to be significantly above average during the month of July.  Flows in the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers are anticipated to be below average during July.  Flows in the Niagara River are expected to be near average while St. Lawrence River flows should be below average 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.  Users of the St. Marys River should

be aware that regulated flows will be close to 40% higher during July than they were in June.

 

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels Data Summary

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Expected water level for July 29 in ft

601.7

578.0

574.2

571.6

245.8

Chart datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff from chart datum, in inches

+8

+7

+23

+29

+30

Diff from last month, in inches

-1

-1

0

-2

-3

Diff from last year in inches

0

-7

-5

-3

-6


Canada

Canada Court Deals Blow to Natives Seeking Rights

OTTAWA (Reuters ) — Canada's Supreme Court dealt two major blows on July 20, to native Indian groups who are seeking more control over large tracts of land and resources as a way of escaping grinding poverty.

 

The court banned aboriginal bands from logging trees commercially on government land without permission and also laid down tough criteria for natives trying to prove that, as the original inhabitants of Canada, they should be given more rights for economic exploitation. The court ruled unanimously against two native Indian men who had argued that treaties their ancestors signed with Canada's former colonial ruler, Britain, in 1760 and 1761 give them the right to cut logs without a permit.

 

The court's decision will undoubtedly please Canada's C$27 billion ($22 billion) forestry industry, which feared a Court decision in favor of the two men could have harmed its operations by increasing competition for timber. But it will do nothing to ease the generally fractious relations between various levels of government in Canada and the country's one million aboriginals, many of whom live in squalor on reserves and blame their plight on what they call systemic discrimination by authorities.

 

"It's a setback. Historically we win some and we lose some," said Dwight Dorey, national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples.  The two men, both appealing prosecutions in separate cases for cutting wood illegally, said the treaties of 1760 and 1761 between Britain and Mi'kmaq Indian bands in eastern Canada allowed aboriginals to make a living from forests.

 

The men said logging represented modern use of the same materials -- an argument all seven judges rejected. "The commercial logging that formed the basis of the charges

against the respondents was not the logical evolution of traditional Mi'kmaq trading activity protected by the treaties of 1760 and 1761," the court said in its ruling.

 

The court also rejected the two men's argument that as the original occupiers, the aboriginals had title over -- in effect owned -- the land and could do what they wanted with the resources.  From now on, the judges ruled, aboriginal bands must show that their ancestors had effectively controlled lands in question and also used the resources they were now seeking to exploit.

 

The court asked "whether nomadic and semi-nomadic peoples can ever claim title to aboriginal land". It made clear that "continuity is required, in the sense of showing the group's descent from the (original) group whose practices are relied on for the right".  This ruling could have repercussions in western British Columbia, where the question of who owns the rights to natural resources is a sticking point in the slow-moving land treaty negotiations between the government and native Indian bands.

 

The court's demand that bands show their planned use for land and resources is directly linked to the activities of their ancestors would on paper make it easier to reject demands for access to oil and gas reserves.  Federal government lawyer Mitch Taylor said Ottawa's negotiators in British Columbia would adopt a "fair and balanced" approach to the talks in the wake of the ruling.

 

But British Columbia native leaders said they were not worried about the ruling because most Pacific Coast bands lack treaties, and those that are in place lack trade clauses similar to the agreements that were before the court.   "These decisions do not establish new legal principles, said Grand Chief Edward John of the First Nations Summit.


General

BOATU.S. Opens 34 New Life Jacket Sites

The BoatU.S. Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Program is adding 34 new sites to its nationwide program that provides a way for parents to borrow a properly-sized children's life jacket at launch ramps, marinas and waterfront businesses. A partnership with West Marine funded 19 of the sites which now number over 350 nationwide.

 

Since its inception eight years ago, the program has reported

saving the lives of at least three children. It's estimated that BoatU.S. life jackets are loaned out more than 50,000 times a year. The Foundation provides each new loaner site with a "kit" of 12 life jackets (a selection of infant, child, or youth jacket sizes), protective storage bin, sign-out sheets and program signage, allowing children to safely enjoy a day on a boat. Contact: Chris Edmonston, 410/897-0512, CEdmonston@BoatUS.com .


 

Lake Michigan

Sea lampreys causing havoc on Lake Michigan fishery

By Kevin Naze

A multi-million-dollar fight against an enemy that kills more trout and salmon than sport, commercial and tribal fishers combined continues more than 40 years after it began.

 

Anglers concerned over few lake trout in the catch in recent years and increased sightings of sea lampreys on salmon have a good reason to be: According to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, the number of lamprey spawners in Lake Michigan has tripled in the past decade to somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 spawners.

 

“It is obvious there are more lampreys in Lake Michigan than at any time since (after) the initiation of control efforts,” said Mark Holey, project leader for the USFWS's Green Bay Fishery Resources Office. Holey said it is believed the primary cause for the increase is a faulty dam with holes big enough for lamprey to get through on the Manistique River in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

 

“Actually, the initial increase was thought to have come from the St. Mary’s River, between lakes Superior and Huron,” Holey said. “However, once that river was treated, it was apparent the lamprey numbers in Lake Michigan were not decreasing.”

 

The lamprey, threatens a sport and commercial fishery worth an estimated $4 billion to $5 billion.

 

Holey said the Manistique — the largest watershed in the U.P. — is a difficult river system to treat, with few barriers once lampreys get above the first dam. In response to high marking rates on Great Lakes fish, the Fishery Commission treated the Manistique in 2003 and 2004 which should produce noticeable results in lake trout numbers by 2006, Holey said.

 

“It just goes to show how fragile the fishery that anglers enjoy and rely on really is to lamprey predation, one of the original invasive species,” Holey said. “The entire balance of the Great Lakes fisheries would change dramatically should lamprey control be relaxed or not adapt to new challenges. It also

illustrates how important it is to keep new invasive species out of the Great Lakes at all cost.”

 

Before chemical treatments began in 1958 in Lake Superior streams and 1960 in Lake Michigan, lampreys devastated a fishery already sliding from overharvest by commercial netters. Lake trout production in Lake Michigan dropped from 7 million lbs annually to zero, and populations in the remaining lakes were reduced to small remnants of historic levels.

 

The never-ending battle to continue international funding for the war on lampreys has taken many twists and turns, ranging from a reduction in lampricide use to an increase in electrical and low-head barriers, traps and the release of sterilized males. Between them, the U.S. and Canada spent close to $100 million in the 1990s alone in an effort to control sea lamprey numbers.

 

Lampreys are most vulnerable during their worm-like larval stage, when they burrow in the sand or silt bottoms of Great Lakes tributaries for three to seven years or more. As adults, they spend 12 to 20 months in the lake, killing an estimated 20 to 40 pounds of fish each before returning to rivers to spawn and die.

 

Like most exotic invaders, lampreys have no natural predators. A native to the North Atlantic Ocean and many of its tributaries, they were discovered in Lake Ontario around 1835, then Lake Erie in 1921, Lake Huron in 1932, Lake Michigan in 1936 and Lake Superior in 1946.

 

Niagara Falls had served as a natural barrier until the construction of the Welland Canal in 1829 for the shipping industry.

 

Spawning typically occurs in late spring or early summer, and one female can produce 60,000 eggs. Biologists estimate about 14 % of them are likely to be deposited in the nest, and once there, they have about a 90 % chance of survival.

(Naze is a member of the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council and correspondent for the Green Bay Press-Gazette)

 


Indiana

Record 2005 spring wild turkey harvest

Indiana wildlife biologist Steve Backs has tabulated check station reports from this spring's wild turkey hunting season and found hunters harvested 11,159 wild turkeys in 82 of the 88 counties open to hunting compared to 10,765 birds harvested in 2004. This 4% increase over 2004 was a new high for turkey harvests.

 

Counties with the highest wild turkey harvests were:

 

Switzerland - 478

Perry - 445

Jefferson - 415

Harrison - 406

Parke - 376

Orange - 373

Dearborn - 368

Warrick - 356

Greene - 352

Franklin - 347

Crawford - 329

 

The majority of the birds were harvested in the earlier part of the season and during the morning hours. About 70 % of birds were taken by 10 a.m. and 79 % were taken by noon. Approximately 57% of the wild turkeys were taken during the first five days of the season and 37 % of turkeys were harvested on weekends. Juvenile male gobblers, commonly called jakes, made up 33 % of the harvest, while 44 % of birds were 2-years-old and 23 %were 3-years-old or older.

 

The proportion of jakes in the harvest was higher than the mean average of the previous ten turkey season harvests. The spring 2005 season ran April 27 - May 15. Next year's spring season runs April 26 - May 14.


Indiana otter, bobcat and badger populations improve

The Department of Natural Resources has removed bobcats, badgers and river otters from the Indiana endangered species list. The three species have been reclassified but remain protected as non-game species.  The badger, bobcat and river otter were all included on Indiana's original endangered species list in 1969. Studies by DNR biologists during the past 10 years have shown growing bobcat, river otter and badger populations.

 

DNR biologists say the increase in the Indiana river otter

population is because of both improved habitat and the state's river otter reintroduction program. From 1995 through 1999, The DNR released more than 300 wild river otters at 12 sites in six Indiana watersheds. Otters are now found in 63 Indiana counties.

 

Bobcats are also on the rebound. These wild cats have recently been confirmed in 32 counties. Bobcat studies centered around Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center in Martin County and private land in the heart of Indiana's bobcat's range confirm the improving status of bobcat populations.


Hunter Harassment ruled not Free Speech

Thanks to Indiana’s hunter harassment law, two anti-hunters could now do jail time for harassing and intimidating bowhunters.

 

On July 21, a jury found Frederick and Rosanne Shuger of Beverly Shores guilty of two counts of hunter harassment.  Frederick was also convicted of intimidation. The couple claimed that Indiana’s hunter harassment law, which is based on a draft model written by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, violated their rights to free speech. The prosecutor successfully argued that the First Amendment does not give them the right to threaten sportsmen and disrupt legal hunting activities.

 

The Shugers were accused of harassing bowhunters by 

driving through the community honking their horn and allowing their dog to bark in an admitted effort to disturb the deer. Frederick was accused of further confronting and threatening hunters Jeff Valovich and Jim Meyers. Valovich told the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance that Frederick had, on at least three earlier occasions, interfered with hunters without formal charges being brought. 

 

The couple faces up to 60 days in jail for each misdemeanor harassment charge and Frederick could be behind bars for up to a year for the intimidation charge.  Sentencing will be July 25.  Hunter harassment laws have been enacted in all 50 states and upheld in several court rulings.  The jury’s verdict is in line with a 2002 decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court that ruled 5-0 that its hunter harassment law does not infringe upon the right to free speech and assembly.


DNR to update floodplain maps for 14 counties

Thanks to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Indiana DNR will receive a grant of $2.5 million to be used in the update of floodplain mapping for 14 Indiana counties.

           

The Flood Hazard Mapping Program grant is administered through FEMA's Cooperating Technical Partner (CTP) program, which is an initiative that strives to keep flood maps up to date by creating partnerships with participating National Flood Insurance Program communities, regional agencies, and state agencies.  The DNR is FEMA's primary partner in Indiana.

 

"Some of our current flood maps are more than 30 years old," said Mike Neyer, P.E., director of the DNR Division of Water.

"Obviously, much development has taken place since these maps were issued, so the need for updating them is substantial."

 

The DNR will update the maps with new technology, including better topography. Throughout the past several months, the division of water has held meetings with community and county officials to seek their input into the maps and to help ensure that the new maps more closely correspond to local data. DNR engineers already have overseen the conversion of the paper maps to preliminary digital format.

 

The new maps are scheduled to be finished in 2007. This round of grants is part of a five-year, $1 billion federal program to update all county floodplain maps throughout the U.S. by 2008.


Michigan

Saginaw Bay Waterfowl Festival August 6-7

At Bay City State Rec Area

The Michigan Duck Hunters Association and Bay City State Recreation Area will be hosting the 10th annual Saginaw Bay Waterfowl Festival on Aug. 6-7 at Bay City State Recreation Area, with activities beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday and running through 5 p.m. Sunday.

 

Festival activities focus on the ducks and geese, which depend upon the wetlands of the Saginaw Bay Watershed for staging, nesting, and breeding habitat. Visitors will be able to participate in a wide range of activities and programs, designed to increase awareness of Michigan's waterfowl resources, the sport of waterfowl hunting and conservation programs, which need volunteers to succeed. The event is co-sponsored by the Friends of Bay City State Recreation Area, SC Johnson, the Bay Area Community Foundation, Franks Great Outdoors and Gander Mountain. Last year over 10,000 visitors attended this popular event.

 

The festival's main events include the Michigan championship duck calling contest, the Michigan goose calling competition and the 2006 Michigan Waterfowl Stamp competition. The waterfowl calling competitions, which occur on both days, are "open contests" to any callers, with master, novice and junior divisions. The festival will also host a team duck calling contest. This event is designed for teams of two hunters, using working field calls. Gander Mountain will be sponsoring youth and adult calling classes to improve your calling skills.

 

The event also features over 170 exhibitors in the Duck Hunter & Outdoor Recreation Expo, providing waterfowl enthusiasts with hunting, archery, camping, boating, wildlife watching and habitat enhancement products and wares. The festival includes a special wildlife art and craft show along the park's

Lagoon Trail with fine art originals, prints, photos, carvings and crafts. Vendors or artists interested in participating should contact the park at 989-667-0717.

 

Visitors will also be able to enjoy special exhibits by DNR Wildlife Division, DNR Law Division, Shiawassee National Wildlife Area, the Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited and many others.

 

Bring your retriever to participate in the dog fun hunt trial, learn tips from trainers on dog handling or find a new hunting buddy in "Puppy Alley." Other events include a youth/adult canoe race, live animal wildlife conservation programs, waterfowl identification trail, decorative decoy carving contest and waterfowl photography contest (professional, amateur and junior divisions). There will be special displays by featured wildlife artist, Chris Smith; featured photographer, Al Martinez; featured taxidermist, Ralph Bolda; and featured carver, Mike Ford inside the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center. A new event this year is designed to offer an opportunity for adults to mentor young hunters in a three-person team (one adult, two youth) competition. The "Quack-Athalon" is a unique contest of skill and timing in three events: canoeing, air rifle marksmanship and duck identification.

 

Admission is free to festival events, but a state park motor vehicle permit is required for all vehicles entering the park. Permits are $6 for a daily or $24 ($6 for senior citizens) for annual permit good in all 97 state parks. For advance registration information, a complete schedule of festival activities or more information on the event, please stop by the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center, located within Bay City State Recreation Area at 3582 State Park Drive in Bay City or call (989) 667-0717.


Bird droppings threaten perch population

ESCANABA (AP) - A green sludge of feces surrounds a rocky shoal that is home to thousands of double crested cormorants in Lake Michigan's Little Bay de Noc near Escanaba. The birds' acidic droppings have wreaked havoc

on the island's vegetation. Their eating habits have many people concerned. The Bay de Noc's once abundant perch population has declined and locals say cormorants are partially to blame.


Minnesota

Surplus bear licenses on sale Aug. 1

Minnesota bear hunters who were unsuccessful in this year's lottery may purchase a surplus license starting noon August. 1.  Surplus licenses are available in six permit areas where the number of available bear licenses exceeded the number of applicants. For the 2005 season, 15,950 licenses were offered in 11 permit areas. A total of 16,510 applications were received.

 

Surplus licenses are available on a first-come, first-served basis at any of more than 1,700 statewide Electronic License System (ELS) vendors or at the DNR License Center, 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul. Beginning noon August 8, any eligible person will be able to purchase a remaining bear

permit.

 

The bear season will run Sept. 1 - Oct. 16. Licenses for the no-quota area (outside of the 11 lottery permit areas) can be purchased directly at any ELS vendor beginning noon August 1.  This year, of 2,021 surplus licenses will be available to hunters who will be able to purchase permits in both quota and no-quota areas.  However, they'll be restricted to hunting only those areas where their permit is valid.

           

A map showing the location of these bear permit areas can be found on the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us . Bear licenses cost $39 for residents and $196 for non residents.


Festival of Fish set for Aug. 6 on the Mississippi River

The Minnesota DNR will host the Festival of Fish, Aug. 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., along the Mississippi River at Fort Snelling State Park. The park is located off Post Road near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Park permit fees of $7 daily or $25 annually apply.

 

Participants will have the opportunity to fly a fish kite, cast a fly rod, build a fish fishing net and learn how the DNR manages fish populations or how many kinds of fish live in Minnesota waters.

 

This year's event will include:

- demonstrations of traditional and modern fishing techniques

- displays of fishing tackle from yesterday and today

- storytellers relating fishing adventures and folklore from around the world

- art and craft displays and demonstrations that reflect the importance of fish in life and legend

- fishing skills activity area and equipment demonstrations

- fish filleting and tasting area

- kids fun area, with fish printing, wheel of fish, puppet show, and dance performances

- live fish and seining demonstrations 

 


New location for Green Lake regulations input meeting Aug 25

The Minnesota DNR will host a public input meeting on Green Lake experimental fishing regulations from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Dethlef ‘s Senior Center located at 317 Hillcrest Ave. in Spicer. The meeting was previously scheduled at another location.

 

The purpose of the meeting is for the DNR to share the results of a nine-year fishing regulation study on Green Lake and for citizens to provide input on future fishing regulations. Current regulations include a 24-inch maximum size limit for northern pike, which means all northern pike 24 inches and larger must be released immediately, and all bass 14 to 21 inches must be immediately returned to the water.

 

“We intend to share what we learned during the study, listen to the interests of citizens and then apply an appropriate fishing

regulation effective March 1, 2006,” said Bruce Gilbertson, DNR Spicer Area fisheries supervisor. "The three options are to keep the current regulations, modify them or return to statewide regulations."

 

Those unable to attend the Willmar meeting can send written comments by Sept. 6, to Bruce Gilbertson, Spicer Area Fisheries Office, P.O. Box 457, Spicer, MN 56288.

 

The DNR will also host an open house public input opportunity from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 25 in the second floor conference room at the DNR Central Office at 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul. A DNR staff person will be available to take public comments though there will not be a formal presentation. A St. Paul public input opportunity is required by statute for regulation changes that involve lakes of more than 1,500 acres in size.


New York

Cormorant control in New York

Flocks of double-crested cormorants eat about 350,000 Oneida Lake walleyes and 1.3 million eastern Lake Ontario smallmouth bass a year, according to studies conducted by Cornell University and the state Department of Environmental Conservation,.

 

Since 1998, animal control agents from the USDA have used propane cannons and other noise-makers to deter migrating flocks from resting and feeding on Oneida Lake. State officials also got the OK from the Fish and Wildlife Service to limit

cormorant nests on Oneida's Long Island to just 20 a year, compared to a peak of more than 300 nests in the past.

 

On Lake Ontario, the DEC obtained federal approval to gradually reduce the cormorant population on islands west of Henderson Harbor by smothering unhatched eggs with vegetable oil.  Last year, the state agency also got the green light to use lethal measures against a limited number of birds. So far in 2005, state crews have killed 686 cormorants on Little Galloo Island and another 261 on Bass Island.


Pataki Bowing out, he tells top aides

ALBANY — Gov. Pataki told a group of aides last week that he will not seek re-election next year — and alluded to a possible run for president in 2008 — after he summoned them to a meeting at the Executive Mansion.  In recent months, Pataki has indicated an interest in testing the water for a potential 2008 presidential run, although state and national GOP

leaders give him little chance of succeeding.

 

Nearly a dozen public-opinion polls this year have shown Pataki facing defeat at the hands of state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, the all-but-certain Democratic candidate for governor in 2006.


Pennsylvania

Game Commission addresses concerns about SS #s on licenses

HARRISBURG - In response to concerns received from hunting and trapping license buyers, Pennsylvania Game Commission officials took action to remind all license issuing agents of their obligation to protect the confidentiality and security of license buyers' information, especially social security numbers.

 

"It was brought to our attention that a few vendors were not following the proper procedures to safeguard license sales book information, particularly social security numbers," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission Bureau of Administrative Services director.  "We received reports of vendors allowing applicants to fill out the license book, which allows them to see confidential information of other licensees, or that license books were left on counters making the same information easily accessible to other customers.

 

State law prohibits the disclosure of license information. Failure to properly safeguard license information, especially social security numbers, can result in revocation of a vendor's privileges as a license agent.  Additionally, disclosure of confidential information is a violation of state law.

 

Over the past few years, U.S. Congress has enacted a number of new laws to improve enforcement of child support obligations. As part of a broad welfare reform effort, the U.S. Congress required states to implement new requirements to encourage payment of child support. States that failed to implement these requirements faced possible loss of federal welfare funds.

 

The federal welfare reform includes provisions that affect

recreational licenses holders, including those who buy hunting and furtaker licenses. One provision requires states to deny hunting and fishing licenses to certain persons in arrears on child support when a court issues an order revoking or denying such licenses. Another provision requires government agencies to obtain social security numbers from applicants for recreational licenses, including hunting and furtaker licenses.

 

State law provides for the denial or suspension of hunting licenses of persons three or more months in arrears on child support, if a court issues an order requiring such action.

 

Consistent with the new state law, the Game Commission began asking license buyers to provide social security numbers in 1998.  However, in 2003, in response to concerns about social security numbers being printed on licenses, the Game Commission started putting a series of Xs in the social security number block on the back of licenses.

 

"If a license buyer believes his or her social security number still is legible, they may take a marker or pen and further blacken this particular block, as the intent of the Game Commission was to make social security numbers illegible," said Michael Dubaich, Bureau of Law Enforcement director.  "However, hunters and fur-takers may not make any other alterations to their licenses, which would be a violation of state law."

 

License buyers who encounter problems at any issuing agent should contact the Bureau of Law Enforcement at (717) 783-6526, or the License Division at 717-787-2084.

 


PFBC Probing Infection Impacting Young Smallmouth in Susquehanna Watershed

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has identified the common bacterial agent causing skin anomalies in young smallmouth bass at various locations throughout the Susquehanna River watershed and is working to learn more about its impacts.

 

PFBC biologists making their annual collections of young-of-year smallmouth bass over the past several weeks have observed an unusually high number of the fish with skin lesions.  At the same time, recreational anglers have been making reports of seeing dead and dying young smallmouth in a variety of locations throughout the river system.

 

Examinations of afflicted fish have revealed that an infectious bacterial agent is responsible for the skin condition and for the mortalities.  The bacterial agent, Flavobacterium columnare (columnaris), is a common soil and water bacteria.  While harmless to humans, columnaris can infect all species of freshwater fish.  Columnaris disease is a secondary infection brought on by environmental or nutritional factors that stress fish. 

       

Fish health can be caused by a combination of environmental and other factors that do not individually cause significant problems, but collectively are sufficiently stressful to cause disease.  Although a pollutant has not been ruled out in the current fish loss, a discrete pollutant doesn’t usually cause mortality or stress over an area as large as the affected section of the Juniata and Susquehanna Rivers.  

       

The specific stress factors associated with the current smallmouth bass infections are hard to pinpoint, but most likely include high water temperatures and low dissolved oxygen levels.  Columnaris mortalities are known to occur when water temperatures exceed 65 degrees; Susquehanna River temperatures have exceeded 80 degrees during the ongoing annual field sampling.  Likewise, Commission biologists have recorded low dissolved oxygen readings from the waters they have sampled.  Recently on the Juniata River, dissolved oxygen was measured at 4.65 milligrams per liter at 9 a.m.  Overnight dissolved oxygen levels can be expected to dip below daytime levels; anything below 4.0 mg/l can be stressful to fish.

       

Smallmouth bass young-of-year inhabit shallow, near shore areas, where water temperature can be expected to be highest and dissolved oxygen levels lowest.  While some

adult smallmouth bass and adult white suckers have been reported to exhibit the anomaly being seen in the young bass, those occurrences have been very low.

 

Although water pollution has not been completely ruled out in the current fish loss, pollutants rarely impact just one species of fish.  Likewise, a single pollution event doesn’t usually cause mortality or stress over an area as large as is being documented.  Reports from biologists and anglers indicate the fish disease is being seen primarily in the Juniata River downstream of Lewistown and the Susquehanna River downstream from Sunbury to below Harrisburg.  Lighter incidences have been reported from the West Branch Susquehanna River, the North Branch Susquehanna River, Loyalsock Creek, and Penns Creek.  To date, the fish flesh anomaly has not been reported from the other major rivers of Pennsylvania such as the Delaware, Lehigh, Schuylkill, Allegheny, and Ohio.

       

Tissue samples from Juniata River smallmouth bass are also being tested for other fish pathogens by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff at the National Fish Health Laboratory in Lamar. 

 

The long-term impact of this outbreak on bass populations in the affected areas is also a bit of an unknown.  PFBC biologists have annually made collections of young-of-year smallmouth bass since the late 1980s.  The purpose of the measurements is to index the density of the bass year-class produced which provides insight to the density of adult smallmouth bass several years into the future.  It takes about 3 to 4 years for young smallmouth bass to reach the legal size of 12 inches, so the index helps biologists predict the density of adults 3 or 4 years into the future.  Since 2000, production of young smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna drainage has been below average due to high spring flows and cool temperatures.  The impacts of those weak year classes are now being seen in somewhat lower catch rates by recreational anglers. 

       

In 2005, preliminary results suggest young of year smallmouth bass density will be better throughout most of the Susquehanna system.  The persistence of columnaris infections, however, may change that estimate.  For example 46% of the smallmouth bass examined from a Juniata River sample show the presence of columnaris bacteria.  The ultimate strength of the 2005 year-class will likely be determined by the persistence of high temperatures, low dissolved oxygen levels, and other factors that collectively are sufficiently stressful to cause disease and mortality.


Ontario

Ontario First Nations seek seats at Great Lakes Water Table

TORONTO (ENS) - Discussions shaping the future of the Great Lakes watershed must include Ontario First Nations, the indigenous leaders are demanding. Leaders representing 50 First Nations sent a letter last week to Natural Resources

Minister David Ramsay objecting to their exclusion from the Great Lakes Charter Annex. First Nations leaders had gathered on the front steps Toronto's Metro Hall Council Chambers in defiance of a public consultation forum that was taking place inside.

 


Toronto Mayor blames lax U.S. gun laws after day of gunplay Shootings leave Toronto bloody:

Mayor blames lax U.S. gun laws

TORONTO - The city has exploded in gun violence, with seven separate shootings within 24 hours prompting the police chief to maintain the city is safe and the Mayor to insist something must be done.

 

Mayor David Miller said he was "very concerned" about the shootings, adding, "The fact that our crime rates are dropping

isn't enough."  The Mayor blamed lax gun laws in the United States for some of Toronto's violence, saying half the firearms in the city originated in America.

 

"It really is time to establish an effective strategy, working with the United States, to stop the easy access for guns that people are going to bring to Canada," Miller said.  Some blamed the violence on the city's inability to provide opportunities for young minorities in a city that's become hyper-sensitive to issues of police racial profiling.



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.

 

Dan Thomas, Senior Editor

Great Lakes Basin Publications

and President,

Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council

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