Week of August 27, 2012

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Indiana
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Beyond the Great Lakes

Gander Mountain coming to Winston-Salem, N.C.

Popular outdoors retailer adds fifth North Carolina store and 120th nationwide Gander Mountain, announced last week that construction has begun on North Carolina’s fifth Gander Mountain retail store, which is expected to open in late 2012. The 43,000-sq ft facility will be located in Winston-Salem at 910 Hanes Mall Boulevard, near the intersection of I-40 and

 

Stratford Rd.

 

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


Bass Pro Shops New Store In Atlantic City, NJ

Bass Pro Shops has announced plans it will build a new store in Atlantic City, NJ. The NEW Bass Pro Shops super store will be located directly

on Atlantic Avenue at the entrance to Atlantic City and over 33 million visitors a year.


National

USGS releases U.S. Oil & Gas reserve growth estimates

WASHINGTON – The (USGS has released a new estimate for potential additions to domestic oil and gas reserves from reserve growth in discovered, conventional accumulations in the United States. The USGS estimates that the mean potential undiscovered, conventional reserve additions for the United States total 32 billion barrels (bb) of oil, 291 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas, and 10 bb of natural gas liquids, constituting about 10 percent of the overall U.S. oil and gas endowment.

 

“As part of the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, we are taking aggressive steps to safely and responsibly expand domestic energy production,” said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. “USGS’s ongoing work to identify and estimate U.S. energy supplies – and to make that information available to everyone - is fundamental to our efforts to continue to grow America’s energy economy.”

 

The U.S. estimates released today are for technically recoverable oil and gas, and do not include reserve growth estimates for Federal offshore areas. These estimates were made using a new assessment methodology developed by the USGS.

 

Reserve growth is the increase in estimated volumes of oil and natural gas that can be recovered from discovered (known) fields and reservoirs through time. Most reserve growth results from delineation of new reservoirs, field extensions, or improved recovery techniques, thereby enhancing efficiency, and recalculation of reserves due to changing economic and operating conditions.

 

"By providing geologically based, domestically consistent estimates of the potential additions of oil and gas from the growth in reserves in known fields, and placing that information in the public domain, we are furnishing a valuable projection on how much and where fossil fuels may be produced in the future," said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. "When combined with our estimates of undiscovered resources, policy makers can obtain a more complete picture of domestic, technically recoverable oil and gas."

 

These volumes represent an estimate of the potential future growth of current U.S. reserve estimates over time based on current technologies, and greater understanding of current reservoirs, among other advances. For comparison, the current mean USGS estimates for undiscovered, technically recoverable conventional oil and gas resources from onshore and underlying State waters are 27 bb of oil and 388 tcf of natural gas, respectively.

 

Reserve growth is a component of the overall oil and gas endowment, but is distinct from reserves and from undiscovered, technically recoverable resources – all three important but separate measurements used in efforts by industry and government to make energy decisions based on the best

available science.

 

Unlike past estimates of reserve growth that relied on statistical extrapolations of growth trends, the new USGS assessment is based on detailed analysis of geology and engineering practices used in producing fields. The assessment uses both published and commercial sources of geologic information and field-production data.

 

Region

Barrels of

Crude Oil

Cubic Ft

Natural Gas

Barrels Natural

Gas Liquid

Alaska/Pacific

20bb

32tcf

1bb

Colorado Plateau

2bb

18tcf

1bb

Texas/N. Mexico

4bb

52tcf

3bb

 Gulf Coast

3bb

144tcf

4bb

Eastern Region

2bb

45tcf

1bb

Totals

32bb

291tcf

10bb

 

Continuous, or unconventional, oil and gas accumulations, such as shale gas, tight gas, and tight oil were removed from the data set for this study. No attempt was made to estimate the economic viability of the recoverable oil and gas as part of these future projections.

 

“Today’s estimates are more good news for U.S. energy security, and affirm the need for the all-of-the above energy strategy that the President has implemented,” said Salazar, noting that U.S. dependence on foreign oil has gone down every year during the Obama Administration, including a reduction in net oil imports by ten percent – or one million barrels a day – in the last year alone. Total oil production from federal lands and waters has increased 13 percent during the first three years of this Administration, compared to the last three years of the previous Administration. Oil production in the first quarter of 2012 was higher than any time in the last 14 years and natural gas production is at its highest level ever.

 

Estimates of reserve growth for the world, excluding the United States, were released in June 2012 and total 665 bb of oil, 1,429 tcf of natural gas, and 16 bb of natural gas liquids.

 

USGS is the only provider of publicly available estimates of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas resources and reserve growth of the world, exclusive of the Federal offshore. This U.S. assessment was undertaken as part of a project assessing U.S. petroleum basins using standardized methodology and protocol.

 

To learn more about this or other geologic assessments, please visit the USGS Energy Resources Program website. Stay up to date with USGS energy science by subscribing to our newsletter.

 


New embers of Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council

WASHINGTON, D.C.  — Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, on August 17 announced the appointments of 18 members of the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council, an advisory group they established in 2010 to advise them on wildlife conservation, habitat conservation, and hunting.

 

“During its inaugural term, members of the Council provided important recommendations on conserving wildlife habitat and water resources that are so important to America's hunting and angling heritage, as well as enhancing access to the great outdoors,” said Salazar. “I am confident that today’s appointments will provide a strong voice to the nation’s conservation and sportsmen communities and ensure that the next generation enjoys a thriving wildlife heritage.”

 

“America’s rural communities and rural economies depend on healthy soil, water and air and America’s hunters and anglers – our nation’s first conservationists – have long fought to conserve those precious resources,” said Vilsack. “These appointees are uniquely qualified to advise us on the full range of issues addressed by the Council while reflecting the true conservation spirit of our nation’s outdoor traditions.”

 

The secretaries announced the appointment of the following individuals to serve on the council for a three-year term:

•  David Allen (Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation)

•  Jeffrey Crane (Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation)

•  Robert Fithian (Alaska Professional Hunters Association, Inc.)

•  Jonathan Gassett (Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources)

•  Thomas Franklin (Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership)

•  Winifred Kessler (The Wildlife Society)

•  Robert Manes (The Nature Conservancy)

•  Frederick Maulson (Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission)

•  Tommy Millner (Cabela's) •  Robert Model (Boone and Crockett Club)

•  Joanna Prukop (former New Mexico Secretary of Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources)

•  Stephen Sanetti (National Shooting Sports Foundation)

•  Larry Schweiger (National Wildlife Federation)

•  Christine Thomas (College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin)

•  George Thornton (National Wild Turkey Federation)

•  John Tomke (Ducks Unlimited) •  Howard Vincent (Pheasants Forever)

•  Steve Williams (Wildlife Management Institute)

 

The council is an official advisory group established under the Federal Advisory Committee Act that helps promote and preserve America's wildlife and hunting heritage for future generations. It provides advice about conservation endeavors that: benefit wildlife resources; encourage partnership among the public, the sporting conservation organizations, the states, Native American tribes, and the Federal Government; and benefit recreational hunting.

 

The six federal agencies playing a key role in supporting and maintaining America's outdoors heritage – the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Farm Service Agency – and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, will also appoint organizational members to the council.

 


Olympics are a boon for Michigan sailboat builder

At the London Olympics, Richland, MI boatbuilder Jon VanderMolen pulled off a feat not even Michael Phelps could match: His PStar boats took gold, silver and bronze in the same event.  In fact, VanderMolen's North American Sailing Center in Richland built 11 of the top 12 finishers in the premier Star-class sailing event, according to mlive.com.

 

For the teams, the medal round was a nail biter, with the Swedes not realizing they had won gold until their coach told them. VanderMolen and his partner, German Olympic sailor and boatbuilder Marc Pickel, had the

pleasure of watching nine of their boats sweep in almost simultaneously.

 

(He and his crew had built some 37 boats, with 13 of their boats claiming 16 spots in the Star class final.)  "It was one of the most exciting races I've ever seen. All 10 boats finished almost overlapping — within 10 seconds of each other," VanderMolen told the publication.

 

Since the Olympics concluded earlier this month, VanderMolen said the company has had 15 inquiries for price quotes on its website. But right now, he said, he's competing with himself.


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for August 24, 2012

WEATHER CONDITIONS

This past week, the region again experienced below average temperatures for this time of year. So far for the month of August, the overall Great Lakes basin has received just slightly below average precipitation. There is a slight chance for showers and thunderstorms this weekend, but no significant precipitation is expected. Temperatures are expected to be near seasonal averages over the weekend and into the start of next week.

LAKE LEVEL CONDITIONS

The water level of Lake Superior is 1 inch lower than the level of one year ago, while Lake Michigan-Huron is 11 inches lower than its level of a year ago. Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are 11, 13, and 12 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 2 inches. 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. See our Daily Levels web page for more water level information.

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 24

601.21

577.26

573.52

570.9

244.78

Datum, in ft

601.10

577.50

572.30

569.20

243.30

Diff in inches

+1

-3

+15

+20

+18

Diff last month

-2

-3

-3

-3

-5

Diff from last yr

-1

-11

-11

-13

-12


General

Commercial fishing ranks as deadliest job in U.S.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks commercial fishing as the deadliest job in the United States. And despite the popular notion from reality TV's "Deadliest Catch," featuring Alaskan crab fishermen, the most dangerous fishery is in the Northeast.

 

From 2000 to 2009, workers in the Northeast multispecies groundfish fishery, including fish such as cod and haddock, were 37 times more likely to die on the job than a police officer, according to a National Public Radio report.

 

A National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health report shows that 70 percent of those deaths and those in the second-deadliest fishery, Atlantic scallops, followed vessel disasters such as a fire, capsizing or sinking. Most of the rest were caused by on-board injuries or falling overboard, often by getting tangled in heavy overhead equipment.  Not one of those who fell overboard and drowned was wearing a life jacket.

 

An investigation by the Center for Public Integrity, NPR News and Boston public radio station WBUR found that despite earning the odious ranking as America’s deadliest job, commercial fishing in the Northeast operates

in a cultural tradition and regulatory environment that thwarts safety measures.

 

Although the Coast Guard requires seaworthiness inspections of passenger ferries and other commercial vessels, fishing boats are not inspected despite a request from Coast Guard officials.

 

At Chatham Harbor on Cape Cod, Bill Amaru runs one of the last cod fishing boats from a harbor that used to be so prolific, fish markets labeled cod Chathams. Now strict federal rules limit how much he can catch. Many other cod fishermen have gone out of business. Amaru doesn’t like the idea of the feds inspecting his boat.

 

“If there’s a resentment to these kinds of rules, it’s based on the overall huge number of regulations that have come down on our industry in the last decade,” Amaru told NPR.

 

“So much federal ‘nanny state’ kind of telling us how to operate, when I think I have a pretty good understanding of what I need to do to keep safe.”


Lake Michigan

Wisconsin seeks comments on Trout/Salmon Stocking in Lake Michigan

MILWAUKEE - More information about a proposal from Lake Michigan state and tribal fisheries management agencies to reduce trout and salmon stocking starting in 2013 to better match prey and predator numbers is available online and the public has until Sept. 3, 2012, to comment on the proposed options.

"This has been a lengthy but very worthwhile process involving a lot of stakeholders, and we need to finalize stocking reduction decisions in September so we can put them into action this fall," said Brad Eggold, southern Lake Michigan fisheries supervisor for the Department of Natural Resources. Agencies collect salmon eggs starting in late September for fish that will be stocked in spring 2013. "We should collect only the number of eggs we'll actually need this fall to make the most efficient use of our staff and funding," Eggold said.

Despite an exceptional coho harvest and good size-at-age among chinook salmon in 2011, lake-wide assessments of food available for trout and salmon and computer modeling conducted by Michigan State University researchers show that the number of trout and salmon being stocked in Lake Michigan exceeds what can be supported by the available prey fish in the future, particularly as natural reproduction in Michigan waters has increased significantly.

Forage fish surveys done by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2011 show that alewife populations were at the lowest levels since surveys were started in 1973. Biologists believe that continuing current stocking levels would lead to a collapse in both alewives and salmon and trout which would seriously affect Wisconsin's $500 million Great Lakes sport fishery. "We are trying to avoid the kind of salmon fishing collapse that happened on Lake Huron and seriously affected the sport fishery in Michigan," Eggold said.

The options looked at and the need for a reduction comes largely from stakeholders, he said. "From what we've heard at the various public meeting, the public believes that a reduction needs to take place," Eggold

said. The anglers and charter boat captains are seeing lower weight on chinook in their catches. The chinook anglers are hauling in are 15 to 17 pounds; very rarely are they catching a fish over 20 pounds, he said.

 

Biologists from the states bordering the lake favor a 50 percent reduction lakewide in chinook stocking with individual states having the option to substitute reductions of other species. Wisconsin supported a plan that eliminated stocking of all Michigan streams that have significant chinook salmon natural reproduction with the rest of the cuts proportionally distributed among all other ports. That translates into a 37.8 percent reduction for Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana and a 61.8 percent reduction for Michigan if only chinook are reduced. In the current proposal, Wisconsin would still be responsible for 37.8 percent,but Michigan would take a higher 66.8 percent reduction which would allow smaller reductions for Illinois and Indiana, which stock much less fish to begin with.
 

Eggold says that Wisconsin's proposed reduction would initially come in Chinook stocking. Chinook have the biggest impact on prey populations and changes in Chinook stocking levels are easiest to adjust to for hatcheries. Chinook are stocked out within the same year they are hatched, so reducing their numbers for 2013 would mean Wisconsin would seek from the outset to raise fewer fish. Other trout and salmon, at least in Wisconsin, are stocked out at as year-old fish, or yearlings, so those coho salmon and brown trout destined for stocking in 2013 are already being raised in the hatcheries. Eggold says that DNR would consider spreading the reductions around to other species in the future, with enough lead time.

"We are all deeply committed to protecting the future of the salmon and trout fishery," Eggold said. "We are also committed to working with one another and the tribes in a cooperative, collaborative fashion to manage our shared resource," he says.

The latest presentation (given on Aug. 7 in Green Bay and Aug. 9 in Milwaukee) can be viewed here.  Comments can be sent to Brad Eggold, Wisconsin DNR, 600 E. Greenfield Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53204 or Bradley.Eggold@Wisconsin.Gov.  


Illinois

Visit Conservation Village at DuQuoin State Fair, Aug. 25-Sept. 3

Fishing Programs, Outdoor Recreation Information Featured at Fair

DUQUOIN, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) invites visitors to the DuQuoin State Fair to stop by the Conservation Village area on the DuQuoin fairgrounds for activities and information about outdoor recreation and natural resources programs in Illinois.

 

The Conservation Village area at the DuQuoin State Fair is open from noon until 8 p.m. each day of the fair, August 25 - September 3.

 

“We hope those attending the DuQuoin fair will stop by the Conservation Village for information on youth and family recreation opportunities that are very popular throughout southern Illinois,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller.

 

Information tents at Conservation Village are located in the center of the DuQuoin fairgrounds on Expo Drive just south of the Expo Hall.  Conservation Village features information and displays on outdoor 

recreation opportunities and IDNR programs.  Visitors to Conservation Village can talk with IDNR Conservation Police officers about the regulations and laws governing fishing, hunting, and boating in Illinois – and hunting and fishing licenses, hunting permits, and FOID card application photos are also available.

 

Visitors can register for a raffle for an outdoor adventure package.  Also featured is the beautiful woodwork of “Come See What We Saw” Bear Tracks Chainsaw Carving by Mike and Wendy Rhodes.

 

Fishing programs will be conducted at the lake on the DuQuoin fairgrounds located between RV World and the Expo Building.  The IDNR Urban Fishing Program will on hand each weekday of the fair from 4 - 7 p.m. and on the weekends and Labor Day from noon - 7 p.m.  Adults and youngsters can practice their casting techniques and view fish displays.

 

The IDNR will also host fishing clinics for area school groups at the DuQuoin State Fair on Friday, August 31 from 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.  Each clinic will last approximately one-half hour.


Indiana

DNR reminds hunters about baiting laws for dove and waterfowl

Before dove and waterfowl hunters take to drought-affected fields this hunting season, they should take time first to review baiting laws.

 

Baiting can be a complicated issue. It can become more complicated in years in which drought conditions have pushed many farmers to destroy their standing agricultural crops. It is imperative that hunters keep in mind what is legal and what is not legal during waterfowl and dove hunting seasons.

 

What is legal?

You can hunt waterfowl on, over, or from:

  • Standing crops or flooded standing crops

  • Standing, flooded, or manipulated natural vegetation

  • Flooded harvested croplands

  • Lands or areas where grains or top-sown seeds have been scattered solely as the result of normal agricultural practices.

 

You can hunt doves on, over or from:

  • Standing crops

  • Lands where seeds or grain have been scattered solely as a result of normal agricultural practices

  • Lands planted as wildlife food plots

  • Lands planted as pasture improvements or for the purpose of grazing livestock.

  • Standing or manipulated natural vegetation

  • Agricultural crops that have been manipulated.

 

What is illegal?

You cannot hunt waterfowl in:

  • Areas where grain or seed has been top-sown.

  • Crops that have been harvested outside of the recommended harvest dates.

  • Unharvested crops that have been trampled by livestock or subjected to other types of manipulations that scatter, distribute or expose the grain.

  • Freshly planted wildlife food plots that contain exposed grain.

  • Areas where grain is present or stored.

  • Croplands where a crop has been harvested and the removed grain is redistributed or “added back” onto the area where it was grown.

 

You cannot hunt doves in:

  • Areas where grain, seed, salt or feed has been placed, exposed, deposited, distributed or scattered.

  • Areas where grain is in piles or other concentrations.

  • Freshly planted wildlife food plots that contain exposed grain.

 

**Reminder: It is legal to hunt doves on, over, or from manipulated agricultural lands. It is NOT legal to hunt waterfowl on, over, or from manipulated agricultural lands.

 

Below are a few potentially common scenarios for the upcoming dove/waterfowl seasons.

  • If a farmer mows his agricultural fields in September due to crop insurance payments, a hunter cannot hunt it for waterfowl because waterfowl cannot be hunted over manipulated agricultural lands. However, this field can be hunted for doves.

  • If a wildlife food plot is planted a few weeks before you are going to dove or waterfowl hunt, can you hunt it? Yes, if the grain is not exposed.

  • You decide to put out grain to attract birds. It has been eight days since you last put out grain. Can you hunt this area? No. An area is considered baited until 10 days after all the grain has been removed from the area.

 

 


Pennsylvania

New CO Chief PA Fish & Boat Commission

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Perry County native has been named the new director of the Bureau of Law Enforcement for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC).

Colonel Corey Britcher, originally from Newport, takes over the top position after having served as the regional manager for the PFBC's South-central law enforcement office in Newville, Cumberland County. He succeeds Col. Tom Kamerzel, who retired earlier this year.

 

 


Wisconsin

Sturgeon hook-and-line season opens Sept. 1

POYNETTE – The hook and line sturgeon season opens Sept. 1, 2012, on select major rivers and lakes and promises a great opportunity to reel in the fish of a lifetime as sturgeon numbers and size are improving, fish biologists report.

 

A Poynette man and his daughter reported catching and releasing a sturgeon that they measured at 86 inches in March while catfishing on Lake Wisconsin and last year, an 82-inch fish was harvested from the Lower Chippewa River.

 

“The 60" minimum length limit seems to be helping keep the sturgeon numbers strong and allow more of these fish to grow larger, reproduce, and continue to contribute to the fishery,” says Karl Scheidegger, co-chair of the DNR sturgeon management team. “Anglers should find lots of great catch and release opportunities and a few harvest opportunities as well on those waters open to sturgeon fishing.”

 

The 60" limit was enacted in 2007 when harvest rates on some populations were significantly above 5 percent, the level of harvest DNR considers safe. Lake sturgeon are slow-growing, late maturing fish, with females spawning for the first time when they are 20 to 25 years old and then only every four to five years thereafter. Because females are larger than males they are often targeted by anglers. Overharvest can cause population declines that take years to recover from.

 

Heath Benike, fisheries biologist stationed in Eau Claire, says that recent surveys confirm that a large number of sturgeon just under the 60-inch minimum length limit are present in Lower Chippewa River. “Catch and release sturgeon fishing is growing in popularity locally and anglers who just enjoy catching sturgeon and not necessarily harvesting sturgeon will find sturgeon fishing good to excellent on this stretch of river,” he says.

 

Nate Nye, fisheries biologist stationed in Poynette, notes that yearly population estimates for the Prairie Du Sac Dam tailwater from 2008 to 2011 have ranged from 125 to 225 fish. The fishery can vary based on environmental conditions like river levels, weather, etc., the number of people fishing for sturgeon, and the number of fish actually present in the tailwater area.

 

“Fishing in early September may actually be better on Lake Wisconsin with the Prairie du Sac fishery improving later as water temperatures cool off and flows increase, bringing fish into the lower Wisconsin River from the Mississippi,” he says.

More season details

The hook and line season is open Sept. 1 – 30 on segments of the Chippewa River, the Flambeau River, Butternut Lake in Price County, segments of the Jump River in Rusk County, Yellow Lake, Little Yellow Lake, Danbury Flowage, and the Yellow River from Yellow Lake downstream to the Danbury Dam (Burnett Co.) and the Wisconsin River downstream from the Wisconsin Dells Dam. For specific listings of the river segments open to harvest, please consult the Wisconsin fishing seasons: Lake sturgeon web page.

 

There is a minimum length limit of 60", a bag limit of 1 per season, and a catch and release season only on a stretch of the Menominee River downstream from the Hattie Street dam to Green Bay from Sept. 1-30.

 

Anglers will find an extra catch-and-release opportunity on the lower St. Croix River from St. Croix Falls Dam downstream to the Mississippi River from Oct. 1 through Oct. 15. This catch-and-release season allows Wisconsin and Minnesota to have the same regulations on the boundary water for sturgeon.

 

All anglers must have a Wisconsin general inland fishing license unless they are under 16 years old, or were born before Jan. 1, 1927. Active military personnel who are Wisconsin residents and in active service but on furlough or leave are eligible to receive a free annual fishing license.

 

Anglers who do plan to harvest a sturgeon this season must purchase a harvest tag before they fish. The sturgeon harvest tag was implemented for the first time in the 2006 hook and line season. All revenues from the harvest tag sales go directly to projects dedicated to the improvement of sturgeon populations and habitats and therefore, better fishing opportunities. No tag is needed if anglers are catch and release fishing only.

 

The harvest tag is available throughout the season and costs $20 for residents and $50 for nonresidents, and can be purchased at:

DNR’s Online Licensing Center; DNR service centers, license sales agents or by calling 1-877-WI LICENSE (1-877-945-4236).

 

Anglers who harvest a legal-size fish must immediately attach the harvest tag to the fish. All harvested sturgeon must be registered at a registration station by 6 p.m. the next day.

 

 


Early Canada goose/mourning dove seasons open Sept. 1

MADISON –The first fall hunting opportunities -- the early Canada goose and mourning dove seasons – are soon here and hunters are expected to find good numbers of both birds.

 

The early Canada goose season in Wisconsin runs Sept. 1-15 statewide. The dove season runs Sept. 1 – Nov. 9 statewide. During the spring 

waterfowl survey, Wisconsin’s resident breeding goose populationestimate was 145,386, with field reports indicating above average production. The early Canada goose season is allowed by federal rules because of the growth of local giant Canada goose populations, Van Horn says. The harvest of Canada geese in the early season now amounts to one-third of the total annual Canada goose harvest in Wisconsin.


More information available on chinook reduction proposal
MILWAUKEE – More information about a proposal from Lake Michigan state and tribal fisheries management agencies to reduce trout and salmon stocking starting in 2013 to better match prey and predator numbers is available online and the public has until Sept. 3, 2012, to comment on the proposed options.

 

“This has been a lengthy but very worthwhile process involving a lot of stakeholders, and we need to finalize stocking reduction decisions in September so we can put them into action this fall,” said Brad Eggold, southern Lake Michigan fisheries supervisor for the Department of Natural Resources. Agencies collect salmon eggs starting in late September for fish that will be stocked in spring 2013. “We should collect only the number of eggs we’ll actually need this fall to make the most efficient use of our staff and funding,” Eggold said.

 

Despite an exceptional coho harvest and good size-at-age among chinook salmon in 2011, lake-wide assessments of food available for trout and salmon and computer modeling conducted by Michigan State University researchers show that the number of trout and salmon being stocked in Lake Michigan exceeds what can be supported by the available prey fish in the future, particularly as natural reproduction in Michigan waters has increased significantly.

 

Forage fish surveys done by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2011 show that alewife populations were at the lowest levels since surveys were started in 1973. Biologists believe that continuing current stocking levels would lead to a collapse in both alewives and salmon and trout which would seriously affect Wisconsin’s $500 million Great Lakes sport fishery. “We are trying to avoid the kind of salmon fishing collapse that happened on Lake Huron and seriously affected the sport fishery in Michigan,” Eggold said.

 

The options looked at and the need for a reduction comes largely from stakeholders, he said. “From what we’ve heard at the various public meeting, the public believes that a reduction needs to take place," Eggold

said. The anglers and charter boat captains are seeing lower weight on

chinook in their catches. The chinook anglers are hauling in are 15 to 17 pounds; very rarely are they catching a fish over 20 pounds, he said.

Biologists from the states bordering the lake favor a 50 percent reduction lakewide in chinook stocking with individual states having the option to substitute reductions of other species. Wisconsin supported a plan that eliminated stocking of all Michigan streams that have significant chinook salmon natural reproduction with the rest of the cuts proportionally distributed among all other ports. That translates into a 37.8 percent reduction for Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana and a 61.8 percent reduction for Michigan if only chinook are reduced. In the current proposal, Wisconsin would still be responsible for 37.8 percent,but Michigan would take a higher 66.8 percent reduction which would allow smaller reductions for Illinois and Indiana, which stock much less fish to begin with.

Eggold says that Wisconsin’s proposed reduction would initially come in Chinook stocking. Chinook have the biggest impact on prey populations and changes in Chinook stocking levels are easiest to adjust to for hatcheries. Chinook are stocked out within the same year they are hatched, so reducing their numbers for 2013 would mean Wisconsin would seek from the outset to raise fewer fish. Other trout and salmon, at least in Wisconsin, are stocked out at as year-old fish, or yearlings, so those coho salmon and brown trout destined for stocking in 2013 are already being raised in the hatcheries. Eggold says that DNR would consider spreading the reductions around to other species in the future, with enough lead time.

 

“We are all deeply committed to protecting the future of the salmon and trout fishery,” Eggold said. “We are also committed to working with one another and the tribes in a cooperative, collaborative fashion to manage our shared resource,” he says.

The latest presentation (given on Aug. 7 in Green Bay and Aug. 9 in Milwaukee) can be viewed here.

 

Written comments can be sent to Brad Eggold, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 600 E. Greenfield Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53204 or emailed to Bradley.Eggold@Wisconsin.Gov.


Canada

First Nations, organizations oppose Bruce Power nuke shipment
Communities are reaffirming their commitment to protect the Great Lakes from nuclear waste shipments, despite new challenges from the federal governments omnibus budget bill.

Late last week Sierra Club Canada and the Canadian Environmental Law Association announced that they were withdrawing their applications for judicial review of permits which allowed Bruce Power to ship nuclear waste to Sweden.

In April 2010, Bruce Power applied for permits with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to ship nuclear waste through the Great Lakes to a treatment facility in Nyk g, Sweden. Bruce Power contracted Swedish company Studsvik to decontaminate the radioactive waste and sell the scrap metal back onto open markets. The plan threatened to contaminate the drinking water of Owen Sound and other communities around the Great Lakes. Despite the opposition of city mayors, US senators, First Nation communities, residents and environmental and other groups, the CNSC issued transport permits, which have since expired.

Introduced in the spring, the omnibus budget bill (Bill C-38) makes sweeping changes to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) as well as other environmental legislation. Under the new CEAA, Bruce Powers plan would not trigger an environmental assessment as it would have under the old Act.

The Anishinabek Nation Chiefs in Assembly still stand united and oppose any proposals or applications with the intent to export nuclear waste or radioactive contaminated equipment to other provinces or countries by either land or water, says Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Wedaseh Madahbee. The Great Lakes were never negotiated by treaty and we have inherent and treaty rights to all our waterways. Neither the Nuclear Safety Commission nor Bruce Power can guarantee that a disaster will not happen with this shipment. The spillage of any hazardous waste would infringe on our constitutionally-protected rights to fish, hunt, and gather lake-based traditional foods and medicines.

Our position hasnt changed, said Chief Clinton Phillips, who holds the environment portfolio for the Mohawk Council of Kahnaw e. The Mohawks will continue to stand in solidarity with the overwhelming majority of people, Native and non-Native alike, who live along the Great Lakes and

St. Lawrence. We are greatly disturbed that the Canadian government,
under C-38, could conceivably sweep environmental issues under the rug with little or no opportunity for public input. This is irresponsible, insidious and, most of all, it sets a very dangerous precedent.
 

It is a disgrace that environmental safeguards are being eroded in Canada but we affirm communities right to say no to harmful shipments of nuclear waste across our precious lakes, says Maude Barlow, National Chairperson for the Council of Canadians. We stand in solidarity with First Nations and other communities and will not let Bruce Powers shipment cross the waters of the Great Lakes.

"CARGOS continues to oppose the project to ship these radioactive generators through the Great Lakes from the port of Owen Sound,"declares Sharen Skelly from CARGOS (Citizens against Radioactive Generators in Owen Sound). "We do not want the Great Lakes nor any fresh or sea waters to be the shipping grounds for nuclear waste. If Bruce Power applies for the appropriate licenses to continue with this project we will take whatever peaceful action is necessary to stop this."

 

"We find the abrogation of environmental stewardship by the Canadian government to be particularly disturbing as it pertains to shipping radioactive waste of Steam Generators on the Great Lakes," stated Michael Keegan with the United States Coalition for a Nuclear Free Great Lakes. We are committed to working with First Nations and Canadian communities to protect the lakes from radioactive waste.

Patricia Marida, chair of the Sierra Clubs Nuclear Free Ohio Committee stated, Ohio does not want or need radioactive shipments coming through Lake Erie, the shallowest and most vulnerable of the Great Lakes. We are particularly concerned because NEWGreen, a radioactive materials cleaning and refurbishing business on Lake Erie in Ohio, may be the recipient of Canadian steam generators. We do not want Canadian radioactivity in Ohios air, soil and water.

"We owe it to all future generations to keep dangerous radioactive reactor wastes out of the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence waterways," stated Kay Cumbow, of Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, (CACC), a Michigan-based U.S. organization. "A serious accident during transport could potentially devastate large areas of these critical waters for millions of years - waters that First Nation, U.S. and Canadian communities and ecosystems utterly depend on."


Other Breaking News Items

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Thousands of fish released from Ontario fish farm

LITTLE CURRENT, Ont. - Provincial police say thousand of fish have been released in two incidents at a Manitoulin Island fish farm.  Nets were cut on fish cages belonging to Cold Water Fisheries located in the North Channel of Lake Huron just north of Little Current, ON.

 

Chicago River becomes battleground test lab

While there are several potential pathways for Asian carp to make their way into the Great Lakes, by far the biggest is the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. It is a 160 ft wide and 24 ft deep artificial waterway that opened in 1900 in an audacious move by Chicago leaders to keep

Sturgeon size limit increase adds to their girth
For hook-and-line sturgeon fishing in Wisconsin, the best place may be the Chippewa River, and the best spot on the river is downtown Eau Claire.

 

Where the water went: Georgian Bay and the future of the Great Lakes
Water levels are down on all the upper Great Lakes this year. Perhaps that’s no surprise, given the widespread drought in central North America—but on Georgian Bay, the water has been dropping steadily for years, and the results, especially among the iconic 30,000 Islands, are increasingly visible.

 

Thousands of fish released from Ontario fish farm
Provincial police say thousands of fish have been released in two incidents at a Manitoulin Island fish farm.

Farmers work to reduce fertilizer runoff contributing to algal blooms
With help from government funding, Ohio farmers are working to reduce phosphorus inputs to Lake Erie by adding filter strips (buffers between fields), planting cover crops during the off season, and reducing the amount of fertilizers spread on fields.

Great Lakes groups want more spending from federal harbor maintenance fund
The Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition and others want Congress to stop raiding the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund and use it as it was intended.

 

Chicago canal not the only possible carp invasion route
The fight against an Asian carp invasion of the Great Lakes so far has been mostly focused on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, an artificial link between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River basin. There are 18 other potential connections between the Great Lakes and Asian carp-infested Mississippi River basin.

 

 

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

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