Week of August 13, 2012

World
Beyond the Great Lakes
Food for thought
  • The most recent FBI figures of 2011 show 358 of the 8,775 murders by firearm in 2010 involved rifles of any type. By comparison, 745 people were beaten to death with only hands that year.

Misc New Fishing-Boating Products
Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues
National

Regional

General
Lake Erie

Indiana
Michigan
Minnesota
New York
Wisconsin
Other Breaking News Items

 

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World

Canada joins Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee

WASHINGTON – The Administration announced today that Canada has joined the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC), the latest step in the Administration’s effort to ensure comprehensive action to protect the Great Lakes from invasive Asian carp.

 

The ACRCC was established in 2009 to ensure coordinated and effective action among Federal, State and local agencies to keep Asian carp from establishing in the Great Lakes as a permanent solution is developed. With today’s announcement, the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources will join other ACRCC partners including the Council on Environmental Quality, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Coast Guard, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, and all eight Great Lakes states in implementing a coordinated Asian carp control strategy.

 

 “With the health of the Great Lakes at stake, we remain focused on seizing every opportunity to build on our comprehensive plan for keeping Asian carp away,” said John Goss, Asian Carp Director at the Council on Environmental Quality. “Having Canadian experts at the table ensures a bi-national approach to protecting our Great Lakes, and protecting the health and economy of American and Canadian communities.”  

The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, echoed Canada’s strong support for combating Asian carp. “The Great Lakes represent one of North America’s most valuable resources,” he said. “Working with our provincial and American partners, as well other key stakeholders, will maximize our efforts to counter this invasive threat to our shared waters.”

 

“Asian carp are a serious economic, social and environmental threat to Ontario and to all jurisdictions that border the Great Lakes,” said Michael Gravelle, Ontario’s Minister of Natural Resources. “Participation in the ACRCC will significantly complement Ontario’s new Invasive Species Strategic Plan, as well as enforcement efforts, rapid response planning, monitoring and province-wide education to prevent the introduction of Asian carp to Ontario waters.”

 

The government has invested more than $150 million in an effective Asian carp control strategy that includes aggressive tracking and monitoring, strengthening the electric dispersal barriers in the Chicago Area Waterways System, and developing cutting edge biological controls and other new technologies to prevent the spread of Asian carp, among other measures.  In May, the Government of Canada pledged $17.5 million federally to help prevent the introduction and establishment of Asian carp in the Canadian waters of the Great Lakes.

For more info about the ACRCC: www.asiancarp.us 


Beyond the Great Lakes

New Gander Mountain Store Coming To Opelika, AL

Popular outdoors retailer adds third Alabama store and 119th nationwide

ST. PAUL, Minn., August 6, 2012 --- Gander Mountain, the nation’s leading firearms retailer and operator of the largest retail network of stores specializing in firearms, hunting, fishing, camping, marine, outdoor lifestyle and active performance products, announced today that in addition to great camping, fishing, hunting and hiking, outdoors enthusiasts in Alabama have one more great attraction coming to the region.

Construction activity has begun on the state’s third Gander Mountain retail store, which is expected to open in fall 2012. The 52,000-square-foot store will be located in Opelika at 1640 Parker Way, near the junction of I-85 and Gateway Drive.

 

The new Gander Mountain store will feature one of the largest selections of new and used firearms in Alabama, together with the best selection of gear and accessories for hunting, fishing, camping, boating and archery.

 


Misc New Fishing-Boating Products

STRATOS 176 VLO,  New for 2013

Best-in-class fishing boat completely redesigned
FLIPPIN, Ark.In 2007, Stratos asked boat buyers why they would settle
for an aluminum boat when they could have a more stable fishing platform for less money. That message resonated with boat buyers, who soon made the Stratos 176XT the best-selling boat in its class. Reinforcing those early accolades, the new Stratos 176 VLO brings added features and new technology to the 17-foot boat market, continuing its dominance over aluminum offerings while also giving bass-boat buyers the look and feel they want, starting as low as $14,995.  

Measuring 17 feet, 6 inches, the Stratos 176 VLO is rated for a maximum 75 horsepower and available with a host of precision-matched, factory-rigged outboards. The industry’s most accessible blend of fishing features and proven performance, the new 176 VLO is built upon a proven hull design that delivers a smooth, dry and efficient ride. Above the water, the new Stratos 176 VLO continues to shine, packing a lengthy list of fishing features that will have anglers feeling like they’ve done anything but settle.
 
“The Stratos 176 XT was designed to give a fiberglass option to those people who thought they could only afford to run aluminum boats. It did everything that the aluminum boat could do – only better and with more stability.” said Stratos Brand Manager Jason Bragg. “With the total redesign of the boat, the 176 VLO not only continues the legacy of being a better option for aluminum boat buyers but bass-boat buyers as a whole.”
 
The redesigns that make the 176 VLO begin at the rail, which has been raised to add more interior depth and enhance fishability. The bow design, which echoes that of the Stratos 189 VLO, features an offset space for flush mounting graphs with screens as large as five inches. Thanks to the offset design of the flush mount, instances of trolling motor cables blocking the screen are virtually eliminated. In addition to a recessed trolling motor, the front deck also offers lockable storage on the port and starboard sides, plus a center rod locker, which can store eight rods up to 7 feet in length.
 
At the helm, drivers will find a sleek, aggressively designed console with a full complement of gauges and space for flush mounting electronics with screens as large as 7 inches. Available in single- and dual-console configurations, the consoles are offset from the gunnels to allow space for  

longer rods resting on the front deck. The custom layout also includes an
integrated center bench seat that folds forward to reveal extra storage and doubles as a secure foot step to aid in transitioning from the cockpit to the rear fishing platform.  The cockpit itself is covered in an all-weather, rubberized non-slip surface – easy for cleaning and available with snap-in carpet as a custom option.

 

The Stratos 176 VLO helps anglers maximize their time by staying organized, thanks to the host of integrated storage options found throughout the vessel. In addition to the front-deck and fold-down seat storage, the rear deck also offers two addition storage compartments, while side pockets are integrated into the cockpit walls – ideal for keeping go-to baits and other necessities.
 
Equipped with a 21-gallon fuel tank, the Stratos 176 VLO also comes standard with a Humminbird Piranha Max 160 at the console, a Minn Kota Edge trolling motor, on-board charger and an oversized, aerated livewell.
 
The Stratos 176 VLO comes paired with a custom-built, single-axle trailer. Designed to perfectly match the boat, Stratos trailers are equipped with a super-tough “Road Armor” protective finish; submersible lights and individually balanced wheels. The trailers also feature swing jacks that retract flush to the frame and locking, swing-away tongues.
 
2013 STRATOS 176 VLO
Overall Hull Length:
17 feet, 6 inches
Beam: 84 inches
Maximum HP: 75
Fuel Capacity:  (1) 21-gallon tank
Total Persons/Motor/Gear: 1,100 lbs.  
Approx. Boat Weight: 1,200 lbs.
 
About Stratos
Stratos Boats, are built with 100 % composite construction to provide maximum performance and comfort. Every Stratos Boat is backed by a limited lifetime warranty on the hull. Each boat is produced with a premium-quality gel-coat finish - made to withstand the elements. Stratos, Champion and Elite are registered trademarks.

 

877-453-2222

 

www.stratosboats.com/

 


Mepps still recycles squirrel tails

Still buying squirrel tails for its world famous spinners

Antigo WI -- Sheldons’, Inc. maker of the world famous Mepps spinners is again asking squirrel hunters to please save the tails of the squirrels they take for tablefare. Sheldons’ uses the tails to dress the hooks of many of their bass, trout, panfish pike and walleye lures.

 

“We do not want anyone shooting squirrels just for their tails,” stresses Jim Martinsen, Mepps spokesperson. “However, the tails from the squirrels harvested by legitimate hunters every year are just too valuable to go to waste.”

 

Processing squirrel tails is a lot of work. Squirrel tails seldom need trimming, but they do need to be sorted and graded. All of the tails, however, need to be washed, not once, but several times. After drying, some are left natural while others are dyed brilliant hues. When needed, they are placed in the hands of a skilled fly tyer, where they become a Mepps dressed hook.

 

Care & Handling of Squirrel Tails (Please follow carefully)

1) Tails are best on squirrels taken after October 1.

2) Do NOT remove the bone from the tail; deboned & split tails have no value.

3) Salt the butt end of the tail generously. Use either dry salt or dip in a strong saltwater solution.

4) Be sure the tail is straight before drying. Tails that dry curled are useless.

5) Keep tails away from flies. Best storage is in a freezer. Do NOT send tails that have been exposed to flies.

6) Do NOT put tails in a plastic bag for storage or shipment. They could

heat-up and spoil.

7) The best time to ship is during the cold months (December, January, February, March), although dried squirrel tails may be shipped anytime.

8) Put your name, mailing address and phone number or e-mail address, along with the tail count inside EACH package.

9) Shipping refunded on shipments of 50+ tails. Ship First Class mail or surface UPS only. No refund on insurance charges, or service fees charged by independent mailing services.

 

Questions? call toll free 800/237-9877 Monday - Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

 

grey, fox, & black squirrel tails

Count Average Tails Premium Tails

under 100 16¢ each 20¢ each

over 100 19¢ each 23¢ each

over 500 21¢ each 25¢ each

 

Over 1000 22¢ each 26¢ each

 

Send your squirrel tails to:

Sheldons’, Inc

626 Center St

Antigo, WI  54409-2496

 

For more info on the Mepps squirrel tail recycling program: www.mepps.com/programs/squirrel-tail/  or write: Mepps, Dept ST, 626 Center St, Antigo, WI 54409-2496., or call toll-free: 800-713-3474

 

www.mepps.com

 


Under Armour Tactical Cotton Collection

Under Armour, Inc, developer and distributor of branded performance apparel, footwear, and accessories, has announced a new line of Charged Cotton HeatGear T-shirts for the professional operator. Military, Law Enforcement and Security professionals spend countless hours in the most brutal and challenging conditions imaginable, and every item in your gear kit has been carefully selected to provide you with quality and superior performance.

 

By combining the comfort of cotton with the proven moisture-wicking abilities of HeatGear, Under Armour's new line of tactical Charged Cotton Ts will keep you feeling lightweight, cool and ready for action in any situation.

Features Include:

Reflects IR and heat rays

Minimum UPF 30+ sun protection

4-way stretch construction

Signature Moisture Transport System

Lightweight, high-performance, sandblasted fabric

Rolled shoulder seams eliminate discomfort

Anti-odor technology 

Polyester/Elastane

Comes in 16 colors

Sizes: SM – 3XL

Imported

 

For a complete review of Under Armor products, go to: www.ua.com
About $24.99

888-727-6687     www.ua.com


Hunting & Shooting Products/Issues

Mepps still recycles squirrel tails

Still buying squirrel tails for its world famous spinners

Antigo WI -- Sheldons’, Inc. maker of the world famous Mepps spinners is again asking squirrel hunters to please save the tails of the squirrels they take for tablefare. Sheldons’ uses the tails to dress the hooks of many of their bass, trout, panfish pike and walleye lures.

 

“We do not want anyone shooting squirrels just for their tails,” stresses Jim Martinsen, Mepps spokesperson. “However, the tails from the squirrels harvested by legitimate hunters every year are just too valuable to go to waste.”

 

Processing squirrel tails is a lot of work. Squirrel tails seldom need trimming, but they do need to be sorted and graded. All of the tails, however, need to be washed, not once, but several times. After drying, some are left natural while others are dyed brilliant hues. When needed, they are placed in the hands of a skilled fly tyer, where they become a Mepps dressed hook.

 

Care & Handling of Squirrel Tails (Please follow carefully)

1) Tails are best on squirrels taken after October 1.

2) Do NOT remove the bone from the tail; deboned & split tails have no value.

3) Salt the butt end of the tail generously. Use either dry salt or dip in a strong saltwater solution.

4) Be sure the tail is straight before drying. Tails that dry curled are useless.

5) Keep tails away from flies. Best storage is in a freezer. Do NOT send tails that have been exposed to flies.

6) Do NOT put tails in a plastic bag for storage or shipment. They could

heat-up and spoil.

7) The best time to ship is during the cold months (December, January, February, March), although dried squirrel tails may be shipped anytime.

8) Put your name, mailing address and phone number or e-mail address, along with the tail count inside EACH package.

9) Shipping refunded on shipments of 50+ tails. Ship First Class mail or surface UPS only. No refund on insurance charges, or service fees charged by independent mailing services.

 

Questions? call toll free 800/237-9877 Monday - Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

 

grey, fox, & black squirrel tails

Count Average Tails Premium Tails

under 100 16¢ each 20¢ each

over 100 19¢ each 23¢ each

over 500 21¢ each 25¢ each

 

Over 1000 22¢ each 26¢ each

 

Send your squirrel tails to:

Sheldons’, Inc

626 Center St

Antigo, WI  54409-2496

 

For more info on the Mepps squirrel tail recycling program: www.mepps.com/programs/squirrel-tail/  or write: Mepps, Dept ST, 626 Center St, Antigo, WI 54409-2496., or call toll-free: 800-713-3474

 

www.mepps.com

 


Blackhawk Holsters

Bedside and Day Planner Holsters, Simplify Firearm Storage and Concealment

NORFOLK, Va. – Aug. 2, 2012 –BLACKHAWK holsters and accessories offer an innovative solution to weapon storage and protection. Whether on or off-duty, BLACKHAWK!’s advanced line of carry and storage options are known throughout the shooting community for their convenience and practicality.

 

Protection While You Sleep

The new BLACKHAWK! Bedside Holster 

answers the long-time question of firearm accessibility during the night. With its unique design, the holster’s mounting platform slips securely between a mattress and box springs. The holster’s universal-fit makes it a viable option for most any home-defense handgun, making it readily available when time is of the essence.


For a full version of the release and a hi-res image, please click on the link below:
http://outdoorwriters.atk.com/p/BH/426.aspx

 

To get the most recent news and product information from ATK Sporting, visit:
www.outdoorwriters.atk.com


National

National Policy On Tribal Agreements remains in limbo

Draft Policy Conflicts with Past and Pending National Bison Range Funding Pacts

Washington, DC — The U.S. Department of Interior is pursuing a funding agreement with an Indian tribe for operation of a national wildlife refuge that cedes far more federal control than a draft national policy governing such agreements, according to a document released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).  Had Interior implemented its national policy, it would likely have avoided years of litigation and obviated the need for many months of negotiation and tribal lobbying.

Under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, Interior may enter into agreements with tribes to perform certain functions on national parks and refuges to which the tribe has a cultural or historical connection.  For the past seven years, Interior has unsuccessfully tried to execute a funding agreement with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) to operate the National Bison Range and a complex of three other refuge units in Montana.  

This arrangement was controversial, in large part because it ceded effective control of federal functions to a sovereign nation.  The first CSKT agreement was rescinded by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), which manages the refuge system, in 2006 after less than two years due to an array of tribal misconduct.  The second pact was struck down by a federal judge in 2010 in a lawsuit brought by PEER.  This May, Interior unveiled a third version that relinquishes even more latitude to the tribe than previous ones.

At the same time, there was an effort within FWS to develop a national policy to govern these agreements since another 18 refuges in 8 states, constituting 80% of the entire National Wildlife Refuge System, are eligible for similar treatment, as are 57 National Parks in 19 states.  Agency officials have, as recently as this year, claimed that development of a national policy was proceeding on a “parallel track” to the National Bison Range deal.  In reality, however, drafts of a national policy were last circulated among refuge staff back in 2006 and that policy was significantly different from the CSKT agreement, in that –

  • The draft policy gave FWS officials unilateral authority to protect “a trust resource or a natural resource” including immediately taking back control of operations.  By contrast, the CSKT agreement lays out an elaborate, almost impenetrable process of reviews and appeals if performance complaints arise;

  • The draft policy prohibits entering into a tribal agreement “if the cost of the agreement exceeds that of competing activities using Service employees.” The CSKT deal was so expensive it required reallocation of funds from other refuge units, and in addition, the CSKT would get to pocket any unspent federal funds under the new agreement; and

  • The draft policy discourages displacement of career employees while the CSKT agreement would uproot almost all of the career employees, who could stay only if hired or chosen by the tribe.

Perhaps most significant, the draft policy has strict prohibitions on contracting out “inherently federal functions” which the CSKT agreement fails to heed.  Outsourcing of refuge management functions was a key element of the PEER suit which prevailed on other grounds, leaving the issue undecided.

 

“Given that scores of parks and refuges may be subject to similar agreements, it is irresponsible for Interior to neglect developing a national policy before negotiating any deals,” stated PEER Senior Counsel Paula Dinerstein who brought PEER’s successful suit invalidating the last CSKT deal while pointing out that the pending agreement has many of the same legal vulnerabilities as its predecessor.  “Approaching this issue in an ad hoc fashion disserves taxpayers who will have to pay for any windfalls won by tribal lobbyists. Whatever concession Interior yields to one tribe will become a minimum demand for all others.”

 

  • The draft policy gave FWS officials unilateral authority to protect “a trust resource or a natural resource” including immediately taking back control of operations.  By contrast, the CSKT agreement lays out an elaborate, almost impenetrable process of reviews and appeals if performance complaints arise;

  • The draft policy prohibits entering into a tribal agreement “if the cost of the agreement exceeds that of competing activities using Service employees.” The CSKT deal was so expensive it required reallocation of funds from other refuge units, and in addition, the CSKT would get to pocket any unspent federal funds under the new agreement; and

  • The draft policy discourages displacement of career employees while the CSKT agreement would uproot almost all of the career employees, who could stay only if hired or chosen by the tribe.

Perhaps most significant, the draft policy has strict prohibitions on contracting out “inherently federal functions” which the CSKT agreement fails to heed.  Outsourcing of refuge management functions was a key element of the PEER suit which prevailed on other grounds, leaving the issue undecided.

“Given that scores of parks and refuges may be subject to similar agreements, it is irresponsible for Interior to neglect developing a national policy before negotiating any deals,” stated PEER Senior Counsel Paula Dinerstein who brought PEER’s successful suit invalidating the last CSKT deal while pointing out that the pending agreement has many of the same legal vulnerabilities as its predecessor.  “Approaching this issue in an ad hoc fashion disserves taxpayers who will have to pay for any windfalls won by tribal lobbyists. Whatever concession Interior yields to one tribe will become a minimum demand for all others.”


Conservation-Minded anglers React to Fisheries Reform Bill

Legislation introduced last week by Congressman Jon Runyan (R-NJ) seeks to change the way science informs the management of our nation’s wild ocean fisheries. The Transparent and Science Based Fishery Management Act (HR 6350) ostensibly promotes goals that the vast majority of fisheries stakeholders share; and some provisions are commendable. However, fishermen and conservationists under the Marine Fish Conservation Network umbrella expressed alarm about the bill’s potential to open loopholes that could undermine science-based fisheries management.

 

After decades of chronic overfishing, American fishermen have changed the way they fish. Management now prioritizes the long-term sustainability of the resource on which they depend, albeit sometimes at the expense of short-term fishing opportunities. US fisheries management is turning the corner, with overfishing on the decline and important stocks being rebuilt.

 

Sera Drevenak, Policy and Outreach Director of the Marine Fish Conservation Network, offered the following statement:

“Our current system of fisheries management isn’t perfect; however, we’ve made major gains in our efforts to stop overfishing and rebuild overfished

stocks. In 2006, when Congress reauthorized the Magnuson-Stevens Act,

America had 48 stocks that were subject to overfishing. Now it has 36—with science-based plans in place to reduce that number further. The law’s Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures are working, and translating into greater fishing opportunities for many of America’s anglers and commercial fishermen.

 

“Last night’s legislation includes some commendable provisions. Greater council transparency, smarter prioritization of stock assessments, and the reinvestment of enforcement penalties in fisheries science are all measures that should receive widespread support. The bill’s Annual Catch Limit exemptions, however, risk opening dangerous loopholes in our science-based management system that could undo years of painstaking progress.

 

“Many commercial fishermen and recreational anglers would like to see further refinements in our fishery management system; yet they are proud to participate in some of the most sustainably-managed fisheries in the world. America’s fishermen are true conservationists. They’re committed to ensuring Congress does not risk undermining science-based management just at the point when many of those fisheries are on the rebound.”


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for August 10, 2012 

WEATHER CONDITIONS

Much of the region experienced measureable precipitation with temperatures slightly above their seasonal normals during the first full week of August. More relief from the drought will come in the form of a slow moving low pressure system bringing significant precipitation this weekend. Temperatures associated with the low will be below normal this weekend. A fair weather system will follow the low allowing temperatures to return to their seasonal averages throughout the week.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

The water level of Lake Superior is near the same level as one year ago, while Lake Michigan-Huron is 10 inches lower than its level of a year ago. Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 12, 13, and 11 inches, respectively, lower than their levels of a year ago. Over the next month, Lake Superior is forecasted to remain near its current level, while Lake Michigan-Huron is expected to fall 1 inch. The water levels of Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario are forecasted to fall 6, 5, and 3 inches, respectively, over the next thirty days.

FORECASTED MONTHLY OUTFLOWS/CHANNEL CONDITIONS

Lake Superior's outflow through the St. Marys River is projected to be below average for the month of August. 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 August. Lake Erie's outflow through the Niagara River and the outflow of Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River are predicted to be below average in August.

ALERTS

Lake Michigan-Huron is below chart datum. 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 Aug 10

601.38

577.43

573.75

571.13

245.05

Datum, in ft

601.10

577.50

572.30

569.20

243.30

Diff in inches

+3

-1

+17

+23

+21

Diff last month

0

-2

-4

-4

-5

Diff from last yr

0

-10

-12

-13

-11


General

Prevent the Spread of Spiny Water Flea

INSPECT & CLEAN your fishing, boating and other water recreation equipment and gear. Remove all mud, plants and other organisms that might be clinging to them when leaving waters, especially those that are known to contain an aquatic invasive species.

 

DRY your fishing and boating equipment before using it on another body of water. Drying is the most effective "disinfection" mechanism and is least likely to damage sensitive equipment and clothing. All fishing and boating equipment, clothing and other gear should be dried completely before moving to another body of water. This may take a week or more depending upon the type of equipment, where it is stored and weather conditions. A basic rule of thumb is to allow at least 48 hours for drying most non-porous fishing and boating gear at relative humidity levels of 70

 

percent or less.

 

DISINFECT your fishing and boating equipment if it cannot be dried before its use in another body of water. Disinfection recommendations vary depending on the type of equipment and disease of concern. Be particularly aware of bilge areas, live wells and bait wells in boats. These areas are difficult to dry and can harbor invasive species.

 

See the DEC website for more information on invasive species and how you can stop their spread: www.dec.ny.gov/animals/265.html.

 

USGS Spiny Water Flea Fact Sheet: http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.asp?


Study Suggests Humans may naturally survive rabies infection without treatment

Rabies is a dangerous viral disease that many outdoorsmen and women have encountered in one form or another. Without treatment, the infection is almost 100 percent fatal. But a teenage girl who was bitten by a rabid bat eight years ago and survived without treatment had scientists racking their brains for an explanation.

 

A post-exposure vaccine is very effective at preventing the onslaught of neurological degradation from the virus, but not all persons infected by the disease are lucky enough to get a quick treatment. At least 55,000 people a year die of rabies worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. The United States is particularly free of rabies incidents, with only one or two occurring each year.

 

Dogs are responsible for the transmission of rabies in 99 percent of human cases resulting in death, especially in Asia and Africa. In North America, bats are the greatest source of human rabies deaths. A recent study on the virus observed humans who were infected by bats in the Amazon, namely Peru.

 

The study, published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and

Hygiene, challenged conventional wisdom by saying that certain humans were able to naturally fight off the disease without the need for a vaccine.

 

“The overwhelming majority of rabies exposures that proceed to infections are fatal. However, our results open the door to the idea that there may be some type of natural resistance or enhanced immune response in certain communities regularly exposed to the disease. This means there may be ways to develop effective treatments that can save lives in areas where rabies remains a persistent cause of death,” said Amy Gilbert with the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, and the paper’s lead author, on MedicalDaily.com.

Through their research, scientists found that 11 percent of people in the study group were naturally resistant to infections. By analyzing genetic factors of the study group, researchers hope to find new ways to treat the disease in the general population.

 

This is one of the first and strongest studies to show that humans can naturally develop rabies antibodies, according to the researchers. However, the reason why these people have developed an immunity is still unknown.

 


Lake Erie

No Asian carp found in western Lake Erie

After a week of intensive electrofishing and gill netting activities in Sandusky Bay, Maumee Bay and their main tributaries, officials have found no bighead or silver Asian carps in western Lake Erie. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) continue to work together to assess the current status of bighead and silver carp within western Lake Erie bays and select tributaries.

 

“The sampling results are very encouraging, especially since we intensely focused on areas where we believed we had the greatest chances of finding these fish,” said Rich Carter, ODNR executive administrator of fish management and research. “We look forward to the results of the environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis that will help us define future actions. We appreciate all of the efforts the Service has provided in assessing the status of Asian carp in Lake Erie.”

 

“We are committed to supporting our state DNR partners in the field,” said

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Deputy Regional Director Charlie Wooley. “Service staff will continue to work side-by-side with DNR employees both on the water and in the labs as we try to answer the question, ‘Are there any live Asian carp in the Sandusky and Maumee areas?’ This week’s sampling has not provided any physical evidence that Asian carp are in these two waterways.”

 

Jim Dexter, Chief of the Fisheries Division, MDNR noted that this effort presented an “excellent effort to accompany the more sensitive eDNA testing.” The MDNR looks to this effort as a baseline of information and as a foundation upon which to build any future sampling efforts.

 

Fish sampling activities took place in response to the six water samples taken from Sandusky and north Maumee bays in August 2011 that tested positive for the presence of Asian carp eDNA. Additional eDNA sampling activities occurred July 30-Aug. 4, and those findings will be announced in a few weeks.


Indiana

Venison workshops in September

A venison workshop series in September will teach deer skinning, butchering and preparation.

Participants can taste the venison prepared in a variety of ways. The workshops will also feature food safety and handling procedures and an update on deer health issues.

The DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife and Purdue Cooperative Extension Service are sponsoring the workshops.

Adult admission is $15; children 17 and younger are free. The workshops at Bass Pro Shops on Sept. 7 and at Hoosier Outdoor Experience on Sept. 15 are free to all.

Register by calling the appropriate number below:

Sept. 6  – Warrick County Fairgrounds, Boonville, 6-9 p.m., (812) 897-6101

Sept. 7  – Bass Pro Shops, Clarksville, 6-9 p.m., (812) 218-5500

Sept. 12 – LaGrange County Fairgrounds, LaGrange, 6-9 p.m., (260) 499-6334

Sept. 13 – Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds, Lafayette, 6-9 p.m., (765) 474-0793

Sept. 15 – Fort Harrison State Park, Indianapolis, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. – No registration required; details are online at: hoosieroutdoorexperience.IN.gov.

For more information: Jonathan Ferris, Purdue Extension Office in Fayette County, (765) 825-8502.


Happenings in Fish & Wildlife

The Hunters Helping Farmers program will be active until Aug. 30. The

Hunters Helping Farmers program is a service that connects hunters who are willing to harvest antlerless deer with landowners who want help removing deer from their properties.

 

Deer hunters who would like to help remove antlerless deer from private property during the regular deer hunting seasons can have their names added to the Hunters Helping Farmers list by completing an application form at Hunting.IN.gov/5452.htm.

 

Dove hunt draw results have been posted at Hunting.IN.gov/5583.htm. Registrants can go to this website and enter their last name and date of birth. If a response of “no results” comes up, the individual either entered incorrect information or did not complete the registration. All complete registrants were sent a confirmation email. Still have questions about the dove hunt draw? Visit Hunting.IN.gov/5834.htm for a list of answers to frequently asked questions.

Do you have questions on deer hunting and the new regulations? Check out the new Indiana Hunting and Trapping Guide for 2012-13 at Hunting.IN.gov/2343.htm

Printed guides will also be available at Indiana Outdoor retailers. For a list of retailers visit Hunting.IN.gov/5334.htm

Still have questions? Visit our deer hunting frequently asked questions page at Hunting.IN.gov/7389.htm

 


Michigan

Learn to fish, shoot at U.P. State Fair in Escanaba, August 13-19

The Department of Natural Resources is proud to again be part of one of the highlights of summer – the Upper Peninsula State Fair, set for Aug. 13-19 in Escanaba. Among the fair’s many exhibits and events is the DNR’s U.P. Pocket Park, a popular place where thousands of kids will learn to fish or shoot a bow or pellet gun in a safe, fun environment.

 

“We have a stocked pond for kids to learn how to cast and catch a fish, and then gently release it,” said the DNR’s coordinator for the event, Janet Canode. “We’ll have DNR staff and volunteers on site, to teach kids how to shoot using a pellet gun, and a bow, too. We have all the equipment, right down to the bait and the safety glasses.”

 

A couple of extra treats are in store for this year’s visitors: the Passport to Summer RV tour, and a taxidermy mount of Michigan’s only known wild wolverine.

The Passport to Summer RV will be on site during the kickoff on Monday,

 

Aug. 13, from 4 to 8 p.m., where visitors can:

  • Indulge in a free sample of Hudsonville’s Pure Michigan Caramel Apple ice cream, the official flavor of Michigan state parks;

  • Learn about the state parks’ Recreation Passport; and

  • Get inspired by Recreation 101, a series of free, introductory classes and programs on everything from archery and kayaking to geocaching and campfire cooking.

 

Visitors can also get a rare, up-close look at Michigan’s “lone” wolverine. Discovered in the thumb area in 2004, the wolverine roamed the Minden City State Game Area until its natural death in 2010. The exhibit will be on display at the fair August 16-19 and features a taxidermy mount of the wolverine along with information about its time in Michigan and its natural history.

 

The U.P. State Fair takes place in downtown Escanaba. For more information about the fair, visit www.upstatefair.org.


Summer fish kills reported in Michigan inland lakes

High levels of phosphorus in lakes as the cause of summer fish kills

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan DNR Fish Division is citing high levels of phosphorus in lakes as the cause of summer fish kills in inland lakes and is welcoming the help of Michigan residents to track them.

 

“The extended hot weather is warming up Michigan lakes, sometimes to temperatures that cannot be tolerated by certain fishes,” said Jane Herbert, Michigan State University Extension water resource educator. “To make matters worse, lakes experiencing heavy phosphorus loading from lawn fertilizer, septic systems and storm water runoff can produce overgrowths of rooted aquatic plants and algae. Both of these factors influence dissolved oxygen levels in the lake water column.”

 

Herbert said that in lakes that strongly stratify, the waters above the thermocline – a layer of water in the lake that separates warm surface water from colder, deeper water – may continue to mix and oxygenate, but can also continue to warm. The warmer the water, the lower the dissolved oxygen concentrations. Below the thermocline, waters are usually cooler, but oxygen levels in deep, dark waters are continually being depleted by plants and animals. In the presence of sunlight, aquatic plants photosynthesize, adding oxygen to the water. In darkness they respire, removing oxygen from the water. By late summer, some lakes become nearly devoid of oxygen in deep waters – again an intolerable situation for fish that can result in summer kill. 

Most fish tolerate fairly narrow ranges of water temperature and dissolved oxygen, and moving back and forth between warm upper waters and

cooler, less oxygenated deep water is often not an option. Fish species most prone to summer kill are pike, perch, suckers, bass and bluegill living in shallow, productive lakes or bays with excessive amounts of algae or rooted aquatic vegetation.

 

The MDNR considers summer fish kill due to low oxygen levels a natural phenomenon associated with weather. It should be noted, however, that local lake management strategies can exacerbate these conditions.

 

“Chemical treatment of aquatic plants and algae results in the accumulation of dead plant material at various depths,” Herbert said. “Naturally occurring bacteria that break down and biodegrade dead plant material begin to multiply and make their own oxygen demand on the water, resulting in less oxygen available for fish. Under hot summer conditions, lake-wide chemical treatment of aquatic plants and algae can create even more stress on fish populations.”

 

The MDNR asks that fish kills be reported via email to DNR-FISH-Report-Fish-Kills@michigan.gov. Not all fish kills are the result of natural phenomena. If you suspect a fish kill was caused by a non-natural event, such as a pollutant spill, the MDNR asks that you call your nearest DNR location or Michigan's Pollution Emergency Alert System at 800-292-4706.


DNR recommends brook trout daily limits stay at five in Upper Peninsula

The Michigan DNR announced on August 9 that after internal and external reviews, it is recommending the brook trout daily possession limit for the Upper Peninsula remain at its current level of five. 

In 2000, the daily possession limit for brook trout in most Michigan streams was reduced from 10 fish to five fish. Since that time anglers have asked the DNR’s Fisheries Division to consider reinstating the 10 fish daily possession limit for brook trout on Upper Peninsula streams.

Fisheries Division staff conducted an internal review on this issue in 2011 and after that solicited broad public input regarding the proposed regulation change via an online and telephone survey. The survey was open from March 26 through May 28, 2012 and received more than 1,400 responses. This was the highest response rate Fisheries Division had ever seen in regards to a regulation issue. 

Due to the results of that survey, and based on additional feedback gathered through letters, constituent meetings, and other methods, it has been recommended the daily possession limit for brook trout not be raised to 10 fish at this time for the following reasons:

(1) There are no biological benefits and some slight biological risks with raising the daily possession limit.

(2) Based on the results of the public survey and historic creel data, it appears raising the daily possession limit would benefit a relatively small percentage of the angling population.

 

(3) Nearly twice as many anglers opposed the possession limit increase compared to those who supported the change. Given that there is no biological need to increase the daily possession limit, it is not prudent to establish a regulation that does not have a significant margin of support from the angling public.
 

Public input regarding this recommendation can be provided at the Natural Resources Commission meeting in Lansing on Thursday, Sept. 13. The final decision regarding the brook trout possession limit for the Upper Peninsula will then be announced at the Natural Resources Commission meeting in Ontonagon on Thursday, Oct. 11.

For additional information on how this recommendation was developed, including full data from the public survey, please read the Brook Trout Daily Possession Limit Statewide Opinion Survey Review available at www.michigan.gov/fishing

 

 


Minnesota

Big Swan Lake's northern pike experimental regulation up for review
The public is invited to a discussion of experimental fishing regulations on Todd County's Big Swan Lake from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 18, at Bruno's Supper Club, 30905 County Road 13, in Burtrum.

 

Located in south-central Todd County near Burtrum, Big Swan Lake covers nearly 900 acres. Since 2008, it has had an experimental northern pike protected slot limit of 24 to 36 inches, with one more than 36 inches, and a daily bag limit of three. Prior to 2008, a 24-inch maximum length limit was in place since 1997. Fisheries data collected since 1997 show an improved size structure of northern pike, with individual pike larger than 36 inches more common in spring assessments than in previous years.

Public input on existing experimental regulations will help DNR fisheries staff determine whether those regulations should be continued, modified or dropped. People unable to attend the public input meeting may submit written comments to the DNR Little Falls area fisheries office, 16543 Haven Road, Little Falls, MN 56345. Comments also will be taken via email at eric.altena@state.mn.us, or by phone at 320-616-2450, ext. 225.

 

Comments on Big Swan Lake also will be accepted during an open house from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the DNR Central Office, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul. All comments must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 8.

 


New York

Spiny Water Flea Confirmed In Lake George

State Will Work with Partners to Implement Lake Champlain Task Force Recommendations

The presence of the spiny water flea, an aquatic invasive species, was confirmed in Lake George, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced today.

 

“DEC has worked with its partners on the Lake Champlain Basin Task Force to stop and slow the spread of the spiny water flea,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. “The discovery of spiny water flea in Lake George is not welcome news and DEC’s efforts to slow the spread of this and other invasive species will continue.”

 

Earlier this week the Lake Champlain Basin Aquatic Invasive Species Rapid Response Task Force released seven recommendations to slow the spread of spiny water flea into Lake Champlain, which includes redirecting the flow of the Champlain Canal into the Hudson River and furthering a feasibility study for a hydraulic barrier between the Champlain Canal and Lake Champlain.

 

“DEC fully supports the recommendations of the Task Force and will work with the state of Vermont and our other partners to implement the Task Force’s recommendations,” Commissioner Martens said. “Boaters and anglers also have a major role in slowing the spread of invasive species. All boating, fishing and recreation equipment must be cleaned and disinfected, to prevent spreading invasive species to other water bodies.”

 

The Task Force is made up of representatives from New York state, Vermont and Canada. The Task Force’s report recognizes that the closure of the Champlain Canal and the Glens Falls Feeder Canal is not technically, legally or economically feasible.

 

The discovery of spiny water flea in Lake George provides another pathway for the invasive species to enter Lake Champlain via the LaChute River. Lake George is not connected to the State Canal System.

 

The presence of spiny water flea was confirmed through sampling efforts by the Lake George Association on Tuesday, July 31. The samples were taken to the Darrin Fresh Water Institute where four spiny water fleas were identified.

 

“Right now the Commission’s top priority is invasive species control and management, and we will work with our many partners on determining the extent of this population,” Dave Wick, Executive Director of the Lake George Park Commission, said. The Commission is currently developing a comprehensive invasive species prevention plan for Lake George, with

 

the goal of preventing any new invasive occurrences from entering the lake.”

 

The possible presence of the spiny water flea was first reported on Friday, July 27 by an invasive species steward at DEC’s Mossy Point Boat Launch near the north end of the lake. A fisherman had reported having a clump of small organisms on his fishing line after spending time trolling the waters off Mallory Island along the east shore of the lake.

 

The steward took a sample and provided it to the Lake George Association, who passed it on to the Darrin Fresh Water Institute. After the organisms were identified as spiny water fleas the Lake George Association sampled the waters off Mallory Island and further confirmed its presence.

 

The invasive pest was previously confirmed in the Great Sacandaga Lake in 2008, Peck Lake in 2009, Stewarts Bridge Reservoir 2010, Sacandaga Lake in 2010 and most recently this summer in the Champlain Canal and Glens Falls Feeder Canal.

 

Background on Spiny Water Flea

Native to Eurasia, the spiny water flea feeds on tiny crustaceans and other zooplankton that are foods for fish and other native aquatic organisms, putting them in direct competition for this important food source. The tail spines of the spiny water flea hook on fishing lines and foul fishing gear.

 

Spiny water fleas can impact aquatic life in lakes and ponds due to their rapid reproduction rates. In warmer water temperatures these water fleas can hatch, grow to maturity, and lay eggs in as little as two weeks. Conversely, "resting" eggs of spiny water fleas can remain dormant for long periods of time prior to hatching.

 

While it is not clear when or how the spiny water flea was introduced into the lakes, it is clear that the initial introduction, and very likely the others as well, were through adult, larvae or eggs being transported to the waters by bait bucket, bilge water, live well, boat, canoe, kayak, trailer or fishing equipment.

 

Currently, there are no successful means to control or eradicate this and many other aquatic invasive species, so preventing their spread is the only means for reducing their impacts on native aquatic communities. It is very important that boats, anglers and other recreational enthusiasts take precautions to avoid transporting this and other invasive species, particularly after leaving water known to have an aquatic invasive species.


2012-13 Sporting Licenses available beginning August 13

Deer Management Permits, Hunting, Fishing, Trapping Licenses

The 2012-13 New York hunting, fishing and trapping licenses and Deer Management Permits (DMPs) will be available for purchase beginning Monday, August 13.

 

Licenses and permits can be purchased at one of DEC’s 1,500 license sales outlets statewide. Sporting licenses can also be ordered by telephone or by visiting the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6101.html.  The 2012-13 sporting licenses are valid beginning October 1, 2012. The new Hunting & Trapping and Freshwater Fishing regulation guides are available at all license issuing outlets as well as from the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov. 

 

DEC’s Automated Licensing System (DECALS) is New York State’s computerized system for issuing sporting licenses and tracking license sales and revenues. DECALS may also be used for donations to the Habitat Access Stamp Program, Venison Donation Coalition, Conservation Fund and the Trail Maintenance Program. DEC continues to improve and enhance DECALS to better meet the needs of sportsmen and women. For questions regarding license purchases, please call DECALS Call Center at (1-866-933-2257). Hours of operation for the Call Center are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday from August 13 to October 13, 2012. Regular weekday hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. will resume on October 15, 2012.

 

License buyers should have the following items ready when applying: complete name and address information, customer ID number if you have it, proof of residency information (driver's license number or non-driver's ID number with a valid NYS address to qualify for a resident license), and, if purchasing by phone or internet, credit card and card expiration date. Hunting license purchases require individuals to provide proof of hunting education certification or a copy of a previous license, or this information must already be contained in their DECALS file.

Sales of all sporting licenses are deposited into the Conservation Fund which is used for the management of New York's fish and wildlife populations and for protection and management of wildlife habitat.

 

New Regulations for 2012-2013

Hunters should be aware of several new laws and regulations in effect for 2012-13

The Southern Zone bowhunting season and the regular season in Westchester County (bowhunting only) begin on October 1

A late bowhunting season will run concurrent with the late muzzleloader season in the Northern Zone

The Northern Zone regular season will now begin on the 2nd Saturday after Columbus Day each year (October 20, 2012 this season)

Deer Management Permits (DMPs, “doe tags”) may be used in all seasons in the Northern Zone.  DMPs may only be used in the Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) for which they are issued.

Mandatory antler restrictions (3 points on one side minimum) are now in effect in WMUs 3A, 4G, 4O, 4P, 4R, 4S, and 4W during all seasons for all hunters 17 years and older.

All of Suffolk County will be open for the special January firearms season, subject to local discharge ordinances.

A Deer Management Focus Area in central Tompkins County will intensify use of hunting to assist communities in the Ithaca area with the burden of overabundant deer populations. 

Bear hunting seasons will run concurrently with the newly adjusted deer seasons. 

New legislation now allows use of rifles for big game hunting in Cayuga County.

More detail for each of these regulation changes is available in the 2012-2013 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37136.html.

 

Anglers should be aware that while the majority of fishing regulations have not changed, some changes were made for the 2012-13 season.  Some of these changes were made on popular fishing waters such as Lake Erie, the Upper Niagara River, the Salmon River, Great Lakes tributaries and Oneida Lake. Anglers are advised to review the 2012-13 Fishing Regulations Guide (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishing.html) to determine if regulations changes have occurred on waters they intend to fish.

 

Deer Management Permits

Deer Management Permits (DMPs) will be available at all license issuing outlets and by phone, internet or mail, from August 13, 2012 through close of business October 1, 2012. DMPs are issued through a random selection process at the point of sale, and customers who are selected for DMPs will receive their permits immediately. Chances of selection www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30409.html in each WMU are available at License Issuing Agent locations, or on the DMP Hotline at 1-866-472-4332. Chances of getting a DMP remain the same throughout the application period - hunters do not need to rush to apply for a DMP on the first day of sale.

 

If a significant number of DMPs are still available in a WMU after October 1, leftover DMP sales will commence on November 1, 2012 and will continue on a first-come/first-serve basis until the end of the hunting season or until all DMPs have been issued in the WMU. Additionally, Bonus DMPs will be available in the bowhunting-only WMUs 3S, 4J, and 8C and in WMUs 1C, 9A and possible others. For information about Bonus DMPs see www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/10001.html.

 

The target DMP allocation for 2012 varies by unit depending on the management objective, but overall DEC intends to issue about 10 to12 percent more DMPs than in 2011. In addition to the Adirondack and Tug Hill units where DMPs are not authorized, WMUs 3A, 4L, 4U, 4Z and 6A will have no DMPs in 2012.  Hunters are reminded that DMPs are only valid for antlerless deer in the WMU specified on the permit.

 

The latest updates on New York's fish and wildlife can be easily accessed on the Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources E-mail News www.dec.ny.gov/about/63801.html, a free online e-mail list.


State Adds 156 Acres Of Wetlands On Lake Champlain To Forest Preserve

DEC Partners with the Nature Conservancy to conserve Chubbs Dock Property

In partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the state has acquired 156 acres on Southern Lake Champlain in the Town of Dresdon, Washington County that will be added to the State Forest Preserve, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today.

 

Known as the Chubbs Dock property, the land features 2,140 feet of undeveloped shoreline and 70 acres of wetland communities that support rare plants and falls within an area that provides critical breeding, staging and migration habitat for thousands of waterfowl species.

 

“Chubbs Dock conserves excellent wildlife habitat along the narrow headwaters of Lake Champlain,” said Commissioner Martens. “The property will be added to the Forest Preserve and serve as part of a travel corridor for wildlife between the Adirondack and Green Mountains. Thanks to our partners TNC, Washington County and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for making this land preservation possible.”

 

With funding through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s North American Wetland Conservation Act grant program, TNC purchased the property for $500,000 in November 2009. The property was then donated to New York State in May 2012. TNC has previously utilized North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grants to protect Mill Bay Marsh and Huckleberry Marsh in the Lake Champlain watershed.

 

“This is a great example of strategic, high leverage conservation work of regional and national importance,” said Michael Carr, Executive Director of the Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter.  “Not only is New York State keeping intact some of the largest wetlands on Lake Champlain, but doing it in a way that will also secure public access for hunting, fishing, boating, and wildlife-oriented recreation-all of which contribute to the state's outdoor recreation economy.”

 

The NAWCA grant application was supported by Washington County and included a commitment by the county to transfer an adjoining 283-acre tract on Maple Bend Island. Both transfers happened this year, adding a total of 439 acres with significant wetlands to public ownership. As part of

the Forest Preserve, DEC will pay taxes on both properties. Public access to Lake Champlain and its shoreline is limited because most of the shoreline is privately owned. State acquisition of Chubb’s Dock will provide for new public access.

 

Protecting wetlands is also an important part of mitigating the impacts of climate change by helping to maintain the connection between wetlands and riparian habitat.

 

The NAWCA of 1989 provides matching grants to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetland conservation projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico for the benefit of wetlands-associated migratory birds and other wildlife. The Act was passed, in part, to support activities under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, an international agreement that provides a strategy for the long-term protection of wetlands and associated uplands habitats needed by waterfowl and other migratory birds in North America. In December 2002, Congress reauthorized the Act and expanded its scope to include the conservation of all habitats and birds associated with wetland ecosystems.

 

The Act emphasizes multi-stakeholder partnerships as necessary and valuable mechanisms for wetlands conservation, and for this reason proposals submitted for funding under the Act must include a substantial partnership component. Wetlands conservation projects focus specifically on the long-term protection, restoration, enhancement and/or management of wetland ecosystems.

 

The North American Wetlands Conservation Fund, set up under the Act, is funded through several federal sources, including direct appropriations, interest from receipts under the Pittman-Robertson Trust Fund, receipts from the Sportfish Restoration Account, and fines and forfeitures collected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Division of Bird Habitat Conservation is responsible for facilitating and administering grants under the Act's two grants programs.

 

By focusing on public-private partnerships and working with multiple stakeholders to leverage federal dollars several times over with non-federal funding sources, the NAWCA Program has become one of the nation’s most successful conservation programs.


Wisconsin

Fishing for “cats” hotter than the water temperatures

Tips on where to go, what tactics to use

MADISON – Wisconsin’s record-setting heat and resulting high water temperatures may be stressing northern pike, but catfish aren’t complaining and anglers will find that for the next few months, these fish are the cat’s meow.

 

“The catfish populations are looking outstanding in the Wisconsin River from Wausau to Wisconsin Rapids,” says Tom Meronek, fisheries biologist. “The fish are very active with the high water temperatures. Definitely, folks should try catfishing this year if they have never done it, river conditions are perfect, because catfish love the heat.”


Fishing for ‘cats is fun for anglers of all ages
 

They are also on the Mississippi River, where Potosi bills itself as “Wisconsin’s Catfish Capital” and on Aug. 12 holds its Potosi Firemen’s Catfish Festival (exit DNR), where area firemen will be frying up the cats in their secret batter.

Fisheries biologists are reporting that cat fishing is sizzling, as the reports below show, and that fishing opportunities for it should remain strong into the fall.

“Catfish are very abundant and can be had just about anywhere,” says Kurt Welke, fish biologist stationed in Fitchburg, talking about the Madison lakes. “Corn, stink bait, crawlers – it doesn’t matter, they go for it.”

 

Wisconsin is home to eight species of catfish, five of which are game fish targeted by anglers, and brown, yellow and black bullheads. For most Wisconsin anglers, the channel cat is the prime target – it’s widespread, grows big, is easy to catch, and is tasty fried up in a pan.

Channel catfish may be found in all three of Wisconsin's major drainages – the Mississippi River, Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior. It is most common in the Mississippi River and in southern Wisconsin. It prefers riverine habitat, but may be found in some lakes and reservoirs, and it is an opportunistic feeder, taking insects, fish, crayfish and amphibians. It is the single most important commercial species in Wisconsin waters of the Mississippi River. The state record caught by hook-and-line was 44 pounds in 1962 from the Wisconsin River.

 

Flathead catfish are the state's largest piscivore (fish-eater) and some fish may have historically exceeded 120 pounds. The state record caught by hook-and-line was 74.5 pounds in 2001 from the Mississippi River. In 1911, two fish caught by set line in Wisconsin were reported to weigh 118 and 125 pounds, according to “Felines with Fins,” in the February 2007 Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.

 

The black bullhead is the most common bullhead in Wisconsin waters. Bullheads are harvested by many anglers and are often a young angler’s first introduction to catfish – and to a fish that can “bite” back, according to Steve Hewett, DNR fisheries section chief. The state records for bullheads range from 3 pounds 5 ounces for a yellow bullhead from Nelson Lake in 1983 to a 5 pound 8 ounce monster black bullhead from Big Falls Flowage in 1989.


The season for channel and catfish is open all year, with a daily limit of 10 in total. There are no minimum length limits. The season for bullheads is open all year and there are no size nor bag limits.

 

Wisconsin’s fish consumption advisory recommends that children and women of child bearing age limit themselves to one meal per month of catfish, while men and older women can eat one meal per week of the cats. The exception to those recommendations is for catfish caught in certain rivers, where PCBs may be a problem. Parts of the Black, Fox (IL), Lower Fox, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, lower Milwaukee, Mississippi, Red Cedar, St Croix, St. Louis, Twin, Wisconsin Rivers and Green Bay and due to mercury in Lake Arbutus.

 

Recipes for catfish, information about where to go to fish for them, and trips on making the most of your tip can be found on catfish pages of the DNR website. Some fish biologists turned in “forecats” for the next few months of fishing, below.

 

Pool 8 on the Mississippi River

In the last 30 years, the only time channel catfish catch rates were higher were during the summers of 1993-1995. During 2011 we had the second largest average size of channel catfish recorded since routine surveys were started in 1982. The largest channel catfish on average were found the previous year in 2010. Channel catfish larger than 31 inches and flathead catfish larger than 43 inches lurk in the deep waters of the Mississippi River. – David Heath, fisheries biologist, La Crosse

 

Petenwell Flowage

Channel catfish are plentiful in the Petenwell Flowage, but the few anglers

 

that the wardens have talk to report that the catfish bite is slow. – Jennifer

Bergman, fisheries biologist, Wisconsin Rapids
 
Peshtigo River

Fishermen floating the Peshtigo River are catching smallmouth bass, pike, and catfish along the entire length of the river. Top water baits have provided most of the action. Anglers trolling for trout and salmon between Peshtigo and Marinette have also been catching a fair number of large catfish. – Tammie Paoli, fisheries biologist, Peshtigo

 
Wisconsin River in central Wisconsin

The catfish populations are looking outstanding in the Wisconsin River from Wausau to Wisconsin Rapids. Our recent summer survey provided a good look at our local catfish population, as survey nets were full each day. The most common sizes were between 18-20 inches, these are perfect for getting nice fillets for grilling or smoking. The fish are very active with the high water temperatures. Definitely folks should try catfishing this year if they have never done it, river conditions are perfect, because catfish love the heat.- Tom Meronek, fisheries biologist, Wausau

 

Illinois Fox River

We performed a catfish survey on the Illinois Fox this past June. We found excellent size structure and abundance with fish ranging from 16”-28”. The survey was performed near big bend and anglers were catching cats near woody structure using cut bait. - Benjamin Heussner, fisheries biologist, Waukesha

 
Lower Chippewa River

Catfish populations are strong on the lower Chippewa River from Lake Holcombe downstream to Lake Pepin. Catfish anglers do best on the main flowages such as Lake Wissota and the Holcombe Flowage however the smaller riverine flowages such as Cornell, Old Abe, Chippewa Falls and Dells Pond should not be overlooked. Boat access is plentiful on these flowages and shorefishing opportunities are present in many locations. Downstream of Eau Claire the Chippewa River is free flowing for 61 miles and provides a riverine catfishery experience. This area is in the Lower Chippewa River State Natural Area and provides anglers with a semi-wilderness angling experience with a setting of towering bluffs, floodplain forest and solitude. Access points at Eau Claire, Carryville, Meridean, Durand, Ella and the Tiffany Bottoms are present on this section of river. Water can get low in late summer downstream of Eau Claire and canoes, very small boats and jet/air boats work best for navigation on this portion of river, upstream boat passage can get difficult especially downstream of Durand. – Heath Benike, fisheries biologist, Eau Claire

 

St. Croix River

Just stopped in the bait shop in Star Prairie last night The word is catfish angling has been excellent on the St. Croix River in the Apple River bottoms area the last few weeks. There also are fair number of huge flatheads in the area other than channel catfish.- Marty Engel, fisheries biologist, Baldwin

 

Southwest Wisconsin

The low water conditions and high temperatures have not slowed the channel catfish bite here in southwest Wisconsin. Catfishing in Southwest Wisconsin has remained stable and with the spawning season over, both males and female channel catfish will be active. Low water has limited the access for boat anglers in many areas. Anglers finding their way to the water, either by boat, canoe, or bank have been reporting good success while catfishing this summer.

 

Anglers are reporting success for channel catfish from the lower Pecatonica River, lower Sugar River, and lower Platte River. For the Lower Platte River focus your effort within the first 2 miles upstream of the Mississippi River. Night crawlers and cheese bait have been the bait of choice for these three rivers. The Lower Wisconsin River from Prairie du Sac to the Mississippi River is by far one of the best channel catfish fisheries in Southwest Wisconsin. This stretch of River is also producing good channel catfishing this summer. Anglers will find success fishing cheese or blood-flavored dip bait while on the lower Wisconsin River. Anglers fishing cut bait on the Lower Wisconsin River will find catch rates a bit lower than with dip baits, but the average size of catfish caught will be higher.

 

As we near the end of summer and approach fall, anglers may see the bite slow in their favorite summer fishing holes. Catfish may start to migrate towards their overwintering areas forcing catfish anglers to change locations as well. Tagged catfish on the Pecatonica River started migrating as early as the 18th of August. In our small rivers along the Mississippi River and the Wisconsin-Illinois border, catfish tend to migrate downstream. Some may leave our state all together, but many will still remain for anglers to pursue. – Bradd Sims, fisheries biologist, Dodgeville

 

For more info: Steve Hewett (608) 267-7501 or your local fish biologist


Other Breaking News Items

(Click on title or URL to read full article)

 

Lake Erie electrofishing survey doesn't find any Asian carp
There was no sign of Asian carp in the waters that spill from southeastern Monroe County into Lake Erie -- as was also the case during previous days of an electrofishing and netting survey that began Monday in Ohio.

 

Salmon stocking cuts could help fishery
A big reduction in Chinook salmon stocking plants in Lake Michigan beginning next spring won’t mean the end to good fishing. In fact, the cuts might just save the fishery.

 

Invasive Spiny Water Flea reaches Lake Champlain basin
Recent findings have confirmed everyone's worst fears: another invasive species has made the leap from the Great Lakes and Hudson River watersheds.

 

Cayuga County legislators oppose new BV7 plan
Cayuga County legislators have carried a resolution to reject the International Joint Commission's Proposed BV7 plan in its entirety.

 

Yellow perch fishery needs a lift
Fishing participation in Wisconsin is relatively healthy and stable, but one important category - the Lake Michigan yellow perch angler - is in serious decline. The reason for the drop is as invasive species have altered the Lake Michigan food web, the population of perch has plummeted.

 

Sandusky Bay and River tested for Asian carp DNA
Wildlife officials searched for Asian carp and traces of their genetic material on the Sandusky Bay and Sandusky River today. They shocked the water to try and catch fish and see if any carp popped up. They also pulled water samples to look for environmental DNA, or eDNA.

 

 

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

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

Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.

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