Week of August 23, 2004

Fishing the Great Lakes

Gun Issues

 

National

Canada

Regional

Illinois

Indiana

Michigan

Minnesota

Ohio

Pennsylvania

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Fishing the Great Lakes

Record Steelhead Caught, kicks off start of LOC Derby

Rob Wilson of Tallmadge, Ohio was trolling out of Olcott, NY on August 14, 2004 when the fish of a lifetime hit his Pirate 55 spoon – a 31 lb, 3 oz steelhead trout that stretched the tape to 39" long. The girth of the fish was 26". The fish is now the new state record, shattering the previous mark set by Gerald Szmania by five pounds, four ounces! Szamania caught his 26 lb, 15 oz. fish while trolling off Point Breeze on May 22, 1985.

           

Wilson’s prize catch is an exclamation point on how good the fishing has been this year on Lake Ontario. Salmon fishing is the best it’s been in 15 years and the trout fishing – well, no one’s really been fishing for trout, the salmon has been that good. In the meantime, fish like Wilson’s continue to swim out in the lake looking for someone to catch them – just in time for the Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby set for August 20 - September 6.

           

Wilson was fishing 14 miles out of Olcott with his father, Robert and Tom Briggs of Kent, OH around 7:30 a.m. when the behemoth hit their Pirate 55 watermelon with gold fleck spoon offering. It immediately stripped off about 300 yards of line from their Daiwa 47LC and tried to jump free. This was 

not a day that the fish would win, however. Twenty minutes later, they netted the trophy fish and put it in their cooler – thinking it was a salmon. After they caught a couple more fish, they inspected their big catch more closely and realized that it was a steelhead. They still didn’t know what they had, however.

 

After weighing the fish in The Slippery Sinker in Olcott, the first weight that registered was 31 pounds, four ounces. It had lost weight from the initial hand scale Rob had used, with 31 lbs, 7 oz the first weight – taken six hours earlier when they were on the boat. When it was recorded as an official weight with a witness from DEC, the fish weighed 31 lb, 3 oz. When they were told it wasn’t a record, the fish almost made it to the fish cleaning table. Instead, Capt. Bob Cinelli of Olcott intercepted them and the fish was rescued before it found its way into a baggie.

 

What an excellent way to lead into the Fall LOC Derby.  The only thing that could have been better was if the fish was actually caught by a registered angler in the derby! Last year’s winner, Mike Loya of Ohio, set the pace with a 33 lb king, also caught out of Olcott, to win the check for $20,000. First place in each of the specie categories (steelhead, lake trout, brown trout and salmon) will be worth $2,500.

 

For more information on the LOC Derby, call toll-free at (888) REEL-2-IN or visit their website at www.loc.org


 

 

Gun Issues

Don't lie for the other guy

Every retail sale of a firearm, whether at a gun show or in a gun store, requires an instant criminal background check before the transaction can proceed. The National Shooting Sports Foundation  says too many people are willing to lend their good name and crime-free reputation to pass that check and perform the illegal act of providing a firearm to someone

prohibited from possessing a gun.

 

Purchasing a gun for someone who can't means spending 10 years in prison, and NSSF has launched the Web site www.dontlie.org  and is publicizing its campaign to prevent illegal gun purchases.


PA Sunday hunting  on target

Putting our laws in 21st century

The question of Sunday hunting has always been contentious, but that hasn't stopped state Rep. Ed Staback, D-Lackawanna, from trying to strip the archaic no-Sunday-hunting laws from the books. A new bill introduced by Staback would put the decision of whether or not to hunt on Sunday in the hands of the Game Commission and the state's hunters.

 

It's presently legal to hunt only foxes, crows and coyotes on Sunday. Staback's bill would empower the Game Commission to establish seasons that include Sunday hunting for big and small game.  The bill, Staback said, would give the Game Commission complete regulatory power regarding if, when, and where Sunday hunting will in fact occur.

 

If passed, Pennsylvania would join 35 other states that

currently allow hunting on Sunday.

 

The veteran legislator has solid reasons for taking this initiative.  "We know that hunting license sales are declining. People are working weekdays and are not making the investment (of purchasing a hunting license) for one day of hunting (Saturday) per week. "If there's young people in the house, they may never get to enjoy the field sports because adult family members are working," he said.

 

"If there are people who don't want to hunt on Sunday, that's OK. They don't have to. If landowners don't want Sunday hunting they can post their land against it.  "I want to give the Game Commission the chance to offer Sunday hunting and hunters the opportunity to be afield, if they so choose," Staback said.  “And I want this bill to pass to boot Pennsylvania's Sunday hunting laws into the 21st century.”


New registry rules for police firearms draw criticism

As of January 2005, gun-owning citizens won't be the only ones dealing with the federal gun registry. The long arm of the registry is reaching out to police forces across the country, requiring them to account for the contents of their arsenals.

 

The Firearms Act requires municipal, provincial and federal police forces to begin registering their inventories with the Canadian Firearms Centre next year, with all forces complying by January 2006. Covered by the regulation are all firearms used by police, such as sidearms, any new weapons they

purchase and any guns they confiscate while on the job.

 

Police forces currently track their weapons internally, and Gary Lunn, MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, said requiring them to duplicate that information at the federal level is ridiculous. "It's just another level of bureaucracy," he said. "Every single police department across the country, whether it be the RCMP or a municipal police detachment has a very accurate registry of every firearm they have, every serial number and who they're issued to ... it's not like there's not a record of where these firearms are."

 


 

National

Help Protect the Great Lakes - Your help is needed

We need your financial help to fund the operations of the Illinois Waterway electronic barrier – to prevent Asian carp and other nasty critters from entering our lakes

 

A second larger, longer-life barrier is now under construction, but the cost of the design exceeds available funds by $1.8 million.

 

Illinois has contributed $2 million to the project, but the other Great Lakes Governors say they are not able to contribute the balance – $1.8 million. Their states do not have the money. The need for the additional $1.8 million is critical.

 

Contributions from any non-federal source will help. That’s where clubs, individuals and corporate America can help

 

Use of Contributed Funds

Funds will be held by the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council and distributed based on the direction of a board of non-

agency trustees including the president of the GLSFC.

 

All contributions are tax deductible and will only be used to:

 

1)     Implement the Asian Carp Rapid Response Plan

2)     Improve or operate Barrier I

3)     Construct and operate Barrier II

 

Send your donations to:

GLSFC – carp fund

P.O. Box 297

Elmhurst, IL  60126

 

Or use our PayPal for credit card donations. 

Go to www.great-lakes.org/carp

 

For more information and photos go to: 

www.great-lakes.org/carp

 

Thanks for your help in preventing the invasion

of these harmful critters into our lakes.


Five will join fishing Hall of Fame
Five men — Walter W. Fondren III, Peter Goadby, Frank J. Mather III, Ray W. Scott and Mark Sosin — will be inducted into the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame in October.

Fondren helped found the Gulf Coast Conservation Association in 1977 and remains chairman of the Coastal Conservation Association.

Goadby, according to IGFA, was instrumental in the development of the Cairns giant black marlin fishery, and is credited with the introduction of tag-and-release fishing in Australia.

Mather, who died in 2000, was a pioneer in fisheries research

at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts. He originated the Cooperative Game Fish Tagging Program in 1954 — the first active conservation measure for the bluefin, says IGFA.

 

Scott founded the 600,000-member Bass Anglers Sportsman Society in 1968 and helped turned bass fishing into a multibillion-dollar business.

Sosin is a writer, photographer, radio personality and host for 20 years of the TV show, “Mark Sosin’s Saltwater Journal.” 

The induction ceremony and dinner, sponsored by Rolex, will take place Oct. 26 at the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum in Dania Beach, Fla. It is open to the public, and reservation information is available at (954) 924-4222.


USFWS, partners to pool $4.8 million - Will remove 91 fish passage barriers in 26 states

The USFWS and the agency’s partners will pool $4.8 million in 2004 to remove 91 barriers to fish passage in 26 states.  Service funds for the popular Fish Passage Program, amounting to $2.8 million, will be supplemented by another $2 million in matching funds from partners ranging from civic and conservation organizations, local and State governments and other Federal agencies.

 

”Since 2001, the Fish Passage Program has removed 158 barriers across the country,” said Interior Secretary Gale Norton.  “The Service, working with local communities and partner agencies, is using a voluntary, non-regulatory  

approach to restore natural flows and fish migration.  Rivers are running their natural course, habitat has been restored, and the fish are coming back. 

 

Many of the small dams targeted for removal date as far back as the American and Industrial Revolutions. Those dams were built either to accommodate early barge traffic or to provide power or irrigation for a young country.  As times changed, many of   the dams were abandoned but remained in place, serving only to block populations of fish and contributing to their gradual decline. Completion of the 2004 projects will open 19,364 acres and more than 3,048 miles of waterways for fish, contributing to larger populations and more recreational fishing opportunities. 


May wholesale dollar boat sales up 18.9 %

Unit boat shipments rise 9.6 percent

CHICAGO, August 18 - Wholesale dollar sales of all boats in 2004 were up 18.9 % through May compared to prior year numbers, while unit shipments increased 9.6 % based on the May Monthly Shipment Report (MSR) released last week by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).  The traditional powerboat segments, (outboard, sterndrive, and inboard boats) were up 19.9 % in dollars and up 12.4 % in units shipped through May, compared to the previous year. 

More companies are participating in this year’s MSR program, providing more accurate statistical data.  The number of companies participating has increased to 153 (compared to 137 last year).  These companies accounted for 79 % of powerboat sales in 2003.

 

For information on subscribing to NMMA’s monthly statistical reports, contact NMMA Market Statistics director Jim Petru at (312) 946-6202; jpetru@nmma.org .


DU to manage Federal Duck Stamp Licensing Program

Ducks Unlimited (DU) will manage how Federal Duck Stamp images are licensed to manufacturers who place the images on a wide variety of consumer products.  Under the agreement, DU will use its expertise to expand and manage the licensing program for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Federal Duck Stamp Program.

 

"We're excited to have DU manage our Duck Stamp licensing program and the potential it will have to provide even more money for wetlands conservation," said Service Director Steve Williams.  "I am confident that this agreement will help us fulfill the goal announced by President Bush of conserving three million acres of wetlands across the nation over the next

five years."

 

Since 1934, the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, popularly known as the Federal Duck Stamp, has been sold to hunters, conservationists, and stamp collectors. In that time, stamp sales have generated more than $670 million that has been used to acquire more than 5.2 million acres of important wetlands and associated upland habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System.

 

The stamps, which feature images of waterfowl painted by

some of the nation's most prominent wildlife artists, are

valued for their beauty. Recognizing the stamps' popularity with the public, Congress authorized the Service to license stamp images for use on a variety of products in 1984, with proceeds going to acquire additional habitat for the Refuge System. Since that time, dozens of licensed products ranging from embroidered hats and sweatshirts; to knives, keychains and prints have been successfully marketed by private companies across the country.

 

By engaging the professional marketing and licensing expertise of DU, the Service hopes to take full advantage of the valuable stamp images to generate more money for conservation and raise public awareness of the Duck Stamp itself.

 

Under the agreement, DU will help the Service broaden the awareness of Federal Duck Stamps and the role they play in past, current and future conservation efforts. Like DU's current licensing programs that raise money for waterfowl and habitat, royalties generated from the sale of products with the stamp images will be dedicated to waterfowl conservation efforts.

 

For more information on the Duck Stamp Program and how Duck Stamp funds have benefited a refuge in your state, visit the Duck Stamp home page at http://duckstamps.fws.gov


Three New Shot Types Approved for Waterfowl Hunters

The USFWS approved three new non-toxic shot types B tungsten-bronze-iron, a new formulation of tungsten-iron, and

tungsten-tin-bismuth B for use in waterfowl hunting. The approval published in the Federal Register on August 10. This action brings to 10, the number of non-toxic shot types available to waterfowl hunters.

           

International Nontoxic Composites Corporation's application of tungsten-bronze-iron shot, ENVIRON-Metal Inc's application of tungsten-iron shot, and Victor Oltrogge's application for tungsten-tin-bismuth shot have all been approved after being subjects to a rigorous testing protocol.

Previously, hunters were allowed to use steel shot, bismuth-tin, tungsten-iron, tungsten-polymer, tungsten- matrix, tungsten-nickel-iron and tungsten-iron-nickel-tin.  For more information on toxic and nontoxic shot, go to:

http://migratorybirds.fws.gov/issues/nontoxic_shot/nontoxic.htm

 

Efforts to phase out lead shot began in the 1970s and a nationwide ban on lead shot for all waterfowl hunting was implemented in 1991. Canada instituted a complete ban in 1999.  Waterfowl can ingest expended lead shot and many then die from lead poisoning.  In addition, predators that consume waterfowl may ingest the shot.

 


Federal managers told to protect wildlife and delay energy projects
WASHINGTON — The Interior Department said last week it will begin delaying some new oil and gas drilling projects until the effects on wildlife are studied more thoroughly.  

 

Assistant Interior Secretary Rebecca Watson described the new policy as a response to American Wildlife Conservation Partners, a coalition of groups ranging from Ducks Unlimited to the National Rifle Association. She said it would apply to all 262 million acres — about one of every 10 in the United States — managed by Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM).   "We value them because we think they're the experts on wildlife," Watson said.

The BLM is rewriting 162 plans for managing that vast

acreage. Watson said federal officials who decide what to do for those areas can choose to hold off offering new oil and gas leases if they think the current plans for protecting wildlife are not adequate. Watson said she told BLM managers to "use your power to temporarily defer leasing" for oil and gas drilling. "What this does is let the BLM managers hold back some areas while the new plans are being developed," she said.
 

Watson said 22 of the new plans are "time-sensitive" because they respond to lawsuits, apply to new national monuments without old plans, or speed energy development in New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana. The government also is developing new ways of monitoring wildlife, for which her agency now spends about $20 million a year..


Canada

New registry rules for police firearms draw criticism

As of January 2005, gun-owning citizens won't be the only ones dealing with the federal gun registry. The long arm of the registry is reaching out to police forces across the country, requiring them to account for the contents of their arsenals.

 

The Firearms Act requires municipal, provincial and federal police forces to begin registering their inventories with the Canadian Firearms Centre next year, with all forces complying by January 2006. Covered by the regulation are all firearms used by police, such as sidearms, any new weapons they

purchase and any guns they confiscate while on the job.

 

Police forces currently track their weapons internally, and Gary Lunn, MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, said requiring them to duplicate that information at the federal level is ridiculous. "It's just another level of bureaucracy," he said. "Every single police department across the country, whether it be the RCMP or a municipal police detachment has a very accurate registry of every firearm they have, every serial number and who they're issued to ... it's not like there's not a record of where these firearms are."


Canada’s Political prisoners

Canada is tarnishing its fine human rights reputation by keeping Mr. Ernst Zundel as a political prisoner for over 18 months in solitary confinement, denying him some basic comforts and human rights.  During the entire process Zundel has neither been charged with nor convicted of any crime.  Throwing political dissidents in solitary confinement is something that's supposed to happen in other countries, not 

Canada. 

 

Why is this man is being incarcerated, and why are his basic legal rights being denied him,  in apparent violation of known federal laws.  Sounds like something coming from an unenlightened third world country or a James Bond spy movie.  Unfortunately this is all too true, and happening in our neighboring country.


New regulations worry hunters, shooters

The Canadian Department of Natural Resources is creating regulations under the Explosives Act relating to the hand-loading of ammunition. If these regulations are put into effect and enforced, it will go a long way to shutting down any reloading in Canada. To shooters and hunters this could be catastrophic.

 

The following are the proposed changes:

1. Handloading in detached dwellings only,  (Impossible for anyone living in cities or in congested areas to reload),

2. No more than 5 kg of propellant to be stored in any dwelling  - including black and/or smokeless powder,

3. No hand loading within 15 meters of a neighboring dwelling

4. All propellants to be given a United Nations designation. All explosives made in or imported into Canada must be authorized and classified under the UN system. (This should surely increase costs for hand loaders)

 

The Explosives Act prohibits the manufacture of explosives (including ammunition) anywhere except in a licensed factory - unless exempted by regulations. The federal government has, for many years, made regulations to exempt hand loaders from this prohibition and, thus, avoid the expense of acquiring a factory license.

 

Reloading is undertaken for several reasons. Big game 

hunters often reload to increase the accuracy and consistency of their ammunition; small game hunters for the same reasons, but most reload simply to decrease shooting costs.

 

In many provinces, suppliers of ammunition and reloading supplies are almost non-existent. Therefore, those who reload almost always purchase more propellant, shot, bullets, etc. than they need, since it is not always easy to obtain loading materials in another province, such as Ontario. In addition, purchasing reloading materials in bulk is less costly. In a weekend of trap or skeet shooting, participants can easily consume 600 rounds of shotshells. In these cases, 5 kg of propellant (powder) wouldn't last very long.

 

The federal government feels reloading in condos or apartments puts the neighbors at risk. According to the government, there were two incidents in the last 10 years. One was in an apartment and the fire took out a kitchen in an apartment above the loading bench. The other incident was at a commercial storage facility and was nowhere near another dwelling. So actually there has been just one incident in the last 10 years.

 

Reloading of ammunition is a sport enjoyed by many Canadians. These proposed regulations may well result in the loss of even more hunters and shooters across Canada.


 

Regional

Help Protect the Great Lakes

We need your financial help to fund the operations of the Illinois Waterway electronic barrier – to prevent Asian carp and other nasty critters from entering our lakes

 

A second larger, longer-life barrier is now under construction, but the cost of the design exceeds available funds by $1.8 million.

 

Illinois has contributed $2 million to the project, but the other Great Lakes Governors say they are not able to contribute the balance – $1.8 million. Their states do not have the money. The need for the additional $1.8 million is critical.

 

Contributions from any non-federal source will help. That’s where clubs, individuals and corporate America can help

 

Use of Contributed Funds

Funds will be held by the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council and distributed based on the direction of a board of non-agency trustees including the president of the GLSFC.

All contributions are tax deductible and will only be used to:

 

1)     Implement the Asian Carp Rapid Response Plan

2)     Improve or operate Barrier I

3)     Construct and operate Barrier II

 

Send your donations to:

GLSFC – carp fund

P.O. Box 297

Elmhurst, IL  60126

 

Or use our PayPal for credit card donations. 

Go to www.great-lakes.org/carp

 

For more information and photos go to: 

www.great-lakes.org/carp

 

Thanks for your help in preventing the invasion

of these harmful critters into our lakes.

 


Asian Carp Prevention Fund

Asian Carp and other invasive species are approaching the Great Lakes via the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. You may have seen video clips of these jumping fish on TV. Though humorous to watch, these large plankton-eating fish have the potential to wreak havoc on the Great Lakes ecology and commercial and recreational fisheries. Although it is unlikely they would be come abundant in the middle of the lake, they almost certainly would do well in near shore areas, river mouths and shallow productive bays. Not only would this add an undesirable component to the ecosystem but these fish add an element of personal risk to boaters and others using recreational watercraft. We must do whatever we can to keep these fish out of the Great Lakes.

 

The electric fish barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal stops the passage of large fish. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built this as a temporary project with only a three-year life span. The electrodes in this barrier are expected to wear out in about April 2005. Asian carp have been captured only 22 miles downstream of the barrier. We have a monitoring plan in place to determine the leading edge of the Asian carp population as they move closer to the barrier site and are working on a rapid response plan to kill the fish if they begin to accumulate in number below the barrier.

 

A second larger, more powerful barrier has been designed and construction will begin in July 2004. However, the cost of the barrier design to stop Asian carp from entering the lake exceeds the available funds by $1.8 million. We need funding to help support construction of the barrier and to help pay for the rapid response plan if it has to be used.

 

We Need Your Help to Protect the Great Lakes

The Second Barrier

A second larger, longer-life barrier is planned for construction in July 2004. The cost of the proposed design, which has been recommended by the Dispersal Barrier Advisory Panel, exceeds the available funds by $1.8 million. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers program under which the project is being constructed limits the federal contribution to the project to $5 million.

 

The State of Illinois has already contributed $2 million to the project and it will be difficult to obtain the entire balance from a single entity. Governors of most of the other Great Lakes do not feel they are able to contribute the balance of the funds at this time, yet the timing of these additional contributions is critical. If the funds can not be secured the cost of construction will increase by 30% or more and we will not have the two-barrier system needed to prevent small Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes until the second barrier is complete.

 

We are applying to other sources for the needed funds, but every contribution from any non-federal source will help.

Asian Carp Rapid Response

A Rapid response Committee has developed a Rapid Response Plan to address the presence of Asian carp in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal if they begin to congregate below the existing barrier before the second barrier is constructed.

 

The Asian Carp Rapid Response Plan would involve eliminating Asian carp from 5.5 miles of the Sanitary and Ship Canal. Current estimates for implementation of the plan place the cost at about $450,000. There are 18 agencies involved in the response planning effort but none of them has the funds to enact the plan if it is needed. Funding for the plan is not covered in any Congressional Act or other agency mission. The response plan is a vital action which must be used if the carp appear in the Canal before Barrier II is in place.

 

We need your financial support to help keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. The most immediate need is to gather enough money to make the rapid response happen if it is needed. The large-scale response if needed would most likely occur this summer or fall. Once Barrier II is online the response would be scaled back to treat the 1000 foot distance between the barriers if fish were found between the barriers.

 

The second use for the funds would be to maintain and improve Barrier I. Barrier I will still be needed after Barrier II is built. We need your help to ask Congress to extend that authorization indefinitely and to provide the Corps with the directive to construct improvements to Barrier I. These improvements would increase the effectiveness of Barrier I and the service life of the project. Right now, the Corps of Engineers does not have the authority to operate Barrier I after September 2004.

 

Use of Contributed Funds

The collected funds will be held by the Great Lakes Sportfishing Council and will be distributed based on the direction of a board of non-agency trustees including the executive director of the Great Lakes Sportfishing Council. All contributions are tax deductible and 100 percent of the contributions will be used towards Asian carp prevention. Contributions will be used to:

 

1)     1)Implement the Asian Carp Rapid Response Plan

2)     2)Construct Barrier II

3)     3)Improve or operate Barrier I

 

The funds will not be used for agency labor or overhead and will not be used for research. Collected donations will be used to pay for barrier construction, carp control chemicals or if absolutely necessary, for operating expenses of the barrier.

 

 


First Barrier in danger of breaking down

Jeff Smith, chief engineer and general contractor, last week informed state officials he thinks that based on feedback from instrumentation at barrier I that we’ll probably lose another

electrode in 3 to 4 months.  This will seriously affect the performance of barrier I. All the more reason to push for construction of the two-barrier system supported by the Barrier Committee, and appropriate the funding we need.


Coast Guard to boost security on Lake St. Clair

"The Coast Guard plans to boost security on Lake St. Clair" said Chief Christopher Markison, the new commander of the Coast Guard station in St. Clair Shores. Markison, a native of Marengo, Ill. is heading up a crew of 30 with six vessels also under his command. He comes from S. Carolina where he just completed a tour as officer in charge of station Georgetown, S.C.

Being in close proximity to the Canadian border and many waterways, it's one of the busiest Coast Guard stations on the Great Lakes and Markison plans to increase homeland security efforts on  the lake.  Included in his plans are checking IDs of passengers and crew on all stopped vessels, illegal entry into the country and suspicious activity.

 


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for August 20 

Current Lake Levels: 

Currently, all of the Great Lakes are higher than the levels of a year ago.  Lake Michigan-Huron is 12 inches higher than a year ago.  Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, and St. Clair are 6 to 12 inches higher than last year.  Lake Erie is currently 4 inches above and Lake Ontario is 1 inch above last year’s levels.  Lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron, and St. Clair, however, are still below their long-time averages by 5, 10, and 3 inches, respectively.  Presently, Lake Erie is 1 inch above its average level and Lake Ontario is 5 inches above average.


Current Outflows/Channel Conditions: 

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

 

Temperature/Precipitation Outlook: 

The cold front that pushed through the Great Lakes basin Thursday will stall in the Ohio River valley on Friday.  The southern reaches of the basin can expect scattered showers throughout the day Friday.  Expect sunny skies and warmer temperatures next week.

 

Forecasted Water Levels: 

Lake Superior is approaching the end of its seasonal rise and is expected to remain steady over the next month.  Lakes Michigan-Huron and St. Clair are near their seasonal peak and will drop 1 and 4 inches, respectively, over the next month.  Lakes Erie and Ontario will continue their seasonal decline, dropping 4 and 7 inches, respectively, over the next month.

 

Alerts:

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


Illinois

Illinois Village Rejects Attempt to Strengthen Clinton Gun Ban

August 20 -- On August 19, the Village of Woodridge held a Board Meeting to discuss Proposed Resolution No. R63-2004, which would "Urge Congress and President Bush to Reauthorize and Strengthen the Federal Assault Weapons Ban."  With over 200 people attending this meeting, 4 of the 6

Board members made the right decision voting against this resolution.

 

The Village Board Members are to be commended for standing up for our Second Amendment freedoms, to help defend our right to keep and bear Arms! villageboard@vil.woodridge.il.us


Indiana

Volunteer hunters sought for controlled deer herd reduction in state parks

Applications are now available to participate in a controlled deer herd reduction in 15 Indiana state parks and one nature preserve. The reduction will take place on Monday, Nov. 15; Tuesday, Nov. 16; Monday, Nov. 29; and Tuesday, Nov. 30.

           

The 15 state parks are Chain O'Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Fall, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Indiana Dunes, Lincoln,  uabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Shades, Summit Lake, Tippecanoe River, Turkey Run, and Whitewater Memorial. Twin Swamps Nature Preserve also is included in the herd reduction.

           

Each year the DNR asks for qualified volunteer hunters in Indiana to participate in the herd reduction. To be eligible, applicants must be Indiana residents, at least 18 years old on Oct. 1, and hold a valid resident hunting license to take deer.

DNR staff will choose the participants by a random drawing from the pool of applicants.  Hunters who have completed the Indiana Hunter Education Course will be given preference to participate in the firearm hunts. Firearm hunts are limited to shotguns, muzzleloaders and pistols.

 

Archers who have completed the International Bowhunter Education Program will be given preference at the Clifty Fall and Ft. Harrison deer herd reduction.  All facilities with a hunt will be closed to the public on the days of the reduction.

           

Completed applications must be received in the Indianapolis office of the DNR's Division of State Parks and Reservoirs by 4 p.m. (EST), Oct. 1, 2004. Hunters with questions about the application call the division at (317) 232-4124.   For more info on the program, go to: http://www.in.gov/dnr/public/evaluation/index.html

 


Indiana gets a fall turkey season

Indiana’s Natural Resources Commission  has approved a new fall turkey season that will begin in 2005. The fall season for hunting turkeys with a bow and arrow will start on October

1, 2005 and end on October 23, 2005. For fall turkey hunting with a firearm, the season will start on October 19 and end on October 23, 2005. More info will be outlined next year in IDNR’s 2005-06 Hunting and Trapping Guide.


Meetings slated for discussion of Great Lakes projects, August 25 & 31

Last month the Council of Great Lakes Governors, of which Gov. Kernan is a member, announced a draft agreement on the use and preservation of water resources in the Great Lakes and the Great Lakes basin.

 

Because of the growing demand for access to fresh water, the two agreements will establish a formal process for eight states and two Canadian provinces to manage the amount of water consumed and diverted from the Great Lakes basin.  The draft agreements are open for public comment until Oct. 19. The Indiana DNR will hold a series of public meetings in northern and central Indiana to discuss the proposals.

 

August 25 & 31 times and locations:

Ft. Wayne 10:30 a.m., Aug. 25, Aboite Branch Library, 5630  

Coventry Lane

Portage 4 p.m., Aug. 25, Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, 6100 Southport Rd.         

Indianapolis 10 a.m. Aug. 31, Indiana Government Center South 402 W. Washington St.

 

Kernan has asked John Goss, director of  the Indiana DNR, and Lori Kaplan, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Management, to summarize the public feedback following the meetings. The governor will then make Indiana's recommendation to the council for final policy documents that reflect the best interests of Hoosiers and all of the Great Lakes area.

 

The draft agreement is available at www.IN.gov/GreatLakes . Hoosiers are invited to post their comments on this Web site as well.


Michigan

Hoffmaster State Park hosts Sportsmen for Youth Day Sept 11

State recreation officials announced Sportsmen for Youth Day, Sept. 11, at  Hoffmaster State Park in Muskegon. The annual event, presented in cooperation with 23 Muskegon-area sporting and conservation organizations, is designed to help Michigan youth discover a greater appreciation for the out-of-doors.

 

The day features hands-on activities, special demonstrations and educational displays presented by the participating organizations. All youngsters must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at a ratio of at least one parent or guardian

per five youth in attendance. All youth can enter drawings for special door prizes, and hot dogs and refreshments are provided to the kids free of charge.

 

Sportsmen for Youth Day activities are free; however, a state park motor vehicle permit is required for entry into the park. Permits are $6 for the day or $24 for a resident annual permit, which is valid at any state park.

 

Hoffmaster State Park is located at 6585 Lake Harbor Rd,, Muskegon. Take US-31 to the Pontaluna Rd. exit and go west three miles to the park entrance. Call the park at 231-798-3711 for more information.


BOW program offers hunter safety class for women Sept 25-26

The Michigan DNR’ Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program announced an all-women's hunter safety class, Sept. 25-26, at Mitchell State Park’s Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center in Cadillac.   The two-day class is open to any female, 18-years and older, who wishes to attain a hunter safety certificate necessary for hunting. All hunters born on or after Jan. 1, l960, must have this certificate or proof of a previous license to purchase any Michigan hunting license.

 

The class meets each day 8:30 - 5 p.m. Upon successful completion of the course, each participant receives a hunter safety certificate. The class is free, but participants should bring their own sack lunch. Class size is limited to about 30 participants and pre-registration is required by calling park

interpreter and class instructor Rick Torres at 231-779-1321.

 

"These classes are a good way for women to familiarize themselves with guns and how to handle them safely, even if they don't intend to hunt," said Lynn Marla, DNR BOW coordinator. "This is important information for single mothers, for example, who may not be interested in hunting, but whose children may be going out to shoot with relatives."

 

The Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program is a hands-on, outdoor skills program for women who wish to enjoy all that Michigan has to offer.

 

For more info on other programs scheduled for women throughout the state, contact Lynn Marla, BOW Coordinator, at 517-241-2225 or marlal@michigan.gov .


Stolen shipwreck artifacts recovered

State conservation officers announced the successful prosecution of a Cheboygan County man accused of stealing artifacts from Great Lakes shipwrecks.  Robert Allen Lemmer, 53, of Cheboygan, pled guilty to stealing the beam from the Straits Underwater Preserve Shipwreck of the “William H. Barnum,” and 89th District Court Judge Harold Johnson recently ordered Lemmer to pay $4,650 in court costs, fines and restitution.

 

Michigan DNR conservation officers were tipped about the theft early this year. The subsequent investigation revealed that Lemmer and a friend in 2001 used scuba gear and an airbag system to bring the Barnum’s beam to the surface, then secured it to Lemmer’s 25-ft Sea Ray boat and towed it to his Cheboygan County lakefront home. It was intended for use as a fireplace mantel.

 

Michigan law prohibits the recovery, alteration, or destruction of shipwrecks or items related to shipwrecks in Michigan’s   Great Lakes waters, including shipwrecks in the state’s

Underwater Preserves.

 

Conservation Officers learned Lemmer is a diver who has been collecting articles from the bottomlands for over 20 years. A search warrant executed at Lemmer’s home uncovered artifacts from the Straits Area Underwater Preserve shipwreck of the “Sandusky.” These artifacts were taken in the 1980s, and the statute of limitations prevented charges for those thefts.

 

Department of History, Arts and Libraries specialists said because the artifacts were improperly preserved, they cannot be returned to the water.

 

Morey said shipwreck antiquity thefts are difficult criminal cases to develop and prosecute, and most begin with tips from the public. Anyone with information regarding the theft of underwater antiquities is asked to contact the Michigan DNR’s Report All Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800.

 


State loses dune lawsuit

GRAND HAVEN --An Ottawa County judge last week ruled the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality must pay Holland attorney Bill Heaphy for not letting him build a house on his property.  When Heaphy tried to sell his vacant beachfront land four years ago, he was asking $600,000, but  now after the judge's ruling he can keep the land and get

morethan $1 million from the state after beating them in court.  State officials say they do not plan to appeal.

 

Circuit Judge Calvin Bosman  ruled the state had "taken" Heaphy's land.  The judge also cited case law in ruling that, even after the state pays Heaphy, he can keep the land.


Minnesota

DNR wants input on new walleye, sauger regs on Lake of the Woods/Rainy River

The Minnesota DNR will host four public input meetings in September to solicit comments on proposals that would restrict walleye and sauger harvests on Lake of the Woods and Rainy River.

    

The meetings relate to increased angling pressure in recent years which has led to harvest rates that exceed sustainable levels. The proposed regulation changes would reduce harvest and protect the high-quality fishery on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River. If enacted, the proposed regulation changes could be implemented by Dec. 1, 2004.

    

"The upcoming meetings are an outgrowth of multiple discussions with resort owners and others in recent months who are concerned about the long-term quality of angling in the Lake of the Woods area," said Henry Drewes, DNR regional fisheries manager. "The meetings are an opportunity for us to share information and listen to citizen concerns so we can identify a biologically and socially sound regulation package."

    

Drewes said 1.9 million hours of angling pressure was recorded on Lake of the Woods and Rainy River last winter, the highest ever. Ice fishing pressure rose to record levels the previous seasons as well. "The increase in winter fishing is what's driving the higher harvest levels," said Drewes.     

    

The input meetings will use an open house format, meaning there will be brief presentations by DNR staff followed by informal question and answer opportunities.

    

The proposed regulations changes include:

Lake of the Woods - Walleye opener - Nov. 30

- walleye/sauger aggregate limit would be six (not more than four could be walleye)

- walleye and sauger between 19½ -28 inches would have to be released immediately

- only one walleye over 28 inches total length could be possessed

Lake of the Woods - Dec. 1 - April 14

- walleye/sauger aggregate limit would be eight (not more than four could be walleye)

- walleye and sauger between 19½ -28 inches would have to be released immediately

- only one walleye over 28 inches total length could be possessed

Four Mile Bay of Lake of the Woods - March 1 - April 14

- walleye/sauger aggregate limit would be two (no fish over 19½”)

Rainy River - Walleye opener - February.

- walleye/sauger aggregate limit would be six (not more than four could be walleye)

- walleye and sauger between 19½ -28 inches would have to be released immediately

- only one walleye over 28 inches total length could be possessed

Rainy River - March 1 - April 14.

-       - walleye/sauger aggregate limit would be two (no fish over 19½ inches)

 

Dates and times of the meetings are:

Twin Cities: Sept. 28. DNR Hdqtrs, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, 8 - 4:30 p.m.

Baudette: Sept. 28. Lake of the Woods School, choir room (room E-139), 7-9 p.m.

Roseau: Sept. 29. Roseau High School, study room, 7-9 p.m.

Int’l Falls: Sept. 30. Rainy River Community College (room SC-115), 7-9 p.m.

    

For those unable to attend a public input meeting, written or phone comments will be accepted at the DNR Area Office at 204 Main Street East, Baudette, MN  56623. People can also call (218) 634-2522 or send an e-mail to mike.larson@dnr.state.mn.us . Comments must be received no later than Oct. 15.


DNR seeks comments on proposed bass regulation changes

On Kabetogama, Namakan, Sand Point, Crane, and Little Vermilion lakes

The Minnesota DNR is hosting public meetings in September to gather input on proposed bass regulation changes.  The first of these meetings will be an open house at the DNR Central Office, 500 Lafayette Rd, St. Paul, MN on September 27, 8 - 4:30 pm.  The second meeting will be held at the Orr City Hall, September 29, 2004 at 7:00 pm.  The forums are intended to provide background information on the proposed regulation changes, answer questions, and take public input.

 

The DNR has proposed a 12" maximum size limit for 

largemouth and smallmouth bass on all five lakes of the Namakan Reservoir: Kabetogama, Namakan, Sand Point, Crane, and Little Vermilion.  Under the proposed regulation, anglers would be allowed to keep up to six bass less than 12 inches long.  The proposal is aimed at maintaining and improving the quality bass fishery that exists on these lakes and increase opportunities to catch large bass. 

 

Comments on the proposal will be accepted at the DNR Area Fisheries Office in International Falls, 392 Highway 11 East; (218) 286-5220; kevin.peterson@dnr.state.mn.us .   All comments must be received by October 13, 2004.

 


Start planning 2005 fishing tournaments 

The Minnesota DNR will accept applications for 2005 fishing tournaments starting Sept. 1. Applications received before Oct. 29 will be given preference under rules adopted to redistribute tournament traffic on busy lakes.

    

In 2001, new rules went into effect that limited the size and frequency of fishing tournaments on lakes smaller than 55,000 acres. Any open-water tournament that has more than 30 participants or an entry fee more than $25 requires a permit from the DNR. Permits are free.

    

"We needed to address the concerns of lake users that fishing tournaments disturb their fishing, swimming, boating and other water recreation," said Al Stevens, DNR fisheries program consultant. "We're following up on recent concerns about tournaments being held without permits. However, for the most part the rules seem to have addressed the situation."

    

The number of tournaments allowed each month is based on lake size. For example, on lakes smaller than 2,000 acres, two

tournaments, limited to 50 boats or 100 participants per month are allowed. Lakes from 15,000 to 55,000 acres can have five contests per month, three of which may exceed 100 participants. There are no limits for lakes larger than 55,000 acres.

 

If the number of applications exceeds monthly limits, the DNR uses a lottery to allocate available permits. Applications received from Sept. 1 through Oct. 29 will be eligible for any necessary lottery drawing. Tournaments with a history established for a particular lake and time period will have preference. Applications received after Oct. 29 will be considered on a first come, first served basis through the 2005 tournament season.

    

For a complete summary of the tournament regulations, call the DNR Information Center at 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367) in greater Minnesota, or (651) 296-6157 from the Twin Cities metro area, or view the summary and a tournament application on the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us .


Counting the state's cormorants

Scientists don't know how many cormorants there are in Minnesota, so this summer, the DNR is sending people all over the state to count cormorant nests.  The DNR is responding to concerns this very prolific reproducer and efficient fisher is ravishing localized fish populations as has been documented time and again in other localities nationwide.

 

Of course, they're not the only birds out there eating fish. Francis Cuthbert, a professor at the University of Minnesota., who claims to be an expert on cormorants says pelicans can eat four times as many fish as cormorants. But a well known  

fact most elitists choose to ignore is the fact that cormorants are prolific reproducers, have large broods of up to 5 eggs per nest and live for up to 29 years.

 

They outnumber all other fish-eating birds and are unique in wiping out large populations of the resource they feed on before they move on.  No other known predator devastates its feeding ground as does this black marauder.

 

Results of the count should be in later this month. Researchers will use the numbers as a baseline, and plan to do more counts in the future.


Ohio

Survey planned for Lake Erie walleyes

Ohio's fisheries biologists will have their survey nets out next week checking on the status of the 2003 walleye hatch. Last fall the Ohio Division of Wildlife reported the 2003 walleye

hatch may be one of the best in 25 years. The trawl surveys will prove if their estimate was right or wrong, and we should know when those surveys are over in two weeks.

 


   

Pennsylvania

Input Sought on Proposed Designations     

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is soliciting public comment on proposed designation changes for five waterways.

 

The Commission will consider the potential changes at its fall meeting, October 4-5.  If adopted individually at that time, the new designations would become effective January 1, 2005:

           

The Commission will consider removing a 5.5-mile section of Young Womans Creek, Clinton County (from Beechwood Trail downstream to the Sproul State Forest Property line) from the Selective Harvest Program.  Additionally, the Commission will consider regulating that stream section as part of the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO) regulations.  The Commission may also consider designating this section as a Catch and Release Area or applying general statewide trout regulations to this section.

           

The Commission is also soliciting input on a proposed 0.5-mile extension of DHALO regulations on Meadow Run, Fayette County.  If approved, the new section limits would become from the mouth of Meadow Run at the Youghiogheny River upstream to the State Route 2011 Bridge on Dinner Bell Road adjacent to the Ohiopyle State Park office, a distance of 2.2

miles.  Also under consideration is a proposed addition of a 1.74-mile section of McMichaels Creek, Monroe County to the DHALO program.  If approved, the special regulations would be applied to an area 130 yards downstream of the bridge on Turkey Hill Road (T-416) downstream to the upstream boundary of the Glen Brook Golf Course.

 

The Commission will also consider adding East Basin Pond and West Basin Pond in Erie County to the list of waters regulated and managed under the Select Trout Stocked Lake Program.

 

Persons are invited to submit comments in writing to:  Executive Director, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, P.O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000,  or electronically at ra-pfbcregs@state.pa.us  .  A subject heading of the proposal and a return name and address must be included in each transmission.  In addition, all electronic comments must be contained in the text of the transmission, not in an attachment.  If an acknowledgment of electronic comments is not received by the sender within 2 working days, the comments should be retransmitted to ensure receipt.

       

Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted.


Nesting bald eagle population increases

Seven new nests identified in Commonwealth

HARRISBURG – The chance for vacationers and picnickers to see the nation's symbol of freedom soaring above is better than ever as Pennsylvania's bald eagle nesting population continues to grow.

 

Preliminary census work completed recently by the Pennsylvania Game Commission documents at least 75 known bald eagle nests in the Commonwealth. That compares with preliminary counts of 68 in 2003; 63 in 2002; 55 in 2001; and 48 in 2000. As recently as three decades ago, bald eagle nesting was limited to a couple of nests in the

Pymatuning region of Crawford County.

 

The state's largest concentrations of bald eagles are found in three geographic areas: Crawford County; along the lower Susquehanna River in Lancaster and York counties; and Pike County. For years, Crawford County ― particularly the Pymatuning region ― had represented the state's last stand for and largest concentration of bald eagles. This year, Crawford has 12 active nests, as does the lower Susquehanna River. Pike County, however, currently has the state's fastest-growing nesting population with nine nests. In 1992, it had only one.


2004 - '05 Bag limits - Species other than Canada Geese

ALL DUCKS: daily limit of 6, which may not include more than 4 mallards including 2 hens, 1 black duck, 1 pintail, 1 mottled duck, 1 fulvous tree duck, 2 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 1 canvasback, 4 scoters and 3 scaup. Possession limits are double the daily limit.

MERGANSERS: 5 daily, 10 in possession; not more than 1 hooded merganser daily, 2 in possession.

COOTS: 15 daily, 30 in possession.

HARLEQUIN DUCKS, WHITE-FRONTED GEESE AND ALL SWANS: No open season.

 


Goose Blind application deadlines for controlled hunting areas - Sept 7

Application deadlines are fast approaching for waterfowl hunters interested in being selected for the limited number of goose blinds at the controlled hunting areas at the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Pymatuning or Middle Creek wildlife management areas during the regular Canada goose season.  A goose blind application must be submitted on the form that is found on page 95 of the 2004-2005  

Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations.

 

Hunters may apply only to one area per year and may submit only one application, which must include the individual's 2004-2005 hunting license (back tag) number. Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area will accept applications through the mail until Sept. 7, at: PGC Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, P.O. Box 110, Kleinfeltersville, PA  17039-0110.  A public drawing will be held at 10 a.m., Sept. 8.


Abele Award Nominations Sought - due Oct 1

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) is seeking nominations for the 2004 Ralph W. Abele Conservation Heritage Award.

        

 The Ralph W. Abele Conservation Heritage Award is the highest recognition the PFBC can confer on persons who distinguish themselves in the cause of conservation. The PFBC established the Abele Award to recognize citizens of Pennsylvania who have made outstanding contributions to the protection, conservation and enhancement of the aquatic resources of the Commonwealth. The award serves as a memorial to Ralph Abele, longtime Commission Executive Director, for his steadfast and courageous work in protecting and conserving our natural resources.

           

The Abele Award is presented to a Pennsylvanian who has dedicated his or her time and energy to the conservation of the state's natural resources, specifically the aquatic resources, through one or more of the following accomplishments:

   

• Personally invested heavily in the long-term education of Pennsylvania's youth on conservation issues vital to an improved aquatic environment.

• Put at risk their person and livelihood to undertake public activities and positions on behalf of improving and protecting the aquatic resources of Pennsylvania.

• Led a regional or statewide environmental effort that has been recognized for its duration and success in protecting and enhancing the aquatic resources of Pennsylvania.

• Played a leading role in reclaiming and enhancing a major significant natural water resource within the Commonwealth.

• Led an effort to pass major environmental legislation for the protection, conservation and enhancement of the natural environment of Pennsylvania.

• Brought national recognition to Pennsylvania through personal activities, actions and contributions to the aquatic resources.

 

The nominations should describe, in a maximum of three typewritten pages, the following:

 

• Biographical Information.

• How the nominee meets the categories for recognition.

• Specific accomplishments of the nominee.

• Past recognitions of the nominee.

• Affiliations of the nominee.

• Additional information to warrant award of this honor.

 

Submission of letters supporting the nomination or other endorsements of a nominee is not part of the nomination process. Only the nomination letters (maximum of three typewritten pages) will be submitted to the review committee.

          

Employees and active Commissioners of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission are not eligible for this award, but they are encouraged to submit nominations.

               

Nominations should be submitted to RWA Conservation Heritage Award, Executive Office, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, PO Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000.  Nominations should be postmarked no later than October 1, 2004.


Youth Waterfowl hunting day - Sept 25

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has announced  Sept. 25 as the Youth Waterfowl hunting day. It is open to licensed

junior hunters ages 12-15, when properly accompanied, for ducks, mergansers, Canada geese, moorhens and coots. Same daily bag limits as regular season.


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