Week of September 1, 2008

Fishing beyond the Great Lakes
World News
National

Regional

General

Illinois
Michigan
Minnesota
New York
Ohio
Pennsylvania

 

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Fishing beyond the Great Lakes

Illegal walleye introduction threatens fishery

LANDER, WY -- Somebody has introduced walleye into Buffalo Bill Reservoir west of Cody, and the Game and Fish Department is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for

information leading to the apprehension of the person or persons who "bucketed" the fish in, said Steve Yekel, Cody region fisheries supervisor.


World news

U.S. Olympics Shooters double medal count from Athens

The U.S. Olympic team for shooting turned out an outstanding performance at the Games, earning six medals to double the medal count from Athens four years ago. It was arguably the most successful showing for the U.S. in the history of the

Olympic shooting competition, the U.S. Shooting team brought home two gold, two silver and two bronze medals and set a total of five new Olympic records. Look back at the shooting events from the Olympics at www.USAShooting.com  and www.NBCOlympics.com.


National

President Signs Memo Sustaining Fishing in Marine protected areas

WASHINGTON D.C. – In an August 25 Executive Memo to the Secretary’s of Defense, Interior and Commerce and the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), President Bush directed them to study potential marine

protected areas in the central Pacific Ocean. As outlined in the memo, the central Pacific region includes coral reefs, pinnacles, sea mounts, islands and the surrounding waters of Johnston Atoll, Howland, Baker and Jarvis Islands, Kingman Reef, Palmyra Atoll, Wake Island and Rose Atoll. These are all high-value fish habitat areas.


Feds announce New Conservation Mechanism for Threatened and Endangered Species

Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has developed an innovative new tool designed to help federal agencies conserve imperiled species on non-federal lands. The recovery crediting system will give federal agencies greater flexibility to offset impacts to threatened and endangered species caused by their actions by undertaking conservation efforts on non-federal lands, with the requirement that there is a net benefit to recovery of the species impacted.

 

President Bush first announced this new recovery crediting guidance during his visit to Patuxent Research Refuge in Maryland with Secretary Kempthorne on October 20, 2007. A draft version of the guidance was later published in the Federal Register on November 2, 2007 for public comment.

 

"Federal agencies play a key role in the recovery of hundreds of threatened and endangered species, but they cannot succeed without the support of private landowners," said Kempthorne. "This recovery crediting system will make it easier for agencies to work with local communities and landowners to benefit imperiled plant and animal species across the nation."

 

"The recovery crediting system serves as an additional cooperative conservation tool that will provide incentives for private landowners to conserve endangered species," said Lynn Scarlett, Deputy Secretary of the Interior.

 

Under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), federal agencies are required to use their existing authorities to conserve threatened and endangered species and, in consultation with the Service, ensure that their actions do not jeopardize listed species or destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. Section 7 applies to the management of federal lands as well as other federal actions that may affect listed species, such as federal approval of private activities through the issuance of permits and licenses.

 

Federal agencies will be able to use a recovery crediting 

system to create a "bank" of credits accrued through beneficial conservation actions undertaken on non-federal lands. A federal agency can develop and store these conservation credits for use at a later time to offset the impacts of its actions. Credits must be used to benefit the same species for which they were accrued. The Service will review each recovery crediting system to ensure the net benefits to recovery outweigh any potential impacts that could occur during project implementation. Each proposal will be evaluated on its own merit, and some activities related to particular listed species may not be appropriate for the new credit system.

 

The program is modeled on a pilot program developed at Fort Hood in Texas involving the Service, the Department of Defense, the Texas State Department of Agriculture and other agencies. Using the pilot recovery crediting system, the U.S. Army has been able to fund habitat conservation and restoration projects with willing local landowners on more than seven thousand acres of private land surrounding the military base to benefit the endangered golden-cheeked warbler. Fort Hood provides important training areas for troops deploying to Iraq and is also home to the largest known population of golden-cheeked warblers in its breeding range. The credits accrued through these off-base conservation efforts ensure that the Army can conduct mission-critical field training at Fort Hood while continuing to benefit the warbler in its home range. Fort Hood has also been able to build important partnerships through this pilot program that will continue to benefit the golden-cheeked warbler and other imperiled species.

 

"So many of our nation’s imperiled species live on non-federal land," said FWS Director H. Dale Hall. "This system will make it easier for other federal agencies to reach out to the American people and work with landowners to do what we can't do alone."

 

A notice of the availability of the guidance was published in the Federal Register on July 31, 2008. The guidance may also be downloaded from the Service's web site at www.fws.gov/endangered/policy/june.2008.html.


Trout Travails Treated with $3 Million in Fish Aid

Recognizing the need to fix crumbling stream-banks and dilapidated culverts, and to improve water quality for brook trout and other aquatic species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently provided more than $3 million to support 70 fish habitat projects in 31 states across the nation. With an additional $7.8 million in partner contributions, the projects will restore and enhance stream, lake, and coastal habitat to improve recreational fishing and help recover endangered species.

 

The funding is provided for priority projects identified under the National Fish Habitat Action Plan. The partnerships formed as part of the plan help direct funding and other resources to habitat improvement projects offering the highest long-term conservation returns.

 

Funding for NFHAP Partnership projects includes:

· Western Native Trout Initiative, Teton Creek, Idaho $20,000 in

Service funds and $149,000 in partner funds to restore nearly one-half mile of instream habitat on private lands for Yellowstone cutthroat trout

· Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership, Oyster Reef, Texas $60,000 in Service funds and $5,000 in partner funds to restore oyster reefs in Galveston Bay.

· Driftless Area Restoration Effort, Pine Creek, Wisconsin $22,384 in Service funds and $79,500 in partner funds to restore spring flow and reduce sedimentation for brook trout and other native fish.

· Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture, North Branch Hoosic River, Massachusetts $71,500 in Service funds and $118,500 in partner funds to remove Briggsville Dam, reopen three instream miles and restore a half mile of instream habitat.

· Matanuska-Susitna Basin Salmon Conservation Partnership, Alaska $39,000 in Service funds and $46,000 in partner funds will restore habitat affected by all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), build bridges, and educate ATV users about protecting salmon spawning and rearing habitat.


Regional

Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for August 29, 2008

 Weather Conditions

High pressure led to a very pleasant week in the Great Lakes basin.  Temperatures topped out in the 70s under abundant sunshine.  A cold front did bring some rain to the Northern lakes Wednesday, while the remnants of Tropical Storm Fay brought some light rain to the eastern Great Lakes Thursday.   Overall August has been a dry month, with only the Lake Ontario basin on pace to receive higher than average precipitation this month.  The upcoming Labor Day weekend looks very nice as high pressure again sets in.  Look for plenty of sun and seasonable temperatures.

 Lake Level Conditions

All of the Great Lakes are at or above their levels of a year ago.  Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are 15 and 7 inches higher than they were last year, respectively.  Lake Erie is near last years level while Lakes St. Clair and Ontario are 4 and 13 inches higher than their levels of a year ago, respectively.  All of the Great Lakes are predicted to fall during the next month with the exception of Lake Superior which is expected to remain near the same level.  Lake Michigan-Huron is projected to drop 1 inch, while Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario are forecasted to fall 5 to 9 inches during the next month. 

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions

In July, outflow through the St. Mary's River was slightly below average, and outflows through the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers were also below average. The Niagara River's outflow was slightly above average, while outflow from the St. Lawrence River was also above average.

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.

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for Aug 29

 601.7

578.0

 574.2

 571.5

 246.0

Datum, in ft

 601.1

 577.5

 572.3

 569.2

 243.3

Diff in inches

  +7

 +6

+23

 +27

 +32

Diff last month

 -2

  -3

 -3

  -6

  -6

Diff from last yr

 +15

 +7

 +4

 0

 +13


General

Gander Mountain returns to direct marketing       

Gander Mountain announced today it has begun a limited national distribution of its 244-page catalog to customers, marking the company's return to direct marketing after 12 years. The fall 2008 catalog will be the first edition from Gander Mountain since 1996, when it sold its catalog operation. The return to direct marketing allows Gander to become a multichannel retailer with the ability to sell products

to customers in all 50 states, not just the 23 states in which its 115 retail stores are located.

 

"Gander Mountain-titled catalogs will include a broad assortment of apparel and outdoors products that will always be available in the right size and colors," said Rick Vazquez, executive vice president of merchandising, in a statement.


Illinois

Gov closes 24 State Parks, lays off 39 more DNR employees

Two dozen state parks and historic sites will close and Gov Rod Blagojevich lays off 325 state workers including 39 more

DNR employees to balance the state budget.  A Blagojevich aide said the cuts were necessary because legislators passed an unbalanced budget. On Oct. 1, 13 historic sites and 11 state parks will close.


Deer Population Task Force Schedules Public Meetings

Panel reviewing options for improvements in deer management, reduction in deer vehicle accidents

SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – The Illinois DNR and the state’s Joint Deer Population Control Task Force will conduct a series of public meetings to discuss and seek public comment on proposals for changes and improvements in deer management in the state.

 

The task force was established by the Illinois General Assembly to examine and make recommendations on ways to manage the Illinois deer  population, including maintaining and increasing deer hunting opportunities, reducing deer-vehicle accidents and examining how those  accidents affect insurance rates, reducing crop and other property damage, and maintaining and increasing the health of the Illinois deer herd.

 

“The open house public meetings will allow those attending to review information on the Illinois deer management program, deer-vehicle  accidents, and proposals the task force is reviewing for changes in hunting seasons and related issues

regarding deer in Illinois,” said IDNR  Acting Director Sam Flood.

 

Staff from the IDNR Division of Wildlife Resources and members of the Joint Deer Population Control Task Force will be available to answer questions, discuss deer management, and hear comments from those attending the meetings.  Following the public meetings, the IDNR will also accept public comments through a link on the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us

 

The public is invited to attend the series of meetings listed below.  Each session will be open from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Sept. 2 – Peru Eagles Lodge, 830 Harrison St. (just off U.S. Rt. 6), Peru

Sept. 3 – Rockford Public Library, 215 N. Wyman, Rockford (use Mulberry St. entrance)

Sept. 4 – Scripps Park Community Building, U.S. Rts 67 & 24, Rushville

Sept. 9 – Olney City Park Community Building, Ill. Rt. 130, Olney

Sept. 10 – World Shooting and Recreational Complex, Sparta

Sept. 11 – Bethany Fire Station, 530 E. Main, Bethany


Michigan

First Case of Chronic Wasting Disease Detected at Kent Cty Deer Breeding Facility    

LANSING - Michigan has confirmed the state’s first case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a three-year old white-tailed deer from a privately owned cervid (POC) facility in Kent County.

 

The state has quarantined all POC facilities, prohibiting the movement of all - dead or alive - privately-owned deer, elk or moose.  Officials do not yet know how the deer may have contracted the disease. To date, there is no evidence that CWD presents a risk to humans.

 

State officials are currently reviewing records from the Kent County facility and five others to trace deer that have been purchased, sold or moved by the owners in the last five years for deer and the last seven years for elk. Any deer that may have come in contact with the CWD-positive herd have been traced to their current location and those facilities have been quarantined.

 

CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects deer, elk and moose. Most cases of the disease have been in western states, but in the past several years, it has spread to some midwestern and eastern states. Infected animals display abnormal behaviors, progressive weight loss and physical debilitation.

 

Current evidence suggests that the disease is transmitted through infectious, self-multiplying proteins (prions) contained in saliva and other fluids of infected animals. Susceptible animals can acquire CWD by direct exposure to these fluids or also from contaminated environments.  Once contaminated, research suggests that soil can remain a source of infection for long periods of time, making CWD a particularly difficult disease to eradicate.

Deer hunters this fall who take deer from Tyrone, Soldon, Nelson, Sparta, Algoma, Courtland, Alpine, Plainfield, and Cannon townships will be required to bring their deer to a DNR check station. Deer taken in these townships are subject to mandatory deer check.

 

The DNR is also asking hunters who are participating in the private land five-day antlerless hunt in September in other parts of Kent County to  visit DNR check stations  in Kent County so further biological samples can be taken from free-ranging deer for testing. The DNR is in the process of finding additional locations for check stations in Kent County to make it more convenient for hunters.

 

The deer that tested positive at the Kent County facility was a doe that had been recently culled by the owner of the facility. Michigan law requires sick deer or culled deer on a POC facility be tested for disease. The samples from the Kent County deer tested “suspect positive” last week at Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health, and were sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa last Thursday for confirmatory testing. The positive results of those tests were communicated to the state of Michigan today.

 

Audits of the facility by the DNR in 2004 and 2007 showed no escapes of animals from the Kent County facility were reported by the owner.  Also, there were no violations of regulations recorded during the audits.

 

Since 2002, the DNR has tested 248 wild deer in Kent County for CWD. In summer 2005, a number of those deer had displayed neurological symptoms similar to CWD; however, after testing it was determined the deer had contracted Eastern Equine Encephalitis.


Deer and Elk Feeding Ban Outlined, Will Impact Bear Baiting

In the wake of last week’s announcement that Chronic Wasting Disease CWD) has been confirmed in a privately-owned white-tailed deer in Kent County, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has immediately implemented provisions of the state’s Surveillance and Response Plan for CWD. Among the provisions is an immediate ban on all baiting and feeding of deer and elk in the Lower Peninsula.  This ban will also affect bear baiting activity.

 

Provisions of the baiting ban are:

- All grains, minerals, salt, fruits, vegetables, hay, or any other food materials, whether natural or manufactured, which may lure, entice or attract deer are prohibited.

- Food plots are not subject to the ban.

- Foods found scattered solely as the result of normal agricultural planting or harvesting practices, foods available to deer through normal agricultural practices of livestock feeding if the area is occupied by livestock actively consuming the feed on a daily basis, or standing farm crops under normal agricultural practices are not subject to the ban.

- Baiting is defined in the Wildlife Order as placing, depositing, tending, distributing, or scattering bait to aid in the taking of a deer.

 - All counties in the entire Lower Peninsula are subject to the

baiting ban.

- The Upper Peninsula is not included in the ban.

 

Current bear baiting regulations prohibit the use of any materials that lure, entice, or attract deer or elk where it is unlawful to bait or feed deer or elk.  As a result of the deer and elk baiting and feeding ban, no bear baiting with food materials other than meats, meat products, fish, fish products, or bakery products will be allowed in the Lower Peninsula at any time.

 

DNR conservation officers have increased surveillance and enforcement efforts on baiting. Baiting and feeding unnaturally congregate deer into close contact, thus increasing the transmission of contagious diseases. Bait and feed sites increase the likelihood that those areas will become contaminated with the feces of infected animals, making them a source of infection for years to come.

 

DNR officials remind citizens that, to date, there is no evidence that CWD poses a risk to humans, nor has there been verified evidence that the disease can be transmitted to humans.

 

For more information about CWD: www.michigan.gov/chronicwastingdisease.

 


Minnesota

DNR adopts plan to enhance muskellunge, northern pike fishing

Creating more opportunities for anglers to hook lunker northern pike and muskellunge is the goal of a new long-range management plan adopted by the Minnesota DNR.

 

“Anglers have a growing interest in catching larger fish,” said Ron Payer, DNR fisheries section chief. “This long range plan establishes reasonable goals and decision making processes to responsibly manage these high-profile fisheries through 2020.”

 

The DNR began work on the plan in 2006, with fisheries managers sharing their expertise and soliciting input from stakeholders. Interested stakeholders were invited to review and comment on earlier versions of the plan. Stakeholders provided many comments, the majority of which supported the goals and objectives.

 

The department will manage muskellunge to emphasize trophy angling opportunities in waters the fish now inhabit, and will add up to eight new muskellunge lakes during the next 12 years. New waters will be selected based on biological, physical and social considerations, including written proposals and a public meeting.

 

The DNR’s northern pike management plan focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of existing special and experimental regulations, modifying or dropping regulations as appropriate, and potentially adding up to 19 new waters for

large northern pike management.

 

The long-range plan describes a variety of ways the DNR will work with interested stakeholders to improve fishing opportunities for muskellunge and large northern pike. These include working with interested stakeholders to consider and evaluate potential changes to statewide regulations that may improve the size of northern pike and muskellunge.

 

Pokegama Lake in Itasca County will be added as a new muskellunge lake. The DNR has evaluated the 6,612-acre lake for muskellunge management and determined that it has the physical and biological characteristics necessary to support a trophy muskellunge fishery.

 

“The majority of public comments support stocking Pokegama with muskellunge,” Payer said. “It is connected to native muskie habitat in the upper Mississippi River watershed, and our managers believe the decision to stock will not affect northern pike spearing or angling opportunities on the lake.”

 

Gull Lake in Crow Wing County will not be managed as a muskellunge lake, Payer said. Although the lake has the physical and biological characteristics to support a trophy muskellunge fishery and muskellunge anglers strongly supported the idea, other anglers expressed strong concerns about the proposal.

 

Copies of the plan are available on the DNR Web site at www.mndnr.gov/esocid


Goose hunting application period begins for Lac qui Parle controlled hunt

The application deadline is approaching for hunters wishing to reserve a date to goose hunt in the controlled hunting zone at the Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area, according to the Minnesota DNR. The department will accept applications postmarked between Aug. 25 and Sept. 17 on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

To apply, hunters must submit a standard 3-1/2 inch by 5-1/2 inch postcard with full name and address, and must list their first and second choice of hunting dates. The limit is one postcard per hunter. Applications should be sent to: Controlled Hunt, Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area, 14047 20th St. NW, Watson, MN 56295.

 

Successful applicants will receive notification by mail

designating the date of their hunt, and may be accompanied

by one or two guests. All hunters in the Lac qui Parle controlled hunt zone who are 18 years of age or older will be charged a $3 fee on the day of their hunt to partially cover controlled hunt expenses. The DNR will assign goose-hunting stations during a drawing held on the morning of the hunt.

 

A split regular Canada goose season of 41 days is proposed at Lac qui Parle (West Central Zone). The first segment is four-days in length beginning Thursday, Oct. 16 thru Sunday, Oct. 19. The season will then close for five-days reopening Saturday, Oct. 25 and continuing thru Sunday, Nov. 30.

 

The reservation system will be in effect for the entire goose season. For more information, call the Lac qui Parle headquarters at (320) 734-4451


New York

Major Indian Pt. nuclear plant Fish Kill ruled a danger to environment

NEW YORK (AP)—The huge numbers of fish sucked to their death by the cooling system at the Indian Point nuclear plant prove that the system harms the Hudson River environment, a state official has ruled. The finding by J. Jared Snyder, assistant commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation, is a victory for plant critics who claim that up to 1.2 billion fish and eggs are killed each year as the plant, in the Westchester County village of Buchanan, 35 miles north of New York City, continuously draws in river water for use as a coolant.

 

"For decades, Indian Point has maintained that its cooling systems have no impact on Hudson River fish," said Robert Goldstein, general counsel to the environmental group Riverkeeper. "At long last, the DEC has put an end to this fiction." Snyder said that even the lowest estimate of fish deaths - 900,000 annually - "represents excessive fish kills" and establishes an adverse environmental impact.

 

The ruling, issued this month, means the plant's owner, Entergy Nuclear, may no longer raise the environmental-impact issue as it battles the state's order to build costly towers that recycle cooling water and make big river intakes unnecessary. Entergy had argued that the river's adult-fish populations have been stable. The towers, designed for what is known as closed-cycle cooling, could cost Entergy more than $1.6 billion.

Company spokesman Jim Steets said yesterday that Entergy will continue to argue against the towers, using other issues Snyder said could be raised at hearings that will start next year. Those issues include whether cooling towers are the best available technology for the money, the visual impact of the towers and the effect of outages that might be caused by construction. "This ruling actually gives us the opportunity to bring in the argument that this could impact electric-power reliability in New York, that the actual construction challenges may make it unfeasible," Steets said.

 

In May, Riverkeeper commissioned a report that studied 13 species of Hudson River fish and said 10 had suffered population declines since the mid-1970s. The report suggested a variety of causes, including overfishing, global warming and invasive zebra mussels, but also blamed power plants, including Indian Point. At the time, Entergy disputed the findings and said the river's fish were "healthy and abundant."

 

Steets said then that by using screens, Indian Point safely returns most adult fish to the river; most eggs, he said, are fated to die anyway.

 

Entergy is seeking license extensions for the Indian Point reactors that would keep them running into the 2030s. The licenses expire in 2013 and 2015. If new cooling technology were imposed it would probably apply only if the licenses were extended.


Ohio

2008 Coastweeks Celebration Set for Sept. 12-20

Organizations along Lake Erie encouraged to "Celebrate, Educate and Participate" in nationwide observance

TOLEDO, OH - Ohio's 2008 Coastweeks observance will again focus on the preservation and protection of Lake Erie and its watershed through a variety of cleanup events along the shoreline and throughout its watershed.

 

This year's observance will kick off Friday, September 12 at the annual meeting of the Ohio Lake Erie Commission, set for the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center in Bay Village. Ohio's Coastweeks will run through Sunday, September 21.

 

Coastweeks is part of an annual nationwide effort to educate the public about protecting America's coastlines. The Ohio Lake Erie Commission coordinates the state's observance. This year, Ohio's Coastweeks will include International Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 20. It is the world's largest one-day volunteer effort to clean up coastlines and waterways. The Dive! Put-In-Bay Harbor Cleanup on South Bass Island is set for Monday, September 15.

Environmental organizations, schools, scout groups, clubs, community groups and individuals throughout Ohio's Lake Erie watershed are encouraged to get involved in this year's Coastweeks by organizing an event.

 

Visit the OLEC Web site or call 419-245-2514 to learn more about the 2008 Coastweeks, or to obtain an application form to organize an event. The OLEC will provide the tools needed to promote an organization's Coastweeks events.

 

The Ohio Lake Erie Commission was established to preserve Lake Erie's natural resources, protect the quality of its waters and ecosystem, and promote economic development of the region. The director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources serves as the commission's chairman. Additional members include the directors of the state departments of Transportation, Health, Development, Agriculture, and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. 

 

 


Mobility-Impaired Hunter Access Areas Set

Hunters can submit applications beginning October 1

COLUMBUS, OH - Access roads on state wildlife areas open for hunting for hunters with mobility impairments using electric powered all-purpose vehicles (EPAPV) have been designated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

 

The wildlife areas, by region are: Delaware, Big Island, and Deer Creek in central Ohio; Resthaven, La Su An, and Killdeer Plains in northwest Ohio; Grand River, Brush Creek, and Berlin in northeast Ohio; Waterloo and Cooper Hollow in southeast Ohio; and Fallsville, East Fork, and Spring Valley in southwest Ohio.  The designated roads will be marked with signs on site and will be available for use beginning on November 24, 2008.

The areas have been identified in accordance with legislation passed earlier this year allowing mobility impaired hunters that meet certain medical criteria to apply for a permit to hunt from a motor vehicle on select wildlife areas.  Permitted users may travel off road with an EPAPV only as long as they remain within 100 yards perpendicular from the edge of roads posted and specifically designated for this use.

 

Applications for permits are available now.  Applicants must receive physician input and signature to complete their applications. Interested hunters can obtain the application and maps of the areas showing the location of the accessible roads from www.wildohio.com or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.  The Division will begin accepting applications October 1, 2008.


ODNR to Offer Youth Deer Hunts at State Preserves

Permits to participate in youth gun hunts will be awarded by lottery

COLUMBUS, OHIO--An increasing deer population, resulting in extensive damage to plant communities, has led the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Natural Areas and Preserves to coordinate special youth deer hunts at four state nature preserves-Desonier (Athens County), Goll Woods (Fulton County), Johnson Woods (Wayne County) and Lawrence Woods (Hardin County). A random drawing will be held to select participants for all four hunts.

 

The hunts will take place on November 22 during the regular youth deer gun hunting season.  At each site, successful applicants must be accompanied by a non-hunting adult partner. This hunt is coordinated with ODNR's Division of Wildlife so antlerless permits are allowed if purchased prior to the hunt.  This will allow each hunter to harvest a total of two deer utilizing the regular deer permit and one antlerless deer permit or two antlerless deer permits.  Youth hunters aged 17

years and younger are eligible. All Ohio hunting rules and regulations will apply.

 

Interested applicants should submit a 3x5 card with their printed name, complete address and daytime telephone number along with the preserve hunt title (i.e. "Desonier Woods Youth Deer Hunt") and a $5 processing fee (check or money order) for each entry to ODNR, Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, 2045 Morse Road, Bldg. F-1, Ohio 43229.  Applicants may apply for more than one hunt and permits are transferable.

 

Applications must be received by September 27, 2008. Successful applicants will be notified by mail and must attend a pre-hunt meeting.

 

For more info about Desonier, Goll Woods, Johnson Woods or Lawrence Woods state nature preserve, visit www.ohiodnr.com/dnap


Pennsylvania

Minimum age lowered for “HTE Independent Study”

HARRISBURG - Joining a nationwide trend among conservation agencies to provide quality hunter education on-line, the Pennsylvania Game Commission announced that it is lowering the minimum age required for its "independent study" Hunter-Trapper Education Class to 14 years of age.  When first initiated in 2006, the course was open to any interested first-time hunter who was at least 17-years-of-age.

 

"The concept of obtaining a license for first-time hunters by foregoing the traditional two-day or three-day course recognizes the time constraints of today's world," said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director.  "Distance learning meets the need of today's changing world by accommodating busy lifestyles, and many young people are already demonstrating that they are able to learn course materials online.

 

"While hunting is recognized as an opportunity for families to spend quality time together, the actual process of obtaining a first-time hunting license is often the main impediment to people wanting to start out.  Distance learning allows students to conveniently study at their own speed with a minimum amount of classroom time."

Registration is available on-line at the Game Commission's website www.pgc.state.pa.us by clicking on the "Hunter Education Classes" icon in the center of the homepage.  After reading the instructions on how to register, click on the "Go to Calendar" button at the top of the page, and then scroll down and select an "Independent Study" class meeting your scheduling needs.

 

Once registered, the student is given the option of studying course material online or requesting a copy of a printed manual.  Then on a given date and time, students who completed the home-study portion of the course will spend time with a District Wildlife CO to learn about the Game and Wildlife Code, hunting ethics and landowner relations.  Students then take the certification test.

 

"Most students spend about eight to 10 hours completing the home-study portion of the course," said Keith Snyder, Hunter-Trapper Education Division chief. "Independent study is an established concept used by many universities and other institutions of higher learning. The Game Commission believes our distance learning program provides a needed convenience to busy students."


 

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